June 22nd, 2012

jd

INCOME INEQUALITY IN AMERICA: Worsening wealth inequality by race


The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap, and race is a major factor.

White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks -- a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession.

The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.

The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.


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[fútbol] Alexis Sánchez
  • aviv

Alan Turing: Gay codebreaker's defiance keeps memory alive

Saturday is the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth. But the codebreaking genius died in 1954 after consuming cyanide - an act many have linked to his persecution for being homosexual. Here, his biographer Andrew Hodges, explores the circumstances surrounding his death.

Did Alan Turing's death come as a shock to the Britain of 1954? To close friends, it was a trauma which even after decades remained unhealed.


But to the public it was virtually unknown. He was no icon of the early computer industry. In 1954, and in the succeeding decades, there was little to suggest a connection with practical developments, which anyway were largely assumed to be American in origin.


In pure mathematics his name was not forgotten.


In philosophy the Turing Test was talked about - and reflected, for instance, in Arthur C Clarke's 2001.


But the overall picture was of a purely theoretical figure. As a Fellow of the Royal Society, he received a long scientific obituary in 1955, but his practical computer role was given minimal attention, and this set the tone for all later accounts.


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the love witch

SURROGACY RIGHTS LOST FOR QLD GAY COUPLES

Gay couples and singles will be denied the right to have a child by surrogacy under plans flagged by the Queensland government.

Gay rights campaigners erupted in anger at state parliament on Thursday night, when Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie flagged the repeal of parts of the former Labor government's Surrogacy Act.

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Michael as Stelios

Boy: "They Told Me To Record" Cell Phone Video On Bus

Greece, N.Y. - "I had no clue it would go this far," Luis Recio Jr. said about the cell phone video he shot Monday that shows fellow students bullying their Greece school bus monitor.

He says he shot the video because of peer pressure.

"They told me to record and I’m just like ok I’m going to record it," Recio Jr. said.

When asked if he participated in the taunting, Recio Jr. said no.

He said he only asked Karen Klein for his yearbook back.

In hindsight, he wishes he never took part in all this.

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Related Story: Donations, gifts pour in for bus monitor bullied in New York
here and queer
  • kseda

Does "Gay Inc." Believe in Free Speech?

In the battle over gay rights, dissent during wartime isn't always tolerated

By Steven Thrasher
published: June 20, 2012


When Siege Busters Working Group planned its "Party to End Israeli Apartheid" in March of 2011 at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, it probably knew it would raise some eyebrows and hoped it would raise some dough.

But it probably didn't predict that its event would lead to ending all discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Center.

The "dance party," a fundraiser for an aid flotilla to Gaza, happened during Israeli Apartheid Week. The Center hosted an Israeli Apartheid Week event in 2008, and Siege Busters had been renting meeting space in the Center—as nearly any community group can—for numerous weeks last year.

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Source: The Village Voice

Long article is EFFING LONG. I tried bolding but it didn't really cut down anything so I gave up. TL;DR - if you've ever wondered why people have issues with GLAAD and HRC and other such organizations, here's a summary. Suggestions for additional tags welcome.
TW tales square
  • aviv_b

Archbishop’s Aide Guilty of Endangerment in Abuse Case

Warning for description of child abuse
By JON HURDLE and ERIK ECKHOLM

PHILADELPHIA — Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former archbishop’s aide, was found guilty Friday of one count of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States to be convicted of covering up child sexual abuses by priests under his supervision.

The 12-member jury acquitted Monsignor Lynn, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, on a conspiracy charge and a second count of endangerment after a three-month trial that prosecutors and victims rights groups called a milestone in the sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic church.

Despite the mixed outcome, the guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney’s office, which has been investigating the archdiocese aggressively since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years that senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes.


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Since it's gay parade pride weekend, I thought I'd share a lovely piece of news from Chicago. Our dear Cardinal George has continued to cry boo-hoo that the parade might interfere with parishioners getting to church this Sunday. (Of course, he doesn't seem to have problems with the Chicago Marathon or other events that pass by churches, but I'm sure that's just an oversight on his part/sarcasm). So this year, all the pro-gay rights religious institutions that are in the parade will be together at the front of the parade so they can send their own message to the Cardinal.

Mods - I'm resubmitting this as I forgot to put this under a cut and provide a warning for content

The Gang

American Insurgents

Richard Seymour's new book, "American Insurgents", presents a historical analysis of anti-war protest in the United States. His previous books are "The Liberal Defence of Murder", now published in paperback, and "The Meaning of David Cameron". He blogs at Lenin's Tomb, and writes regularly for the Guardian. Seymour is a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics.  He discussed his new book with New Left Project's David Wearing.

David Wearing:  Can you summarise for us the subject of your new book?

Richard Seymour: American Insurgents is a brief history of anti-imperialism in the US, from the revolution to the present.  Now, this is an odd subject: what's so American about it?  What's so anti-imperialist about it?  It doesn't seem to sit right.  Apart from anything else, most pundits and historians imply that there's something profoundly paradoxical about the idea of an American Empire.  Thus, we are treated to lapidary formulations about the 'Empire of Liberty'.  This has to do with its ambiguous revolutionary legacy, which is something I explore in the book. 

What can be said is that the liberal-democratic ideas that animated the revolution are in some respects in conflict with imperialism.  The legatees of that revolution have often operated on that tension, using the inherited liberal-democratic discourse - the principle of self-determination, consent of the governed, etc - against imperialism.  Thus, the Anti-Imperialist League, a mass movement included such luminaries as Mark Twain, Henry James and Jane Addams, appealled to the constitution, and the declaration of independence, against the US colonial war in the Phillipines in 1898. That is what is specifically American about the anti-imperialism I'm discussing. 

As for what's so anti-imperialist about it, I should say up front that I have not restricted my purview to those movements which explicitly considered themselves anti-imperialist as that would be mainly a chronicle of marginalia.  This is a study of the concrete political formations that arose against specific imperialist ventures.  For, even if at an ideological level specific groups or individuals did not understand the problem as imperialism, the political struggle they were conducting was against imperialism.  This is not to say that it doesn't matter whether groups self-identify as anti-imperialist or not.  Their analysis matters, largely because it is a determinant of how successful they can be.  It is just that it would be unduly restrictive, and finger-wagging, to adopt an ideal-type of anti-imperialism against which to measure those whose struggles we need to learn from.

One of the key differences that emerges in the history is, to put it very schematically, between liberal anti-imperialism and socialist anti-imperialism.  The 19th century is dominated by the former, the 20th century by the latter.  So the first two chapters of the book are concerned with how anti-imperialists through the 19th century attempted to use the liberal-democratic aspects of the American make-up against its expansionist drives.  This takes us through the resistance (by early feminists, abolitionists, Whigs, etc) to colonial dispossession of Native Americans and the expansion of the slaveocracy in the conquest of Mexico, through to the 'colonial turn' at the end of the nineteenth century.  This liberal-democratic strategy had its limits.  The Anti-Imperialist League, for example, was a liberal anti-imperialist group.  It was dominated by bourgeois white males and, though its dominant political tenor was anti-racist, it incorporated Southern planters nostalgic for slavery.  It made use of the labour of workers, women and 'people of colour', but excluded them from its running.  It adopted a legalist, parliamentarist political strategy, and channelled its energies into the Democratic campaign of 1900.  This was a catastrophic decision, resulting in demoralisation when their ticket lost.  Ironically, the demoralisation may have been worse if their candidate had won.  There is a long history of anti-imperialist movements evaporating when they imagine they have gained executive power - witness the evacuation of the vast majority of the US antiwar movement from the scene after Obama's election.

However, already by the end of the nineteenth century, socialist and labour movements were asserting themselves.  It was largely the socialist left that resisted Wilson's interventions into the Mexican Revolution and his participation in the Great War.  The socialists took a very different approach to the liberal-democratic strategy.  First of all, they systematically linked anti-imperialism to the material interests of the working class, and the oppressed, by arguing that imperialism was in the interests of capitalism and would make ordinary Americans worse off.  Many in the Anti-Imperialist League had also argued that imperialism had 'economic' causes, but it wasn't usually a class issue for them.  Second, they advocated the exercise of what Francis Fox Piven calls 'disruptive power' to stop the war machine: strikes, civil disobedience and evading conscription. 

Theirs was not a passive, parliamentarist or legalist strategy.  And they were met with violent counterattack.  This is where a particularly virulent fusion of nativism and anticommunism was born.  The militias, citizens bodies, judicial investigations, raids etc which were launched under the Wilson administration to crack down on the socialist Left took aim especially at presumed 'aliens'.  These were exact precursors of the anticommunist networks of the Cold War.

But still, in most 20th century anti-imperialist movements, coalitions had had to be formed between socialists and liberals.  (Again, I stress that this is a deliberately simplified schema: actual coalition-building involved navigating an array of heterogenous identities and axes of oppression, but the fundamental political and strategic divide can be summed up as one between socialists and liberals).  So, these two strategies had to be reconciled, or at least co-exist in the same broad movement.

So, this is a history of US anti-imperialism but, in principle, the questions it addresses can be of use in analysing situations outside the US.


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yay!

Jury finds Sandusky guilty of sexual abuse

BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania - A jury in Centre County has convicted former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexually abusing children over the course of several decades while a coach and coach emeritus at Penn State.

The jury, which deliberated for two days, found Sandusky guilty of 45 of 48 charges of sexual abuse in a case that has rocked the normally sleepy community of Centre County.

Allegations of a cover-up by high ranking Penn State officials led to the firing of longtime head football coach Joe Paterno, who died several months later at the age of 85. Perjury charges against two Penn State administrators who allegedly lied to a grand jury about their knowledge of the sexual abuse are still pending.

Sandusky, once hailed as a hero in State College where his defenses anchored two Penn State national title teams, now faces about 440 years in prison.

A large crowd had gathered around the courthouse in Bellefonte. They cheered when "guilty" was the verdict.

Charles J. Johnson
Tribune Newspapers
8:57 p.m. CDT, June 22, 20

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Gryffindor corgi

If You've Ever Sold a Used iPod, You May Have Violated Copyright Law

Jun 8 2012, 3:30 PM ET 111

The Supreme Court will decide whether secondhand items copyrighted abroad can be legally sold within the United States.


The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will affect whether you can sell your iPad -- or almost anything else -- without needing to get permission from a dozen "copyright holders." Here are some things you might have recently done that will be rendered illegal if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court decision:

1. Sold your first-generation iPad on Craigslist to a willing buyer, even if you bought the iPad lawfully at the Apple Store.

2. Sold your dad's used Omega watch on eBay to buy him a fancier (used or new) Rolex at a local jewelry store.

3. Sold an "import CD" of your favorite band that was only released abroad but legally purchased there. Ditto for a copy of a French or Spanish novel not released in the U.S.

4. Sold your house to a willing buyer, so long as you sell your house along with the fixtures manufactured in China, a chandelier made in Thailand or Paris, support beams produced in Canada that carry the imprint of a copyrighted logo, or a bricks or a marble countertop made in Italy with any copyrighted features or insignia.

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Sooo....this is some straight up bullshit.