July 20, 2014 Leave a comment
"I have often been forced to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that there was no place else to go.”
July 16, 2014 Leave a comment
Many of us were taught home training…..ethics our parents taught us at the dinner table usually about how to deal with others and one another in a social environment. We called that ‘home training’…something too many Americans either were not taught or have forgotten. Case in point, this “citizen” who has no social grace at all and who will have to pay the ultimate price for it
A North Side business owner slapped a 79-year-old Cook County judge in the face, spit on her and called her “Rosa Parks” after becoming angry that she was smoking near him outside the Daley Center, authorities said.
Monday’s attack outside the courthouse came as a shock to friends of Judge Arnette Hubbard, a silver-haired African-American jurist who was the first female president of the National Bar Association and Cook County Bar Association, both black lawyers’ groups.
“She’s an icon in our community,” said Delores Robinson, past president of the Cook County Bar Association, who noted that Hubbard, a former commissioner on the Cook County Board of Elections, had been an international election observer in Haiti and South Africa and had long been a voice on civil rights and women’s issues.
Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday that Hubbard was outside the Daley Center smoking a cigarette when she walked past David C. Nicosia, 55, who became angry that she was smoking near him.
The two argued and Nicosia, who is white, stepped near her face and said, “Rosa Parks, move,” and spit in her face, prosecutors said. As he walked away, the Law Division judge followed him and called out for assistance.
Nicosia then turned and allegedly slapped the judge on the left side of her face with an open hand, prosecutors said. He was then arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime.
Judge James Brown ordered him held on $90,000 bail Tuesday.
Chief Judge Timothy Evans, whose offices are also in the Daley Center, declined to comment. A representative said judicial rules of conduct barred Evans from speaking about a pending criminal case.
Born in Arkansas, Hubbard graduated from Southern Illinois University and John Marshall Law School and began her legal career in 1969 working on civil rights cases, according to online biographies. As part of the city’s African-American power structure, she spent several terms on the city’s election board as well as the cable commission.
Hubbard was appointed to the bench in 1997, re-elected to a six-year term the following year and retained since in two more elections, most recently in 2010.
Nicosia, who state records show is president of an IT consulting business, has no prior Cook County convictions. His attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
Friends of Hubbard were left shaking their heads Tuesday.
“People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this,” Robinson said. “Not just because of who she is but that this happened to anybody.”
“I’m still in shock,” said longtime friend Geraldine Simmons, 75, also a past president of the Cook County Bar Association, who questioned whether deputies acted quickly enough.
Several things home training brought to our dinner table that this man didn’t learn and too many Americans have forgotten; men/boys don’t hit women/girls and you always respect your elders, elders being anyone older than you by at least a decade…someone who could biologically be your parent. Nicosia has no home training. Perhaps ‘Bubba’ will teach him some while he sits in the Cook County jail.
June 8, 2014 Leave a comment
I should have included this in a previous post but just saw it. Seems there’s more to the Bergdahl story than meets the eye. Daily Kos points out several inconsistencies that when brought to light should permanently mute the strings of discord currently being played by the #DemonicGOP.
Bergdahl had left his base without permissions on at least one prior occasion, and had come back! This is according to a report in the Army Times. In fact, his fellow soldiers failed to report it at the time. (The 35 page classified Army report (as reported to the New York Times) that was compiled 2 months after Bergdahl disappeared, concluded that he had left his unit twice, not once. And the Army blamed lax security practices and a lack of discipline. Moreover, the supposed letter he left confessing to everything was not mentioned in the report at all.)
According to the now famous article by Michael Hastings about Bergdahl, his unit was basically a bunch of undisciplined fuck ups who went out on patrol without helmets, lost weapons, totally lacked morale and respect for military authority, etc. At least two commanders were actually demoted! So, you have to take with a grain of salt the accusations being made against Bergdahl by these people. Especially now that we know they failed to report Bergdahl left the base without permission on a prior occasion, and are still telling the media that he is a “deserter” when they know damn well that’s not true.
The New York Times has also reported that it is almost impossible to attribute the losses the unit suffered to Bergdahl, or looking for Bergdahl. Given the lack of unit discipline, etc. One wonders whether Bergdahl is being scapegoated by these people, who were drummed up by GOP political operatives.
Bergdahl’s apparent heroism while in captivity has been almost completely ignored and glossed over. The Daily Beast originally reported that Bergdahl lulled his captors into believing he was sympathetic to them, and when they let their guard down he escaped for 3 days. When they finally found him in a hand-dug trench he covered with leaves, he was nearly naked an exhausted. Yet, it took 5 Taliban to subdue him as he fought back trying to avoid being recaptured.
June 8, 2014 Leave a comment
I really believe in the inherent good of humankind….but there is also an inherent evil that can overtake and even surpass our divinity. We chronicled just the other day how something as innocent as starting one’s car can ignite a firestorm in the eyes of some.
Perhaps one might say that Janelle Ambrosia of the infamous Cheektowaga, NY meltdown has a mental defect or disease and isn’t in full control of her senses and I might be inclined to agree…however the vitriol she spewed far exceeds mental illness, rather it is a sociopathic illness that permeates American culture and this latest example in Memphis, Tennessee shows how widespread the pathology is in this country.
If this country doesn’t learn how to exorcise this cancer from its midst it will consume and destroy us. We’ve seen examples of it in our past where the destruction and annihilation of America was imminent; if we don’t learn from that history we are doomed to repeat and perhaps even exceed it. Fix this America!
June 6, 2014 Leave a comment
You’re at your local shopping area and pretty pleased with the purchases you just made…perhaps even saving a little money and are now on your way home. You get into your car and start the engine, aware of the surroundings and especially the family that is passing by your car at a leisure pace. You wait for them to get out of the way so that you can back up and get home to delve into your newly acquired things….but wait. That family you noticed wants to leave you with a parting shot
You forgot, or maybe you didn’t, that there’s such a thing as DWB and something as innocent as starting your car is usually offensive to some people…offensive enough for them to launch into a sociopathic tirade. This is today’s America and if you don’t think we’ve got a problem with race you are extremely insulated. You can read about it and hear what both sides have to say about it here.
May 4, 2014 Leave a comment
when he said ‘more whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism’ during an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and as usual this statement brought out the worst in America and underscored his point. One only need to look at remarks overwhelmingly negative made on the comments section of any media source that reported on this story to see he touched a nerve. Abdul-Jabbar was on the show to talk about the latest example of American racism…unsolicited by him but for which he was asked to comment, the Donald Sterling affair, where the former owner of an NBA franchise made some extremely salacious, racist remarks about African-Americans and how they are not welcomed at his team’s basketball games, despite the fact more than half of his team’s members are black themselves.
The Donald Sterling fiasco happened shortly America was given another example of its racist nature when lectured by one Cliven Bundy about the Negro when he wondered
are they(African-Americans) better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.
Bundy made these remarks during the stand-off with an administration of an African-American president over land rights in Nevada. Why and how is it that Bundy can make such outlandishly stereotypical, nonsensical, erroneous statements is a study in ‘white privilege‘ that is steeped in and indistinguishable from racism itself.
Even earlier than the Bundy example during the news media continuum, there’s the Hank Aaron story where Aaron, a baseball Hall of Famer who was the first person to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record during the days when steriods weren’t a factor in sports achievements, was vehemently castigated by unknown people for merely pointing out that
We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts…..
It’s sad Aaron, successful on and off the baseball diamond has had to relieve vile racist insults for merely pointing out the obvious…..from his own experience, just as he had to have such insults hurled at him for being merely a record breaking athlete. This is the nature of racism in America. It is insidious, raw, ugly and meant to hurt and demean an entire group of people. Merely keeping quiet or turning a blind eye to it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Just ask Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hank Aaron, or any other African-American you may know. Chances are they unlike white America get it and believe in racism’s efficacy more than they believe in ghosts.
February 15, 2014 Leave a comment
Florida’s second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway.(My prognostication is the perpetrator will not be found guilty as charged but rather guilty of a lesser charge) Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer, shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self-defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their ” thug music“) and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, and witnesses say Davis never had one.
Like the George Zimmerman trial, during which the self-styled neighborhood watchman successfully argued that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense, Dunn’s case has raised questions about Florida’s broad self-defense law, racial profiling, and how the two issues intersect. Would Martin and Davis be alive if they weren’t black? Would they have been afforded the benefit of the doubt by their killers if they had been white? Their deaths didn’t happen in a vacuum. There’s evidence that just being black in the United States is often all it takes to arouse suspicion. Here are 21 examples from the last five years of some of the things black people can’t do without others thinking they’re up to no good.
1. Listen to loud music at a gas station.
2. Walk home from a snack run to 7-11.
3. Wear a hoodie.
5. Drive in a car with a white girl.
7. Walk on the wrong side of the street.
8. Wait for a school bus to take you to your high school basketball game.
9. Drink iced tea in a parking lot.
11. Inspect your own property.
12. Show up at your job.
13. Talk trash after an NFL game.
14. Throw a temper tantrum in kindergarten.
16. Buy designer accessories at Macy’s.
17. Be a 13-year-old boy.
18. Enter your own home.
20. Be a tourist.
21. Lay face down in handcuffs.
Hat tip to AlterNet
August 9, 2013 Leave a comment
Perhaps this is why Republicans are against immigration because they see an Islamist in every Hispanic immigrant that comes into this country.
‘Radical Islamists’ Learn Spanish, Pretend To Be Hispanic, Claims Rep. Louie Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, believes he has solved a terrorist tactic.
While speaking to the Longview, Texas Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Gohmert claimed “radical Islamists” were learning Spanish “because we don’t have any fear of Hispanics coming into the country.”
Gohmert added that he is opposing immigration reform based on the theory, noted News-Journal.com.
“The FBI director has confirmed more than once that we know that there are radical Islamists that change their names to Hispanic-sounding last names, they come to Mexico and get and ID, and some of them even learn a little bit of Spanish so that they can try to act as if they’re Hispanic,” Gohmert said (video below). “Why? Because we don’t have any fear of Hispanics coming into the country, but we’ve got concerns about radical Islamists.”
He also suggested that real undocumented Hispanic immigrants might lie about how long they have been in the United States in order to stay under the DREAM Act, which is supposed to be for immigrant children who were brought to America by their undocumented parents.
Gohmert also said the United States was the best country “because most Americans, generally speaking, had a faith in God, they had a devotion to family and they had a hard worth ethic,” but lamented that might not be true today.
It seems the only policy this demented party has is to instill fear and hatred in the hearts of Americans against others who are different. The GOP accentuates differences, points them out and builds policy around them which is not very constructive in a country of over 300 million people from all walks of life, if not suicidal for a political party. All of that doesn’t seem to matter to the likes of Gohmert, who has taken boorish behavior to a new level as a member of Congress. Want to see more of his outlandish actions go here, here , here and here. A four time elected US representative, Gohmert resonates with that part of the DemonicGOP that believes Obama is a foreign socialist Muslim who wants to destroy the American way of life….and did I mention he’s been elected FOUR times! God help us!!
August 20, 2012 Leave a comment
First there was this
February 13, 2012 Leave a comment
A report released this week has at last confirmed what we Muslim Americans have long known to be true: the threat posed to US national security by the radicalisation of its Muslim community is minuscule.
The study, by the Triangle Centre on Terrorism and Homeland Security, found that only 20 Muslim Americans were charged with violent crimes related to terrorism in 2011, and of the 14,000 homicides recorded in the United States in that year, not one was committed by a Muslim extremist.
We are thrilled that an objective, comprehensive investigation has revealed that only a tiny percentage of American Muslims support violent acts. However, we remain concerned that the greater danger to America’s civic union comes from an increasingly organised campaign that portrays all Muslims as potential terrorists and traitors.
Yes, there may be some Muslims who resort to violence; but it’s clear that these individuals signify nothing more than a statistical aberration, and are no more representative of the Muslim community as a whole than Timothy McVeigh, Jared Lee Loughner, or Anders Behring Breivik represent Christianity.
In recent years a network of politically motivated special interests has emerged that is determined to stigmatise and marginalise Muslims in all areas of American public life. After the Cordoba Initiative’s proposal to build an Islamic community centre near Ground Zero were distorted into a manufactured controversy by one such group, we were called “stealth jihadists” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. One person even claimed: “They seem like nice people now, but they will probably turn into extremists in 10, 15, or 20 years.”
What began as the work of fringe groups with racist ideologies has moved into the mainstream. The Islamophobic film The Third Jihad was played continuously between training sessions for new recruits to New York’s police. The film-makers were linked to an organised movement with a budget of more than $40m and sophisticated lobbying efforts in all 50 states.
Republican congressman Peter King – even as opponents questioned his own ties to IRA and Catholic terrorism in Ireland – convened a series of congressional hearings on the radicalisation of American Muslims that can only be described as a witch hunt. And on the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidates from Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have used their platform to demonise American Muslims and question our loyalty to our country.
It was not always this way. Following the 9/11 attacks President Bush, at the Islamic Centre of Washington, said: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam … When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world … America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.”
Our allies in the interfaith and civil rights communities are working to counteract the fabricated opposition to Islam that is gaining strength in America today. In response to King’s hearings, a coalition of 150 interfaith organisations sponsored a rally proclaiming “Today I am a Muslim too”. It is the Brennan Centre for Justice at New York University that took a lead in exposing the New York City Police Department’s missteps with regards to the Muslim community.
We know that the bulk of the American public recognises the truth of Islamic moderation and tolerance. The hysterical invective may be well-funded, but it does not capture the heart of the nation. By standing tall together we will overcome those who spread hate and suspicion and return respect and trust to their rightful place at the centre of American political and civic life.
January 24, 2012 1 Comment
Imagine if you lived in a city whose police department regularly looked at films that claim members of your race or religion shoot and terrorize people and showed photographs of victims of terror imposed by your special group of people while stating emphatically every of you was like that and therefore a threat to the security of the country.
Such is the case with the New York City police department which for over a lengthy period of time screened for its officers a film entitled, The Third Jihad.
This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.
In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.
A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.
During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.
News that police trainers showed this film so extensively comes as the department wrestles with its relationship with the city’s large Muslim community. The Police Department offers no apology for aggressively spying on Muslim groups and says it has ferreted out terror plots.
But members of the City Council, civil rights advocates and Muslim leaders say the department, in its zeal, has trampled on civil rights, blurred lines between foreign and domestic spying and sown fear among Muslims.
“The department’s response was to deny it and to fight our request for information,” said Faiza Patel, a director at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which obtained the release of the documents through a Freedom of Information request. “The police have shown an explosive documentary to its officers and simply stonewalled us.”
Tom Robbins, a former columnist with The Village Voice, first revealed that the police had screened the film. The Brennan Center then filed its request.
The 72-minute film was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.
…….Repeated calls over the past several days to the Clarion Fund, which is based in New York, were not answered. The nonprofit group shares officials with Aish HaTorah, an Israeli organization that opposes any territorial concessions on the West Bank. The producer of “The Third Jihad,” Raphael Shore, also works with Aish HaTorah.
The people behind this nefarious production, The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah should be enough to call into question the integrity of such a video. Both organizations are deeply involved in the spread of Islamophobic notions of Muslims in America in a manner consistent with the strategies mentioned in a previous Miscellany101 post here. I’m also not surprised, but note with more than a bit of sarcasm the presence of a GOP candidate for President being affiliated somehow in this macabre alliance of xenophobes.
the Clarion Fund,……(I)ts previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.
In addition, the NYPD’s denial then admission that the film was ever aired by them and their subsequent position that they did nothing wrong means precisely that they did something wrong. This adversarial attitude, along with the equally omnipotent alliance between the NYPD and the CIA has raised more than a few eyebrows, plenty of suspicion and the ire of New York Muslims, some of whom participated in an interfaith boycott last month to protest the city’s increased surveillance of area Muslims after it was revealed the NYPD in coordination with the CIA gathered information on city Muslims who were neither suspected or charged with any crime. All this is what we KNOW about, albeit with a great deal of diligence at gathering the information and difficulty at getting authorities to respond; no doubt there’s plenty more we don’t know about. Stay tuned.
December 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Two hundred, thirty six years after the Declaration of Independence America is still a slave to bigotry and intolerance even while it overthrows other governments that exhibit the same. It is no surprise to read about the death of Private Danny Chen who was stationed in Afghanistan and who enlisted in the Army in response to what he considered his duty to his country. A son of Chinese immigrants who believed in the call of the ideals of this country, Chen was either driven to suicide or as his family asserts murdered because he was different ethnically from the others with whom he served. It is inconceivable that people in times of war against an enemy make enemies that in reality don’t exist, within their own ranks, but that’s what happened with Chen. Teased, hazed, singled out, harassed because of his ethnic background, even the Army says he was driven to the point of suicide. His family recounted stories he told them
“They (other soldiers) ask me if I’m from China a few times a day. They also called out my name ‘Chen’ in a goat-like voice sometimes for no reason,” the message said in part.
“I’m running out of jokes to respond back to them,” Chen wrote, according to OuYang.
His relatives said that Chen told them of being pelted with rocks and forced to hold liquid in his mouth while being hung upside down.
Hazing has become an increasingly worrisome practice, not only in the military, but within students of all ages. University campuses have fought back with strict rules against it and it’s getting the attention it deserves on a national level. Why it’s still acceptable in some quarters means we will continue to lose bright, intelligent, talented people driven to the point of insanity by their peers too immature to realize its dangers.
December 6, 2011 Leave a comment
This is a fairly decent video that tries to point out the Islamophobia network in America as well as give positive suggestions on how Muslims can combat it. We’ve railed against the bigotry inherent in today’s one sided assault on Islam and Muslims but rarely have we pointed out who is behind this trend. Rather we’ve focused on how consistent has been the trend throughout America’s history while at the same time maintaining that America is a country that has far more potential and greatness if it lives up to its core values it only gives lip service to today.
December 1, 2011 Leave a comment
There isn’t even any pretense anymore that Israel shares America’s values, unless you want to harken back to the days when America was an apartheid like state that discriminated against its own citizens (Unfortunately some of that racism still goes on in the land of amber waves of grain.) but Israel is signifying a clear and distinct break from America by encouraging its Jewish citizens not to marry American Jews and or return to their ancestral homeland! It’s so bad that even the very Jewish and Zionist Jeffrey Goldberg finds it distasteful which is saying a lot. Is it too much to wonder if terrorist violence against Jews in America will be next on tap for those presently reluctant to take up the call in a bid to get them to come to their senses?
Now is the ideal time for America to release itself from the hold, the mystique, the Jewish homeland has had on America and her politicians. Israel has clearly demonstrated to the world that it holds everyone in contempt, even its fellow Jews, if they are not willing to capitulate totally to the Zionist dream of an expansionist state which by its very nature has no respect for the territorial integrity of its neighbors. It is willing to risk any and all political fortune it has, as well as the life of its citizens to pursue a suicidal doctrine that puts it at war with everyone and it’s pursuing this lifestyle in broad daylight under the scrutiny of the world’s press. It’s time America kick this obdurate, petulant country to the curb.
Hat tip to Tikun Olam
June 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Media’s right wing spin machine’s attacks on Stewart’s parody of Cain was not only immature but underscores their victimology tactic when it comes to criticism they receive. They are thin skinned and emotionally immature. There was nothing ever to their claim in the beginning that Stewart was racist and so to make them not look so childish and irrelevant, Stewart lets them off the hook by pointing out some of his other dare we say “racist” parodies. Is there any reason why you look at FoxNews besides Stewart’s comic relief?
May 20, 2011 Leave a comment
The folks in the great state of Tennessee are at it again whipping up racist fervor against Muslims in ways that are so comical they look downright stupid and state representative Bill Ketron is willing to take up that mantle of stupidity. How could any legislator from Tennessee talk about outlawing material support for terrorist organizations without first talking about the role his/her state played in terrorism with the formation of the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1865. With all the talk about people wanting to honor that organization and by people we’re talking about high ranking officials as well as states it will be interesting to see whether Tennessee will sanction such groups in much the same way as they are calling for with Islamic organizations. Look at the possibilities of ridding the South of any connection with or support of such clearly racist groups as the Klan, the Imperial Klan of America, Knights of the White Camelia, et.al. who have more poignantly soiled the American fabric than any Muslim or Islamic group has to date. I think Muslim groups should welcome Ketron’s Material Support for Designated Entities Act demand the state of Tennessee begin cleaning out its own backyard of racists, supremacists and any reference to them by the state. Let’s see how eager he is to embrace that idea.
But beyond that, Ketron made another faux pas by passing out a video wherein a Muslim imam in it said homosexuality is a sin punishable by death, meaning to imply such a person uttering that remark is clearly a terrorist. Such sentiments however are not just the belief of Muslims. Many Christians hold the view that homosexuality is not compatible with Christian doctrine, including Ketron’s own United Methodist Church. That’s probably one of the more mild remarks made by members of Ketron’s faith. Would Ketron apply his material support legislation against the people, all Christians, who rallied in New York recently, with some who also said homosexuals are worthy of death? Hello, Mr. Ketron?
May 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Osama bin Laden is dead and America is celebrating in such grotesque and macabre ways that some commentators have said such a celebratory mood is excessive and inappropriate. However this attitude of partying at the news of the death of a foe or opponent is a part of the American tradition, even when we did it to ourselves as.
I guess for some it was especially easy to celebrate because we attributed what happened on September 11, 2001 to bin Laden and we all know what happened and what it meant to our Country, but it signifies the continued deterioration of our Nation’s morality and spirit. We equated “justice” with assassination without blinking an eye and see no contradiction in that position. From the simplest of minds to the most classically trained in jurisprudence, there was universal acceptance that a dead bin Laden was one who met justice. We allowed ourselves to be ruled by the mob mentality that says justice is what satisfies us emotionally not what is right or wrong, even if our happiness isn’t based on the law we’ve been told since kindergarten we must assiduously obey.
We gave into our hatred…much like the throngs of Iranians who surrounded the American embassy during the hostage situation and shouted ‘death to America’ and in such a frenzy allowed ourselves to be judge, jury and executioner, without blinking an eye. Let’s not forget however, that when we’ve done that before this is how we looked.