R.I.P. Roger Moore

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From the New York Times:

Roger Moore, the dapper British actor who brought tongue-in-cheek humor to the James Bond persona in seven films, eclipsing his television career, which had included starring roles in at least five series, died on Tuesday in Switzerland. He was 89.

The death, attributed to cancer, was confirmed in a family statement on Twitter. His family did not say where in Switzerland he died.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Explosion Reported at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester

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From Rolling Stone:

On Monday night, Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena ended with an emergency evacuation after reports of explosions were heard. Waves of photos pervaded social media of audience members fleeing the venue bloody and with torn clothing. The crowd was predominantly young kids, teenagers and their parents.

The Greater Manchester Police Department reported 19 people were killed and about 50 more people were injured by an explosion as they were exiting the venue. Police are telling everyone to avoid the area so first responders can continue to investigate the scene. The GM Police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

Police stated the attack was perpetrated by a suicide bomber wearing a backpack, NBC News reports. The incident marks the worst terrorist attack on U.K. soil since the July 2005 London bombings.

Witnesses believe the attacker used a nail bomb, and the injuries are consistent with the aftermath of that device, the New York Times reports. A nail bomb was also detonated earlier in the day at a Bangkok military hospital, an incident that result in 24 injuries.

Click here to read the rest of this article, and stay tuned to the latest news reports on this developing story.

Black Student and Army Soldier Killed By Neo-Nazi

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From the Baltimore Sun:

Authorities are investigating whether the stabbing death of a black college student who was visiting the University of Maryland during graduation weekend was a hate crime.

The chief of the university police said Sunday the suspect, a white University of Maryland student, is a member of a racist Facebook group. An FBI official said the federal agency will assist with the investigation.

The victim, identified by police Sunday as Richard Collins III, was due to graduate from Bowie State University this week. The Calvert County man had completed ROTC in college and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army on Thursday, according to school officials and a family spokesman. He was 23.

Police have charged Sean Christoper Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park with first-degree murder in the attack. He was being held without bail. His family did not respond Sunday to a request for comment, and online court records did not list an attorney.

Artie Lee Travis, Bowie State’s vice president for student affairs, said the campus is in mourning.

“We are looking forward to the quickest investigation as possible,” he said. “Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus where young minds are coming together to try to change the world.”

Click here to read the rest of this article.

I won’t jump to conclusions and conclude that it was a hate crime. However, given the suspect’s affiliation with an online hate group, it’s leads in that direction. Given that Trump’s election and his appointing of those associated with hate groups, it’s safe to assume that we’re living in a new era where hatred has been empowered. This may be yet another case.

A List of Things Donald Trump Has Done Before AND After His Election (So Far)

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-This list is originally found at Forward Progressives written by Allen Clifton:

-Mocked a man with disabilities.

-Attacked the parents of a fallen American hero.

-Belittled POWs and the war record of Sen. John McCain.

-Lied about how much money he raised for veterans.

-Called a former Miss Universe “disgusting” and fat, telling his Twitter followers to find her non-existent sex tape.

-Accused an American-born federal judge of being unfit to do his job because of his Mexican heritage.

-Likely avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades.

-Called most Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, even though that’s not remotely factual.

-Lied about seeing “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11.

-Lied about getting a letter from the NFL complaining about the debate schedule.

-Tried to exploit the death of an African American woman in Chicago to say that’s why black voters will support him.

-Found the “bright side” to tragedies because his poll numbers tend to go up.

-Settled with the Department of Justice after his company was found guilty of racially discriminating against minorities.

-Has cheated on at least one wife.

-Was discovered on video admitting that he not only tried to cheat on his current wife, but he attempted to do so with another married woman.

-Had his first wife publicly say that he did nothing when it came to raising their children until they were old enough to talk business.

-Tweeted that women should have expected to be sexually assaulted when they mixed males and females together in the military.

-Said he wants to target the families of terrorists.

-Stated that he wants to ban an entire religion.

-Praised a Russian president who obviously hates the U.S. and Americans.

-Encouraged the Russian government to commit espionage against Americans.

-Insinuated that another Republican’s wife was ugly.

-Tried to implicate another Republican’s father in JFK’s assassination.

-Sought out the help of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes after he was fired following multiple allegations that he had sexually harassed women for years.

-Made Breitbart’s Steve Bannon one of his top campaign people.

-Had a former campaign manager abruptly resign after a report came out linking him to pro-Russian groups that were directly trying to undermine U.S. policy in eastern Europe.

-Called Carly Fiorina ugly.

-Has said climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese — then denied saying it.

-Was a leading conspiracy theorist when it came to the racist-driven birther conspiracies against President Obama.

-Dismissed nearly eight years of accusing the president of not being an American with a less than 30 second statement where he didn’t apologize for any of it.

-Tried to blame Hillary Clinton for his racism.

-Re-tweeted anti-African American propaganda created by a white supremacy group.

-Played dumb about knowing who former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke was.

-Skipped a presidential debate because he was scared of a moderator.

-Has, on several occasions, suggested he finds his daughter attractive.

-Called a husband doing things like changing diapers and helping with the children, a man “trying to be the wife.”

-Has said he wants more countries to have nuclear weapons.

-Said he can’t release his tax returns because they’re currently being audited — even though the IRS said that’s a lie.

-Feels he has the right to sexually assault women.

-Lied, in the face of indisputable photographic evidence, about the size of his inauguration crowd.

-Continues to push the unfounded conspiracy that “millions of people voted illegally” because his ego can’t handle the fact Clinton received 3 million more votes than he did.

-Disgraced the CIA’s monument to fallen agents by talking about his electoral college victory.

-After frequently criticizing President Obama for playing golf, has spent nearly half his weekends since being sworn into office playing golf at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

-On pace to cost taxpayers more on “extracurricular” expenses during his first 365 days in office than we spent on Obama during his 2,921 days as president.

-Settled a $25 million lawsuit accusing him of purposely creating a fake university to scam people out of money.

-Has already broken most of his biggest campaign promises.

-Fired the head of the FBI for apparently not “swearing loyalty” and doing what he wanted in regards to the on-going investigations looking into his campaign’s ties to Russians.

-Then threatened the former head of the FBI just after firing him in an attempt to intimidate him from speaking out publicly.

-Pushed an unfounded conspiracy against Barack Obama, accusing him of ordering unconstitutional wiretaps placed in Trump Tower — without providing a shred of evidence to back it up.

-Seems to have been working with the head of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, to undermine congressional investigations into his possible Russian connections.

-Had said, despite promising to do so, he doesn’t plan to ever release his tax returns.

-Said he didn’t know being “president” would be so hard.

-Apparently needed the president of China to explain to him why dealing with North Korea is complicated.

-Signed two travel bans against Muslims that were overturned as unconstitutional.

-Allowed state-run Russian media to bring electronic and photographic equipment into the Oval Office — while denying entry to any U.S. press — at the request of Vladimir Putin.

-Said his surrogates shouldn’t be held accountable for the dishonest or contradictory things they say.

-Admitted Australia, which has universal health care, has better health care than we do, then doubled-down on those comments, yet still supports a bill that’s almost the complete opposite of their system.

-Months after the election, continues to bring it up the electoral college, even hanging a large printout of it on a wall in the White House.

-Didn’t mention the Jewish people once during his speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

-Blamed Democrats for the initial failure of the House of Representatives being able to pass Trumpcare — even though Republicans have a 44-seat majority.

-Is now bragging about the very same jobs reports he called “fake” and “phony” prior to taking office.

-Continues to call the talk about the investigations into his connections to Russia “FAKE NEWS!” even though the FBI has publicly admitted these investigations are, in fact, real.

-Has the lowest approval rating for a president this early into their presidency — in history.

Like the title says, these are a list of things he did before and after he got elected into office. Here it is the middle of May, and yet, there are people who still think he’s the greatest thing in the world since chocolate.

I can’t wrap my head around how colossal the insanity is behind this reality. I don’t think anyone who accepts reality can comprehend this. Trump supporters seem to live in a reality of their own manifested by willful ignorance and prominent hate.

Honestly, how can these people think electing Trump will make America great again when both he and they harbor so much disdain for so many things, including certain groups of people? And even today, how can they believe he’s a perfect fit for leading this nation? Are Republicans and conservatives hellbent on ruining the nation and the world just to continue having Trump’s back and maintain their power at the cost of people’s lives? Are these people just as bad, more or less, as their president, and they see him as their hero?

Seriously, what the hell is it, and in all sincerity, what the flying fuck is wrong with these people?

The Usual Problems With the Free Speech Argument

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Freedom of speech, also referred to as the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, means that the government has no power to sanction or censor an individual’s right to articulate his or her opinions, ideas or thoughts. Nowadays, it’s a motivational tool and go-to excuse for those, mostly on the right, to say whatever they want regardless of moral or factual value or lack thereof.

Racists have been known to use the “free speech” retort whenever confronted about their hateful statements. They think that they have the right to say such things and those who have a problem with it are often called ‘communists, fascists, leftists, snowflakes, etc.’. The irony, of course, is that their defense of free speech promotes silencing the same freedom from those who disagree or oppose them. In other words, they’re showing that they really don’t care about free speech unless that speech agrees with them wholesale.

Mark H. White, a graduate student in psychology, and Christian Crandall, professor of psychology, writes:

“When people make appeals to democratic principles — like ‘freedom of speech’ — they don’t always represent a genuine interest in that principle,” White said. “We think of principles as ideas we use to guide behavior in our everyday lives. Our data show something different — that we tend to make up our mind on something based on our attitudes — in this case, racial attitudes — and then decide that the principle is relevant or irrelevant. People do whatever best fits their pre-existing attitudes.”

It’s no surprise that hate-fueled people defend other hate-fueled people when they’re caught and(or) punished for their actions. The argument usually goes to the notion that having the freedom of expression is to say whatever they want seemingly without repercussions. Any retaliatory action against that person is conceived as a direct threat against his(her) right.

There’s never any self-reflection or pondering as to why anyone would say something offensive. What’s worse is that the individual caught red handed will always come up with excuses trying to paint him or herself as the actual victim, not the person or people they crossed. “I was drunk. I have a mental illness. I had a bad day. But I’m not racist.”

Not everyone who invoke the First Amendment is prejudiced, and there are, indeed, some people on the left that are for censorship that has consequences on the people. But the conclusion is that having the right to say what’s on your mind doesn’t always mean that it must be said, nor does it mean that it’s not without responses or reactions. As the topic of free speech has lately been on fire on America’s college campuses thanks mostly to the appearances of right wing and alt-right celebrities and flyers produced by white nationalists, the public is asked how far can freedom of speech go for it to actually be considered free. So far, the ones fighting for it the most have a lot of hate to give and they seem to want to be free to hate.

The question is why must they hate?

Hollywood Won’t Learn: Another Movie About a POC Casts a White Person

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It’s an infuriating habit that Hollywood seems content with no matter how often it insults their audiences or crash at the box office. The film industry produces a film which calls for a person of color (POC) as the lead. Sometimes the film is based on actual events such as historical moments. Yet, Hollywood saw fit that the most appropriate actor or actress playing the part should be as white as snow, and they don’t seem to want to wise up anytime soon.

It happens so often that it’s predictable. So, when I heard they were doing a film based on the cult anime classic Ghost In the Shell, I felt a sickness in the pit of my stomach. I immediately knew what Hollywood would do. Ruin it. And I knew the avalanche will start with a white person playing the lead which is clearly Japanese.

So, why in the bloody hell would they cast Scarlett Johansson to play the main character Mokoto Kusanagi? Granted, she’s a great actress, but still, what the fuck, man?

On that note, prepare for other anime hits like Death Note and Akira to get beaten down by white casting. Anyone wanna bet they’ll end up being flops as well?

Ghost In the Shell, the Hollywood version, would be one of a long and evergrowing list of films that would end up being box office bombs. Speed Racer, Tropic Thunder, Aloha, The Last Airbender and Gods of Egypt are five of 18 films since 2000 alone that would feature race bending. Only six were considered ‘profitable’. Even though more and more people have grown sick and tired of this bullshit, Hollywood still insists that whiteness produce blockbusters.

Now, before white fragility rears its ugly head, let me be clear that we’re not saying that Hollywood should only cast POC in their films. We’re also not saying that movies with POC as the lead will be major hits critically or financially. But what we are saying is that if a film features a character of color, then guess what, CAST A PERSON OF COLOR AS A CHARACTER OR COLOR DAMMIT! 

Let’s put some narrow minds as ease. The nonwhite community doesn’t want to take over tinsel town. We want to be treated with the same respect and dignity as it treats its white stars. Also, we’re fully aware there are tons of movies that star actors of color. Some of them are great and some are godawful. There will be hits and misses. And we know that even if Hollywood decides to start casting POC for nonwhite characters, it won’t solidify that it will be a good picture.

Still, if a script has a character of color, then cast an actor or actress of color. It just might be a hit. Maybe.

R.I.P. Christopher “Big Black” Boykin

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From Variety:

Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, half of MTV’s “Rob & Big” duo, died on Tuesday, his rep confirmed to Variety. He was 45.

A cause of death has not yet been reported.

Boykin was skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek’s best friend and bodyguard, starring alongside him in “Rob & Big” for three seasons. The fan-favorite reality series showed the two in their day-to-day lives, filming such adventures as adopting a mini-horse and breaking Guinness world records.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

A Quick Rundown on Trumpcare

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The information is provided by Jordie Davies of the Black Youth Project:

1. The AHCA phases out Medicaid expansion provided under the ACA.

In a move to spend fewer government funds on medical care for the most vulnerable, the AHCA plans to cap Medicaid matching, purging 4 to 6 million people from eligibility. This means the 11 million people who became eligible for health insurance under the ACA may no longer be eligible for coverage, so long as states are able to individually dictate who is and is not eligible for Medicaid. Under the ACA the federal government fully funded Medicaid with the intention to drop off at 90% of coverage in 2020.

“Trumpcare,” however, will end Medicaid expansion in 2020, and people who were not previously eligible for Medicaid (those with incomes less than 138% of the poverty line) will once again, be left without affordable health insurance.

2. Wealthier people benefit.

The AHCA benefits wealthier people because it provides flat tax credits as incentives to getting coverage–the ACA provides higher credits for people with lower incomes and none for those at the highest income brackets. Those low-income Americans who depend on tax credits and subsidies to afford their care will lose some of the benefits they’ve gained under the ACA, making health care coverage cheaper for the government, but less generous for those at the bottom.

In addition, the AHCA allows people to contribute more to a tax free health savings account, where previously the cap was $3,400 for an individual and $6750 for a family. The AHCA allows an individual to save $6,550 tax free and a family $13,100 tax free. This is a great addition…if a person or family has money to save in the first place.

3. More Freedom for the Insurance Companies

The AHCA does not repeal some of the very popular aspects of the ACA, where children are able to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26, or where insurance companies are not able to charge more or refuse coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the bill does allow insurance companies to charge, according to the New York Times, older customers up to five times as much as younger ones.

For more context on this issue, the New York Times has an article that helps explain it further. If you know more about the GOP’s healthcare plan or have any other articles or videos that further explain it, please put them in the comment section.

Some white people don’t give a f*ck and they DON’T WANT to give a f*ck

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Some of us believe that if we would sit down and talk with those who see as as less than human and would have no problems seeing us, wanting us harmed or killed without a shred of thought, eventually, they would ‘wake up’, see the error of their ways and would work on being better than they were. Well nowadays, it seems like those of the contemptible population are a majority. There are those who have left that lifestyle and are working on getting others out. And of course, there are white people active in fighting these ‘demons’.

But in this day and age where white nationalism is in power, many of their supporters see it as the dawn of a glorious age for the downtrodden white man ‘beaten’ by years of political correctness and diversity. They’re not only fine with it; they’re pleased as punch. Nothing that can be said will jolt any charge of realization.

Most of these white folks are too infatuated with their whitewashed version of historical achievements and are frozen with the fear of white genocide. Any incident involving a murder of white lives by black people is promoted by white racists for white folks to shiver over the overblown myth of black-on-white crime. Black crime, especially black-on-black crime, is still an argument point with them. And the special of the day is always the so-called ‘superiority’ whites by those with an obvious superiority complex.

The delusions of these people are astounding to say the least. It’s so powerful that they prefer fiction over fact. Fake news and real news to them. White privilege is something they don’t believe in, but would love to have. And our suffering is either nonexistent or self-invoked. White supremacy – white male supremacy rather – is the drug they’re trafficking for profits of privilege. May the rest of the world be damned.

Then again, calling them delusional may be a dangerous move, almost like calling racism a product of mental illness. This isn’t to say they don’t hold merit. But too many times, we seem to feel sorry for racist whites more so than wish more people would come out of nowhere and punch them in their faces.

Yes, it’s violent and violence begets violence. But the major point lost is that – at the risk of sounding like a kid who got caught fighting another kid – they start it. Everytime they open their mouths to spew anti-black racial hatred, everytime they encourage negative stereotypes, everytime they reject your suffering and struggles, everytime they go and try to kill us, everytime they do a lot of other shit against us, they’ve made the first gotdamn move, and they know it and don’t care.

So, they shouldn’t act surprised if the person they exercise their freedom of hate speech on lectures them, curses them out or give them one across the lips.

Some white people won’t change no matter hard you try to shake them out of their stupor. No matter how pleasant, calm and reasonable you are, they’re practically telling you to go fuck yourself, sometimes in excessive babble and sometimes just flat out. And you have to deal with those who look to start something.

Maybe some white people are indeed naive. Maybe some are actually sick in the head. And maybe, just maybe, some are just unapologetic assholes.