May 3rd, 2012

12-Year-Old Indiana Boy, Named Honorary Marine Before Death

Throughout his 12 years, Cody Green battled leukemia like the bravest of warriors. For that, he was named an honorary Marine just before he died.

The Indiana boy was first diagnosed with the disease at 22 months, and drew strength from the courage of the Marine Corps as he fought his way into remission three times, WLFI reports. But as his body struggled to fend off the infection that ultimately took his life on Saturday, the Marines stepped in to show how much they respected his will to live.

"They decided Cody, with the strength and honor and courage he showed through the whole thing, he should be a Marine," Cody's father, David Snowberger, told the news outlet.

Cody was given Marine navigator wings and was named an honorary member of the United States Marine Corps. One member stood guard outside of his hospital room for eight hours straight the night before Cody passed away, according to WLFI.

“He never asked 'Why Me,' and fought the illness with grace and humility,” Cody's obituary reads, “never complaining about his treatment or care, saying 'Thank you,' to the many health care professionals that cared for him.

Source also has a video.

A heartwarming and bittersweet story, to counter most of the rage-inducing news of late. Rest well, little angel.
deelieboppers sharpened

Student Left And Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days Gets Apology


Daniel Chong, a California college senior who "was left alone in a federal holding cell for five days with no food or water," now at least has an apology from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration.

That likely won't make up for having to drink his urine to survive, as Chong spoke of to reporters on Tuesday.

Chong is a University of California, San Diego, senior engineering student. According to, he "was detained for questioning along with eight other people during an April 21 raid in which agents seized guns, ammunition and various drugs."

Chong, who faces no charges related to the raid, says he suffered hallucinations during the five days. "I was completely insane," he said Tuesday, according to The San Diego Union Tribune. No one heard his shouts for help.

At one point, Chong said, he tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists with the broken shards of his eyeglasses.

Today, The Associated Press reports, "DEA San Diego Acting Special Agent-In-Charge William R. Sherman said in a statement that he was troubled by the treatment of Daniel Chong and extended his 'deepest apologies' to him."

One hopes that somewhat more than an apology is coming - 'so sorry - we gave you 5 days of hell and nearly killed you* with it; have a nice life and please don't sue us.'
*it's pretty impressive to manage to survive 5 days with no water

Nation to Witness Chaotic Phenomenon at RNC Tampa Convention.

A Thing of Beauty, Like Witnessing the Implosion of the Universe.

Ron Paul’s Delegate Antics Could Spell Trouble For GOP Convention

With Newt Gingrich finally out of the race, there’s only one other candidate standing between Mitt Romney and the official nomination. And while Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance to stop Romney, he seems poised to make some trouble for him in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Across the country, fired-up Paul supporters are crashing the delegate-nominating process long after the rest of the party has moved onto the general election. Exploiting a byzantine nominating process that often flies under the radar, supporters are working the system to gain delegate majorities in states Paul lost in the primaries or caucuses (he hasn’t won a single contest outright).

In Louisiana, Paul delegates dominated the state’s caucuses on Saturday — though Paul took just 6 percent of the primary vote there in March — and are on track to repeat their performance in the state convention on June 2. From there, they could control the delegation, or at least have a plurality of its members.

The results were hardly a surprise to those who were paying attention: Paul activists actively prepared for the takeover.

“They’ve invested heavily here and had volunteers and staff members working and preparing [for the caucus],” Jason Doré, executive director of the Louisiana GOP, told TPM. “None of the other campaigns had anything near that kind of time and resources invested in the caucuses. I don’t know that you could really call it much of an upset from that standpoint.”

If Paul can secure a plurality of delegates in just five states, they can try to nominate him from the convention floor in accordance with the convention rules — potentially providing an embarrassing distraction just at the moment the party is supposed to unify on the public stage. According to Josh Putnam, a professor of political science at Davidson College and expert on delegate procedures, Paul’s supporters should “easily” reach that threshold with likely pluralities in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado and Iowa, in addition to Louisiana. And that could just be the tip of the iceberg.

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Q // And My Journey Ends Here With You

I expected better from the star of Two and a Half Douches

Ashton Kutcher, Jackass, Hops on the Brownface Bandwagon

Here's a charming video of Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher doing his best impression of Mike Meyers doing his best impression of an unfunny Indian stereotype. In brownface. No, you're not having a fever dream.

The spot's a bizarre attempt to advertise PopChips, which is apparently a type of food that, like Ashton Kutcher, always leaves a weird taste in your mouth. There's a whole series of these spots designed to look like they're dating service videos made for undateable men, each of them derivative of something that's derivative of something else. There's the Russell Brand archetype, the Karl Lagerfeld lookalike (way to pitch one right down the middle of the American common man's taste, Pop Chips!), the proto-dirtbag who Might Be A Redneck.

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Source is going to shyly hide behind a tree until her parents find her a husband

Popchips seems to have taken down the video but you can find it in the Jezebel article. The kind of non-pology is, yeah. I can't say I'm angry per se about it because I was distracted by how painfully unfunny the ad is. It's obviously bullshit but, really, really? Brown men are sexually inexperienced and love Bollywood and can't show emotion properly. Hi-fucking-larious. The Karl Lagerfeld ad is also so poorly done I can't tell if they're making a gay joke or not.

Either way, I don't expect much better from Ashton Kutcher. I'm so glad Jackie dumped his ass.
Pride & Prejudice

Czech coalition government survives vote of no confidence

Prime Minister Petr Nečas and his newly configured coalition survived a parliamentary confidence vote April 27, receiving 105 votes in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

There were some nine hours of debate, utilized by opposition parties to criticize budget cuts implemented by Nečas, more of which are planned.

"I am glad a sufficient number of deputies was found to support the government's reform manifesto," Nečas said. "It will be necessary to maintain the majority."

In the latest in a series of existential government crises, Nečas had been forced to reshuffle the coalition makeup after the Public Affairs (VV) party disintegrated in late April.

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Activists call for national strike

Trade unions and anti-government activists have vowed to hold a major protest and strike before the end of June in a bid to show politicians the extent of public opposition to cuts, reforms and political infighting.

Unions and activists say the turnout at the April 21 demonstration, the largest seen in the Czech Republic for at least 15 years, is a sign the general population backs their cause.

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C // That's the Question

Fuck this, fuck everything

TW: Transphobia, racism, homophobia, racial, homophobic and transphobic slurs, hate crimes, violence, descriptions of CeCe's injuries

CeCe McDonald, Minnesota Transgender Woman, Pleads Guilty In Manslaughter Case Despite Supporters' Defense

A black transgender Minneapolis woman pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of a local man, but her supporters maintain she was the actual victim in the case.

As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting, 23-year-old CeCe McDonald is expected to be sentenced June 4 to three years and five months in prison for the death of Dean Schmitz, a white man.

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What’s Next for CeCe McDonald? Support, Maybe Justice Reform

Within hours of CeCe McDoanld’s plea bargain with Minneapolis prosecutors to second degree manslaughter, members of her local support committee were gearing up for another round of media and an evening visit at the local jail. McDonald is a black transgender woman who was charged with second degree murder after a fight in June of 2011 at an area bar left one man, Dean Schmitz, dead. She and her supporters have argued that the case is one of self defense after Schwartz and his friends began attacking McDonald with racist and homophobic slurs. Sentencing is set to take place next month, but the plea deal stipulates that McDonald will spend 41 months — just over three and a half years — in prison.

McDonald’s case has sparked a national outcry in part because it’s so familiar. For many, the case is eerily familiar to that of the New Jersey 4, in which four black lesbians were charged with attempted murder and sent to prison after protecting themselves from a a group of white men who’d threatened to “fuck them straight.” Time and again, people of color whose gender identities fall outside of societal norms fall prey to a deeply flawed criminal justice system. When they’re feared, they become victims. When they fight back, they become criminals.

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I don't fucking know why the first article needs to point out that CeCe was in the process of transitioning. But, yes. I hope this case gets more attention and her sentence is reduced or eliminated all together. It's absolutely disgusting that she's been treated like that.

Maryland becomes first state to prohibit employers from asking for Facebook logins

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed legislation banning employers in the state from requiring workers and prospective employees to disclose their user names and passwords to Facebook, Twitter and other personal social media accounts.

State legislators approved the bill, SB 433 (HB 964), last month, and O’Malley signed it into law Wednesday. It takes effect Oct. 1.

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Writer insults Black Studies as "left-wing victimization claptrap"

From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

(Nope, not Fox News.)

"The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.

April 30, 2012, 10:24 pm

By Naomi Schaefer Riley

You’ll have to forgive the lateness but I just got around to reading The Chronicle’s recent piece on the young guns of black studies. If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.

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That’s what I would say about Ruth Hayes’ dissertation, “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” It began because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature, which led me to look into historical black midwifery.” How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in “natural birth literature,” whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.

Then there is Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of “Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s.” Ms. Taylor believes there was apparently some kind of conspiracy in the federal government’s promotion of single family homes in black neighborhoods after the unrest of the 1960s. Single family homes! The audacity! But Ms. Taylor sees that her issue is still relevant today. (Not much of a surprise since the entirety of black studies today seems to rest on the premise that nothing much has changed in this country in the past half century when it comes to race. Shhhh. Don’t tell them about the black president!) She explains that “The subprime lending crisis, if it did nothing else, highlighted the profitability of racism in the housing market.” The subprime lending crisis was about the profitability of racism? Those millions of white people who went into foreclosure were just collateral damage, I guess.

But topping the list in terms of sheer political partisanship and liberal hackery is La TaSha B. Levy. According to the Chronicle, “Ms. Levy is interested in examining the long tradition of black Republicanism, especially the rightward ideological shift it took in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan. Ms. Levy’s dissertation argues that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others have ‘played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.’” The assault on civil rights? Because they don’t favor affirmative action they are assaulting civil rights? Because they believe there are some fundamental problems in black culture that cannot be blamed on white people they are assaulting civil rights?

Seriously, folks, there are legitimate debates about the problems that plague the black community from high incarceration rates to low graduation rates to high out-of-wedlock birth rates. But it’s clear that they’re not happening in black-studies departments. If these young scholars are the future of the discipline, I think they can just as well leave their calendars at 1963 and let some legitimate scholars find solutions to the problems of blacks in America. Solutions that don’t begin and end with blame the white man."

tl; dr: Right-wing racist invades blog at premiere journal for higher education, spouts offensive tripe about African American Studies.

You can see the article, and the comments, here:

And the writer's response to critics. (Warning: Further rage will ensue.)

And the faculty of Northwestern's African-American studies program weigh in:

The author is taking a lot of heat for her idiocy. You can sign a petition to the Chronicle, to ask they rethink this person's ability to speak to academic subjects, including diversity, here.

Edited to bump up font size. My apologies for the teeny font before, and I hope this works!