April 19, 2014

Friday Open Thread: African-American Civil War Spies

HAPPY FRIDAY PRAGOBOTS!

We continue our series on African-American Civil War Spies

 

ROBERT SMALLS
(April 5, 1839 – February 23, 1915)

robertsmalls

 

Self-emancipated slave Robert Smalls was the “wheelman” or pilot for the C.S.S. Planter, a giant side-wheel steamship that was the fastest ship in the harbor and the “pride of the local Confederate fleet.” With the regular crew staying overnight in Charleston, and under the cover of darkness in the early morning of May 13, 1862, pilot Smalls with the help of eight slave crewmen picked up their families and two single women, and calmly made their way across the heavily defended harbor. In case of detection, the slaves planning the escape had earlier pledged to blow themselves up with the ship, because they knew that the alternative would be death. It was only a distance of seven miles, but the Planter had to run a deadly gauntlet of forts and batteries in their ultimately successful bid to cross the bar and reach the Union territorial waters where the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron was stationed.

Once out of distance from the batteries, the crew of the Planter raised struck the Confederate and Palmetto State colors and raised a white flag. The now former slaves (contraband***) rejoiced on deck as the extremely valuable ship and its equally important human cargo approached the ten Union warships and came under the protection of the Union flag.

The images of Robert Smalls along with the Planter made front page news around the world. The New York Tribune wrote of the event: “…a slave has brought away under the very guns of the enemy, where no fleet has dared to venture, a prize whose possessions a commodore thinks worthy to be announced in a special dispatch.”

The June 14, 1862 edition of “Harpers Weekly” printed an interview with Smalls and emphasized how the “capture” of the former cotton hauler turned military gunboat had hurt the Confederate Navy because she “was the most valuable war vessel the Confederates had at Charleston.

Of course the article did not mention that Smalls had also turned over to Union Navy Admiral du Pont a Confederate military code book. It was left on board the Planter and contained all of the Confederate Navy’s secret signals and codes, so that the blockade squadron could decode the signal flags raised across Charleston Harbor.

Nor did the article mention that in the course of piloting the Planter around the harbor, Smalls did some intelligence gathering on the side. He had memorized details about the size and strength of the Rebel fortifications as well as the locations of mines and torpedoes planted in the waters to destroy or disable the Union fighting fleet. Smalls was cognizant of Confederate troop movements around Charleston Harbor and communicated to the Commodore vital information that contributed to the Union victory at Stono Inlet. Smalls was a short-term spy, but a most effective one.

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

 

***ABOUT CONTRABAND AND CONTRABAND CAMPS

(From The Forgotten: The Contraband of America and the Road to Freedom)

So the general struck upon a politically expedient solution: Because Virginia had seceded from the Union, he argued, he no longer had a constitutional obligation to return the runaways. Rather, in keeping with military law governing war between nations, he would seize the three runaways as contraband—property to be used by the enemy against the Union.

Lincoln let the decision stand; Butler, after all, hadn’t challenged the status of enslaved people as property. Yet Mallory, Baker, and Townsend’s escape and the general’s clever gambit proved momentous, the repercussions heralding the beginning of slavery’s end. For when other enslaved Africans Americans heard that three men had been granted refuge, they began flocking to Freedom’s Fortress, as they called Fort Monroe. They came despite rebel rumors that the Yankees would eat them, sell them into slavery in Cuba, process them into fertilizer, or make them pull carts like oxen.

By war’s end, approximately half a million formerly enslaved people and other African American freedmen had sought protection behind Union lines. These “contraband,” as they became known, usually lived in camps hastily erected almost anywhere the army was stationed. The large number of runaways who flocked to Union lines belies the outdated and racist notion that enslaved African Americans simply waited for emancipation by singing hymns and strumming banjos; rather, they seized almost every chance to pursue their freedom, often risking death, and in so doing, helped make slavery a central issue of the Civil War.

“The most marginal people in American life, with no standing in civil or political society, end up being these consequential political activists who understand the war’s events in much different ways than the educated policymakers,” says Steven Hahn, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Nation Under Our Feet.


The contraband camps became recruitment centers for African American troops and workers willing to dig trenches, build fortifications, and aid the Union cause on numerous fronts. And so enslaved African Americans not only endeavored to win their freedom during the war, they also made vital contributions to the Union victory that ensured they got it.

…Indeed, as runaways began inspiring hope among the enslaved, the issue quickly made national headlines, sparking a debate about what to do. Some Union generals, including George McClellan, maintained that they would not interfere with slavery and offered no refuge to runaways. The question of what to do with the refugees gained increasing importance as the Union army pushed into the Deep South and discovered massive plantations abandoned by their Confederate owners. A chaplain with the Army of the Tennessee described how African Americans “flocked in vast numbers—an army in themselves—to the camps of the Yankees,” likening the influx to “the oncoming of cities.”

African Americans, meanwhile, discovered that conditions in a contraband camp, depending on who was in charge and where it was located, were often worse than life on the plantation. Refugees in these makeshift villages of tents or shacks sometimes suffered abuse at the hands of Union soldiers, faced reprisals when Confederates infiltrated Union lines, were occasionally handed over when their owners came looking for them, and fell victim to smallpox and diseases that proliferated in the absence of proper sanitation. Increasingly, women and children arrived in the camps—barefoot and hungry after long journeys by boat, wagon, foot. “The suffering from hunger and cold is so great,” wrote a Union commander in Tennessee, “that those wretched people are dying by  scores …  sometimes 30 per day  die and are carried out by wagon loads, without coffins, and thrown promiscuously, like brutes, into a trench.”

Yet the camps also enabled runaways to experience a novel degree of freedom. Schools sprang up. In Hampton, where two camps were built outside the fort, Mary Peake, a free African American who had surreptitiously taught enslaved people to read and write before the war, began openly teaching classes, reputedly under an oak tree on what’s now the campus of Hampton University. After her death, classes were held in the scorched shell of the town’s courthouse, burned by Confederate troops. The camps thrived as vibrant political and social havens, where freedmen reunited with family members and interacted with Northerners and each other with previously unimaginable openness. “They have obtained in the camps, and wherever they have been,” wrote a Union provost marshal in Louisiana, “a spirit of independence—a feeling that they are no longer slaves.”

READ MORE HERE.

  • gn

    @CNBC
    BREAKING: June nonfarm payrolls up 195,000. Unemployment rate remains at 7.6%. #jobs

    • http://oldhollywood.net/ woody45

      This President and his team are just amazing.

      • AxelFoley

        They stay winning.

  • gn

    @BreakingNews
    Labor Department says the US economy added 70,000 more jobs in May and April than initially reported – @AP

    • Miranda

      Thus, the media must double down on nontroversies on behalf of the GOP.

      • http://oldhollywood.net/ woody45

        You are so right Miranda and for that reason I’m glad their ratings are tanking.

        And I’ll say it again. With or without Congress this President is going to turbo charge the economy and continue laying the foundations for long term growth.

    • Kennymack1971

      This President keeps moving forward in spite of the most trifling Congress ever.

      • jds09

        Bingo. And this will be his legacy that no other president will be able to match for another 100 years.

    • rikyrah

      And what would these numbers look like if the GOP had not been committing ECONOMIC TREASON AGAINST THIS COUNTRY?

      • AxelFoley

        With the media aiding and abetting them.

  • gn

    Sybrina Fulton to take the stand momentarily. Lifting her up in prayer.

  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Alma98

      Morning rikyrah!

  • rikyrah

    Definitely lifting Ms. Fulton up in prayer.

  • rikyrah

    The right’s desperate search for more white voters
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 3, 2013 3:04 PM EDT

    Fox News’ Brit Hume has heard all the arguments about the Republican Party needing a more diverse voting base, but he’s not buying it. This on-air commentary aired the other day:

    Rejecting the argument that the Hispanic vote is necessary to the party’s electoral fortunes, Hume called it “baloney,” adding, “If you look at the statistics, you find there was one significant bloc of voters who turned out in smaller numbers this time in a major way — way below expectations, below even their ’08 turnout — and that was white voters.” He added that the Hispanic vote “is not nearly as important, still, as the white vote.”

    And why is that it interesting? In part because Hume said the exact opposite soon after the 2012 elections. As MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin explained this week, on election night, Hume called the “demographic” threat posed by Latino voters “absolutely real” and suggested Mitt Romney’s “hardline position on immigration” may be to blame for election losses.

    Hume apparently now thinks Hume’s argument is “baloney.”

    But the larger point is that the Fox News anchor isn’t the only one making this shift. Shortly after the election, Fox’s Sean Hannity was on board with reform to improve the GOP’s fortunes, and he’s since moved to the right. More to the point, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in January he wants a “comprehensive” immigration bill and then said last month, “There’s this narrative being written in the press and by Democrats and, quite frankly by some Republicans, that I am pushing a comprehensive immigration bill, and that’s just not true.”

    And what’s driving these moves is the growing sentiment in conservative circles that if the Republican Party can only improve its performance among white people — getting 70% of the vote instead of 60% — then its demographic death spiral isn’t too big a deal after all. It’s a thesis Real Clear Politics’ Sean Trende has touted for months, which has grown considerably in recent months as Republican opposition to immigration reform has grown.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/03/19270416-the-rights-desperate-search-for-more-white-voters?lite

    • jds09

      Okay, Steve….let me help you out. Hume’s comments are not about political strategy, they’re about keeping his paycheck going for another two weeks. His audience (by extension his employers) is not interested in reality-based strategy they’re interested in being reassured that they are still on top, today and for the foreseeable future.

  • Miranda

    Yamiche Alcindor ‏@Yamiche1m
    O’Mara asked if Fulton hopes Trayvon didn’t cause his death. Fulton says she hopes this never happened and that Trayvon was still here.

    • MonieTalks

      Me and my husband said WTF simultaneously.

      He also asked Ms. Fulton if she would have hoped Trayvon did not contribute to his own death.

      • TyrenM

        Happy Birthday Monie!

        • Miranda

          Make that from the both of us!! Happy Happy Birthday Monie!!

        • MonieTalks

          Thanks Tyren! I had a great time on yesterday and fully recovered today! :)

          • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

            Happy Birthday, Monie!

        • qosine

          Happy Birthday Monie!

        • rikyrah

          Happy Birthday Monie :)

        • AxelFoley

          Happy Birthday, Monie love!

      • jds09

        That’s obscene, one human being asking another that question.

      • gn

        Defies all notions of decency, and i doubt this asshole is scoring any points with the jury.

      • qosine

        Mothers on the jury will take note.

      • GreenLadyHere

        GOOD MORNTIN’ MonieTalks —**BIG HUG** :>) – -Hope U had a –GR8 BIRTHDAY. :>) —-

        His questions were –INSENSITIVE annnd INSULTING! — BUT —SHE – -STOOD STRONG!♥

        B BLESSED 2-day. –U/FAM♥

      • creolechild

        [moved]

      • PBomb

        Happy Birthday Monie!

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      WTF kinda of question is that???

      • conlakappa

        “Do you believe the evidence that surely shows my client is guilty and your lying ears or can you be bamboozled by what I am about to say happened?”

    • gn

      Defense just tried to pull the same thing with Trayvon’s brother and it backfired. Jahvaris said that he initially was unsure whether the screaming voice was Trayvon because he didn’t *want* to believe it. Defense tried to use a media interview in which he expressed that uncertainty as a basis to impeach his testimony. Completely shot down by the judge, and exhibited that Jahvaris wasn’t swayed or pressured by Sybrina—he made his own decisions about the tape on his own time.

  • Miranda

    Leo Shane III ‏@LeoShane31m
    Veterans unemployment down again in June: At 6.3% for all vets (6.6% in May) and 7.2% for OIF/OEF era vets (7.3% in May).

  • Miranda

    African Union Suspends Egypt Over President Morsi’s Ouster
    Jul 5, 2013 By Associated Press

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia– The African Union is suspending Egypt from membership in the continental body after the military ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

    AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told a news conference Friday that the removal of Morsi on Wednesday falls under the AU doctrine on unconstitutional changes of government.

    AU officials decided Friday to block Egypt from all activities of the continental body until constitutional order is restored in the nation.

    The decision was taken after deliberations by the AU’s peace and security council earlier Friday.

    The AU usually suspends the membership of countries where the military ousts an elected government.
    http://newsone.com/2627134/african-union-egypt/

  • Miranda

    Iceland proposal would grant Snowden citizenship
    5:18 p.m. EDT July 4, 2013

    LONDON (AP) — Some Icelandic lawmakers have introduced a proposal in Parliament to grant citizenship to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who admits to revealing key details of U.S. surveillance activities.

    But the idea has received minimal support.

    Snowden is believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport transit area, seeking asylum from more than a dozen countries. But to apply for asylum in Iceland, Snowden would have to reach the nation’s soil.

    Granting Snowden citizenship would circumvent that issue.

    However, the bill to grant Snowden citizenship received limited support Thursday. Six members of minority parties were in favor out of Parliament’s 63 members.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/04/snowden/2490501/

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      Snowden was iced out in Iceland.

      • http://oldhollywood.net/ woody45

        Iceland sounds like they’re saying, “Go on home coward and take your medicine.” Sort of like what the entire globe seems to be saying.

        • Miranda

          I’ve never seen someone get treated like they got the international cooties – until now.

  • Miranda

    Texas Lawmakers Too Busy Targeting Abortion Providers to Deal With Exploding Fertilizer Plants

    More than two months after the deadly explosion in West, Texas, the state has done almost nothing to prevent future disasters.
    —By Tim Murphy | Fri Jul. 5, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    In the two and a half months since an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer storage facility left 12 first responders dead and at least 200 people injured, two things have become clear. The disaster could have been avoided if the proper regulations had been in place and enforced—and state and federal agencies don’t appear to be in a hurry to put those regulations in place or enforce them.

    Texas, whose lax regulatory climate has come in for scrutiny in the aftermath of the West explosion, went into a special session of its state legislature on Monday to push through an omnibus abortion bill designed to regulate 37 abortion clinics out of existence. But the 2013 session will come to a close without any significant action to impose safeguards on the 74 facilities in the state that contain at least 10,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate.

    more here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/west-texas-aftermath-regulation-laws

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      The media has totally ignored this. You would think progressives and environmentalists would be raising hell about this.

      • Miranda

        You would think….they got a lot to say about Keystone, but nothing about this….interesting.

      • Admiral_Komack

        Well, the emoprogs drone on about Snowden…

        • AxelFoley

          I see what you did there.

          • Admiral_Komack

            Who, me?
            Has Iceland given Snowden the cold shoulder, yet?

  • gn

    @NerdyWonka
    Shorter Baby: “Yes, President Barack Obama is Black and a two term POTUS. You got a problem with that GOP?”

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BOagfNgCMAIeese.jpg

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      LOL! Babies love PBO!

    • qosine

      Baby knows!

      • gn

        Baby’s saying: “don’t make me have to take off my ribbon!” lol.

        • qosine

          LOL

    • conlakappa

      Those cheeks, lawsy, those cheeks! It must have taken the President all his strength to not spend the Fourth kissing them.

      • jds09

        That red bow is to DIE for!

        • conlakappa

          Indeed. Lil miss has it going on. Just chilling with the First Family and a couple thousand people who live the same military life she does. Her outfit has very much of a “Granny bought this for me, complete with bow,” feel to it.

  • GreenLadyHere

    - -GOOD FRIDAY MORNTIN’ Sepia♥/POU FAM♥ – - -***BIG HUG*** :>) – - -

    — – –Prayed sooo hard 4 Mrs. FULTON! She – –”STOOD STRONG!”!- -She TESTIFIED with STRENGTH: – THAT WAS MY SON’ VOICE! — -She couldn’t B shaken by any of the RACIST DEFENSE ATTORNEY. — -BLESS U♥! BLESS U. – –

    [Sorry 2 B L8. Computer on a tear.] :>)

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    We don’t need this type of person in the White House:

    Chris Christie Threatened To Drop ‘F-Bomb’ During 2012 GOP Convention Speech
    by Andrew Kirell | 1:00 pm, July 3rd, 2013

    …W]hen organizers told Christie that they were scrapping a
    three-minute introduction video before his speech due to time
    constraints, the governor insisted they reconsider. When they pushed
    back, according to Balz, Christie told a member of the production team
    “to ask the director if he had ever heard anyone say ‘f***’ on live
    television, because that’s what he was about to do if the video didn’t
    run.”

    After another sharp exchange, Christie said he wouldn’t deliver the
    speech if the video didn’t run. Romney’s convention team leader, Russ
    Schriefer, intervened, instructing the director to play the video.

    MORE: http://www.mediaite.com/online/chris-christie-threatened-to-drop-f-bomb-during-2012-gop-convention-speech/

    • Miranda

      SMH……he really DOES think he is Tony Soprano.

      • AxelFoley

        I know, right?

    • rikyrah

      folks say ‘that’s Jersey’
      I’m sorry, but Jersey doesn’t play well outside of Jersey and New York..
      the rest of the country sees ‘ asshole’ when they say ‘ Jersey’.

      • AxelFoley

        Unless your name is The Boss or Bon Jovi, Jersey gets no traction outside of Jersey.

      • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

        That’s not Jersey. That’s BULLY. Jersey has NOTHING to do with Christie’s behavior.

  • rikyrah

    Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, takes the stand Friday July 5th 2013

  • rikyrah

    Dealing With Guilt: Iyanla Vanzant On Coping With The Difficult Emotion (VIDEO)

    By OWN Posted: 07/01/2013 11:46 am EDT | Updated: 07/03/2013 10:12 am EDT

    Accomplished author and inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant has counseled many people over the years — from gospel singers struggling with their weight to couples in dysfunctional marriages — and has become well-versed in the subject of guilt. It’s a tricky and powerful emotion, but Iyanla says that we’re not powerless against it.

    In an episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” Iyanla dismisses guilt as something totally useless. “Guilt is a wasted emotion,” she says bluntly.

    “That’s what I say!” Oprah agrees.

    The first part in the key to overcoming guilty feelings is to understand its root causes — what really triggers guilt? At the root of these guilty feelings, Iyanla explains, are actually three universal triggers. The first reason reason people feel guilty: You knew better, but you did something anyway. “That will then eat [you] up,” Iyanla says.

    The second reason: You caused hurt, harm or injury to someone else.

    “Shouldn’t you feel guilty about that?” Oprah asks.

    No, says Iyanla. You may instinctively feel guilty for causing pain, but this doesn’t help the person you’ve wronged. “What does guilt serve?” she asks. “It doesn’t serve anything other than the ego.”

    Armed with the knowledge of what triggers guilt, you can then overcome it by doing one conscious thing — substitute it with something active that can help you move on.

    Iyanla explains, “It could be self-forgiveness, it could be asking for forgiveness [of someone else], it could be making amends and it could just be slapping yourself upside the head because you’ve just been wasting time and energy!”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/dealing-with-guilt-iyanla-vanzant_n_3472594.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl16%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D340045

  • Miranda

    Diagnosis: Insufficient Outrage

    By H. GILBERT WELCH
    Published: July 4, 2013

    HANOVER, N.H. — RECENT revelations should lead those of us involved in America’s health care system to ask a hard question about our business: At what point does it become a crime?

    I’m not talking about a violation of federal or state statutes, like Medicare or Medicaid fraud, although crime in that sense definitely exists. I’m talking instead about the violation of an ethical standard, of the very “calling” of medicine.

    Medical care is intended to help people, not enrich providers. But the way prices are rising, it’s beginning to look less like help than like highway robbery. And the providers — hospitals, doctors, universities, pharmaceutical companies and device manufactures — are the ones benefiting.

    A number of publications — including this one — have recently published big reports on the exorbitant cost of American health care. In March, Time magazine ran acover story exposing outrageous hospital prices, from $108 for a tube of bacitracin — the ointment my mother put on the scrapes I got as a kid and that costs $5 at CVS — to $21,000 for a three-hour emergency room evaluation for chest pain caused by indigestion.

    Of course, Medicare will have none of this — it sets its own prices. And private insurers negotiate discounts. So no one is actually charged these amounts.

    Check that. The uninsured are. They are largely young and employed (albeit poorly) and have little education. So the biggest medical bills go to those least able to pay.

    At what point does it become a crime?

    more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/opinion/diagnosis-insufficient-outrage.html

    • BarbinAtlSouth

      And for the record, I know lots of grown folks that are unemployed or underemployed and uninsured facing ridiculous medical bills or not seeking medical attention.

  • GreenLadyHere

    POU FAM♥ — – - – -PRAYING:– -MRS. FULTON:—TESTIFYING AGAIN.

    IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS asked of his brother. — MOTHER JURORS –can C! —

  • creolechild

    Good morning POU.

    The Snowden Effect: WikiLeaks now open for business with payment partner Mastercard

    The timing of this payment gateway opening certainly could be a boon for Wikileaks, who’s latest star, Ed Snowden, could generate millions of dollars in donations for Icelandic docu-dumpers.[....] If this story plays out in adherence to Shakespearean principles, Wikileaks and Fein will each net huge benefits, with Wikileaks netting millions and championing the latest high-profile operative whistleblower while organising his temporary asylum in a host country like Iceland or Ecuador, after handing Snowden over to Fein’s camp for a dramatic return to the US for the show trial of the century. [....]

    Either way you look at, for certain central players in this staged drama, Snowden is golden. Aside from the money, more and more this story is taking on a partisan shape, and may be more about a right-wing-Israeli lobby agenda at home and abroad, and may not have anything to do with actually changing the current US Federal policies on spying on its own citizens – and foreigners too.

    A drama that will be brought to you exclusively… by The Guardian.

    Read more: http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/07/04/snowdens-gold-wikileaks-now-open-for-business-with-payment-partner-mastercard/

    H/T 21Wire

    • conlakappa

      Pimps up, hos down.

  • Alma98

    Morning all and happy birthday Monie!

    • GreenLadyHere

      GOOD MORNTIN’ Alma98. :>) –***BIG — SUNNY — – HUG*** – -
      Ohhhh —HOW LOVELY. :>) – -Annnd it’s need here.[A little overcast. ] :>) –Soo THANK U. :>)

      Good 2 C U. **waves 2 daughter [as I contemplate -"TREES" -LOL]– –B BLESSED♥ 2-day. :>)

      • Alma98

        Hey GLH! You are never gonna forget those trees are you lol.

        • GreenLadyHere

          LOL — -Alma —Guess NOT – — 4 now. :>) —She made us laff. THANKIN’ her. :>)

          • Alma98

            LOL!

          • GreenLadyHere

            ***smilin’ @-chu. :>)***

    • rikyrah

      Good Morning, Alma :)

      • Alma98

        Good morning rikyrah!

    • MonieTalks

      Thanks Alma! The weather was gorgeous here in VA on yesterday, after a week of cloudiness and rain! I could not have asked for a better birthday!

      • Alma98

        I’m glad you had a great day Monie!

      • Admiral_Komack

        HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

      • creolechild

        Happy Birthday Monie!

      • sagittarius

        Happy Birthday, Monie!

      • BarbinAtlSouth

        Happy Birthday Monie

  • creolechild

    Judges refuse to let up on order to reduce California prison overcrowding

    A federal court on Wednesday refused to back down from an order
    requiring California to reduce prison overcrowding by the end of the
    year, a goal that could force the early release of up to 10,000 inmates.[....] The judges – Stephen Reinhardt, Lawrence K. Karlton and Thelton E. Henderson – have twice threatened Brown with contempt of court for refusing to comply with their orders to reduce the state’s prison population to 137.5 percent of capacity from just under 150 per cent now.

    The matter has already gone up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which backed the panel’s demand in 2011. But Brown has still refused to comply. The governor wants to go back to the Supreme Court to argue that times have changed in the 23 years since the original case was filed and the state should not be held to earlier standards for prison overcrowding.[....]

    Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/04/judges-refuse-to-let-up-on-order-to-reduce-california-prison-overcrowding/

    H/T Sharon Bernstein

    • BarbinAtlSouth

      How hard can it be to release 10 – 20,000 people from overcrowded prisons? There are too many people in there for non-violent crimes.

  • GreenLadyHere

    POU FAM♥ – - -MEDICAL EXAMINER – -ON the STAND.

  • gn

    UGH!

    @MatthewKeysLive
    George Zimmerman’s brother Robert follows Trayvon Martin’s brother Jahvaris on Twitter – pic.twitter.com/ZyXvuWAEkL

    Nest of trash, the entire family. Sewer rats behave better than the Zimmerman kkklan. What a disgusting group of people.

    • conlakappa

      Gross and creepy. Following seems to sadly be an issue with these paranoid people. What is he hoping to find or is it an attempt at intimidation?

      • gn

        They’re stalkers and bullies, as well as delusional fake victims. The entire family is despicable.

  • creolechild

    Manager Says Museum Cashiers Trained to Mislead Visitors

    Cashiers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were paid in part based on how much they collected at the door and management discouraged them from disclosing that the price of admission can be as little as one cent, a former employee said in a sworn affidavit. [....] In 1970, New York City first waived the free-admissions provision of its original lease with the museum, the Met said. Officials repeatedly approved increases in the suggested fee.

    But the city never formally amended the lease that required the museum be free to the public five days a week, the Met acknowledged in court papers. Michael Hiller, a lawyer for Grunewald and Nicholson, said in court papers that instead of “serving the masses” who pay for the Met through taxes, it’s become “an elite attraction for tourists and wealthy benefactors.”[....]

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-05/manager-says-museum-cashiers-trained-to-mislead-visitors.html

    H/T Philip Boroff

    • conlakappa

      Yep, those folks would get real cagey about what to drop in the till “of course it’s voluntary but the recommended amount is…” I heard that as a 20something making 20something and coming from DC where the museums and zoo have free entry (this was before private museums showed up). In this area there was an issue recently with a performing arts building being leased by the county for just $1 that was then largely not used for its stated public purpose but rented for events. 100% profit. The county just pulled the lease.

  • Alma98

    H/T TOD Hilarious don’t they have interns to check these things. Ass cloud lmao!

    • conlakappa

      We are talking Faux viewers. They probably already thought the Mexican, bean-heavy diet caused the eruption or was the eruption.

      • Alma98

        HA!

      • TyrenM

        You can see that by the look in dude’s eye.

    • Miranda

      The interns were probably the ones that did it!

      • Alma98

        LOL!

  • creolechild

    A Tale of Two Best Friends – Posted on July 03, 2013

    The media berated Rachel Jeantel last week throughout her testimony during George Zimmerman’s trial for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. So much so that other media took to defending Jeantel—who spent much of her day on the phone with Martin, whom she had first met in second grade, the day he was killed. That kind vitriol and subsequent support were absent, however, during yesterday’s testimony, when Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman, took the stand. That distinction speaks to the way that race remains a central theme in this murder
    trial.[....]

    [....] One courtroom and one public have treated Martin and Zimmerman’s friends quite differently. And while the trial is clearly about the killing of Trayvon Martin, it is also profoundly about race, and about the way the public affords some privileges to some people, at the cost of detriment to others.

    Read more: http://www.thenation.com/blog/175097/tale-two-best-friends

    H/T Aura Bogado

  • creolechild

    Unfortunately, for the time being this service is only provided to the residents of Washington D. C.! :(

    Ice cream delivery via bike means your summer just got better

    Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a monthly ice cream “subscription” delivered to your home via bicycle. Starting today, Ice Cream Jubilee will offer one-month ($25) or two-month ($50) subscriptions with four half-pints of different flavors delivered each month.

    The July flavors include chocolate five spice, blueberry pie, gin and tonic sorbet, and Thai iced tea — with ice cream made from Maryland cream. The company is working with bike courier service Urban Delivery to bring the product to customers’ doors.[....]

    Read more: http://grist.org/list/ice-cream-delivery-via-bike-means-your-summer-just-got-better/

    H/T Holly Richmond

    • Alma98

      A half pint would do nothing for me I’d rather spend the money at the store myself.

  • GreenLadyHere

    POU FAM♥—-UPDATE: –”Dear MADIBA”♥ – –
    Again, because of the –CONFLICTS – - -I’ll just brang this: –

    — -JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela is being kept alive by a breathing machine and faces “impending death,” court documents show. [by Jason Straziuso, Associated Press July 5, 2013 at 12:37 AM] — -
    —Soo —with a HEAVY heart — we WATCH annnnd WAIT. . .

    B BLESSED with COMFORTING REST –Dear “MADIBA”.

    Prayers of COMFORT 2 the FAMILY/COUNTRY/WORLD. AMEN.

  • lamh36

    Welp, after 7 months, I am finally a LEGAL driver in Louisiana…lol. License…check, registration…check, Louisiana title…check, Louisiana State Car Inspection…check!

    • GreenLadyHere

      LOL —lamh36. ***BIG – –CONGRATULATORY –HUG*** -

      — -–Sooo PROUD of U. :>)-- – –Lookout –LA! :>)

      Good 2 C U lam36. —Have a good day! :>)

    • TyrenM

      Just in time for your holiday guests lol. Have fun.

  • creolechild

    Victory for Woman Whose Newborn Baby Was Taken Away After Poppyseed Bagel Caused Positive Drug Test

    A Pennsylvania woman whose newborn baby was taken away after she tested positive for opiates (thanks to eating a poppy-seed bagel) has won a victory in court. Represented by the ACLU, Elizabeth Mort won $143,500 from Lawrence County’s child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital.Mort says that, in October 2010, the day after she took her baby daughter home from the hospital, cops and social workers showed up at her home and snatched her newborn away. Mort had eaten a poppy-seed bagel shortly after arriving at the hospital where she gave birth, causing the positive drug test that separated a new mother from her infant for five days before authorities decided there was not enough evidence to hold the child.[....]

    Adding to the injustice, not all women are equally subjected to the
    possibility that they may have their newborn baby removed from their custody. Mothers and infants are drug-tested at birth at the discretion of the hospital in which they deliver, but the hospitals that run these tests tend to be public facilities in low-income areas. Many women are not even aware that they have been subjected to these tests. Unsurprisingly, a recent study found that, even after controlling for other factors like health insurance, “black women and their newborns were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for illicit drugs as non-black women.”[....]

    Read more: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/new-mother-who-failed-drug-test-due-poppy-seed-bagel-gets-baby-back

    H/T Kristen Gwynne

  • creolechild

    Tracking Snowden: Chartered Russian jet lands in Iceland early this morning – Posted on June 27, 2013

    [....] Could Wikileaks be running the PR smoke and mirrors cover for their cyber-hero Snowden, a potentially asset and golden goose for the organisation? Could all of the press flares be misdirection by Wikileaks in order to conceal his flight to Iceland? Wikileaks have already let slip in public late last week on June 20th that chartered private jets were paid for and ready on standby to transport Snowden to Iceland. Then, only two days ago, Wikileaks appears to have thrown a screen over their private chartered jets claim as their spokesman Olafur Sigurvinsson did a U-turn by announcing that the jets ‘have been canceled:[....]

    [....] 21st Century Wire already indicated two days ago that Snowden’s Plan A has always been Iceland, so it’s possible that this mystery jet which has landed in Reykjavík early this morning, might have well have been ferrying the NSA whistleblower extraordinaire to his new Wiki-bunker in Iceland.

    Read more: http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/06/27/tracking-snowden-russian-jet-landed-in-iceland-early-this-morning/

    H/T 21Wire

    • http://oldhollywood.net/ woody45

      Doesn’t Iceland have to give its okay first? I haven’t heard anything to that effect.

      • creolechild

        Iceland is the home base of Wikileaks. So, it may be possible that he’s there in advance of receiving official permission with their assistance. Remember that in most countries you have to be physically present in order to apply for asylum and Snowden hasn’t been seen recently. So, I think the premise offered in the article is as good as any of the others.

  • Miranda

    que GOP and media fake outrage!

    Obama hits the links with old friends
    By Daniel Strauss - 07/05/13 10:12 AM ET

    President Obama is celebrating the July 4th holiday with a round of golf.

    The president was seen in a white polo shirt, shoes and sandals early Friday morning at Joint Base Andrews, where he was hitting the links with old friends Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker, according to a pool report.

    Later Friday, the president is scheduled to fly to Camp David for the weekend.

    On Thursday, the president and first lady Michelle Obama celebrated Independence Day with a barbecue at the White House where the guests included military personnel and their families.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/309321-president-obama-hit-the-links-on-friday#ixzz2YBXyIzUH

    • conlakappa

      Shoes and sandals–that must have been quite a spectacle! But, yep, how dare he golf when drones, Gitmo, sequester, etc.!!!!

    • BarbinAtlSouth

      I hope they have a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend.

      They’ve been very busy!

  • Miranda

    Unemployment Rate For Post-9/11 Veterans Falls To Lowest Level In Years
    By Adam Peck on Jul 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

    While the unemployment rate for all veterans fell below the national unemployment rate months ago, one group of veterans — those who have served since September 11, 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan — continued to lag behind as the rest of the job market recovered.

    But in the last few months, the unemployment rate for so-called Gulf War II era veterans —defined by the BLS as those who served in the Armed Forces sometime since September 2001 and have since returned to civilian life — has steadily declined, even eventually dipping below the national unemployment rate for the first time since February 2012.

    more here: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/05/2258701/lowest-veteran-unemployment/

  • GreenLadyHere

    - – -GOOD MORNTIN’ SEPIA♥/POU FAM♥ —- ***BIG HUG** :>) – -WHAT a BRAVE HERO! –Soo EXCITING!!.:>) – -
    THANK U Sepia♥ :>) –Have so ENJOYED THIS SERIES. :>)

    –☻-A BRAVE -HERO: – -
    — — –☺ The images of Robert Smalls along with the Planter made front page news around the world. –…a slave has brought away under the very guns of the enemy, where no fleet has dared to venture, a prize whose possessions a commodore thinks worthy to be announced in a special dispatch.”- –AMAZING!! — -:>)

    — – - – ☺FOUND a VIDEO About THIS HERO!! :>)– –

    – - -ENJOY YOUR TREAT♥ –B BLESSED 2-DAY. :>) —

  • Miranda

    Keith Boykin ‏@keithboykin25s
    Dr. Bao and Don West are ready to fight.

    ————————–

    So is the coroner not having it with Zimmerman’s defense team either like Dr. Rao?

    • gn

      @NatJackEsq

      Remember (like #RachelJeantel) Dr. Bao has a deposition history with Don West which may explain his guarded demeanor.

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      I love Black Twitter -> #BaoDown

      • gn

        Court’s recessed for lunch, but looks like this is going to get serious:

        @MichaelSkolnik
        As they were reviewing them, Mark O’Mara was laughing at something he was reading and Dr. Bao says “Is there something funny there?” #Tense

        Notes describing a child who died painfully. There’s not a damn thing funny about that.

        • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

          YES! I heard that! I was wondering why Dr. Bao said that. Wow, just wow! *smh*

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Dayum! Prince don’t play!

    EVERLASTING NOW

    It’s no sweat for Prince to play two sets a night, as he does this
    evening at the 1,700-seat City National Grove of Anaheim California. He
    tells me that if anything he’s more energized after the second show, not
    less. Both shows stretch to a delicious two hours, as the crowd, in
    blowouts and Vegas-style cocktail dresses (it’s worth dressing up for
    Prince, even in California), screams and sings along with glee. The only
    tense moment comes when we file into the theater and a security guard
    says, “No cameras, no cellphones—don’t even take them out of your
    pocket. Tonight, we’re not asking, we’re just escorting.” I ask her what
    that means. “If we see you with your phone out, we’re not going to ask
    what you’re doing—you’re just gone.”

    …I ask how tech-averse he really is; does he have an iPhone? “Are you
    serious?” he says. “Hell, no.” He mimics a high-voiced woman. “Where is my phone? Can you call my phone? Oh, I can’t fnd it.” He talks about
    people who come to his concerts all the time, akin to the Deadheads.
    “People come to see us fifty times. Well, that’s not just going to see a
    concert—that’s some other mess going on. This music changes you. These people are not being satisfed elsewhere by musicians, you feel what I’m saying? It’s no disrespect to anyone else, because we’re not checking for them. But we don’t lip synch. We ain’t got time for it. Ain’t no
    tape up there.”

    MORE: http://www.vmagazine.com/site/content/1262/everlasting-now

  • creolechild

    The Case For An $11 Minimum Wage

    In 1968, minimum wage was $10.71. Since then, it has decreased by 32 percent, resulting in millions of Americans working full-time hours and yet being unable to feed their families without assistance. Escaping poverty became, and is, a struggle. Of course, that isn’t true — the minimum wage in 1968 wasn’t $10.71. It was $1.60. However, $1.60 doesn’t have as much buying power as it used to, and when adjusted for inflation (as of today, June 29, 2013), that number is $10.71.[....]

    Minimum wage was designed to increase with inflation. It has not done so. Note that minimum wage follows inflation, not the other way around. Even if businesses were impacted and needed to raise prices (you’ll see below that businesses are not adversely affected by a minimum wage increase), the people making more money would need less government aid —if they can’t make enough money to live, the community will pay for it one way or another.

    Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/29/the-case-for-an-11-minimum-wage/

    H/T Justin Acuff

    • Aquagranny911

      I had to do some thinking back but in 1968 or so, I believe that I was making just under $400 per month at my job (on salary) I was able to live decent, help out my family & even save a bit.

      Things sort of when down hill from there.

  • GreenLadyHere

    –POU FAM♥ – —LOL – —Dr. BAO —is KICKING BUTT!! –HAH!
    THAT –defense attorney —HAS NO DEFENSE AGAINST HIM! LOL—-A Beautiful sight!! :>)

  • isonprize

    I’m late to the party, but here’s video of Keb’ Mo’ at the White House (with an intro by PBO) playing and singing a bottle-neck guitar blues version of “America, the Beautiful”

    ‘this could take awhile…’

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Can someone confirm this because I don’t trust this reporter:

    Because he cannot remember performing this autopsy. He was reading from his notes on that then tried to keep attys from looking at them….— Rene Stutzman (@renestutzman) July 5, 2013

    • gn

      True. Spun in a silly fashion, but it’s accurate.

      eta: Looks like what’s gong on is that Dr. Bao has a genuine and personal contempt for Don West due to West’s behavior during a previous deposition. Similar to Rachel Jeantel, West behaves like a witness is stupid when that witness’ testimony devastates the defense.

      • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

        It seems like Dr. Bao does NOT trust West and THAT’S why he doesn’t want him to see his notes.

        • gn

          Absolutely without a doubt; he didn’t want his notes to leave his eyesight because of Don West’s contemptible behavior. These people aren’t about to roll over Dr. Bao, guaranteed.

    • Aquagranny911

      Bite the cactus Stutsbutt! Dr Bao has performed hundreds of autopsies since Feb 27th 2012 & West is a racist goatfigging scumsucker which is why he is doing the cross on most POC.

      Also, Stutsbutt, your own racist ass is showing…just saying…

      • gn

        Yup, defense and their media apologists can’t stand Dr. Bao because similarly to Rachel Jeantel: (a) he’s smarter than defense counsel; (b) he’s of color; (c) his testimony decimates Zimmerman’s claims of what happened. For example, Dr. Bao notes that the type of injury which was inflicted on Trayvon meant that the child was unable to move after being shot. Directly contradicts the lying, depraved coward who claims that Trayvon sat up and said “you got me.” Dr. Bao is proving that this could not possibly have taken place. That’s why they hate Dr. Bao.

      • qosine

        Could West be more condescending?

        • gn

          This is a pattern with defense counsel: when they encounter a strong-willed witness who is devastating to the defense, they act like the witness is stupid.

          • Aquagranny911

            Exactly! I think Dr Bao really wants to give his opinion about how Trayvon suffered in the minutes before he died and defense will not allow that.

            West is doing everything he can to denigrate & derail this witness to discredit his testimony.

            Dr Bao is giving more witness to Z’s lies & I don’t think he will be moved by West’s caca.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia – - -GR8 ECONOMIC NEWS!! —THANKS 2 some of the efforts–OUR BELOVED FIRST♥ annd 2nd♥ LADIES! —Woo! Hoo! :>)

    —-Unemployment Rate For Post-9/11 Veterans Falls To Lowest Level In Years- – -

    — -While the unemployment rate for all veterans fell below the national unemployment rate months ago, one group of veterans — those who have served since September 11, 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan — continued to lag behind as the rest of the job market recovered.
    But in the last few months, the unemployment rate for so-called Gulf War II era veterans — defined by the BLS as those who served in the Armed Forces sometime since September 2001 and have since returned to civilian life — has steadily declined, even eventually dipping below the national unemployment rate for the first time since February 2012.

    —-SNIP – - -
    June also marks the fifth consecutive month in which the unemployment rate for new veterans has fallen.

    The unemployment rate for veterans overall still remains lower than the national average, at just 6.3 percent.
    THERE IS MORE.

    —-THANK U: –MR. PRESIDENT–COALITION of COMPANIES who GAVE —JOBS!! —-JOBS! — – -JOBS!!-!! — Woo! Hoo! :>)

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Why, Black Twitter? WHY???

    #DrBaosNotes

    • Miranda

      Christina ‏@christinaeic24m
      #drbaosnotes got the panther’s ten point plan in the margins

      James Earl Bones ‏@PhatKingCold30m
      Fuck Zimmerman #drbaosnotes

      adept2u ‏@adept2u9m
      #DrBaosNotes Play plenty of Ice Cube on way to testimony.

      ShellySaysSo.com ‏@MissShellySays10m
      “You is kind. You is smart. You is important” #drbaosnotes

  • creolechild

    How the Koch brothers screwed over the climate even more than you know

    [....] In its multi-part report, “The Koch Club,” written by Lewis, Eric Holmberg, Alexia Campbell, and Lydia Beyoud, the Workshop found that between 2007 and 2011 the Kochs donated $41.2 million to ninety tax-exempt organizations promoting the ultra-libertarian policies that the brothers favor—policies that are often highly advantageous to their corporate interests. In addition, during this same period they gave $30.5 million to two hundred and twenty-one colleges and universities, often to fund academic programs
    advocating their worldview. Among the positions embraced by the Kochs are fewer government regulations on business, lower taxes, and skepticism about the causes and impact of climate change.

    The study recounts that the Kochs have influenced the congressional climate-change debate in other ways, too, which include funding an array of nonprofit groups whose experts have testified in Congress questioning the cause, the severity, and the necessity of, acting on climate change.[....]

    Read more: http://grist.org/news/how-the-koch-brothers-screwed-over-the-climate-even-more-than-you-know/

    H/T John Upton

    • qosine

      Staggering

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia — -YESTERDAY –@ the WHITE HOUSE: —:>)

    —–The President Delivers Remarks at Independence Day Celebration- -:>)

    —– –THEY looked sooo RELAXED annnd soo APPRECIATIVE 2 the MILITARY/FAMILIES. :>) – –BLESS THEM♥. :>)

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    TOO-SHAY!

    How is ousting a democratically elected leader a win for democracy?— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) July 5, 2013

    @KatrinaNation If there had been a military coup against Hiter in 1933 it would have been bad?— rootless (@root_e) July 5, 2013

  • creolechild

    Cat and Dolphins playing together

    H/T n24our

    • qosine

      I love this, creolechild.

    • Aquagranny911

      Great share! I wonder what the cat is thinking? The Dolphins may be saying:

      “Come right on in the water’s fine!”

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia —-From EGYPT: —”DAY of REJECTION” — SHOTS fired — -

    – - -AJ-LIVE STREAMING- -

  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

  • BarbinAtlSouth

    Hey POU – Happy Friday!

    Tried to watch the trial and I just can’t.