Category: Racism


Depriving the homeless of their last shelter is Silicon Valley at its worst – especially when rich cities aren’t doing anything to end homelessness

homeless in california
There are nearly 90,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles County but only 9,000 to 10,000 beds available in homeless shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and other facilities. Photograph: David McNew / Getty Images

Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.

This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.

Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.

Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.

The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.

 

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — MIKHLIF AL-SHAMMARI has been jailed repeatedly, declared an infidel, ruined financially and shot four times — by his own son — all for this: He believes his fellow Sunni Muslims should treat Shiites as equals.

In a Middle East torn by deepening sectarian hatred, that is a very unusual conviction. He has made it a kind of crusade for eight years now, visiting and praying with prominent Shiites and defending them in print, at enormous personal cost. The government of this deeply conservative kingdom continues to file new accusations against him, under charges like “annoying other people” and “consorting with dissidents.”

But Mr. Shammari, a gaunt 58-year-old with an aquiline nose and a jaunty smile, is not easily discouraged. “I’m not against my government or my religion, but things must be corrected,” he said in a furtive interview in a hotel lobby (he has been banned from talking with the news media). “We must all encourage human rights and stop the violence between Sunni and Shia.”

Photo

‘I’m ready to pay with my life for my beliefs.’ MIKHLIF AL-SHAMMARI Credit Abdurahman al Shammari

 

Mr. Shammari is not Saudi Arabia’s best-known human rights activist, and others have put in more time and suffered much longer prison terms. But he has a rare distinction: No other member of the kingdom’s Sunni Muslim majority has made it a mission to demand equal rights for the Shiite Muslim minority.

Even the most educated and cosmopolitan Saudis often look down on Shiites, who make up about 10 percent of the Saudi population, as closet Iranians or undesirables. Some of the religious conservatives who wield great influence here go much further, saying Shiites are worse than Jews because, unlike genuine infidels, they have been exposed to the truth of Islam and nevertheless choose to pervert it. Shiites have long complained of discrimination of various kinds, as well as the vitriolic abuse hurled at them by government-employed clerics.

Mr. Shammari believes this is not just ancient religious prejudice, but a deliberate strategy by the Saudi monarchy to keep its subjects divided and therefore less likely to demand a voice in their government.

Whatever the reasons, it is clear that the sectarian divide helps to tamp down dissent in the kingdom. In 2011, for instance, even liberal and democratic-leaning Saudis were frightened off by protests in the kingdom’s eastern province and in neighboring Bahrain because they were carried out mostly by Shiites, the majority population there. Street protests are illegal in Saudi Arabia.

MR. SHAMMARI says his protest derives partly from his origins: He is a leader of the Shammar tribe, which includes both Shiites and Sunnis and straddles the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The Shammar suffered discrimination in the early days of the Saudi kingdom, because they were viewed as having divided loyalties.

 

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Published time: February 19, 2014 11:36
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the boycott movement against Israel as anti-Semitism in a modern guise. Blasting the initiative as an “outrage,” Netanyahu likened EU companies’ tactics to the Nazi policy of embargoing Jewish businesses.

In a heated attack on the Palestinian-led boycott movement of Israel, Netanyahu told a conference of US Jewish organizations in Jerusalem on Monday that it was time to “delegitimize the delegitimizers.”

“In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Netanyahu said.

He added that the ultimate goal of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) was the destruction of the Jewish state. The BDS is a movement sponsored by pro-Palestinian intellectuals and bloggers and is calling for a boycott on all Israeli goods as an act of protest against Israel’s policy towards Palestine.

It encourages its supporters to “target products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.”

 

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MSN News

Baton Rouge’s Rich Want New Town to Keep Poor Pupils Out: Taxes

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM ET

By Margaret Newkirk

Saying they want local control, they’re trying to leave the 42,000-pupil public-education system. They envision their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-value homes, which would take money from schools in poorer parts of state-capital Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University. They even want their own city.

Similar efforts have surfaced in the past two years in Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee, some of them succeeding as the end of court-ordered desegregation removed legal barriers. The result may be a concentration of poverty and low achievement. A 2012 report by ACT, the Iowa-based testing organization, found only 10 percent of low-income students met college benchmarks in all subjects, less than half the average.

“It’s going to devastate us,” said Tania Nyman, 45, who has two elementary-age children in the Baton Rouge system. “They’re not only going to take the richer white kids out of the district, they are going to take their money out of it.”

U.S. educational funding varies by state, often relying heavily on local taxes. The South, once notorious for segregated schools, by 2011 had the nation’s second-narrowest funding disparity among districts, according to a study by the Federal Education Budget Project, a Washington-based research organization that is an offshoot of the nonpartisan New America Foundation.

Dropping Further

Louisiana, however, scored worst in the nation, according to the study. A December report by three LSU economics professors found that breaking up the East Baton Rouge Parish school system would depress total per-pupil spending to $8,870 from $9,635. It would rise to $11,686 in the breakaway district.

Eighty percent of the current district’s students are black, and 82 percent poor enough to qualify for free or reduced school meals. Nyman and other district boosters say a split would set a dire precedent.

“Every affluent community in the state will want to create their own little school system,” said Carnell Washington, president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.“They are taking money away that would help the entire school system and the entire city.”

Opting Out

Backers of the split, whose website is called Local Schools for Local Children, say the district has been failing for at least a dozen years, with some schools performing so poorly that the state took them over. In the 2011-2012 school year, six of 10 students attended a school ranked failing or almost failing by the state and the drop-out rate was 20 percent, according to Baton Rouge Area Chamber, a business group.

“Baton Rouge is one of the best job markets around, and the middle class is moving out,” said Republican state Senator Mack “Bodi” White. “Those who stay have their kids in private schools.”

About 30 percent of children within district lines were in private schools in 2009, according to Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.

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cid:824F64967BBF4313B3D68D76F0D90AD6@KaysToy

Watch Full Movie  “The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler Here

Irena Sendler bátor szíve from Merenyi Zoltan on Vimeo.

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Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers premiered May 2011.
Check Local Listings to see when it’s airing on your local PBS station.

“I sit here as a testament to those people who were committed to saving a Jewish child’s life.”
— William Donat

Irena Sandler In the Name of Their Mothers is the story of a group of young Polish women, who outfoxed the Nazis during World War II and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children.

A Polish mother and child

Julien Bryan Collection, USHMM

A Polish mother and child in the aftermath of the bombing of Warsaw, 1939.

Irena Sendler, a petite social worker, was not yet thirty years old when Nazi tanks rolled into Warsaw in September of 1939. When the city’s Jews were imprisoned behind a ghetto wall without food or medicine, she appealed to her closest friends and colleagues, mostly young women, some barely out of their teens. Together, they smuggled aid in and smuggled Jewish orphans out of the ghetto by hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and leading older children out through secret passageways and the city’s sewers. Catholic birth certificates and identity papers were forged and signed by priests and high ranking officials in the Social Services Department so that the children could be taken from safe houses in Warsaw to orphanages and convents in the surrounding countryside.

The scheme was fraught with danger. The city was crawling with ruthless blackmailers, and the Gestapo were constantly on the look out for Jews who had escaped from the ghetto. “You are not Rachel but Roma. You are not Isaac but Jacek. Repeat it ten times, a hundred, even a thousand times,” says Irena, who knew that any child on the street could be stopped and interrogated. If he was unable to recite a Catholic prayer he could be killed.

Magda Rusinek tells us how she taught the children “little prayers that every child knows in Polish. I would wake them up during the night to say the prayer,” says the Sendler collaborator who had joined the Polish Resistance as a teenager. “And then I had to teach them how to behave in a church, a Christian Church.”

“They treated me like their own child,” says Poitr Zettinger, recalling how the sisters would warn him when the Gestapo came to the convent. “They would tell me when I should hide so I’d run up to the attic. I’d hide in a cupboard there.” William Donat, a New York businessman, describes the conflicts inherent in the extraordinary situation. “I was baptized and I was converted and, became a very, very strong Catholic. I was praying every day for perhaps a little more food and for Jesus to forgive me for the terrible sin that I had been born a Jew.”

Sendler and her cohorts kept meticulous records of the children’s Jewish names so that they could be reunited with their parents after the war. Donat was one of the few whose parents survived.

Irena Sendler

2B Productions

Irena Sendler at age 95 in Warsaw.

In 1942, as conditions worsened and thousands of Jews were rounded up daily and sent to die at the Treblinka death camp, less than hour outside Warsaw, Sendler and her cohorts began to appeal to Jewish parents to let their children go. Sixty years later, Irena still has nightmares about the encounters. “Those scenes over whether to give a child away were heart-rending. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me the child. Their first question was, ‘What guarantee is there that the child will live?’ I said, ‘None. I don’t even know if I will get out of the ghetto alive today.”

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cid:7C72E425DE734F7A97847D5101B557E3@KaysToy
Irena Sendler

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw , Poland
cid:A56EC79DAC004A2AAE23238FCE8CF515@KaysToy

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried.She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking which covered the kids/infants noises.

cid:824F64967BBF4313B3D68D76F0D90AD6@KaysToy

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

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In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

Later another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.

In MEMORIAM – 65 YEARS LATER
I’m doing my small part by forwarding this message.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same. It is now more than 67 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

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Maldives President Rejects Law Banning Husbands from Raping Divorced Wives to Infect them with AIDS as “UnIslamic”

marital rape

“Run, run for it now.”

I’m not sure if Islamic law is the worst thing ever… but it’s probably the worst thing ever for women.

I keep hearing that Mohammed was the original feminist and that Islamic law protects women. Also the State Department praised the moderate Muslim president of moderate Muslim Maldives for being elected through democratic values.

Nothing says democratic values like rape, Islamic law and being the brother of a tyrant.

The US has congratulated Abdulla Yameen on him being elected as the new President of the Maldives, and called the association between the two countries as “a long history of cordial relations”.

“The extraordinarily high turnout on November 16th was a tribute to the Maldivian people’s commitment to the democratic process and democratic values,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday.

Yameen is the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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Maldivian president rejects ‘un-Islamic’ ban on some forms of marital rape

By: News Desk

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, center, was sworn into the presidency on Nov. 17, 2013. Photo by Maldivian government (press release).

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to sign a bill Thursday that criminalizes some forms of marital rape, Religion News Service reported. Though the bill passed parliament with 67-2 vote, Yameen rejected the legislation, which limits a husband’s right to demand sex from his wife, because it was “un-Islamic.

The bill did not criminalize all marital rape, but banned it under the following circumstances:

  • if a case for dissolution of a marriage is in court
  • while a divorce, filed by the husband or wife, is pending a court hearing
  • if the intent of intercourse is to transmit a sexually transmitted disease
  • if the couple agrees to a mutual separation

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ob4On the day before Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, the New Yorker unveiled an extended interview with Obama in which the flailing leader blamed his poor approval ratings on racism.

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” Obama told the editor of the liberal magazine known for its cloyingly obscure cartoons and overwhelmingly white readership.

Obama began his first term with an approval rating of 68 percent; a figure unmatched since JFK. No Republican had enjoyed a starting approval rating above 60 percent in 60 years, indicating how much more willing Republicans were to give the other guy a fair shot than their Democratic counterparts. At 12 percent, his disapproval ratings were also much lower than those of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.

If his current approval rating of 40 percent pro and 51 percent con can be put down to anything, it isn’t race. When Obama began his first term in office, he had the approval of 41 percent of Republicans. By the time the year was out, that number had fallen to 16 percent.

At the start of his first term, he had the approval of 62 percent of independent voters. Today he has the approval of less than half that number. Only his support from his own party has remained unchanged.

Any honest politician would put those numbers down to his actions, but Obama always takes refuge in race, telling Remnick, “There is a historic connection between some of the arguments that we have politically and the history of race in our country, and sometimes it’s hard to disentangle those issues.”

Few men knew that history better than the black Republican minister who stood on the steps of a memorial to the Republican president who ended the Democratic Party’s institution of slavery and, with a resonance that echoes across time, said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The post-equality civil rights movement of the left has long since buried that dream, exchanging it for a nightmare of calculated racial inequalities where your race is what you will be judged by when you apply for college, apply for a job or face low approval ratings after your national health care scheme explodes into a broken $600 million website and millions of angry people who have lost their health insurance and are being forced to pay more money for fewer benefits.

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Bloomberg

Obama Says Racial Animus Blunts Approval, New Yorker Reports


Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term has been marked by controversies including a… Read More

President Barack Obama said that racial tensions may have softened his popularity among white voters within the last two years, according to a story posted on the New Yorker magazine’s website today.

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” Obama said in the article by David Remnick, appearing in the magazine’s Jan. 27 edition.

“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president,” Obama said in his most direct comments on how race has affected his political standing since he’s been in office.

Obama’s second term has been marked by controversies including a partial government shutdown in October, revelations that the National Security Agency has gathered personal mobile phone data and the troubled rollout of health-insurance expansion.

Obama’s approval rating among all voters is 39 percent and his disapproval rating is 53 percent, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Jan. 14-16. In the 2012 presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, compared with Obama’s 39 percent, according to exit polling by a consortium of major news outlets. Obama won 43 percent of the white vote in 2008 against 55 percent for opponent John McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona.

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Obama: People don’t like me because I’m a Black President

TV Alberta·

Published on Jan 20, 2014

On Sunday, The New Yorker released an interview with President Barack Obama in which the president stated that his approval ratings had been suppressed due to racism. “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” Obama stated. “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.”

Obama’s current approval rating is down to 39 percent according to Gallup; his approval rating in the black community remains extraordinarily high, although it is significantly lower now than it was when he was re-elected.

Obama’s overall approval ratings have tumbled coincident with the failed rollout of Obamacare, as well as his mishandling of the Syria and Iran crises. Obama’s supporters have often suggested that political difficulties he experiences are attributable to generalized racial anxiety.

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Race to blame for President Obama’s low approval rating

Last-Minute News 5 Last-Minute News 5

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President Obama Blames Racism for His Low Approval Ratings

Dued1960 Dued1960

Published on Jan 23, 2014

Tonight DLAKE 4 PREZ covers Obama’s recent statements: There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea .

MSNBC: Obama Poll Numbers At All Time Lows, Dragging Down 2014 Democrats – Obama Poll Numbers At All Time Lows, Drag.

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Flirty Obama owes us an apology

 

 

Maybe he went into sugar shock over a Danish pastry.

 

The president of the United States, leader of the free world, standard-bearer for everything upright, good and wholesome about the nation he leads, lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.

 

In front of 91 world leaders, the mourning nation of South Africa and Obama’s clearly furious wife, Michelle, the president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

 

Not to be outdone by the president’s bad behavior, the Danish hellcat hiked up her skirt to expose long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings.

 

With Michelle glowering, the world judging and mental fidelity floating into the abyss, the president leaned into the air space of the cross-legged Danish cupcake, who is known in Copenhagen as a fan of America’s randy TV show “Sex and the City.’’ It was the memorial equivalent of a bodice-ripper.

 

SAFRICA-MANDELA-MEMORIAL
Obama takes a selfie with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt as Michelle Obama gives her husband the cold shoulder.

Getty Images

 

Thorning-Schmidt placed her hands dangerously close to Obama’s side. The president’s cackling head moved inches from the Danish tart’s and yards away from his wife’s. Obama then proceeded to absorb body heat from the Dane, which he won’t be feeling at home for a long time.

 

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Mother Jones

The Right’s Obsession With Obama the Flirt

 

We’re not saying it’s racist, but…

| Thu Dec. 12, 2013 1:16 PM GMT
 

It is often hard to connect actions to racism—and sometimes it is hard not to. When conservative activists and leaders excitedly contend that the first black American elected president was secretly born overseas and, consequently, is a pretender to the office, it certainly is difficult to ignore racism as a possible contributing motive. (These same people are in no uproar about Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada.) And when President Barack Obama is repeatedly branded a sexed-up flirt, despite the evidence he is a stand-up family guy, a similar query is unavoidable: Is race a factor?

 

The conservative New York Post this week has done extra duty to promote the idea that the president is a cad (and Michelle Obama is the resentful, jealous, and bossy wife). After photos emerged of Obama taking a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (with British PM David Cameron the third wheel) and the first lady looking displeased, the media was all abuzz, and Rupert Murdoch’s paper led the way with its front-page coverage pitched with this witty headline: “Flirting with Dane-ger.” The next day, Post columnist Andrea Peyser pushed the story—and the already widely spread meme—further. In an article headlined, “Flirty Obama Owes Us an Apology,” she ranted that Obama had “lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.” She referred to the Danish leader as a “hellcat” and pegged the needle in sexualizing this story: “Thorning-Schmidt placed her hands dangerously close to Obama’s side. The president’s cackling head moved inches from the Danish tart’s and yards away from his wife’s. Obama then proceeded to absorb body heat from the Dane, which he won’t be feeling at home for a long time.” Meet Obama, the lustful and wild predator who cannot control his urges at a solemn occasion.

 

Peyser was working with an idea—the president as sexy beast—not the facts. The day before her story appeared, Roberto Schmidt, the German Colombian news photographer who had snapped the shots that had ignited this nonscandal threw a bucket of cold water on the story Peyser and others were peddling:

 

I captured the scene reflexively. All around me in the stadium, South Africans were dancing, singing and laughing to honour their departed leader. It was more like a carnival atmosphere, not at all morbid. The ceremony had already gone on for two hours and would last another two. The atmosphere was totally relaxed—I didn’t see anything shocking in my viewfinder, president of the US or not. We are in Africa.

I later read on social media that Michelle Obama seemed to be rather peeved on seeing the Danish prime minister take the picture. But photos can lie. In reality, just a few seconds earlier the first lady was herself joking with those around her, Cameron and Schmidt included. Her stern look was captured by chance.

 

Schmidt noted that he spotted nothing improper. Obama had not been a wild man who had prompted a wifely rebuke. Still, that did not prevent Peyser from day-threeing this event with lasciviousness: “Michelle frowned and looked as if she wanted to spit acid at the man she married, a good-time guy who humiliated her in front of their friends, the world and a blonde bimbo who hadn’t the sense to cover up and keep it clean.”

 

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Nelson Mandela dead at 95

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View images of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, who went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa’s first black president.

Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.

“He is now resting,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. “He is now at peace.”

“Our nation has lost his greatest son,” he continued. “Our people have lost their father.”

A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with “the dignity and respect” that Mandela personified.

“Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another,” he said as tributes began pouring in from across the world.

Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.

He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.

South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.

Feb. 1990: NBC’s Robin Lloyd reports on Nelson Mandela on the eve of his release from prison in 1990. Mandela’s name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid, but no one but prison guards and visitors have actually seen him since he was jailed 27 years ago.

In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he wrote in “Long Walk to Freedom.”

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Mandela retired from public life in 2004 with the half-joking directive, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” and had largely stepped out of the spotlight, spending much of his time with family in his childhood village.

His health had been fragile in recent years. He had spent almost three months in a hospital in Pretoria after being admitted in June for a recurring lung infection. He was released on Sept. 1.

In his later years, Mandela was known to his countrymen simply as Madiba, the name of his tribe and a mark of great honor. But when he was born on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla, which translated roughly – and prophetically – to “troublemaker.”

Mandela was nine when his father died, and he was sent from his rural village to the provincial capital to be raised by a fellow chief. The first member of his family to get a formal education, he went to boarding school and then enrolled in South Africa’s elite Fort Hare University, where his activism unfurled with a student boycott.

As a young law scholar, he joined the resurgent African National Congress just a few years before the National Party – controlled by the Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch and French settlers – came to power on a platform of apartheid, in which the government enforced racial segregation and stripped non-whites of economic and political power.

As an ANC leader, Mandela advocated peaceful resistance against government discrimination and oppression – until 1961, when he launched a military wing called Spear of the Nation and a campaign of sabotage.

April, 1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is on the verge of being elected South Africa’s first black president.

The next year, he was arrested and soon hit with treason charges. At the opening of his trial in 1964, he said his adoption of armed struggle was a last resort born of bloody crackdowns by the government.

“Fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation and fewer and few rights,” he said from the dock.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

The New York Times The New York Times

Published on Dec 5, 2013

Subscribe on YouTube: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n
Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, died at 95.

Read the story: http://nyti.ms/1jrjEyE

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The American Dream

 

The Knockout Game Is Just A Preview Of The Chaos That Is Coming To The Streets Of America

BoxingThere is a hot new game being played in cities all over America, and it is very simple.  You pick out a defenseless person on the street and you try to knock them out.  In most areas, it is known as “the knockout game”.  In some communities it is called by other names such as “point-em-out, knock-em-out” and “polar bear hunting”.  In many instances, the perpetrators don’t even try to steal anything from the people that they knock out.  The goal is just to “have fun” by brutally attacking an innocent victim.  Well, if this is what young thugs in America will do for fun when times are still good, what will they be willing to do when our economy really starts falling apart?  Yes, the U.S. economy has definitely been steadily declining, but the truth is that what we are experiencing right now is rip-roaring prosperity compared to what is coming in the years ahead.  So what will the streets of America look like when things get really bad?

If you have never heard of “the knockout game” before, the following is how USA Today recently described it…

Dangerous “knockout” attacks on strangers are leading to arrests, more officers flooding the streets and more warnings for vigilance by an unsuspecting public.

Perpetrators have dubbed the violent practice as the “knockout game,” in which young people try to randomly knock out strangers with one punch.

Recent attacks in New York, New Haven, Conn., Washington, D.C. and suburban Philadelphia have raised concerns across the country.

Of course there are variations on the game.  Sometimes the goal is to knock out victims with a single punch, but in other instances entire groups of young thugs attack a victim and the goal is to see who can knock out the victim first.

Most of the time this game does not involve the theft of belongings, but in other cases it does.  For example, the following is how one teen described the game

“You just knock them out. You hit them with a blow and you take their belongings.”

Most of the time, the victims are males.

But this is not always true.

In fact, the Huffington Post recently reported on an incident in which a 78-year-old grandmother was attacked…

Earlier this month, CBS 2 reported on a series of attacks on Jews in Brooklyn, allegedly part of a disturbing game that has teens punching Jewish adults in an effort to try to knock them over.

Now it appears the action — dubbed the “knockout game” — has spread. Violent videos shot in other cities and in as many as six states, show teenagers knocking into other victims on purpose including, most recently, a 78-year-old grandmother in Brooklyn.

The victim’s daughter said she was walking along in broad daylight when a young African-American male knocked her down. He didn’t take anything, she said, and didn’t seem interested in anything but hitting her as hard as he could before running off.

Sometimes, the victims of “the knockout game” never get back up.  Last year, a 20-year-old college student in Minnesota was killed by a pack of thugs playing the knockout game.  You can see a video news report about that incident right here.

Knockout game deaths have also been reported in Syracuse, in St. Louis and in New Jersey.  In the case in New Jersey, the attackers left 46-year-old Ralph Santiago lodged between iron fence posts with a broken neck

 

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