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She's BAAACK! Catherine Herridge, that is, one of the most incoherent and conspiracy-addled writers at Fox, where the competition is intense.

Her latest: "Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson".

Screenshot - crazy like a Fox
Yes, according to a front page Fox story, a secret company has provided indisputable proof of the social media conspiracy linking events in Baltimore to those in Ferguson, in the most violent, conspiratorial, and nefarious way imaginable.
The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because of its government work, found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson.
See, they are "tied". Pretty airtight case.

But if that isn't enough, here is the real smoking gun:

One [social media] account, which also tracked the recent union protests in New York City as well as other disturbances, tweeted photos of Gray's funeral and used language that seemed to anticipate violence in Baltimore.
Boom! Tracking and tweeting. And seeming to anticipate. About events from more than one location. Conspiracy, y'all!
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When looking into the Confederate roots of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity I came across information that sheds some light on the origins of the vile racist song that was sung by the fraternity's Oklahoma University chapter. Here's that information.

By now we all know the horrific lyrics to the SAE song. Here's from Shaun King's earlier diary:

“There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.
There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.
You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me
There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE."
The reference relating lynching to signing (that is, joining SAE) provides a major clue as to the provenance of the song. Below for more.
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Juan Cole has a post up today on his Informed Comment blog, "The Letter: Top 5 Similarities of GOP and Iran Hard Liners".

He begins his post by noting President Obama's reaction to the GOP's very concerned letter of infamy:

President Obama objected, saying, “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition . . .”

And, of course, Obama is right that the right wing of the Republican Party has things in common with hard liners in Iran.

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It's been very painful and sad to read about the brutal murder of Bangladeshi-American thinker and writer Avijit Roy, and the severe injury caused to his wife in the attack. The two were attacked in the streets of Dhaka, where they had traveled from their home in Georgia to promote his new book.

Dr. Avijit Roy (Photo: The Free Thinker)
Here is some background about Dr. Roy from his website:
About Me: Dr. Avijit Roy is a Bangladeshi-American blogger, published author, and prominent defender of the free thought movement. He is an engineer by profession, but well-known for his writings in his self-founded site, Mukto-Mona—an Internet congregation of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists, and humanists of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent. As an advocate of atheism, science, and metaphysical naturalism, he has published seven Bangla books, and many of his articles have been published in magazines and journals. His latest book, Obisshahser Dorshon (The Philosophy of Disbelief), has been critically well-received and is a popular Bengali book on science, skepticism, and rationalism. He writes from Atlanta, Georgia.
While the attackers have not been apprehended or identified, Dr. Roy had been the subject of a sustained hate campaign conducted by rightwing religious fanatics. Islamist extremist groups and individuals in Bangladesh had called for his death, and it seems all but certain that it was such religious extremists that killed him.

As I dug up what I could online about Dr. Roy, it quickly became apparent that he was truly courageous in taking a public stand against the religious extremists - Islamist and otherwise - and for humanism and freedom of conscience, thought, and expression. His writing shows that he was clearly passionate about the causes he espoused, and he wrote and engaged others in a patient, learned, and very thoughtful manner, about science, rationalism, religion, and atheism, in spite of this vicious and violent rhetoric aimed against him.

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Here's a follow-up related to the story covered in ericlewis0's diary on Bill O'Reilly's freakout after being exposed as a serial liar by David Corn.

Fox has a story up by Howard Kurtz, "O’Reilly denounces Mother Jones story on his war reporting".

It's every bit as ineffectual and hilariously dumb as O'Reilly's response.

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Sat Feb 14, 2015 at 06:57 PM PST

Neruda's Love Poems

by Calvino Partigiani

My sweetheart and I don't usually "do" Valentine's Day, as we both tend to see it as a quintessential Hallmark Holiday, another capitalist gimmick to get us to spend money, and all in the name of love, or rather, Love™.

So I was a bit surprised when I got a VDay present today, with a big red heart on the cover.

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A quick reaction by a guy at a gas station:

The 53-year-old male victim from Glendale was pumping gas when the suspect approached him with a gun and demanded his keys. The victim removed the gas nozzle from his vehicle and pointed it at the suspect.
A standard, well-stocked arsenal
Even better, the guy didn't even pull the trigger pump handle:
The suspect, concerned that he would be sprayed with gas, fled in his vehicle.
The suspect was apprehended by the police without incident minutes later.


Update: I always recommend that if confronted by someone with a gun demanding property, hand over the property. It's not worth the risk of getting shot.  I'm glad, though, that this incident ended without anyone getting hurt.


Mon Jan 26, 2015 at 07:59 PM PST

Black Poets Speak Out

by Calvino Partigiani

You know you're in the middle of a serious social movement when creative, meaningful and powerful art arises with a direct, organic connection to the struggle for change.

The Black Lives Matter movement is rolling on, making the present a vibrant moment in the movement. The current winter of our discontent is made glorious spring by activist and artist sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers from Ferguson to Oakland to Chicago to Minneapolis to New York.

Using the epigraph

I am a black poet who will not remain silent while this nation murders black people. I have a right to be angry.
the poets composing and reading for #BlackPoetsSpeakOut are contributing power, spirit, beauty and energy to the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Come listen to the voices of justice.

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The scandal concerning the New England Patriots using underinflated footballs has been getting a lot of press lately.

But there's a much bigger scandal in the NFL captured in a new video.

The short clip below has just been posted on Youtube today.  

Watch it carefully to see an expose of the disturbing scandal.

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In a recent tragic shooting, according to USA Today,

A neighbor has found a family dead inside their home in an apparent murder-suicide that may have happened weeks ago
The three dead in Apple Valley, Minnesota, include the father, David Crowley, his wife, and their 5-year-old daughter.

USA Today notes that

David Crowley was a filmmaker, who wrote and directed a recent film about the militarization of the U.S. called Gray State, which has not been released.
It has also been reported that
Crowley, an Apple Valley filmmaker and screenwriter, also showed concern over the project -- "Gray State,"

Crowley reached out to Jason Allen in the Dec. 17 email, asking if he wanted to be an executive producer and help out with the logistics of the film project, which he started about four years ago and revolves around a plot of government conspiracy.

A film on "militarization" and "government conspiracy"? What might that mean exactly?

As it turns out, a rough cut of the film has been posted to YouTube.

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Rolling Stone has an interview up with Bryant Gumbel, former host of The Today Show, and current host of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO.

Gumbel is known to be outspoken and has been critical of wingnuts.

For example, in 2000,

A CBS camera caught a disgusted Bryant Gumbel blurting out "What a fucking idiot" just after he had finished a hostile interview with Robert Knight of the Family Research Council (FRC). The incident occurred at about 7:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 29, 2000 following Knight's appearance to defend the Boy Scout policy of excluding gays from being leaders.
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Place cards at State of the Union lunch hosted by the White House.

Brian Williams
NBC News
David Muir
ABC News
Scott Pelley
CBS News
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