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This is a must-read from Awesomely Luvvie (Luvvie Ajayi) from last December about the very predictable response that can be expected when there's an egregious example of injustice, violence, violation of black people.

It begins with

Stage 1: Another Black person is beat up, arrested or killed senselessly
and then
Stage 2: People are enraged by the injustice
which is the appropriate and deserved response.

but then.... well, follow me over Rand Paul's hair. And yes, there will be finger-wagging at our community. So stay on this side of Rand Paul's hair if you don't want to see that.

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This will be an image-heavy diary. I'm still working on the videos (they came through rotated wrong) and I do have one incident on video of the police grabbing a black man and yanking him into their line to arrest him for basically showing concern for a woman who had a heart condition. At the time I thought he charged in; he actually was pulled in by the police.

Over the jump, logs of images, and then some crappy videos at the bottom.

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It's a quarter past one, 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the #BlackLivesMatter protest here at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. So far, a few badly disguised plainclothes officers aside, it looks like any other Saturday before Christmas here.

I'm perched nearby and will be reporting from the scene as things progress. I will get pictures as soon as I can make my tablet cooperate.

Signs at all entrances warn protesters that they are unwelcome and subject to arrest and one year ban from this temple to consumerism. Yet as many as 2000 people are predicted to attend.

Stay tuned.  I'll be updating frequently.

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Brief update on earlier diaries:

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change wants to make a event out of the delivery of the #pointergate petitions, so navajo and I have agreed to delay delivery to give them time to organize something. They're really the ones at the center of this whole controversy (apart from KSTP-TV of course), and so we want to take our cues from them on this.

But we promise this petition WILL be delivered in person, and the voices of all of you who signed it WILL be heard.

Please pass it on if you've heard from anyone planning to attend (everyone I know of has already been personally notified).

With NOC on board, the delay will be very worth it!

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5 EYEWITNESS NEWS/KSTP-TV screen shot of pointer-gate
Monday, November 24, at 5pm, [UPDATE] Delivery Delayed by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to have more of their team attend.  

I will be delivering a petition about #pointergate with 38,000 signatures,  to the headquarters of KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities, on behalf of the Daily Kos community.

As a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities metro (grew up in Saint Paul, now live in the 'burbs) I am disgusted with Jay Kolls and KSTP-TV (as well as the Minneapolis police department), as I know are many of you.

I would greatly appreciate if my fellow Kossacks in the area would join me in delivering the signatures.  We will meet at the Dunn Brothers at University and 280, catercorner from KSTP. I will be there by 4:45 pm, and I hope you and your friends will join me. At 5pm we will deliver the signatures.

navajo has also asked for pictures and/or video to be taken, and as camera-shy as I am, let's do that too; if you're coming and have a camera, please bring it. The crew at DKos HQ are inviting other local media to cover the event. KSTP has refused to meet in person to receive the signatures, so we can only leave it on their front desk. The more people who come to deliver these signatures, the more effective it will be and the more shameful will be their refusal to speak in person about it.

I've also reached out to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to ask for their participation in the event. We've been in contact, and they'll let me know how many of them will be joining us by tomorrow.

The address is:

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS/KSTP-TV
3415 University Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55114-2099

The text of the petition is over the jump.

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5 EYEWITNESS NEWS/KSTP-TV screen shot of pointer-gate
Daily Kos Director of Community Building navajo has asked me to deliver 37,015 signatures on a petition regarding #pointergate to the headquarters of KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities, on behalf of the Daily Kos community.

As a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities metro (grew up in Saint Paul, now live in the 'burbs) who is disgusted with Jay Kolls and KSTP-TV (as well as the Minneapolis police department), I am happy to accept.

The exact time and date remain TBD but once that is set I would greatly appreciate if my fellow Kossacks in the area would join me in delivering the signatures.  I will update the diary with the date and time as soon as we have an appointment scheduled.

navajo has also asked for pictures and/or video to be taken, and as camera-shy as I am, let's do that too; if you're coming and have a camera, please bring it.

I've also reached out to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to ask for their participation in the event. If I hear back from them, I'll update as well.

The address is:

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS/KSTP-TV
3415 University Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55114-2099

The text of the petition is over the jump.

Poll

Will you join us?

14%5 votes
20%7 votes
62%22 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 35 votes | Vote | Results

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So I made a little comment in another diary about how it's not your religious beliefs that matter, it's how you put them into practice. The comment is behind a hidden comment so I won't link it.

Meteor Blades suggested I turn this comment into a diary. So here goes, and because this was his idea, I'll springboard off his motto:

Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.
Often what I see, both here, elsewhere on the Internet and in meatspace, is that people actually give a crap about other people's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, more than they do about how those beliefs are put into practice, i.e. they care more about what you profess to believe than what you do.

And I've got a real problem with that. More after the orange flying spaghetti monster.

Poll

Pie?

5%130 votes
1%41 votes
0%7 votes
0%5 votes
2%65 votes
2%49 votes
4%103 votes
30%680 votes
5%128 votes
5%117 votes
39%869 votes

| 2194 votes | Vote | Results

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Today, black Daily Kos user chaunceydevega wrote a diary entitled "Dear White Folks, Please Stop Being So 'Surprised' When White Cops Shoot Unarmed Black People". And this diary was just so poorly written for so many reasons.

Clearly, Chauncey (I can call him Chauncey, right?) lacks any experience being white and communicating with white people. He's only a tourist in our world; we live in it. And if Chauncey wants to set foot in our world, he needs to understand it. And he just can't come in presuming to act all aggressive and accusatory at us as if we aren't completely aware of the depth and breadth of racism in our society, especially our police departments (but let's be fair; the police are dangerous to us all, not just black people). Also, yes, we know some white people don't get racism, but most of us do! We're on your side, Chauncey! Stop treating us like we're not! Geez!

But in the spirit of being magnanimous and overlooking the needlessly confrontational tone of Chauncey's diary, I'm penning a handy tutorial to help out black folks who want to talk about the issue of racism, which is a very very important issue to all of us (really!), to white people.

Join me over the Totally Multicultural Fleur de Kos for more.

Poll

Would you like a slice of pie?

5%5 votes
3%3 votes
60%56 votes
31%29 votes

| 93 votes | Vote | Results

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Like many liberals, I favor news sources that don't reflect the corporate biases of what is often referred to as the "traditional media" (read: corporate media). But I also don't believe in living in an echo chamber, so I consume those sources as well (often, when fact-checking news I read in the leftosphere). And in both spheres, but particularly in the "traditional" media, there is a distinct pattern of the presentation and coverage of news that has transformed what once was an important means by which citizens are informed to one which serves little purpose.

This phenomenon extends to the leftish side of the "traditional" media as well -- outlets like NPR, PBS, or MSNBC -- who are every bit as guilty of this flawed presentation and coverage as their counterparts on the right. So hop over the clever-euphemism-for-the-divider-doodle and I'll detail them.

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Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:40 PM PDT

Meta: "Censorship!"

by raptavio

I've seen someone who gets HRed immediately scream "Censorship!" and "First Amendment!" so many times that I thought it'd be nice to make a brief yet handy-dandy response to such a complaint to which I can link. So this diary is mostly for my benefit, but anyone else who wants to use it, feel free.

Anyway, here it is.

First, this XKCD cartoon contains the essence of what I'm driving at. The title text is particularly apropos and I quote it often: "...Defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express."

Second, free speech is not freedom from consequence, and neither is it an obligation on the part of any other private citizen, including and particularly Markos Moulitsas, to provide you a forum to express yourself.

So quit whining about your First Amendment rights when you post here because you are not entitled to say or do whatever you want here any more than I am entitled to walk into your home and take a whizz on your living room floor.

Poll

Pie?

5%4 votes
13%10 votes
13%10 votes
6%5 votes
43%33 votes
9%7 votes
9%7 votes

| 76 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM PST

You're Not Just Wrong; You're Evil

by raptavio

Yeah, so, boredom sets in during my final night in Manila and I'm here thinking thoughts about stuff and things.

One thing that has always deeply disturbed me about the right wing is summarized by the title of this trifle. Political disagreement doesn't just mean that a wingnut thinks you're wrong; he thinks you're evil. You're a socialist, a Communist, a union thug, part of the homosexual mafia, a Christian oppressing anti-American who wants to use death panels to kill the old and infirm.

I despise that mindset, encouraged tacitly and overtly by the right-wing media (see my sig), as it's poisoned our national dialogue and our hopes for actually getting things done in the political sphere to help make life better for all of us.

But it's also been a point of pride, perhaps even a little bit of smugness, to me that this is not a behavior where "both sides do it." This is a behavior where the vast majority is found on the right.

Well, I'm rethinking that. Because I'm more and more seeing it manifest on the left. And that bothers me because of the implications, and it bugs me because of the loss of the point of pride.

Leap over the Fleur de Kos and I'll blather on a bit more.

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Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:59 AM PST

An American in Manila (Intro)

by raptavio

Brief diary, an intro for what I hope will be more later.

So I'm tagging along with my girlfriend and several of her colleagues on a trip to the Philippines for work (hers).

I've never been outside North America before, and but for a couple brief day trips south from San Diego as a child (to Tijuana), I've never spent any time outside of the First World.

Right now, I'm in Metro Manila, in my hotel.

The hotel is in an area of Makati called Rockwell Center. It's basically the highest-end business center in Metro Manila -- already foiling my hopes to get a taste of life outside the first world. Yet Makati also contains very poor areas as well as one of the most well-known red light districts in Manila.

I'm a coward, and sex trafficking is one of those topics that makes me physically ill to think about, so I can't even bring myself to venture into that area. But we do have local coworkers and guides who can and will take us outside of this rich-people-and-rich-companies gated community and out into the "real" Manila area. We've already made a couple trips outside the bubble, but brief. One trip to an open-air "mall" with rows and rows--and rows! -- of merchants selling pearls, clothing, and counterfeit name-brand bags and watches. It was crowded, filthy, and thoroughly alien -- yet afterward, our driver told me that the area was still considered "upscale."

Manila proper is the single most densely populated city in the world. Many of the cites in Metro Manila are on the list of most densely populated cities. There is desperate poverty here, yet the international companies that set up business here have made it so easy for first world citizens to not see it -- in fact, you have to seek it out.

This diary is just an introduction -- something to force myself to explore and write more thoroughly later. I know I won't be here long -- just a week -- and so won't get a very in-depth experience, but I really hope to at least have my eyes a bit more opened to the reality of what life is like in "the rest of the world."

I have my camera with me and I am taking truly excessive amounts of photographs, too.

So stay tuned. And if I don't write more about what I see -- even if it's to sheepishly admit I failed in my objective -- y'all call me out for it. :)

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