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No one called these rioters "Thugs" - I wonder what was different...Hmm...

On the evening of July 11, 1951, one of the biggest riots in U.S. history began after a young black couple moved into an apartment in all-white Cicero, IL, west of Chicago. The husband, Harvey Clark, was a World War II veteran who migrated to Chicago from Mississippi and was working as a bus driver. He and his wife Johnetta had been crammed with their two children in a two-room tenement with a family of five on the city's overcrowded South Side.

The couple found more space and cheaper rents in Cicero, closer to his work, but the sheriff turned them away when they first tried to move in. With a court order in hand, the couple finally moved their belongings into the apartment on July 11, as a mob formed around them, heckling and throwing rocks. The mob, many of them eastern European immigrants, grew to as many as 4,000 by nightfall. The couple fled, unable to stay overnight in their new apartment.

That night, the mob stormed the apartment and hurled the family's belongings out of a third floor window: the sofa, the chairs, the clothes, the baby pictures. The mob tore out the fixtures: the stove, the radiators, the sinks. They smashed the piano, overturned the refrigerator, bashed in the toilet. They set the family's belongings on fire and then firebombed the building, leaving even the white tenants homeless. The rioters overturned police cars and threw stones at firefighters who tried to put out the fire.

The Illinois Governor, Adlai Stevenson, had to call in the National Guard for the first time since the 1919 race riots in Chicago. It took more than 600 guardsmen, police officers and sheriff's deputies to beat back the mob that night and three more days for the rioting over the Clarks to subside.

The Clarks were prevented from spending a single night in Cicero. A total of 118 men were arrested in the rioting but none were indicted. Instead, the rental agent and the owner of the apartment building were indicted for inciting a riot by renting to the Clarks in the first place. The Cicero riot attracted worldwide attention and became a symbol of northern hostility to the arrival of millions of African-Americans during the Great Migration.

-- From the book, The Warmth of Other Suns


Imagine this is coming at you, and you have nowhere to run.

The Everest Avalanche

Picture: Robert Schmidt/AFP


POTUS Expected to Publicly Support Medical Marijuana on CNN Tonight

Sun Apr 19, 2015 at 12:48 PM PDT
POTUS Expected to Publicly Support Medical Marijuana on CNN Tonight
by ericlewis0

(illustration by DonkeyHotey)

From ThinkProgress.org:

President Barack Obama is expected to express his support for medical marijuana, and a drug policy that deviates from incarceration, in a CNN documentary to air on Sunday night.

In the television special, “Weed 3”, CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta will explore the politics of medical marijuana research. In an interview with Obama, Gupta probes the President about a bipartisan Senate bill that, if passed, will change marijuana’s classification from Schedule I — the most stringent category for regulating drugs — to Schedule II.


“You know, I think I’d have to take a look at the details, but I’m on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be,” Obama reportedly says during his interview with Gupta.

(my bold)

Back in August of 2013, the President's spokesperson, Josh Earnest, was asked if Sanjay Gupta's new-found support for medical marijuana might inspire Obama to call for new legislation. Earnest's response then was, "not at this point.".

So this is an encouraging development. I think it's kind of like the gay marriage issue, in as much as the President has to pretend to evolve on the issue, while in fact, he is merely waiting for the opportune time to act. Kudos all around!

Weed 3 airs tonight on CNN at 9pm EDT:


***HYSTERICAL***Michigan Mother Destroys Abstinence Only Sex Ed Class with Live Twitter Feed

Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 06:06 PM PDT
Michigan Mother Destroys Abstinence Only Sex Ed Class with Live Twitter Feed
by tmservo433

Sometimes, I find something and think: the content speaks for itself.

More as this goes on...

Sometimes, I think the best thing to do is not to editorialize and just let the content speak for itself.

Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 6:30 PM PT: You can read Alice Dreger's write up of this event here: http://www.thestranger.com/features/feature/2015/04/15/22062331/i-sat-in-on-my-sons-sex-ed-class-and-i-was-shocked-by-what-i-heard


Terrified ‘Tea Party Patriot’ realizes he could lose Obamacare if GOP wins in 2016

WATCH: Terrified ‘Tea Party Patriot’ realizes he could lose Obamacare if GOP wins in 2016
David Edwards
15 Apr 2015 at 12:01 ET

A conservative video blogger with over a million views on YouTube said this week that he would likely vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton because he was terrified that a Republican president would take away his affordable health insurance. “And I’m serious because I asked myself, ‘Which party has helped me out the most in the last, I don’t know, 15 years, 20?’ And it was the Democrat (SIC) Party,”

Webb lamented. “If it wasn’t for Obama and that Obamacare, I would still be working.” “With Obamacare, I got to retire at age 50 because if it wasn’t for Obamacare, I would have had to work until I was 65 and get on Medicare because health insurance is expensive when you’ve got medical problems,” he continued...

“...But you know, the Republican Party, they haven’t done nothing for me, man. Nothing,” he remarked. “So, I’m leaning toward voting for Hillary unless something major comes up. I don’t trust the Republicans anymore because they’re wanting to repeal the Obamacare. And I don’t want them to do that, man, because then I’ll have to go to work again. My life’s already planned out.”


This is some scary shit -- Trouble at Trotten Glacier

Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 02:35 AM PDT
Trouble at Totten Glacier
by greenman3610

The latest “This is Not Cool” video is the third in a trilogy of very important, and sobering, pieces I’ve posted over the last year. I didn’t start with a trilogy in mind, but the developments of the last few months have been jarring and momentous.

Chris Mooney wrote recently in the Washington Post, “A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise.”.
He added, “Meanwhile, 2015 could be the year of the double whammy — when we learned the same about one gigantic glacier of East Antarctica, which could set in motion roughly the same amount all over again.”

The decades-long unfolding of this story – that vast areas of ice once thought to be invulnerable on time scales meaningful to humans, may in fact already be in the process of disintegration – is one that that the vast majority of humanity still does not understand, and that the media has been unwilling to track. It’s a realization that, one top expert told us, even seasoned ice sheet veterans find “shattering”.

For this video I used in-person interviews from December’s AGU conference, as well as a skype chat with Jamin Greenbaum of the University of Texas, whose recent research on East Antarctic vulnerability has been widely reported. Jamin pointed me to some Australian research from the same area. There was a huge volume of material, not all of which made it into this video, but which I’ll be posting in coming weeks to flesh out the picture.
The overriding message: we have a problem.


LET'S PLAY A GAME!!!! (Let's see who can get it right!!)

New York state has posted samples of this year's standardized ELA and math tests for grades 3-8. I visited the site and decided to play a game with my fellow DU'ers. I am going to give you a sample of text. You guess on the poll which grade level you think this text is for. This is not a trick question, I would just like your honest assessment of what age would be reading this text from Tolstoy. Then I will provide a link with the answer. PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT IN THIS THREAD, UNLESS TO KICK IT. You may comment on the answer thread. We don't want to give away the answer. I am only posting the reading material in this thread, not the questions. (Keep in mind, the test is timed and there is a whole booklet of reading excerpts comparable to this sample followed by multiple choice questions.)

Oh! And one more thing. The results of these standardized tests now count toward 50% of a teacher's evaluation in NY. No pressure.

Okay! Is everybody ready?

Here's the text:

The Gray Hare
by Leo Tolstoy

A gray hare was living in the winter near the village. When night came, he pricked one ear and listened; then he pricked his second ear, moved his whiskers, sniffed, and sat down on his hind legs. Then he took a leap or two over the deep snow, and again sat down on his hind legs, and looked around him. Nothing could be seen but snow. The snow lay in waves and glistened like sugar. Over the hare’s head hovered a frost vapor, and through this vapor could be seen the large, bright stars.

The hare had to cross the highway, in order to come to a threshing-floor he knew of. On the highway the runners could be heard squeaking, and the horses snorting, and seats creaking in the sleighs.

The hare again stopped near the road. Peasants were walking beside the sleighs, and the collars of their caftans were raised. Their faces were scarcely visible. Their beards, moustaches, and eyelashes were white. Steam rose from their mouths and noses. Their horses were sweaty, and the hoarfrost clung to the sweat. The horses jostled under their arches, and dived in and out of snow-drifts. The peasants ran behind the horses and in front of them, and beat them with their whips. Two peasants walked beside each other, and one of them told the other how a horse of his had once been stolen.

When the carts passed by, the hare leaped across the road and softly made for the threshing-floor. A dog saw the hare from a cart. He began to bark and darted after the hare. The hare leaped toward the threshing-floor over the snow-drifts, which held him back; but the dog stuck fast in the snow after the tenth leap, and stopped. Then the hare, too, stopped and sat up on his hind legs, and then softly went on to the threshing-floor.

On his way he met two other hares on the sowed winter field. They were feeding and playing. The hare played awhile with his companions, dug away the frosty snow with them, ate the wintergreen, and went on. In the village everything was quiet; the fires were out. All one could hear was a baby’s cry in a hut and the crackling of the frost in the logs of the cabins. The hare went to the threshing-floor, and there found some companions. He played awhile with them on the cleared floor, ate some oats from the open granary, climbed on the kiln over the snow-covered roof, and across the wicker fence started back to his ravine.

The dawn was glimmering in the east; the stars grew less, and the frost vapors rose more densely from the earth. In the near-by village the women got up, and went to fetch water; the peasants brought the feed from the barn; the children shouted and cried. There were still more carts going down the road, and the peasants talked aloud to each other. The hare leaped across the road, went up to his old lair, picked out a high place, dug away the snow, lay with his back in his new lair, dropped his ears on his back, and fell asleep with open eyes.

Which grade level do you think this reading material is representive of?

The correct answer can be found at this link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026475198

AND THE ANSWER IS...(Do not open this thread until you have opened the thread "Let's play a game")


That's right. NYS believes Leo Tolstoy is 3rd grade reading material.

Here are the corresponding questions:

Why does the hare stop at the road?
A He is afraid of a dog.
B He is waiting for carts to go by.
C He cannot remember where he wants to go.
D He wants to play with other hares.
Key: B

Based on the story, which two words best describe the hare?
A sad and lonely
B funny and loud
C careful and playful
D lazy and unwise
Key: C

In which scene does the hare reach his goal for the day?
A when he watches peasants on the road
B when he plays with other hares in the fields
C when he eats on the threshing-floor
D when he outruns the dog
Key: C

Read the following sentence from the first paragraph:
“The snow lay in waves and glistened like sugar.”
The author uses the word sugar to show that
A the hare was thinking about food
B the snow looked sparkly
C sugar was on the snow
D the snow tasted sweet
Key: B

Then the third grader moves on to the next reading excerpt from nasa.gov about soil...(sigh)

Please discuss.

On Edit: The real purpose of posting this game is to show how ridiculous this testing has become. Starting this year, a whopping 50% of the teacher's performance evaluation is now based on the results of these tests. Even if a person could read at this level in the 3rd grade, is it truly representative of the average third grader? I think not. These tests have huge impacts on schools, teachers, school funding and, ultimately, though indirectly, the children.

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