[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Andrew Prokop

We’ve already heard it’s about health care. Turns out there’s a Russia angle too.

It’s been clear for weeks now that President Donald Trump is unhappy with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And in public, Trump has framed his unhappiness in terms of the legislative agenda, complaining in tweets about the Senate’s failure to pass a health bill, tax reform, or an infrastructure program.

But a juicy new report from the New York Times’s Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin suggests there’s another, familiar reason for Trump’s irritation: the Russia scandal, and specifically, McConnell’s failure to protect him from investigations into it.

It’s already been reported that in a tense phone call between Trump and McConnell on August 9, Trump was angry about the health care bill’s failure.

However, Burns and Martin add a new key detail — that Trump “was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.”

Yet again, it seems, the president of the United States is intimating in private conversations with other government officials that investigations that could incriminate him or his associates should be bottled up — at a time when he’s already reportedly under investigation for obstruction of justice.

Trump has used the “protect” language before on Twitter in relation to the Russia investigation. For instance, he tweeted the following on July 23:

In his criticism of McConnell specifically, Trump is likely referring to the Senate committees investigating the Russia scandal.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has already held several high-profile hearings on the topic this year, getting testimony from fired FBI Director Jim Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among other officials. Lately, the Senate Judiciary Committee has also been stirring, pushing for documents from Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the scandal as “fake news” and claimed that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. But he certainly keeps acting like he thinks he needs protection from the unfolding investigations, as we’ve seen in his firing of Comey, his complaints about Sessions’s recusal from the Russia probe — and now his reported private comments to McConnell.

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 09:03 pm
[syndicated profile] aculeata_feed
По поводу Серебренникова, наверное, великого театрального
режиссера (не разбираюсь, но друзья-эксперты так говорят) --
нет сомнений, что он нарушил закон, потому что это делал
любой житель РФ. Так здесь устроены законы и процедурная
жизнь вокруг них. Если ему приходилось распределять деньги,
заведомо и тут нарушил, особенно если не взял их себе
(в этом смысле тема борьбы с коррупцией самая уязвимая
с формальной точки зрения: любой ископаемый советский
монтер знает, что надо менять всю систему). Его арест --
никакой не мессаж от государства "деятелям культуры"
(разве в том смысле, что любой акт от государственной
машины следует читать в смысле "спасайся кто может" или
"разъебите меня машину нахуй, мне больно жевать мой хвост"),
это просто естественное отправление хаотически мафиозной
структуры. Культура распила вовсе и не предполагает
диалогов такого рода, информационного кодирования.

Смерть Семенова из группы "Рабфак" неотвратимей и печальнее.

[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Tara Golshan

The editor of Breitbart, the far-right media outlet that has relentlessly boosted Donald Trump, thought he was emailing Steve Bannon when he revealed his plan to oust what he calls the “globalist” wing of the president’s administration.

Instead, Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow was emailing a fake email account run by a prankster: steven.bannon@usa.com, CNN, which obtained a copy of the emails, reported. Marlow laid out Breitbart’s plan to position Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, as the saving grace of the Trump administration and let Breitbart’s editors do the “dirty work.”

"Did five stories on globalist takeover positioning you as only hope to stop it,” Marlow emailed the fake account. “You need to own that, just have surrogates do the dirty work. Boyle, Raheem, me, Tony have been waiting for this," he added in reference to Washington editor Matthew Boyle, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam, and reporter Tony Lee.

Bannon left the White House last Friday, after months of rumors that he was on shaky ground. In the aftermath, those around Bannon and at Breitbart signaled some kind of war with the Trump administration — which Marlow’s emails seem to confirm.

In the emails, Marlow raved about what he called a “conspiracy” involving Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s marriage, adding that Bannon had previously described them as “evil” and said no administration is more divided than Trump’s. Marlow said he would try to oust the two by Christmas.

In response to the hoax, Marlow tried to brush off the newsworthiness of the exchange, saying it was no more revealing than the pages of Breitbart.

“The obsession with Breitbart News is simply a result of our effectiveness. This time, an imposter deceitfully obtained and shared with CNN tongue-in-cheek emails that revealed that we feel Globalists present an existential threat to the agenda that got President Trump elected," Marlow told CNN. "If people want to know our thinking, they don't need to judge us on illicitly obtained comments that were intended to be private; they can simply read our front page.”

The emails suggest that Breitbart really is planning to go after the Trump administration following Bannon’s departure. Bannon, who returned to Breitbart News Friday, is deeply intertwined with Trumpism. It won’t be an easy divorce, and going against Trump’s inner circle could prove to be an extraordinarily risky move for Breitbart, which has grown in national name recognition largely because of Trump’s base.

Here are the emails between Marlow and the Bannon impostor, as posted on the prankster’s Twitter:

[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Alex Ward

We may have also just learned the real goal of the Afghanistan strategy.

It’s not surprising that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Taliban won’t win the war in Afghanistan, but it’s more than a little strange that he says the US won’t either.

“I think the president was clear this entire effort was intended to put pressure on the Taliban, to have the Taliban understand that you will not win a battlefield victory,” Tillerson said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “We may not win one, but neither will you.”

Well, that’s awkward. It was just last night that President Donald Trump outlined a new Afghanistan strategy and stressed time and again that victory was the objective. “Our troops will fight to win,” Trump said in the primetime speech.

Many outside observers immediately said that outright victory in Afghanistan was impossible given that the longest conflict in American history is grinding on with no apparent end in sight.

Tillerson appears to share their skepticism. The best the US can do, Tillerson seems to be saying, is hammer the Taliban hard enough that they’re willing to negotiate a peace deal.

Put another way, Tillerson said the best-case scenario is that Trump’s new plan brings about a Taliban loss, but not necessarily an American win. If the US military prevents the Taliban from building on the 40 percent of territory it already controls in Afghanistan, the armed group may be willing to seek a negotiated end to a war that has killed 2,264 Americans — and many tens of thousands of Afghans — since 2001.

Tillerson’s comments may resonate with his predecessors from previous administrations. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also hoped for formal talks with the Taliban as a pathway to peace there. Trump is now the third president to contend with a chaotic battlefield that includes at least 20 terrorist groups.

That means messaging gaffes like Tillerson’s may ultimately be the least of Trump’s problems.

See Tillerson’s comments below:

juan_gandhi: (Default)
[personal profile] juan_gandhi
для тестов. Пошукал в интернетах (google images). Все эти случайные люди там есть. Weird!!! 

А сегодня...

Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:44 am
silent_gluk: (pic#4742416)
[personal profile] silent_gluk
...или где-то в этих числах (как пишет А.Круглов - http://holocaust-ukraine.net/res/custom/files/scientific_literature/3_4_Kruglov_Hronika.pdf ) 76 лет назад, в 1941 году, нацистами были расстреляны 670 евреев города Малина, что в Украине.

Возможно, в этот же день погибли Гершон Беров Рахман и его супруга, Софья (Снейдл) Соломоновна, в девичестве Лумельская, родители прабабушки (которая мать дедушки). Поскольку вряд ли удастся точно узнать дату их смерти, будем считать, что годовщина - сегодня.

Вот их фотография.

И вот.
[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Dylan Scott

This is the web version of VoxCare, a daily newsletter from Vox on the latest twists and turns in America’s health care debate. Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get VoxCare in your inbox here.

You hear a lot about how much Medicaid pays health care providers and whether the program provides its patients adequate access to doctors and hospitals. One Democratic senator is looking to effectively end that discussion.

Right now, the facts on the ground are complicated: Medicaid actually pays hospitals about the same as Medicare does on average, though it does generally pay doctors less than its sister program. Medicaid patients don't report that their medical needs are going unmet any more than do people with Medicare or other kinds of insurance, but they are more likely to say they have had trouble getting a doctor's appointment.

So some real disparities exist, even if they may be exaggerated in the political rhetoric. But a new proposal by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) seeks to eradicate them altogether.

Tucked inside his Medicaid-for-more plan is a provision that would align Medicaid reimbursements with those of Medicare. I confirmed with Schatz's office that this would apply to the whole Medicaid program, at least as the plan is currently conceived.

"Frankly, it would dwarf the other parts of this bill," Chris Sloan, a senior manager at Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm, told me.

This is where I point out that Schatz's proposal almost assuredly won't become law. But in terms of signaling where Democratic health policy is heading, it is still significant.

Other experts in the area agreed with that assessment.

"It would be a major change in the program to go in this direction," said Stephen Zuckerman at the Urban Institute, who has written extensively on Medicaid reimbursement policy.

There is a real gap to be made up, especially with doctors. Spending varies widely across states, but on average, Medicaid pays physicians 72 percent of what Medicare does, Zuckerman's research has found.

While lower reimbursements aren't the only reason doctors might turn away Medicaid patients, it is certainly a factor. About two-thirds of doctors acceptMedicaid — lower than Medicare or private coverage, but not as dramatic a difference as some of the program's critics suggest.

Still, increasing Medicaid reimbursements, as Schatz is proposing, would likely further close any access gaps that currently exist.

We actually have some recent evidence of this. Obamacare included a temporary two-year bump in Medicaid payments for certain services in the lead-up to the law's Medicaid expansion in 2014.

Zuckerman and a group of researchers found that the availability of appointments for patients increased by 7.7 percent during that period, and the increases were greatest in the places that saw higher reimbursement boosts.

It's hard to know whether that was because more doctors accepted Medicaid or because doctors who already accepted Medicaid made more spots available to the program's enrollees, or a combination thereof, Zuckerman told me.

But the point is: Medicaid patients found it easier to get an appointment after the pay increase — and that increase was only temporary.

"If you actually committed to a long-term change in Medicaid physician fees, I would suspect that physicians would really consider their relative willingness to participate in Medicaid," Zuckerman said. "If you had Medicaid fees up at Medicare levels, you would think you would close some of these gaps."

This would cost money, of course. Schatz is proposing that the federal government pick up the full cost of the increased reimbursements.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the temporary increase in Obamacare would cost $8 billion a year, and that was for a more limited set of services than the Schatz plan touches. Schatz hasn't specified exactly how he would pay for any of the new spending in his proposal.

But as Medicaid flexes its political muscle and Democrats like the senator from Hawaii begin dreaming of bringing more Americans into its fold, the question of reimbursement is going to keep coming up. This gives us one example on how some on the left might try to address it.

Chart of the Day

 Urban Institute

The geographic diversity in Medicaid payments. It can't be said enough: While the numbers above give you a general sense of what the status quo is and how it could change, any increase in Medicaid policy is going to affect every state differently. This chart, from Zuckerman at the Urban Institute, gives you an idea of how much reimbursements vary across states.

Kliff’s Notes

With research help from Caitlin Davis

Today's top news

  • “Senate panel plans 2 hearings on girding health insurance”: “The Senate health committee will hold two hearings early next month on how the nation’s individual health insurance marketplaces can be stabilized, as party leaders grasp for a fresh path following the collapse of the Republican effort to repeal and replace much of former President Barack Obama’s health care law.” —Alan Fram, Associated Press
  • “Fearing sabotage, groups prepare ObamaCare blitz”: “State and local groups that help support ObamaCare are springing into action ahead of an enrollment period they fear could be sabotaged by the Trump administration.” —Rachel Roubein and Jessie Hellmann, the Hill
  • “Republicans organize to raise concerns about Medicaid expansion in Maine”: “Several Republican lawmakers are expected to announce their concerns Tuesday about expanding Medicaid, a first step toward what could become a formal campaign to oppose the question voters will face on the Nov. 7 ballot.” —Scott Thistle, Portland Press Herald

Analysis and longer reads

  • “A Health-Care Fix That Works, Now Being Rolled Back”: “Last week the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to scale back bundled payments in joint replacements and cardiac care. This is bad news for patients and doctors alike.” —Jason Furman and Bob Kocher, Wall Street Journal
  • “MACRA proposals flood in”: “The AMA, HIMSS, CHIME, the American Medical Informatics Association and Health IT Now all got their comments in under the wire, with the final rule expected sometime this fall. Each group has different beefs and blessings, of course, but here are a few salient points.” —Arthur Allen, Politico
  • “Hospitals Could Do More For Survivors Of Opioid Overdoses, Study Suggests”: “Clinicians and researchers trying to get a handle on the epidemic look at those nonfatal experiences as opportunities to jump in and figure out whether there is overprescribing going on or whether the patient needs help getting treatment for an addiction. But a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests such interventions don't happen often enough.” —Andrea Hsu, NPR

Join the conversation

Are you an Obamacare enrollee interested in what happens next? Join our Facebook community for conversation and updates.

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:19 am
ksyuhin_i_ya: (Default)
[personal profile] ksyuhin_i_ya
Давайте два слова про уезжающих из страны. Эти люди молодцы. По очень прозаичной причине. Каждый уехавший это разгрузка социальной системы, свободные рабочие места, садики, поликлиники, школы и дороги, и квартиры. Это возможность реформировать все это с меньшей нагрузкой. Бери и пользуйся.
А если еще и деньгами будут родственникам помогать, то вообще профит.
[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Tara Isabella Burton

Pope Francis leveraged his position to bring awareness to environmental issues. Now he's doing the same for the migrant crisis.

The debate over the migrant crisis has a new voice: Pope Francis.

Monday the Vatican released a comprehensive policy document urging countries around the world to ban “arbitrary and collective expulsions” of refugees or migrants, and to expand the number of “safe and legal pathways” for migration.

The policy document, “Responding to Refugees and Migrants: Twenty Action Points,” was released by the Vatican’s section on Migrants and Refugees, a small department within the Vatican that Francis directly oversees. The document comes in anticipation of talks on immigration and migration at the United Nations scheduled for next year.

The memo also highlighted the importance of social and economic justice for those who have already migrated, including guaranteeing equal access to education for children. It also calls to prohibit “exploitation, forced labor, or trafficking” and guaranteeing the rights of undocumented workers who need to report abusive employers. Such stipulations reflect Francis’s well documented concern for workers’ issues more broadly.

Francis delivered a message with the document’s release last week. "Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ,” the pope said. "This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience — from departure through journey to arrival and return.”

He was also critical of anti-migration policies enacted in the name of wider security concerns. "The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved predecessor, Benedict XVI, obliges us to always prioritize personal safety over national security,” Francis said.

Graham Gordon, head of policy at Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said in a statement: “The Holy Father is making clear that all countries must step up to the plate and pull their weight. ... This is one of the greatest crises of the century so far. Not for the first time, the Pope is reminding politicians that history will judge whether they rise to the challenge or abdicate their responsibilities.”

While the pope did not call out any politicians by name, it’s difficult to imagine that he was not referring, at least in part, to the strongly isolationist tendencies of Donald Trump. The two clashed earlier this year during Trump’s visit to the Vatican and while Trump was on the campaign trail. This summer, shortly after receiving a pointedly given copy of the Pope’s 2015 encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si’, Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accords.

In taking on the plight of migrants so visibly, the Pope may be repeating his previous strategy on environmental issues: a strategy that — with the exception of Trump’s response — has been largely successful in shaping global discourse.

Laudato Si proved enormously influential in raising political goodwill for environmental initiatives, including the Paris accords. The United Nations’ chief climate change official, Christiana Figueres, referred to it as a "clarion call" for change, and Catholics — including CAFOD’s UK news officer Liam Finn, celebrated it as a sign of Francis’s ability to make Vatican documents the subject of international media coverage.

Francis’s media popularity — and savvy — render his public policy positions far more visible than those of, say, his predecessor Benedict XIV. But it remains to be seen how well Francis shapes the political discourse this time.

[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Mac Schneider

The spacecraft is really, really far from Earth.

August 20, 2017, marked 40 years since the launch of Voyager 2. Along with Voyager 1, NASA sent the spacecraft to collect data about giant planets in our outer solar system. Voyager 2 was the first spacecraft to observe Uranus and Neptune and it recorded valuable data about these planets during its journey.

In addition to collecting information, Voyager 2 was sent with a copy of the Golden Record: a compendium of 116 images and various audio recordings chosen to represent human life on planet Earth. If an extraterrestrial ever discovers the spacecraft, the record is intended to deliver an introduction on behalf of humanity.

 Getty Images
Voyager 2, shown with the Golden Record facing the camera.

Besides new discoveries or the intrigue of alien encounters, perhaps the most wondrous aspect of Voyager 2's mission is the distance it has traveled: nearly 11 billion miles. Like Voyager 1, the farthest human-made object from Earth, Voyager 2 is also on a one-way journey into the unknown depths of interstellar space.

On the NASA mission website, the agency offers a real-time counter so you can track precisely how far both Voyager spacecrafts have travelled, but the ease of finding a precise number belies how difficult it is to grasp its enormity. So in order to visualize the staggering length of its journey, we made a video replicating the distance travelled by Voyager 2 on a human scale.

By using the average distance between Earth and other elliptically orbiting planets, we show how the distance traveled by Voyager 2 compares to the proximity of other objects in our solar system.

To see it, make sure to check out the video above.

[Spoiler alert: we didn’t use the metric system.]

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:09 pm
robofob: каченя з word (Default)
[personal profile] robofob
Навіть не знаю, чому більше радіти: тому що неуінуватого москіта відправили на нари, чи що він спиздив у сраної шістдесят вісім мільйонів дерев'яних.
І так і так приємно.
[syndicated profile] lawyersgunsmoneyblog_feed

Posted by Scott Lemieux

I strongly recommend reading Josh Holland’s piece on the significance of Russia’s ratfucking of the 2016 elections in its entirety, but this is especially good:

For some on the left, including a number of voices at The Nation, the real story involves one or more of the following: Democrats hyping a story line in order to excuse their embarrassing loss to Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton loyalists defending their candidate from the same charge; rogue elements within our intelligence agencies either fabricating or exaggerating Russian involvement to undermine Trump’s legitimacy after he compared them to Nazis, or those same elements of the “deep state”—inveterate cold warriors—sabotaging Trump’s efforts to bring about détente with Moscow.

But these narratives don’t hold up when viewed in a larger geopolitical context. It’s unlikely that in 2015 British intelligence tipped off US spy agencies about those suspicious contacts because it wanted to absolve Hillary Clinton for her future loss to Donald Trump. The Dutch aren’t interested in what lessons the Democratic Party took away from their defeat, nor are the Lithuanians invested in the idea that Bernie would have won. And it’s highly unlikely that Germany, which was torn apart during the Cold War, is chomping on the bit to launch a new one.

He could just drop the mic there, but it’s also worth noting that Russia’s interference is a much more relevant problem going forward than flaws in the campaign of someone who will never run for president again:

In recent months, one intelligence official after another has testified before Congress that the Russians will take the lessons they learned in the US election last year, and in previous campaigns elsewhere, and use them again in the future. Last week, CNN reported that, “emboldened by the lack of a significant retaliatory response” to its attack on the 2016 election, “Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence-gathering efforts in the US, according to current and former US intelligence officials who say they have noticed an increase since the election.” According to the report, “US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have detected an increase in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the US under the guise of other business.” Former director of national intelligence James Clapper warned on CNN about potential Russian intervention in the 2018 midterm elections. “They are going to stretch the envelope as far as they can to collect information and I think largely if I can use the military phrase, prep the battlefield for 2018 elections,” he said.

The fact that there’s a significant amount of skepticism on both the left and the right is blunting calls to prepare for the next attack. The president has hesitated to even acknowledge that this is a serious issue. And, while a recent analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice found that just $400 million invested in replacing paperless voting machines with machines that read paper ballots—less than the Pentagon spent last year on military bands—would help secure our election infrastructure, no such funding is in the works. In fact, in late June Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted to defund the Election Assistance Commission, which Ari Berman says is “the only federal agency that helps states make sure their voting machines aren’t hacked.” The level of concern should be even higher now that we have evidence that the Russian military intelligence did target election systems specifically: The Intercept reported last month that leaked NSA documents showed that Russian military intelligence launched cyber-attacks against an election-software vendor’s internal systems. A subsequent report by Bloomberg said that US investigators had found evidence that “Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states.”

This is an appalling piece of McCarthyism and red-baiting designed to build support for an armed invasion of Moscow, and I don’t know why the Nation isn’t publishing the careful, sober analysis of Patrick Lawrence instead. Of course, I full a support investigation.

…Greg Sargent has more on why this remains a serious problem.


[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Anna North

A courthouse shootout is the latest tragic chapter in the Steubenville rape case.

Five years ago, a 16-year-old girl was raped in Steubenville, Ohio. On Monday, a judge in Steubenville was shot outside his courthouse, and authorities say the shooter is the father of one of the young men convicted in the 2012 crime.

Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot on Monday morning outside the Jefferson County Courthouse, according to the Washington Post. The judge, who was carrying a gun, returned fire, as did a probation officer, and the shooter was killed. He was identified as Nathaniel Richmond, the father of Ma’lik Richmond, a Steubenville High School football player who was convicted of rape in the 2012 case.

Bruzzese, who is hospitalized in stable condition, wasn’t involved in the rape case. But the shooting by Nathaniel Richmond has refocused attention on his son’s crime, which occupies a crucial place in the history of Americans’ understanding of sexual assault.

The Steubenville case changed how Americans talk about rape

In August 2012, a girl from West Virginia went to a party in Steubenville with some football players from Steubenville High School. Later, as Ariel Levy reports in a detailed account of the case in the New Yorker, several boys who had been at the party made statements on social media that led her family to believe she had been raped. One boy tweeted, “If they’re getting ‘raped’ and don’t resist then to me it’s not rape. I feel bad for her but still.” Another recorded a video in which he laughed and joked about the rape with other kids. A third posted an Instagram photograph of the girl, apparently passed out, being carried by Ma’lik Richmond and another football player, Trent Mays.

Disturbed by such social media posts, the girl’s family contacted police. In 2013, Richmond and Mays were both convicted of rape in juvenile court; Mays was also convicted of possession of a nude photo of a minor. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of a year in juvenile detention and was released in 2014; Mays got two years.

The Steubenville case captured enormous public attention for a couple of reasons. First, it came at a time when sexual assault, especially at schools and especially by athletes, was starting to get increased scrutiny. In 2011, the Obama administration issued a now-famous “Dear Colleague” letter, advising colleges and secondary schools that federal law — specifically Title IX — requires them to investigate and prosecute sexual assault. Know Your IX, an organization that works to end sexual and intimate partner violence at schools, was founded in 2013. Throughout the early 2010s, feminist and mainstream media carried a variety of stories of student athletes accused of sexual assault — in one case, a student at St. Mary’s College killed herself 10 days after she was allegedly assaulted by a Notre Dame football player.

The Steubenville rape also got a lot of attention because its social media paper trail — something more common now than it was then — allowed people around the country to get involved. According to Levy, details of the case were first publicized by a Columbus-based blogger, who reposted tweets and Facebook posts about the rape on her blog, Prinniefied. Later, the case got the attention of Anonymous, which threatened to dox the perpetrators. In January 2013, more than 1,000 people attended a rally on the steps of Jefferson County Courthouse, demanding that the perpetrators face justice.

In essence, the Steubenville trial brought out into the open something far too many women and girls around the country had experienced but didn’t have a platform to talk about publicly. At the courthouse rally, several survivors of sexual assault spoke. “My name is Kaylee, and at the age of 14 I was raped by a tall football player that I had a crush on,” said one, according to Levy. For a lot of Americans who had never even heard of Steubenville before 2012, the case became personal.

Many were angry when media coverage seemed to focus more on the perpetrators than on the girl they had raped. Poppy Harlow at CNN drew outrage when she expressed sympathy for “these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students.” What about the 16-year-old girl who was attacked, many people wondered. What about her future?

“It's perfectly understandable, when reporting on a rape trial, to discuss the length and severity of the sentence; it is less understandable to discuss the end of two convicted rapists' future athletic and academic careers as if it were somehow divorced from the laws of cause and effect,” Mallory Ortberg wrote at Gawker in 2013. “Their dreams and hopes were not crushed by an impersonal, inexorable legal system; Mays and Richmond raped a girl and have been sentenced accordingly.”

In the years after the verdict, focus on Steubenville died down, but the case had a lasting effect on the public conversation around sexual assault. According to Tracy Clark-Flory at Refinery29, the widespread discussion of the Steubenville case made many Americans aware of what activists and survivors have long known: that a rapist is more often an acquaintance than “a stranger lurking in the shadows,” and that blaming the victim is harmful and wrong. While more progress is needed, discussion of the cultural forces that protect rapists and punish survivors is common today, and Steubenville is part of the reason for that.

Ma’lik Richmond’s father had a history of crime and incarceration

Nathaniel Richmond already had a criminal record when his son went on trial: He was found guilty of attempted murder and incarcerated for five years when Ma’lik was a child. Ma’lik’s lawyer told Levy that his father’s absence was hard on Ma’lik and that he began “acting out”; football served as an outlet for his feelings.

According to the Washington Post, authorities don’t think the rape case had anything to do with the shooting on Monday. But according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Richmond had been involved in several cases before Judge Bruzzese, including a wrongful death lawsuit Richmond filed alleging that the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority was responsible for the death of his mother in a 2015 fire. A hearing had been scheduled in that case for August 28.

It’s not clear whether the probation officer or Bruzzese delivered the shot that killed Richmond. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla told the Post-Gazette he had advised the judge to start carrying a gun years ago because there are “nutcases out there who want retaliation.” He said the judge was an “avid sportsman. Hunter. Loves guns.”

The Steubenville case contributed to a growing awareness among Americans that a rape is not an isolated act but part of a larger cultural, political, and personal history. Now, years after the fact, the history of Steubenville has a new and disturbing chapter.

angerona: (Default)
[personal profile] angerona
"Ищут пожарные, ищет милиция.  Ищут не могут найти...."  угол BE в треугольнике BEC.

Ну хорошо, может не пожарные или милиция, но эта строчка у  меня вчера весь вечер крутилась в голове, потому что дома очень громко обсуждались именно поиски разных углов, длин и неизвестных.    Это Игорь на спикерфоне решал с Мурмилкой ее домашнее задание.  Мурмилка в Калифорнии у дедушки с бабушкой; Игорь в Бостоне.  Решал Игорь, решала Мурмилка, решали моя мама и мой папа, решал даже Пухтышкин, ну и я переодически, хоть не вчера.

Я, кажется, писала уже про Art of Problem Solving: отличная онлайн математическая школа, про которую нам рассказали друзья.  Дети этим летом берут там классы (Пухтышкин -- Precalculus; Мурмилка -- AMC10 Prep).  Формат, когда раз в неделю они садятся с лаптопами и читают лекцию, оказался очень подходящим.  Лекции именно что надо "читать," потому что они идут не как видео, а как текст -- немного похожий на быстро движующийся чат между учителями и учениками.  То есть он и есть чат, только у учителей заранее заготовлены задачи/иллюстрации, а вопросы и ответы учеников модерируются модераторами прямо онлайн. 

А потом вот мы решаем домашние задания.  Раз у Мурмилки класс подготовки к олимпиадам, то остается надеяться, что "тяжело в учении -- легко в бою."  А то в учении пока что весело нам всем.  Зато отличное развлечение для всей семьи и всех поколений. 

Reading in a Texas Prison

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:55 pm
[syndicated profile] lawyersgunsmoneyblog_feed

Posted by Erik Loomis

Let’s say you are in prison in Texas. The list of available books for you to read is evidently intended not only to reflect but also to produce racial inequality and violence.

Slater noted that the TDCJ book bans often seem arbitrary. The department has banned many nonfiction books dealing with prison rape, he writes, but does not censor Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” which contains a scene in which an inmate is sexually assaulted.

Books containing the “N-word” are often targeted by prison censors, Slater writes. This has led to the banning of books by Langston Hughes, Noam Chomsky, Philip Roth, Richard Wright and Salman Rushdie.

But racist manifestos by Adolf Hitler and David Duke have not been banned by the TDCJ.

It’s more than this, and the article notes that the list of banned books seems utterly capricious. You can’t read Bob Dole’s book either. Who knows why. But the fact that you can’t read The Fire Next Time (Baldwin is also banned) but you can read Mein Kampf seems more than a little coincidental.


White Supremacist Statues

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:43 pm
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Posted by Erik Loomis

During Trump’s grotesque response to Charlottesville, he noted that if we take down statues of our heroes Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, where does it stop? Do we take down the Washington and Jefferson statues too? The overwhelming response to him and this line of argument is that the Washington and Jefferson statues don’t exist because of slavery, but in spite of it, whereas they are the only reasons the Lee and Davis statues were erected. That’s a pretty good answer. But Trump’s question is actually unintentionally good. There is no clear line here. Statues of the same figure mean different things in different places. Moreover, the racist history of the United States has far more facets than just African slavery. What about statues to the people involved in that? I was driving through Monroe, Michigan a couple of months ago. That is the home town of George Armstrong Custer. There is a monstrosity of a statue to the man there.

Custer was not only an idiot, but was an active participant in genocide. He should be more famous for his butchery at the Washita than his own death eight years later. Sure, he’s from Monroe, but his memory is that of an American hero when he was in fact a horrible villain. Should we leave Custer statues alone? Or take them down? What on earth did Custer do that was good? This seems much more akin to Lee and Davis than Jefferson and Washington.

This article about racist statues in Hawaii is what inspired this post.

On Sunday, Aug. 20, a group of activists marched on McKinley High School in Honolulu, calling for the removal of the statue of President William McKinley that stands there.

“He led the takeover of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Cuba,” said Khara Jabola-Carolus, co-founder of AF3IRM Hawaii, in this Aug. 20 Hawaii News Now story. “His legacy is painful for people of color in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific.”

It makes sense that AF3IRM is so prominent in this action. As their website notes, they don’t mess around.

“Hawai‘i is not the playground of the new gilded age,” states the AF3IRM Hawaii website. “We are a battleground for indigenous, immigrant, and women’s self-determination. We focus on fighting for improvements to women’s daily lives on all fronts including the legislature, the city council, the courtroom, the boardroom, and the classroom.”

But I digress. As President, McKinley built up the United States as a mighty world power by exploiting the resources and labor of conquered peoples throughout the Caribbean and Pacific. Honoring him now is an affront to our modern notions of justice and civil rights.

Of course, we shouldn’t stop there. If McKinley’s statue should come down, then so should the various statues and monuments honoring Captain James Cook around Hawaii. I can’t think of a more blatant expression of white supremacist imperialism than a statue of Cook (of course, the issue of what symbols to knock down is highly subjective: a friend of the paper, when asked what he’d like to see go, said simply, “Knock down Waikiki and return the kalo!”).

At the same time, how about erecting new statues that honor individuals and events that have been whitewashed? It’s nice that Maui has statues of Queen Ka‘ahumanu (though it’s in a shopping mall instead of public property) and the Chinese physician and revolutionary Sun Yat Sen, but how about one of David Malo? And while we’re at it, put up some sort of monument in Olowalu to commemorate the 100 or so victims of the 1790 massacre there.

I agree with everything here. This is a case where a statue of William McKinley means something different in Hawaii than in Ohio. There was a massive craze to honor McKinley after his death that is about more than just imperialism. As the last Civil War veteran to be president, his death got caught up in a larger cultural craze about manhood, remembrance, and generation that has a more recent cousin in the Greatest Generation foolishness of the 1990s and 2000s. Remembering McKinley was about his presidency conquering overseas territories, but was also about a generation worried about the future and seeing a more robust and masculine past that statues could help replicate in a new generation. Thus there are McKinley statues up all over the place, especially in Ohio, but also in, say, random Massachusetts town squares.

But in Hawaii, there is one primary reason why a statue to McKinley exists, not to mention a statue to James Cook. It’s very similar to the South and Confederate statues. These are expression of white power over a conquered population. And we should not support their continued existence. There are plenty of other people we can commemorate.

And as to Trump’s question, these issues will never be settled. There is no discussing the past without discussing the present. The sheer reason we talk about the past is as an expression of ourselves, our values, and our politics. Even saying that “I don’t bring politics into my interest in history” is explicitly political, if unintentionally so, for it expresses a comfort with the present that is telling in its own choices. We will keep having these debates forever. As we should.


[syndicated profile] vox_feed

Posted by Constance Grady

There’s a new development in the story of R. Kelly’s alleged abusive cult.

In July, BuzzFeed published an article alleging that Kelly is holding multiple young women — most of them 19 or in their early 20s — in various properties around the country and forbidding them to leave what their parents are describing as a “cult.” The women claim to be with Kelly of their own free will, but their families say that they’re suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. According to BuzzFeed’s report, the women in Kelly’s homes are forced to follow Kelly’s every instruction or face physical punishment.

The story follows several decades’ worth of lawsuits against Kelly that alleged he’d engaged in traumatizing sexual relationships with young women, some of them underage — but few of the women named in those suits were willing to come forward and speak to the press, presumably at least in part because they’d signed nondisclosure agreements with Kelly in exchange for settlement money.

Now, 24-year-old Jerhonda Pace has decided to break her NDA and speak out about the abuse she suffered at Kelly’s hands.

In an interview with BuzzFeed published on Tuesday, Pace says that when she was 16, in 2009, she spent several months involved with Kelly. She’d met him the year prior, when he was on trial for producing child pornography: She was a superfan, and she went to the courthouse every day to ask for his autograph. After Kelly was found not guilty, she was sure that he’d been vindicated and that his name was clear.

Eventually, Pace says, someone on Kelly’s team reached out to her on Myspace and connected her with Kelly. She began to spend her weekends with Kelly at his house, where they would have sex. Kelly, she says, was aware of her age — she showed him her ID — and seemed excited by it. In her interview with BuzzFeed, she recounts that he had her dress up as a schoolgirl and wear her hair in pigtails.

Pace’s account of her time with Kelly matches descriptions of his current alleged cult. She had to follow strict rules, “which included dressing in baggy clothes, turning over her phone, and asking permission to shower, eat, go to the bathroom, and leave the property. If she broke the rules, she says, she was mentally and physically abused.”

Pace eventually ended her relationship with Kelly, and later decided to sue him. “If I was to get criminal charges, it would probably be like it was last time, where he wouldn’t get convicted,” she told BuzzFeed. Kelly settled the suit out of court, promising Pace an unnamed sum of money if she would sign a nondisclosure agreement — but Pace says he hasn’t paid her what he owes her.

But that’s not why she’s speaking out now, she says. She’s worried about the women who are still living with him.

“If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do,” Pace says. “I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him.”


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