"In the Midwest, it’s a cultural thing, people don’t communicate as openly. I love the movie - it’s an Alexander Paine film starring Jack Nicholson, called About Schmidt… his films are great snapshots of the texture and light and attitudes of the American landscapes they’re set in. In About Schmidt, no one quite knows how to communicate. They’ll sit around a table and just eat. It seems like a caricature, but it’s true — and when people do speak in the Midwest, there’s a certain empty nicety. I’m amazed when I go back. You’ll be at a restaurant or a diner, and the waitress is overly nice to you and polite and sweet, and people are really nice to each other, but they’re never communicating anything."

Craig Thompson, in a 2005 Comics Journal interview

"Empty Nicety" is probably the best description of the Midwest I’ve ever heard. 

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 7 notes

Top campaign contributors, taken from OpenSecrets.org

Obama on the left, Romney on the right.

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 34 notes

Things Obama has done for me…
  • Bank Overdraft Regulations - Remember how your bank used to manipulate your transactions so that they could hit you with as many overdraft fees as possible if your bank account was overdrawn? I sure as hell do. They’d sit on my power bill payment ($200) until I’d built up enough lunch charges ($4) to overdraw, then blammo - 5 overdraft fees instead of one, which cost me $150. This stuff was KILLING me, and everyone else living paycheck to paycheck. Well, Obama changed the regulations so that now they can only charge you ONE fee when you go over, and your bank card has to decline when you’re overdrawn. This has saved me an untold amount of money over the last year. 
  • Lily Ledbetter Act - This legislation will allow me to sue if I find that my employer has been discriminating against me by paying my male colleagues more for the same work, with no time limit to figure out whether and how much I’m being screwed. Employers will have to think twice before underpaying their female workers thanks to this law. This was the first bill Obama passed back in 2009, and I’m still pretty happy about it. (ps. Paul Ryan voted AGAINST this law)
  • Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50%, which allows my father (a vietnam vet) to buy his diabetes medications after he had to retire earlier than planned for health reasons.
  • Repealed Bush-era restrictions on federal funding for Stem Cell Research, which impacts my entire profession as well as the place that I work and the livelihoods of a number of my coworkers. Not to mention the potential discoveries that are now under development that could impact all of our health in the future!
  • Obama’s Stimulus Package saved my job. About 2% of the funding (something like $18 billion) was directed to non-military scientific research, a good chunk of which went directly to my sector. Before this, we were all afraid for our jobs, and a lot of layoffs were planned. After this, we managed to weather the economic storm with minimal job loss. 

What has Obama done for you?

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 5 notes

a few reasons why that debate was so depressing
  • the way the media furiously spun Romney’s appearance as though it was some transcendent political performance was a stark reminder of how much the deck is stacked against us. People with money want Romney. People with money own everything. It’s gonna be tough.
  • while it was pretty obvious to me that Romney came off as this lying, fascist bully asshole, apparently a big chunk of America saw this bully asshole and they liked him. It’s incredibly demoralizing to remember that people like bullies, they like power, and they especially like bland white dudes with power. 
  • even as the incumbent President of the United States, Obama is seriously boxed in in terms of how he is able to respond to blatant assholery without getting painted as an Angry Black Man. It’s something we should all know already, but watching it play out it is still fucking depressing.
Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 5 notes

I’m getting pretty close to panicking over the possibility of a President Romney

Is nobody else freaked the fuck out? 

I wasn’t at all worried before, but it’s OCTOBER and the Obama supporters are… asleep? On vacation? In some secluded location planning their next move? What?

WTF you guys. PRESIDENT ROMNEY. Just think about that. The UNMITIGATED DISASTER of that. This guy has no morals or standards whatsoever that I can discern. He’ll do whatever the money tells him to do. The money tells him to bomb Iran, he’ll shrug and inform the Pentagon. 

PRESIDENT ROMNEY. 

We should all be terrified by that possibility.


nakkyy:

freedradicals:

”The leaders of the people who have broken every treaty with my people have their faces carved into our most holy place. What is the equivalent [insult]? Do you have an equivalent?”
-Alex White Plume of the Oglala Sioux nation

Seriously, what do you compare that to?http://www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland 

In 1926, Borglum began carving the faces of four presidents out of a mountain in the Black Hills, land sacred to the Lakota people. The sculptor, who admired Manifest Destiny and saw the conquest of the Lakota and the theft of their sacred land as justifiable, dedicated the sculptures to the Expansion of the United States. From Borglum’s perspective, Manifest Destiny, an expression of racial superiority, was an expression of the rightful order of the world.
In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the nearly completed monument to Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore. As with the earlier Presidential dedication, the President made no mention of Indians. The general public who read about the new monument, and the tourists who came to it, were oblivious to the fact that Mount Rushmore had once been Indian land, and that it was still sacred to them.

nakkyy:

freedradicals:

”The leaders of the people who have broken every treaty with my people have their faces carved into our most holy place. What is the equivalent [insult]? Do you have an equivalent?”

-Alex White Plume of the Oglala Sioux nation

Seriously, what do you compare that to?
http://www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland 

In 1926, Borglum began carving the faces of four presidents out of a mountain in the Black Hills, land sacred to the Lakota people. The sculptor, who admired Manifest Destiny and saw the conquest of the Lakota and the theft of their sacred land as justifiable, dedicated the sculptures to the Expansion of the United States. From Borglum’s perspective, Manifest Destiny, an expression of racial superiority, was an expression of the rightful order of the world.

In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the nearly completed monument to Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore. As with the earlier Presidential dedication, the President made no mention of Indians. The general public who read about the new monument, and the tourists who came to it, were oblivious to the fact that Mount Rushmore had once been Indian land, and that it was still sacred to them.


tooyoungforthelivingdead:

verbalresistance:

jadelyn: poptech:


All the American Flags On the Moon Are Now White
NASA has finally answered a long-standing question: all but one of the six American flags on the Moonare still standing up. Everyone is now proudly talking about it. The only problem is that they aren’t American flags anymore. They are all white …
So America f*ck yeah, right? Not quite. While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago … [More]

There’s probably something poetic to be said here about failed nationalism, but I’ll just go with “The moon is not having any of your colonial-nationalist shit.”

This… this is great.

shit yeah science!


the moon rejects your ridiculous proposal

tooyoungforthelivingdead:

verbalresistance:

jadelyn: poptech:

All the American Flags On the Moon Are Now White

NASA has finally answered a long-standing question: all but one of the six American flags on the Moonare still standing up. Everyone is now proudly talking about it. The only problem is that they aren’t American flags anymore. They are all white

So America f*ck yeah, right? Not quite. While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago … [More]

There’s probably something poetic to be said here about failed nationalism, but I’ll just go with “The moon is not having any of your colonial-nationalist shit.”

This… this is great.

shit yeah science!

the moon rejects your ridiculous proposal



10 Facts You May Not Know About Asian-American History

gondoleia:

by Jenn Fang

It’s almost the end of May. Do you know your Asian-American history?

Most of America isn’t aware that May is Asian-American Heritage Month. It’s a celebration that started in 1978, when Congress urged President Jimmy Carter to declare the week of May 4th ”Asian-American Heritage Week.” (That date was chosen to coincide with the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad — built largely by Chinese laborers — on May 10, 1869.) More recently in 1990, following another vote by Congress, President George H.W. Bush expanded Asian-American Heritage Week to encompass the entire month of May.

Sadly, Asian-American history and heritage is rarely taught in U.S. public schools. So for those of you who’ve missed such curriculum, here’s a list of 10 factoids you may not have known about the history of Asian-Americans in this country:

1). The first Asians whose arrival in America was documented were Filipinos who escaped a Spanish galleon in 1763. They formed the first Asian-American settlement in U.S. history, in the swamps surrounding modern-day New Orleans.

2). In the years between 1917 and 1965, Uncle Sam explicitly outlawed immigration to the U.S. of all Asian people. Immigration from China, for example, was banned as early as 1882, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. It wasn’t until the Immigration Act of 1965— which abolished national origins as a basis for immigration decisions — that nearly 50 years of race-based discrimination against Asian immigrants ended.

3). Because of their race, Asians immigrants were denied the right to naturalize as U.S. citizens until the 1943 Magnuson Act was passed. Consequently, for nearly a century of U.S. history, Asians were barred from owning land and testifying in court by laws that specifically targeted “aliens ineligible to citizenship.” Even after the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, American-born children of Chinese immigrants were not regarded as American citizens until the landmark 1898 Supreme Court case, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which established that the Fourteen Amendment also applied to people of Asian descent.

4). Among the earliest Asian immigrants, virtually all ethnicities worked together as physical laborers, particularly on Hawaii’s sugar cane plantations. On these plantations, a unique hybrid language — pidgin — developed that contained elements of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean and English. Today, pidgin is one of the official languages of Hawaii, a state that is itself 40%  Asian.

5). Despite the Alien Land Law, which specifically prevented Asians from owning their own land, Japanese farmers were highly successful in the West Coast where they put into practice their knowledge of cultivating nutrient-poor soil to yield profitable harvests. By the 1920s, Japanese farmers (working their own land, or land held by white landowners that they managed) were the chief agricultural producers of many West Coast crops. In fact, the success of Japanese farmers is often cited as one of the reasons white landowners in California lobbied to support Japanese-American internment following the declaration of World War II.

6). Many of the early Asian immigrants who worked as laborers on plantations and in factories were instrumental in the formation of the American labour movement, helping to organize some of the first strikes and unions throughout the country. Japanese plantation workers, for example, engaged in the first organized strike in Hawaii in 1904.

7). Anti-miscegenation laws that denied marriage licenses between interracial couples specifically prohibited intermarriage between whites and Asians. For example, the 1922 Cable Act revoked the citizenship of any female U.S. citizen who married an “alien ineligible to citizenship,” a phrase repeatedly used in legal documents to refer to Asians.

8). Unlike Irish immigrants, who predominantly entered the United States via the Ellis Island immigration center, most Asian immigrants entered America by way of Angel Island Immigration Station. Unlike at Ellis Island, where immigrants might spend between two and five hours waiting to be processed, the Angel Island facility’s unspoken goal was to limit the flow of Asian immigrants into the country. Between 1910 and 1940, many prospective Asian immigrants were detained for as long as two years at Angel Island, stymied by U.S. immigration officials hoping to find reasons to deport them. Some of the detainees wrote poems in Chinese on the walls of the Angel Island detention facility; these poems have since been translated and collected into anthologies.

9). During World War II, Japanese American internees — including both Japanese immigrants and their American children — were forcibly relocated from their homes in the West Coast to remote relocation camps. Even still, several young Japanese-American men went on to successfully lobby the American government to be allowed to volunteer as soldiers in World War II, often to prove their loyalty to the United States. The 442nd infantry regiment, a segregated Asian-American unit composed almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, fought in Italy, France and Germany and is still the most highly decorated regiment in United States Armed Forces history.

10). In 1982, a young Chinese-American man named Vincent Chin was brutally clubbed to death by two white men in Detroit, Michigan. The crime was motivated, in part, by anti-Asian sentiment stemming from widespread loss of auto manufacturing jobs to Japanese competitors; Ronald Ebens, one of the attackers, was heard saying “it’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work” to Chin moments before the attack. Despite pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Chin’s killers did not serve any jail time for Chin’s murder, and were only fined $3,000. Vincent Chin’s death served as a flashpoint that ignited the modern Asian-American political movement.



johnnyprince:

cartermagazine:

Slavery By Another Name
Directed by Sam Pollard, produced by Catherine Allan and Douglas  Blackmon, written by Sheila Curran Bernard,  the tpt National  Productions project is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by  Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most  cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham  Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts  how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced  labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of  African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that  would persist until the onset of World War II. via PBS Film
Click Here To Watch The Full Film
- CARTER Magazine

A MUST watch!

johnnyprince:

cartermagazine:

Slavery By Another Name

Directed by Sam Pollard, produced by Catherine Allan and Douglas Blackmon, written by Sheila Curran Bernard,  the tpt National Productions project is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II. via PBS Film

Click Here To Watch The Full Film

- CARTER Magazine

A MUST watch!


I watched this the other night, it was incredibly disturbing and has major implications for the state of america today. I knew about some things like the chain gangs, but the entire segment on peonage was new to me. 

Definitely check this out.

based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.

Based on Blackmon’s research, Slavery by Another Name spans eight decades, from 1865 to 1945, revealing the interlocking forces in both the South and the North that enabled this “neoslavery” to begin and persist.  Using archival photographs and dramatic re-enactments filmed on location in Alabama and Georgia, it tells the forgotten stories of both victims and perpetrators of neoslavery and includes interviews with their descendants living today.

I don’t know if they’re re-running this, but there are excepts available on the website. There is also a long excerpt from the book here.

On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”1 Cottenham had committed no true crime. Vagrancy, the offense of a person not being able to prove at a given moment that he or she is employed, was a new and flimsy concoction dredged up from legal obscurity at the end of the nineteenth century by the state legislatures of Alabama and other southern states. It was capriciously enforced by local sheriffs and constables, adjudicated by mayors and notaries public, recorded haphazardly or not at all in court records, and, most tellingly in a time of massive unemployment among all southern men, was reserved almost exclusively for black men. Cottenham’s offense was blackness.

    After three days behind bars, twenty-two-year-old Cottenham was found guilty in a swift appearance before the county judge and immediately sentenced to a thirty-day term of hard labor. Unable to pay the array of fees assessed on every prisoner—fees to the sheriff, the deputy, the court clerk, the witnesses—Cottenham’s sentence was extended to nearly a year of hard labor.

    The next day, Cottenham, the youngest of nine children born to former slaves in an adjoining county, was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North—U.S. Steel Corporation—the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence. In return, the subsidiary, Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, gave the county $12 a month to pay off Cottenham’s fine and fees. What the company’s managers did with Cottenham, and thousands of other black men they purchased from sheriffs across Alabama, was entirely up to them.

In short, US corporations, aided by the southern legal system, bought and traded black men, women, and children for forced labor, and they did this well into the 1940’s without interference from the US government. Many of them died in the coal mines and other industrial sites and were buried in unmarked graves.

Reblog / posted 2 years ago with 7 notes

permanentlyundefeated:

#1 A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

#2 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be “low income” or impoverished.

#3 If the number of Americans that “wanted jobs” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.

#4 The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks.

#5 One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers.

#6 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.

#7 Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.

#8 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

#9 A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that approximately one out of every five Americans that do have a job consider themselves to be underemployed.

#10 According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.

#11 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#12 Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job.  In July, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.

#13 One recent survey found that one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.

#14 The Federal Reserve recently announced that the total net worth of U.S. households declined by 4.1 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone.

#15 According to a recent study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.

#16 As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.

#17 The U.S. Postal Service has lost more than 5 billion dollars over the past year.

#18 In Stockton, California home prices have declined 64 percent from where they were at when the housing market peaked.

#19 Nevada has had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for 59 months in a row.

#20 If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6000.

#21 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant.  That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.

#22 New home construction in the United States is on pace to set a brand new all-time record low in 2011.

#23 As I have written about previously, 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 are now living with their parents.

#24 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#25 According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

#26 One study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

#27 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

#28 The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

#29 It is being projected that the U.S. trade deficit for 2011 will be 558.2 billion dollars.

#30 The retirement crisis in the United States just continues to get worse.  According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

#31 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

#32 According to a study that was just released, CEO pay at America’s biggest companies rose by 36.5% in just one recent 12 month period.

#33 Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

#34 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

#35 According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

#36 If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

#37 A higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty (6.7%) than has ever been measured before.

#38 Child homelessness in the United States is now 33 percent higher than it was back in 2007.

#39 Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

#40 Sadly, child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America.  According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

#41 Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#42 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#43 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

#44 Right now, spending by the federal government accounts for about 24 percent of GDP.  Back in 2001, it accounted for just 18 percent.

#45 For fiscal year 2011, the U.S. federal government had a budget deficit of nearly 1.3 trillion dollars.  That was the third year in a row that our budget deficit has topped one trillion dollars.

#46 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

#47 Amazingly, the U.S. government has now accumulated a total debt of 15 trillion dollars.  When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.

#48 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.

#49 The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.

#50 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/50-economic-numbers-about-us-are-almost-too-crazy-believe


rashidagokcebag:

Saleh, an Iraqi child, drawing airplanes dropping bombs;(Oakland Hospital, 2005)

rashidagokcebag:

Saleh, an Iraqi child, drawing airplanes dropping bombs;
(Oakland Hospital, 2005)


"There are more than five times as many vacant homes in the U.S. as there are homeless people, according to Amnesty International USA. Since 2007, banks have shuttered about 8 million American houses, almost doubling the previous number, while 3.5 million homeless shiver in the cold. Experts expect 8 million to 10 million more foreclosures in the years ahead."

Vacant Houses Outnumber Homeless People in U.S. - Truthdig (via greaterthanlapsed)

This makes me so angry.

I just don’t understand the logic that says it’s better for a house/building to stand empty.

And the logic that the “homeless problem” is somehow a problem with the PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS and NOT a problem with the SYSTEM that would prefer to let houses be empty and buildings unused. 

Shouldn’t it be most preferable of all for people to have homes?

On a related note: there are all these empty buildings now in my neighborhood where small businesses had to close because the rent was raised beyond their ability to pay. So they moved. Now that building has been empty for a month, six months, even a year. Real fucking smart, landlord, now NOBODY is paying you rent. Because your immediate profit didn’t match your expectations, you booted a steady tenant and now you have an income of 0 from that property. I just don’t understand. Do. Not. Understand.

Am I just not getting it or does modern US capitalism make no sense?