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Mychal Denzel Smith at The Nation writes What Matters in Ferguson:

Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. This is what matters.

The name of the officer has been released (it’s Darren Wilson, who has been on the force for six years), alongside allegations that Brown was involved in a robbery. This does not matter.

It doesn’t matter because people accused of robbery should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because people who put their hands up in surrender should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because a body should not lie in the streets for hours after being shot by a police officer.

Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. Everything else is irrelevant.

John McWhorter at The New Republic is right with his There Is Only One Real Way to Prevent Future Fergusons: End the War on Drugs, but that is only one crucial piece of the solution:
It is impossible not to conclude that what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson is now status quo, not a teaching lesson to move us forward.

Last week’s events must seen in view not just of the entire history of black people in the United States, as many have suggested, but also in view of, well, last summer. The protests in the wake of the exoneration of George Zimmerman included the exact same kinds of expressions of dismay, fear, and rage, and more importantly, claims that this time was “it,” that black America was “fed up,” complete with furious empathy on the part of much of white America. [...]

It might as well have been ten minutes ago, especially as all of it is instantly viewable on line. And yet here we are.

More pundit excerpts are below the fold.

Charles C. Mann at The Atlantic How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen:

How is one supposed to respond to this kind of news? On the one hand, the transformation of the Antarctic seems like an unfathomable disaster. On the other hand, the disaster will never affect me or anyone I know; nor, very probably, will it trouble my grandchildren. How much consideration do I owe the people it will affect, my 40-times-great-grandchildren, who, many climate researchers believe, will still be confronted by rising temperatures and seas? Americans don’t even save for their own retirement! How can we worry about such distant, hypothetical beings?

In our ergonomic chairs and acoustical-panel cubicles, we sit cozy as kings atop 300 years of flaming carbon.

Worse, confronting climate change requires swearing off something that has been an extraordinary boon to humankind: cheap energy from fossil fuels. In the 3,600 years between 1800 B.C. and 1800 A.D., the economic historian Gregory Clark has calculated, there was “no sign of any improvement in material conditions” in Europe and Asia. Then came the Industrial Revolution. Driven by the explosive energy of coal, oil, and natural gas, it inaugurated an unprecedented three-century wave of prosperity. Artificial lighting, air-conditioning, and automobiles, all powered by fossil fuels, swaddle us in our giddy modernity. In our ergonomic chairs and acoustical-panel cubicles, we sit cozy as kings atop 300 years of flaming carbon.

Frida Berrigan at In These Times writes that opposition will not end despite the July 10 New York case in which Judge Jails Anti-Drone Granny:
“This has got to stop.”

Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere. [...]

The Empire State is not the only community organizing against drone bases. In June, a robust coalition in Michigan organized a 163-mile walk from Chicago to Battle Creek, Michigan, to raise awareness about the establishment of a new node of drone flights there. Battle Creek, the home city of Kellogg’s, has been nicknamed Cereal City, but local activist Joanna Learner warned in an open letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that the drone base could earn the city a new nickname: “The Serial (Killing) City.” More than a hundred people participated in the 12-day walk, many of them first-time activists.

Meanwhile, anti-drone organizers around the world are coordinating their efforts, declaring October 4 the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance and Killing.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers at Popular Resistance and Alternet write Ferguson Exposes the Reality Of Militarized, Racist Policing:
The public reaction to the event has been immense. On Thursday evening protests were held from coast-to-coast expressing solidarity with the people of Ferguson and grief for the death of Michael Brown and the deaths of others across the nation killed by police. There are now increasing calls for the demilitarization of the police by the Attorney General and elected officials. And, the DOJ has announced a broad review of police practices that lead to deadly force. People are taking action pressuring the DOJ to act, see: Tell The Department of Justice to end racist and militaristic policing.

This is a teachable moment and an opportunity to advance the cause of transforming the police. Hundreds of thousands of Americans watched events unfold in Ferguson. They saw the police tear gassing a community in mourning, firing at them with rubber bullets and using sound canons to disperse them. They saw military-style police chase them into neighborhoods where they continued to fire tear gas and rubber bullets. They saw reporters abused and arrested as a SWAT team took over a McDonald’s where they were reporting from and other reporters attacked with tear gas and then the police dismantling the journalist’s equipment.

Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive asks 10 Questions about Obama’s Iraq Bombing:
1. Is it constitutional? Only Congress has the right to declare war. Under what authority is President Obama sending U.S. warplanes back to Iraq?

3. Is the bombing legal under international law? The U.N. charter says that no country can attack another country except in self-defense. The Islamic States, as repulsive as it is, has not attacked the United States.

4. If U.S. personnel at our embassy or in our consulates are in danger in Iraq, as Obama has said, why not pull them out instead of sending in the bombers? [...]

8. President Obama on August 9 said, “Ultimately, only Iraqis can ensure the security and stability of Iraq. The United States can’t do it for them. ... Ultimately there’s not going to be an American military solution to this problem.” Well, then, how long is “ultimately”?

Paul Krugman at The New York Times writes Why We Fight Wars, which no doubt will prompt right-wing complaints that he is mixing economics with politics, as if those have ever in the history of humankind been separate phenomena:
Once upon a time wars were fought for fun and profit; when Rome overran Asia Minor or Spain conquered Peru, it was all about the gold and silver. And that kind of thing still happens. In influential research sponsored by the World Bank, the Oxford economist Paul Collier has shown that the best predictor of civil war, which is all too common in poor countries, is the availability of lootable resources like diamonds. Whatever other reasons rebels cite for their actions seem to be mainly after-the-fact rationalizations. War in the preindustrial world was and still is more like a contest among crime families over who gets to control the rackets than a fight over principles.

If you’re a modern, wealthy nation, however, war—even easy, victorious war—doesn’t pay. And this has been true for a long time. In his famous 1910 book “The Great Illusion,” the British journalist Norman Angell argued that “military power is socially and economically futile.” As he pointed out, in an interdependent world (which already existed in the age of steamships, railroads, and the telegraph), war would necessarily inflict severe economic harm even on the victor. Furthermore, it’s very hard to extract golden eggs from sophisticated economies without killing the goose in the process.

Charles Blow at The New York Times writes Frustration in Ferguson:
Yes, there are the disturbingly repetitive and eerily similar circumstances of many cases of unarmed black people being killed by police officers. This reinforces black people’s beliefs—supportable by actual data—that blacks are treated less fairly by the police.

But I submit that this is bigger than that. The frustration we see in Ferguson is about not only the present act of perceived injustice but also the calcifying system of inequity— economic, educational, judicial—drawn largely along racial lines.

In 1951, Langston Hughes began his poem “Harlem” with a question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” Today, I must ask: What happens when one desists from dreaming, when the very exercise feels futile?

Farai Chideya at The Guardian On race, America has far to go. Ferguson won't be the last flash point:
I spent my very early years in New York, living a very multiracial Sesame Street life, a big swinging bellbottom of a childhood. And then our family moved to Baltimore and the iron curtain of the "colour line" fell. I felt that I had moved from the 1970s through a time warp where black and white were the only two colours and never the twain shall socially meet. [...]

America has never had one racial reality, but a series of them strung together from San Antonio to Pittsburgh to Appalachia. What we are seeing in Ferguson, Missouri, is the result of life in a specific type of heavily racialised zone. Yes, a city such as New York, where a black man was recently choked to death by police officers, has its own very clear forms of racialisation and it's a national issue. But the police killing, last week, of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen in Ferguson has sparked national protests because it represents a specific type of racialisation. This is of the majority black city, big or small, with a white economic and political power structure.

William D. Hartung at the Los Angeles Times writes Time to rein in the Pentagon's mysterious slush fund:
As if monitoring the Pentagon's enormous budget were not difficult enough, every year Congress also has to deal with a separate war budget. Known in Washington-ese as the Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, account, it is submitted separately. It was originally meant to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has grown into an all-purpose funding mechanism for almost anything the Pentagon wants. [...]

The ultimate proof that the OCO budget is threatening to become a permanent repository for unneeded projects and bad ideas is this item: the president's proposed $5-billion Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, $4 billion of which would go to the Pentagon to “support increased partner capacity building … and increase the department's flexibility in responding to emerging crises.” It's hard to find a broader definition than that. [...]

For once, Congress is paying attention. Members of the House Armed Services Committee from both parties have denounced the administration's OCO request as a slush fund. And Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and others have questioned whether the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund will make it too easy for the president to go to war.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Reminder chilling, though not chilling enough: (6+ / 0-)
    Americans don’t even save for their own retirement!
  •  Will racism ever end in this country? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:55:46 AM PDT

    •  Probably not, but on the plus side, it's less (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sweatyb

      of a problem than in many (or most, in fact) other countries out there.

      Yeah, that's offered in the vein of "faint praise" . ..

      •  I doubt that's true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        In my experience people are the same no matter where they live.

        I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

        by Jim Riggs on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:01:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Umm, no not really (0+ / 0-)

          I find it really, really difficult to believe that the happenings in Ferguson could be replicated (domestically) in Cambridge MA, Asheville NC, or Berkeley CA . .. .

          And internationally, it seems like you have not experienced cultures were foreigners were * completely * on the out and outs.  Believe, there are plenty of them out there!

          •  I can't speak to international racisim, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh, rl en france

            but I can say that if you believe it can't happen in small town NC, CA or MA then you are mistaken.  It can happen anywhere in this country although in some areas it is far less likely than others.

            The point here, imo, is not "where" it happens, but "that" it happens at all. (period)

            As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

            by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:17:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite wrong, there are definitely places (0+ / 0-)

              where this type of clusterfuck is MASSIVELY more likely to happen compared to others.

              For example, in places like Baltimore MD the police shoot (or otherwise kill) unarmed people all the time.  Yet, there are no massive riots - perhaps because the racial aspect is not so very very blatant (insofar as the police force more or less reflects the racial make-up of those being policed . .. ).

              •  No, you are simply reframing what I said (0+ / 0-)

                MASSIVELY

                As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

                by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:30:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK, I'm baffled (0+ / 0-)

                  if we are in agreement, very well.

                  If not, hopefully you can offer a more substantial rebuttal than that.

                  •  I disagreed with your belief that Ferguson (0+ / 0-)

                    couldn't happen domestically in certain US cities (you cited certain cities, but followed with ellipsis which  indicate intentional omission of other cities).  I stated that indeed it could happen in anytown USA but was less likely in certain areas than others.  

                    Rather than actually read and absorb what I wrote you jumped on my comment and chose to rudely SHOUT at me in all caps.

                    Is that substantial enough for your standards?

                    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

                    by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:59:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, not really - I gave specific examples (0+ / 0-)

                      that you (seemed to ) disputed.

                      For example, Berkeley CA - I lived there for several years (in the late 90s, so maybe things are different now) and the cops there were admittedly complete assholes.

                      But totally "equally opportunity" complete assholes, as they hassled me (as a middled aged white person) to an extent I've never experienced elsewhere.  

                      Still, I have difficultly envisioning them pulling out a massive display of military-style armored vehicles to use against a crowd of protestors of any racial composition.  I seriously don't think it would or could happen, in opposition to what you seem to be saying.

                      •  It would never happen in San Francisco or San Jose (0+ / 0-)

                        "A biased mind cannot grasp reality." -- The 14th Dalai Lama

                        by vlyons on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:11:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I agree that there remain shockingly large (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Samer, revsue

                          parts of this country where this shit can still go down, but the claim that it could happen ANYWHERES seems completely unfounded to me.

                          It's like the other poster never heard of the red/blue split that is currently afflicting the USA . .. .

                          •  I should hide rate this comment. (0+ / 0-)

                            To insinuate that what is happening in Ferguson could only happen in a red state is outrageous.  There is no red/blue state split that is afflicting this country expect in the mind of people such as yourself.  Those of you who believe that it is acceptable to attribute the worst of what the GOP has to offer to all residents of a red state is beyond ignorant and hateful.  

                            To those of you living in solid blue states and believe this way, I say that you have it easy because it takes real courage to be a progressive liberal in a red state.  I personally work my arse off for progressive candidates as well as donate $$ I'd much rather spend elsewhere in an attempt to turn my state paler shade of red.  Because I live in a red state doesn't mean I should get kicked in the teeth on a progressive site by someone with your mindset.

                            I am done with this conversation with you, but fair warning -- pull that red state/blue state divide and it being the sole reason for all that ails this country again and I'll hide rate it in a heartbeat.

                            As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

                            by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:45:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You seem to have your head suprisingly far (0+ / 0-)

                            up your ass.

                            Or maybe not.

                            who knows, in any event, you are clearly living in your own little bubble.

                          •  sounds like you're over reacting (0+ / 0-)

                            "A biased mind cannot grasp reality." -- The 14th Dalai Lama

                            by vlyons on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:26:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Oakland, which is adjacent to Berkeley, CA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Theodicy

            has lots of problems.

          •  Ever heard of the Boston busing riots? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude

            I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

            by Jim Riggs on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:15:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  People may be the same no matter where (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694

          they live, but the fact is they are not treated equally - not by people of different races, not by the authorities, not by the enforcement of laws, not even by their communities and neighbors..  And that's the difference that makes all the difference.

          "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

          by SueDe on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:22:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Less of a problem than in most other countries???? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barleystraw

        Was this sarcasm or snark or something? Most other developed countries (and even some not so developed) are watching the goings-on in Ferguson in horror. Any American who doesn't think their country has a huuuuuuuuuge problem with racism has their head in the sand.

        "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." Kay Yow

        by vernonbc on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:09:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you been to many other countries? (0+ / 0-)

          based on your screen-name (Celine Dion horrors notwithstanding) I am willing to grant that Canada might be an exception.

          But virtually any other continental European or Asian country is vastly different, and getting into the Middle East or Africa only ups the ante.

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:10:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Racism ends when there are more multi-racial (0+ / 0-)

      people. I lived in CA for 30+ years. All around me were multi-racial people. It was no big  deal to see black-japanese, Filippino-Hispanic, Jewish-Chinese, Hindi-Hispanic, White-Korean, etc etc etc. You already see it on TV, multi-racial characters in dramas and such. Race is not defined by biology, rather it's defined by culture.

      But in the heartland and the south, interracial dating and marriage are still looked down on and feared. Eventually, America will become very brown, and then race will become less important. There are 330 million people living in the USA. There are 3 billion Chinese, 1+ billion Hindis. It's easy to understand why the mostly white Rep party resists immigration with every fiber of their being. But they cannot stop the inevitable. The US population will get browner and more Asian. Think 500 years forward. Alas, Repubs can't think past the next election.

      "A biased mind cannot grasp reality." -- The 14th Dalai Lama

      by vlyons on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:07:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Racism will never end (0+ / 0-)

      not here, not in any other country. Any more than any other nasty human behavior will.

      The real question is when (or if) it ever gets dealt with seriously.

      •  Xenophobia may be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RadGal70

        part of our nature, but feeding it is definitely a choice.

        We are living in a world shaped by the propaganda we allow on our media with Fox News and the rest. These incessant calls to racial and ethnic violence are bearing their bitter fruit.

  •  McWhorter is wrong. Ending the War on Drugs (9+ / 0-)

    is not the magic remedy he claims.  The youth who turn to drug trade as an employment opportunity would turn to something else instead.  The police, who have a jackboot miasma which entices the worst behavior from weak and bigoted recruits, have created a war zone type mentality albeit with the help of the government unloading their surplus military equipment.  Those police would simply find a different avenue to persue in the real war they wage - the war against the poor under educated youth of color who long ago lost any hope of a better life.

    Missouri proves that extreme bigotry isn't just in the south and major cities.  This country is shocked by the uncovering of the level of hatred, bigotry and klan-like actions they believed were long gone and this country needed to wake up to the fact that hate of this level in their country simply went stealthily underground post '60's.

    The solution is to create true equality and opportunity in this country regardless of skin color and economic stability.  Until we are able to provide an avenue to success for each and every citizen then we are failing our brothers and sisters and we are failing as a country.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:01:56 AM PDT

    •  War on Drugs HAS to be ended. (12+ / 0-)

      It is the war on drugs that told cops it was ok to be cowboys.

      It was the war on drugs that told cops they don't have to follow the rules.

      It was the war on drugs that told cops they are saving lives by killing "druggies"

      it was the war on drugs that gave PIGS the massive amounts of military hardware they love to find a reason to use.

      No, it's not the only thing that needs to be done, but without totally and thoroughly ending the entire concept of a 'war" on drugs, we. will. get. no-fucking-where.

      Understand this.

      •  Once upon a time all those drugs were totally (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kay3295, RadGal70, aznavy, barleystraw

        legal and passed out like candy in the US.

        We should just legalize it all and tax it.  Put the money into medical care and a minimum income for everyone in the US.

      •  A good start: Stop with the "War" rhetoric (3+ / 0-)

        My understanding is that it was Nixon who started the "War" rhetoric.

        I'm not a fan of drug trafficking and not excited about legalization either. But it is possible to enforce laws without calling it a war, and without using weapons (including tear gas) and SWAT tactics that were developed for war zones.

        It is so thoroughly the wrong model. In war, you shoot the enemy before he shoots you. You shoot first and ask questions later. "Due process" does not exist. You would rather be wrong than be dead, so you shoot anything that moves just because it might be a threat.

        It's a bad metaphor, a bad label, and leads to really really bad results. Change it.

    •  There MUST be relative easy paths... (7+ / 0-)

      ...to legal, reliable employment.

      There are more than enough tasks that need being done. This neglect of our social infrastructure is every bit as dangerous and corrosive as the neglect of our physical infrastructure, if not more so.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:35:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why? The evil 1% benefit from the unemployed; they (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koseighty, Chokingsmoker, tb mare, aznavy

        turn non-workers into prisoners to fill up for profit prisons. It's easy when the majority race/culture thinks we're violent criminals.

        I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

        by a2nite on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:44:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't expect the evil 1% to... (0+ / 0-)

          ...directly "benefit" from the de-marginalization of the rest of us. The virtues of a functioning and thriving civil society will never "add up" in their well-crafted spreadsheets.

          Their share of maintaining civil society - here or any other place they have a "footprint" - must be understood as an unavoidable expectation of their continuing to "conduct business." How that "understanding" is reached in this country at this period of our history is our cross to bear.

          Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:17:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Missouri (5+ / 0-)

      Was a slave state, it's part of the "south." Read about some of the shit that the Missouri militia did in the Kansas Territory prior to the Civil War.

      "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

      by US Blues on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:37:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many consider Missouri more midwestern (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, WineRev, wintergreen8694

        while others see it as Southern.  I was aware of the alliance with the south during the civil war, but even then the state was split:

        After the secession of Southern states began in 1861, the Missouri legislature called for the election of a special convention on secession. The convention voted decisively to remain within the Union. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson ordered the mobilization of several hundred members of the state militia who had gathered in a camp in St. Louis for training. Alarmed at this action, Union General Nathaniel Lyon struck first, encircling the camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and they opened fire on the largely hostile crowds of civilians who gathered around them. Soldiers killed unarmed prisoners as well as men, women and children of St. Louis in the incident that became known as the "St. Louis Massacre".

        These events heightened Confederate support within the state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price, president of the convention on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard. In the face of Union General Lyon's rapid advance through the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance. However, even under the Southern view of secession, only the state convention had the power to secede. Since the convention was dominated by unionists, and the state was more pro-Union than pro-Confederate in any event, the ordinance of secession adopted by the legislature is generally given little credence. The Confederacy nonetheless recognized it on October 30, 1861.   ~ Wiki

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:46:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like many Midwestern states, (5+ / 0-)

          it has a southern component, culture-wise.  Think Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

          •  Indiana at one time had more Klansmen and... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies, JaxDem

            ...women than any other state and a Klan governor in the 20s. There was also massive Klan activity in Colorado (also with a Klan governor in the '20s).

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 12:06:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wasn't the last lynching in southern (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Meteor Blades, JaxDem

              Indiana?

              Balancing out the Colordado klan governor (Clarence Morley)  was Governor Ralph Carr.

              Carr's urgings for racial tolerance and for protection of the basic rights of the Japanese Americans are generally thought to have cost him his political career, including his ambition for election to the United States Senate. He narrowly lost the 1942 Senate election to incumbent Democratic Senator Edwin C. Johnson.
              From Wikipedia
              •   I don't know about the last lynching... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JaxDem

                ...but the last one with with multiple victims took place the year I was born (1946) in the state I was born (Georgia). Two African American couples were murdered by several whites at Moore's Ford Bridge, east of Atlanta. In the late '90s, a commemorate plaque to the victims was placed near where the lynching took place. The case remains unsolved, although the FBI was still looking into it a few years ago.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:37:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Historical footnote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem, wintergreen8694, tb mare, aznavy

          to the "St. Louis Massacre."

          One of the civilians caught in the cross fire between the Union troops under Lyon and the (armed) pro-Southern civilians trying to either protest the capture of the pro-Confederate prisoners or free them by force was caught in the open with his little son, about age 5.

          When the shooting started the man pulled his son down on the street and covered him with his body to protect him. He counted over 100 shots back and forth overhead before the shooting ended. Then they got up and went home.

          The father was a West Pointer who had left the Army back in 1854 and had gone into banking in gold-rush San Francisco. When that boom died down he had moved with his family to his wife's town of St. Louis for the past few years. He decided to re-enlist.

          He was William Tecumseh Sherman.

          Shalom.

          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:32:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Youth would turn to something else instead" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, Oh Mary Oh, Meteor Blades

      what would that be, I wonder? Bank robbery?

      But this is academic; many here are in severe denial regarding our crappy economy as being THE root cause of our social ills-- statistics like fifty percent of black men in NYC being unemployed are ignored-- apparently acceptable status quo.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:49:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're going to need some decent jobs to go along (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, JaxDem, Egalitare, tb mare

      with that equality and opportunity.

    •  Particularly, the Supreme Court (4+ / 0-)

      needs to realize this.

      ...the level of hatred, bigotry and klan-like actions they believed were long gone and this country needed to wake up to the fact that hate of this level in their country simply went stealthily underground post '60's.
      The Court's recent decisions, particularly in cases likes the Voting Rights Act, reflect more wishful thinking on race in this country than reality.  Until the wise men (and I do mean men) on the court realize that things are not as they wish them to be in this country, local jurisdictions will continue to have to deal with real in-your-face problems without the benefit of any understanding - or helpful decisions - from the feds.

      "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

      by SueDe on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:35:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree except that MO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem

      is part of the legacy of the Confederacy. Look up "Bleeding Kansas".

      The legacy of slavery is all about what is going on right now. But it's a mistake the think that the slave nation was just confined to Confederate states. Maryland was also a slave state when the war broke out and there is a white supremacist and proud League of the South member running for office in Anne Arundel County right now.

      And then you have internal migration so Southern Ohio, Southern Indiana, Southern Illinois, parts of Oklahoma and California's Inland Empire were settled by deeply racist and ideologically committed whites who have kept the flames burning generation after generation.

      I myself have an ancestor who settled in Kansas but was originally from Virginia, a slaveowner many times over. By Census records we know he must have divested himself of his human property when he crossed from solid slave territory into "the Territories".

      The Midwest has pockets of settlement by former slaveowners' families and they are still committed to white supremacy. Moreover, they have converted other whites to their cause who had no history of slave ownership or settlement in plantation areas. Just judging by my Facebook feed.

  •  The white supremacist police have been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, xxdr zombiexx

    transformed into an occupying force.

    Why did "the framers" fight a war for independence as America has turned itself into a more evil version of England. Makes sense since the country was created for slavery & extermination.

    The power structure need enforcers. Who better to oppress than a people who have raped robbed pillaged & blamed for all the evil their oppressors have done.

    The police are agents of the evil white1%.

    F*CK the police.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:02:36 AM PDT

  •  In the Brown shooting, his previous actions do (9+ / 0-)

    matter in the court of public opinion which is where the Ferguson PC has chosen to conduct the trial of his dept.  Therefore, he does release the video but does not release the name of the officer for several days.

    We saw with Trayvon, as his father noted, he went from a kid shot by a vigilante to a gangbanger, to a hardened criminal to a drug dealer, all based on the most specious of evidence.

    With Brown, we have seen allegations that he was a "thug" and a violent criminal and complaints that explanations that a "strong arm" robbery does not even require actual physical contact are merely "legalistic nit picking".

    The Ferguson PD is trying to get ahead of the narrative as I note there have been police reports that the first days of rioting produced more than 2 dozen police cruisers destroyed.  Has anyone seen any evidence of this or has it even been mentioned now that the narrative is taking shape?

    Compare the police response to pro-PD protests with 5 cops on bikes vs the police response to the protests about the shooting with 70 SWAT officers and a MRAP.  

    •  They have to keep up the violent (11+ / 0-)

      negro propaganda. It's what makes white privilege.

      Don't think the evil police won't do it to you. Destroying OWS was a taste.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:12:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Police Departments are being inflitrated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      US Blues, Stude Dude

      by supremacist militia members and these unprovoked assassinations are acts to be accepted into these organizations, so they know you're really a white supremacist.

      They are initiations.

      it is a MASSIVE issue in the military, why would it not be a massive issue in the constabulary?

      •  No, the police have always been white (5+ / 0-)

        supremacist. They protect property & evil 1%. The police do in the North what the KKK/vigilantes do in the South & small towns.

        In addition many of "them" are veterans who have issues after multiple tours.

        I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

        by a2nite on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:38:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In teabagger language, "I think its gettin worser" (5+ / 0-)

          And yeah, contrary to the prevailing delusions, veteran combat soldiers have no actual experience with police work: very little of military skills are transferable to civilian life.

          My running buddy was courted by police departments after he left the MArines and he did take a job for a hot minute with a department here. Hated it. More or less agrees with me that military experiences are largely not transferable to civilian life.

          Another reason to eliminate the concept of conflating "policing" with "military action".

          •  almost nothing is transferrable (3+ / 0-)

            Problem is that training changed after we invaded Iraq and found out that conventional methods do not work with asymmetrical warfare.  There are two schools of thought with COIN.  One is that you work with the local population to improve their lives and to lift them out of poverty and into prosperity and security.  The other is that you garrison the area and deal with all problems as if they are military problems.

            The Germans appear to be very good at the first sort of COIN while the US opted for the second path.  Short term, the US methods may work but long term, the German model is the best path    

          •  This! Police depts are looking for people worth... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx, davidincleveland

            This!

            Police depts are looking for people worth weapons training and combat training.

            Why?

            So that they don't lock up in violent situations. And that they have no qualms about shooting to kill. (The brainwashing the military does is really impressive)

            Conflict resolution and consensus building? Maybe in a two hour optional course in the summer.

          •  Some things transfer if you go to work in the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davidincleveland

            military industrial complex, but most don't.  Combat infantry isn't going to.

        •  Or an occupation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh, davidincleveland, tb mare

          that bestows authority and power over others attracts people who wish to have power over others and wants to use it to the fullest.  For some it will come with an automatic target of people with colors.  For others, it is less about race and all about social/economic position - which in places is very difficult to separate from race.  Still others, enter for other reasons. I am certain there are a good number of people who are drawn to law enforcement because they are attracted to the "serve and protect aspect".  

          But the problem is how do you deal with the fact that the occupation is a big draw for those who are primarily motivated by wanting to gain power over others?  Not sure there is a good way to do that.  But it is absolutely needed.

          "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

          by newfie on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:59:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We know the military was infiltrated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, davidincleveland

        2001-2008.  I have seen mention that SWAT members who were former military were taught how to do house entries in preparation for military sweeps in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought this training back to their PD.  (I never heard of cops serving warrants in SWAT gear until after 9/11.  Now it seems to be common practice.  I think something like 93% of times that cops outfit in their SWAT gear, it is unnecessary while the number of times SWAT teams are used has skyrocketed)

        There have been a couple of cases where LEOs were shown to be KKK members or to in some other questionable organization

    •  I would like to see police cars across America (0+ / 0-)

      be unable to keep the tires inflated.

  •  I have posted the Langston Hughes poem... (8+ / 0-)

    A Dream Deferred a couple of times this past week in reference to the events in Ferguson..
    I was pleasantly surprised to see that Charles Blow has quoted it in his piece Frustration In Ferguson for the NYT...
    Particularly taking it one very important step further (with the last sentence...

    "In 1951, Langston Hughes began his poem “Harlem” with a question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” Today, I must ask: What happens when one desists from dreaming, when the very exercise feels futile?"
      --Charles Blow--

    The poem in its entirety...(one last time from me)....

    Harlem

    by Langston Hughes

    What happens to a dream deferred?

    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore--
    And then run?
    Does it stink like rotten meat?
    Or crust and sugar over--
    like a syrupy sweet?

    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:05:49 AM PDT

  •  War is expensive (11+ / 0-)

    Sweden pretty much has stayed out of war, with the result that there is a massive accumulation of capital that transfers from generation to generation. Notably, Sweden has a fairly significant defense industry, it just doesn't actively see out fights. It is odd that whatever justifications have been used to get Americans into war, our economists never seem to mention that such adventures are likely to reduce the intergenerational legacy of our descendants. The Chinese have struggled with this problem for millennia, pretty much limiting themselves to economic adventurism while staying put in Middle Kingdom. There was a time, for example, when China had the greatest navy on earth, but backed off from world domination citing cost issues. Switzerland, once a famous mercenary country, nevertheless continues to stay out of war and leading to huge accumulations of capital that can move from generation to generation. US commentators from time to time point out that, besides Peal Harbor, the US has largely avoided war on its soil. But that kind of overlooks the extermination of Native Americans and the Civil War, which at the time was unmatched in its ferocity or cost.

    It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

    by kosta on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:20:35 AM PDT

  •  End the WOD (7+ / 0-)

    Dirty Fucking Hippies Right, once again.

    Only took people 40 fucking years to figure it out.

    Probably another 25 to ACTUALLY end it.

    You know, as it not doing it anymore.

    Americas Cops and the Fedrral government still have a gigantic hard-on for the sheer powe the war on drugs gives them.

    The War on Drugs was a huge assault on the Constitution, Bush's presidency and subsequent fascism of the War on Terroor pretty much finished off the constitution.

    Cops always HATE the 4th amendment and part of what the PIG demand to kill anybody with impunity is getting rid of the "nuisance" of having to follw these rules.

    They pretty much want to kill people, to go hunting and to get away with it free as fucking birds.

    Rest of comment has to be kos-acted.

  •  A very big piece of the US economy is the (3+ / 0-)

    military industrial complex....so for those who make their money there, war is a very profitable undertaking.  And a very big part of the "foreign aid" the US gov passes out around the world is in actuality funding of arms purchased from the US arms industry.

    War is a big economic loss for the world as a whole, but it makes a few very, very rich.

    •  Originally, it was the MILC... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      The Military Industrial LEGISLATIVE Complex, but at the last minute (between last draft and final speech), Eisenhower removed the "legislative" component because, it is written in the margins of the draft, he was giving the speech in congress and thought it uncool to call them out on their own turf.

      However, understanding it as the MILC makes a LOT more sense!

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:49:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We Can't Learn from Teachable Moments (4+ / 0-)

    when we refuse to acknowledge what democratic leadership in congress is doing.

    This past June Rep. Grayson offered an amendment to the defense budget legislation which would have

    that would have blocked the Pentagon from spending resources on transferring military hardware to local police agencies. The bill was defeated 62-355
    .

    Pelosi, Hoyer voted against this amendment. Why?

    http://www.ibtimes.com/...

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:13:05 AM PDT

  •  Mann is great but... (0+ / 0-)

    And his article about climate change is a good read. It's well researched and well written - as all his work is.

    One small critique is that after pointing out that America has almost no "public intellectuals" to take up these debates, he fell into a standard anti-intellectual trope by complaining about the work one has to do to understand climate-change problems.

    Remember how I was complaining that all discussions of climate change devolve into homework? Here, sadly, is proof.
    Yes - there is homework! If we don't take the time and energy to learn about the problems, we can't solve them! I've had too many conversations lately with people who are "too busy" to find out about X (where x = Iraq, Fergusen, Gaza, US foreign policy in Africa, and many other topics). This means that the anti-intellectual (or simply anti-thinking) distractors are winning.
    •  Used to be that news explained (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      red moon dog

      some of that stuff.  Now?  Go find it on your own.  And with dueling (dis/mis) information all over the Web, it's getting harder and harder to come to consensus.

      "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

      by PsychoSavannah on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:29:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed... (0+ / 0-)

      ...This "what?! HOMEWORK?!" attitude MUST stop.

      Come on, people! It is NOT that hard!

      Here's a simple cheat-sheet to understand whether something is good for you, bad for you, or neither:

      * If the MSM overwhelmingly supports it, it's almost certainly either BAD for you or a massive distraction, and;

      * If the MSM is overwhelmingly against it, it's almost certainly either a complete distraction or GOOD for you, and;

      * If the MSM overwhelmingly ignores it, it's almost certainly of VITAL IMPORTANCE, especially if your own gut tells you it's important!

      Because these are generalizations, they'll be wrong on many occasions, but on whole, you'll probably get the right ideas this way!

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 10:24:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  About the OCO ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, davidincleveland

    Yes, it needs to go, but don't make the mistake of thinking Republicans actually want to do anything about it. Today they find it a convenient way to do some Obama-bashing, but they have no intention of cutting off this money pipeline (that they created) to their MIC friends.

  •  The comment on climate change... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    It reads, "On the one hand, the transformation of the Antarctic seems like an unfathomable disaster. On the other hand, the disaster will never affect me or anyone I know; nor, very probably, will it trouble my grandchildren."

    This is an unfortunately common belief - and it is the expected belief - but unfortunately, as a scientist who has been in the room with the people who most understand the science of global ice as they debated recent events, the risk to us, ourselves, possibly very, very soon is all too real.

    Also, as a scientist, I can tell you that there are two forms of censorship at work. One form, we censor ourselves to our colleagues sometimes because we don't want to come off as crackpots; you don't say what you think / believe because you know you can't prove it and without proof, you hesitate. The other is direct censorship of science by the federal government, which started under GWB and continues under Obama. In one case I know well, a colleague was angry when his paper saying the northwest passage would open up in ten years was forced to say it would take fifty - a 500 percent increase in time! - but in reality, as we learned a few years later, it only took FIVE!

    There is a very plausible scenario that could take place in which a chuck  of Antarctic ice, presently supported by land, breaks off and enters the ocean, raising sea level by TENS of feet at once. The increase could happen VERY suddenly or could take hours, days, or months, but if it came suddenly it would come as a wave and it would take roughly the speed of sound in water for it to travel around the globe - some hours but not weeks. I am not sharing a prediction, but stating a real possibility. The science right now is just not good enough, and the historical record is too coarse to guide us...

    But better safe than sorry! When you KNOW of a serious risk with VERY serious consequences AND you know what you can and should do about it AND when EVERY ONE OF THE THINGS YOU SHOULD DO are financially smart anyway, why do you hesitate?

    We have EVERY REASON to be seriously concerned about global climate change RIGHT NOW.

    Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

    by RTIII on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:27:40 AM PDT

  •  Charles Mann is excellent (0+ / 0-)

    I've read two books by him: 1491 and 1493. He's an excellent writer and researcher. This article on climate change / global warming is good, too. Worth the read.

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