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October 10, 2013

Rabbis arrested for offering torture service to women seeking divorces

Rabbis Said to Use Torture, for Fee, to Force Divorce - NYTimes.com
The two rabbis offered an unusual service to Jewish women who could not get their husbands to agree to a divorce, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For a fee, they would convene a rabbinical court and authorize the use of violence to get a recalcitrant husband to agree to a divorce, the F.B.I. said. . . .

September 04, 2013

What happens when local heads of the KKK and the NAACP meet?

In a possible first and under heavy security, KKK and NAACP meet in Casper
Jimmy Simmons, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s branch in Casper, didn’t expect to get a return letter from the KKK. For months he had been hearing reports that black men in Gillette were getting beat up. Inevitably the men were with white women when assaulted. Then Klan literature showed up around town. Simmons considered rallying against the Klan, but then decided to try something different: talking. “If you want to talk about hate, get a hater,” Simmons said later. “Let him tell you something about hate.” He looked up some contact information and in June, asked for a meeting with the KKK. Simmons wouldn’t get specific, but it seems the NAACP headquarters wasn’t pleased he planned to talk to the Klan. He eventually got the go-ahead, provided the meeting took place in Casper, Simmons’ turf. A moderator from Colorado planned to come, but then she broke off contact. The Casper NAACP would meet with the Klan alone, in the person of John Abarr. Now here was Abarr, not dressed in his Klan regalia – the white hood and robe, the history of hateful violence – but in a dark suit, white shirt and a nondescript tie, his hand extended toward Simmons. “Hello, John.” “Hello Jimmy.” . . . Abarr makes a point of proving he’s a member of anti-racism groups. Membership: American Civil Liberties Union, the hate-group watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center, and oh, yes — also the United Klans of America, an organization with a website image gallery that includes a target with an Obama campaign symbol bull’s-eye. Then there’s the desire to secede from the United States of America. The northwest U.S. — Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon — should secede and form a territory. Blacks can stay there, he supposes, but no more should be allowed in, to keep the region white. States such as Georgia, which are primarily black, should secede from the union and become a black state. A question from the NAACP: How do you plan to secede from the union? “Legally, hopefully,” Abarr says. . . .

August 30, 2013

David Brothers: Shut up when grown folks are talking

i am davidbrothers dotcom - adult swim
A scenario: people on the internet notice something and start talking about it. Maybe it’s dumb, maybe it’s ugly, maybe it’s racist, maybe it’s sexist, maybe it’s whatever whatever. It’s something, and people are talking about it being something. The conversation may be angry, it may be civil, it may be full of weird in-jokes that you don’t quite get. The format doesn’t matter, the details of the conversation don’t matter. The only thing that matters is people are talking about an issue they care deeply about and you are sitting there watching them, contemplating the best way to enter and control the conversation. If what you bring to that conversation is some variation on “Why are people talking about this?”, “Who cares?”, “This doesn’t matter,” or something along the lines of “Focus on the things you like!” or “Be more positive!”, listen and listen close: Shut up when grown folks are talking. You’re confusing civility and politeness for goodness and positivity. You’re confusing order for justice. You don’t want to hear about it, because you don’t care about it or don’t understand it, and that’s fine. Everyone has to sit through things they don’t care about. But if someone clearly cares about something, and wants to talk about it, you don’t get to silence them, especially not under the guise of some passive-aggressive Everybody Should Be Nice sportsmanship nonsense that’s only ever in play when someone says something you don’t like.

This Obamacare Subsidy Calculator is Actually Pretty Reassuring

Subsidy Calculator | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Under...

August 28, 2013

Dave-o's Latest Column for the Ann Arbor Chronicle, on Writing Careers, Plus Getting Quoted a Bunch in Forbes

(Reposted from my more daveocentric blog, on account these sorts...