Mother Publicly Beats Her Son, Mainstream Media Calls Her a “Hero”

Stacey Patton, writing at the Washington Post:

It’s not surprising that a black mother in Baltimore who chased down, cursed and beat her 16-year-old son in the middle of a riot has been called a hero. In this country, when black mothers fulfill stereotypes of mammies, angry and thwarting resistance to a system designed to kill their children, they get praised.

“He gave me eye contact,” Toya Graham told CBS News. “And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that — that’s my only son and at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray. Is he the perfect boy? No he’s not, but he’s mine.”

In other words, Graham’s message to America is: I will teach my black son not to resist white supremacy so he can live.

The kind of violent discipline Graham unleashed on her son did not originate with her, or with my adoptive mother who publicly beat me when I was a child, or with the legions of black parents who equate pain with protection and love.

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Space Dragon on Project Bring Me to Life

Selomon and Shannon interview producer and musician Space Dragon on Project Bring Me to Life podcast #46:

Space Dragon is the Executive producer of Drunk Yoga, Bar Wars (rap battle league), and the Imminent Disclosure Festival. He is currently living in Honolulu working as the producer for Quantum University where he does the video content for all of their online classes and degree programs.

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Science that could improve the lives of people with autism is being ignored

Mickey Keenan, University of Ulster

The economic costs associated with autism spectrum disorder run at £32 billion per year in the UK, more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined. For children with autism this includes special education services and the costs of their parents not working as much in order to care for them. In the UK, costs for adults are even higher and include residential care or supportive living accommodation and limits on the work they can do according to their abilities.

The science of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) has been shown to have significant success in helping people with autism who ask for help. This evidence-based practice can also help reduce the associated economic costs.

This science involves the systematic use of behavioural principles to help those diagnosed with autism make socially significant changes in their behaviour. In doing so, individuals and families are provided with new opportunities for making personal choices.… Read the rest

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The rebellion in Baltimore is an uprising against austerity, claims top US academic

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Ed Vulliamy writes at The Guardian:

For Baltimore to be the setting for the latest in a recent spate of high-profile police murders and riots in America – after Ferguson, New York and North Charleston – is especially compelling in the public imagination because the city was also the location for David Simon’s brilliant TV series The Wire.

Baltimore is the city from which Simon wrote for this newspaper in 2013 about “two Americas” in the “horror show” his country has become, one crucial element of which is that the US is “the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we’ve put in American prisons”.

The Wire, he said, “was about people who were worthless and who were no longer necessary”, most of them black, and who become the assembly-line raw material for “the prison-industrial complex”. At an event hosted by the Observer that year, Simon said: “Once America marginalised the black 10% of the population it no longer needed, it set out to make money out of them by putting them in jail.”

The Baltimore Sun last year documented a litany of police abuse of black people – mostly but not entirely men (one was a grandmother in her 80s) – as routine as it was savage, and compensation payouts of $5.7m since 2011 for the few cases pursued and vindicated.

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#BaltimoreUprising isn’t just about Baltimore

As unrest continues in this broken and beaten down city, if we simply look at the events leading up to the Freddie Gray incident, we see a pattern – a pattern that is noticeable nationwide. A pattern of robbery, racism, injustice and inequality. Freddie Gray is the tip of the iceberg but this corruption runs deep – from TPP to FTP. #RiseUp

Watch the full episode: http://youtu.be/asonJ3tEJFw
@ActOutOnOccupy
facebook.com/ActOutOnOccupy
occupy.com/actout

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Dozens of endangered cockatoos found stuffed into plastic bottles

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Yellow-crested cockatoos, an endangered species endemic to Indonesia, are “very heavily impacted” by smuggling operations. A total of 24 cockatoos were found stuffed in plastic water bottles at an Indonesian port.

Euan McKirdy writes at CNN:

Richard Thomas, Global Communications Co-ordinator at Traffic International, which monitors illegal wildlife trade, told CNN that the reported trafficking of them in plastic bottles “shows the lengths that some people will go to try to smuggle birds.”

The bird is one that is “very heavily impacted” by illegal trade, he said. While the species is endemic to Indonesia, it’s disappeared from much of its range and now the only substantial population is found on the island of Komodo, with smaller populations on some other islands.

Traffic’s Southeast Asia Facebook page says that the water-bottle method is “commonly used to smuggle these protected birds.”

Read the entire report here.

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Hip Hop Beats Beatles As Most Influential In 50 Years of Pop Music

If you were asked what was the most important development in pop music in the last 50 years, what would you pick? An evolutionary biologist who normally studies worms looked at 17,000 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 over 50 years and found that hip hop beats out the British Invasion of 1964, Beatles, Stones ‘n all. From the LA Times:

Forget the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson and Madonna. The most important cultural shift in American pop music began with the explosion of rap in the early 1990s.

Public Enemy 4

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones didn’t spark the British Invasion of the 1960s, but they did fan its flames.

And don’t buy snobs’ complaints about the homogenization of pop. With the exception of a brief period in the 1980s, there’s been plenty of diversity in the charts.

These are the conclusions of engineers and biologists who analyzed 17,000 digitized songs from Billboard’s Hot 100 to produce an evolutionary history of American popular music — no listening required.

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Status Quo Meet Future Islands – Revolution in UK Politics

There is no perfect remedy for Scottish Labour's broken record. Photo: Flickr/steve

There is no perfect remedy for Scottish Labour’s broken record. Photo: Flickr/steve

[This article refers to the recent British General Election campaign.]

These days you’d be hard-pressed to find any credible indie rock kids willing to admit they’re Status Quo fans. There are no breakbeats, hip hop samples or underground indie kudos here. It’s just the old guard cranking out the same old hits of yesteryear, pushing nostalgia tours on their ever-diminishing audience.

A once mighty commercial force, Scottish Labour, according to all the polls, are now passé. As far as the electorate is concerned, they have become the Status Quo, minus the ponytails and denim shirts (although perhaps Jim Murphy and Co are missing a trick there.)

How did these formerly psychedelic rebel rockers turn into yesterday’s news? They took their ear from the underground, hooked up with commercial producers to smooth out their sound, and now all they can do is tell the kids that the new music sucks.… Read the rest

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