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ID: 153984
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: Loose Talk of Nuclear War
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/153984-nuke-cloud-large.png" alt="153984-nuke-cloud-large.png"></p><p><i>Murray Polner is the author of </i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/No-victory-parades-Vietnam-veteran/dp/0030860113"><i>No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran</i></a><i>,</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Branch-Rickey-Biography-Murray-Polner/dp/0786426438/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"><i> Branch Rickey: A Biography,</i></a><i>&nbsp;and co-editor of&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/We-Who-Dared-Say-War/dp/1568583850"><i>We Who Dared Say No To War</i></a><i>.</i></p><p>"So that you and your children will live." &nbsp;–&nbsp; Nuclear Freeze movement poster 1980s</p> <p>In October 1962 a friend and I stood silently near the UN's Isaiah Wall anxiously awaiting news of the Russian ships loaded with nukes heading for Castro's Cuba.</p> <p>Two decades later we were still at it, our Cold War administrations and foreign policy elites urging us to prepare for a possible Russian nuclear attack. The US Postal Service faithfully complied when it announced plans to issue emergency change-of-address cards to its patrons, which presumably could prove useful after our power grids were destroyed by nuclear bombs along with our homes, neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, water and food suppliers-- all turned to ashes. &nbsp;</p> <p>The US National Security, Presidential Review memorandum #19, June 1977, estimated to a distracted majority of Americans that 140,000,000 people would die if the US and Russia chose to fight it out with nukes. My hunch is that somewhere today in the bowels of an obscure federal agency or think tank study estimates of deaths are more up to date and even greater in number, especially in East Asia and the Middle East. I imagine that such revised guesstimates now take into account the misery and unrelieved suffering that will follow nuclear war with men, women and children screaming to be killed to relieve their suffering, a snapshot of civilizations approaching their end.</p> <p>We also told school kids to hide under their desks after the sirens went off and that apartment houses need to set aside their basements as bomb shelters We were reassured by a State Department consultant's article in 1980 in the journal Foreign Policy that a nuclear war could only kill about 20 million people, "a level compatible with survival and recovery."And in 1982, Thomas K. Jones, Deputy Under Secretary for Strategic Nuclear Forces, told Robert Scheer of the <i>LA Times</i> we could survive a nuclear attack if we dug a hole and covered it with enough dirt. Meanwhile, the Express in Great Britain recently published an article, "How to survive a nuclear attack? What to do when a nuclear missile strikes"&nbsp;– yet another hawkish delusion by our overseas friends.</p> <p>But more sophisticated and sure-fire techniques are apparently still needed. The <i>New Yorker</i> ran a piece about how some of our ultra-rich are building what they hope will be nuke-resistant homes very very far from urban enemy targets. Their assumption seems to be that after LA, Seattle, Miami. Washington, Chicago and New York lay in ruins they will still be alive, their kids still catching school buses and their commuter trains on time &nbsp;– &nbsp;a living testimony to Trump's fictional Great America.</p> <p>And so our never-ending wars continue &nbsp;– &nbsp;years after year, decade after decade. I've been absorbed by the Ken Burns-Lynn Novack epic TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," which details &nbsp;our criminal adventure against South East Asians and the American cannon fodder about whom I wrote in 1971 in <i>No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran</i>:</p> <p>"Never before in American history have as many loyal and brave young men been as shabbily treated by the government that sent them to war, never before have so many of &nbsp;them questioned as much... the essential rightness of what they were forced to do."&nbsp;</p> <p>And now it's time for Kim Jong-un and his feral twin Donald Trump, two alleged tough guys threatening millions of us, sounding much like end-times lunacy. Our doves and middle of the roaders are silent, forgetting that "Silence" as &nbsp;Dr. King rightly warned us decades ago, "was betrayal." </p> <p>Watching the Burns-Novack film, I think of Bao Ninh, once a 17 year old North Vietnamese combat soldier and later novelist (<i>The Sorrows of War</i>) who says of the killing he experienced:&nbsp; "Only a stone would not be terrified"&nbsp;– &nbsp;though the majority of Americans, non-combatants, supported the war to the very end while allowing other parents' sons and daughters to be sacrificed for a cause few appreciated or understood.</p> <p>&nbsp;Among the few US survivors of Vietnam's &nbsp;Hill 825, some soldier&nbsp; in the documentary eerily echoes&nbsp; the remaining troops at WWI's &nbsp;bloody Battle of the Somme when so many on both sides died for a few pieces of worthless land, saying, "we accomplished nothing," even while a majority of unquestioning and patriotic Americans circled the wagons and believed what their lying leaders told them.</p> <p>In the film LBJ listened to General Westmoreland's endless requests for more and more troops, including a growing numbers of draftees, and always seemed to ask, before giving way, "Where does it all end?" In defeat, Under Secretary of State George Ball once prophetically answered years earlier to LBJ and &nbsp;a deaf foreign policy elite audience eager to save Southeast Asia from communism. </p> <p>Back in October 1962 my friend and I stood at the Isaiah Wall, obviously relieved when a radio report &nbsp;announced that the Russian ships had turned back, a diplomatic solution apparently reached. Still, it left us with no real protection against a future nuclear war save our national fantasy of being indestructible. As we left, I turned to my friend and recited Isaiah's subversive aphorism about beating swords into plowshares.&nbsp;</p>
ID: 153985
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: The Health of the Senate
Source:
Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The Senate is about to vote on legislation affecting the health and welfare of millions of American families. Even the disastrous hurricanes, which changed the lives of so many people, won’t have the broad impact of the vote to replace the Affordable Care Act with the latest version of Republican health care thinking.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The outcome is uncertain. This new law could stand or fall by one vote. It’s a Republican-only bill, designed without public hearings or Democratic input, and they can spare at most 2 “no” votes. So all the attention is on the possible “no” Senators. What is swaying them one way or the other?</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">There’s no reason to mention their names. They have gotten enough attention to their political and moral agonies. What about the 50 or 49 other Republican Senators who are all in?</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Barely anyone in America likes this legislation outside of Republican politicians. For most of its life, a </span><a href="http://www.kff.org/slideshow/us-public-opinion-on-health-care-reform-2017/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">majority of Americans</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> have expressed opposition to “Obamacare”. Its approval rating has been below 40% since 2011, the year after it passed. But in March, </span><a href="https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/22/15021762/gop-health-care-polling"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">approval reached 49%,</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> finally beating out disapproval. At that time, a majority of Republican respondents approved of its major provisions and favored spending more money on health care.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">In June, many polls showed that Americans rejected the “replace and repeal” version passed by the House, called the American Health Care Act (ACHA), by a </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/06/30/fresh-polls-find-republicans-health-care-proposal-is-still-a-clunker/?utm_term=.64222eb45dfa"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">more than 2-1</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> margin. Only about one third of Republican voters approved.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Another detailed survey, which informed respondents about current and proposed laws, found that one quarter of Republican adults found the Republican health care bill “</span><a href="http://www.vop.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Healthcare_Quaire.pdf"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">unacceptable</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">”. Combined with overwhelming Democratic and Independent rejection of the legislation, a majority of voters even in the most Republican districts said “unacceptable”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">In July, another poll found that people </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/16/National-Politics/Polling/question_18946.xml?uuid=a-FkemnbEeeUq1sfD_RZ3w"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">preferred Obamacare</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> to the Republican alternative 2 to 1. Nearly three times as many people preferred that our government “provide coverage for low-income Americans” rather than “cut taxes”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">More directly personal, a poll found that </span><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-flake-approval-rating-senate-health-care-bill-vote-2017-8"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">more than half</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> of Arizona voters were less likely to vote for Republican Sen. Jeff Flake because of his support for various Republican plans. A majority approved of the opposition to Republican health care by the other Senator from Arizona, John McCain.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The only poll thus far about public reaction to the latest version, the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, shows </span><a href="https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/22/16349470/polling-graham-cassidy-not-good"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">less than a quarter</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> of Americans like it. Another way of putting that is that ordinary voters </span><a href="http://www.savemycare.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/nationalresults.pdf"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">reject it by 2 - 1</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">, with another quarter still unsure. Big majorities understood exactly what Graham-Cassidy would do: costs for most people would rise; fewer people would be covered; protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be scaled back. By 3 - 1, people wanted Congress at least to wait for a detailed analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. By an amazing 5 - 1 margin, Americans agreed to two principles: “no one should be denied lifesaving healthcare coverage for themselves or their families because they can't afford to pay,” and “changes to the health care law should be bipartisan and should include hearings that take into account the views of experts, patients, and providers like doctors.” Even most Trump voters agreed with those ideas.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The unanimous voices of the people who take care of our health have consistently rejected the Republican bills. In </span><a href="http://www.npr.org/2017/03/09/519450642/medical-hospital-groups-oppose-gop-health-care-plan"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">March</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association scorned the AHCA. In </span><a href="http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/9-organizations-react-to-senate-gop-healthcare-bill.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">June</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, the AMA, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Federation of American Hospitals opposed the Senate bill that later died. Now all major </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/09/do-no-harm/540333/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">organizations of doctors</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">,the whole </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/us/politics/insurers-oppose-obamacare-repeal.html?_r=0"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">health insurance industry</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, plus </span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/health-care-system-hates-new-obamacare-repeal-bill_us_59c2e7c7e4b06f93538c4d0a"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">organizations of hospitals</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, the Catholic Health Association, the AARP, and dozens of other organizations oppose Graham-Cassidy.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The health care numbers can be confusing, especially when each side chooses the numbers they talk about. So let’s get specific about my demographic, old people. The CBO explained in May how the AHCA would affect people over 64 who earn </span><a href="http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2017/jun/02/chris-king/does-ahca-increase-health-care-premiums-low-income/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">$26,500 a year</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> in 2026. That’s the median income of seniors. Instead of paying $1700 a year in insurance premiums under current law, premiums would rise to </span><a href="http://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/hr1628aspassed.pdf"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">over $13,500</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, more than half their income. For a person with an income of $68,000, the numbers are very different: premiums fall from $5100 to under $2000 for a 21-year-old; from $6500 to under $3000 for a 40-year old; and remain about the same for a 64-year-old. Unless you are well off, you would be deeply hurt.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Why don’t most Republicans in Congress worry about voting for such an unpopular policy? It’s not voters who matter, but donors. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado told his Republican colleagues, “</span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/politics/republican-donors-obamacare-repeal.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Donors are furious</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">. We haven’t kept our promise.” Big Republican donors are angry that the Republican majorities have accomplished little. Republican politicians are worried about money they could raise for the 2018 elections, not about depriving millions of their health care. Their donors want to slash Medicaid, so that’s what they’ll vote for. Republican senators apparently </span><a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/09/only-right-wing-billionaires-like-the-latest-trumpcare-bill.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">don’t even know in detail</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> what their bill contains.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The devil is in the details. Will the billionaires win, while the rest of us lose?</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Springbrook WI</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, September 26, 2017</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> 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ID: 153986
Uid: 78629
Author: 46
Category: 0
Title: Now is Not the Time to Reduce America's Havana Embassy
Source:
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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/153986-cuba.png"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i>Joseph Gonzalez is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina<o:p></o:p></i></p><p class="MsoNormal">On Friday, the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/29/politics/us-cuba-sonic-attacks-pulls-out-diplomats/index.html">U.S. State Department announced a 60% reduction in the staff of the U.S. Embassy</a>.&nbsp; At the same time, the Trump administration also warned Americans against traveling to Cuba.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">The reason?&nbsp; Officially, the State Department is concerned for the welfare of embassy employees and their dependents. According to U.S. officials, twenty-one diplomats and family members have experienced “sonic attacks” during the last year in their homes.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">These attacks have provoked a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and hearing loss in their victims. Some </span><a href="http://nypost.com/2017/09/14/mystery-of-health-attacks-on-us-diplomats-in-cuba-deepens/"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">Canadian diplomats and their families also reported the same symptoms.</span></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">Initially, the Trump administration responded by expelling two Cuban diplomats, </span><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-17/urgent-top-diplomat-says-closing-us-embassy-in-cuba-under-review"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">while publicly speculating about closing the embassy</span></a><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">. Though the embassy remains open for now, the reduction will impair the ability of staff to assist both Americans in Cuba and Cubans wanting to come to the United States.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">But what else could the administration have done?</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp; </span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Shouldn’t the U.S. government protect its diplomats and citizens from attacks that threaten their health?</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Absolutely.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp; </span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">At the same time, we must ask ourselves: Is reducing the size and capacity of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, which in turn reduces travel and cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, in the best interest of the United States and Cuba?</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">The answer is no.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">In fact, these measures appear to be one more step in the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse the reforms of the Obama administration.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE">In June </span>President Trump <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article156561089.html">announced new travel restrictions</a> attempting to sharply decrease the number of Americans going to Cuba. <span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE"><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/16/politics/trump-cuba-policy/index.html">“The previous administration's easing of restrictions of travel and trade does not help the Cuban people,” said President Trump in a speech in Miami in June, “They only enrich the Cuban regime."<o:p></o:p></a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">Any sustained improvement of relations, warned the President, required the Cubans to institute more democratic reforms. More than </span><a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article149813304.html"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">600,000 Americans</span></a><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;"> visited Cuba during 2016</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Clearly, President Trump wishes to punish the Cuban government. But it is not clear that the Cuban government played any role in these attacks.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">Publicly, </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/09/cuba-embassy/541548/"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">the Cuban government has denied any responsibility for the attack</span></a><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">. What is more, rather than escalate the confrontation, the Cuban government has responded with restraint, even allowing the </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/us/politics/us-embassy-cuba-attacks.html?mcubz=1"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">U.S. to bring the FBI to Havana to investigate</span></a><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Why the restraint? Quite simply, the Cuban government has no incentive to worsen relations with the Trump Administration, much less drive Americans away from Cuba.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">The Cuban government needs Americans to come to Cuba. The government depends on tourists to populate not only hotels and tour buses, most of them state owned, but also the private houses and private restaurants that now populate every city and town.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Attacks on U.S. diplomats and their families will only make tourists less likely, and less able, to come. It will also make removing the embargo and other travel restrictions impossible.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp; </span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4923458/US-doesn-t-believe-Cuba-mysterious-sonic-attacks.html"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">So, who is to blame for these attacks</span></a><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">? Speculation runs from rogue elements of Cuban intelligence services, answerable to hardliners who oppose a rapprochement with the U.S., to foreign powers now at odds with Washington. It bears noting that both Russia and North Korea have embassies in Havana.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">And it may also be true that President Trump and his State Department are using these attacks to further curtail American travel to Cuba.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE">The embargo and travel restrictions, after all, </span><a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/poll-should-us-end-cuba-embargo-221033"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; background:#FEFEFE">are not popular with Americans</span></a><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE">. But sonic attacks that provoke headaches and other health problems? &nbsp;Who wants those? <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">No one . .</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp; </span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">. and I wonder if that is what the Trump Administration wants. Are they betting that threats of sonic attacks will deter Americans in ways legal threats will not?</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp; </span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Not to mention a half-staffed embassy unable to help American travelers in need.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Call me cynical, but I am guessing the answer is yes.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">But now is not the time to curtail contact between Americans and Cubans.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Now is the time for increased travel and trade with Cuba . . . if, that is, you truly care about promoting the political and economic changes now underway in Cuba.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">But I am guessing that President Trump cares more about votes from Cuban-Americans in Miami than the welfare of Cubans in Havana.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">Again, call me cynical.</span><span style="color: rgb(38, 38, 38); background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254);">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><br></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE">In my next blog post, I will discuss how a new class of entrepreneurs, reliant on tourist dollars, is thriving in Cuba.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color:#262626;background:#FEFEFE"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:20.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <!--EndFragment-->
ID: 153987
Uid: 78565
Author: 38
Category: 0
Title: Country Guitarist Changes His Mind on Gun Control after Vegas: Why That's Not Surprising.
Source:
Body: <div style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/153987-caleb.png"></div><p><i>Caleb Keeter is a member of the country group that was performing on stage the night a shooter began&nbsp;spraying the area with bullets fired from guns equipped to work like a machine gun. &nbsp;</i><i>In the hours after the shooting Keeter&nbsp;took to Twitter to explain that he had changed his mind about gun control. Now he supports it. &nbsp;This blog post, by Rick Shenkman, the editor of HNN, explains why we shouldn't be surprised by Keeter's change of heart. &nbsp;The&nbsp;article&nbsp;is drawn from Shenkman's book, &nbsp;</i><a href="http://stoneagebrain.com" target="_hplink">Political Animals:&nbsp; How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics&nbsp;</a><i>(Basic Books, January 2016).</i></p><p> We believe human beings are naturally empathic. We take pride in our capacity for empathy. It’s what keeps us human. But our capacity for empathy is limited. Most of the time empathy only works under four restricted circumstances:</p><p> 1. When a story tugs at our heart. <br> 2. When we are face-to-face with someone in pain or jeopardy. <br> 3. When somebody is going through something we ourselves have experienced. <br> 4. When we identify with a person in pain, either because we know them or their group, or we are members of the same group. </p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Political-Animals-Stone-Age-Brain-Politics/dp/0465033008/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 "><img src="/sites/default/files/160130-PA-shenkman-sm.png" "="" style="float:left;margin:15px;"></a> We have the bomber pilot’s problem. We don’t feel anything for the victims. We need to see people face-to-face for our emotional system to become fully engaged. In experiments in the lab social scientists have found that people are far more generous when playing the Dictator Game, in which an individual splits a pot of money with another player, when they can see the other player than when they cannot.</p><p>We think we can count on our own empathy to provide us with the necessary warmth and humanity to address issues we face as citizens in a democracy. But we can’t. Our inability to do so skews public debates. It gives the advantage to the side wanting to take action to achieve a goal that inconveniences, harms, or kills people we don’t know. Once we settle on a goal, believe it’s just, and become convinced that we can get results, there’s nothing that inclines us to pause and consider the effect our efforts are having on the victims, who remain largely invisible to us.</p><p>This pattern can be seen in lots of public policy debates. When Republicans in 2013 moved to drastically cut food stamps, they focused on the cost of the program. For them, it was a dollars and cents issue. The federal government is going broke, they said. Therefore, we need to make cuts somewhere, and this seems like a good place to start. Cut food stamps and help America! Some murmured that cutting the program would even be good for the recipients. It would strengthen their backbone. But the recipients were never more than an abstraction. They weren’t real human beings. They were a foil, used to build support for the cuts by appealing to voters’ resentment at people who are supposedly lazy cheats.</p><p>On conservative talk radio shows the hosts lambasted the recipients for using food stamps to buy everything from organically raised meat to wild salmon. One Texas state senator featured in a clip on The Daily Show said flatly that food stamps should only be permitted for the purchase of essentials like ordinary meat and &nbsp;our.</p><p>In a debate like this where the humanity of the people who will be most affected by our actions is not acknowledged, can a fair debate be said to have taken place? That doesn’t seem likely. How can you debate a public policy and not take the measure of its impact on the human beings who are most affected? You can’t. But that is how our debates go for the most part.</p><p>Not even factual evidence that our efforts are failing stops us. We fought the drug war for decades. Failure was obvious. But did we stop? No. Prisons filled up during the drug war. The United States’ incarcerated population doubled over a few short years to two million—the highest of any country in the entire world. And still people continued taking drugs. Pleas to change the law and show empathy for drug offenders went nowhere. Almost certainly, voters would have felt differently about the drug war if they them- selves or someone they knew had ever been sent to prison for drug use. That would have made the policy personal. But how often do we have personal contact with the people policies directly affect? Not very often at all.</p><p>And when we do? We see things differently.<br></p>
ID: 153988
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Teen Killer Who Radicalized the NRA
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Harlon Carter, “Mr. NRA,” the man who turned America’s national rifle club into its formidable gun lobby, knew guns could kill people—including the 15-year-old Mexican kid he blew away with a shotgun when he was 17.&nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Believe it or not, the National Rifle Association began in 1871 committed to “Firearms Safety Education, Marksmanship Training, Shooting for Recreation”—according to the sign displayed for years at its national headquarters. Its famous&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856_Page2.html#ixzz4ufi3I5F6" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">lobby sign</a>&nbsp;with the edited version of the militia-less Second Amendment—“… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”—only came a century later.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Founded by two Civil War veterans embarrassed by Northern soldiers’ inferior marksmanship, the NRA helped pass America’s first gun control laws in the 1930s. Harlon Carter, a tough, bullet-headed conservative, hijacked this nationwide sporting club in 1977 with convention floor machinations immortalized as The Cincinnati Revolt...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-teen-killer-who-radicalized-the-nra">Read whole article on the Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 153989
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Casting Couch Perverts Who Peddled Fairy Tales
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The Casting Couch is as old as Hollywood and as inescapable as bad reviews.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Journalists keep blaming many different initiators of this demeaning show business “audition.” Suspects include<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=UaTslCOyLz0C&amp;pg=PA294&amp;lpg=PA294&amp;dq=kevin+starr+casting+couch&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=5_Otu8SkK9&amp;sig=6CVTHFHQrYBJdhoInmCM_03CRT8&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjK7KfW8eXWAhWGKsAKHYg5ChUQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&amp;q=kevin%2520starr%2520casting%25" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Mack Sennett</a>&nbsp;of the Keystone Comedies;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/18/nnp/berg-goldwyn.html" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Samuel Goldwyn</a>, the G in MGM;<a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/gwyneth-paltrow-charlize-theron-and-more-casting-couch-horror-stories" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Louis B. Mayer</a>, the second M in MGM;<a href="http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/202526/Hollywood-s-dirty-little-secret" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Howard Hughes</a>&nbsp;the studio head, aviator and germaphobic billionaire;<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=hYAVCgAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PA7&amp;lpg=PA7&amp;dq=casting+couch+jack+warner&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=URiZW8Jwjt&amp;sig=I7ET1TOeYtFSCG0APA8K-1eNvEc&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjF_cbBt-bWAhVHJcAKHamqA_YQ6AEIWDAH#v=onepage&amp;q=casting%2520couch%2520jack%2520warner&amp;f=false" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">Jack Warner</a>&nbsp;of Warner Brothers; &nbsp;and Benny Thau, the MGM casting whiz whose casting couch, some say, “<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=QVs7AQAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT209&amp;lpg=PT209&amp;dq=thau+was+the+busiest+in+Hollywood&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=Hl4_J_MTap&amp;sig=kqyIYp1VxJYBmkYTzKR82o08YLY&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwji4rHqt-bWAhWLA8AKHeNSDgUQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&amp;q=thau%2520was%2520the%2520busiest%2520in%2520Hollywood&amp;f=false" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">was the busiest in Hollywood</a>.” The talent agent, Henry Willson, may have invented the gay casting couch. If victory has a thousand fathers, power and perversion do too.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">All these powerful men had many affairs with young ambitious hotties hoping to become movie stars. The most frequently mentioned of these pioneering phallocrats in the movie business, however, are<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=8MoeBgAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PA202&amp;dq=casting+couch+harry+cohn&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiI2YyWuObWAhVrJsAKHUw6DzgQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&amp;q=casting%2520couch%2520harry%2520cohn&amp;f=false" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Harry Cohn</a>&nbsp;and<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3670633/The-Napoleon-of-Sunset-Boulevard.html" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">&nbsp;Darryl Zanuck</a>. Their stories are typical – and reveal the sick mix of sex and power obscured in a haze of all-American hypocrisy that explain the rise of the entertainment industry’s perverse, pervasive rite of passage...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-casting-couch-perverts-who-peddled-fairy-tales">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 153990
Uid: 14552
Author: 13
Category: 0
Title: Life During Wartime 475
Source:
Body: <img src="http://www.joshbrownnyc.com/images/ldw475.jpg">
ID: 153991
Uid: 292
Author: 11
Category: 0
Title: Books, Blacks, and Bigots
Source:
Body: <p><i> Sociologist James W. Loewen is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Everything/dp/0743296281"> Lies My Teacher Told Me</a>.</i></p><p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; For nine years (c.1991 — 2000), Vertigo Books operated near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. It was always touch-and-go, and when the property owner raised the rent, Vertigo went — to nearby College Park, Maryland, near the University of Maryland. There it lasted <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/29/AR2009042901933_2.html">another nine years</a> before throwing in the towel to Amazon. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Vertigo was always known for hosting book-signings by progressive authors. Shortly before it moved from DC, I attended such a talk. I no longer remember the speaker, but I vividly recall the conversation I had with another patron, a white male in his 60s who sat next to me. Somehow he brought the conversation to race and declared to me that African Americans don't read books. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This claim had been made before. In fact, it used to be a cliché. In African American culture before the Civil Rights Movement, there was even a bitter joke about it, popularized no doubt by frustrated black intellectuals: "Want to keep something secret from a black man? Hide it in a book!" I googled the phrase in 2016 and got 529 hits, so the phrase lives on.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My own experience has been very different. In 1963, as an undergraduate at Carleton College in Minnesota, I spent part of my junior year "abroad" at Mississippi State University. Mississippi State was then the largest "all-white" institution of higher learning in the world outside South Africa, as some people told me with pride, others with chagrin. (I placed quotation marks around "all-white" because Chinese Mississippians could attend, as could dark-complexioned students from south India. A better term might be "non-black.") </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I enjoyed my months at Mississippi State and learned a lot, but it was very different from Carleton. One difference related to books, or, rather, their absence. My impression was, students at Mississippi State didn't read books. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I was a (budding) sociologist. We count things. So, to test my impression, I counted all the books owned by all the students in my dormitory wing. There were twelve double rooms, so I counted the books owned by 23 students. (I did not include myself.) I counted everything — pulp novels, even comic books — but not textbooks. I was interested in books bought voluntarily.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The 23 students owned 51 books. One owned 42. He was an intellectual. Another owned maybe 5. A couple of others owned one or two. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; That was it. Most of my dorm-mates had no books in their rooms and may have never owned one, other than those required for class. Compared to Carleton, a monastery of pointy-headed intellectuals, the contrast was stunning. Many Carleton students owned 51 books all by themselves, doubtless with still more at home. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; During my stay in Mississippi, for four days I became an undergraduate at another college, Tougaloo. Although more than 90 percent of its students had graduated from black public schools in Mississippi, which the white power structure deliberately kept separate and unequal, Tougaloo had a thriving intellectual subculture. Again, I counted books — all the books owned by my four roommates, excluding textbooks. (One roommate was away on exchange at Oberlin College, but his stuff was still there, so I could count his books.) The four owned 48 books among them, about a dozen each. A mode of twelve is infinitely more than a mode of zero, both in multiplication and culture. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So I knew better than to capitulate to the contention of my new acquaintance at Vertigo Books. I told him some of the foregoing, but he would not hear it. "Blacks never come in bookstores," he said. Obviously he had never been in a black bookstore. At the time, the DC area boasted three important ones. My book (with co-editor) <i>The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader,</i> premiered at one in 2010, and although only about 30 people attended the small venue, it sold about 30 of my books, including earlier titles.<a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> "I come here all the time," my antagonist finished, "and you never see a black person here." </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A few seconds later, a stunning young African American woman sat down next to him on the other side from me, accompanied by her handsome boyfriend. Both were eminently employable as models. Before I could comment, Bridget Warren, co-owner of Vertigo, began to speak, introducing that day's author. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After the talk and question period, I thought about bringing up to the man what had just happened, but I concluded that doing so would just rub it in. Besides, I imagined that his response would be to claim the couple as a unique exception that somehow "proved the rule." The problem with bigots is that they can always dismiss positive experiences with the "opposite race" as exceptions, leaving their negative generalization unscathed. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; People, especially white people, rarely generalize negatively about their <i>own</i> group, of course, because doing so would put themselves down. Moreover, they know other white people who don't conform to the generalization, so they dismiss the negative behavior as idiosyncratic. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have real data about book reading. In January 2014, the <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/01/16/a-snapshot-of-reading-in-america-in-2013/">Pew Research Center</a> asked a sample of adult Americans whether they had read a book in the past calendar year. 76 percent said yes. Interestingly, age and residence (urban/suburban/rural) made little difference. Income of course did, but even among households making less than $30,000/year, two-thirds said they had read a book. Gender mattered, as all booksellers know: 82 percent of women said yes, compared to 69 percent of men. So did going on to college, whether or not one graduated.<a href="#_ftn2">[2]</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Eighty-one percent of African Americans said yes, a difference Pew said was not statistically significant compared to 76 percent of whites. The <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/01/most-likely-person-read-book-college-educated-black-woman/357091/">difference</a> was consistent, however, across various mediums (e-books, recorded books, print).</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; These findings went viral, in the form of the generalization "the most likely person to read a book — in any format — is a <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/01/most-likely-person--read-book-college-educated-black-woman/357091">black woman who's been to college</a>." (See also, for example, Sophie McManus, "<a href="https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-washington-post/20160806/282295319584981">Diving into the Sexist, er, sexy beach read</a>," <i>Washington Post</i>, 8/6/2016.)&nbsp; In its support, I would note that <i>Essence</i> magazine, aimed at black women, prints a list of best-selling books in black America and reviews books regularly. Few magazines aimed at young white women review books. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Racial and sexual generalizations like these — even my own — set my teeth on edge. There are always social causes for these social phenomena. They do not prove anything about racial "essence." But at least this new one about black women is positive. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Let me also undo the generalization I penned earlier about Mississippi State. Five years ago, its sociology department hosted me for two days as their "Alpha Kappa Delta speaker." The intellectual subculture, which in 1963 consisted of fewer than two dozen students among 12,000, has grown immensely at MSU. It is far from dominant on campus — the "collegiate" and vocational subcultures are dominant — but neither is it dormant. Not every college needs to be alike, after all. </p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/153991-coates.png"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">This twelve-page (!) program was for Coates’s DC book launch.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; I wrote most of the foregoing more than a year ago but somehow never posted it to HNN. Last week, an event in Washington, D.C., pushed me to do so. The Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in D.C. hosted the "book launch" of Ta-Nehisi Coates's new book, <i>We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy</i>. By 5PM, when the doors were supposed to open, the line stretched from the churchyard gate to the corner and down the next block to that corner. There were three levels of admission to this paid event: Tier 1, Tier II, and "regular." Luckily I was the guest of a Tier I sponsor, Rodney Hurst, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Was-Never-About-Hotdog-Coke/dp/1595942017/ref=sr_1_1">himself an author</a> as well as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Jacksonville, FL. The large church rapidly filled to capacity; a leader exhorted us to squeeze together to accommodate more people still in line. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Hundreds of people bought books. Some came pre-signed via stickers on the inside front covers. I had never seen anything like it. Admittedly, I had never stayed up to 12:01AM for the bookstore release of the latest Harry Potter novel, but still, I have been to many book launches. To be sure, the crowd was "only" about 85 percent black, To be sure, it had become an "in" event, although Coates is no media star and does not entertain so much as educate. Talk show host Kojo Nnamdi merely conversed with him, followed by audience questions. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As an important black intellectual, Coates is hardly solitary. Among his peers are Michael Erik Dyson and Cornel West. The next generation back might feature Alice Walker and Henry Louis Gates, and before them, Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou, in a line that stretches back to W. E. B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass. American culture would be impoverished without these authors — and so many more. There has also been a long line of authors who wrote primarily for working-class African Americans — people like Langston Hughes and his "Simple Tales," Carter G. Woodson and <a href="https://asalh.org/">ASALH</a>, and Pullman porter J. A. Rogers, selling his books across the country as he rode the rails. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The baseless claim that African Americans are anti-intellectual hurts race relations, as does the assertion that "they" are <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bell-Curve-Intelligence-Stucture-Paperbacks/dp/0684824299/ref=sr_1_1">stupider than "us."</a> That's why I write, hoping that publicity about Coates's massive turnout — for a book talk! — can help put to rest both canards at once. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[1]What the paucity of African Americans in Vertigo showed was mostly residential segregation. After Vertigo moved to College Park, in majority-black Prince Georges County, MD, its customer base became blacker, even though its immediate neighborhood was still white. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[2]Pew relied on self-reported data. Reading a book is the socially approved response, so it is possible that some people said "yes" who had never opened one. It's not clear why this possibility would mess up comparisons across groups, although it might. A moment's thought will surely convince you, however, that exaggerated reading due to false reporting would probably be larger among white, female, more educated, and richer respondents, who might be predicted to "feel" the social pressure more.&nbsp;</p> <p></p><p> Copyright James W. Loewen </p><p> </p>
ID: 153992
Uid: 78568
Author: 36
Category: 0
Title: Dark Days in the City of Light: An Interview with Holly Tucker
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Body: <p></p><p> Click here to <a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/165926">read</a> this interview. </p><p> </p>
ID: 153993
Uid: 78568
Author: 36
Category: 0
Title: Why I Study Comics: An Interview with Hillary Chute
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Body: Click here to&nbsp;<a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/166047">read</a>&nbsp;this interview.