Jan 16 2017

Birmingham Jail

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides–and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action.

It’s easy to forget that Martin Luther King Jr.’s message was not directed only at African Americans, but at all of us equally. I am the whitest guy you will ever meet, just ask TMC, and he speaks for me and to me. When he was assassinated he was working on the Poor People’s Campaign, not a race thing, a class thing. What made him particularly reviled and despised was not his opposition to discrimination and bigotry, but to the imperialistic impulse of the Vietnam War (and yes, Tonkin Gulf was a deliberate and direct lie that exactly presages the War Of Terror we are prosecuting today).

This is a struggle about the 82 8 people who claim over half the world’s wealth. Watch your back assholes, there are waaay more of us than there are of you.

Jan 16 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Cornell William Brooks and Jonathan Greenblat: On this MLK Day, it’s more important than ever to fight hate and bigotry

For more than a century, our two organizations have fought on behalf of justice and equality. We have worked together on anti-lynching laws, school desegregation, voting rights legislation, hate crime laws and criminal-justice reform.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP have done much to make the United States a fairer and stronger nation, and we often have done it together. Either organization simply could stand on its legacy, especially on a day set aside to remember a hero of the civil rights battles of the past. But on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we recognize that this is no time to wax poetic about past triumphs or rest on our laurels. Now more than ever, we must build a strong coalition of now.

The new administration is taking office this week after an extraordinarily divisive election campaign that featured dog-whistled and overt anti-Semitism as well as mainstreamed racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and other forms of hate. Bigotry that for so many years was hidden, repressed or relegated to the fringes of society no longer appears to be taboo. Words that were once used only by extremists such as white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and, more recently, the so-called alt-right have become part of the public conversation. Disturbingly, according to the FBI, the number of hate crimes reported to law enforcement increased in 2015, and a hate crime is committed every 90 minutes in the United States.

Paul Krugman: With All Due Disrespect

As a young man, Congressman John Lewis, who represents most of Atlanta, literally put his life on the line in pursuit of justice. As a key civil rights leader, he endured multiple beatings. Most famously, he led the demonstration that came to be known as Bloody Sunday, suffering a fractured skull at the hands of state troopers. Public outrage over that day’s violence helped lead to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act.

Now Mr. Lewis says that he won’t attend the inauguration of Donald Trump, whom he regards as an illegitimate president.

As you might expect, this statement provoked a hysterical, slanderous reaction from the president-elect – who, of course, got his start in national politics by repeatedly, falsely questioning President Obama’s right to hold office. But Mr. Trump — who has never sacrificed anything or taken a risk to help others — seems to have a special animus toward genuine heroes. Maybe he prefers demonstrators who don’t get beaten?

But let’s not talk about Mr. Trump’s ravings. Instead, let’s ask whether Mr. Lewis was right to say what he said. Is it O.K., morally and politically, to declare the man about to move into the White House illegitimate?

Yes, it is. In fact, it’s an act of patriotism.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 16 2017

The Breakfast Club (Equality Myth)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Operation Desert Storm begins with bombing of Baghdad; Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off on final flight; Prohibition takes effect; Shah flees Iran.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

I do not think white America is committed to granting equality to the American Negro. This is a passionately racist country; it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

Susan Sontag

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Jan 15 2017

Rant of the Week: Trump’s Russian Water Works

The revelation this week from an unconfirmed dossier that appeared in the online news outlet, Buzzfeed, that the thin skinned orange bigot who is about to occupy the White House did something rather kinky during his stay in Moscow a few years ago. Needless to say, the cable and late night talk show hosts ran with it. So this week, there are three rants for you to enjoy with your cookies and milk. Just don’t consume them while watching any of them.

Jan 15 2017

Throwball Divisional Playoffs: Steelers at Chiefs

Steelers looked damn good last week. Delayed by a morning ice storm it’s now dry as a bone and 33.

I’ll be watching what I hope is only the season finale of Sherlock.

Jan 15 2017

Throwball Divisional Playoffs: Packers at ‘Boys

It’s always a pleasure to root against the ‘Boys who’s fans are the rudest and most obnoxious in the NFL. Also they hail from Dallas, about the most miserable part of a State that we should give back to Mexico so we don’t have its bigots, fascists and gun nuts polluting the United States anymore. If you happen to be Blue and from Texas I’m deeply sympathetic to your plight but I have a single word of advice- ‘move’.

The Packers on the other hand are the only community owned team in professional sports.

That would be every professional sport.

I’m only half troll but I’ve spent a fair amount of time in what trolls call “Gods Country” and Youppers refer to simply as home and they bleed Green and Gold. They’re also just as bigoted, fascistic, and gun crazy as any Texan, I don’t kid myself. That Congressional District is as reliably Republican as Staten Island.

Áve María, grátia pléna,
Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tu in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.[12]
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen

They practice that play every Saturday.

Jan 15 2017

Odds or Onions Challenge XXV

Can you pick The Onion without hovering your mouse over the links?

Not much of a challenge really, but if you just looked at the headlines you’d have an easy 50 / 50 shot at being wrong.

 
Bear Grylls attempting to survive London on average salary

The survival expert is filming a new Channel 4 series in which he attempts to survive equipped only with an average income and a ‘studio flat’ in Clapham.

Grylls said: “Once I’d paid my £1,300 rent and put some money on my Oyster card there was nothing left for food, so I set a snare for my neighbour’s cat and cooked it in the sink.

“Tomorrow I’ll set up some Polynesian bird traps on Clapham Common, so at least I’ll have some sparrows to put in my sandwiches.

“I need some new shoes too, so I’ll cut down a tree and hope no one notices I’m wearing crude wooden flip-flops.”

He added: “I can’t afford to do anything except stay in and worry about money, which is really depressing when you’re meant to be doing all the stuff in Time Out.”

Grylls also revealed that his SAS ‘escape and evasion’ skills had allowed him to outwit Tesco security staff while stealing toilet rolls.

 
Marvel Confirms Those Thor vs. Hulk Rumors Are True

Marvel can’t keep it “Loki” anymore. The studio has finally released a synopsis for the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok,” and it turns out the rumors are true: Thor will fight The Hulk.

The summary reveals that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will become imprisoned without his hammer and will have to race back to Asgard to save it from being destroyed by new villain Hela. The problem is that first he’s got to go through a “deadly gladiatorial contest” and face off against his buddy The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo):

In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok — the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization — at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger — the Incredible Hulk!

The crazy thing is we actually knew about this a year ago.

Rumors that Thor would face The Hulk were circulating in January 2016, and in an interview with The Huffington Post, Chris Hemsworth told us if Thor didn’t have his hammer, he’d want the Hulk-busting suit.

“That would come in handy, wouldn’t it?” said Hemsworth.

It turns out, yeah, that would come in hella handy. …

Jan 15 2017

The Breakfast Club (Take It From Dr. King)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for January 15th

Martin Luther King, Junior born;Richard Nixon suspends U.S. offensive in Vietnam; Queen Elizabeth the First crowned; Work completed on Pentagon;first Super Bowl takes place.

 

Breakfast Tune Pete Seeger – Take It From Dr. King.AVI

 

Something to Think about, Breakfast News & Blogs Below

 
Protests escalate over Louisiana pipeline by company behind Dakota Access
Michael Patrick Welch, The Guardian

Scott Eustis did not stop smiling for hours. The coastal wetland specialist with the Gulf Restoration Network was attending a public hearing in Baton Rouge. Its subject was a pipeline extension that would run directly through the Atchafalaya Basin, the world’s largest natural swamp. Eustis was surprised to be joined by more than 400 others.

“This is like 50 times the amount of people we have at most of these meetings,” said Eustis, adding that the proposed pipeline was “the biggest and baddest I’ve seen in my career”.

The company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), had seemed to turn its attention to Louisiana just one day after Native American protesters thwarted the company’s Dakota Access project last month. …

 
Airstrike thought to target Isis kills up to 30 civilians in Mosul
Staff and agencies, Guardian

Residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul have said up to 30 civilians were killed in an airstrike on a district held by Islamic State this week.

The witnesses said it was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting Isis, or by Iraqi forces that have been making advances in the city.

They said they saw at least three missiles hit the western Mosul al-Jadida area on Thursday, in a raid that appeared to target the house of senior militant Harbi Abdel Qader. …

 
EPA Acknowledges Neonics’ Harm to Bees, Then ‘Bows to Pesticide Industry’
Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday published two bee-related announcements, but with both, say environmental groups, the agency has failed the pollinators.

One was its “Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products.” It states that the “policy is not a regulation or an order and, therefore, does not legally compel changes to pesticide product registrations.”

The other release was a set of draft risk assessments for three neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” They are the most widely used class of insecticides, and they have been linked to bee harm. The new assessments were for clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, and an updated assessment on another, imidacloprid, was also included. …

 
The Pentagon Just Exonerated Itself for Slaughtering Dozens of Afghan Civilians
Sarah Lazare, AlterNet

In early November, U.S. and Afghan forces massacred dozens of civilians, and wounded far more, during a military operation in Buz-e Kandahari, a village in Kunduz. Now, more than two months later, the U.S. military has released a sparsely detailed report exonerating itself for the killing of innocents.

A U.S. military investigation published Thursday acknowledges the high death toll. “The investigation determined, regretfully, that 33 civilians were killed and 27 wounded,” the report states. But a local official told the Associated Press that the U.S. military’s official death count is low. “More than 50 people, including women and children, were killed in the Afghan and U.S. forces’ attack in Buz-e Kandahari,” said Toryalia Kakar, a deputy provincial council member, journalist Rahim Faiez reports.

The U.S. report goes on to claim that the individuals were killed in “self defense,” but does not provide evidence to confirm its narrative. According to the account, the operation was “carried out by Afghan special operation forces with a smaller U.S. element to provide advice and assistance” to target “Taliban leaders.” The military acknowledges that it provided “aerial fire support,” in addition to on-the-ground forces. …

 
US Workers Who Make BPA Have Enormous Loads of It in Their Bodies
Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News

US workers in industries that use or manufacture BPA have, on average, 70 times more of the chemical in their bodies than the general public — levels well above what has been shown to impact reproduction, according to a study published this month.

The federal study is the first to look at bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure in US manufacturing. It found that some workers are loaded with the endocrine-disrupting compound after a couple days at work. The research suggests that certain jobs may leave people with potentially dangerous BPA levels in their body, which could spur health impacts such as hampering their ability to reproduce.

“I keep thinking we should be surprised of these extraordinary high levels of exposure, but I’m not. It fits with what we know about biology,” said Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was not involved in the study. “If people are covered in BPA at work, they are going to absorb that chemical through their skin.” …

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch Edition Addition

 

 

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Most charges dropped vs. man in bunny suit, air horn case

HOPATCONG, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped most charges against two New Jersey brothers stemming from an incident in which one of them wore a bunny costume and repeatedly blew an air horn inside a police station.

The New Jersey Herald reports the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office will not pursue charges of harassment, obstruction, and resisting arrest against Kevin Hemmerich because of insufficient evidence. Similar charges were also dismissed against Jason Hemmerich.

Prosecutors are still charging Kevin Hemmerich with disorderly conduct.

On Nov. 17, Kevin Hemmerich, accompanied by his brother, entered the Hopatcong Police Department lobby to turn himself in for an outstanding warrant. Kevin Hemmerich was dressed in a bunny costume and repeatedly blew the air horn.

A police officer slapped Kevin Hemmerich after asking him why he was blowing the horn. The officer was charged with assault.

Jan 15 2017

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT); former Obama chief ethics lawyer Norman Eisen and former George W. Bush chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter.

The roundtable guests are: Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher; Republican strategist Sara Fagen; ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl; editor at large of The Weekly Standard Bill Kristol; and editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Face the Nation: Host John Dickerson’s guests are: Vice President- Elect Mike Pence; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); and Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

His panel guests are: John Heilemann, Bloomberg Politics; Ruth Marcus, Washington Post; The Federalist’s Ben Domenech; and Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Sen. Dianne feinstein (D-CA); and incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

The panel guests are: New York Times correspondent, Helene Cooper; editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg; vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, Danielle Pletka; and editor of The National Review, Rich Lowry.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: Outgoing White House Cief of Staff Denis McDonough; and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

His panel guests are: former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); president and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial; former Ohio state senator, Nina Turner (D); and spokesperson for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sarah Flores.

Jan 14 2017

Throwball Divisional Playoffs: Whoever at Patsies

Ok, it’s the Texans, doesn’t make any difference.

This game will be so boring that it’s not worth watching unless you live in New England. Think I’ll nap.

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