Priorities: Oklahoma definitely has some.

 

 

Just the other day, Oklahoma officials ordered a $235 million cut to state agencies in the wake of their second epic revenue failure. Apparently, Governor Mary Fallin and her merry band of conservative shitweasels in the state legislature passed into law a bunch of exemptions and tax cuts for Oklahoma’s richest people, thereby blowing a billion dollar hole in the budget. Now, of course, it’s time to replace those funds by (a) increasing taxes on middle- and lower-income people, and (by) defunding essential services, especially poor and rural communities. Always remember people, that whenever conservative policies fail (i.e. always), that can only mean one thing: we need more of them. THAT’S HOW LOGIC WORKS.

How bad is it? Well,

“Our schoolchildren are the ones who will pay the steepest price,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. She said the cuts will force many school districts in rural areas to go to a four-day school week and consider “heartbreaking decisions” that will affect students in the classroom.

Also:

Already the Republican-controlled Legislature has diverted millions of dollars previously earmarked for new textbooks and other educational materials to school operating expenses; as a result, many schools are using tattered textbooks that are as much as 10 years old and held intact with tape. In addition, class sizes have increased dramatically because of a chronic teacher shortage in Oklahoma while enrollment has grown by 51,000 students over the past eight years, and schools have been burdened with myriad mandates, [House Minority Leader Scott] Inman related.

To make the education funding crisis even worse, the governor endorsed education vouchers, which would “siphon off” public funds from public schools and reroute it to private schools.

In addition to her voucher plan, the governor suggested closure of more than 100 of Oklahoma’s rural schools…

What about health care?

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority [OHCA], for example, has had its budget cut by $446 million in the past five years and has reduced provider rates. These cuts have a ripple effect across the state “as they impact providers, especially in areas where the majority of the population is Medicaid-eligible, and they jeopardize rural hospitals that are at risk of bankruptcy,” Inman said.

The OHCA administers health care programs for more than 800,000 Oklahomans, including more than half a million children.

Rep. Earl Sears, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee said “We’re just all going to have to weather that storm.” Some people more than others.

Meanwhile, just yesterday:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —Any physician who performs an abortion would be unable to obtain a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma under a measure the state Senate approved overwhelmingly Tuesday over the objection of some Democrats who insisted the measure is unconstitutional.

The bill directs Oklahoma medical licensure officials not to renew or grant a license to any physician who performs an abortion. It also provides that any doctor who has performed an abortion can be prohibited from obtaining a medical license.

Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks said of SB 1552, “It will be defeated in the courts at a cost to Oklahoma, and it will have no impact, other than political.” Of course its impact is strictly political, Senator Sparks—that’s the entire point of the exercise. Sparks was able to amend the bill to require disclosure of the cost of defending a blatantly unconstitutional law in court. And it won’t be the first time Oklahoma lawmakers have racked up that taxpayer tab:

A New York abortion rights group has filed seven legal challenges in the last five years to various anti-abortion laws passed by the Oklahoma Legislature, and most of those laws have been overturned by the courts. Some legal challenges are still pending.

GO NEW YORK! Also: behold fiscally responsible conservatives!

Sounds like the scene at the Oklahoma Senate was quite a spectacle, too. Some Forced Birther named John Reasnor was urging the senators to make it a felony to perform an abortion, which he defended by saying “I think it’s a Christian obligation to seek out mercy for the least of us.”

He seems nice. And very concerned about women, too, whose lives surely do not merit anywhere near as much mercy as “the least of us.” A Christian and a gentleman!

The sponsor of SB 1552, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, was applauded by all the Forced Birthers packing the gallery when he said the intent of the bill was to “protect the life of the unborn,” and that “I think this is one of the core functions of government.”

But not education or healthcare, obviously. Those need to be privatized, because Jeezus. Or something.

__________

Please welcome to the Abattoir 40 Oklahoma state senators. We have unlicensed physicians on hand to perform all of their involuntary organ extractions. Or they can opt to DIY instead, with whatever’s at hand. Allow us to suggest a coat hanger, senators.

coathanger

Major Award: Protector of Traditional Family Values of the Day.

Kentucky State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian is a primo mocker after my own heart.

Tired of what she considers the government inserting itself into women’s private lives, a Kentucky lawmaker has decided to return the favor.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has introduced a bill that would force men who want to use erectile dysfunction drugs to jump through a series of humiliating hoops beforehand, such as visiting a doctor twice and getting notes from their wives.

“I want to protect these men from themselves,” Marzian, who is a nurse, told the Courier-Journal.

“This is about family values,” she added.

“We are very ‘family values’ in the Kentucky General Assembly — they are all awash in Christian family values, so that’s why I put that part in there that [erectile pills] can only be used in a marital relationship,” she said.

Mazian’s House Bill 396 also requires any man seeking ED drugs to “make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse.”

LOL.

marzian

Rep. Marzian

The bill is Marzian’s response to a new law signed last week by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) requiring abortion seekers to participate in two separate consultations with doctors, 24 hours apart, before being permitted access to the safe, legal, medical procedure they want. Hilariously dubbed the “informed consent” bill—because apparently, Kentuckians keep showing up at abortion clinics without truly understanding that they (a) are pregnant, and (b) do not wish to be—this degrading little ditty passed in January, on a vote of 92-3.

Marzian knows her bill is a non-starter, but that is precisely the point: it is just as ridiculous, wildly intrusive, condescending and patronizing (matronizing?) as its counterpart.

This is not the first time a legislator has tried a similar tactic in order to force conservatives to empathize with people who are not them; longtime Loyal Readers™ may recall our presentation of the highly coveted Major Award for Protector of Men’s Health of the Day to Ohio state senator Nina Turner in 2012; South Carolina state Rep. Mia McLeod introduced similar legislation last December, saying “I purposely tried to make it as invasive, as intrusive, as hypocritical and unnecessary as possible to make the point.”

That point, unfortunately, will be lost on conservatives, whose cavernous empathy deficit and comic narcissism are defining hallmarks of their lamentable condition.

Still, I think we need more of Marzian’s approach, not less, and I like the way she talks about it:

“I have found that men are very touchy about their sexual lives, and they think that is very personal”, Marzian said.

“I started thinking, ‘How would this body of men feel if the government was injecting [itself] into their private medical decisions,’” she added.

“My point is to illustrate how intrusive and ridiculous it is for elected officials to be inserting themselves into private and personal medical decisions,” Marzian said by telephone.

marzianspeakingRep. Marzian speaking on the Kentucky House floor:
“Keep it up, assholes. Next time, you’re getting medically unnecessary anal ultrasounds.”*

*I may be paraphrasing.

She also said she intends to put forth “a bill that would require gun buyers to get counseling from victims of gun violence,” 24 hours before purchasing a firearm. “I’m just making sure the government is taking care of your safety,” Marzian said.

Hahaha. Awesome.

WHEREFORE, the Palace is pleased to present its highly coveted Major Award for Protector of Traditional Family Values of the Day to Kentucky State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian.

Congratulations, Rep. Marzian. Long may you mock.

marzianmajoraward__________

In related news, Gov. Matt Bevin plus 92 Kentucky legislators are now residing in the Palace Abattoir. Of course we will force each of them to consult with their personal organ extraction surgeon twice, 24 hours apart, to make sure they are well informed before we begin harvesting their organs.

The banishment of John, Part 3.

[CONTENT NOTE: xenophobia, bigotry, Islamophobia, eliminationism, misogyny and a whole bunch of other horrible shit.]

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

This is the last installment.

Part 2 left off in the middle of my meticulous dismemberment of John Miller’s final, terrible comment, at which point he had finished addressing commenter khms (who responded to him beautifully here, as did Rotary Wing here). John now turns to address Your Humble Monarch™ directly. But before I finishing dissecting this specimen, please allow me to reiterate some important points to bear in mind.

NOTE 1: There is virtually never any point in deploying reason and evidence to argue with conservatives. They are by definition not terribly rational people, and thus neither reason nor facts are likely to penetrate their reality distortion fields enough to sway them in the direction of understanding or accepting reality—and in fact, a backfire effect may occur. There are, however, at least two reasons to make an exception to this rule. The first is for the infotainment of others, such as lurkers, bystanders, captive dinner guests, fellow bar flies, Loyal Readers™, young and impressionable children, etc. The second exception is for the pleasure to be found in the sharpening of one’s (rhetorical) fangs, whether in preparation for the aforementioned audiences or for the sheer enjoyment of it in its own right. I leave it to Loyal Readers™ to discern under which caveat(s) this particular exercise falls.

NOTE 2: Because I quote from John’s final comment in addition to material from elsewhere, in order to avoid any (highly unlikely) confusion as to who is doing the talking here I have taken the liberty of making all quotes from John’s text the color of shit.

Shall we?

__________

Iris, I would have described the core values of Western culture as democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech, equality for women and girls coupled the right to an education and the right to marry who they choose, freedom from institutionalized paedophilia and genital mutilation, the separation of powers …

It is absolutely adorable that John thinks the US is a democracy, or that the permanent power factions in DC  (i.e. the deep state) value the concept of democracy for anything other than the ease with which they can exploit it.

It is super sweet that John thinks the rule of law operates here.

It is positively precious that John thinks “freedom of speech” is a cherished principle in these United States.

It is particularly priceless that John thinks equality for women and girls is now,
or has ever been, a defining feature of Western society.

It is deliciously delightful that John sees Western civilization as a beacon of freedom from institutionalized paedophilia, rather than practically being defined by it.

It is seriously stunning that John believes routine genital mutilation is somehow unique to Muslim cultures.

And it is really remarkable that John views the separation of powers as A Thing That Exists—except, of course, in the sense of powers being separated from We, the People.

__________

These values need to be cherished and protected.

I seem to recall “freedom of religion” being a cherished and protected value of this much-touted Western culture. I guess I must have made that up, because it’s missing from John’s list of “core values of Western culture.”

__________

I don’t know why you’d continue to live in a society that was ‘patriarchal, imperialist, racist, colonialist’.

Really? Aww, come on! That’s an easy one! TO MAKE IT BETTER. Funny thing about that, though: the biggest obstacle to making progress on any of these fronts is people like John, whose willful ignorance magically allows them to see themselves, their uninformed and toxic views and the evil that results as somehow benevolent, despite all evidence to the contrary.

A real conundrum.

__________

Come to Australia, we don’t have many patriarchs, imperialists, racists or colonists, we’re more laid back here.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one! See, e.g., the entire fucking history of Australia. [h/t Rotary Wing.]

On a related note, I now wish to demonstrate for Loyal Readers™ my astonishing psychic abilities: without having ever met John, interviewed him (or others about him), researched into his background, seen a picture of him, or indeed learned anything at all about him except through his comments here, I am willing to bet the entire Palace Treasury that in addition to being a (cisgender) male, John is also white, straight and Australian-born.

TA-DA!  My mad clairvoyant skillz simply cannot be explained away by guessing that:

  • John doesn’t see racism in Australia, because he has never been, and likely will never be, oppressed in any way because of his race.

I AM FUCKING AMAZING AMIRITE.

__________

We’re more interested in football, cricket and tennis.

How nice for John and his friends. Some people would loooooove to be interested in those things, but they’re kinda busy with other things. Things like fleeing violent conflicts and keeping themselves and their children alive.

By the way, it turns out that the Aussies are interested in a few other things, too.

__________

If you come to Canberra I’ll show you around.

I appreciate the offer, but…

You’ll meet some fair dinkum, true blue, dinky di, fun-loving Aussies.

I have no idea what any of that means. But if it means “people who are like John,” I (dis)respectfully decline.

__________

When people come to Australia they don’t have to sign up to a set of values that those born her are inculcated with from birth. We take our way of life for granted, until we see how Muslims come in, live in enclaves and start to run their own societies.

Wow, it sure is a mystery why Muslims immigrants to Australia might wish to live in enclaves.

SPOILER ALERT! It’s… people like John.

__________

It’s costing Australian governments billions of dollars beefing up security arrangements to second guess would be terrorists. Yep, welcome to the new Australia.

It’s a real shame the Australian government is so cash-strapped and has nothing better to spend money on. Besides directly creating the conditions that lead to Islamic terrorism and mass migrations of Muslims in the first place, OBVIOUSLY.

__________

I believe Western nations need to have a document that sets out some of the cultural rules.

Gosh, I wonder what exactly these “cultural rules” might be, how they might be enforced in a diverse society, and who will enforce them. Are they anything like, you know, “laws”?

If people don’t like them they can go somewhere else.

For example, to prison? I must be off my game, because I sort of agree with John here.*

*Except we all know that by “cultural rules” John doesn’t mean laws. He means something else entirely, more along the lines of an Official Real Australian™ Dress Code For Women, as we shall see.

__________

People then have a choice, fit in or ship out. Wearing headgear is the ultimate symbol of not wanting to fit in to the society that’s welcomed them. In the 1920’s Kemal Ataturk got rid of the head gear, thus liberating Muslim women.

That John thinks he can simultaneously write comments like the one we’re addressing here, and also claim to be part of a society that welcomes Muslims, is…um, interesting. And by now it will surprise no one that John is just as WRONG about Atatürk getting rid of “the head gear” as he is about everything else:

Even though he personally promoted modern dress for women, Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] never made specific reference to women’s clothing in the law, as he believed that women would adapt to the new clothing styles of their own free will. He was frequently photographed on public business with his wife Lâtife Uşaklıgil, who covered her head in accordance with Islamic tradition. He was also frequently photographed on public business with women wearing modern Western clothes. But it was Atatürk’s adopted daughters, Sabiha Gökçen and Afet İnan, who provided the real role model for the Turkish women of the future. He wrote: “The religious covering of women will not cause difficultyThis simple style [of headcovering] is not in conflict with the morals and manners of our society.

[emphasis mine.]

Yes, John is oddly obsessed with superficial conformity to (arbitrary) local dress codes, especially for women. I was momentarily curious as to whether John would have similar objections to Orthodox Jewish men in black hats and curls. Or to nuns wearing habits. Or to Sikhs wearing turbans. Or to Hindus wearing bindis on their foreheads and other traditional garb. Or ooh! OOH! To priests wearing collars! Now I personally think priest collars should not just be permitted but actively encouraged, because (a) it makes them stand out such that I can easily avoid or engage with priests as I see fit, and (b) I’ve always had a serious fetish for hawt priests. WIN-WIN.

australianorthodoxjews

Australian Orthodox Jewish men with the head gear.”
FIT IN OR SHIP OUT, JEWS!

carmelitenunsaustralia

Australian Carmelite nuns with “the head gear,”
plus some d00ds.
FIT IN OR SHIP OUT, NUNS!

australiansikhsprayervigil

Australian Sikhs, some with “the head gear,”at a prayer vigil for a mass murder at a Sikh temple by a white supremacist in Oak Creek, Wisconsin (USA).
FIT IN OR SHIP OUT, SIKHS!

australianhindus

Australian Hindus.
FIT IN OR SHIP OUT, HINDUS!

robgaleaaustralianpriest

Fr. Rob Galea, Catholic priest in Australia.
OMFG *swoon*
Don’t worry, sweetheart! If mean old John tells you to “FIT IN OR SHIP OUT!” you just come right over here and sit by me. :D

But then suddenly I remembered that I don’t give a fuck what John thinks, as long as he thinks it somewhere else.

However for the record: the people pictured here are just as “Australian” as John is. Whatever that even means.

__________

These days the sisterhood thinks it’s smart to encourage Muslim women to wear what ever they like – not recognising the symbolism.

Okay, I’ve been around the Interwebz a time or two, so please allow me to translate John’s drivel for you. By “the sisterhood,” John means his warped caricature of feminists, i.e., a group of humans which (a) includes no men and no Muslims, (b) has no understanding of misogyny, especially Islamic-flavored misogyny, and (c) lacks John’s in-depth and comprehensive understanding of culture and symbolism.

… as opposed to, say, John having no fucking clue what women in virtually every culture in the world including his own must navigate just to survive.

Interestingly, actual feminists want a world where everyone—and yes, “everyone” even includes Muslim women!— is free and encouraged to wear whatever the fuck they want.

And, until it is safe for everyone to choose to wear whatever the fuck they want without oppression resulting, everyone needs to STFU about whether, when and where it is appropriate for Muslim women to wear “the head gearbecause we do not live in that fucking world goddammit.

Seriously, do people even think for one second about the choice they want some of the most oppressed people in the world—immigrant Muslim women of color—to make here? Be shunned by your family and everyone you know in the religious community to which you belong, or, apparently, be judged and demonized by the Johns of the (supposedly “free”…) wider society?

palacefuckyou

Please accept this hearty Palace FUCK YOU.

__________

When ever you see a woman wearing a burka, hijab or scarf you know they’re both the victim and perpetrator of misogyny on a grand scale.

OMG YOU GUYS! John has figured out the solution to misogyny! And it’s so simple, I cannot believe we didn’t think of it before! It’s… people like John policing what women wear! Fit in or ship out, bitchez! And for good measure, blaming the women of a persecuted religious minority—many of whom are also women of color in predominately white (and white supremacist) societies—for perpetrating their own oppression, if for whatever reason they do not conform strictly to local, provincial standards of dress. (Hey, I wonder if the dress standards John espouses are gender neutral. I’m just kidding! LOL! I crack myself up.)

____________

Incidentally, this is how I picture John dressing:

johnswear

Note in particular the lack of “the head gear,” such lack being customary and characteristic of Real Australians™.

All of this^ he is (and damn well ought to be) 100% free to wear, no matter how repulsive I or anyone else may find his personal style or reasons for presenting himself the way he does.

Everyone should have that freedom.

THE END.

__________

Wherefore, and in Due Consideration of All of the Foregoing Acts of Unrepentant Conservatism, Which Having Been Finally Exhausted of All Explanatory and/or Entertainment Value, Let It Be Known Throughout the Land That

John Miller

is Hereby Forever Banished to

All of the Other Places on the Internet
(Most of Which By the Way are Generally Not as Reality-Based and Fun as This One.)

__________

banishmentjohnmiller

__________

Let us rejoice, for John Miller’s odious stench shall ne’er again befoul this Palace!

CHEERS.

red&whitewinecheers

The banishment of John, Part 2.

[CONTENT NOTE: xenophobia, bigotry, Islamophobia and a whole bunch of other horrible shit.]

Part 1 is here.

We last left off in November, at the point in our story where commenter khms and I responded to (yet another one of) John Miller’s terrible comments. Having thought—nay, hoped—this was the end of it, I was surprised to see that John recently responded to us. And now khms has responded to him beautifully, and you should go read that; as has Rotary Wing, and you should go read that too, if for no other reason than to see two sparkling specimens of civil, mockery-free, reality-based rebuttals to John’s bigoted, vicious, fact-free conservative noise.

But now it’s my turn. And I plan to relish dismembering the horrifying shitshow that is the mind of John Miller, conservative—for the very last time.

NOTE: It is always worth remembering that there is virtually never any point in deploying reason and evidence to argue with conservatives. They are by definition not terribly rational people, and thus neither facts nor reason will sway them in the direction of accepting reality—in fact, the opposite effect is just as likely to occur. There are, however, two important exceptions to the utter pointlessness of engaging with conservatives. The first is for the infotainment of other people, such as lurkers, bystanders, captive dinner guests, fellow bar flies, beloved Loyal Readers™, etc. The second is for the pleasure to be found in sharpening one’s own rhetorical fangs, either to prepare for the aforementioned audience, or for the sheer enjoyment of it in its own right. I leave it to Loyal Readers™ to determine under which caveat(s) this particular exercise falls.

NOTE 2: Because I quote from John’s final comment as well as material from elsewhere, in order to avoid any (highly unlikely) confusion as to who is doing the talking, I have taken the liberty of making all quotes from John’s text the color of shit.

__________

First, let us all behold with awe and wonder John’s retort in its entirety:

KHMS, been to Marseilles, Paris, London or Bradford recently? Watched TV or read a newspaper? Half the children born in France and Britain are born as Muslims – despite them being (around) 5% of the population. The second language in Marseilles? French. The first, Arabic.

Many of the Muslims in these communities have little respect for the cultures to which they have chosen to live. They want to destroy them and turn them into the shitholes from whence they have come.

They have high levels of welfare dependence, they breed like rabbits. If they don’t take over countries with the Kalashnikov or the suicide bomb they’ll certainly do it with the pork sword.

The freedoms that have attracted these people to Europe are the very freedoms that are under threat. America seems to have missed out on the Muslim onslaught. Australia hasn’t, having excepted anyone and everyone who chose to come her by boat over the last five years.

KHMS, go spend a week In Marseilles, London, Paris and Bradford, then report back.

Iris, I would have described the core values of Western culture as democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech, equality for women and girls coupled the right to an education and the right to marry who they choose, freedom from institutionalized paedophilia and genital mutilation, the separation of powers … These values need to be cherished and protected. I don’t know why you’d continue to live in a society that was ‘patriarchal, imperialist, racist, colonialist’. Come to Australia, we don’t have many patriarchs, imperialists, racists or colonists, we’re more laid back here. We’re more interested in football, cricket and tennis. If you come to Canberra I’ll show you around. You’ll meet some fair dinkum, true blue, dinky di, fun-loving Aussies.

When people come to Australia they don’t have to sign up to a set of values that those born her are inculcated with from birth. We take our way of life for granted, until we see how Muslims come in, live in enclaves and start to run their own societies. It’s costing Australian governments billions of dollars beefing up security arrangements to second guess would be terrorists. Yep, welcome to the new Australia.

I believe Western nations need to have a document that sets out some of the cultural rules. If people don’t like them they can go somewhere else. People then have a choice, fit in or ship out.

Wearing headgear is the ultimate symbol of not wanting to fit in to the society that’s welcomed them. In the 1920’s Kemal Ataturk got rid of the head gear, thus liberating Muslim women. These days the sisterhood thinks it’s smart to encourage Muslim women to wear what ever they like – not recognising the symbolism.

When ever you see a woman wearing a burka, hijab or scarf you know they’re both the victim and perpetrator of misogyny on a grand scale.

Well then. Shall we begin?

KHMS, been to Marseilles, Paris, London or Bradford recently? Watched TV or read a newspaper? Half the children born in France and Britain are born as Muslims – despite them being (around) 5% of the population.

BZZZT. I don’t know what TV John’s watching or newspapers he’s reading (though I have my suspicions!), but these birthrate claims are simply false. As in, WRONG:

Around the world, the global average Muslim family size has fallen from 4.3 children per family in 1995 to 2.9 in 2010, and is expected to fall below the population-growth rate, and converge with Western family sizes, by mid-century.

Muslims in France and Germany are now having only 2.2 children per family, barely above the national average. And while Pakistani immigrants in Britain have 3.5 children each, their British-born daughters have only 2.5. Across Europe, the difference between the Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rate has fallen from 0.7 to 0.4, and is headed toward a continent-wide convergence.

__________

The second language in Marseilles? French. The first, Arabic.

OMG THESE MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS SPEAK A FOREIGN LANGUAGE!!!11!!!! Even if this is true, it is not the slightest bit alarming in any way. You know how I know? I know because there are many, many cities and towns in the United States where the primary language spoken is not English. In the state of California, 43.8% of people over 5 years old speak a language other than English at home, and that figure rises to over 90% in cities and towns across that state. (And that’s to say nothing of enormous, heavily populated ethnic-minority and immigrant neighborhoods that make up large swaths of California’s major cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco.) And guess what? No one except conservatives gives a shit. Well, the rest of us care because we want non-English speaking immigrants and their children to have access to the resources they need to learn basic English proficiency. And unlike John, we all understand that immigrant populations acquire English fluency by the second generation (frequently accompanied by the loss of fluency in their family language, unfortunately).

__________

Many of the Muslims in these communities have little respect for the cultures to which they have chosen to live. They want to destroy them and turn them into the shitholes from whence they have come.

WRONG:

Actually, Muslims change their cultural views dramatically when they emigrate. For example, 62% of American Muslims say that “a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed” — a rate barely lower than that of average Americans (67%), and vastly ahead of the miniscule response among Middle Eastern Muslims — for whom between 20% and 40% agreed with that statement.

Similarly, 39% of American Muslims and 47% of German Muslims say they tolerate homosexuality, compared to single-figure responses in most Islamic countries — and those rates are rising with each immigrant generation. On these important questions, Muslim immigrants are converging with Western values fast.

__________

They have high levels of welfare dependence,

Actually, it is true that immigrants generally have significantly higher levels of welfare use than native-born US citizens. Much of that gap is accounted for by lower education levels, language barriers and other factors leading to lower pay among some of our largest immigrant populations. But! It is also true that immigrant households generally are significantly more likely to have workers than native households:

Of legal immigrant households, 85 percent had one or more workers, as did 95 percent of illegal immigrant households and 76 percent of native households.

If those two facts seem contradictory, consider that welfare as it currently exists in the US is designed to supplement low-wage workers, among whom there is a disproportionate share of immigrants.

But we were talking about Muslims specifically. It is much more difficult to find data on US welfare use and religious affiliation—at least if we discount sources like Breitbart, World News Daily, Eagle Forum and other right-wing propaganda outlets best known for distortion levels that would have made Jimi Hendrix scream in pain and then set himself on fire instead of his guitar. Also, the US census does not ask questions about religion, so it is difficult to determine how many Muslims there are and where. But there are some things we do know that have a bearing on Muslims and their (alleged) uniquely high levels of welfare dependence.

Muslim Americans have income levels that match the US public. Immigrant Muslims are slightly more affluent than native-born Muslims: 41% of all Muslim Americans and 45% of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher, compared to the national average of 44%. Among high-income earners, 19% of immigrant Muslims claim annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher, compared to the U.S. average of 17 %. This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.*
*[Text excerpted from Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, © 2007; Statistical data excerpted from Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream, Pew Research Center, May 22, 2007; via the U.S. State Department.]

Muslim Americans are highly educated. “[40%] of Muslims say they have a college degree, making them the second most highly educated religious group surveyed after Jews (61 percent), compared with 29 percent of Americans overall who say they have a college degree, according to Gallup [PDF]. That carries across gender lines, with Muslim females being the second-most educated religious group in the country, after Jewish females.”

Sadly, because he is a proud, card-carrying math illiterate, John will not understand any of that.

__________

they breed like rabbits.

WRONG.

__________

If they don’t take over countries with the Kalashnikov or the suicide bomb

If that’s their plan, they really better step up their game over here.

__________

they’ll certainly do it with the pork sword.

WRONG.

_________

The freedoms that have attracted these people to Europe are the very freedoms that are under threat.

Perhaps Muslim immigrants are attracted to the “freedom” of living in a place that isn’t being occupied, bombed, destroyed, exploited and/or otherwise destabilized by Western governments and their agents? Or “freedom” from violent Islamists created, armed and empowered by the West? I mean, even John can probably grok the fact that by far, most victims of Muslim terrorism are other Muslims.

Or maybe not.  :|

The freedoms under threat in Europe are the same freedoms under threat in the US—not from Muslims, mind you, but from conservatives, who currently allow Muslims to be used as a convenient pretext for radically undermining democracy, civil rights and the rule of law—a.k.a. freedom. See, e.g., mass surveillance, mass incarceration, police militarization, illegal wars, press freedom erosion, lawless drone assassinations and elite immunity from large-scale crimes, just off the top of my head.

But somehow I doubt those are the freedoms John worries about. No, apparently there are other, Very Important FREEDOMS™ under imminent threat from small and politically powerless populations of Muslims.

__________

America seems to have missed out on the Muslim onslaught.

Not for long: they’re among the fastest growing immigrant groups to the US. And, once again, no one cares except conservatives. Because the rest of us know we are a nation with a long history of immigration (and colonization—a topic for another time), and we know that immigrants assimilate within a few generations. But more to the point, there isn’t exactly an “onslaught” in Europe, either:

In fact, we now have several large-scale projections based on population-growth trends and immigration rates which show that the Muslim populations of Europe are growing increasingly slowly and that by the middle of this century — even if immigration rates are not reduced — the proportion of Muslims in Europe will probably peak somewhere short of 10% (it is currently around 7%). By that point, Muslims will have family sizes and age profiles not that different from Europe in general.

And what if it’s even double that? Say, 20%? Immigrants assimilate—unless shitweasels like John see to it that they cannot, of course.

__________

Australia hasn’t, having excepted [sic] anyone and everyone who chose to come her  [sic] by boat over the last five years.

WRONG. And that’s a real bang-up job you guys are doing over there, too. Goddamn paragons of human rights, to which we can all only hope to aspire!

Jeezus.

__________

KHMS, go spend a week In Marseilles, London, Paris and Bradford, then report back.

Sounds fantastic! Hey khms, if you go let me know when and where you’ll be and I’ll try to come meet up with you. And while we’re having a ball touring around some of the great cities of Europe, John will go spend a week investigating Australian immigration policy (including its history of white European immigration and its present-day immigrant detention centres) and report back to us.

I AM SURE.

__________

Stay tuned for Part 3.

palacehappyface

Ask Iris: Should Anti-Abortion Activists Be Allowed to Harass Preschoolers?

[CONTENT NOTE: harassment.]

Q: Should Anti-Abortion Activists Be Allowed to Harass Preschoolers?

A: No.

THE END.

__________

This really should require no further explanation whatsoever. But since I’m snowed in because of a motherfucker of a blizzard, and my WIFI still seems to be working (so far…), I think I’ll spend a few minutes expounding upon “No.”

Anti-abortion activists should not be allowed to harass preschoolers.

Anti-abortion activists should not be allowed to harass anyone, and no one should be allowed to harass preschoolers.

No one should be allowed to harass anyone.

THE END.

__________

Jeezus, those winds are howling, and the view from my window is a complete whiteout:

whiteoutview

LIVE! FROM NEW YORK! IT’S…WINTER STORM JONAS!

I have a nice hot pot of coffee and a temporarily content kitty (is there any other kind?) so…hey, what the hell?

Some background.

A new Planned Parenthood clinic is currently under construction in Northeast DC, right next door to a school.

Over the past several months activists opposed to the clinic’s construction have been “purposely and aggressively menacing” school children as young as 3 years old with graphic images and language, causing “severe emotional stress,” according to a lawsuit filed in DC Superior Court by the school in December. Teachers have had to keep students inside at recess, and…with a larger crowd and a number of prominent antiabortion figures expected on account of the annual March for Life [sic], administrators decided to cancel school altogether.

The school closure cost [Bill Harper, parent of a 5- and  7-year-old students] $80 in extra childcare fees, but he was most angry about how the recurring demonstrations have disrupted the day-to-day educational experience for the students. “The whole school is focused on preventing the children from being terrorized. They’ve had to redesign the community,” he said, gesturing to black cloth draped across a fence to hide a playground. He told me that teachers sometimes have to take students on a long detour to reach the gymnasium across the street without encountering protesters. To Harper, they aren’t just a nuisance but a safety concern: One of the defendants named in the lawsuit, Robert Weiler Jr., was previously convicted of plotting to bomb an abortion clinic and shoot doctors in nearby Greenbelt, Maryland.

Why this particular terrorist wasn’t locked up for lifetime is perhaps a subject for another post, but I would be remiss if I did not make a few points about the d00d here.

“From all indications, it appears he was acting alone,” said Gregory K. Gant, the special agent in charge of the ATF’s Baltimore field division.

He’s a white terrorist, you see. And as we all know, white terrorists operate in a cultural void, and in any event they are uniquely impervious to violent rhetoric and ideologies. Also, we must be careful not to implicate a white terrorist’s race, nationality and/or religion in producing such terrorists: he is simply “Lone Wolf” No. 194,801.

Agent Gant also said this:

“In some ways, it could have been a bigger threat because it wasn’t something we were tracking, and we didn’t see it coming.”

Surveillance state: FAIL. While the state is quite keen on deploying counterterrorism tactics to infiltrate and monitor citizens opposed to U.S. economic policy, immigration policy, harmful trade agreements, union-busting, racial profiling, the death penalty, Israeli violence against Palestinians, endless wars, etc., white terrorists operating on US soil just aren’t people law enforcement would ever thinks to track. I mean, gosh, how could anyone possibly ever see anything like this coming?

But I digress. Back to the Forced Birth Bozo Brigades.

The lawsuit describes the protests as a form of coercion, intended to draft parents and administrators into a campaign to block the clinic from opening next door. The antiabortion activists “have promised they will ‘be back every week’ if the students and parents do not take action against the Planned Parenthood health center,” the complaint alleges. Protesters have shouted at children to “Tell your parents they kill kids next door.” In November, an activist named Jonathan Darnel sent an e-mail to school administrators that read, “I am not threatening you. Nevertheless, if you are failing to challenge Planned Parenthood, I feel a moral obligation to alert the community (including the parents of your students) myself…. I’m sure you don’t want to see me, my antiabortion friends and our graphic images any more than we want to be in your neighborhood.”

Defendant Larry Cirignano was at the protest on Thursday, wearing a banana-yellow tie stamped with the words “choose life.” I asked him if he was at all concerned for students who were disturbed by the images and messages he and other demonstrators present to them. “I’m worried more about the kids who are in the pictures,” he responded. “It’s sad that the school and parents didn’t think they should get involved.” Gesturing at the group waiting to hear [David Daleiden, the shitweasel behind the recent deceptive video campaign intended to take down Planned Parenthood] speak, he said, “Most of these people aren’t from around here.” Cirignano said he’s being represented by Mat Staver of Liberty Council, who also represents Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis.

These are just fantastic people: respectful, kind, informed, tolerant, exactly the kind of community exemplars you would definitely want to have around small children.

What to do about it.

As the lawsuit winds its way through the courts, it is worth remembering that the US Supreme court struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law around women’s clinics—ones that were already open and operating, not construction sites. The justices so ruled from the safety and sanctity of their very own buffer-zone protected place of work.

scotusbarrier-500x598

As I noted at the time, that decision was unanimous—thus rendering the entire Supreme Court as currently constituted not just a bunch of flaming hypocritical @$$holes, but complicit in providing material support to terrorists.

As that’s how the state of affairs stands, I propose a simple strategy of tit-for-tat. To wit: picket the schools where the protesters’ children attend. Hold up giant posters picturing women killed and imprisoned as a result of anti-choicers—most prominently the photo of Geraldine Santoro taken at the scene of her death from a self-abortion attempt.[WARNING: extremely graphic violent image, NSFW.] Shout in the kids’ faces “Your parents want to kill mommies!” “Your parents like killing poor mommies!” “Your parents want to put poor mommies in jail!”

Stop when they stop.

Why no one will do this.

Because it’s fucking horrible, that’s why—even though it is, apparently, legal. Pro-abortion activists like to think of ourselves as better people than our enemies. And of course we are, demonstrably so: you don’t see us going around firebombing right-wing churches and shooting anti-abortion ringleaders, do you? We are certainly “above” directing such reprehensible tactics at innocent children, or frankly at anyone at all.

And therein lies our dilemma. Just think for a moment about what it actually takes for conservatives to change their minds, and not just about this issue but about anything. Global warming, for-profit healthcare, creationism, gun access, immigration, the unbroken record of failure of right-wing economic policy and governance, take your pick. Evidence is not enough. Epic calamities are not enough. Personal calamities are not enough. Experts who know what they’re talking about are not enough. These people cannot be reasoned with, and yet they are winning. There is no denying that their tactics, however reprehensible, are nonetheless effective.

It’s quite the conundrum, no? It certainly leaves me contemplating whether I ought to rethink that “No.”

__________

I hope this edition of Ask Iris has been helpful.

Have a nice day.

Conservatives ruining lives as usual, this time in Myanmar.

rohingamuslimwoman

Rohingya Muslim Woman in Myanmar.
Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

I’ve seen this story about Myanmar reported a couple places and thought I’d bring it to your attention, my beloved Loyal Readers™. And perhaps, you know, opine thereon. As far away as Myanmar is from the US on the other side of the globe and given the relative dearth of Buddhists here, see if any of this sounds oddly familiar to you.

Ma Ba Tha is a group of hardline, ultranationalist, racist Buddhist monks in Myanmar. The name Ma Ba Tha is an acronym for, roughly, “Association for the Protection of Race and Religion.” They are not the only Buddhist monks in overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar (also known as Burma), but they have seized an outsized amount of power and influence in the Southeast Asian country.

Buddhists in Myanmar make up 69% of Myanmar’s population, with the rest comprised of a diverse array of much smaller religious and ethnic minorities. Rohingya Muslims make up less than 3%. According to some historians (and the Rohingya people themselves), they are indigenous to Myanmar’s Rakhine State where most of them live; other scholars claim they mainly migrated to the region from Bengal during British rule (1824-1948). Regardless, Rohingyas are denied Myanmar citizenship and considered illegal immigrants, despite many of their families having lived in the country for more than three generations. Long-neglected economic conditions in Rakhine State have led to demonizing and scapegoating the Rohingya as the source of all their problems and a cultural threat.

The Rohingya people are routinely described by human rights organizations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. In recent years especially, they have been fleeing Myanmar by the tens of thousands to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and to ghettos and refugee camps in Thailand and Bangladesh, often on crowed and dangerous boats. Many have died on these journeys after traffickers abandoned them at sea, while those that arrive at their destinations are repeatedly turned away. Rohingyas that remain in Myanmar are frequently confined to prison camps and not permitted to leave. They have also had much of their arable farmland confiscated by the military and given over to Buddhist settlers. (Ahem.)

myanmarmapMyanmar and surrounding region.
Image: The New York Times (via International State Crime Initiative)

Researchers from the International State Crime Initiative in London obtained leaked government documents, conducted an 18-month investigation and released a report (pdf) in October:

[D]etailed research found ample evidence that the Rohingya have been subjected to systematic and widespread violations of human rights, including killings, torture, rape and arbitrary detention; destruction of their homes and villages; land confiscation; forced labour; denial of citizenship; denial of the right to identify themselves as Rohingya; denial of access to healthcare, education and employment; restrictions on freedom of movement, and State-sanctioned campaigns of religious hatred.

It also found compelling evidence of State-led policies, laws and strategies of genocidal persecution stretching back over 30 years, and of the Myanmar State coordinating with [local] ultra-nationalists, racist monks and its own security forces in a genocidal process against the Rohingya.

While Myanmar’s genocidal policies against the Rohingya began to emerge in the 1970s, the process has accelerated during its recent transition to democracy. Since 2012, the state’s terror campaign has only intensified and remains unrelenting. The report also notes:

The State’s persistent and intensified ‘othering’ of the Rohingya as outsiders, illegal Bengali immigrants and potential terrorists has given a green light to [local] nationalists and Islamophobic monks to orchestrate invidious campaigns of race and religious hatred reminiscent of those witnessed in Germany in the 1930s and Rwanda in the early 1990s.

All of reality notwithstanding, in an interview with a local magazine in Myanmar, Ma Ba Tha monk Ashin Wirathu referred to them as “the Bengalis that call themselves Rohingya, who are trying to seize control.”

monkassholesMa Ba Tha monks marching to denounce foreign criticism of Myanmar’s treatment of stateless Rohingya Muslims, May 27, 2015.
The banner reads “UK (something something) Rohingya, Boat People are not Myanmar.”
Photo: Reuters (via Human Rights Watch)

Not content to confine the Rohingya to destitution and squalor or drive them to their deaths at sea, Ma Ba Tha has rallied to enact four new laws, all of them designed to roll back women’s rights and harm the Rohingya.

Birth control law. The Ma Ba Tha monks are very concerned that the Rohingyas, who make up 3% of Myanmar’s population, are outbreeding them, presumably at a faster rate than they can imprison, exile or kill them. The Rohingyas were previously required to sign a statement committing to not having more than two kids; now the law permits local authorities to “organize” women to wait 36 months between births. The factors to be taken into account by officials include “a high number of migrants in the area,” and critics fear that it will be selectively enforced against the Rohingya.

Even assuming they want to comply, it’s a little hard to envision how people can limit and space their pregnancies without access to reproductive health information and access to birth control. Meanwhile, the activists in the region teaching fellow women about reproductive health have been subject to death threats, intimidation and public humiliation from the monks, who have declared them “national traitors.” One prominent women’s rights campaigner told The Guardian that she and others have seen their pictures, names and phone numbers on posters displayed at Ma Ba Tha monasteries.

Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill. Buddhist women who desire to marry non-Buddhist men must register with government officials, who can deny them if they have “objections.” Human Rights Watch calls the law “incredibly dangerous” and says it is purposely designed to incite hatred toward the Rohingya.

Religious conversion. The law creates “Religious Conversion Scrutinization and Registration Boards at the township (district) level.” The way it works:

Anyone wishing to change their religion will have to be over 18 and will be required to file an application with a local board, including the reasons for the conversion. The applicant would be interviewed by at least five board members, followed by a 90-day study period for the applicant to examine the “essence of the religion, marriage, divorce, and division of property practices in that religion, and inheritance and parenting practices in that religion.” If the board approves the conversion, the applicant would then get a certificate of conversion.

The local board would forward all information it collects about the person to national religion, immigration, and identification agencies…[and] bars anyone from bullying or enticing another person to convert or deterring them from doing so. Punishments for breaching the law would range from six months to two years in prison…

No word on deconversion to atheism, but I’d hazard a guess that the monks no likee.

Monogamy Bill. Every married person in Myanmar (including foreign nationals married to Burmese citizens) as well as citizens living abroad are prohibited from “unofficially” living with another person, essentially criminalizing adultery. Violators are subject to sentences of up to seven years in prison and fines. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch writes that “laws criminalizing consensual sex disproportionately impact women. For example, a rape victim may be deterred from filing a criminal complaint if the failure to win a conviction puts her at risk of prosecution for adultery.”

monkassholes2They seem fun.
Ma Ba Tha monks and supporters march to celebrate new interfaith marriage restrictions in Mandalay, Sept. 21, 2015.

Photo: AP (via Jezebel)

But who cares about women anyway? Certainly not the monks. FYI, there isn’t even a Burmese word for “vagina.”

The good news is that Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party overwhelmingly won the recent elections, despite the Ma Ba Tha monks running around for the past 18 months shrieking that “the NLD is the party of the Muslims,” and that Myanmar’s Buddhists face a grave threat from the 3% minority population of Rohingya Muslims who are desperately fleeing the country in droves. The NLD will now select the next president. The bad news is that under Myanmar’s constitution, ministers for defense, home affairs and border affairs are appointed by the head of the military, not the president—and the constitution cannot be changed without the military’s consent.

Governments and agencies in the wider world have condemned the four laws:

The international community, including the European Union in a statement in January and another in July criticizing the marriage law, and United Nations Special Rapporteurs, including the present rapporteur on situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, have warned that the bills breach Burma’s commitments to international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The US has officially expressed its disapproval: in Myanmar in May, US deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken said about the four laws that he was “deeply concerned” they “could exacerbate ethnic and religious divisions.”

The countries that have not ratified or acceded to CEDAW are Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga, the Holy See (Vatican) and the United States—a regressive outlier as usual. 196 countries are party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including every single member of the United Nations except one. Care to take a guess which country? Go ahead, I’ll wait…

No I won’t. I got shit to do, people. SPOILER ALERT: It’s the U. S. of A. Because no one’s gonna tell ‘Murikkkans that they cannot control their women and beat their children as they see fit—to say nothing of who we imprison, under what conditions we imprison them, and how we treat refugees and immigrants.

But by all means, let’s have the US ‘splain to Myanmar that its backward ways simply will not stand.

__________

So. Once again we see the problem clearly: it isn’t Buddhism (or Islam or Christianity or…), it’s conservatism. The pathological need to dominate and impose hierarchies, enforced by any means necessary, always harms women and minorities.

Conservatives, why you gotta?

palacefuckyou

This is what journalism looks like.

Oddly enough, it does not look Fair-‘n-Balanced®. It turns out that when facts speak for themselves, we really have no pressing need to hear from pants-pissing right-wing berserkers shrieking about jihadis hiding around every corner—or worse, government officials ‘splaining how state violence and human rights violations Keep Us Safe™.

Will Potter: The secret US prisons you’ve never heard of before
TED Fellows Retreat, August 2015

My message for you today is that we must bear witness to what is being done to these prisoners. Their treatment is a reflection of the values held beyond prison walls. This story is not just about prisoners, it is about us. It is about our own commitment to human rights. It is about whether we will choose to stop repeating the mistakes of our past. If we don’t listen to what Father Berrigan described as the stories of the dead, they will soon become the stories of ourselves.

Feel the Safe™.

Go home America, you’re drunk.

This short AP article really has to be read to be believed—and no, it’s really not The Onion:

Tennessee school district runs out of money, cancels school

CELINA, TN (AP) – A small, financially struggling school district in northern Tennessee has canceled classes until officials can find a way to generate more revenue.

I had to read that twice to get it to sink in, because are you fucking kidding me.

Clay County Director of Schools Jerry Strong said the school board made the decision Thursday night after struggling with budget concerns for three years. He said the district doesn’t have enough revenue to pay for partially unfunded mandates from the state.

Ooooh, let me guess: a bunch of right-wing berserkers at every level of government have all failed these kids. So hard.

Strong said the county commission, which funds the schools, has declined to increase property taxes and a proposed wheel tax referendum vote won’t take place until March.

“It’s true that we haven’t been able to figure out how solve this problem for three years, but maybe we’ll eventually figure out how to solve it…NEXT MARCH. Fingers crossed!”

Strong said school administrators plan to meet with county officials in an effort to resolve the problem.

Yeah, somehow I just don’t see this happening, because they are the problem. Unless of course they all plan to resign.

Hahaha. As if.

He said he hopes classes for the 1,150 students in the district will resume sometime in November.

“Or, you know, maybe we can solve this problem some time in November? If we all just pray hard enough, Tinker Bell will come back to life the conservative money fairy will shit hundred dollar bills from the sky all over Clay County Tennessee!”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ooops. Wait, isn’t a children’s rights emergency a “fair use” copyright exception? Because this article needs to be published, broadcast, rewritten and redistributed far and wide.

While I’m calculating the damages I could incur for informing my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ of this absolutely unconscionable atrocity occurring in the 21st century United States, consider the 1,150 kids in an impoverished school district who, in addition to being denied education, now need childcare and supervision while the “adults” who cannot run a school district figure out how to educate them.

palacefuckyouFUCK YOU, CONSERVATIVES.

tennesee2014Tennessee Governor’s race, 2014 election returns.
= Democratic
= Republican

Conservative “values” meet conservative “logic” in Colorado.

babynotababyA helpful visual aid for conservatives.
Left: Baby.
Right: cute little 5-day old human blastocyst*
*
Important note: not shown actual size.

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative is a program designed to lower the state’s rate of unwanted pregnancies, and thereby lower the associated costs to the public coffers. The concept is simple: young, lower-income women, i.e. those at highest risk of unwanted pregnancies, would be provided with long-acting, reversible birth control—intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants—at little to no cost. Originally funded by an anonymous grant, the expectation was that if the program succeeded, continued funding would be taken over by the state. Makes perfect sense, right?

And lo, it was wildly successful:

Between 2010 and 2012, the state estimates, 4,300 to 9,700 births to women on the state’s Medicaid program that would have otherwise occurred did not—saving Medicaid between $49 million and $111 million. The state’s abortion rate has also cratered, falling 42 percent among women ages 15 to 19 and 18 percent among women ages 20 to 24 between 2009 and 2012.

Colorado’s teen birth rate plummeted 11 spots in national rankings, and the state received an award this week from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association for outstanding public health access. OMFG you guys, it just makes so much (dollars and) sense.

The program would cost $5 million a year, and save many, many multiples of that in Medicaid costs and additional benefits the state would otherwise pay out. And that’s to say nothing of the benefits to young Coloradans, such as keeping them in school, in the workforce, and out of poverty. Back in February, a bipartisan pair of legislators in Colorado’s Democrat-controlled House introduced a bill to fund the program. The Republican-controlled state Senate took up the measure this week.

I am sure you can see where this is going.

On Wednesday, an all-male Senate committee voted to nix funding to the program, along a party-line vote of 3-to-2.

“But Iris!” I can hear you saying, “What the everloving fuckety fuck? That just makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever!” (I like to imagine that my readers are both exceptionally logical, and also like to swear a lot.) Oh, but there are “reasons,” you see:

At issue are some abortion foes’ beliefs that IUDs can cause abortions—the same

belief that led to [Hobby Lobby’s] lawsuit against the Obama administration’s requirement that employers provide insurance that covers contraception or pay a fine. Most scientists say IUDs primarily work by preventing fertilization. But some IUDs can occasionally prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus…But many conservatives who believe human life begins at conception consider preventing implantation akin to abortion.

As we know, there are many things conservatives fervently believe that are just plainly, demonstrably false. This is reason number 1,427,201 why we have made it our mission to marginalize them in society and politics, and put an end their devastating policies once and for all. Behold:

“By the time you get to that implantation point, we are not talking about a fertilized egg, we’re talking about a new individual that’s growing,” says state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, who serves as the Republican assistant majority leader and chairs the Senate’s health and science committee. He has vowed to fight the measure. “In Hobby Lobby, this was really the point there. They had no objection to contraceptive materials being funded through their insurance. But they had significant objections when it was an abortifacient.”

No, Senator Lundberg, they had significant objections when they falsely believed it was an abortifacient. It’s not. And even if it were, so what? See, no one is in the business of forcing abortions or indeed any form of birth control on conservatives who enjoy pretending that a five-day-old blastocyst is the same entity as a cute little baybee (except when that’s just too inconvenient, obviously). Conservatives, however, are very much in the business of ensuring that those who do not wish to be pregnant become so, and remain so. Because FREEDOM!!!11!!

Unsurprisingly, this Lundberg Luddite is confused about more than just IUDs and blastocysts.

“[T]here is a question of should we be providing long-term contraceptives to young unmarried girls. Are we saying, ‘Go ahead and have sex—just don’t get pregnant’?”

Unless a young unmarried person wants to get pregnant, THEN YES THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE SAYING. Because out here in a wondrous place called “reality,” young people are having sex, and for the most part they do not want to get pregnant. That is exactly what the fucking Colorado Family Planning Initiative was implemented to address in the first place—and did. Jeezus.

He says the debate presents an opportunity to educate Coloradans, “because there is so much misunderstanding of what an IUD is”…

Apparently.

…and warned that “far too often young women die from the pill” too.

No, that is yet another plainly, demonstrably false belief. See e.g.: Hannaford et al, Mortality among contraceptive pill users: cohort evidence from Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral Contraception Study, BMJ 2010;340:c927 (March 2010):

Oral contraception was not associated with an increased long term risk of death in this large UK cohort; indeed, a net benefit was apparent.
[emphasis added.]

And here is another fact—which yes, I realize is a thing conservatives tend to find utterly repellant:

The United States is the only advanced economy in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate.

That’s right: it’s giving birth that kills, especially where conservatives reign.

So to sum up conservative “logic”: we have ended this program because we refuse to allow fictional abortions, and now we can watch actual abortion rates go back up. Also: unwanted pregnancy rates, birth rates and death rates among lower-income women, and consequently exploding costs to the public. (Now why do I suspect they have in mind a really nifty fix for that problem, too?)

We simply cannot abide the Lundbergs of the world pretending to care about reality, or reason, or babies, or (gawdferbid!) women. Conservatives have long ago proven beyond any doubt that they are constitutionally incapable of doing so. Therefore, until we find the cure, it is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure they are never allowed anywhere near political power.

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Image credits:
Human newborn: Ernest F (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

5-day-old human blastocyst: Copyright Zhang et al. (Pu Zhang, Marco Zucchelli, Sara Bruce, Fredwell Hambiliki, Anneli Stavreus-Evers, Lev Levkov, Heli Skottman, Erja Kerkelä, Juha Kere, Outi Hovatta, Transcriptome profiling of human pre-implantation development. PLoS ONE: 2009, 4(11);e7844 PMID: 19924284 | PMC2773928 | PLoS One) Published online 2009 November 16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007844.

Signal boosting Baltimore. UPDATED. UPDATE #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.

Statement of Iris Vander Pluym – Perry Street Palace
7:30 EST April 28, 2015

The Palace stands in solidarity with communities of color around the country and around the world, in opposition to state violence and murder, militarized policing, unprecedented mass imprisonment and surveillance, social and economic and environmental injustice, and imperial wars.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
Emma Lazarus

I found the words below waiting for me this morning, via email and links from Facebook friends. I couldn’t possibly express any of it any better, so I am amplifying these voices here.

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Statement of Carl Dix Stop Mass Incarceration Network
8:00 pm EST April 27, 2015

On the Uprising in Baltimore

The uprising in Baltimore tonight has delivered an unmistakeable and powerful message that the time is over when people will just take the unending and outrageous murder and brutality carried out by police. The torture and murder of Freddie Gray for nothing – and the ongoing, infuriating lies and coverup — is only the latest in a long line of such horrors in not only Baltimore but all over the U.S. From North Charleston, SC to Ferguson, Missouri from Pasco, Washington to New York City and beyond – THIS MUST STOP!

The authorities and the media grunt about “violence.” They get outraged about broken windows, but not the broken neck of Freddie Gray. They get mad about the destruction of property, but not the destruction of Black and Brown children. Violence? What about the unending violence carried out against the masses of Black and Latino people all over America by the police? What about the world-record violence embodied in a society in which a young Black boy has a 1 in 3 chance of spending time in prison before he dies? The violence in which nearly one million Black men and increasing numbers of women are now languishing in prison? The violence in which police behave like occupying armies in the ghettos and barrios – and the occupying armies of the US behave like police all over the world? This is America, and this whole system was built on vicious, unjust, endless violence here and around the world and it continues to carry this out. These world-class criminals, and apologists for criminals, have absolutely no right to say anything about what the masses of people do when they are fed up, when they can’t take it anymore, and when they must express this. In the face of murder and terror, is not resistance justified?

They insult those who rebel as thugs, while the real thugs go unpunished, on paid vacation… and those who give orders to those thugs not only get no punishment, but sit at the highest reaches of government. Here – in the land of the thief and home of the slave — they accuse those who rebel of looting, when the powers-that-be have looted Black people as a people for centuries, along with and as part of looting whole continents. They promise justice from the Department of INjustice, and from their rigged court system – this is just a ploy to throw mud in people’s eyes. Bringing in the National Guard means only one thing – more wanton violence against the people. NO! NO! NO!

History and present-day reality show that unless and until people stand up and refuse to go along with it, injustice, outrage and horror will continue. Everyone should stand with the defiant ones in Baltimore, refuse to condemn them, and to step up the struggle to STOP police murder and mass incarceration. This is a cry and clarion call to all of society to stand up and say NO MORE! THIS MUST STOP!

end of statement

[Kick in here if you can.]

__________

Orioles COO John Angelos offers eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests

by Ted Berg

After protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray turned violent on Saturday, Baltimore sports-radio broadcaster Brett Hollander took to Twitter to argue that demonstrations that negatively impact the daily lives of fellow citizens are counter-productive. Orioles COO John Angelos, son of owner Peter Angelos, seized the opportunity to respond with a qualified and brilliant defense of those protesting.

You can read the whole thing in Angelos’ Twitter replies, but it’s transcribed here for clarity. It’s all here because it’s all so good. Read the whole thing:

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore resident, suffered a spinal injury while in police custody after his arrest on April 12 and died seven days later. Six city police officers have been suspended pending an investigation into Gray’s death.

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10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens

10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people  were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website BreitBart.com’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.

The truth is you had 10,000 plus people come together in unity in support of the fight for justice for Freddie Gray. While the numbers vary, 100 or so were the ones you saw acting up on the news and the 35 persons who were arrested were the ones you read about. But reporting that won’t bring in the ratings that attract a heavy advertising revenue.

CNN reported: Protesters angry over the death of Freddie Gray got into physical altercations with police Saturday night in downtown Baltimore near the city’s famed baseball stadium.

Some of the hundreds who confronted lines of police officers got into shoving matches with helmeted cops while other demonstrators threw objects. At least five police cars were damaged by people who smashed windows and jumped on them.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was profoundly disappointed by the violence, adding that 95% of the protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened.”

Time.com reported: The demonstration was aimed at police, who had Gray in their custody when he suffered injuries that would prove fatal. Baltimore police said 35 people, including four juveniles, were arrested and six officers suffered minor injuries during the latest protest.

As you read most of the nationwide coverage, the various news media and websites do admit that most of the protesters were peaceful as you read further down their stories, despite the attention grabbing headlines that speaks of only the violence, destruction and criminal mischief of a few. Unfortunately there will always be a few agitators in any crowd this size. Some of which are purposely positioned among the peaceful protesters for just that reason.

After what has been going on with black men being killed nationwide without any justice taking place even after grand juries, video evidence, incidences being ruled homicide by medical examiners, No officers go to jail, very few cops lose their job and the Ferguson officer who killed Mike Brown was allowed to retire and protect his pension, there is a sense of frustration in these protests, yes!

What happened in the streets of Ferguson was worst by comparison. But let’s be very clear, the scene the media is describing, the picture being painted with all headlines are something no one, I repeat NO ONE wants to see. What they’re showing you are the actions of 100 or so people, there were 10,000 people there, and despite some of the headlines, and you can see by the pictures below all the protesters were not black and out of control. And despite what a local pastor would have you believe, some of those who were acting up the most were doing so before those (he called outsiders), who came to town in support showed up.

Words have power, they create perceptions that make other actions possible and allow the most outrageous of  explanations why they kill black people believable and acceptable by other groups of people. Let’ be clear here, NO ONE wants to truly see Scenes of Chaos: 1,000’s of Frenzied Protesters Rioting In Baltimore, the city would truly still be burning. But they media will show the worst or the worst, you know if it bleeds it leads. It’s true it’s great for ratings which leads to heavy advertising revenue, but it is not good for our community or the race relations nationwide.

Just like the media takes the liberty to show the worst of the worst like they did in Baltimore, I am taking the liberty to show the worst of the worst in their reporting and calling them out. It’s important to not allow the mass media to distort the narrative and take away from the message of this fight for justice.

What they don’t report was there were, “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Young and Old, Rich and Poor people all united and standing harmoniously against common oppression,” shared one of the organizers Frank ‘Sha’ Francois. The demonstration was sponsored by a wide coalition of social justice groups, including Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers For Justice (BLFJ), Carl Dix of Stop Mass Incarceration (SMIN) and brother Ted Freedomfighter Sutton of Sutton House, just to name a few who came in support of their brothers and sisters in Baltimore. Support for justice of Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested one week ago, in West Baltimore. Who died on April 19th, from injuries sustained while he was in police custody.

[Amazing pics at that link.]

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UPDATE:

didyouhear

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UPDATE 2:

11 Stunning Images Highlight the Double-Standard of Reactions to Riots Like Baltimore
-Derrick Clifton, Mic.com.

But when a mob of mostly white people take to the streets, vandalizing cars, storefronts and street signs in the process it usually means someone either won or lost a game.

As Mic‘s Zak Cheney-Rice noted in January, these rioters are usually called “revelers,” “celebrants” and “fans.” They’re not even called “rioters” in many cases. They’re not derided as “criminals,” “thugs,” “pigs” or even “violent.” Those descriptors, as events in Baltimore Monday night reveals yet again, are only reserved for black people. They’re the ones who need to be quelled by militarized police forces. They’re the ones who need to be off the streets, immediately. They’re diminishing the validity of their cause. Yet, somehow, reckless behavior over a sports team, not a systemic matter of life and death, is viewed as a costly nuisance.

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Baltimore Been Burning.
-Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony.

Referring to protestors as “thugs” who are “destroying the city in a senseless way” speaks to the inability of so many of us to really do the emotional and intellectual labor of getting past the good/bad binary, and recognizing how hurt and righteously indignant our people really are.

If the sight of a burning drugstore can do so much to change the perception of people who claimed to be “down for the cause” beforehand, then one can be pretty sure you haven’t done that work. If your assumption is that anyone who riots or destroys property is a “thug” and on the same plane as a violent police officer who’d beat someone ultimately to death for no other reason but “he ran from me,” then you’re still missing a few things here.

[Just go read the whole thing. PLZ.]

Nonviolence as Compliance.
-Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic.

The money paid out by the city to cover for the brutal acts of its police department would be enough to build “a state-of-the-art rec center or renovations at more than 30 playgrounds.” Instead, the money was used to cover for the brutal acts of the city’s police department and ensure they remained well beyond any semblance of justice.

How drunk sports fans helped spark Saturday night’s post-protest violence.
-Brandon Soderberg, City Paper.

Here were drunk, angry, white baseball fans and bar-goers who were equally guilty for the violence that happened that night and embraced the chance to fight and provoked some of it, and any accurate narrative must acknowledge that and barely anyone has acknowledged that. If you’d like to call Baltimore County whites and Boston Red Sox fans “outside agitators,” then you’ve got your outside agitators.

The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore.
-Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic.

What’s crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn’t wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn’t looked.

I include myself.

[The referenced 2014 Baltimore Sun piece is here—well worth a read.]

Powerful video interview of Crips and Bloods disputing claims of the Baltimore police.
Shaun King, Daily Kos via NBC-WBALTV.

“We did not make truce to harm cops.”

Via US Uncut:

destroyingtea[See also: “Why do they burn down their own neighborhood?”]

Via Elyse:

riotlanguageunheard__________

UPDATE 4:

Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think.
-Sam Brodey and Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones.

Meg Gibson, another Baltimore teacher, described a similar scene to Gawker: “The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board. They were waiting for the kids.…Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.” With police unloading busses, and with the nearby metro station shut down, there were few ways for students to clear out.

Several eyewitnesses in the area that afternoon say that police seemed to arrive at Mondawmin anticipating mobs and violence—prior to any looting. At 3:01 p.m., the Baltimore Police Department posted on its Facebook page: “There is a group of juveniles in the area of Mondawmin Mall. Expect traffic delays in the area.” But many of the kids, according to eyewitnesses, were stuck there because of police actions.

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

29 Moments That Show Another Side Of The Baltimore Riots.
-Ryan Broderick, Buzzfeed.

“Our people were not only trying to stop the acts of violence, but also saving and helping those in need.”

“Show this on @CNN.”

[Extraordinarily moving photos and short videos.]

Many organizers at the forefront of protests are women, despite men taking center stage. -Caitlin Goldblatt, City Paper.

A female member of Baltimore Bloc…said it is “kind of a natural habit to not realize the lack of acknowledgment of women,” but that those habits vary from group to group, and that media tend to focus on the presence and actions of men more than those of women.

For example, she marshaled protesters all day during Saturday’s protests, but noted the lack of images of her and fellow women marshals in media coverage of the events. Instead, many images of a dozen or so black men surfaced, decontextualized from the hours of peaceful marches prior to the return to Camden Yards after the rally at City Hall. This caused many groups and individuals, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, to focus on the images of protesters clashing with the sports fans who antagonized them, placing the blame squarely on young black men. The organizer I spoke with simply stated that, regardless of how the rest of the day had gone and the vocalization of different people and groups, “Nothing mattered [in the news] after the riot.”

Crips, Bloods Call Truce, Not to Harm Cops But to Protect their Community from Violence & Looting.
-John Vibes, The Free Thought Project.

In the interview, gang members displayed immense intelligence and understanding for the situation. They stated that they called a truce to protect their communities from violence and looting, and to protect their community from anyone who should put it in danger. They were reportedly attacked by police when they were attempting to defend properties throughout the city from rioters.

The gang members announced that they were forming a “new faction” which will be concerned with protecting the community, and stopping the senseless violence that is carried out by both private and public individuals.

In another video published by The Baltimore Sun, rival gang members were shown meeting in churches speaking of peace and justice. One gang member told reporters that “They don’t want to see us call a truce because they want us out there killing each other.”

Baltimore Residents Come Together To Clean Up City After Riots.
-Cameron Keady, The Huffington Post.

Local businesses and community centers offer safe spaces and free meals.

“84% of Bmore students get free/reduced lunch. Schools are closed, but @ophelporhush is feeding them.”

freelunch[Inspiring.]

Baltimore Riots 2015: Schools Closing Sparks Free #BaltimoreLunch Movement For Students After Freddie Gray Protests.
-Julia Glum, International Business Times.

Baltimore City Public Schools were closed Tuesday after riots against police brutality erupted in the streets Monday night, but community leaders were banding together to make sure students from low-income families could eat. Several groups were organizing around the Twitter hashtag #BaltimoreLunch to serve children who rely on schools for food.

[This is a community in pain, coming together to clean up their city and feed their kids. AMAZING.]

palaceheart#Baltimore.

UPDATE 5:

Jon Stewart: “Maybe We Should’ve Cared About Baltimore Before It Was ‘On Fire'”

lootingiswrongPoor teens in Baltimore face worse conditions than those in Nigeria – study.
RT.com [Nigeria, people. NIGERIA.]

Carl Stokes to CNN’s Erin Burnett: Thugs? Just call them N#ggers then
-Frank Vyan Walton

Did she or anyone else at CNN use the “T”-Word when the Denver Broncos won the Superbowl and this happened? (1998)
Or when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, again? (2012)
Or the Vancouver Canucks Lost the Stanley Cup? (2011)
Or the University of Kentucky Wildcats Won? (2012)
Or the Boston Red Sox Won? Three. Seperate. Times. (2004)
Or the West Virginia University Mountaineers Won? (2014)
Or when Penn State Fired Coach Joe Paterno for Looking the Other Way While His Assistant Coach Sexually Molested Children? (2011)
Or when a Surfing Competition Takes Place in Huntington Beach? (1986, 2013)
Or they have a Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire? (2014)

Just doing a quick google search and I come up blank on all those where Erin Burnett is concerned…All these Riots and not a single “Thug” among them?

Amazing. I wonder exactly how that happened?  Could there be something significantly different about all these Riots, and the Riots in Baltimore?

Via US Uncut:

wellsfargobaltimoreWells Fargo Bank first pushed sub-prime mortgages on thousands of black families in Baltimore (referred to as “Mud People” by loan officers), then foreclosed on their homes. But unlike Baltimore’s black youth who threw rocks, not one single banker was arrested for destroying the community. SHARE if you know who the real Looters are!

mdpolicekill11[Related: ACLU: 109 people in Maryland died after police encounters in 2010-2014. Justin George, The Baltimore Sun.]

How to help: Donation and volunteer opportunities in the aftermath of riots.
-Rachel Cieri, The Baltimore Sun.

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UPDATE 6:

A complete takedown of the lies spread by the Baltimore PD and Washington Post on Freddie Gray.
-Shaun King, Daily Kos.

15 Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea.
-Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post.

Activist smacks down Wolf Blitzer: ‘You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines’.
-David Edwards, Raw Story.

From Quelling Looters to Saving Lives, Baltimore Gangs Are Doing A Better Job Than Police.
-John Vibes, The Free Thought Project.

As we reported earlier this week, during the recent riots in Baltimore, rival gang members have called a truce to protect their communities. Police initially panicked when hearing about the truce and put out a warning that gang members were teaming up to “target cops.” It was quickly revealed that these claims were entirely fabricated and that the gang members did not have ill intentions by calling their truce.

Members of the Crips, Bloods and BGF, Baltimore’s three largest gangs, even stood with city council members during a press conference this week. The council members spoke very highly of the gang members and their recent efforts.“These men have been out on the street quelling the senseless violence that has consumed our city. After meeting with them today it is clear that the notion they were planning on harming our police officers is false and simply deterred the resources we needed to focus on the individuals who instigated these riots. I applaud these young men for standing here and speaking out for our city.” City Council President Bernard C. Young said.

The Dominant White Response to Baltimore Shows Why Black Residents are Justified in their Anger.
-Grizzard, Daily Kos.

These are young people who live in communities torn to pieces by the War on Drugs, where violence is the norm. They’re young people who are considered a “success story” if they achieve what people in my community would call the base level of productive existence – graduating high school without dying or being sent to prison. They’re young people who, if they were to achieve what my parents would call success, will be a story so rare that Hollywood might come calling for the movie rights. The handful of young people who escape horrible Baltimore neighborhoods and find themselves in the middle class are the exception that proves the rule.

kentuckyriotBaltimore Protesters and Senate Leader Shut Down Fox News, Ask Them To Leave.
-Jackson Marciana and Shante Wooten, Counter Current News.

Geraldo [Rivera] tries to dodge the confrontation, but a young man on the scene persisted and keeps calling him out.

“You want to report that we’re thugs and breaking sh-t down!”

“I want you and Fox News to get out of Baltimore City, because you’re not here reporting about the boarded up homes and the homeless people under MLK,” he continued. “You’re not reporting about the poverty levels up and down North Avenue.”

He asked further where Fox was during the 300 Man March, noting that Fox only turned out to catch a glimpse of anecdotes of destruction.

“You’re not here for the death of Freddie Gray! You’re here for the story!”

Morgan Freeman on Baltimore Coverage: “F*ck the (Mainstream) Media”.
The AntiMedia.

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