But the prospect that Yiannopoulos stands to profit from a boycott should trouble his opponents less than the chilling effect of consumer book boycotts on speech. As the National Coalition Against Censorship points out, boycotts like this are increasingly familiar: ‘We are aware of at least seven other similar situations involving threats or fears of boycotts, four of which were successful in having books withdrawn, delayed, revised, or not reprinted.’ As boycotts become more common, corporate media may become less willing to publish controversial books, right and left. Simon & Schuster’s entire publishing enterprise, not just the Yiannopoulos screed or the imprint publishing it, is being targeted, which means that Yiannopoulos could prosper while the company and other authors suffer.
Of course, boycotts are themselves a protected form of speech in the
US. Accusing boycotters of censorship confuses private protests of
speech with state actions (like hate-speech bans) against it. As private
citizens, consumers have obvious rights to organise against books they
disdain and the companies that disseminate them. Besides, consumer
preferences have always determined what and who gets published or aired
in commercial marketplaces. You might say that when consumers boycott
media companies they’re hoisting them with their own petards.
Boycotts present political, not legal issues, and they require sober
political judgements, often absent from our battles over allegedly
harmful speech. ‘If there were ever a man whose book should be treated
as a weapon, it’s Milo Yiannopoulos’, Sady Doyle proclaims in Elle,
referencing a familiar, false equation between speech and action,
between advocacy and incitement. The ‘harassment’ his speech encourages
is actually ‘a violent assault’, she asserts, warning that publishing
his rants will ‘endanger human lives’. Yiannopoulos must revel in this
rhetoric, as Doyle acknowledges. He calls his forthcoming book Dangerous, exploiting the sensational reputation that outraged critics have helped him establish.
People who fear that books can kill are unlikely to be persuaded that
metaphoric ‘violence of the word’ is not, in fact, the equivalent of
actual violence, and a book is not a weapon, unless you plan on hitting
people over the head with it. They will not accept the narrow,
constitutional definition of incitement as speech intended and likely to
cause imminent violence. (At most, Yiannopoulos has been accused of
advocacy that effectively encourages other people to threaten violence.)
Saturday, January 21, 2017
By Janis Mara, Marin Independent Journal
The Transportation Authority of Marin is seeking support from local municipalities for state legislation that would authorize a local sales tax cap exemption.
The existing half-cent sales tax that funds the authority’s Marin transportation projects expires in 2025. Lifting the cap would make it possible for the authority to ask voters to increase that sales tax.
“We’re on the agenda of every city in Marin,” said Dianne Steinhauser, the authority’s executive director. The Fairfax Town Council was slated to discuss the item Wednesday; the item is on Novato’s agenda for Jan. 24.
The San Rafael City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to take no action on the proposed legislation, with Mayor Gary Phillips dissenting.
“I think we need more community input, both on transportation projects and on how a high sales tax rate would affect our community,” said Councilwoman Kate Colin. “How does it affect our ability to attract businesses? How does it affect people’s ability to pay it, especially in low-income communities? What are the ramifications of raising a sales tax cap?” Colin added that she wanted more information on which transportation projects were proposed.
Steinhauser acknowledged that the expenditure plan hasn’t been developed yet and staffers don’t know what might be included.
Editor's Note: Well that sort of comes first doesn't it? TAM wants a blank check. Yeah right. Of course they want more of our money.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Commentators, celebs, the CIA – all are in open revolt against democracy.
20 JANUARY 2017
Today’s the day. Any minute now Donald J Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America. Hair Force One is about to land. And it will be a historic moment. Not because Trump is the saviour of the ‘forgotten’ men and women of America, as he put it outside the Lincoln Memorial last night. Nor because he’s some sort of white-supremacist counter-revolutionary about to awake an army of goose-stepping pussy grabbers, as his more vociferous critics would have it. But because, in plumping for Trump, the electorate dealt a blow to technocracy, to a narrow, elitist status quo, to a caste of people who openly revile them, and who are now in open revolt against them.
The word ‘unprecedented’ is chucked around a lot in relation to Trump. And indeed he is. Not only has he crashed like a tangerine wrecking-ball through the modern political consensus, he’s potentially the first president-elect to be sworn in while the question of whether he wanted to be president is still an open one. In spite of his colossal ego, its likely he never thought he would win; many still think this was a publicity stunt for Trump TV gone horribly, horribly wrong. That’s why there’s a postmodern feel to it, an air of unreality. While Obama cultivated his coastal luvvie persona, appearing like a Daily Show pundit turned president, Trump is more of a Kardashian. And his 3am tweets now break the internet on a daily basis.
But what’s also ‘unprecedented’, and far more destructive, is the reaction to him. Ever since Trump arrived on the political scene commentators have chided him for breaking ‘democratic norms’ – from his spreading of ‘birther’ conspiracy theories about Obama to his threat to lock up Hillary. But the American elite, in a post-vote fit of pique, has decided to break the biggest democratic norm of them all: respecting the result of a freely held election. Because there’s another word that has been flung at Trump in the days approaching his inauguration: ‘illegitimate’. And this isn’t just being uttered by trustifarian protesters, due to descend on Washington en masse in a tantrum-like demo against democracy. It’s being uttered by broadsheet commentators and respected political leaders.
Dozens of congressmen are due to boycott the inauguration, following the lead of civil-rights leader John Lewis, who told CNN last week that ‘I do not see this president-elect as a legitimate president’. He said ‘the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton’. But this is only a convenient excuse. The allegations about Trump being in league with or in hock to Russia amount to a whisper campaign. The infamous dossier which alleged collusion between Russia and Trump, and the existence of a certain, urine-drenched video tape, is completely unsubstantiated, a collection of memos about things that ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele – collecting ‘oppo research’ for Trump’s Republican and Democratic opponents – was told by unnamed sources in the FSB.
And every step of the way, the campaign against Trump has been aided by the US intelligence agencies. The CIA is currently in open warfare with him. Whether or not the CIA leaked the dossier to the press – as Trump claims – we may never know. But it both lent credence to these claims and triggered their publication when the CIA and FBI decided to brief President Obama, Trump and certain members of Congress on the claims. The dossier had been lying in journalists’ in-trays for months, as they all struggled to corroborate it. Though Buzzfeed was wrong to print what remained little more than intelligence-community rumours, it was effectively given an excuse to do so when news of the briefings broke; a semi-public-interest defence could now be cobbled together.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
by EDITOR on DECEMBER 15, 2010
Next time your kid comes home in a Che Guevara T-shirt, ask him if he knows what the
Cuban murderer of Cubans actually stood for. Sit him down, strip the gauze of ignorance from his eyes and have him read these Guevara quotes.
Then burn the damn T-shirt.
1. “Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!”
2. “Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary.”
3. “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary … These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution!”
4. “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!” The Wall is a reference to the wall where Che’s enemies stood before his firing squads.
5. “I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ … I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don’t get nailed to a cross or any other place.”
6. “If any person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to have him shot.”
7. Che wanted the result of the Cuban missile crisis to be an atomic war. “What we affirm is that we must proceed along the path of liberation even if this costs millions of atomic victims.”
8. “In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm.”
9. “Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”
10. “It’s a sad thing not to have friends, but it is even sadder not to have enemies.”
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
A look back at 2013 " CSD Directors have a champagne toast to themselves and we pick up the tab. (Highlight Video 1 minute 20 seconds)
See related story in the Marin IJ HERE
From Leah's NextDoor posting on 11/11/2013:
Gerald, that is insulting to say the least. I chose my infant daughter over campaigning and we all know the CSD has not a shred of jurisdiction over housing issues. Please start attending the CSD meetings to see for yourself instead of attacking people like myself who you've never taken the time to meet or contact. I have spent 4 years getting sitters so I could volunteer my time for our community as a member of the board. It's this kind of unneighborly and uncivil behavior that can lead to no good. The vocal tea party minority may have "won" the election. There will be a steep learning curve for the new board members and I assume the community will be holding them to the same standards. My husband and I have been frankly horrified by the ignorant rhetoric around low-incoming housing and it appears that well educated, open minded folks who want to make the world a better place through education and housing for all, even if that means paying a few extra b ucks for it, are sadly, few and far between. If I learned anything in graduate school it was that economics matter. Social justice matters. We are all only here for a short time - why not work to make the world a better place for all than hold on so tightly to a closed minded self righteous attitude? I ask you, how does it make you feel to attack someone you've never met in a public forum? do you think that has gained you friends, followers, respect? As a mother of 2 young girls, do you think I should teach them that this is how one responds to differences in opinion?
See related post from 11/11/2013 Marin IJ Story HERE
and residents letters to the editor reacting to the story on 11/13/2013 HERE
and residents letters to the editor reacting to the story on 11/13/2013 HERE
|The champagne toast is over and now we must pick up the tab.|
This video is from 2013 while under the Obama Administration HUD policies. Will Trump carry forth the same AFFH policy (Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing) which forces communities to build low income housing exclusively for minorities in areas of high concentration of white residents. It presumes that racism exists anytime the demographic makeup of a neighborhood does not reflect the ideal racial mix.
Marinwood-Lucas Valley in particular is the target for the Marin County Supervisors since they control unincorporated Marin County development policies with three out of five votes. Since we only can vote for one supervisor for our district, the supervisors are immune from negative consequences of their votes.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The equation of words and violence harms open debate.
16 January 2017
Thanks to its decision to publish a book by alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, Simon & Schuster is the latest company threatened with a consumer boycott. ‘YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS’, comedian Sarah Silverman elegantly tweeted after news of his $250,000 advance. He may well earn more from royalties, especially if feminists and other progressives continue providing him with free publicity and an excuse to proclaim himself a victim of political correctness.
An open marketplace of ideas has always been an ideal. In practice, the marketplace has been partly controlled by wealth and corporate power. But even in the wake of late 20th-century media conglomeration it was still a serviceable, functional ideal and a foundational one for free speech. Does it remain so?
The 21st-century marketplace seems increasingly dysfunctional, posing a primary challenge to free-speech advocates today. The dysfunction will only become more acute as America’s incoming tweeter-in-chief continues lashing out at critics to his nearly 20million followers. Remember the 18-year-old girl who asked candidate Trump a question about abortion rights and equal pay during a forum? He described her as an ‘arrogant’, ‘nasty’ young woman in a tweet, and his fans responded by threatening to brutalise her. Who can blame her for being scared (‘I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do’, she said), and how can we convince her not to retreat from a raucous, sometimes vicious marketplace to ‘safe spaces’ of like-mindedness?
That’s one question at the heart of our debates about speech. We can at least assure her that she has a right not to be targeted with explicit threats of violence. Actual threats, narrowly defined, forfeit constitutional protection, although, as a practical matter, they can be difficult to control.
But we can’t assure her that she won’t be excoriated for her views; we can’t protect her from feeling demeaned or intimidated. There’s no avoiding the hard fact that freedom of speech, like freedom generally, requires considerable fortitude. Safe spaces for speech aren’t free. Free speech isn’t safe.
Is Milo Yiannopoulos dangerous? He’d like us to think so. But he depends on the outrage he provokes, which his offended listeners have the power to withhold. We can speak and act against bigotry without engaging directly with bigots who won’t reason with us, and without trying to silence them. Yiannopoulos’s rants, epithets and insults aren’t threats; they’re taunts and demands for attention. Let’s not give it to him.
Wendy Kaminer is a lawyer and writer, and a former national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is the author of several books, including: A Fearful Freedom: Women’s Flight from Equality (1990); I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional (1992); and Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU (2009).
This article was first published in the Boston Globe on 10 January 2017.
Let’s drop our tribal divisions and unite as Americans.
By Zack Wright — August 8, 2016
Racism is not a problem in the United States Marine Corps. There is no distinction between black or white Marines — or any color in between. Drill instructors, NCOs, and commanding officers alike teach their men that there are no races in the Marines — to the Corps, whether you are light green or dark green is irrelevant. We are all green, and that is all that matters. For many decades, Marines of all different shades have fought, bled, and died beside each other. Promotion is based on performance scores, not on race. Discipline is based on individual action, not on race. Marines identify as Marines, not as a race.
If more Americans discarded the divisive labels that are thrust upon us every day by government policy, progressive ideology, and popular culture, we would have a much more united, less factionalized, less racist society.
One of the first things I remember being taught in life is that skin color does not matter. Discrimination, segregation, and hatred are wrong. Separate is not equal. I took this nugget of truth to heart and I have tried to live my life in a manner that confirms that ideal. Race is an artificial human social construction, a construction which has been a powerful force in conquest, enslavement, segregation, apartheid, murder, and genocide. Race is a negative force; it is a way for people to justify division and separation between groups of people.
Just over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt, in a famous speech, called for discarding the hyphen that many Americans carried as part of their identity. He argued that maintaining the hyphen in American society, would lead to the eventual destruction of America. “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all,” Roosevelt said, “would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”
RELATED: Identity Politics Are Ripping Us Apart
Last year, then–Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal echoed this sentiment when he said of his parents, “They weren’t coming [to America] to raise ‘Indian-Americans.’ They were coming to raise Americans.” Jindal proclaimed that he was tired of hyphenated Americans, a practice which only divides us.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. called for the end of racism in America. He dreamed that we would “one day live in a nation” where Americans “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Unfortunately, our nation has changed from the United States I knew in my youth to the country that we live in today. While I concede that my perspective has changed from that of a child to that of an adult, I believe that our country — while never having fully succeeded in discarding racism in the past — has regressed in the last decade. It’s true that the evil, government-sanctioned horror that was chattel slavery and Jim Crow are long gone. Public schools have been integrated for more than four decades. In theory all U.S. citizens are equal under the law. In 2008, we elected a black president.
RELATED: America’s Balkan Values
Yet despite these signs of progress, today we are mired in a backward-trending divisive ideology of self-segregation, fruitless categorization, and tribalism. I watched in profound sadness and disappointment in the winter of 2014 when, in the midst of the terrible self-destructive riots in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama, the man with the perhaps greatest opportunity to lead our country into reconciliation and unity since Reconstruction, instead further divided our country. I was listening, waiting to be led to a new America, and he left me disappointed and Ferguson burning.
The end state of the progressive ideology that celebrates and reinforces race as an important distinction in employment, crime, education, and politics is a society that is further split into warring factions. It is rolling back the spirit of E Pluribus Unum. Instead of uniting the country as one, it seeks to divide us based on the color of our skin. Our young people are assaulted by a racial ideology that tears us apart. Divisive jokes, slurs, nicknames, and categorization confront our youth every day. Rap songs, social media, and popular culture all reinforce that divide instead of minimizing it. But instead of finding ways to move past these troubles, progressive ideology seeks to normalize racial slurs rather than eliminate them.
I have experienced racism in my life. Things have been assumed about me because of my appearance. I have been called slurs. I have gotten in fights. I, too, have been categorized against my will. I am one of the millions of Americans who does not fit into the convoluted categories and divisions that government policy and racial ideology try to force us into. I refuse to be categorized based on my skin color or ancestry by anyone — but especially by the government.
In order to exercise your constitutional right to buy a firearm in the United States you must fill out the ATF 4473 form from which a background check is conducted. Buyers are required by our government to categorize themselves by answering two questions: Question 10A on ethnicity requires you to check “Hispanic or Latino” or “Not Hispanic or Latino”; Question 10B requires a buyer to define himself by choosing at least one of: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or White.
RELATED: The Race-Obsessed Left Has Released a Monster It Can’t Control
Archaic classification systems are non-scientific, flawed, divisive, and pointless. How should a person answer whose parents and ancestors were Arabs born in Egypt? What about white people born in New Zealand? Are they not Pacific Islanders? Is it not insane that Lebanese, Pashtun, Bengali, Tamil, Turkish, Cambodian, Indonesian, and, of course, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Americans are all classified by our government as “Asian”?
One of the most insulting incarnations of racism today is the idea of race-based voting. Whenever politicians and media predict the outcome of the “Black vote” or the “Latino vote,” I cringe. How is it not racist for someone to assume — or even expect — an individual to vote based on the color of his or her skin? What is more racist than to ascribe a person’s political views to her physical appearance? Should not a person vote his conscience? Should not experience, philosophy, religion, economic status, residency, education, occupation, and morality have far more to do with an individual’s political perspective than his or her pigmentation? Expecting someone to think, behave, or vote a certain way based on skin color is as racist as segregation. And yet many who dare dissent from the politics they are expected to hold based on skin color are often called traitors or Uncle Toms.
I am a conservative American who hates racism. I am in fact actively anti-racist: I want to live my life in a way so that my tiny corner of the universe is positively improved by practicing anti-racism. What is the end state of divisive racial ideology? It is unending division. For progressives, is there ever a point where Asian Americans, African Americans, European Americans, Hispanic Americans (another socially constructed category — arbitrarily divided from Native Americans) can just be Americans? Not that I’m aware of. Progressive ideology seems to want to divide us — permanently.
Alternatively, the admittedly far-off and idealistic goal for American society from a conservative perspective is color blindness. If race shouldn’t matter in how we judge individuals, let’s treat it like it doesn’t matter. Let’s remove race as a criterion for consideration. Conservatives should work toward a society where nothing is influenced or decided based on the color of a person’s skin. A truly uniting policy would be to move beyond these feudal bonds of socially constructed imprisonment. Let us cast off any stereotypes, assumptions, benefits, grievances, or impairments based on the amount of melanin in a person’s hide.
Encouragingly, there is a precedent for this idea in American history — when disparate groups of English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Welsh, and Scottish colonists became, simply, American. Later, the Poles and Italians became Americans. The Irish — once thought to be too different to ever truly assimilate into our culture — became Americans. During the First World War many Americans of Germans descent made tangible changes in their customs and culture to become, simply, Americans.
I am not advocating that you forget your heritage or ancestry. As free men and women, by all means celebrate your ancestry and heritage as you please, but remember that we are an American Nation, and that “American” is our nationality — something far more important and unifying than the artificial and destructive concept of race.
So let me join with President Roosevelt and Governor Jindal in calling for an end to hyphenated Americans. Let us drop our tribal divisions and embrace our shared heritage and nationality. Let us unite as Americans. Let us remember that separate is not equal. I hope that, as Americans, we will move toward a color-blind, post-race, and post-racist society. That is the only way to end racism.
— Zack “Cookie” Wright was a sergeant in Lima Company, Third Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment and is a veteran of the Iraq War.
Monday, January 16, 2017
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Martin Luther King, Jr. is an unparalleled figure in the civil rights movement, but less well-known are the civil liberties lessons of his life and activism.
As King came to national prominence half a century ago, the pre-digital technology of the era did not stop the federal government from prying into his private life with the goal of undermining his civil rights work.
King’s heroic advocacy of equality and opposition to the war in Vietnam put him on all kinds of government watchlists. The FBI called him the “most dangerous Negro of the future of this nation,” assessing him in terms that sound more reminiscent of a terror threat than a pastor leading nonviolent protests against institutionalized racism.
That “most dangerous” phrase is from an FBI memo penned immediately after King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. That memo also concluded that “it may be unrealistic to limit ourselves as we have been doing to legalistic proof or definitely conclusive evidence.” In other words, the FBI had decided that King was a dangerous communist, and it was determined to proceed with illegal efforts to discredit his movement regardless of the fact that there was no actual proof to justify its actions.
The agency discussed “how best to carry on our investigation [of King] to produce the desired results without embarrassment to the Bureau,” including “the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader.”
And a few months after the dream speech, the FBI began, in Director J. Edgar Hoover’s words, to “intensify our coverage of communist influence on the Negro.” That took the form of wiretapping King’s phones and bugging his hotel rooms. The agency further disgraced itself by sending King a letter trying to badger him into suicide and harassing King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, in an attempt push her towards divorce.
The NSA spied on King, too, under a program called Minaret. Originally introduced as a way to keep track of terrorists and drug traffickers, Minaret evolved into a project for monitoring Vietnam War critics like King.
This appalling civil liberties history demands attention today more than ever. Indeed, as Alvaro M. Bedoya argues inan excellent piece at Slate today, “We now find ourselves in a new surveillance debate—and the lessons of the King scandal should weigh heavy on our minds.”
Bedoya documents a pattern of federal surveillance being unequally applied to racial and ideological minorities in America—Japanese Americans during World War II, for example, and Muslim Americans in the wake of 9/11. Mass spying is an affront to all Americans’ right to privacy, but as King’s story demonstrates, it’s far more likely to victimize some types of people:
There is a myth in this country that in a world where everyone is watched, everyone is watched equally. It’s as if an old and racist J. Edgar Hoover has been replaced by the race-blind magic of computers, mathematicians, and Big Data. The truth is more uncomfortable. Across our history and to this day, people of color have been the disproportionate victims of unjust surveillance; Hoover was no aberration. And while racism has played its ugly part, the justification for this monitoring was the same we hear today: national security.
The way our government spied on MLK and other civil rights leaders must not be forgotten as we continue the modern surveillance debate.
Urban Habitat's Bob Allen speaks at Bay Guardian conference June 12, 2013. His solution to displacement of African Americans and Latinos in San Francisco is to force more urban growth in suburban and rural counties like Marin, Sonoma and Napa. He completely misses the irony that his "solution" is to for other communities to deal with it. He claims that community's who call for "local control" are racist, segregationists. Because of this, no money from HUD or MTC should be given unless a growth policy is adapted. A better solution is a regional government which would eliminate local control. He also implies that Marin is filled with Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists. Urban Habitat receives its funding through public and private donations and income from its litigation. Allen utterly ignores the plight of ethnic communities. Don't they need local control too? Wouldn't "local control" allow for communities of color to stay intact? In Chinatown, the Mission, Hunters Point communities suffer while the social engineers cause the disruption and displacement of thousands.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Fable: The Ox who Envied the Pig. ( A lesson for Politicians/Planners/Activists seeking OBAG grants.)
THE OX WHO ENVIED THE PIG
ONCE upon a time there was an Ox named Big Red. He had a younger brother named Little Red. These two brothers did all the carting on a large farm.
Now the farmer had an only daughter and she was soon to be married. Her mother gave orders that the Pig should be fattened for the wedding feast.
Little Red noticed that the Pig was fed on choice food. He said to his brother, "How is it, Big Red, that you and I are given only straw and grass to eat, while we do all the hard work on the farm? That lazy Pig does nothing but eat the choice food the farmer gives him."
Little Red noticed that the Pig was fed on choice food.
Said his brother, "My dear Little Red, envy him not. That little Pig is eating the food of death! He is being fattened for the wedding feast. Eat your straw and grass and be content and live long."
Not long afterwards the fattened Pig was killed and cooked for the wedding feast.
The fattened Pig was killed and cooked for the wedding feast.
Then Big Red said, "Did you see, Little Red, what became of the Pig after all his fine feeding?"
"Yes," said the little brother, "we can go on eating plain food for years, but the poor little Pig ate the food of death and now he is dead. His feed was good while it lasted, but it did not last long."