Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

An eye-popping statistic

Posted by Charles II on June 26, 2015

From the Department of Justice, NIJ

Hate Crime Prevalence and Victimization
….
Estimates from victim interviews reported as part of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) far exceed the numbers reported by police agencies in the URC. NCVS indicates that approximately 191,000 hate crime incidents occur annually. Results from victim interviews indicate that only 44 percent of victimizations were reported to the police.[2] Only about 20 percent of these were validated by law enforcement as bias related.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

#DylannRoof And #LostCause Backers: Bellicose Lying #Bigots

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 25, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates does an excellent job of running Confederate lies to earth.

For instance, after first demolishing the “War of Northern Aggression” lie by showing how the Southern slave camp owners had been planning to secede and/or invade Cuba, Mexico and other parts of Latin America and the Carribean before finally firing on Fort Sumter, he then takes on the infamous “the war wasn’t about slavery” lie:

… As the Late Unpleasantness [of the Civil War itself] stretched from the predicted months into years, the very reason for the Confederacy’s existence came to threaten its diplomatic efforts. Fighting for slavery presented problems abroad, and so Confederate diplomats came up with the notion of emphasizing “states rights” over “slavery”—the first manifestation of what would later become a plank in the foundation of Lost Cause mythology.

The first people to question that mythology were themselves Confederates, distraught to find their motives downplayed or treated as embarassments. A Richmond-based newspaper offered the following:

‘The people of the South,’ says a contemporary, ‘are not fighting for slavery but for independence.’ Let us look into this matter. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy — a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland. . . Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED, and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.

Even after the war, as the Lost Cause rose, many veterans remained clear about why they had rallied to the Confederate flag. “I’ve never heard of any other cause than slavery,” wrote Confederate commander John S. Mosby. The progeny of the Confederacy repeatedly invoked slavery as the war’s cause.

The entire article is worth a read, so much so that I pray Mr. Coates has a good home security system. Confederates get violent when their cognitive dissonance is attacked, as Dylann Roof has already shown.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

“A prince of darkness has returned to hell.”

Posted by Charles II on June 25, 2015

Honduran oligarch Miguel Facussé was widely reported to be a narcotrafficker and mass murderer in Honduras. From DemocracyNow:

Diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks showed the United States knew of Facussé’s role in cocaine trafficking but continued funding Honduras’ military and police, who reportedly worked closely with Facussé’s guards. Facussé backed the 2009 coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya;

In response to Facussé’s death, Chuck Kaufman of the Alliance for Global Justice told Colorado radio station KGNU, “A prince of darkness has returned to hell.”

By the way, this is Colorado’s KGNU, not Missouri’s WGNU, a radio station that inexplicably broadcast Earl Holt III while proclaiming:

We want to draw citizen elements together in a spirit of harmony and brotherhood; leaving behind confusing, divisive or rudely confrontational attitudes and language.

It must be Prince of Darkness Day or something.

Posted in evil | 1 Comment »

The face of evil

Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2015

Added: To be clear, the point is that evil doesn’t look any different than what we see every day. The face of evil is found in someone exulting in being a slumlord, in the easy acceptance with which the Tea Party–of which many chapters have close links to the Conservative Citizens Council– has met with the media, and in the refusal of this country to recognize the mass murder in Charleston as being the result of something embedded in our national DNA, namely the “original sin” of slavery. This sin can only be removed by genuine repentance, which means de-normalizing racism in whatever form it appears. As long as a guy like Earl Holt III is normal, the whole nation is polluted.

___________________

Via David Nir, DK.

Earl Holt III is a white supremacist, radio personality on WGNU, and leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He has replaced the fortunately late Gordon Baum as the president of that organization. Why a man like this was allowed to use the public airwaves is beyond me.

This is how Earl Holt III describes himself in FEC filings:
Earl-Holt,-Slumlord

This is the face of evil, ca. 1990 (From Lindsay Bever of the WaPo):

Lindsay Bever:

[Holt] preferred, he said, “to contribute directly to conservative Republican candidates, ONLY, because we do not trust the RNC to spend our money as wisely as we would. Moreover, if it occurs to us to mention it, we also indicate our preference for Tea Party-endorsed candidates, to whom we have been quite generous the last few election cycles.”

And this is the face of evil now:

(Via Hinterland Gazette)

And here is the list of politicians who happily accepted contributions from a self-described slumlord:

Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
ex-Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

As the Rev. William Barber said, The perpetrator [of the Charleston massacre] has been arrested, but the killer is still at large.

Posted in Congress, conservativism, crimes, racism, Republicans as cancer | Leave a Comment »

Yes, the confederacy was about slavery. And so, to a degree, is modern conservatism

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:

It’s mostly links to here, the Civil War Trust, dedicated to preserving the battlefields.

And before anyone gives the Republicans of South Carolina and Mississippi too much credit, hear what the Rev. William Barber said on DemocracyNow:

REV. WILLIAM BARBER: …[President Obama is saying … that to talk about race…We have to recognize…what Lee Atwater explained about the Southern strategy, that Kevin Phillips designed in 1968. He said, “I know how to win the South, but we have to move away from talking about race openly. We can’t do like George Wallace or Goldwater. We have to find a way to talk about race without sounding like it.” And he listed a number of things—tax cuts, forced busing, states’ rights—as code language for talking about race. Ronald Reagan used it when he started his campaign…. by being in Philadelphia, where Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were killed, it was clear.

And so, today, what the president is saying, you’ve got to look at structural, systemic racism. That’s what that young man [murderer Dylann Roof] meant when he said, “Somebody’s trying to take over and destroy my country.” He had heard politicians and others saying the president is ruining the country;… Only the willfully deaf, said one author that wrote a book called Racism Without Racists, cannot hear the racialized implications of that kind of rhetoric, in that kind of policy, which is why I agree with the president that we have to talk about race in terms of systemic racism and institutional racism. For instance, why is it that of the 24 states that are denying Medicaid expansion, six out of 10 African Americans live in those states? Why is it that we talk about entitlements in a way that suggests that it’s about them? The very programs that lifted up white Americans in the ’40s and ’50s, after the ’60s, became an anathema in certain arenas. Why is it that we don’t talk about the fact that our schools are resegregating faster now than they were in the 1970s?

We have to talk about wage disparity, both generally for all Americans, but then the disparate impact upon black people and brown people. And we’ve got to get black and brown and poor white people to understand that, in many ways, we are being played by an oligarchy that knows how to use these racialized code words to create wedge issues rather than to create the kind of moral transformative fusion of blacks, whites and browns that need to happen in this country, particularly in the South, to move us forward.

So, fine, clean up the symbols. But we will look to the policy to reach a judgment on whether your hearts have truly changed. When the policies you promote end up with people unable to vote, unable to influence what laws are made, unable to get a decent education, unable to get decent wages, then they are not free. Southern conservatives and more generally the American oligarchy is trying to reimpose slavery, not only on African Americans, but on all of us, and not only in the South, but everywhere.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Here, they die silently, invisible

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Frances Ryan, The Guardian:

If the government would care for an insight into what its “safety net” has become, it could do worse than looking at the case of Nick Gaskin.

Gaskin, who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), cannot walk, feed himself or talk but, last month, received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informing him he should attend an interview about “the possibility” of getting a job.

People who have such severe disabilities they are unable to work are – by definition of being put in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) – not required to attend mandatory meetings. As Gaskin can only communicate through blinking, it was his wife, Tracy, who called the jobcentre in Loughborough to explain this. The DWP now says it will apologise over the “misunderstanding”. But not before Tracy was told that if her husband did not attend the interview his benefits would be stopped. [Had the crisis occurred earlier, in the midst of Tracy’s cancer therapy, it’s likely Nick Gaskin would have lost his benefits, endangering both him and Tracy.]

Currently, Iain Duncan Smith is embroiled in a row over burying figures that show how many people have died within six weeks of their benefits being stopped…. It gives an insight into Duncan Smith’s thinking that when confronted on the issue in the House of Commons, it was the campaign to disclose the statistics – rather than the deaths themselves – that he called “disgraceful”.

I have written about some of the people who fell past the edge. Malcolm Burge, the retired gardener who had his housing benefit cut by 50% and drove to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and set his car on fire. David Clapson, the diabetic jobseeker who had his benefits sanctioned and was found with no food in his stomach and CVs next to his body.

Here, helpless people shoved off of the SSI or Food Stamp/SNAP rolls die silently, invisible to our media. At least in the U.K., one newspaper mentions them.

Sure, there are cheaters on the rolls here. Partly that’s because the benefits that they provide are nopt enough to actually live on, so people supplement them with money made from hustling or by claiming more than they are entitled to. But, sure, there are some real out-and-out fraudsters. So… how many helpless people are we willing to kill in order to punish the undeserving?

The answer is that we don’t know and, with our current media, never will.

Posted in abuse of power, Media machine, poverty | Leave a Comment »

The Corporate Party of America and the Trade Deal

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Meteor Blades:

Democrats who voted for cloture[on the TransPacific Partnership “trade” deal]:

Michael Bennet of Colorado, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Even Ron Wyden, who has been so good on privacy.

It’s definitely time to nominate Bernie Sanders as the first step in telling the Corporate Democrats to fark off.

Added: A great comment from Eschaton about Hillary and her triangulation on trade.

willf -> JeffCO • 16 minutes ago

I think democrats should follow her example, and wait on the “supporting Hillary” question until after the election.

Posted in Congress, Democrats, international | 2 Comments »

HelpKobane.com Does Just What The Name Says

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 22, 2015

Want to help the Kurds rebuild Kobane?

Go to HelpKobane.com and see what you can do there.

As the War Nerd says, this is about as clear-cut a case of good guys and bad guys as we can expect in the real world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The NRA Helped Reagan Ban Open Carry In California Via The Mulford Act

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 20, 2015

reagan-nra-guns

This (courtesy disinfo.com) needs to be shoved in the face of every white-supremacist ammosexual you see, especially the ones who claim that all black people have to do to keep from being shot at in church is to buy lots of guns:

The Founding Fathers instituted gun laws so intrusive that, were they running for office today, the NRA would not endorse them. While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution.

For those men who were allowed to own guns, the Founders had their own version of the “individual mandate” that has proved so controversial in President Obama’s health-care-reform law: they required the purchase of guns. A 1792 federal law mandated every eligible man to purchase a military-style gun and ammunition for his service in the citizen militia. Such men had to report for frequent musters—where their guns would be inspected and, yes, registered on public rolls.

Opposition to gun control was what drove the black militants to visit the California capitol with loaded weapons in hand. The Black Panther Party had been formed six months earlier, in Oakland, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Like many young African Americans, Newton and Seale were frustrated with the failed promise of the civil-rights movement. Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were legal landmarks, but they had yet to deliver equal opportunity. In Newton and Seale’s view, the only tangible outcome of the civil-rights movement had been more violence and oppression, much of it committed by the very entity meant to protect and serve the public: the police.

The Panthers set up patrols designed to police the (largely white) police, and white conservative Californian politicians didn’t like it one bit:

Don Mulford, a conservative Republican state assemblyman from Alameda County, which includes Oakland, was determined to end the Panthers’ police patrols. To disarm the Panthers, he proposed a law that would prohibit the carrying of a loaded weapon in any California city. When Newton found out about this, he told Seale, “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to the Capitol.” Seale was incredulous. “The Capitol?” Newton explained: “Mulford’s there, and they’re trying to pass a law against our guns, and we’re going to the Capitol steps.” Newton’s plan was to take a select group of Panthers “loaded down to the gills,” to send a message to California lawmakers about the group’s opposition to any new gun control.

The Panthers’ methods provoked an immediate backlash. The day of their statehouse protest, lawmakers said the incident would speed enactment of Mulford’s gun-control proposal. Mulford himself pledged to make his bill even tougher, and he added a provision barring anyone but law enforcement from bringing a loaded firearm into the state capitol.

Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

As went California, so went the nation. The gun murders of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy — and the fact that cops sent in to break up protests and riots were met with sniper fire — helped spur new Federal laws designed to limit just who could own a gun.

And the NRA gladly supported all of this, because it meant making sure that white people were the ones with the guns.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Battalion 316, Honduras, and post-coup State-sponsored Terrorism

Posted by Charles II on June 20, 2015

Heather Gies, UpsideDown World:

After the 2009 military coup against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president said in an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! that Battalion 316 was “already operating” in Honduras under a different name and using “torture to create fear.”

“There was a tremendous resurgence (after the coup) of death squad activity and assassinations of human rights defenders, trade unionists, campesinos, activists of the resistance of all sorts including journalists, lawyers,” Dana Frank, professor of History at the University of California Santa Cruz, told teleSUR. “It was very rare in the 20 years before the coup for these kinds of assassinations to happen … but it shot up dramatically after the coup.”

The post-coup links to Battalion 316 terror were palpable, both in the vast increase in human rights abuses, including torture, assassinations, and forced disappearances, as well as the direct connections of Battalion 316 personnel offering their expertise to the coup regime.

Former head of the Battalion 316, School of the Americas graduate Billy Joya, became a prominent coup regime spokesperson, advisor, and aide to de facto president Roberto Micheletti. According to COFADEH, many other retired Battalion 316 agents also became government advisors.

[Professor Adrienne] Pine, author of “Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras,” said that the numbers of state-sponsored disappearances, tortures, and extrajudicial killings since the coup have far exceeded those of the 1980s.

With striking similarity to the fear campaign of the 1980s, COFADEH documented in 2010, along with dozens of other death threats and assassinations, that a former Battalion 316 agent publicly threatened resistance activist Candelario Reyes with forced disappearance and death, saying that killing such a “communist dog” would make the “best example” for other resistance activists.

“You can see the continuity with some of these individuals including the references to the 80s that are conscious references,” said Frank. “It’s terror, it’s deliberately spreading terror.”

Harkening back to 1980s terror was a deliberate strategy to instil fear in perceived political threats. In 2012, COFADEH human rights defender Dina Meza received a series of threats of death and sexual violence by text message signed with the initials CAM, standing for Comando Alvarez Martinez, early 1980s head of Battalion 316 responsible for grave human rights abuses. According to Amnesty International, CAM was used as a pseudonym in numerous death threats against journalists and activists in the wake of the coup.

According to Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. foreign policy in Honduras, the clearest and most alarming examples of post-coup strategies that follow the model of Battalion 316 are the TIGRES special units of the police force and FUSINA inter-agency task forces that bring together military, police, military police, prosecutors, and other government officials under military control.

FUSINA was initially headed by School of the Americas graduate Colonel German Alfaro, former commander of Battalion 15, the military unit in the Aguan Valley region implicated in dozens of post-coup murders of campesino activists. Trained by the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marines, FUSINA is not only troubling for its conglomeration of agency functions under a military mandate, but also for its U.S.-enhanced intelligence capacities.

COFADEH denounced TIGRES as a “crude resurrection” of Battalion 316’s political disappearances, murder, and “criminal behaviour.”

These new constellations of state and military power, designed and deployed to create fear and contain political dissent, have again had a deep social and political impact in Honduras.

“A combination of the ‘soft power’ of USAID and NED-funded (so-called pro-democracy) programs on the one hand, and death squads within the police, the military, and now the military police have succeeded in destroying the post-coup resistance movement,” explained Pine. “This is what makes possible the neoliberal plunder of the country currently underway.”

Courtesy of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Posted in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Honduras, Latin America, terrorism | 1 Comment »

 
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