While much of our attention in the last week has been focused on Charlottesville, the Klan, Nazi violence, and the support of same by the man called POTUS in the White House, let us not forget that same man is putting many other attacks against our civil rights into play. One of those is the new effort to go after affirmative action in college admissions, which was reported in the New York Times  on Aug. 1.

One thing is clear: the Trump administration’s overall racist agenda has multiple facets, and we have to fight back against all of them.


Actions like this–Trump diverting DoJ resources from fighting for minorities' civil rights, discrimination–is why neo-Nazis feel emboldened pic.twitter.com/8ckVBnSsfl

— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) August 16, 2017

Posted by Brad DeLong

Should-Read: John Holbo: Thinking About Groups: “I’m going to say a few (thousand) words about… Jacob Levy’s good new book, Rationalism, Pluralism, Freedomhttp://crookedtimber.org/2017/08/20/thinking-about-groups/

…At its core is a dilemma–an antinomy: two models of the optimal form and function of groups within a liberal order. Neither model can be quite it. It seems we need to split the difference or synthesize. But there is no coherent or necessarily stable way. (Well, that’s life.) There, I gave away the ending. Groups? Yes, you know the sort: families, political parties, ethnic groups, clans, churches, professional organizations, civic organizations, unions, corporations, neighborhood groups, bowling leagues. The lot…. In a modern liberal democratic society is like this: there are citizens and there is the state. Citizens enjoy a basket of liberties and rights, over and against each other and the state…. Now, if you have these two basic units, the state and the individual, it makes it kind of tricky what the normative status is of intermediate groups, eh?

What is all that in-between stuff good for or bad for? What sorts of ‘mediating groups’ need to exist–because they’re great! possibly vital for the health of citizens and/or the state itself! What sorts of stuff should not be permitted, because it’s toxic–either to the state or to some individuals. And what sorts of stuff should be merely tolerated, even though its a bit dicey, but pragmatically what are you going to do?…

At this point some people might say: I care about the health/power/status of my group way more than I care about either the stability of the state or respecting the rights and liberties of my fellow citizens…. But if you say that, you really are not… committed to liberal democracy…. I’m only considering what attitude you should have towards groups… if you have some normative commitment to making sure individuals can exercise their rights and enjoy their liberty, equally, in a stable liberal-democratic state. This is a timely issue: identity politics and groupthink and partisanship and tribalism…


Posted by Brad DeLong

Must-Watch: Jacob T. Levy: Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom:

Jacob T. Levy: Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom: “Intermediate groups—voluntary associations, churches, ethnocultural groups, universities, and more—can both protect threaten individual liberty… http://amzn.to/2igcO7Q

…The same is true for centralized state action against such groups. This wide-ranging book argues that, both normatively and historically, liberal political thought rests on a deep tension between a rationalist suspicion of intermediate and local group power, and a pluralism favorable toward intermediate group life, and preserving the bulk of its suspicion for the centralizing state.

The book studies this tension using tools from the history of political thought, normative political philosophy, law, and social theory. In the process, it retells the history of liberal thought and practice in a way that moves from the birth of intermediacy in the High Middle Ages to the British Pluralists of the twentieth century. In particular it restores centrality to the tradition of ancient constitutionalism and to Montesquieu, arguing that social contract theory’s contributions to the development of liberal thought have been mistaken for the whole tradition.

It discusses the real threats to freedom posed both by local group life and by state centralization, the ways in which those threats aggravate each other. Though the state and intermediate groups can check and balance each other in ways that protect freedom, they may also aggravate each other’s worst tendencies. Likewise, the elements of liberal thought concerned with the threats from each cannot necessarily be combined into a single satisfactory theory of freedom. While the book frequently reconstructs and defends pluralism, it ultimately argues that the tension is irreconcilable and not susceptible of harmonization or synthesis; it must be lived with, not overcome.


Title: One Piece Omake Collection
Author: Syr
Reader: Opalsong
Fandom: One Piece
Pairings: Gen
Rating: General
Length: 24:09
Size: 33.6MB
Music: Adventure World by Delicatessen & Dark Water by Mikko Tarmia
Cover: Opalsong
Summary: Five things that could have happened in One Piece. Includes: Chubby Bunny with swords, Pants eating ice cream, Reindeer puberty, Franky's Cyborg Index, Maze Castle, and Anatomy questions.

Link: mp3

Thanks to Paraka for hosting!

cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

Posted by vacuumslayer

As some of you know, I am fascinated by the places people live. Weird, humble abodes and houses with bowling alleys in them. More modern, “classy” monuments to wealth. I love it all. In that spirit, please enjoy this tour of the world’s Trumpiest, weirdest mansion.



Posted by Erik Loomis

This is the grave of LeRoy Neiman.

Born in 1921 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Neiman had a rough upbringing. His father walked out when he was young. His mother married and divorced and then married again. He joined the Army in World War II. Already a talented artist, when he returned, he attended the St. Paul School of Art and then used the GI Bill to attend The Art Institute of Chicago. Upon graduating, he was instantly hired by The Art Institute and taught there for a decade. He put his art in competition and won prizes. He got to know Hugh Hefner, who is somehow still alive, and his work began appearing in Playboy in 1954, which I understand is why most people began reading the magazine. But what made Neiman famous was his paintings of sporting events. He became perhaps the first major painter to focus on American sports and painted boxing matches, the Olympics, the NFL, and many other sporting events. Here are a couple of examples.

It’s possible this is the greatest relevance a Jets-Dolphins game has ever had.

Here’s a painting of Muhammad Ali.

And here’s the Opening Ceremonies for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, an event which LA is unfortunate enough to have to repeat in 2028.

He made a lot of money on these works. He used a good bit of it to support poor kids who wanted to be artists, remembering his own past. Neiman worked until the end of his life in 2010, when he died of a heart problem.

LeRoy Neiman is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.


This was Donald Trump’s worst week. Which followed Donald Trump’s worst week. Which followed Donald Trump’s worst week. Repeat 30 times.

In his first week, Trump was merely ridiculous, fretting over the number of people who attended his inauguration. But any idea that it might be possible to ride out the Trump-storm and pick up the pieces in four years was quickly dashed. By the second week, Trump sat down to pass executive orders, including the first draft of his Muslim ban. and to insult both a federal judge and the Australian president. From there, things don’t just spiral down, they raced into the depths with a pace that caught even Trump’s harshest critics by surprise. Flynn, Sessions, Comey’s firing, accusations of wiretapping and ‘unmasking,’ rising attacks on the press, secret meetings with Russia, more secret meetings with Russia, threats of nuclear war, and … Nazis.

We’re talking about Nazis. Not in the sense of pointing out Trump’s fascist positions, which some of us has been doing for quite some time. Nope. We’re dealing with a president who sticks up for actual swastika-wearing Nazis.

Also this week, Donald Trump repeated his tale of how General Pershing fought Muslim “terrorists” by dipping 50 bullets in pig’s blood, shooting 49 people, then sending the last bullet along with the sole survivor as a reminder. It’s a horrible tale, one that not only celebrates mass murder, but perpetuates myths about Muslims that are actively harmful to all sides.

Here’s a real story from the “Moro Rebellion.” The Moro were Muslims who lived in the southern part of the Philippines and who consisted of several different groups. To keep them out of the war while the US dealt with the Spanish and the main Philippine forces, the US signed a treaty with the Moro. Then the United States broke the treaty and took over their area. When the Moro fought back, American forces killed prisoners, burned towns, and employed regular use of torture—including the first use of waterboarding. Fighting continued. America then built a series of “Re-concentration Camps”—which were exactly what they sound like—to lock up the populace, in an attempt to drain the countryside of potential supporters for the rebels. Fighting continued. America stopped taking prisoners. “I want no prisoners,” said one general. “I want you to kill and burn. The more you kill, and the more you burn, the better it will please me.” Instructions were handed out to kill everyone over the age of ten. Fighting continued.

Finally, General Leonard Wood, who served in the Rough Riders along with Teddy Roosevelt, discovered that many of the Moro were hiding in the bowl of an extinct volcano called Bud Dajo. They had made a home there, along with their wives and children. Rather than attack directly, Wood used block and tackle to raise artillery to the lip of the volcano where he could shoot down on the village. When he opened fire in March of 1906, he killed somewhere between 600 and 900 people, most of them civilians. 

And after that … fighting continued. Because that’s what happens when an area is held by an occupying force. 

Okay, enough story time. Let’s go read some pundits.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Aug. 20th, 2017 12:28 pm)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gmh and [personal profile] ravurian!

Posted by Erik Loomis

On August 20, 1976, the Grunwick Strike began. This strike showed the potential of the British trade union movement to embrace immigrant workers for the first time, but its defeat was a critical moment in the rise of the vociferously anti-union Margaret Thatcher and began the decline of the British labor movement that would suffer so much in the 1980s.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Great Britain saw a major influx of immigration from people of South Asian origin. However, they were often not moving directly from Pakistan and India, but rather, were the descendants of previous migrants to Africa, where they were no longer welcome after Britain’s African colonies gained independence. Idi Amin in Uganda was perhaps the most notorious instigator of violence against south Asians, but there was a good reason that they left throughout the ex-British colonies. Many came to Great Britain, providing employers a cheap, exploitable labor force. One of those employers was Grunwick film processing factory in Dollis Hill, northwest London. It targeted these Asian migrants, in this case largely Gujarati Indians, because it could work them hard, pay them little, and intimidate them in a way they could not with highly unionized native-born English workers. The pay averaged 28 pounds a week, when the average wage for the nation’s workers was 72 pounds and for female manual laborers in London, 44 pounds. Grunwick would turn away white applicants, telling them they couldn’t pay them enough. Moreover, it would do this in front of the Indian workers, which they considered an enormous insult to their dignity. It was also a very hot summer in Britain and the lack of air conditioning made the work miserable. Jayaben Desai remembered the atmosphere of intimidation:

They had made the rule that you had to get permission from the managers to go to the toilet. This woman said to me that she felt ashamed to ask. I said, When he has no shame making you ask loudly, why should you feel ashamed?

Desai became a leader against these embarrassments and the total control over their lives by Grunwick. On August 20, 1976, she led her fellow workers off the job and into the streets. This began when a male worker was fired for laboring too slowly. His fellow workers protested and when the sacked worker was not reinstated, things escalated quickly. They were not particularly well organized and unconnected to a union. But that quickly changed when they joined the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff (APEX). This was somewhat ironic because APEX had a reputation as perhaps the lamest, most conservative, and most anti-communist union in the nation. The strike started with just 6 workers, including Desai. After they got APEX support, 50 more workers walked out and the strike was on for real. The demand became union recognition. Meanwhile, Grunwick fired all of strikers, giving them nothing left to lose.

This small action soon gained support across Britain. The cause of these workers inspired other workers and other unions. This was important for both the Grunwick workers and the larger labor movement. The British unions, much like their American cousins, were considered hotbeds of anti-immigrant sentiment and unfriendly to the new immigrants. Previous immigrant led strikes in the early 70s had not created solidarity from the British trade movement. The Grunwick actions helped break down those barriers. By June 1977, up to 20,000 people a day were marching to support the Grunwick workers. Three Cabinet ministers joined the picket line as well. The Union of Postal Workers refused to deliver mail to Grunwick. This was enormously important because it crippled the business operations of Grunwick, in which people sent their photos by mail to the factory for development. This nearly destroyed the business entirely and it significantly raised the politicization of the strike, as the local Tory member of Parliament wanted to charge the postal union with violating the Post Office Act of 1953, which made it a misdemeanor to refuse to deliver the mail. The Mineworkers under powerful labor leader Arthur Cargill bused in supporters. Fights broke out between the strike’s supporters (not so much the strikers themselves as they were mostly Indian women) and the police, who were dressed in riot gear. Over 500 people were arrested in these actions.

The strike also galvanized the Tories and in particular helped lead to Margaret Thatcher’s rise. Thatcher urged Grunwick owner George Ward personally to resist the strike. He needed little help, having previously busted an attempt to unionize his shop in 1973. She hated Cargill and with the British economy tottering in the mid 70s (as was happening in the U.S.) and the overall sense of weakness from the Callaghan-led Labour government (also indicative of the Carter government about to begin across the pond), Thatcher used what was initially a small strike of oppressed immigrant workers to raise her standing nationally. Callaghan’s government created the Scarman Inquiry to suggest a solution to this strike. It urged union recognition and the reinstatement of the fired workers. But with significant support from the Tories and from the right-wing National Association for Freedom, the employer refused.

All of this made the strike much more than about a few Indian immigrant workers and a relatively small factory. The strike became about the makeup of the British working class in the late 20th century, the ability of unions to expand the welfare state they had helped create after World War II, employers’ right to hire and fire who they chose, and the sheer nature of power in that nation. This was a battle for control of the nation.

In the face of this resistance, the strike eventually failed. For Thatcher, it helped make her argument that she could bust British unions. After 23 months, the workers could fight no more. Its most successful legacy was in bridging the anti-immigrant divide that by the mid-70s had led to the murder of Sikhs and the rise of xenophobic political parties. But it also helped pave the way for Thatcher’s decimation of the British labor movement after they won the 1979 general election.

This is the 234th post in this series. Previous posts are archived here.


elbren: (icon)
([personal profile] elbren Aug. 20th, 2017 07:08 am)
St. Phoebe is the prototype for women deacons, a leader of the community at Cenchreae and supporter of the early Pauline church. She traveled widely, carrying church correspondence across the empire. Her legacy has inspired generations of ordained women.
icon of st. phoebe with censer
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([personal profile] miss_s_b Aug. 20th, 2017 11:00 am)

Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.

“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

But he later seemed to back the right to demonstrate, posting: “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”

He added: “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Aug. 20th, 2017 05:24 am)

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-10:

"One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we're idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?

"If five million people can be convinced to log into Zynga's Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed [Cooke] believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. That's the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where we're constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime."

-- Joshua Foer, on British memory champion Ed Cooke's online learning company, Memrise.

[ https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/09/learn-language-in-three-months]

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

hollymath: (Default)
([personal profile] hollymath posting in [community profile] awesomeers Aug. 20th, 2017 08:36 am)
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

conuly: (Default)
([personal profile] conuly Aug. 20th, 2017 12:45 am)
Wise produced a variety of chips called Crazy Calypso. And they were delish. And then they went off the market :(

But! Later Wise produced an extremely similar flavor called Mambo Mania. These were also delish, and may have actually just been the first chips with a new name. Those too, alas, went off the market.

Since then, I've spent a ridiculous amount of energy trying to find a chip with a similar flavor profile, to no avail. But if anybody ever produces one, I'm going to stock up.



Tribes hope for renewal in solar eclipse; not all will watch

How To Buy A Goat When You're Really Poor? Join A 'Merry-Go-Round'

How My Instagram Hacker Changed My Life

The Devil’s in the Details of These Dark Miniature Scenes

How one town learned to live with venomous rattlesnakes

The unlikely story of the undocumented attorneys fighting for the lives of their undocumented clients

Transgender Pakistanis Win Legal Victories, but Violence Goes On

Scorching heat, rolling blackouts: The West is changing how it does summer

Hospitals in Trump Country Suffer as Muslim Doctors Denied Visas to U.S.

What General Pershing Was Really Doing in the Philippines

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills

Taking aim at China, India tightens power grid, telecoms rules

ISIS And The Middle East’s Vanishing Religious Minorities

How Syria continued to gas its people as the world looked on

Fentanyl linked to thousands of urban overdose deaths

Uganda struggles to cope as 1 million South Sudanese refugees pour in

In call to cancel debt, Cambodia asks: When war is over, who cleans up the mess?

Tracing The Dark Origins Of Charlottesville's KKK

Massive counterprotest upstages Boston "free speech rally"

Trump attacks Boston counter-protesters as 'anti-police agitators'

Trump's Racism Crisis Deepens Over His Barcelona Comments
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([personal profile] left_turns posting in [community profile] common_nature Aug. 20th, 2017 12:19 am)
I went up to Chicago a couple months ago and keep forgetting to post this. I spent a day at the zoo and conservatory in Lincoln Park near the lake shore. I nearly didn't bother with the children's zoo, but I ended up over there looking for something else. The trails through it are set up like a woodland trail--sort of narrow and winding through a lot of birch plantings, and covered in bird poo. Near one stand of trees, the zoo had posted a few signs saying basically "yes, we know the paths are messy and please also don't bother the herons above you; those aren't ours."

Apparently black-crowned night herons are on the Illinois state endangered list, but there's been a flock of them nesting in the zoo and somewhere else further south in the park for the last few summers.

+5 )