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Man’s life is changed after posting on Facebook

Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance Exclusive: Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called ‘black identity extremists’ Sam Levin @SamTLevin  Email Rakem Balogun on being secretly watched by the FBI: ‘It’s tyranny at its finest.’ Photograph: Allison V Smith for the Guardian Rakem Balogun thought he was dreaming when armed agents in tactical gear stormed his apartment. Startled awake by a large crash and officers screaming commands, he soon realized his nightmare was real, and he and his 15-year-old son were forced outside of their Dallas home, wearing only underwear. Handcuffed and shaking in the cold wind, Balogun thought a misunderstanding must have led the FBI to his door on 12 December 2017. The father of three said he was shocked to later learn that agents investigating “domestic terrorism” had been monitoring him for years and were arresting him that day in part because of his Facebook posts criticizing police. “It’s tyranny at its finest,” said Balogun, 34. “I have not been doing anything illegal for them to have surveillance on me. I have not hurt anyone or threatened anyone.” Balogun spoke to the Guardian this week in his first interview since he was released from prison after five months locked up and denied bail while US attorneys tried and failed to prosecute him, accusing him of being a threat to law enforcement and an illegal gun owner. Balogun, who lost his home and more while incarcerated, is believed to be the first person targeted... read more

Coping with a changing America; how some are dealing with it

Angry young white men, the “incel rebellion” and an age of worldwide reaction White supremacists, online misogynists and the rise of the far right: How to fight a rising tide of resentment AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook736Share to MessengerShare to TwitterShare to Reddit268Share to EmailShare to FlipboardShare to More136 Conor Lynch May 12, 2018 10:00am (UTC) If there is one thing that seems to unite the most extreme political reactionaries throughout the world, it is their gender. Whether it’s alt-right white supremacists marching in Charlottesville with their tiki torches, misogynist “incels” and men’s rights activists who believe feminism is the root of all their problems, or Islamic extremists who aim to restore the caliphate, one thing is constant: they are overwhelmingly male. It is hardly surprising that men are more susceptible to the allure of reactionary politics, considering that it’s much easier for men to romanticize the past than it is for women (or any previously oppressed or mistreated group, such as LGBTQ people). Patriarchy has long been the norm in Western and non-Western societies and cultures, and thus women are less inclined to feel nostalgic for some “golden age” in history when they were treated as second-class citizens. Needless to say, in America there is another important factor that increases the likelihood of one adopting a reactionary political ideology: being white. This was evidenced in a recent Pew Research Center analysis, which found that although millennials are the most progressive generation (and lean overwhelmingly Democratic), white male millennials are more more likely to support the Republican Party. Another analysis from the Washington Post provides further insight into this phenomenon, finding that white males are more likely to feel “white vulnerability,” or a “strong perception that whites are losing ground to other... read more

Holocaust Survivor says “today’s America is like Germany before World War ll”

Stephen B. Jacobs has a warning from the past for America today: It’s happening again. At 79 years old he is among the youngest of the Holocaust survivors still alive. But Jacobs can remember life in the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald; what the Nazis did to him, his family, his friends. He worries about what’s happening right now in America, where he has lived and prospered since arriving a couple of years after Buchenwald’s liberation on April 11, 1945.“Things just go from bad to worse every day,” Jacobs, a successful New York architect who designed the Holocaust memorial at Buchenwald, tells Newsweek. “There’s a real problem growing.” So much so that Jacobs thinks there’s a “direct parallel” with Germany between the two world wars. Perhaps more alarming than the far-right getting braver is the seep into mainstream politics of their hate, their talking points, their rhetoric. “It feels like 1929 or 1930 Berlin,” Jacobs says, ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018 on Thursday. “Things that couldn’t be said five years ago, four years ago, three years ago—couldn’t be said in public—are now normal discourse. It’s totally unacceptable. “We thought our country had changed. In fact, it didn’t. We were operating on a misconception. ‘My god, we elected a black president in the United States! Look how far we’ve come!’ We haven’t.” In Trump, Jacobs says, the far-right sees an “enabler.” “I’m involved with New York real estate, I know this man personally,” says Jacobs, whose eponymous architecture firm celebrated its 50th birthday in 2017. “Trump is an enabler. Trump has no ideas. Trump is out for himself…...read more... read more

Winnie Mandela anti-apartheid leader and former wife of Nelson Mandela has died

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: Anti-apartheid campaigner dies at 81   South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81, her personal assistant says. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela. The couple – famously pictured hand-in-hand as Mr Mandela walked free from prison after 27 years – were a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle for nearly three decades. However, in later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically. Obituary: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Naomie Harris: ‘Winnie Mandela had an awful time’ Family spokesman Victor Dlamini said Mrs Mandela “succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones” following a long illness, which had seen her go in and out of hospital since the start of the year. Retired archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu praised her as a “defining symbol of the struggle against apartheid”. “Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists,” he added. Media captionThe BBC’s Mike Wooldridge watches as Nelson Mandela was released from prison President Cyril Ramaphosa – who Mrs Madikizela-Mandela praised earlier this year – is expected to visit the family home this evening, African National Congress (ANC) chairperson Gwede Mantashe said. He added: “With the departure of Mama Winnie, [we have lost] one of the very few who are left of our stalwarts and icons. She was one of those who would tell us exactly what is wrong and right, and we are going to be missing that guidance.” Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, reading out a statement on behalf of the family, paid tribute to “a... read more

Shri Thanedar now leads Whitmer in polls for Governor, despite endorsements from Mike Duggan and Rep Brenda Lawrence for her

Posted By Tom Perkins on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 2:01 PM the article appeared in the Metrotimes Tom Perkins Shri Thanedar at Metro Times’ office. A new Marketing Resource Group poll finds progressive candidate Shri Thanedar holding a 3-percentage point lead over Gretchen Whitmer in the Democratic primary for governor, with Thanedar polling at 21 percent and Whitmer at 18 percent. That’s a dramatic change from MRG’s last poll in September, which put Whitmer ahead of Thanedar by 24 points. A February Epic-MRA poll had Whitmer leading Thanedar by 10 points. The latest poll also has former Detroit Health Department director Abdul El-Sayed in third at 10 percent, and Livonia businessman Bill Cobbs at 3 percent. Also a surprise is how grim Detroit looks for Whitmer. Despite an endorsement from Mayor Mike Duggan, she’s polling at just 9 percent, is trailing Thanedar by 18 points, and is behind El-Sayed by five points. However, though the poll is good news for Thanedar and he has the highest name recognition among Democratic candidates at 45 percent, 48 percent of Democratic voters MRG surveyed are undecided. (watch guest appearance by Shri Thanedar on Dr John Telford Show on detiptv.com playlist) Whitmer, a former Ingham County prosecutor and the state’s former Senate minority leader is viewed as the establishment candidate, has grabbed endorsements from several major unions, and has executives at health care giant Blue Cross raising corporate cash for her campaign. Thanedar bills himself as an insurgent candidate who’s running a more progressive campaign with proposals like legalizing pot and using the money to fix the roads, implementing a $15 per hour minimum wage,... read more

Study show Humans (Africans) bred with other species besides Neanderthals and Denisovans

Humans bred with this mysterious species more than once, new study shows By The Washington Post | PUBLISHED: March 16, 2018 at 7:26 am | UPDATED: March 16, 2018 at 7:38 am By Ben Guarino | The Washington Post We rarely portray Neanderthals, our close relatives, as telegenic. Museum exhibits give them wild tangles of hair, and Hollywood reduces them to grunting unsophisticates. Their skulls suggest broad faces, tiny chins and jutting brows. But to mock Neanderthals is to mock ourselves: Homo sapiens had lots of sex with Homo neanderthalensis. Neanderthal genes supply between 1 percent and 4 percent of the genome in people from homelands on several continents, from Britain to Japan to Colombia. DNA from another humanlike primate, the Denisovans, lurks in modern genomes, too. A molar and a chip of pinkie bone found in a Siberian cave provide what little information we have about this species. DNA extracted from the fragments previously revealed cross-species breeding. Yet a new study in the journal Cell shows that the ancient hanky-panky did not stop in Siberia: Humans who traveled across South Asia mated with a separate group of Denisovans as well. “This is a breakthrough paper,” said David Reich, who studies ancient DNA at Harvard University and was not involved with the study. “It’s a definite third interbreeding event,” one that adds to the previously known Denisovan and Neanderthal mixtures. Humans and Neanderthals divided into separate groups as far back as 765,000 years ago. Denisovans and Neanderthals were closer cousins who split more recently and then vanished – perhaps because we absorbed their lineages. A team of scientists, led... read more

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