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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,112

Journal Archives

Students walk out of Birmingham school to rally against anti-LGBTQ+ bills

(Detroit Metro Times) More than 70 students walked out of a Birmingham school Monday afternoon to protest the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures.

“We stand at a choice: Will we embrace the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity or fall back into ignorance and reaction?” 16-year-old Phillip Rabinovich told students at the beginning of the protest at Roeper Middle and Upper School.

LGBTQ rights have come under attack by conservative state lawmakers across the country, including Michigan. In the first three months of this year, nearly 240 bills have been been introduced in state legislatures that would limit the rights of LGBTQ+ people, according to Freedom for All Americans.

The bills target gender-affirming medical care for trans children, LGBTQ discussion in classrooms, and trans people in youth sports. One of the most notorious is a Florida bill, which opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay bill” because it limits classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3. ............(more)


President Biden to lift many restrictions on travel to Cuba

Major changes are coming to U.S. Cuba policy. First reported by the Miami Herald and McClatchy, and later confirmed by the Department of State, the Biden administration will again open travel and trade with Cuba to Americans.


The policy changes will reportedly include a big expansion in flights between the United States and Cuba, allowing more group travel, lifting the cap on money transfers to families in Cuba and reestablishing a family reunification program. Under former President Donald Trump, flights had been limited to Havana and most trade and tourism were forbidden.

While it appears individual tourism to Cuba will remain off-limits, Americans should soon be able to book group tours again.

The policy changes come after a long review of Cuba policy and could help open Cuba back up to tourism and investment by Americans.

The Trump administration had sought to freeze a reopening to Cuba that former President Barack Obama started during his presidency. ..........(more)


Millennials/Gen Z have hit an 'apocalyptic' phase in which they don't see the point in saving.......

Some Millennials and Gen Z have hit an 'apocalyptic' phase in which they don't see the point in saving for the future

Between two recessions, a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the climate crisis, and yet another new war, America's youngest adults have already experienced a lot of trauma — and a lot of economic tumult.

As people across the country have their own Great Realizations about work, the youngest workers seem to have decided that there's not much merit in saving up for an uncertain future. Instead, as Anna P. Kambhampaty reports for the New York Times, millennials and Gen Zers — roughly ages 26 to 41 — are spending money on things that bring meaning to their lives.

In fact, a Fidelity retirement planning survey of about 2,600 adults found that 45% of "next gen" — defined as 18 to 35-year-olds — "don't see a point in saving until things return to normal."

A grim economic outlook

For some Gen Zers, "normal" may be more of a vibe than something they've experienced. Just one subset of the generation has ever experienced what higher-education and work life were like in a pre-pandemic world. ..............(more)


The Right Wants You to Stop Talking About the Buffalo Shooter's Ideology

The Right Wants You to Stop Talking About the Buffalo Shooter's Ideology
It's apparently unfair to point out the clear, direct connections between the massacre and the Great Replacement conspiracy parroted by conservatives

Eoin Higgins
21 hr ago

On Saturday, an 18-year-old man named Payton Gendron killed 10 people in a TOPS supermarket in Buffalo.

Of the 13 people Gendron shot, 11 were Black—in his livestream of the shooting, he’s heard saying “sorry” to a white man he shoots. The other victims seem to have been hardly even spared a thought.

Gendron’s motivations for the shooting were made clear in a 180-page manifesto he published online. The far-right document, which included multiple anti-Semitic references and made clear he was expressly targeting the store and area because of the area’s large Black population, left little to the imagination.

The manifesto included a nearly word-for-word repeat of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s interpretation of the racist Great Replacement narrative, a far-right conspiracy theory that claims Democrats and/or Jews are trying to dilute the white American electorate by importing immigrants of color.


Other media figures also leapt at the opportunity to play defense, whining about fairness and respect for the dead. Commentator Kmele Foster complained that, “When a lunatic goes on a deadly rampage, maybe wait 24-48 hrs before co-opting the tragedy to malice your political enemies.” Daily Wire writer Megan Basham pretended to take the high road, calling on critics “not to pit racial groups against one another,” a principle that, if applied, would erase the majority of her boss Ben Shapiro’s output. And Breitbart’s Joel Pollack whimpered that looking into the shooter’s ideological ties to other conservatives was a “predictable attempt to exploit the shooting to censor debate and opposition”—even as he reiterated his support for the Great Replacement conspiracy.

Wailing about persecution and unfairness is the right’s go-to move whenever they’re forced to actually answer for the reality of their belief system, and the fallout from Saturday’s shooting is no different. The more noise they make to distract you, the more worried they are that people are paying attention to what they actually say. ...............(more)


'Flash droughts' are Midwest's next big climate threat

‘Flash droughts’ are Midwest’s next big climate threat
New research shows that dry weather is coming on more quickly than before, with little advance warning.

(Grist) September in Oklahoma is typically a rainy season, when farmers take advantage of the state’s third-wettest month to plant winter wheat. But last year, many were caught off guard by abnormally dry weather that descended without warning. In the span of just three weeks, nearly three-quarters of the state began experiencing drought conditions, ranging from moderate to extreme.

Fast-moving droughts like this one are developing more and more quickly as climate change pushes temperatures to new extremes, recent research indicates — adding a new threat to the dangers of pests, flooding, and more long-term drought that farmers in the U.S. already face. Known as “flash droughts,” these dry periods can materialize in as quickly as five days, often devastating agricultural areas that aren’t prepared for them.

During last year’s drought in Oklahoma, Jonathan Conder, a meteorologist for a local news station in Oklahoma City, marveled at the speed and severity of the event. Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city, went 80 days without more than a quarter-inch of rain, while temperatures in southwestern Oklahoma climbed into the triple digits.

“This is huge for Oklahoma,” Conder said during his broadcast on October 1. “Our agricultural community, the farmers who plant wheat, they may not even be able to plant if they don’t get two inches of rain.” .............(more)


Man caught golfing on side of I-75

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — A pair of Southwest Florida ‘vloggers’ driving down Interstate 75 captured a golf practice gone wrong on the side of the road.

Jose and Katherine Rodriguez live in Fort Myers but travel around the country documenting the everyday for their YouTube channel, “SouthernLife.”

The duo was driving down the interstate Friday afternoon during rush hour when their dash cam captured something they haven’t seen before on the side of the road.

“We see this guy on the side of the road literally having a full golf game,” Jose says. “This is like Tiger Woods junior out there, he was doing his thing.” ...............(more)


New FRA program to facilitate development of intercity passenger rail corridors

New FRA program to facilitate development of intercity passenger rail corridors
May 16, 2022

The Corridor Identification and Development Program will guide federal investment and technical assistance toward new and enhanced passenger rail corridors.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) established the Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program that will establish a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects and guide where investments and technical assistance are applied. FRA says this pipeline will allow for these projects “to be implemented faster and with greater coordination than ever before.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November 2021 directed the Corridor ID Program be established within 180 days of the law’s enactment. FRA explains the program gives public entities a formal mechanism to partner with FRA to develop proposals that will expand, enhance or restore passenger rail service in their communities. FRA is required to submit a project pipeline report to Congress within a year of the program being established, which will be updated by Feb. 1 in the subsequent years.

"Americans deserve what people in many other countries currently benefit from: a world-class rail system that allows you to get where you need to go quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "In launching the Corridor Identification and Development Program, which was made possible thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking a major step to transform America's passenger rail network and connect our smallest towns and our biggest cities with great train service."

FRA can authorize up to five percent of the available funding for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grants program for the Corridor ID Program. FRA has made $1.8 billion available. .............(more)


Supreme Court set to give the most extremist movement in the US a big win -- and it's not abortion

Supreme Court set to give the most extremist movement in the US a big win — and it's not abortion
The most established extremist movement in the country is the unfettered gun rights movement

PUBLISHED MAY 16, 2022 9:59AM

(Salon) This weekend's horrific mass killing in Buffalo serves as a tragic reminder that the radicalism of the American right-wing is not confined to abortion policy or an anti-democratic movement to take over the election machinery for partisan gain. The most established extremist movement in the country is the unfettered gun rights movement.

Much like the anti-abortion zealots, gun extremists have been methodically chipping away at existing gun safety laws in states while pushing for federal action that would finally achieve their goal of legal possession of deadly firearms by anyone, anywhere, for any reason. There hasn't been as much talk about it, but the Supreme Court heard a case this session that could do for gun proliferation advocates what the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case looks poised to do for the anti-abortion movement. The decision could even be announced on the same day. It was just 14 years ago, in a case called District of Columbia v. Heller, that a bare majority of the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Constitution grants an individual right to bear arms. It was a landmark case that handed the gun lobby the definition it had long sought. Former Justice John Paul Stephens called it the worst decision of his tenure, noting that when he came on the court there was not even any discussion of gun ownership being a "fundamental right." Over the years, however, the NRA worked very hard to make the case and Heller was finally taken up by the conservative majority in 2008. However, even with that proclamation, the court did not suggest that this meant states had no right to enact gun safety measures. The author of the opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia held that while people had the right to keep guns in their homes, communities still had an interest in public safety and keeping dangerous modern weapons off the streets. That was unsatisfying for the gun fetishists so they immediately began taking steps to ensure that interest was as proscribed as possible.

The case the court heard this term, New York State Rifle and Pistol Asso­ci­ation v. Bruen, involves New York's long-standing law that only people with a specific need ("proper cause" ) can be licensed to carry a concealed weapon in the state. The plaintiffs in this case both applied for and were granted concealed carry permits but were restricted in where they were allowed to carry their guns. They, along with the NRA, sued, saying they have an unfettered 2nd Amendment right to carry their guns virtu­ally whenever and wherever they feel they might need to defend themselves. In other words, they believe they have a constitutional right to carry a gun at all times. ...............(more)


'It was by design': Black residents try to come to terms with horror of shooting

‘It was by design’: Black residents try to come to terms with horror of shooting
‘Who pushed this into his head?’ a Buffalo resident asks, while another asks, ‘What made you drive all this way and hit this?’

Edward Helmore in Buffalo
Sun 15 May 2022 11.47 EDT

(Guardian UK) Vigils were held across Buffalo, New York, for the victims of the Tops Friendly shooting Sunday, as Black residents on the city’s East Side mourned and attempted to come to terms with the brief, brutal event that had been visited on the neighborhood hours earlier.

The square where the shooting took place, surrounded by vacant lots that residents said were the result of decades of segregation and systemic racism, is the community’s center, with Tops Friendly functioning as the only grocery store for the immediate area.

In striking Tops Friendly, the shooter – an 18-year-old self-confessed white supremacist – was not just hitting at a supermarket, but also a place where locals gathered as a community.

“No weapons formed against me shall prosper,” said Karen Davis-Butler, a nurse and mother of three, who had tears streaming down her face. “It means that’s formed against us God is going to make sure it doesn’t hurt us. But we weren’t covered yesterday and the guy wasn’t covered. And I feel bad for him too.”

Despite the horrors wrought on the neighborhood by the 18-year-old white shooter, Davis-Butler said others were to blame too for filling him with hate.

“He’s only 18. Damn nearly grown. Where did he learn all of this stuff from? Who pushed this into his head? Where was his parents when he was looking at this stuff on the internet? This is like a gang thing with them, but it’s white supremacy and racism, and it’s taught. You’re not born hating Black people.” ...............(more)


Detroit rallies for reproductive rights, in pictures:


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