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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,432

About Me

I'm still living... Twitter: @glitchy_ashburn

Journal Archives

I'll take "Shameless Profiting off of Racial Stereotypes" for $400, Alex

Meet the White People Behind 'Thug Kitchen'

For over a year, the anonymous authors behind the blog Thug Kitchen entertained their audience with a mixture of healthy recipes and profane ejaculations with a borderline cringey "thug" affectation. Reddit loves it. Gwyneth Paltrow thinks it's hilarious and good. Now, the faces behind Thug Kitchen have been revealed: and they're a couple of white people in California.

If you watch their brand new cookbook's preview, you can catch them making a cameo at about 1:26.

An intrepid writer for recipe giant Epicurious tracked down Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis in their Hollywood apartment, where they were preparing roasted beer and lime cauliflower tacos (a recipe they'd later post on their blog). Here's how Holloway talks in real life:

"There were these paragraphs where the writer would wax poetic about recipes," says Holloway. "The lifestyle, the food—we couldnt identify with anything that was out there."

The idea behind Thug Kitchen, I guess, is that it gives its readers instructions on how to make healthy vegan food using simple recipes and fresh ingredients, plus a lot of "motherfucker" and "aw yeah, bitch." There's also invocation of the word "thug," a word recently most frequently associated with white people denigrating the black victims of violent crime. Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, famously christened a "thug" by some commentators after yelling about football during a post-game interview, famously said that "thug" is a new way to call somebody the n-word.

And now Thug Kitchen by Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway is a book.


Thug Kitchen: A Recipe in Blackface

hen I first clicked through the recipes at Thug Kitchen, a tongue-in-cheek, vegan cooking blog served up with a heaping side of expletives, I imagined a calorie-conscious, gangly young black man who’s particularly vehement about clean eating, insistently tapping recipes into his blog while Dead Prez reverberates in the background. He has a good eye, too, as he complements such recipes as “Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Quinoa and Motherf--king Cranberries” with Pinterest-worthy pics and the tagline, “Eat like you give a f--k.”

With African Americans especially plagued with obesity and the accompanying stressors and diseases, it was a refreshing idea that a young black man would be the purveyor of not just healthy eating but vegan cuisine at that, a leap that some health-conscious folks might find it difficult to make, given the restrictions on eggs and dairy in addition to meats.

More Auntie Fee than Chef G. Garvin, the blog would likely discourage trading recipes word for word with your mom. Still, I was inspired. To me, Thug Kitchen could have helped whip up a healthy eating movement akin to those of the natural-hair purists or, say, Black Girls Run— which are all uplifting healthwise for black folks and enforce a positive message for us. Would Chef G. Garvin or Chef Roblé feature the up-and-comer? Might he be cooking with the Neelys one day?

With more than 51,000 followers on Twitter, a couple of endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and a new cookbook released to much fanfare, the mystery blogger behind the well-trafficked site was poised and ready to emerge from the shadows and join fellow next-level black entrepreneurs.

An Epicurious profile revealed one astonishing caveat, however: The Thug Kitchen creator isn’t exactly a black entrepreneur—or black at all.

In the spirit of Thug Kitchen language, what the f--k?

The blog is actually the brainchild of a white man and white woman who started it in August 2012 on Tumblr.

“Months later, after a bit of detective work and a fair amount of sweet-talking, I found myself driving through East Hollywood on the way to sample some dairy-free ice cream from Scoops, blasting Gucci [Mane’s] ‘Lemonade’ with the windows down. I was rolling with Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, both 29, aka the pair behind Thug Kitchen,” reads Matt Duckor’s profile of the duo, which revealed the pair’s identity for the first time.

Le sigh.

It would be the same if one discovered that Suri’s Burn Book was actually ghostwritten by Suge Knight. Or if the Rev. Jesse Jackson was secretly the one behind those abhorrent People magazine tweets from last week.

Is it really any coincidence that the Thug Kitchen bloggers waited this long to reveal their true identity? They had to know that it would be incongruous and wouldn’t fly if they told readers from the beginning that they were white.

Their recently released commercial is full of white people, young and old, touting the benefits of eating healthy thanks to the cookbook. One woman says that she is no longer lazy about the food she gives her family: “Now that I have the Thug Kitchen cookbook, I don’t play that s--t anymore.”


It’s deceptive and feels a lot like the latest iteration of nouveau blackface. It stirs up the same anomalous feelings one has when one sees a tweet from an Iggy Azalea fan account dubbing her and Macklemore the queen and king of rap.


A boy was accused of taking a backpack. The courts took the next three years of his life.

In the early hours of Saturday, May 15, 2010, ten days before his seventeenth birthday, Kalief Browder and a friend were returning home from a party in the Belmont section of the Bronx. They walked along Arthur Avenue, the main street of Little Italy, past bakeries and cafés with their metal shutters pulled down for the night. As they passed East 186th Street, Browder saw a police car driving toward them. More squad cars arrived, and soon Browder and his friend found themselves squinting in the glare of a police spotlight. An officer said that a man had just reported that they had robbed him. “I didn’t rob anybody,” Browder replied. “You can check my pockets.”

The officers searched him and his friend but found nothing. As Browder recalls, one of the officers walked back to his car, where the alleged victim was, and returned with a new story: the man said that they had robbed him not that night but two weeks earlier. The police handcuffed the teens and pressed them into the back of a squad car. “What am I being charged for?” Browder asked. “I didn’t do anything!” He remembers an officer telling them, “We’re just going to take you to the precinct. Most likely you can go home.” Browder whispered to his friend, “Are you sure you didn’t do anything?” His friend insisted that he hadn’t.

At the Forty-eighth Precinct, the pair were fingerprinted and locked in a holding cell. A few hours later, when an officer opened the door, Browder jumped up: “I can leave now?” Instead, the teens were taken to Central Booking at the Bronx County Criminal Court.

Browder had already had a few run-ins with the police, including an incident eight months earlier, when an officer reported seeing him take a delivery truck for a joyride and crash into a parked car. Browder was charged with grand larceny. He told me that his friends drove the truck and that he had only watched, but he figured that he had no defense, and so he pleaded guilty. The judge gave him probation and “youthful offender” status, which insured that he wouldn’t have a criminal record.

Late on Saturday, seventeen hours after the police picked Browder up, an officer and a prosecutor interrogated him, and he again maintained his innocence. The next day, he was led into a courtroom, where he learned that he had been charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault. The judge released his friend, permitting him to remain free while the case moved through the courts. But, because Browder was still on probation, the judge ordered him to be held and set bail at three thousand dollars. The amount was out of reach for his family, and soon Browder found himself aboard a Department of Correction bus. He fought back panic, he told me later. Staring through the grating on the bus window, he watched the Bronx disappear. Soon, there was water on either side as the bus made its way across a long, narrow bridge to Rikers Island.

Of the eight million people living in New York City, some eleven thousand are confined in the city’s jails on any given day, most of them on Rikers, a four-hundred-acre island in the East River, between Queens and the Bronx. New Yorkers who have never visited often think of Rikers as a single, terrifying building, but the island has ten jails—eight for men, one for women, and one so decrepit that it hasn’t housed anyone since 2000.

Male adolescents are confined in the Robert N. Davoren Center—known as R.N.D.C. When Browder arrived, the jail held some six hundred boys, aged sixteen to eighteen. Conditions there are notoriously grim. In August of this year, a report by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York described R.N.D.C. as a place with a “deep-seated culture of violence,” where attacks by officers and among inmates are rampant. The report featured a list of inmate injuries: “broken jaws, broken orbital bones, broken noses, long bone fractures, and lacerations requiring stitches.”

Browder’s family could not afford to hire an attorney, so the judge appointed a lawyer named Brendan O’Meara to represent him. Browder told O’Meara that he was innocent and assumed that his case would conclude quickly. Even the assistant district attorney handling the prosecution later acknowledged in court papers that it was a “relatively straightforward case.” There weren’t hours of wiretaps or piles of complicated evidence to sift through; there was just the memory of one alleged victim. But Browder had entered the legal system through the Bronx criminal courts, which are chronically overwhelmed. Last year, the Times, in an extended exposé, described them as “crippled” and among the most backlogged in the country. One reason is budgetary. There are not nearly enough judges and court staff to handle the workload; in 2010, Browder’s case was one of five thousand six hundred and ninety-five felonies that the Bronx District Attorney’s office prosecuted. The problem is compounded by defense attorneys who drag out cases to improve their odds of winning, judges who permit endless adjournments, prosecutors who are perpetually unprepared. Although the Sixth Amendment guarantees “the right to a speedy and public trial,” in the Bronx the concept of speedy justice barely exists.


Putin considers plan to unplug Russia from the internet 'in an emergency'

The Kremlin is considering radical plans to unplug Russia from the global internet in the event of a serious military confrontation or big anti-government protests at home, Russian officials hinted on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin will convene a meeting of his security council on Monday. It will discuss what steps Moscow might take to disconnect Russian citizens from the web "in an emergency", the Vedomosti newspaper reported. The goal would be to strengthen Russia's sovereignty in cyberspace. The proposals could also bring the domain .ru under state control, it suggested.

Russian TV and most of the country's newspapers are under the Kremlin's thumb. But unlike in China, the Russian internet has so far remained a comparatively open place for discussion, albeit one contested by state-sponsored bloggers and Putin fans.

The move comes at a time when Russia has been bitterly critical of the western media, which Moscow says has adopted a biased attitude towards events in Ukraine. Russian channels have portrayed the conflict in Ukraine as a heroic fight against "fascists" in Kiev. They have disputed western reports that Russian soldiers and heavy weapons are involved. A BBC team that went to investigate reports of Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine was beaten up this week.

According to Vedomosti, Russia plans to introduce the new measures early next year. The Kremlin has been wrestling for some time with how to reduce Russia's dependency on American technology and digital infrastructure, amid fears that its communications are vulnerable to US spying. It has mooted building a "national internet", which would in effect be a domestic intranet. These proposals go further, expanding the government's control over ordinary Russian internet users and their digital habits.


This is the part where I make my obligatory snide one-liner about Snowden, but since it's Friday I'll skip it...

Pass the Brewski? Pabst Sold to Russian Company

Attention, hipsters. Pabst Brewing Company — and its signature Pabst Blue Ribbon, the ironic, iconic favorite of the young and the cool — has sold to a Russian beverage firm after a century and a half of American ownership, an investing firm announced Thursday. Oasis Beverages, the largest independent brewer in Russia, bought Pabst, which also produces Colt .45, Old Milwaukee and Lone Star beers, according to a statement by the American investment firm TSG Consumer Partners, which will hold a minority stake.

Oasis Board Chairman Eugene Kashper said, “Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand — it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression — all the things that make this country great." PBC's headquarters will remain in Los Angeles, according to the statement, but the terms of the sale were not disclosed. Pabst was established in 1844 in Milwaukee, according to the brewer's website. PBC was bought by investor Dean Metropoulos in 2010, and since then, he has managed the company with his two sons, Evan and Darren. "We are very supportive of the new ownership group and their exciting plans for the future," Metropoulos said.


Is this really accurate, West Coast DUers?


So Glenn Greenwald is allowed to openly campaign for political candidates now?

UPDATE: I didn't anticipate there being so much meat on this bone...

But let's be real: If ANY other big-name journalist shilled this hard (appearing in person, no less) for a political candidate (who just happens to be a friend of his) and intentionally sat on a story for over a YEAR until a time that it would have the biggest benefit for a friend, Greenwald (and all of DU) would lose his fucking mind...He'd write 10 columns in a week screeching about how that person was bought-and-paid for, and a disgrace to the profession for such flagrant sucking up to power...This stunt Greenwald pulled was a new low in dirty-trick cowardly yellow journalism, and we all know it...

So, because I still don't have an answer, for the millionth time I must ask: Why is Glenn Greenwald allowed to get away with it? What gives him free reign to constantly disregard any semblance of conscious for journalistic professionalism, truthful reporting, writing standards, objectivity and compromising conflicts of interest? All this time why has he be able to simultaneously ridicule journalists who adhere to the 'old' rules AND mercilessly condemn them on the rare occasion that they break those rules??
(For the record, I did ask Greenwald these questions on Twitter, and he put me on mute)

The man is a living contradiction, and his enablers are only pushing him closer to the cliff's edge...After the unquestioned success of this test case in Auckland, don't delude yourselves by believing for a minute that he and Snowden aren't planning to torpedo the Dem nominee in '16 with an "October surprise", especially if Rand is the GOP challenger...You read it here first...

Air France strike: Half of flights to be scrapped Monday

Source: www.france24.com

Air France has said it will be forced to scrap more than half of its scheduled flights on Monday as a week-long pilots' strike begins over the French flag carrier’s plans to develop its low-cost subsidiary.

"We expect to be able to run 48 percent of our flights" with roughly 60 percent of pilots downing tools, Air France's director of operations Catherine Jude said on Sunday.

That forecast was slightly better than one given the day before by Chief Executive Frédéric Gagey, who said the airline would only be able to guarantee 40 percent of flights on Monday.

However, the transport situation could worsen on Tuesday and Wednesday as the pilots who worked on Monday would have to take their legally stipulated rest, unions warned.

The company said: "If the strike continues beyond September 15, the flight schedule will be modified as a result. The knock-on effects will be communicated to passengers the day before they are due to leave."

Pilots’ union SNLP has called for the week-long strike, which would be the longest at the company since 1998, over Air France’s plans to significantly expand its low-cost offerings to passengers through its Transavia budget airline.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20140914-air-france-strike-half-flights-be-scrapped-monday/

Just curious...WHY is Greenwald in New Zealand

Trying to tip the polls a week before the election??


And exactly HOW much money did Kim Dotcom shell out to bring this circus to town? Once upon a time wasn't the purpose of this entire stunt supposed to only expose illegal domestic surveillance in the United States??

If GG is planning some "big reveal" during the town hall, you all do realize he has crossed into some really distasteful territory, right?? And since when is Snowden writing op-eds for The Intercept??

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know...I'm just a hater with a vendetta against Glenn Greenwald...We've been through this a thousand times before, so let's just skip it this time; because these are serious questions...

To be honest, I'm glad to see GG take such an interest in foreign affairs...Now he has no excuses whatsoever when I question his indifference about what's been going on in Brazil, Russia and China...

Wall Street’s civil rights disgrace: Inside a quiet, evil lobbying effort

Since the financial crisis of 2008, a defining question has been how to rein in Wall Street’s most reckless practices. In the face of the Dodd-Frank Act, a nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and some impressive legal settlements against banks involved in securities fraud and abusive loan servicing, Wall Street has not been shy about taking countermeasures.

After lobbying furiously against financial reform, the financial industry has worked to defang the new regulatory regimes where it can. For the most part, this response has aimed at rolling back reforms put in place following the 2008 financial crisis. But the backlash against regulation has not been limited to attacking new financial reforms.

Over the last several years, Wall Street has joined a coalition of groups in a litigation campaign to dismantle a crucial regulatory bulwark: federal civil rights protections against discriminatory lending. Pressing this litigation effort is a good investment for Wall Street. It provides a low-profile path to advance its deregulatory agenda. Under the guise of a technical debate over legal doctrine, this litigation campaign aims to radically roll back an indispensable legal constraint on reckless financial practices. In the process, it would tear down a vital pillar of civil rights law, making it much harder to mount legal challenges to discrimination throughout the housing and lending markets.

A Pillar of Civil Rights Law

Discrimination was one of the engines of the financial crisis. Unscrupulous lenders designed their entire business models to serve Wall Street’s bottomless appetite for loans to be packaged into securities. The most effective way to feed that appetite was to exploit long-standing patterns of discrimination and residential segregation, which had the effect of funneling African-American and Latino borrowers into hyper-risky loans that put borrowers on a path to foreclosure.

As a result, some of the most important legal actions against the banks have involved discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Many of those claims have relied on a long-standing pillar of civil rights law: The principle that the FHA prohibits housing practices that have a discriminatory effect – or, in the language of legal doctrine, a “disparate impact” – on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability or other protected characteristics. Disparate impact claims provide a way for judges to enforce anti-discrimination laws without forcing them to get inside the heads of decision-makers to determine whether discrimination was intentional.


As questions arise over a $500M Apple deal, LA school district votes to destroy internal emails

California’s largest school district just dealt a major blow to public transparency.

According to the Pasadena public radio station KPCC, the Los Angeles Unified school district (LAUSD) has voted to destroy all internal staff emails after one year. The reason for doing so, according to the board’s new policy, is that, “Because the District relies on public funds, it is imperative for the District to minimize its costs and, therefore, dispose of information and Records in a timely manner.”

That sounds reasonable on the surface, but consider the timing of the announcement: Less than three weeks ago, KPCC published emails revealing that LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy had met with representatives from Apple and the textbook company Pearson to discuss the purchase of iPads and educational software. These meetings occurred a year before public bidding opened up on the contract to supply technological resources to LA schools. Although Deasy claims the discussions were unrelated to the impending contract bid, Apple and Pearson went on to win the deal which is worth a record $500 million.

Following the release of the emails, Deasy cancelled the contract and vowed to reopen the bidding process.

The emails were made public by way of a California Public Records Act request, but thanks to the new policy the school district will no longer be required to – or, it seems, able to – produce internal emails like these because they are over a year old. Had the rule been in place a few weeks ago, KPCC could have been blocked from retrieving the emails and the Apple-Pearson deal would have likely stood unquestioned.


I'd said back when the deal was announced that it was just a big con...Here are some previous threads:

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