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31
Vox Populi / Robert Kennedy’s Enemies Were All Over Town
« on: May 31, 2017, 05:13:05 am »
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Excerpt from The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest After JFK provided courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing. © John R. Bohrer, 2017.

In his darkest moment, Robert Kennedy defined change.
“We are a young country,” he wrote on December 18, 1963, four weeks after his brother, the President, was assassinated. “We are growing and expanding until it appears that this planet will no longer contain us. We have problems now that people fifty, even ten years ago, would not have dreamed would have to be faced.”

Bobby was writing the foreword to a memorial edition of John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage—something he would not have dreamed of facing four weeks earlier. In an instant, he had lost his brother, his boss, and his security. The mingling loyalties to family and country had made life before “simple,” he would say. Now it was racked by uncertainty. The presidency belonged to Lyndon Baines Johnson, a man whose morals and judgment he questioned, and whose insatiable appetite for political domination convinced Bobby that the name Kennedy would mean little in a few short months. The attorney general warned friends to act fast and get what they wanted, for their political power would soon expire.

Bobby himself was unsure of what he wanted. With each passing day, pressure mounted for him to decide how to use what he had inherited. So many had put their faith in a future with JFK at the helm. People now looked to Bobby for action—some for direction, most just for comfort in their grief.

This reaction would have seemed strange just a few weeks earlier. Many liberals did not trust the President’s younger brother and chief political strategist. They thought he put elections before principles and were disgusted by his battering style on behalf of Communist-hunting and crime-fighting Senate committees in the 1950s. “Robert was perceived as a tough guy, insensitive, cruel, vindictive, clannish, summed up in a word which he never shook off . . . ruthless,” the Yale law professor Alexander Bickel would write. He was so polarizing that civil rights managed to cut against him both ways: demonstrators picketed him for lacking urgency and segregationists accused him of cramming court orders down their throats. In the weeks leading up to the assassination, Bobby felt he was becoming so politically toxic that he spoke with his brother about resigning before the reelection campaign. Recounting the conversation in 1964, he said, “What was costing us was the great dislike for me in the South particularly, but in certain other [areas]” as well, and that the blame for enforcing desegregation rulings in what had been reliably Democratic states like Alabama and Mississippi “had changed from just me in ’62 and ’63 to both of us—‘the Kennedy brothers.’ ” Bobby couldn’t even go off to manage the campaign as he did in 1960, he told the President, “because then they would have thought I was still in there, still important.” When Bobby suggested they say he was leaving “to make speeches,” JFK insisted he stay on to avoid the appearance of wavering. “It was an unnecessary burden, in my judgment,” Bobby recalled. At a gathering of Justice Department aides for the attorney general’s thirty-eighth birthday on November 20, two of his assistants left with the impression he was “depressed that night” and about to resign. Less than forty-eight hours later, the President was dead.

That mood was nothing compared to the lows Bobby would experience after JFK’s assassination. But the tragedy also elevated him in ways he wouldn’t have expected. In time, “ruthless” Robert Kennedy would become the redoubt of a young decade’s ideals. There were people who wanted to hope, to recapture the excitement, and believe that the New Frontier President Kennedy spoke of was not behind them.

This idea was slow to dawn on Bobby as the cold crept in, the days became shorter, and the sleepless nights stretched on. He would later say that he thought about the future in that month to the point where the only decision he could make was “to stop thinking about it.” Yet in those lost days, he wrote the truest expression of who he was and what he lived for.
On December 18, the day they renamed New York’s Idlewild Airport for JFK and Congress authorized putting his face on money, tributes to the late president were piling up. The Profiles in Courage memorial edition was one of them, and a rumor had made its way to the publisher that Bobby might write the foreword. If not Bobby, the book’s editor gently suggested, “how about Sandburg?” Carl Sandburg, the poet and biographer of Lincoln, was ancient—nearly eighty-six years old. Bobby had just turned thirty-eight. It was up to him.

And so the attorney general sat alone in his Justice Department office— “this enormous mausoleum,” as a reporter once described it—with ceilings so high he could lob a football. Children’s drawings clung from pieces of tape to the walnut-paneled walls, as dreadful thoughts of the future crowded that terribly empty space. He sent questions to JFK’s top aide and their father’s office, looking for a quote from a speech, or wondering about Jack’s illnesses—his suffering—as a young man. Bobby ignored his speechwriter’s recommendations and put the draft down entirely in his own hand. He wrote the word Courage in bold, underlined text at the top of the first sheet of ruled paper. Hardly any revisions were necessary.

He wrote how President Kennedy had suffered greatly in his forty-six years. A bad stomach. A bad back. Long spells in hospitals. “At least half of the days that he spent on this earth were days of intense physical pain.” Bobby remembered their 1951 trip around the world, to Okinawa, where Jack’s fever reached 106 degrees. “They didn’t think he would live,” he wrote. “But during all this time, I never heard him complain. I never heard him say anything which would indicate that he felt God had dealt with him unjustly.”

Kennedys didn’t cry. They did not wear their pain for all to see. They were not halted midsentence by emotion or have eyes welled with tears. They were not given a sleeping pill and heard through the door, crying, “Why God?”
In the four weeks between his brother’s death and writing the foreword, Robert Kennedy had done all these things, no matter how much he willed himself not to. He didn’t just feel pain—he emitted it. “Desolation,” scribbled Edwin Lahey, the smoky old newsman who was granted the first interview days before Bobby’s writing. Lahey had watched him since he first arrived in Washington as one of Senator Joe McCarthy’s tenacious boy prosecutors, determined to root out Communism and win absolute victory in the clean-cut 1950s. A dozen years on, the youthful face was creased with experience and “crushed” by despair. To see Robert Kennedy was to feel his pain.


Read more http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/28/robert-kennedys-enemies-were-all-over-town

32
"Do you hear that?

That's the sound of a thousand hillbilly tears smacking the AstroTurf because a Japanese driver won the Indy 500.

One butthurt burn victim is a white journalist for the Denver Post -- correction, he WAS a journalist for the Denver Post but was fired for his racist tweet.

Oh well! Talk sh*t, get split 👏

What do you think hurts them the most? The fact that a Japanese man won the Indy 500, or the realization that they can't use the "bad Asian driver" stereotype anymore?"

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UPDATE [5-29-17 12:40 p.m. PST]: Terry Frei has been fired from his job at the Denver Post in a statement issued by publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo:

“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters. Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”

For some reason (a seemingly very racist reason), a Japanese driver’s victory in the recently concluded Indy 500 race on Sunday made one veteran sports analyst “very uncomfortable.”

Takuma Sato from Japan won the Indy 500 by defeating Helio Castroneves and Ed Jones on the final lap. Castroneves was leading with six laps to go but Sato was able to jump into the lead catching Castroneves in the next lap. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the prestigious race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

According to Daily Mail, the Denver Post’s Terry Frei implied in a now deleted Tweet that Takuma Sato’s win made him feel unhappy.

Share Tweet
UPDATE [5-29-17 12:40 p.m. PST]: Terry Frei has been fired from his job at the Denver Post in a statement issued by publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo:

“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters. Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”

For some reason (a seemingly very racist reason), a Japanese driver’s victory in the recently concluded Indy 500 race on Sunday made one veteran sports analyst “very uncomfortable.”



Takuma Sato from Japan won the Indy 500 by defeating Helio Castroneves and Ed Jones on the final lap. Castroneves was leading with six laps to go but Sato was able to jump into the lead catching Castroneves in the next lap. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the prestigious race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

According to Daily Mail, the Denver Post’s Terry Frei implied in a now deleted Tweet that Takuma Sato’s win made him feel unhappy.



“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” he wrote.

Netizens were able to get a screenshot of the post before it got deleted and became widely shared on social media. The comment sparked outrage after the image of the message went viral.

After the immediate roasting he got from other Twitter users, Frei further fuelled the fire with another not so well thought out tweet:

“THIS is what Memorial Day is about. Dave Schreiner’s death in Battle of Okinawa. Not for squeamish or ‘sensitive.'”

The post made a shameless reference to American football player Dave Schreiner who died in the Second World War during combat.

“Are you saying Takuma Sato killed Dave Schreiner in the Battle of Okinawa, and then won the Indy 500 on Memorial Day to mock him?”  a Twitter user responded.

After further backlash, Frei also deleted the second tweet, which he followed with a simple post saying, “’I apologize.”

In a statement, The Denver Post responded to the controversy with the following message:


Read more at http://nextshark.com/takuma-sato-wins-indy-500-denver-post-journalist-tweets-very-uncomfortable/

33
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The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.

As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.

The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.

The new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has proposed eliminating its environmental justice program, which addresses pollution that poses health threats specifically concentrated in minority communities. The program, in part, offers money and technical help to residents who are confronted with local hazards such as leaking oil tanks or emissions from chemical plants.

Under President Trump’s proposed budget, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights — which has investigated thousands of complaints of discrimination in school districts across the country and set new standards for how colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment — would also see significant staffing cuts. Administration officials acknowledge in budget documents that the civil rights office will have to scale back the number of investigations it conducts and limit travel to school districts to carry out its work.

And the administration has reversed several steps taken under President Barack Obama to address LGBT concerns. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example, has revoked the guidance to implement a rule ensuring that transgender people can stay at sex-segregated shelters of their choice, and the Department of Health and Human Services has removed a question about sexual orientation from two surveys of elderly Americans about services offered or funded by the government.

The efforts to reduce the federal profile on civil rights reflects the consensus view within the Trump administration that Obama officials exceeded their authority in policing discrimination on the state and local level, sometimes pressuring targets of government scrutiny to adopt policies that were not warranted.

Administration officials made clear in the initial weeks of Trump’s presidency that they would break with the civil rights policies of his predecessor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of agreements to reform police departments, signaling his skepticism of efforts to curb civil rights abuses by law enforcement officers. His Justice Department, meantime, stopped challenging a controversial Texas voter identification law and joined with the Education Department in withdrawing federal guidance allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

While these decisions have been roundly criticized by liberal activists, administration officials said that civil rights remain a priority for the Trump White House.

“The Trump administration has an unwavering commitment to the civil rights of all Americans,” White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in an emailed statement.

But Vanita Gupta, who was the head of Justice’s civil rights division from October 2014 to January 2017, said that the administration’s actions have already begun to adversely affect Americans across the country.

“They can call it a course correction, but there’s little question that it’s a rollback of civil rights across the board,” said Gupta, who is now president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Labor’s budget proposal says that folding its compliance office into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “will reduce operational redundancies, promote efficiencies, improve services to citizens, and strengthen civil rights enforcement.”

Historically, the two entities have played very different roles. Unlike the EEOC, which investigates complaints it receives, the compliance office audits contractors in a more systematic fashion and verifies that they “take affirmative action” to promote equal opportunity among their employees.

Patricia A. Shiu, who led the compliance office from 2009 to 2016, said the audits are crucial because most workers don’t know they have grounds to file a complaint. “Most people do not know why they don’t get hired. Most people do not know why they do not get paid the same as somebody else,” she said.

Under Obama, officials in the compliance office often conducted full-scale audits of companies, examining their practices in multiple locations, rather than carrying out shorter, more limited reviews as previous administrations had done.

Some companies have questioned the more aggressive approach, noting the office has consistently found since 2004 that 98 percent of federal contractors comply with the law.

But the compliance office also scored some major recent legal victories, including a $1.7 million settlement with Palantir Technologies over allegations that the data-mining company’s hiring practices discriminated against Asians. In a case involving Gordon Food Service, which serves the Agriculture Department, the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the office found the company had “systematically eliminated qualified women from the hiring process.” The firm agreed to pay $1.85 million in wages to 926 women who had applied for jobs and hire 37 of them. Gordon Food was also forced to no longer require women to take a strength test.


Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-plans-to-minimize-civil-rights-efforts-in-agencies/2017/05/29/922fc1b2-39a7-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82_story.html?utm_term=.2cf48a88cedc

34
Plans for a West Coast earthquake early warning system, designed to give a few seconds of notice before the shaking, are on the Trump administration's chopping block.

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Plans for a West Coast earthquake early warning system, designed to one day give notice of an imminent temblor, would likely be killed under President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget.

If approved, the White House plan for the fiscal year ending in September 2018 would eliminate funds needed to develop the system, which already has components in place in California. The system still needs an array of sensors before it can trigger early warning alerts a few seconds or minutes before the shaking.

The proposed budget calls for the elimination of $8.2 million to $10 million to end the USGS ShakeAlert early warning system. Funding would be cut to Caltech and other research institutions on the West Coast working with the USGS to develop the system.
"We cannot stop now, just as monitoring stations are being built out and the system is expanding its reach," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California). "Support for the early warning system in Congress is sustained, growing and bipartisan, and we will not accept this attempt by the president to cut a vital funding stream for a program that will protect life, property and critical infrastructure."

Early warning systems like ShakeAlert are designed to detect the first shockwaves produced by seismic activity by using hundreds of ground motion sensors. In the case of a large jolt, the system would trigger an alert ahead of the larger, more damaging seismic waves.

The advance warning would allow office workers and schoolchildren, for example, time to duck and cover under desks. Just a few seconds of warning would allow train operators to apply brakes and doctors to prepare for shaking during surgeries.
Automated systems mated to the early alert system could shut off gas lines, possibly limiting post-quake fire damage.



Read more at Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Earthquake-Early-Warning-System-ShakeAlert-Funding-President-Trump-Budget-424610834.html?cid=sm_npd_ms_fb_lw#ixzz4ien7AwN7
Follow us: @NBCLA on Twitter | NBCLA on Facebook

35
"This is the face of terrorism in America. Made even more dangerous since the government refuses to recognize them. Like when the FBI refused to admit the Mafia existed."

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In a chilling first court appearance on Tuesday, Portland stabbing suspect Jeremy Christian yelled about free speech and patriotism and called for more deaths.

“Free speech or die, Portland!” Christian, 35, yelled as he walked into his arraignment hearing, local NBC outlet KGW reported. “You got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you don’t like free speech!”

Christian is accused of stabbing three men ― Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, who died from their injuries, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, who is expected to survive ― after they tried to stop Christian from harassing two young women on a train in Portland, Oregon, because the women appeared to be Muslim.

“Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. Death to Antifa!” he yelled in court Tuesday, referring to antifascism. “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.”

Christian faces multiple charges for aggravated murder, intimidation in the second degree, attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.

His courtroom rant is only the latest in his long history of white supremacy, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic behavior. He regularly shared violent, racist sentiments on the internet, marched as a neo-Nazi last month and found a likeminded community online.

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 7.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0suITvBHYoo

36
Amazing!!!

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A proud mother shed tears of joy after her 14-year-old son became the youngest person ever to graduate from Texas Christian University.

Carson Huey-You was among more than 2,000 students who got a degree at the Fort Worth school, where he also minored in Chinese and Math.

His extraordinary achievements have put him in the history books, but the humble teen describes himself as ‘normal dude.‘

Carson doesn’t see himself as different from his peers and shies away when others call him a ‘genius’ or a ‘celebrity’.

But the clever boy already has his eyes set on getting graduate and doctorate degrees in quantum mechanics.

‘I’m a normal dude,’ he told the Star-telegram. ‘It is just something I have learned to deal with because, to me I am not a genius. I am a normal 14-year-old person doing college-level stuff.’

Carson entered Texas Christian University at just 11 years old. He also graduated as the co-valedictorian at his high school.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing and he admits he was intimidated by his new surroundings when he first got to college.

Carson says his college classes were a lot more difficult than he anticipated, especially the American environmental history, general chemistry II and classical mechanics classes.

‘It was scary at first because my high school was only one building versus a massive campus with tons of people,’ Carson told the paper.

‘After that, I really did get used to it because TCU was so accommodating and a positive influence really.

‘When I used to get bad test scores or something like that, I would go home and be disappointed and think about, “Oh, I should have known this, I should have done way better.”‘

Now, he told the local paper: ‘I know better how to deal with that disappointment, knowing that I will bounce back.’

Carson is fascinated by the ‘very small-scale things’ in quantum physics, and sees this field as central to the future of smartphones and other electronic devices.

‘Quantum mechanics deals with very, very small-scale things,’ Carson said.

‘Even, a lot of the times, past microscopic level so you get electrons, protons, neutrons — even smaller than that going into quarks.’

He then added: ‘Smartphones, computers, electronics — all of that stuff runs on quantum mechanics. If you want smaller technology that fits into smaller spaces, then that’s really where to look.’

Remarkably, Carson’s brother Cannan is also a child prodigy.

The 10-year-old graduated from the Accommodated Learning Academy – the same high school his brother attended  – and is also headed to the Texas Christian Academy to study engineering, physics and astronomy.

Their mom Claretta Kimp says that she hopes her sons grow up to be selfless people who give back to society.


http://scubby.com/mom-breaks-tears-fourteen-year-old-son-becomes-youngest-person-ever-graduate-college-texas/

37
You can't make this stuff up.

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Sheriff Clarke, just nominated for DHS, was in Moscow last December at the same time Michael Flynn dined w/Putin. Clarke went with funds provided by a Russian national named Maria Butina whose bio reads suspiciously like that of a Russian spy. The excuse for her liaison with Clarke was as a bankroller for a Gun Advocacy group but there’s much more to her résumé. So this is something to question him about. The Daily Beast reported on this earlier in March. Article link goes into Butina’s resume.

In retrospect, the second week of December 2015 is notable: In Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, now-disgraced Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn dined with Putin at a dinner held by Russia Today, a state-sponsored propaganda outlet.

The NRA delegation’s 2015 trip to Russia took place the same week, lasting from Dec. 8-13, according to Clarke’s public financial disclosure forms, (PDF), and included not only the people who met with Rogozin but a number of other NRA dignitaries, including donors Dr. Arnold Goldshlager and Hilary Goldschlager, as well as Jim Liberatore, the CEO of the Outdoor Channel.

snip

The delegates who were contacted by The Daily Beast did not respond to questions regarding how they paid for their trip. But Clarke, as the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, was required to fill out public disclosure forms outlining any private money he received for travel (PDF)

The trip was sponsored at least in part by the organization, The Right to Bear Arms, a firearms advocacy organization founded by Russian national Maria Butina, a former Siberian furniture store owner who now lives in Washington, D.C., and serves as a link between Russian political circles and the American capital’s conservative elite.

“A delegation of the world’s largest gun rights civic organization—the National Rifle Association of the US (the NRA) visited Moscow on an official trip and met with supporters of the Right to Bear Arms movement,” wrote Butina in Russian in December 2015, posting a photo of the delegation on her organization’s Facebook page.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/17/1663391/-Sheriff-Clark-Was-In-Moscow-Last-December-Same-Time-Flynn-Dined-W-Putin

38
Here's a whole lot of Black excellence from 23 young men who just received a college certificate a week before their high school graduation.

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The class of 2017 just keeps getting better!

On Tuesday, 23 male seniors from New Orleans' Warren Easton Charter High School earned a certificate of technical studies in residential electricity from Delgado Community College. 16 of the 23 seniors graduated as members of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, an international honor society for two-year colleges. The commencement ceremony was held before the students' high school graduation, which means they'll be walking across the stage next week to receive their high school diploma with a college certificate already under their belt. 

They were able to achieve such a task through their high school's dual enrollment program and their ability to balance high school and college work.

Last year, Warren Easton's first cohort, nicknamed "The Super Seven", graduated from Delgado and high school in the same week. Like "The Super Seven", this year's group, dubbed the "W-E 23", will pursue higher education at four-year colleges or return to Delgado to obtain more certifications.

"We are extremely proud of our students and our association with Delgado Community College," said Alexina Medley, who is the principal of Warren Easton Charter High School. "We look forward to continuing this partnership and expanding to other technical fields."

Yes! We are so very proud of you all and can't wait to see what you'll do in the future!

https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/stories/black-excellence-23-h-s-seniors-receive-college-certificate-before-graduating-high-school

39
"Today the FCC voted to start a process that would threaten net neutrality. The proposal released today would effectively eliminate the ability to enforce net neutrality. Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers could favor certain content with faster or slower speeds, control where you go online by offering different internet packages, and prevent you from accessing certain content. The FCC is accepting comments from the public about this matter. We’ve protected net neutrality before. We must do it again." - Kamala Harris

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Federal regulators on Thursday took the first formal step toward repealing tough net neutrality rules enacted two years ago that imposed strict oversight of Internet service providers to ensure the unfettered flow of online content.

The move by the Federal Communications Commission — cheered on by major broadband companies and strongly opposed by consumer advocates and Democratic lawmakers — is part of a broader effort by Republicans since President Trump took office to undo regulations enacted during the Obama era.

With net neutrality supporters, including Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), protesting outside the agency’s building, the Republican-controlled FCC voted 2-1 along party lines to start a formal, months-long process of dismantling the rules put in place in 2015.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the goal was “to return to the light-touch regulatory framework” that had allowed the Internet to flourish.

“The Internet was not broken in 2015. We were not living in a digital dystopia,” said Pai, a Republican who voted against the rules when they were adopted.

“These utility-style regulations … are like the proverbial sledgehammer being wielded against the flea — except that here, there was no flea,” Pai said.

The net neutrality rules, enacted by a party line vote when Democrats controlled the agency, prohibit AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc. and other Internet service providers from blocking websites, slowing connection speeds and charging extra for faster delivery of certain content.

To enforce the rules, the FCC classified broadband as a more highly regulated utility-like service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

Broadband providers reiterated Thursday that they are committed to the principles of net neutrality, and there have been only isolated instances of abuses over the years. But those could become more widespread without strict government oversight as high-speed Internet access becomes more vital to business and everyday life, net neutrality supporters said.

“Those net neutrality rules guarantee that gatekeepers to the Internet cannot tilt the competitive playing field,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

For example, in December, the FCC warned AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. that they were harming competition by exempting their own video applications from customers’ data caps. The practice, known as zero-rating, could make it more difficult for streaming services to compete with services owned by Internet service providers.

But shortly after Pai took over as chairman, the FCC rescinded those warnings and ended an inquiry into the practice.

“Preventing consumers from getting something for free doesn’t benefit consumers,” Pai said Thursday.

A vote is not expected until the fall.

In the weeks before Trump appointed him as the nation’s top telecommunications regulator, Pai had promised to “fire up the weed whacker” to remove harmful regulations and declared that the “days were numbered” for the net neutrality rules.

Pai said the FCC’s rules give regulators too much control over the Internet and have led to reduced investment in broadband networks — a point net neutrality supporters dispute.

On Thursday, Pai pointed to an outside study that showed the nation’s 12 largest Internet service providers reduced their domestic capital investment by $3.6 billion, or 5.6%, in 2016 compared with 2014.

But Free Press, a digital rights group, released a report this week that showed total capital investments at publicly traded Internet service providers increased by 5% in the two years following enactment of the regulations compared to the two years beforehand.

The FCC is seeking public comment on its proposal to eliminate the Title 2 classification of broadband and a general conduct standard that sought to protect Internet users from future unreasonably discriminatory practices, such as abuse of zero-rating programs.

The agency also asked for input on whether it should “keep, modify or eliminate” the specific rules on blocking content, slowing connections or allowing companies to pay to prioritize delivery of their content.

The FCC began taking public comments on its website last month, and so far, more than 1.6 million people have weighed in. A majority of the approximately 4 million comments received in 2014 urged the FCC to enact the tough rules.

But people sending in statements of support for the rules might be wasting their time in this new proceeding. Pai and his Republican colleague, Michael O’Rielly, have indicated they won’t be swayed by the volume of comments for or against the proposal.

“As in any FCC rule-making what matters most is the quality of the comments, not the quantity,” Pai said.

Democrat Mignon Clyburn voted against the proposal to repeal the net neutrality rules. She said she “vociferously dissented” because the move puts at risk the ability of Americans to “run your online business, access content over the Internet and exercise free speech without your service provider or anyone else getting in the way.”

“While the majority engages in flowery rhetoric, about light-touch regulation and so on, the endgame appears to be no-touch regulation and a wholesale destruction of the FCC’s public interest authority in the 21st century,” Clyburn said.

Under Pai, the FCC cleared the way for big TV mergers last month by easing limits on broadcast TV ownership. On Thursday, the FCC voted to begin a review of all regulations on broadcast, cable and satellite TV providers to eliminate those that are “unnecessary or burdensome.”


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-fcc-vote-20170518-story.html

40
They will be "properly re-trained" when police officers start going to jail for killing innocent people.

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A Las Vegas police officer was caught on camera using a stun gun seven times as well as an unapproved choke hold to “subdue” an unarmed black man who later died after a foot chase through a casino.

According to CBS News, Police Officer Kenneth Lopera thought the man—identified as Tashii S. Brown—was trying to carjack a pickup truck with two people inside when he fired the stun gun in a series of bursts and used the unapproved choke hold early Sunday morning at the Venetian Las Vegas resort and casino, Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said.

At a press conference Wednesday, McMahill showed video from Lopera’s body camera as well as security footage from the Venetian.

Officers have said that Brown—who also goes by the name Tashii Farmer—was sweating and looked panicked as he told police that people were chasing him.

In the video, you could see Lopera and Brown encountering each other before Brown suddenly took off running. The chase picked up through an employee-only area of the hotel and a stairwell before Lopera eventually caught up with Brown outside the hotel.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Lopera, who is white, said on the bodycam footage that Brown appeared to be attempting to open the tailgate of an occupied truck driving in the area. Brown then allegedly ran around to the driver’s side of the truck and attempted to open the door.

Lopera, apparently thinking that Brown was attempting to carjack the driver, grabbed his Taser and yelled to Brown that he was going to tase him. Lopera deployed the weapon and Brown went to the ground.

“Don’t move! Get on your stomach!” Lopera shouted.

“I will!” Brown was heard responding.

Brown could be seen on his back with his arms raised before another jolt of electricity hit him.

“Please! Please!” Brown cried out.

In all, Lopera tased Brown seven times.

Lopera and Brown then scuffled as the officer attempted to handcuff Brown. The officer punched Brown in the head and neck as Venetian security guards joined the effort and other officers arrived.

As Brown continued to struggle, according to the New York Times, although the body camera did not record the neck hold that was applied, Lopera was later heard describing it as a “rear naked choke.”

McMahill acknowledged that Lopera applied the choke hold for over one minute—far longer than the seven to 10 seconds that it may take for an approved carotid restraint to render a person unconscious—before releasing his grip as additional officers arrived on the scene to assist in restraining Brown, according to CBS News.

According Las Vegas Now, as soon as officers realized that Brown was not breathing, they started CPR chest compressions.

Brown was taken to Sunrise Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:29 a.m.

McMahill also noted that the driver of the pickup did not believe that Brown was trying to carjack his vehicle and that Brown was not believed to have committed any crime.

So why is Tashii Brown dead? When will this end? When will officers be properly trained to de-escalate a situation?

McMahill noted that Brown’s apparent appearance—heavy sweating, appearing panicked, etc.—showed signs of “excited delirium,” according to the New York Times.

Where have we seen that before? “Excited delirium” was listed as Natasha McKenna’s cause of death ... when she was completely restrained in a chair and shocked with four 50,000-volt hits from a Taser. The 5-foot-3-inch, 130-pound McKenna later went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital several days later after being removed from life support.

Brown, however, did not even make it through being apprehended.

Lopera, 31, has been on the Las Vegas force for five years. Of course, since the incident, he has been put on paid leave pending departmental and district attorney reviews of the incident. I’m not sure what needs to be reviewed, but I guess that’s also why I’m not a police officer.

According to CBS News, Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Associated Press that there was no indication that race played a role in the incident. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what they say did play a role in it.

Andre Lagomarsino, an attorney representing Brown’s family, insisted that his client “didn’t do anything wrong at all.”

“He was very fearful. He didn’t run away at his fastest pace. He looked confused,” Lagomarsino said.

According to the report, Brown grew up in Hawaii and was the father of two children. He lived with his mother in Las Vegas, where he had a business selling shoes, hat and clothes.

Lombardo is asking for patience from the public as the incident is investigated. Clark County, Nev., District Attorney Steve Wolfson said that there will be a public use-of-force review to air the findings of investigations into Brown’s death, CBS News notes.

“We’ll be fully transparent and we will look at this event with a very critical eye,” Lombardo said.

As for Brown’s mother, Trinita Farmer, she doesn’t want to see the video of the incident that left her without her son.

“I don’t want to look,” she said. “I just want to bury my son.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4dDrQVkQYA

http://www.theroot.com/las-vegas-police-officer-used-taser-7-times-unapproved-1795344910?utm_source=theroot_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow


41
In a feature titled "Let's Talk About Race" for O, the Oprah Magazine's May 2017 issue on race, photographer Chris Buck published a photo essay reversing the roles of women of color and white women.

Quote
In the first photo, white women give Asian women pedicures at a nail salon while the Asian women talk and laugh among each other.

The second photo shows a young white girl staring at shelves of Black dolls, a commentary on the lack of racial representation in the doll industry.

In the final photo, a Latina woman sits in a lavish apartment holding a small dog and talking on the phone while a white maid pours her a cup of tea. The Latina woman doesn't seem to acknowledge the presence of the white maid.

The series resonated with many viewers, going viral on Sunday when a Filipina-Chinese American with the handle @jaeralde posted the photos on Twitter:


http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/this-moving-photo-essay-flips-the-script-on-race-expectations

42
In The News / Household Debt Makes a Comeback in the U.S.
« on: May 19, 2017, 12:36:35 pm »
"For those of you with student loans, this statistic isn’t shocking: “Student loans account for 10.6 percent of [household debt], up from 3.3 percent in 2003.” Action must be taken so students aren’t left with a lifetime of debt." - Kamala Harris

Quote
It took nearly a decade, but debt has made a comeback.

Americans have now borrowed more money than they had at the height of the credit bubble in 2008, just as the global financial system began to collapse.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that total household debt in the United States had reached a new peak — $12.7 trillion — in the first three months of the year, another milestone in the long, slow recovery of the nation’s economy.

The growing debt level shows that many of the millions of Americans who struggled during the recession have sufficiently repaired their credit to qualify for loans. It also suggests a rising optimism about economic growth among banks and other lenders.

Debt can fuel consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of all economic activity in the United States. It also allows Americans to make large investments in education and housing, which can help build personal wealth and financial stability.

Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE


DeVos Halts Obama-Era Plan to Revamp Student Loan Management APRIL 14, 2017

As Auto Lending Rises, So Do Delinquencies NOV. 30, 2016
Yet the borrowing peak also signals the potential for new risks to the economy.

One of the major factors behind the latest debt binge has been student loans, a mounting burden that can stifle economic growth by preventing Americans from buying homes or spending on big-ticket consumer items.

The fear is that ballooning debt from student loans — and from auto loans and credit cards — could put many Americans back into a hole, prompting a new wave of defaults, much like the one that accompanied the mortgage meltdown a decade ago.

“This is not a marker we should be superexcited to get back to,” said Heather Boushey, the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a liberal think tank. “In the abstract, more debt signals optimism. But in reality, families are using debt as a mechanism to pay for things their incomes don’t support.”

Since World War II, total household debt had been increasing, with only a few interruptions. The financial crisis changed that steady upward march.

In late 2008, household debt began a decline that would last for 19 consecutive quarters, an unprecedented period of deleveraging during which many Americans shied away from new borrowing. Total debt began to rise again in 2013, finally hitting a new high in this year’s first quarter.

There is reason to believe that borrowers should be able to better manage their debt now than they did during the financial crisis. The nation’s debt load is reaching new heights at a moment when the economy is expanding, a dynamic that makes the latest peak in borrowing less worrisome to economists.

And households today are borrowing differently than they did nine years ago. Student loan debt, driven by soaring tuition costs, now makes up 11 percent of total household debt, up from 5 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

By comparison, mortgage debt is 68 percent of total debt, down from 73 percent during the same period. The household debt figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Student borrowers today owe $1.3 trillion, more than double the $611 billion owed nearly nine years ago. About one in 10 student borrowers is behind on repaying the loans, the highest delinquency rate of any type of loan tracked by the New York Fed’s quarterly household debt report.

The student loan market is nowhere near the size of the $8.6 trillion mortgage market, making student borrowing less of a threat to the global financial system than the bad housing loans that touched off the financial crisis in 2008.

But there are similarities in how student loan debt — like mortgage debt a decade ago — has managed to pile up.

One idea underpinning the mortgage boom was that homeownership was a clear-cut route to building wealth. That notion was shaken by the housing collapse, which left millions of Americans in foreclosure and their finances in ruins.

Students have gone deep into debt in the belief that a college degree will eventually lead to a higher income. But many students have graduated into a job market where wages have been rising slowly, leaving them with more debt than they can pay off.

Economists are now unsure about how this mountain of student debt will affect the broader economy. Unlike mortgages, student loans cannot typically be shed or restructured, which means that more Americans are shouldering a type of debt that could weigh them down for the rest of their lives, preventing them from buying homes or starting businesses.“Student debt is a different animal with different rules,” said Diane Swonk, founder of DS Economics in Chicago. “It has some good effects, but not always.”

Alyssa Pascarosa, 26, owes $100,000 related to the bachelor’s degree in sociology she received from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. The debt shapes nearly all of her financial choices. Ms. Pascarosa initially planned to attend law school but changed her mind after realizing that pursuing that career path would double or triple her debt load.

Instead, Ms. Pascarosa moved back in with her mother in Easton, Pa., where she works as a graphic designer.

“I would like to move out at some point soon,” she said, “but with my loans, I can’t justify spending money on rent.”

Economists have found signs that high student debt levels have contributed to a slowdown in young adults’ household formation and a decline in early homeownership.

There are many benefits, of course, to the boom in student lending. More Americans now have college degrees, which will probably increase job opportunities and wages over time.

Workers with a four-year college degree earn significantly more than those without one, in aggregate. And borrowing money to obtain a college degree often proves to be a better investment than taking out a mortgage to buy a home. But how that plays out can vary widely in individual geographic areas and career fields.

Student loans are not the only area in which debt has grown rapidly.

The New York Fed report also shows how growth in auto lending over the past decade has made up for slower mortgage lending. Auto loans totaled about $1.1 trillion, or 9 percent of all household debt, in the first quarter of 2017, up from 6 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

Defaults have crept up in auto loans, one of the few sectors in which lenders were willing to extend credit to subprime borrowers after the 2008 crisis.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said defaults on student and auto loans were a “financial blemish” on otherwise healthy household balance sheets.

“It is not an existential threat to households and the economy,” Mr. Zandi said. “It is an area where there is some stress.”

More broadly, the economic picture looks far less precarious than it did in late 2008. The amount of monthly income that Americans must spend paying off their debt is smaller, and employment is flush.

That made last month feel like an opportune time for Caitlin Farrell, 34, and her husband to buy their first home, a 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom house in Sacramento. Ms. Farrell, who works as an education policy researcher, got her home loan from SoFi, a start-up online lender that moved into the mortgage market last year.

“We had been renting and moving all through our 20s,” Ms. Farrell said, “and now seemed like the right time to get in.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/business/dealbook/household-debt-united-states.html

43
"Why don't they ever march on Black on Black crime? Conservatives ask this dumb question all the time.

Except folk do. In every major city in America. All the time. Conservatives don't know because they don't care. It rarely makes the news."

Quote
GRAND CROSSING — Thousands of people are expected to stand in unity across 21 blocks on the South Side Saturday.

In an effort to bring awareness to the lives lost to gun violence on the South Side, the Rev. John Hannah, pastor of New Life Covenant Church, is spearheading the anti-violence “Prayer on the 9” gathering.

This is the second year the church is inviting the community to come out and pray with them. Participants will gather at 79th Street and Greenwood Avenue at 10 a.m. where Hannah will address the community and present funding to three partnering organizations.

Last year more than 2,000 people participated, many wearing red, which Hannah said represented the blood that has been shed.

Again this year, everyone is encouraged to wear red. They’ll form a two-mile prayer line along 79th Street from Greenwood to the Dan Ryan Expressway. At 11 a.m., those who have lost loved ones will be asked to step into 79th Street and lie down in an effort to demonstrate the enormity of the violence. He’s asking them to bring a photo of their loved one and hold it up during that moment of silence.

“I really want to keep the face of these people in our face,” Hannah said. “Don't let the face of your loved one be forgotten.”

New this year will be band members from Dunbar High School. They will conclude the prayer event with a celebratory march.

“After prayer, what if I can shift you and say, ‘OK, we’ve cried about them, now let’s celebrate their life, the time that you had with them?”

“It’s without question that we continue to have an issue,” Hannah said about the gun violence.

Although some may criticize the idea of a march, Hannah said it still has an impact.

“I believe there is something powerful about a large group of people screaming ‘Enough is enough,’” he said. “You don’t just want to show up at a funeral, I think you need to show up before the funeral.”

He said Chicago could truly see a change for the better if every church claimed its community.

“One church can’t take over a whole city, but you’re a piece of a puzzle," he said.

Because he knows the assignment God has given him, he said he’s doing all he can to better the Grand Crossing community, adding that he has already seen changes.

That means starting with the children. The church opened its new $4 million state-of-the-art day care center last May. They also have a food pantry and recently bought a food truck which the church will use to distribute free hot meals in the summer.

“We’re more than just four walls,” Hannah said.

He’s also partnering with three community organizations in the neighborhood to provide resources and services for the residents after the demonstration. New Life Covenant will donate to the organizations over the summer to provide resources for violence prevention and awareness in the Grand Crossing area

To register for Prayer On The 9, visit www.PrayerOnThe9.org. Follow the specific instructions for “individuals” or “churches/organizations” to receive block placement assignments. For more information, please call 773-285-1731.


https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170516/grand-crossing/new-life-covenant-church-anti-violence-prayer-line-2-mile

44
masterpiece movies

Quote
As the films of Luis Buñuel, Alain Resnais, Terrence Malick, and Chantal Akerman proved decades ago, there’s no such thing as realism. Filming events that could plausibly have happened in the lives of a movie’s characters, if they were real people and the filmmakers could have filmed them, is no guarantee of realism—the selection and arrangement of the events and the way that they’re filmed can render them surrealistic, abstract, hallucinatory. Proof lies in two hidden classics from decades ago that are close cinematic relatives: Charles Burnett’s first feature, “Killer of Sheep,” from 1977, and Billy Woodberry’s first and (to date) only dramatic feature, “Bless Their Little Hearts,” from 1983 (which Burnett wrote and shot). Both underscore the point perhaps less radically than other films but no less originally, personally, and idiosyncratically: realism isn’t a method or a premise but a result, emerging not from circumstances or intentions but from artistry. Both films, distributed by Milestone, are reopening today at IFC Center, to commemorate the the fortieth anniversary of the completion of Burnett’s film (which was only released in 2007 due to the commercial obstacle of music rights).

Both movies are shot in black-and-white; both are set in the predominantly black neighborhood of Watts, in Los Angeles, and are centered on a single family—mother, father, young children (two in “Killer of Sheep,” three in “Bless Their Little Hearts”). For that matter, the mother in both families is played by the same actress, Kaycee Moore. Both films are centered on work—“Bless Their Little Hearts” is about a man who doesn’t have enough of it, while “Killer of Sheep” shows a man who has too much of it. Burnett’s protagonist, Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), works in a local slaughterhouse, killing and butchering animals with his own hands. It’s physically and psychologically demanding labor, which—in conjunction with his domestic responsibilities, as well as the stresses of his social life and, perhaps most decisively, the ambient tensions of the community at large—are wearing him down to an affectless, emotionally detached silhouette of a person.

The film opens with a primal scene, of young Stan being disciplined by his father about the responsibilities of becoming “a God-damn man” and slapped by his mother. This is followed by scenes from Watts of children at play, as well as a grim scene played with a touch of slapstick comedy, as two men steal a television set, an older man catches them in the act, a boy—Stan, Jr. (Jack Drummond)—tips the thieves off, and one of the thieves threatens the witness. Only then does the adult Stan make his appearance onscreen: first seen from behind, laboring under the family’s kitchen sink, his backside in the air and his head unseen as he cuts and lays linoleum, caught between a friend to whom he bemoans his fate and his daughter, Angie (the director’s niece, Angela Burnett, who also appears in “Bless Their Little Hearts”). Burnett (doing his own cinematography) films with a thick sense of community, filling frames in the street and indoors with people in motion, people coming and going, people reaching out and watching—among whom the stolid Stan, both strong and fragile, who thrusts himself into action in order not to think of anything but the task at hand, seems frightfully alone, shrinking ever more compactly and opaquely into his own reduced identity.

Money and the lack of money are constants—Stan’s friends come to borrow it, other friends try to lure him into a criminal plot to get some, Stan needs a little bit more to buy a new engine for his car (which becomes a scene of another rumbustious bit of slapstick)—and the very textures of life are worn thin by the privations of poverty (a dour scene of a thwarted weekend outing suggests the narrow limits imposed on experience, and on emotional life, by that lack of money). Nonetheless, Burnett is a paradoxical romantic, a filmmaker of profound moods and ambient tenderness—from Stan’s deeply loving glance at Angie while he labors in his kitchen, and his recollection of the skin-to-skin heat of a lover’s cheek, to a scene that’s one of the most intimately melancholic moments in modern cinema, in which Stan and his wife perform a long slow dance in their living room to Dinah Washington’s record of “This Bitter Earth.”

There’s also violence and danger in Burnett’s purview—children fighting uninhibitedly and hurting each other brazenly; a man who has been beaten up in a brawl; a scene of domestic violence, with a woman chasing a man at gunpoint, that’s also played for an element of broad comedy (the spirit of Charlie Chaplin looms large in Burnett’s scathing sweetness)—and he offers a scene of sudden terror, in which children at play jump from roof to roof across a mortal chasm. Children are present throughout—a pregnancy is a major event—and Burnett devotes an earnest and eager attention to the seriousness of play. With his soundtrack of blues and Paul Robeson and popular music and classics, Burnett collects a catalogue of artistic history along with his characters’ firsthand experiences; he himself makes a kind of music, a cinematic blues in which transmission of the living history of intimate experience, the crucial emotional life that’s passed along from generation to generation, is embodied even as it dramatizes the threat to that transmission.

But the very first thing that gets passed down, in Burnett’s view, is an intense gendering—the idea and impossible ideal of being a man, starting with the subjection to violence as a child and continuing to the infliction of violence as an adult. The underlying grid of “Killer of Sheep” is the sense of a historical cord being cut by the demands and stresses of modern life, in which that continuity and sustenance is all the more crucial merely to get by, let alone to make progress—to pass along and yet to transcend the terms of that inheritance.

The title of Woodberry’s film, “Bless Their Little Hearts,” evokes the centrality of children and the perspective of parents, and it, too, is a story of gendering—along with a story of racial identity and of money trouble. The movie begins with the out-of-work Charlie Banks (Nate Hardman) filling out forms in an employment office; his wife, Andais (Moore), works to support the family, leaving her exhausted even as she cares for their three young children. Charlie hangs out with friends who try to lure him into a scheme of robberies; he tries to put an emphasis, he says, on the spiritual dimension of life, but the pressures of the material realm are inescapable. The material realm is both financial and physical. He’s present as his friends compare with proud bravado the blackness of their skin.

Domesticity and intimate life are central to Woodberry’s vision of selfhood—a bath, a shave, a haircut; Andais’s confidential kitchen-table chat with her older daughter about boys and her own thwarted dreams. When it’s time to give the children their allowance, Andais secretly hands Charlie the coins so that he, as nominal head of the household, can dole them out. Charlie is a devoted father with a clear idea of what it is to be a man—and this, too, Woodberry renders with an intense domestic physicality, in a scene that begins with trivia, when Charlie notices that his son’s fingernails are long and then cuts them, forcefully and reproachfully, explaining that long nails aren’t for men but for “little girls” and “little sissies.”

The word “man” echoes throughout “Bless Their Little Hearts.” A man, in Charlie’s view, works. But Charlie has trouble getting work, and it weakens his place at home. Soon, he gets day labor—as a weed whacker, as a house painter—but the solitude and precariousness of his work is hardly a salve to his wounded identity. His remedy is an affair: he meets a former girlfriend by chance and starts to see her again. For her, it is, among other things, a welcome change in domestic circumstances—her children, she says, “need a man around the house.” Charlie siphons some of his meagre earnings to her; Andais figures it out. The showdown that results—a ten-minute take in the kitchen, in which she unleashes her fury at Charlie and they both unleash a seemingly pent-up lifetime of disappointments and frustrations—is one of the great domestic cataclysms of modern movies, worthy of a place alongside the films of the same era by John Cassavetes.

It’s a blowout from which Charlie and his family recover with difficulty; seeking a new source of immediate income when even day labor dries up, Charlie digs out his fishing tackle and tries to catch fish in order to sell them, effectively thrown out of modernity and thrust back into a state of feral combat with nature.

Woodberry’s distinctive style is pensive and introverted—he’s a reflective filmmaker whose scenes of action are matched by extended scenes of inaction, in which his protagonists pass through the cityscape or sit or recline alone, collecting and measuring their circumstances, seeing their identities mirrored and distorted in the world around them. Where Burnett keeps the characters of “Killer of Sheep” in their neighborhood (Stan may work outside Watts but he seems to hardly touch the ground anywhere else), Woodberry starts outside Charlie’s local sphere, in the employment office, and continues to watch his characters as they pass, detached and rueful, through the wider city, in transit through a blasted post-industrial landscape in which Stan, in particular, sees his own enforced idleness reflected. “Bless Their Little Hearts” is a tale of breakdown and discontinuity, the story of an endgame done in a tersely introverted mode of stifled contemplation, punctuated by devastating furies.

Burnett and Woodberry are two of the crucial figures in the L.A. Rebellion, a group of black filmmakers, centered around U.C.L.A. in the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, whose films have enduringly marked the history of cinema. Among its other artists are Julie Dash (best known for her feature “Daughters of the Dust,” from 1992), Haile Gerima (whose film “Bush Mama,” from 1975, was recently screened at moma), and Monona Wali (whose film “Grey Area,” from 1982, was shown at bam Cinématek earlier this year). All of these filmmakers have had truncated or gappy careers (Burnett’s has been the most active); their influence has largely been subterranean, intimate, confidential—and mighty. The generational history at the center of their work has proven to be the very story of their careers; if the history of the cinema, with its screenings and restorations, its retrospective series and home-video and streaming releases, is worth anything at all, it’s in the transmission not of a mere story about past influence nor even of documentation of past circumstances but of a direct, firsthand experience with artistic creativity, with original inspiration and its yet unforeseen influence on the future.


http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/the-cinematic-blues-of-charles-burnett-and-billy-woodberry

45
Health / Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear on life after 90
« on: May 19, 2017, 12:28:23 pm »
Brooks' tip for longevity: Just "eat bran."

Quote
Mel Brooks made it clear that he was not paid to appear at the premiere of the new HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”

“They never pay, they never pay,” he joked. “How funny I was tonight and I don’t get a penny.”

Brooks stole the show from fellow Hollywood legends Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear, with whom he shared the stage after the screening Wednesday. The four longtime friends star in the film, which explores what makes for a vibrant, active life after age 90. Non-famous nonagenarians and centenarians are also featured, including a 101-year-old competitive runner, a 100-year-old pianist and a 98-year-old yoga teacher.

Producer George Shapiro (“Seinfeld”) said the cast is “truly sending a love letter to the human race.”

Reiner, 95, serves as host of the film, interviewing his friends Brooks and Lear, along with 95-year-old Betty White and 100-year-old Kirk Douglas.

All the active elders say the key is keeping yourself healthy and staying engaged with life by doing what you love. The film and its subjects are vivacious and inspiring.

Van Dyke is still singing and dancing — onscreen in the new “Mary Poppins,” in theaters next year, and off-screen with his wife, who’s more than four decades his junior. His advice is to “keep moving,” which is also the title of his book on aging published in 2015. Lear is working on a reboot of his 1975 series “One Day at a Time.” Reiner said writing every day gives his life purpose, adding that he just finished a book called “Too Busy to Die.”

“I just say eat bran,” Brooks quipped.

Tom Bergeron moderated the post-screening discussion with the stars. Once they got going, Brooks declared, “Tom, you’re superfluous, really. Everybody here is a self-starter.”

The conversation was actually one of mutual admiration. Reiner called Brooks “the funniest human being in the world” and Van Dyke “the single most talented man that ever lived.” Van Dyke described his stage-mates as “creative giants” and said Reiner has been his mentor and idol since they met.

When Bergeron asked if any of the men had ever considered retirement, Brooks said, “I thought of retiring Carl, but he won’t.”

They also talked about Donald Trump, the “2000 Year Old Man” and who had the nicest shoes (Brooks).

“Well, I have the most money here, except for Norman,” Brooks said. “Norman, you should dress better.”

“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast” is set to debut June 5.


http://pagesix.com/2017/05/18/mel-brooks-dick-van-dyke-and-norman-lear-on-life-after-90/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=P6Facebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow

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