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Ta-Nehisi Coates on the legacy of racism

Must read. A Modest Proposal, Cont. - Ta-Nehisi Coates - National - The Atlantic
. . . We start with a group of people living as slaves for 250 years, in a nation that eventually bills itself as the land of liberty and free labor. We take what should be their wages and transfer them to someone else. For the last hundred years of that epoch we forbid them from marrying, and throughout we randomly sell off their kids, some of whom are actually our kids. We forbid them to learn to read. We subject them to random but frequent acts of sexual violence. We pass laws against that minority of them who are to achieve freedom ranging from bans on everything from voting to gun-ownership to serving on juries. We then are forced to grant them freedom, but we pass more laws against them structured to keep them from exercising any sort of political power. We subject them to the most prolific and wide-ranging campaign of home-grown terror in American history. We burn down their schools, and in some sections of the country are so ardent in our enmity toward them that we actually attack education for poor whites, for fear that it may help blacks by mistake. We enact policies at virtually every level of government, and virtually every sector of society, with the intent of keeping down the values of their homes, keeping them from competing with us for jobs, keeping them from ever ending up in any kind of supervisory role over our ilk. We mobilize the entire culture arsenal in an effort to portray them as pariahs, mocking them in movies, singling them out in virtually every human function from drinking to eating, from swimming to dancing, from copulation to defecation. We do this for roughly 300 hundred years. And then we develop a conscience, and for about 30 years we try to make up for what we've done, before deciding that our efforts constitute reverse racism. And then we sit around wondering why it is that a disproportionate share of black people can't live in a nice neighborhood. This is the unsexy story of anti-black racism. I've spent the past 20 years hoping to find my way around it and discover some hidden secret narrative that would better explain the color line. There is none. This is it. I understand that this will not get fixed in this generation. It took 250 years to get rid of slavery. I'm not pessimistic--I just think that war is long, and I have no expectation that it will end in my lifetime. . . .

August 05, 2011

Federal judge gives tortured American veteran go ahead to sue Rumsfeld

Well worth reading, especially for the harsh words the judge has for the Obama Justice dept's defense of this case. Judge allows American to sue Rumsfeld over torture | World news | guardian.co.uk
A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq. The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive. The government says he was suspected of helping pass classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces get into Iraq. But he was never charged with a crime, and he says he never broke the law and was risking his life to help his country. Court papers filed on his behalf say he was repeatedly abused while being held at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility near the Baghdad airport dedicated to holding "high-value" detainees, then suddenly released without explanation in August 2006. Two years later, he filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington arguing that Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to courts in violation of his constitutional rights. . . .

August 04, 2011

Google's vending machines have an amazing pricing system

What Google's Famous Cafeterias Can Teach Us About Health - Atlantic Mobile
The only place on the campus where employees pay for food is from a vending machine. The pricing strategy is based on nutrient content, again according to the Harvard pyramid plan. For the vended products, you pay: one cent per gram of sugar two cents per gram of fat four cents per gram of saturated fat one dollar per gram of trans fat On this basis, Quaker Chewy Bars are 15 cents each, Famous Amos cookies are 55 cents, and an enormous Ghirardelli chocolate bar is $4.25. Weights don't count and neither do calories. The machine is not run by Google. Whoever does it has a sense of humor.

August 03, 2011

If you're a "social media guru" and you ain't doing what this guy is, then we don't need to talk...

'cause I honestly couldn't give a fuck less about your...