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Topics - Bison66

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Survey of public's knowledge.
Unsurprisingly ignorant.

Once you take the survey you can see results by age, education and gender.

Here's Your Score: You correctly answered 11 out of the 12 possible questions, which means you did better on the quiz than 98% of the general public.

Politics / An Excellent Series on US History in the NYTimes
« on: November 17, 2010, 12:02:05 PM »
On segregation in public accommodations "upsouth"  (New York City)

Perhaps not the best of the series (my favorite, so far, is on Lincoln), but it is a little known aspect of history, which I, a native New Yorker, most certainly did NOT learn about in school during the time that segregation was the Law of the (South) Land.


If you ARE one of those who still believes the spin that the wealthy and their mouthpieces on The Right bamboozled you with that banks were forced to loan money to minorities for homes was the cause of the recent near total collapse of the financial system, then you have not availed yourself of the vast amount of information out there that shows otherwise.

Perhaps A MOVIE is the answer for you and here it is:

So, basically what happened here is that these bums - these crooks in suits - these educated idiots - these morally depraved criminals - took everybody's money and gambled it every which way, knowing that no matter what happened, they'd get rich and everybody else would suffer. And so the economy caved, and they're still rich, and 30 million people worldwide have lost everything - their homes, their jobs, their place in the community, their vision of the future, their identity.

We know this already. We're all angry about it: Americans are good at getting angry. But there's such a thing as smart angry, and such a thing as stupid angry, and after seeing "Inside Job," audiences will be smart angry. They'll know specifically how bankers, traders and economists brought on the recession. They'll know who did it, and where to place the blame. They won't be barroom cynics or monkeys holding signs, but educated citizens.

"Inside Job" was directed by Charles Ferguson, who made the best and most clear-headed documentary about the Iraq war ("No End in Sight"). But this documentary on the financial crisis is an even more impressive work of journalism. To make it, he had to master a highly technical story before he could tell it to us in clear and concise terms. Indeed, he had to become such an expert that he could go head-to-head with bankers, economics professors and politicians and know exactly when they were attempting to confuse. He had to be able to challenge them when they were trying to lie.

Read more:

And some folks say that govt is the problem!!!

Politics / Some Interesting and Not Well-Known Black History
« on: October 02, 2010, 10:02:40 PM »
RE: The Great Migration.  
A new book by a Pulitzer Prize winner - and a Sister.
To finish “The Warmth of Other Suns,” her magisterial new history of the black migration in America, which carried millions of Southerners northward or westward, Isabel Wilkerson had to complete a sort of reverse migration. She began writing the book in Chicago, where she was the bureau chief for The New York Times, and finished it more than a decade later in a house in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. Ms. Wilkerson moved here in 2001, for reasons unconnected to the book, and immediately discovered, she said this week, that she “needed to be here, only I didn’t know it.”
rotates in a novelistic way among three main characters whose stories are interspersed with broader, more general inter-chapters.

The characters are each from a different decade of the migration, which lasted roughly from World War I to the 1970s, and each followed a one of the migration’s three main geographical currents.
Ida Mae Gladney, a Mississippi sharecropper’s wife, left for Chicago in 1937 after her husband’s cousin was beaten by white planters for a theft he didn’t commit. George Starling, a Florida citrus picker, moved to New York in 1945 after learning that the growers were planning to lynch him for trying to organize the pickers. And Dr. Robert Foster, the book’s most vivid and complicated character, drove to Los Angeles from Louisiana in 1953 in search of glamour and a chance to practice medicine free from the caste and color restrictions of the South. He wound up as personal physician to Ray Charles, who wrote the song “Hide Nor Hair” about how the doctor stole his woman.

To find these three Ms. Wilkerson interviewed 1,200 or so others before she stopped counting. She went to all the places she could think of where black people of a certain age might gather: churches, senior centers, Masonic lodges, union halls, quilting clubs, funerals, family and class reunions, Juneteenth celebrations, club meetings.

Years ago, Ms. Wilkerson was the Editor-in-Chief of The Hilltop, the student newspaper at HU.

A review:

...or people "confessing" as proof positive they are guilty.

Of course, there will be those who will argue that this is not evidence of racism, altho by pure coincidence  ::) , of course, there were no white suspects tortured.

Jury Convicts Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge of Lying About Torture

Decades after torture allegations were first leveled against former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, a federal jury has found him guilty of lying about torturing prisoners into making confessions. Burge has long been accused of overseeing the systematic torture of more than 100 African American men.

Two years ago federal prosecutors finally brought charges against Burge—not for torture, but for lying about it. On Monday afternoon, after a five-week trial, Jon Burge was found guilty on all counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about the abuse. He could face up to forty-five years in prison.


Politics / Right Wingers, please explain with examples...
« on: April 20, 2010, 02:58:31 AM »
Proving that a hit dog will yelp, Conservative media types are accusing Bill Clinton of hypocrisy for saying that the current rhetoric from the Right - especially Right Wing Talk Radio - is similar to that being used around the time of the Okla City bombing 15 years ago.

Clinton says that such hateful and extreme rhetoric can be responsible for actual violence.  Rush even says that, having pointed out the problem, Clinton will be responsible for any violence if it occurs!!!   :crazy: :crazy:

Just as one or two have done on O-dan, O'Reilly (I watched him yesterday) and others cite past violence from the Left as examples of the same thing happening before.  However, VERY CURIOUSLY, there is something missing from their analogy:  they mention NO example, NOT ONE, of rhetoric which could conceivably have led to violence by extremists on the Left.  In fact, O'Reilly was making an illogical argument:  asserting that "the same thing" had happened during the vilification of Bush by those protesting in the streets, but he never addressed any rhetoric that supposedly led to those actions.  Poor Juan Williams didn't catch the slippery Bill O on that one.

Obviously, Clinton is not talking about rhetoric from the violent people.  He is speaking of inflammatory rhetoric by people in supposedly "responsible positions", though he does not mention names, like Rush, Beck, Bachman, Hannity, Palin, etc.  

Certainly, Leftist protesters compared Bush to Hitler and had ugly signs about him (examples that O'Reilly cited), but who "inflamed" them?  Gore?  Leiberman?  Commentators on MSNBC?  Congressman Cummings?  Senator Schumer?  I don't think so.  But perhaps I am wrong and someone can offer examples.

So my question is:  
What are examples of "responsible" LEFTIST people in the media or elective office, whose rhetoric, it might be argued, led to violence by the Weathermen, those who egged Bush's car during his inaugural parade or anyone else on the left?

P.S. I posed a similar question to Oldsp..t when he claimed that "the same thing" had happened on the Left.  
Q.  When was there a protest where elected Dem Members of Congress were on the balconies of the Capitol holding signs saying "Kill" (or "Kill the Bill")?  
A.  Got no answer, as expected.

Politics / The Bush Years - The BIG ZERO
« on: December 29, 2009, 12:02:56 PM »
We KNEW it was bad, but d@mn..........!!!!

But from an economic point of view, I’d suggest that we call the decade past the Big Zero. It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true.

It was a decade with basically zero job creation. O.K., the headline employment number for December 2009 will be slightly higher than that for December 1999, but only slightly. And private-sector employment has actually declined — the first decade on record in which that happened.

It was a decade with zero economic gains for the typical family. Actually, even at the height of the alleged “Bush boom,” in 2007, median household income adjusted for inflation was lower than it had been in 1999. And you know what happened next.

It was a decade of zero gains for homeowners, even if they bought early: right now housing prices, adjusted for inflation, are roughly back to where they were at the beginning of the decade. And for those who bought in the decade’s middle years — when all the serious people ridiculed warnings that housing prices made no sense, that we were in the middle of a gigantic bubble — well, I feel your pain. Almost a quarter of all mortgages in America, and 45 percent of mortgages in Florida, are underwater, with owners owing more than their houses are worth.

Last and least for most Americans — but a big deal for retirement accounts, not to mention the talking heads on financial TV — it was a decade of zero gains for stocks, even without taking inflation into account. Remember the excitement when the Dow first topped 10,000, and best-selling books like “Dow 36,000” predicted that the good times would just keep rolling? Well, that was back in 1999. Last week the market closed at 10,520.

Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

Politics / Black Folks Started 'Memorial Day' in 1865
« on: May 25, 2009, 05:11:30 PM »
I feel this deserves its own thread.

Here's a detailed account of how it was formerly enslaved Africans in South Carolina in 1865, who organized the first Decoration Day, which later became Memorial Day.

Black men and women started Memorial Day!!!

Charleston was in ruins.

The peninsula was nearly deserted, the fine houses empty, the streets littered with the debris of fighting and the ash of fires that had burned out weeks before. The Southern gentility was long gone, their cause lost.

In the weeks after the Civil War ended, it was, some said, "a city of the dead."

On a Monday morning that spring, nearly 10,000 former slaves marched onto the grounds of the old Washington Race Course, where wealthy Charleston planters and socialites had gathered in old times. During the final year of the war, the track had been turned into a prison camp. Hundreds of Union soldiers died there.

For two weeks in April, former slaves had worked to bury the soldiers. Now they would give them a proper funeral.

The procession began at 9 a.m. as 2,800 black school children marched by their graves, softly singing "John Brown's Body."

Soon, their voices would give way to the sermons of preachers, then prayer and — later — picnics. It was May 1, 1865, but they called it Decoration Day.

On that day, former Charleston slaves started a tradition that would come to be known as Memorial Day.

History discovered

For years, the ceremony was largely forgotten.

It had been mentioned in some history books, including Robert Rosen's "Confederate Charleston," but the story gained national attention when David W. Blight, a professor of American history at Yale, took interest. He discovered a mention of the first Decoration Day in the uncataloged writings of a Union soldier at a Harvard University library.


Here's a pdf doc with a contemporaneous report of what happened that day.

Politics / Hannity says he will undergo waterboarding...
« on: April 23, 2009, 10:58:05 PM » prove it is not torture.

Go for it, Sean!!

But, Sean, just keep in mind that it is not a subjective matter.  It is a matter of law, civil, military and international.


Politics / What Conservatives REALLY fear is...
« on: April 09, 2009, 07:08:57 PM »
...that what they call "socialistic policies" will once again rescue capitalism from its excesses.

Wells Fargo Bank, the first large recipient of "bail-out" funds announced a big profit today.

They are scared to death that Obama's policies will be successful and will demonstrate how bankrupt (literally) their neo-con, Bus**te policies and active opposition to reasonable regulation were/are.

Housing refinances are up...and big.  It looks like the housing decline is slowing.

Conservatives are hoping that Obama's policies will fail even if it means that millions more will be out of work and the small businesses they claim to support close their doors by the thousands.

The markets seems to have responded quite well - Thank You - to President Obama's European trip.

People like Hannity, Rove and Beck are losing their daggone minds spouting such nonsense as "most divisive President", "Fascist revolution", "communist," etc.


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