BroadSnark

Thoughts on politics, religion, violence, inequality, social control, change, and random other things from an autonomous, analytical, adopted, abolitionist, anarchist who likes the letter A
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Misc’

Things You Might Have Missed

September 12, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

St. Louis PD shot sixteen other people before Michael Brown in 2014.

I do not encourage contacting the police. Usually, when I read a story about someone calling the cops, it ends with somebody getting beaten or shot who shouldn’t have. But I send sincere thanks to the woman who turned in her phone so that the police department could go after the pig that texted “I wish someone would pull a Ferguson on them and take them out. I hate looking at those African monkeys at work…I enjoy arresting those thugs with their saggy pants.” She cannot be too popular amongst the PD right now.

Speaking of bad outcomes after the cops are called. The eight-year-old who was tased? The state attorney claims the cops were totally justified. Ummm. If you cannot handle an eight-year-old, knife or not, perhaps you aren’t cut out for “protecting and serving.”

Or how about the guy who called the cops who shot a Walmart shopper. He isn’t suspicious or anything.

Glen Ford from Black Agenda Report has been on fire the last few weeks. Here is an interview he did on This is Hell! focused mostly on police militarization and the counter-insurgency army that cops really are, with a little misleadership class sellout on the side.

Very interesting interview with Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell about Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party

Further to that robot conversation from a few posts back, now you can be freaked out about robots and the cloud together. You’re welcome.

Yes, for the millionth time, the stats about sex workers are bullshit.

There is a big brouhaha because the leader of Greenpeace has been jetting back and forth between Luxemburg and Amsterdam on a weekly basis. The focus is mostly on the hypocrisy of racking up that massive carbon footprint, with a little bit of wasteful spending outrage on the side. But what about the fucking class issues? Ugh. These are the kind of horrible assholes I have to deal with on a regular. The kind who pat themselves on the back for helping the world as they live the bougiest of lives.

Also under the heading of repulsive nonprofits, Pathways to Housing has not been paying the rent for their mentally disabled clients. This is despite the fact that these people have been turning over their social security checks to the agency. But don’t worry “The group’s president, Sam Tsemberis, made nearly $300,000 in 2013. Boothe made $174,000 last year, and four other Pathways executives cleared six figures, including a $182,000-a-year psychiatrist.” So the really important people are totally covered.

I really need to check out that Samaritans show.

Mentally ill inmates in a Michigan women’s prison are being tortured.

The bombing in Chile is being blamed on anarchists. It is also being used to resurrect/reinforce some Pinochet era anti-terrorism laws. You may recall that, just a bit over a month ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that several Mapuche “activists’ rights to freedom of expression, presumption of innocence and their right to question witnesses had been violated when they were tried and found guilty under the anti-terrorism law. The law allows the accused to be held without bail before trial, to receive higher penalties for crimes and to be sentenced based on anonymous testimony.” What a coincidence.

Meanwhile, Latin America has horrifying rates of violence against young people . And gun deaths in Honduras have doubled in less than a decade. A total of “49,294 homicides were reported during the 2005-2013 period”.

I also saw a report of anarchists being targeted and imprisoned in Egypt. But I’m not finding much on this. Anyone?

Guess who has the highest housing costs in the USA? We’re number one, DC!! Maybe it is time to get in contact with OneDC.

I’ll leave you on a slightly more positive note. Restorative justice in Illinois schools. It works.

 

 

Things You Might Have Missed

September 05, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

The New York City school teachers who wore t-shirts to school showing their support for NYPD can go straight to hell.

Related to my last post, The new Luddites: why former digital prophets are turning against tech

Another black person with a gun license had a run-in with cops. This time, rather than arrest, they just beat him up.

That cop that likes to rape black women in Oklahoma also killed a guy.

Another killer cop decided to light the woman on fire afterwards.

Balko comprehensively covers how poor people in St. Louis County are getting screwed by the injustice system.

What happens when a cop tries to do the right thing? The police department starts investigating them.

Someone was just saying the other day that they thought the militarization of police was a good thing because it made all sorts of military equipment more available for appropriation. Considering that police departments keep losing stuff, that isn’t so far-fetched.

Thirty years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

Nice piece about Tenacious: A Zine of Art & Writing by Women in Prison, which we should all be subscribed to.

Someone please explain to me how 181 pre-K students and 201 kindergarten students were suspended from school for violence, drugs, alcohol and/or weapons in the 2012-2013 school year.

There is so much wrong with this story about a 14-year-old who had sex with a 20-year-old (statutory rape), found out six years later that she had his kid, and is now having his wages garnished for child support.

I’ve been saying for years that age segregation is a disaster. I started noticing the problem in activist spaces that are almost always segregated (usually with those in the kid years completely absent).

Hats off to LulzSecPeru for stirring up shit over there.

I thought I had posted a link to this talk about anarchist fiction with Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Killjoy, but maybe not.

And last, but not least, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei gives us a DIY tutorial on blocking a surveillance camera (pictured).

Things You Might Have Missed

August 29, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Remember the good old days? The Leave it to Beaver years. They were simpler times. When white people wanted to hang black people for drinking out of white water fountains. When workers would find nooses hanging at their workplaces. When cops put dogs on unarmed protesters. When curmudgeonly, white supremacist stereotypes yelled “cut your hair, hippy Navajo kindergartner!” or kicked black teens out of school for dreadlocks. Oh wait. That’s all now.

A seventeen-year-old from Ferguson writes about being Tired and Fed-up.

This guy shows how frequent the Fergusons have been in our history.

Never ever speak to cops. Not that you have a right to remain silent.

This charming cop offered to help “straighten out” his niece. By which he meant rape her and make her be his maid. He was found out after she tried to kill herself.

This Oklahoma cop likes to rape black women.

Cops and coroner claim a handcuffed man shot himself in the chest.

The 84-year-old Asian man who was slammed to the ground by NYPD for jaywalking is suing.

In Chicago, a candlelight vigil was being held for another teen killed by cops. Police attended the vigil to do their usual intimidation and harassment thing. One attendee believed they saw the actual shooter. Then things got real as people started throwing things at the PD and one woman ran into a cop with her car. Let’s all take notes from that one.

Data on police killing people is impossible to find, though the feds are responsible for tracking it. This guy has started his own project.

There is a petition circulating to try to get compassionate release for Robert C. Fuentes who is dying of liver cancer.

System Failure was uploaded back in 2007 by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. It is about abuse in California juvenile facilities. Gives you a very good feel for what happens in these places.

This is a long, but worthwhile discussion about “incarceration and resistance (with) Ashanti Alston (former BLA member and Prisoner of War, current co-chair of the Jericho Movement)…Victoria Law (author, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women) …Matt Meyer (editor of Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movement to Free Political Prisoners) and Lynne Stewart (attorney and contributor to Let Freedom Ring)”.

Where does that hard-working, pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality get you? It gets you four jobs and dead in your car.

All the more shameful since we could all be working a few hours a day if the system wasn’t about fetishizing work and making sure that a disproportionate few benefit from technology and increased productivity.

This interview with Boots from the Coup where he tells the woman they are “a punk-funk Communist revolution band…trying to…make everyone dance while we’re telling them about how we need to get rid of the system” is just priceless.

Very interesting research on who participated in the Rwandan genocide. It was those with larger social networks that were more likely to participate in atrocities. Especially important was the influence of family and neighbors.

And then there is this on how we decide who is innocent, their death being a tragedy, and whose death we shrug off.

Finally, anybody know anything about Friendica? Or maybe you host a Diaspora server. I really need off of Facebook.

____

HT to @BrendasJustice for photo

Things You Might Have Missed

August 22, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

This is gonna be a long one. And I’m saving some for next week. Apologies. Not only did I miss last week, but I also did a lot of catching up on reading. And, of course, I have been obsessively following Ferguson.

I know none of you have missed what has been going on in Ferguson. But I will drop a few of the more important links:

Ferguson isn’t the only place people have had enough. In the Mandalay Region of Burma/Myanmar, farmers had their land taken away by the military. They protested by, for example, plowing the fields that had been stolen from them. The cops came and started shooting. The protesters, along with local villagers who ran out to help, “detained 37 police personnel“. The rest ran away. Nicely done, farmers.

While we wait to hear whether or not the cop will be charged in Ferguson, we know that Shaneen Allen is going to be prosecuted for gun possession.

San Bernardino PD tased a man to death last week. Maybe they were trying to one up the South Dakota PD who tased an 8 year old?

In New Orleans, a man was shot in the head and the PD didn’t report it for two days. And in LA, they refused to release the autopsy of the man they shot.

If You Were Gunned Down By Police, What Photo Would the MSM Use to Portray You?

You have probably seen the picture going around of all the people killed by police. But maybe you missed this series of Last Words: A Visual Tribute to Men Killed By Police.

Nobody knows how many people cops murder every year.

I don’t know if this new police accountability app will do any good. But these teens are clearly awesome.

Prisoners in PA have been protesting and need some support.

We don’t hear enough of the stories from people in prison, especially not women in prison. Which is why this account from a woman at Virginia Correctional is so important. And why people should support films like this one about Marcia Powell, a sex worker who died in prison.

It turns out that Telling White People the Criminal Justice System is Racist Makes them Like it More. Awesome. 

In Memphis, a teacher punched a five-year-old girl in the face.

Good news is, LA says they are trying to shut down the school to prison pipeline. Bad news is, they are arming Compton school PD with AR-15s. What could go wrong?

Mothers are still be arrested for letting their kids play in parks and for swearing in front of them. (Newsflash: If you put your kid in a car, you are risking their life far more than any of this bullshit.)

Baltimore Jimmy Johns workers are now IWW.

Also in Baltimore, an out of control judge ordered a pro se defendant to be tased in court.

One could argue that a dildo is even more dehumanizing than this very life-like Japanese sex doll. But as a human and a sapiosexual, I’m finding the claims about it being a legit girlfriend replacement a little incomprehensible and (frankly) sad.

They better send a whole crap ton of those dolls to Brazil considering that women need virginity tests before they can get a job.

Sooo. That whole Affordable Care Act thing. How is it that hospital CEOs are seeing massive pay increases? Almost as big as the insurance premium increases we have been getting.  Hmmmmmm.

Finally, a Honduras morgue director is reporting that at least 5 of the children deported back to Honduras are now dead.

Things You Might Have Missed

August 08, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Dirt track at Hagerstown SpeedwayI watched dirt track racing this weekend. Apparently, that’s a thing. A very loud and surprisingly fun thing. You can make a race car out of anything.

Very much looking forward to seeing how the amazing Andrea Bowen takes Garden State Equality past the gay marriage fight. Andy has actually gotten me to help call people for an advocacy day, so you know she can make pretty much anything happen.

I think many people forget that a lot of chains are actually owned by locals who just wanted a small business of their own. Though it sounds like McDonalds is trying to get rid of those people. In any event, when a franchise owner basically comes out in support of a union for fast food workers, that’s news.

Moving on up the chain of evil corporations, a bunch of memos have been released showing Chiquita’s support of the death squads in Colombia.

Setting aside the Obama apologism and apparent belief that the CIA is or should be salvageable, this isn’t a bad summary of the torture investigation history.

Where is the nationwide torture investigation of US police? Like the ones in New Mexico that like to anally rape people for kicks.

Or these cops who went to the wrong house and dragged a woman naked out of her apartment.

Those cops will not be punished in the slightest. Meanwhile, a five-year-old has sexual misconduct on his record for pulling down his pants at school. You read that right. A five-year-old.

Looks like people in Colorado are staying home to get high instead of going out and getting in car accidents. Seriously though, the chicken littles are just going to look sillier and sillier as drugs are legalized and the world doesn’t fall apart.

If you are trying to help things fall apart, then you’d be better off sending in some aid. Perhaps you can send USAID to pretend to humanitarians working for an AIDS organization in Cuba.

Or maybe you can NGOize a small country that has been pummeled by natural and political disasters so that NGOs and contractors can make gazillions of dollars and thwart any chances for autonomy or democracy or justice…

Or you can just sell out to the highest bidder while still patting yourself on the back for being a good guy.

At least with Chiquita, nobody really pretends they aren’t evil.

In Delhi, The Hindu did an investigation of the reported rape cases. One of the things they found is that many of the cases were controlling parents who filed rape charges against the man that their daughter eloped with. Authoritarian parenting at its worst. Happens here too.

Leo Hollis calls out the bullshit that is “startup urbanism” for the gentrification that it actually is.

DC has now been added to the list of cities where a posh building agrees to provide affordable housing, but has the poor people use a separate door. The twist here is that they claim the low-income tenants wanted it that way in order to preserve their community. Can’t really blame them for not wanting to deal with all the douchebags that live in places like that. It is tragic to see how the neighborhood relationships break down with gentrification.

And finally, Victoria Law has a new piece on compassionate release.

Things You Might Have Missed

August 01, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

James Baldwin in TurkeyA lot of depressing, infuriating, and terrifying news in the last week. So I’m going to ease you into it with a heartwarming story first. Some students at UCF 3d printed a bionic arm for a six-year-old who can now do all kinds of stuff that six-year-old kids want to do. So cool. Also, instead of trying to sell it for beer or luxury car money, they are making the plans freely available so anybody can do it.

And now for the terrifying news. The Ebola outbreak that is being talked about far too little, but has already claimed hundreds of lives, is likely to claim many more now that it has moved from the countryside to the city and onto an airplane. If you have never read The Hot Zone, don’t. It is better not to know.

Also of major concern is running out of potable water by 2040. At least I don’t have to worry about my lack of retirement savings now.

Did you know that Facebook has a cop on the payroll whose job it is to harass local truant kids? Naturally, when you are trying to “help” your new community, you go straight for policing.

It isn’t like policing ever goes wrong. Nobody has ever been shot for something trivial, like parking tickets.

As long as we are on the subject of bullshit policing, the federal government is going after home distillers now.

Maybe they are seeing the writing on the wall with weed being decriminalized or legalized everywhere. Not that legalization has stopped the black market in Colorado. Probably not arrests either.

Also in Colorado is a program for lifers who are getting out on parole after decades in the system. This two part NPR series on their re-entry and redemption is a must.

Here is a quick list of the 36 orgs that are keeping private prison companies in the money. If you bank at any of these places….don’t.

Citibank has been ordered to pay up for their role in subprime loans and the housing crash. Naturally, almost none of that money will go to the actual people who suffered. All getting sucked up by the feds. Guess they need more drones.

Subprime car loans have apparently risen 130% in the last five years. If they are more frequent than back when I worked in collections…holy shit. Cause it was already a lot.

Infuriating that Indian children are being taken away from their families so casually. Still. Nothing changes.

Why do campus administrators make so much money?

If you live in a gentrifying city, you are undoubtedly in the midst of transportation wars. Rarely in the discussions about walking v. biking v. driving v. public transportation do we hear anyone center the needs of people with disabilities. In fact, most changes seem to exacerbate the challenges.

A lovely essay by James Baldwin’s nephew for his birthday celebration.

This report on Greenwood, Mississippi by the descendant of one of its refugees is what I wish more journalists would do.

Also on the civil rights era is this piece on The Sex Amendment. What’s interesting about it is how it highlights the hostility between white women and black men. It also shows very clearly how changes were made out to be the work of powerful white men, rather than the movements that actually did it.

Finally, I will leave you with some very cool food related projects around the country.

Things You Might Have Missed

July 15, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

IMG_1016Not had a lot of time for writing the last couple weeks. Just got back from the beach and before that I was in New York stuffing my face with blintzes at B&H.  So good.

Next month I’ll be stopping in Phili for a quick minute at the anarchist book fair. Anybody else going?

Activists in Detroit are blocking the trucks that are sent out to shut off people’s water for nonpayment.

Cecily McMillan, the OWS activist who went to prison describes what it is like to be at the mercy of prison guards.

Bruce Reilly talks about how people treat you after you get out of prison.

And this ColorLines piece goes into even more detail about how hard it is to get work without connections and with all kinds of prejudices against you.

This guy managed to kick a drug habit, get off the streets, and get a law degree. But he cannot practice law in Florida because of his felony record.

There is a petition you can sign to support the people in prison in Pennsylvania who are asking for the most basic nutrition and rights.

People incarcerated in Georgia were getting sick after maggots were found in their food.

Thousands went on a hunger strike last month in Greek prisons.

A good summary on Balko’s blog of how parents are being targeted by the criminal injustice system.

Too bad that 1920s movement to outlaw flirting didn’t come to pass. Think of how many more we could have in prison.

This is essay about the writer’s rape – the male writer’s rape – is a must read.

You know how I wrote a while back that Cooperation is the Problem? Well, there is now science to prove that “more agreeable,conscientious personalities are more likely to make harmful choices.”

You might want to run your old phones over with a tractor. Or stop taking dick pics.

Buying homes is for rich people, really rich people.

The Department of Defense’s spending includes more than $380 million on erectile dysfunction drugs, $238 million on testosterone therapy drugs, at least $2.7 billion on antidepressants, more than $1.6 billion on opioid painkillers, and  more than $507 million on Ambien and its generic equivalents.

I have to admit that I am someone who complains about bikers a lot. Yesterday, for instance, I lost it when some dumbass on a bike cut off a fire truck with its sirens on. But I must admit that this piece on Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things makes some very good points.

And finally. Never, ever give money to the Red Cross.

 

 

Things You Might Have Missed

June 20, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Spiderman with a BonerIf you read nothing else on this list, read The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism. This is the pre-WWII history that people want to skip over so they can retain their hero stories.

More history overlooked because it doesn’t fit in with the preferred narrative is covered in this guy’s book on how guns made the civil rights movement possible.

And before anybody replies to that with stats on US gun violence, please take a look at this Guardian chart on gun ownership and gun homicides around the world. Turns out, the correlation between gun ownership and gun violence is not as clear-cut as you might think.

That said, gun ownership does increase the risk of suicide. And we have a serious problem with suicide deaths, including in prisons. Our society is sick.

Propublica is doing a series on the use of restraints on mostly kids with disabilities 267,000 cases in one school year. Disgusting.

Also on the subject of schools, an Idaho school district is implementing a strict social media policy for their teachers. How much control should your work have over your private life?

If you have any extra cash, they are raising money for a documentary about the California prison hunger strikers.

In happier news, Zingerman’s is about to become a worker co-op. They have always been more democratic than most businesses, but this is cool. The benefits are so obvious.

And just for kicks, Spider-Man Statue Removed From South Korean Playground Because It Has A Gigantic Boner. @PaprikaPink said that “it seems he made that statue expressly to inspire bad puns.” After reading that article, I find it hard to disagree.

Things You Might Have Missed

June 13, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Limelight Club New YorkI work in the anti-poverty wing of the nonprofit industrial complex. So naturally everyone is World Cup crazy. Number of times I have heard someone mention protests? Zero. For those of you who might want to know how a lot of Brazilians are feeling about this, Black Agenda Report has a comprehensive piece on Race, Class, and the World Cup in Brazil.

Enjoy the World Cup while it lasts. Looks like nobody wants to host it in the future.

Maya Angelou was the kind of person who would go to a remote, youth correctional facility “dressed to the nines” and attached to an oxygen tank so that some of society’s throw away kids might walk a little taller.

Baltimore is trying to make sure we throw away as many kids as possible. Kids who violate curfew will go to “connection centers.” Parents will have to pay fines. You know, like that woman who just died in jail because she couldn’t afford to pay the fines related to her kid’s truancy.

Los Angeles joins the dozens of other heartless cities with bans on feeding the homeless. Of course, the homeless are also being pushed out of downtown just as fast as the gentrifiers can manage it.

Chicago is trying to make more people homeless, evictions using police with guns instead of sheriffs with social services.

Rational guest post about gun violence and mass shootings on Balko’s blog.

Is there really anyone who has to ask if feminism has a class problem? You know what else feminism has a problem with? “Radical” men who make a big show in public, but don’t deal with their shit in private.

When you question homogeneity as the baseline, you discover that homogeneity results in artificial consensus, group think, and inaccurate information.

Apparently, the US has some of the worst labor rights in the world. Maybe part of the problem is the state of our unions? By which I mean that the unions are mostly married to party politics and hierarchies. We should send everyone a few copies of Colin Ward on a Self Employed Society.

UnderSea asked about NDAA a couple weeks ago. @icymirss kindly sent me a feed on NDAA and one on indefinite detention. Thanks for that.

And finally, the man who brought us ecstasy has died. That made me nostalgic for early 90s New York, hence the Limelight pic. Maybe he found out that they turned the Limelight into upscale boutiques. Sheesh. New York, you are almost dead to me.

 

Things You Might Have Missed

May 30, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Antigua, GuatemalaIf you read anything about Elliot Rodger, please read this. It is the only thing I have seen that gives real thought to the murders, the culprit, and what it says about our society. Simplistic crap about how “misogyny kills” or calls for gun control are just not going to cut it.

Despite having no violence or other problems that could possibly justify it, PG County is putting more cops in schools. Guess they haven’t criminalized enough youth in Maryland. Not to worry. It isn’t like kids are tried in kangaroo courts without attorneys.

In better Maryland news, the Ban the Box bill has passed. That is the legislation that prevents employers from asking about felony records on the employment application. DC is close, but with some problems.

Philadelphia has a major problem with police violence and they are paying for it – in the millions. These cases made me want to vomit.

The US House of Representatives approved some bullshit sanctions against Venezuela that (surprise!) will in no way shape or form affect the decades of lucrative exploitation business Halliburton does there.

Very interesting research on how evangelicals only coalesced politically around abortion later. Originally, it was objections to desegregation of schools that got the evangelical movement going.

Forbes is stoked that the insurance company windfall from Obamacare is finally coming through. Even nonprofit insurers are holding onto mountains of cash. Too bad about those Sodexo workers who are being reclassified as part time and losing their coverage. Meanwhile, medicare is being overbilled by billions – with a b.

A report has found that “U.S. government Fusion Centers, which operate as ill-defined ‘counter-terrorism’ intelligence gathering and sharing centers, conducted spy operations against Occupy protesters involving police, the Pentagon, the FBI, military employees, and business people.” And they say a society based on cooperation is impossible. Pishaw.

In related news. Why do Dominators Hate Direct Democracy?

Keep an eyeball on Guatemala everyone. Shit is heating up again.

You might remember those SOA Watch posters I put up a couple weeks ago. Well, a bunch of SOA people got arrested for putting them up in DC.

I am having a very hard time scrubbing my vocabulary of words like “crazy.” I need to read this a few more times.