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December 10th, 2013
thesmithian

As “Let the Fire Burn” makes clear, whereas MOVE members were imprisoned and killed for their misdeeds over the years, no one who ordered or condoned the bombing in 1985 was ever held to account.

more.

December 5th, 2013
thesmithian

Racially biased marijuana enforcement…effects extend far beyond the degrading experience of being arrested and jailed. Most serious are the lifelong criminal records produced by a single arrest. Twenty years ago, misdemeanor arrest records were papers stored in dusty file cabinets. Now they are computerized and instantly available for $20 or less from commercial database firms…Employers, landlords, schools, banks and credit card companies rule out applicants on the basis of these now universally available records, which have been aptly described as a “scarlet letter” and a “new Jim Crow.”

more.

Racially biased marijuana enforcement…effects extend far beyond the degrading experience of being arrested and jailed. Most serious are the lifelong criminal records produced by a single arrest. Twenty years ago, misdemeanor arrest records were papers stored in dusty file cabinets. Now they are computerized and instantly available for $20 or less from commercial database firms…Employers, landlords, schools, banks and credit card companies rule out applicants on the basis of these now universally available records, which have been aptly described as a “scarlet letter” and a “new Jim Crow.”

more.

November 23rd, 2013
thesmithian

'…Florida Congressman Trey Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and was sentenced to one year of probation after buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover agent in D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. To put that in perspective, when former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for smoking a “little speck” of crack cocaine that was not in his personal possession back in 1990, he was sentenced to six months in a federal prison. That about sums up the racial disparity crisis between cocaine and crack possession sentencing in our nation, which despite recent reforms, still allows white men leniency in the courts compared to African-Americans.'

more.

November 6th, 2013
thesmithian

[NYC Mayor Elect] De Blasio owes his..tailwind to campaigning on issues considered…too polarizing for winning politics. One is De Blasio’s promise to redress the “tale of two cities" inequalities among New Yorkers, an issue forced into mainstream discourse by the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement—not by New York Democrats aligned with Wall Street. The other is De Blasio’s pledge to sharply curb police stop-and-frisk policies directed against young people of color—aggressive tactics favored by a majority of white voters and overwhelmingly criticized by African Americans, Latinos and Asian-American voters.

more.

[NYC Mayor Elect] De Blasio owes his..tailwind to campaigning on issues considered…too polarizing for winning politics. One is De Blasio’s promise to redress the “tale of two cities" inequalities among New Yorkers, an issue forced into mainstream discourse by the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement—not by New York Democrats aligned with Wall Street. The other is De Blasio’s pledge to sharply curb police stop-and-frisk policies directed against young people of color—aggressive tactics favored by a majority of white voters and overwhelmingly criticized by African Americans, Latinos and Asian-American voters.

more.

October 30th, 2013
thesmithian

Guilty or innocent, [former Mayor Ray] Nagin’s fate will bring closure to a city that arguably suffered as much after the storm as during it…

more.

October 26th, 2013
thesmithian

thirstingaintdead:

odinsblog:

#basically. this should help dispel lingering myths about respectability politics. #CantWin

BUT THEY DON’T HEAR YOU THOUGH!

[look of the hour]

October 26th, 2013
thesmithian

…positions musicians against militant activists—applause alongside protest chants. Celia Cruz on stage at Madison Square Garden. Alleged robbers in police cars after a blackout. Drug-dealing in public space. A re-creation of daily life on the Lower East Side for a film, a pig roasting in the foreground.

more about the work of photojournalist Bolivar Arellano, here.

October 14th, 2013
thesmithian

Crowds…chanted…”Russia for Russians” and “white power” in the protest in Biryulyovo, an industrial district of southern Moscow. Police ordered a city-wide security alert and began making arrests after rioters smashed shop windows, set a shopping centre on fire and assaulted security guards.

much more, here.

September 22nd, 2013
thesmithian

[not] likely to change…anyone who already has strong opinions about the balance of sexual power between men and women, the connection between the morals of an artist and the value of his art, or the responsibilities of justice and punishment. But maybe…

more.

[not] likely to change…anyone who already has strong opinions about the balance of sexual power between men and women, the connection between the morals of an artist and the value of his art, or the responsibilities of justice and punishment. But maybe…

more.

September 16th, 2013
thesmithian

Thousands of riot police retook Mexico City’s…Zócalo plaza…from striking teachers on Friday. There were violent clashes…Police moved into the area minutes after the elapse of a 4pm deadline the government had set for the teachers to leave the square they’d occupied for weeks…the protests were aimed at pressuring the legislature into modifying a wide-ranging education reform that threatens teachers with dismissal if they fail evaluations aimed at improving the dismal standard of the country’s state schools…Most of the striking teachers come from Mexico’s poverty-ridden southern states, and argue that the country’s educational deficiencies are more closely tied to social inequity than their performance in the classroom.

more.

September 13th, 2013
thesmithian

biometric authentication may make it easier for…everyday users to protect data on their phones. But as wonderful as…innovation is, it sometimes creates unintended consequences—including legal ones. If Apple’s move leads us to abandon knowledge-based authentication altogether, we risk inadvertently undermining the legal rights we currently enjoy under the Fifth Amendment…an easy fix: give users the option to unlock their phones with a fingerprint plus something the user knows.

seems like Apple would know this, yes? more.

biometric authentication may make it easier for…everyday users to protect data on their phones. But as wonderful as…innovation is, it sometimes creates unintended consequences—including legal ones. If Apple’s move leads us to abandon knowledge-based authentication altogether, we risk inadvertently undermining the legal rights we currently enjoy under the Fifth Amendment…an easy fix: give users the option to unlock their phones with a fingerprint plus something the user knows.

seems like Apple would know this, yes? more.

September 4th, 2013
thesmithian

Masked youths [confronted] police in Mexico City…as a controversial bill to reform the education sector was approved by Mexican lawmakers. Thousands of teachers have marched in the capital in recent days to rail against the reforms introduced by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

more.

September 4th, 2013
thesmithian
The drug war is sometimes portrayed as irrational, but it is, in fact, irrational in a selective way—one targeted at blacks and other minorities. The decisions by Eric Holder and Shira Scheindlin point the war, and the country, back in a direction where law enforcement will spend more time chasing the right people for the right reasons.
Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker
September 1st, 2013
thesmithian

"I thought from day one that I would be found not guilty…I believed in justice, and I thought innocence was more powerful than anything else."

more, plus full, multi-page letter, here.

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