Item 4 is particularly important from a historical standpoint; it may be 'history' now, but Richard Nixon did actively sabotage peace talks in 1968 in order to hurt Hubert Humphrey's election campaign. We have H. R. Haldeman's own notes and records showing it now. It is a fact.
Item 5 is something we've talked about before, in terms of non-cooperation. Have you talked to your local councils about not cooperating with, say, mass deportations? If not, now is when you need to be doing it. (And if you didn't get that action item - if you're new to the list - send me mail, I'll resend it.) Such non-cooperation needs to be systemic.
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Using real names online ‘leads to discrimination and harrassment’
Naked Security | SOPHOS
05 Jan 2017
by Lisa Vaas
It’s a commonly held belief: trolls wouldn’t dare to be so nasty if comment systems simply forced them to use their real names.
The use of authentic names on Facebook protects people’s privacy and safety by ensuring people know who they’re sharing and connecting with.
It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it?
The problem is that this common sense is wrong. According to J Nathan Matias, a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and an affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard who researches “flourishing, fair, and safe” online participation, this erroneous received wisdom has been doing the rounds for at least the last 30 years.
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Young Black Men Still More Likely to Be Killed by Law Enforcement
Teen Vogue | Rachel Charlene Lewis
Jan 9, 2017 4:43PM EST
Today, a new report from The Guardian showed that young black boys and men continue to be killed at a higher rate by police than other groups in the U.S. According to The Counted, a project by The Guardian that keeps track of deaths at the hands of American law enforcement, despite new awareness of the issue thanks to organizations like Black Lives Matter and large-scale protests like in Ferguson, police brutality continues to be a huge problem in the United States.
In 2016, black males between the ages of 15 and 34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers, four times the rate of young white men, The Counted reports. This issue is especially important considering that a Donald Trump presidency has many concerned the criminal justice reform pushed forward by President Obama will come to a sudden halt.
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Facebook’s Hiring Process Hinders Its Effort to Create a Diverse Workforce
Despite incentivizing recruiters to prioritize women, black and Latino engineering candidates, the department’s demographics have not changed much in the past few years.
by Ellen Huet
January 9, 2017, 1:32 PM EST
[picosummary: white and asian men block everybody else at the final acceptance stage.]
Facebook has put itself at the forefront of efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce, including a targeted internal recruiting strategy in 2015 designed to bring in female, black and Latino software engineers.
Yet within Facebook’s engineering department, the push has been hampered by a multi-layered hiring process that gives a small committee of high-ranking engineers veto power over promising candidates, frustrating recruiters and hindering progress on diversity goals.
The engineering leaders making the ultimate choices, almost all white or Asian men, often assessed candidates on traditional metrics like where they attended college, whether they had worked at a top tech firm, or whether current Facebook employees could vouch for them, according to former recruiters, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about their work.
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Nixon’s Vietnam Treachery
By JOHN A. FARRELL
The New York Times
DEC. 31, 2016
Richard M. Nixon always denied it: to David Frost, to historians and to Lyndon B. Johnson, who had the strongest suspicions and the most cause for outrage at his successor’s rumored treachery. To them all, Nixon insisted that he had not sabotaged Johnson’s 1968 peace initiative to bring the war in Vietnam to an early conclusion. “My God. I would never do anything to encourage” South Vietnam “not to come to the table,” Nixon told Johnson, in a conversation captured on the White House taping system.
Now we know Nixon lied. A newfound cache of notes left by H. R. Haldeman, his closest aide, shows that Nixon directed his campaign’s efforts to scuttle the peace talks, which he feared could give his opponent, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, an edge in the 1968 election. On Oct. 22, 1968, he ordered Haldeman to “monkey wrench” the initiative.
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2017: the year we become ungovernable
Cory Doctorow / 7:49 am Mon Jan 2, 2017
Kali Akuno, an organizer with Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement talks to Alternet about the first stirrings of the mass-scale civil disobedience we must practice to resist trumpism.
I find great inspiration in Akuno's ideas, and find them an excellent counterpoint to the idea of "not normalizing" Trump. The reality is that we always normalize everything -- read the accounts of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps or Americans tortured for years in the country's solitary confinement wings and you'll find that, to a one, their terrible situations become normal. All constant stimulus fades to a background refrigerator hum that we can only notice when it ceases.
But Akuno is talking about normalizing resistance, becoming habitual monkeywrenchers and refuseniks, people whose first response to any trumpist outrage is "no way," and whose fallback position is "hell no."
My great aunt Lisa was an engineering foreman in Leningrad during the Soviet era, bossing a crew of surly, drunk, ungovernable men. Her stories about how these men featherbedded, foot-dragged, monkeywrenched and twiddled their days away were always told with a mixture of frustration (at the way they made her life difficult) and admiration (at how good they were at it).
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The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble
The down-ballot party has withered, and Obama’s policy legacy will be largely repealed.
by Matthew Yglesias | Nov 10, 2016, 11:00am EST
If Donald Trump’s win were the Democratic Party’s only problem, the party’s leaders would be justified in affecting a certain amount of complacency. After all, in a year when fundamentals-based models predicted a narrow Republican victory, Clinton actually pulled out a majority of the popular vote. That makes the Democrats from 1992 to 2016 the only political party in American history to win the popular vote in six elections out of seven. It’s actually kind of impressive.
What’s less impressive is that at the sub-presidential level, the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s essentially a smoking pile of rubble.
Republicans control the House, and they control the Senate. District lines are drawn in such a way that the median House district is far more conservative than the median American voter — resulting in situations like 2012 where House Democrats secured more votes than House Republicans but the GOP retained a healthy majority. The Senate, too, is in effect naturally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Two years from now the Democratic Party will need to fight to retain seats in very difficult states like North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri along with merely contestable ones in places like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
In state government things are worse, if anything. The GOP now controls historical record number of governors’ mansions, including a majority of New England governorships. Tuesday’s election swapped around a few state legislative houses but left Democrats controlling a distinct minority. The same story applies further down ballot, where most elected attorneys general, insurance commissioners, secretaries of state, and so forth are Republicans.