Confronting Southern ‘Victimhood’

Robert Parry writes at Consortiumnews:

Unlike the Germans after World War II who collectively shouldered blame for the Holocaust and the war’s devastation, America’s white Southerners never confessed to the evil that they had committed by enslaving African-Americans and then pushing the United States into a bloody Civil War in their defense of human bondage.

american pride, southern stride

Photo: Erika dot net (CC)

Instead of a frank admission of guilt, there have been endless excuses and obfuscations. Confederate apologists insist that slavery wasn’t really all that bad for blacks, that the North’s hands weren’t clean either, that the Civil War was really just about differing interpretations of the Constitution, that white Southerners were the real victims here – from Sherman’s March to the Sea to Reconstruction. Some white Southerners still prefer to call the conflict “the war of Northern aggression.”

Indeed, Southern white “victimhood” has been at the heart of much bloodshed and suffering in the United States not only during the Civil War and the ensuing decades but through the modern era of the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s to the present bigoted hatred of the first African-American president and the coldblooded murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Magic and Politics

David Graeber writes at the Baffler:

Politicians are by definition dishonest. All politicians lie. But many observers of American politics agree that over the last few years, there has been something of a qualitative change in the magnitude of political dishonesty. In certain party precincts, at least, there seems to have been a conscious attempt to change the rules to allow for a level of flagrant, over-the-top lying about political opponents that we rarely see in other countries. Sarah Palin and her “death panels” pioneered the new style, but Michele Bachmann quickly took things to even more spectacular heights with her wild claims of government plots to impose sharia law on the United States or secret plans to abandon the dollar and replace it with the Chinese yuan. Mitt Romney didn’t top either Palin or Bachmann in the grandeur and magnificence of his lies, but he did try to make up for it in volume, having based his entire presidential campaign on an endless string of fabrications.

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Black Metal Presidential Logos are Totally, um, Metal!

The 2016 election nightmare has begun and if there’s anything more boring than the candidates themselves, it’s their phony Americana inspired Mad Men reject logos. I’m yawning just thinking about them.

Artist Christophe Szpajdel has done us a solid and made them less boring. With metal.

Hellary

Hellary

Isn't Jeb Bush the lead singer for Armored Saint?

Isn’t Jeb Bush the lead singer for Armored Saint?

Totally metal, yet still a hillbilly. Go figure.

Totally metal, yet still a hillbilly. Go figure.

Almost as lame as the dead poodle he calls 'hair'. Almost.

Almost as lame as the dead poodle he calls ‘hair’. Almost.

Don't mess with Texas. Because metal beasts.

Don’t mess with Texas. Because metal beasts.

Ambigram or bad tattoo? You decide.

Ambigram or bad tattoo? You decide.

Bernie's a lot things, but he's totally NOT metal. Or electable. Or a socialist. Just sayin'.

Bernie’s a lot things, but he’s totally NOT metal. Or electable. Or a socialist. Just sayin’.

This scary metal elephant (listen- Mastodon is NOT metal anymore.) is pretty bitchin', unlike the Donald.

This scary metal elephant (listen- Mastodon is NOT metal anymore.) is pretty bitchin’, unlike the Donald.

You can check out more HERE. Rock! \m/

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The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit and other Strange Criminals

The Piggyback Bandit is the nickname for Sherwin Shayegan, who is known for soliciting piggyback rides from high-school athletes in the Northwestern United States in 2008. Shayegan has been banned from high-school sporting events in five states.

The Piggyback Bandit is the nickname for Sherwin Shayegan, who is known for soliciting piggyback rides from high-school athletes in the Northwestern United States in 2008. Shayegan has been banned from high-school sporting events in five states.

While most of you were at work yesterday morning I found myself reminiscing about the Piggyback Bandit.

The Piggyback Bandit is a guy named Sherwin Shayegan. He loves piggyback rides. LOVES THEM!

The Piggyback Bandit ingratiates himself with high school sports teams  by pretending to be a team manager or a fan, often he wears some sort of team jersey. He has pretended to interview athletes for a term paper, acted as a team manager or just tried to blend in with the crowd, but no matter what he pretends, one thing is for sure, sooner or later he is going to ride some high school athlete all around the gym.

Shayegan’s piggybacking on the backs of young and virile teen athletes harkens back to 2008 and had been mainly confined to Washington and Oregon.… Read the rest

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‘Inception’ Is Possible—At Least In Sleeping Mice

A man in a suit with a gun in his right hand is flanked by five other individuals in the middle of a street which, behind them, is folded upwards. Leonardo DiCaprio's name and those of other cast members are shown above the words "Your Mind Is the Scene of the Crime". The title of the film "INCEPTION", film credits, and theatrical and IMAX release dates are shown at the bottom.If you liked the movie Inception and are interested in the science of dreaming, you’ll be interested to learn that scientists are now able to influence the dreams of mice (humans coming soon no doubt). From Quartz:

Scientists have been poking around in mice brains a lot recently. They’ve found that they have dreams, and that those dreams can be manipulated.

Research (paywall) by scientists at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution in Paris has shown that scientists can influence mouse dreams, in a way reminiscent of the 2010 science fiction movie Inception. Researchers placed electrodes into a part of the mouse brain called the hippocampus, which contains cells that send electrical signals in specific places (hence their name, place cells). After monitoring mice in a specific arena, scientists were able to locate specific cells that fired in specific locations.

As the mice were sleeping, the electrodes illustrated that place cells in mice were still firing, as they dreamed about particular places.

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The Future of Facebook is Telepathy

Facebook. Telepathy. From CNN/Money

Mark Zuckerberg just dropped a big clue about Facebook’s future.

The social network’s founder and CEO believes that one day, we’ll be able to share our thoughts directly — brain to brain — using technology.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg. Credit: Wired Photostream (CC)

“You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like,” Zuckerberg said. “This would be the ultimate communication technology.”

He made his comments during a public Q&A session on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon. The response was addressed to a user who asked about Facebook’s long-term plans.

In the past decade, the company has expanded the way users communicate on the platform. First there were plain profile pages. Next came comments, and then the Wall, Likes, Groups and News Feed.

Over the last year Facebook has moved away from mass sharing and focused on personal messaging.

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Amazon Debuts Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Series by Ridley Scott

Hey Dick-Heads, are you excited for the The Man in the High Castle? Amazon Studios has released a new teaser in advance of the debut of the first two series episodes at San Diego Comic Con on July 10th (if you can’t get to San Diego, EW is going to stream the event live):

Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City), the series results from the Amazon Studios one hour pilot, which you can access here if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.

Dick set The Man in the High Castle in 1962, fifteen years after the end of a fictional longer Second World War (1939–47).… Read the rest

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Colonial Americans Drank Roughly Three Times as Much as Americans Do Now

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All day drinking was common among early Americans.

Emma Green via The Atlantic:

It was a pretty common belief among the founders [regarding] America’s experiment with republicanism, that the only way that we were going to keep it was through the virtue of our citizens,” said Bruce Bustard, the curator of a National Archives exhibit on American alcohol consumption. As Rush observed the effects of alcohol consumption, he had the young nation’s future in mind: People experiencing what he saw as the “Melancholy,” “Madness,” and “Despair” of intemperance surely wouldn’t make for very good participants in democracy.

Early America was also a much, much wetter place than it is now, modern frat culture notwithstanding. Instead of binge-drinking in short bursts, Americans often imbibed all day long. “Right after the Constitution is ratified, you could see the alcoholic consumption starting to go up,” said Bustard. Over the next four decades, Americans kept drinking steadily more, hitting a peak of 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year in 1830.

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Shocking Documents Reveal Fracking Health Complaints Swept Under the Rug in Pennsylvania

Anti-frackers may be celebrating in New York State, where the ban on hydraulic fracturing was made permanent this week, but in Pennsylvania it’s a very different story. EcoWatch reports that a ream of official state documents show a pattern of sweeping health complaints under the rug:

Heavily-fracked Pennsylvania is a battle ground in the fight to protect affected families from the harms of the toxic drilling method. Last week after months of resisting our efforts, the state finally delivered more than 100 pages of documents to Food & Water Watch that were requested through a public Right-to-Know request. And what we received was shocking. The documents clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) in responding to scores of fracking-related health complaints from state residents.

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Food & Water Watch requested, through a public Right-to-Know request, documents that clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Dept.
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