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Reposted from michelewln by Ojibwa

I wrote yesterday of my problems with the landlords. We may be able to get the car out tomorrow. Today however we got a 30 day eviction notice. Reid is still in the hospital and ill. We don't have money to move or fight them. I'm desperate. Can you help?

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Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
Stop-and-frisk in New York City is down 90 percent.
People protested. People marched. A good cop who blew the whistle ended up thrown in a mental hospital. Mayor Bloomberg refused to back down. Civil liberties and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit. The stop-and-frisk numbers started falling, finally, while the lawsuit moved forward. The judge then ruled the program unconstitutional. The next mayoral campaign turned on one candidate's vocal rejection of stop-and-frisk. The good guys won. Don't ever let anyone tell you that activism doesn't matter.

Stop-and-frisk numbers are down 90 percent in New York City from the peak in early 2012. Ninety percent. In Harlem, they are down 96 percent in the same period. Misdemeanor arrests for drugs shot up when stop-and-frisk numbers jumped during the 2000s, but are now lower than they've been since before 2003. What about violent crime in the city? It's been going down drastically for over twenty years (in New York and nationally, even if people don't necessarily know it), and has continued to drop since 2013—both overall and in the neighborhoods with the most stop-and-frisk encounters.

Lest anyone forget, stop-and-frisk was a terrible scourge on the lives of poor, young black men in particular, many of whom were stopped over and over again, despite having done nothing wrong. Since 2002, almost 90 percent of all stops resulted neither in an arrest or even a fine. And things are by no means perfect now. People in many neighborhoods remain scarred by the old stop-and-frisk policy.

But my point is this. Just as we must fight injustice, we must recognize and, yes, celebrate our victories over injustice, victories that have a real impact on lives and communities. People love a winner. They want to make an impact. When we ask for help and support in our fights, we can tell them that we shall overcome, because we've shown that we know how. That will help us win more fights against injustice in the future.

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Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
Muslims never condemn jihadi terrorism, right? Wrong.
Among many other lies, the right wing loves to claim that Muslims don't speak out against violence committed by jihadi terrorists like ISIS. Laura Ingraham recently pulled this shtick: "And it would be nice if more in the Muslim world coming out and condemning what the Islamic State is doing. You're not hearing enough of those voices, if any. I mean, where are those people?"

Why do right-wingers do this? Because it allows them to perpetrate the fiction that all Muslims are terrorists, that they are all our enemy. That kind of thinking leads directly to Fox News' Andrea Tantaros recent comments, where, after discussing "the history of Islam," she declared that we should put "a bullet to the head" of "these people." There's no difference between ISIS and Islam, in that mindset.

Slight problem. The right-wingers are wrong. Even before Ingraham's rant, top Muslim religious leaders from around the world had already condemned ISIS' brutal treatment of Christians and other religious groups. And at home, there was this statement about ISIS from our country's largest Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations:

American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as un-Islamic and morally repugnant. No religion condones the murder of civilians, the beheading of religious scholars or the desecration of houses of worship. We condemn the actions of ISIS and reject its assertion that all Muslims are required to pay allegiance to its leader.
After the vicious beheading by ISIS of American journalist James Foley, the Muslim Council of Britain, the biggest Muslim organization in that country, denounced it:
Not in our Name: British Muslims Condemn the Barbarity of ISIS

We are horrified at the abhorrent murder of James Foley, a reporter who initially went to the region to expose the human rights abuses of the Syrian regime. ISIS has murdered this man for no reason at all....ISIS does not speak for Islam.

Let's be clear, violence committed in the name of religion, racial superiority, ideology, or any other form of hatred is evil. Smearing a whole group because of the actions of some who claim membership may not be as evil, but that's an awfully low bar to clear. I hope Laura Ingraham is proud of herself.
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Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
I'd love to have this Jesus in Congress.
First, let's start with the good (if you can really call it that) news:
A trail of money that began with triple-digit loans to troubled New Yorkers and wound through companies owned by a former used-car salesman in Tennessee led New York prosecutors on a yearlong hunt through the shadowy world of payday lending.

On Monday, that investigation culminated with state prosecutors in Manhattan bringing criminal charges against a dozen companies and their owner, Carey Vaughn Brown, accusing them of enabling payday loans that flouted the state’s limits on interest rates in loans to New Yorkers.

And shadowy is a nice word for what goes on in this industry, where short-term loans with interest rates of 500 percent or even higher are all too common. And although most payday lenders are not what one might call big banks, behemoths such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo serve as "a critical link for the lenders," without which they could not do what they do. Amazingly, Wall Street has found yet another way to screw over Main Street.

The news of the arrests in New York, where the criminal lenders got around the still-existing usury laws in that state by incorporating in the West Indies and hiding their tracks, combined with an absolute skewering of the payday loan industry by John Oliver on Sunday night, will hopefully focus the public's attention on these truly immoral practices. And, as Oliver pointed out, a key problem is that, the New York arrests aside, often these practices remain legal. In Ohio, after the state passed a law capping interest for short-term lenders, the sleazy payday loan people wriggled around it by registering as mortgage lenders and then making really, really small mortgage loans. Oliver asked, “Why even bother calling yourselves mortgage lenders? Why not just call yourself ‘peanut butter octopus’ companies? You can’t regulate peanut butter octopi; they don’t technically exist.”

Follow me for more—and John Oliver's video—below the fold.

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Reposted from Koscadia by ShoshannaD Editor's Note: I hope you will consider voting for Horace...he would be a great addition to nn/best/sh -- ShoshannaD

It is time to vote for your choice to be voted into a scholarship to attend Netroots Nation in Detriot this year.

The list of applicants is here:

http://nn14.democracyforamerica.com/

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Reposted from Native American Netroots by Ojibwa

The European invasion of the Oregon Country began in the late eighteenth century and intensified in the early nineteenth century. In 1818, the United States and the United Kingdom, ignoring any possibility of the sovereignty of Indian nations and relying on the legal concept of the Discovery Doctrine (stating that Christian nations have a right, if not an obligation, to rule over non-Christian nations), signed a treaty declaring Oregon Country to be a joint occupation area. Under this treaty, both the United States and the United Kingdom could claim land and both were guaranteed free navigation throughout.

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Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:32 PM PDT

On Invasive Questions

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by Ojibwa

Janet Mock was recently on Fusion TV's Am Tonight, where she flipped roles with host Alicia Menendez.  


At the end of the AM Tonight interview, Menendez remarked that, even though she had helped write some of Mock's questions, she "didn't realize how awful and invasive some of them would feel." It's an experience that transgender people are subjected to too often in the media, and it's a lesson that news outlets would benefit a lot from remembering.
That was awful.  Actually, we wrote a lot of these questions and I didn't know how awful — even when we were role playing them without you, I didn't realize how awful and invasive some of them would feel and how I'd feel now like a token.

--Madeleine Davis, Jezebel

--Carlos Maza, Media Matters for America
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Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:49 AM PDT

Indians 201: Huckleberries

by Ojibwa

Reposted from Native American Netroots by Ojibwa

The most important berry crop for most of the Plateau people of Washington, Idaho, and Montana was the huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum), a type of blueberry. These berries were collected in August and September for winter consumption. Huckleberries plants are small to medium sized shrubs which are found in the moister mountain areas, particularly in areas with acidic soils and areas which have been burned by forest fires. The Indians of the Plateau traveled to huckleberry sites where they gathered and dried the delicious, sweet berries.

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Reposted from The Author by Ojibwa

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

The anti-gay group Concerned Women for America is furious at the National Women’s History Museum Project. According to Right Wing Watch, the group is especially angry that there is no mention of religious right activists, particularly its founder, Beverly LaHaye.

On that score, I say that Concerned Women for America has a point. LaHaye should be mentioned. But not in the way the organization thinks she should. No doubt, CWA would like LaHaye to be mentioned as a champion of so-called “traditional values” and the family.

However, I have a much better item which perfectly captures LaHaye’s contribution to American society:

This vile piece of work is the 1980s comic book by Dick Hafer which sought to tell the so-called truth about homosexuality.
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Reposted from Simul Iustus et Peccator by Ojibwa

A recently enacted policy  by the Minneapolis city council changes Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day.

Last week, Indigenous Peoples Day supporter and Lakota activist Bill Means told Minnesota Public Radio that the story that Christopher Columbus discovered America was "one of the first lies we're told in public education."

He expanded on that idea Friday.

"We discovered Columbus, lost on our shores, sick, destitute, and wrapped in rags. We nourished him to health, and the rest is history," Means told MPR. "He represents the mascot of American colonialism in the western hemisphere. And so it is time that we change a myth of history."

Columbus day always slipped up on me in the form of discovering the mail wasn't running and the bank was closed that day.  Other than that I never really gave it much attention.  But it must stick in the craw of native peoples to have that day memorialized every October.  Good on my home town for doing the right thing.  And I like that it was a unanimous vote.  I could see myself actually looking forward to Indigenous People's Day events even though I'm so white my Dockers come in light tan and dark tan.
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Reposted from Native American Netroots by Ojibwa
Traditional Navajo people (Diné) herd sheep, but they are NOT sheep.
Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country were alerted to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin's daughter, Christina Fallin's latest gaff when her band Pink Pony announced via Facebook "I heard Pink Piny [sic] was wearing full regalia tonight." Protestors led by Choctaw musician Samantha Crain staged a protest at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma and Native American's reaction via social media was outraged as Fallin wore a Native American-style fringed shawl with the word "Sheep" on the back and performed a fake war dance while her boyfriend Steven Battles ridiculed the protesters and flipped them off from the stage.

Earlier that day, Crain noted on her Facebook page, "Publicity stunt or not, even if they are lying, their attitudes, their insincerity, their irresponsibility, their general lack of caring about anything other than the advancement of themselves deserve a protest. So I will be at the Pink Pony show at NMF tonight. Midnight. black watch stage. Peacefully and quietly picketing with signs to tell them how I feel."

Some of the signs said, "culture is not a costume," "with all your power, what will you do?," "you still owe us an apology," "don't trend on me," "I am not a costume," and "please forgive us if we innocently oppose you". The last sign was a take on Fallin's non-apology after she posted a photo of her self misappropriating Native America regalia reserved for highly honored leaders for a glamour shot to promote her career. Faced with more Native American protests Fallin attempted to have Crain and supporters removed by security, but they were allowed to remain on private land adjacent to the stage.

According to a tweet by Chahta Summer, a Choctaw mother and recent law school graduate Fallin's shawl with "sheep" written on the back was a direct swipe at Native Americans. "Their supporters were calling us sheep the last time, saying we called her out to be PC, not thinking for ourselves."

Cherokee EONM member and blogger Jennie Stockle posted to Pink Pony's Facebook page, "Apathy towards the clear feelings of other people is cruelty. Her apathy based to Native culture is racist. No opaqueness in this issue. It is clear. We will not stand silent while she degrades honored and sacred symbols."

The Fallin family has faced controversy with the Native American community both in Oklahoma and nationally last year when Governor Mary Fallin helped facilitate the forced adoption of a Cherokee girl, Veronica Brown from her Cherokee family who were found to be fit parents by the courts 1,000 miles away to a white South Carolina couple who had used shady adoption practices to dodge the Indian Child Welfare Act that seeks to protect Native American tribe from mass removal of their children, a violation of the Geneva Conventions on Genocide. Oklahoma has one of the largest Native American populations in the country and has 38 federally recognized tribes.

EONM calls upon the Riverwind Casino, Blackwatch Studios and Christina Fallin and Governor Mary Fallin to apologize for this direct attack affront to Native American concerns regarding the misuse of our culture and purposeful insult to Native Americans in general. Blackface is not acceptable and if Fallin had engaged in it and then derided African Americans' for demanding she stop performing in blackface the Governor would be apologizing on national television. It shows the degree to which racism and caricature of Native American culture is acceptable in the United States to a degree it is not for other ethnic groups. And coming from a member of a family that is supposed to represent 38 Native American communities within the state of Oklahoma this behavior is particularly unacceptable.

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Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM PDT

Education for transpeople

by rserven

Reposted from TransAction by Ojibwa

In yesterday's column by Turkana Laurence Lewis on Affirmative Action, I made a comment about what had just popped into my mind at the time:

There is no affirmative action for...

...transpeople, regardless of race.

In fact, we are all too often denied admission or kicked out of school or abused until we give up and leave.

I thought about making the relative links at the time, but I didn't really have the time.  I was busy grading some quizzes that I rally have to have ready to give back on Monday.

So I'll make the links...both physically and intellectually...now.

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