Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Still Killing Citizens: The Death of Sam Dubose

    A University of Cincinnati cop has been indicted for murder. He killed an unarmed black citizen named Sam Dubose, whom he had initially stopped over a minor traffic issue: no front license plate. Why are we still doing this?

    We've heard this story before. A ridiculously minor offense, the kind of thing that cops routinely let go, escalates into homicide when a cop kills a black citizen who has no weapon. After Eric Garner and Mike Brown, after Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland and Walter Scott, we are still doing this. Why?

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    Ramona's picture

    In Praise Of E.L. Doctorow, The Man Who Looked Into GWB's Eyes And Saw Nothing.

    I heard the sad news yesterday that E.L. Doctorow has died.   I've read and loved several of his books, so of course I feel as if I know him personally.  I loved Ragtime and The Book of Daniel and Billy Bathgate.  I couldn't get into Loon Lake,but I'll accept that as my problem and not his.  World's Fair and Homer and Langley are both sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. 

    His writing is what I would call "luscious with an edge".  It's stylistic and mesmerizing but you know there is something dark lurking nearby.  There is no relaxing with a Doctorow novel, even in the midst of the quiet, beautiful parts.  He will grab you and hold you and take you to places unexpected and thrilling.  He will force you by sheer wordsmithing to accompany him.  He will make you stop and read over and over again the same brilliant, awesomely brilliant, passage. 

    He was, as everybody knows, quite a writer.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    My Response to "You're White and Marched with Dr. King: So what?"

    ImaniImani Gandy who writes "Angry Black Lady Chronicles" is angry at Bernie Sanders. She excoriates him profanely for his admittedly poor response to activists at the Netroots Conference who disrupted first Martin O'Malley and then Sanders and mocks his involvement in the civil rights movement.  Here's my response to Ms. Gandy.

    Any discussion with or at Bernie Sanders about race should start as follows:

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Citizen Vain: or, Trump the Narcissist

    Why did Donald Trump say in public that John McCain is ""not a war hero" because he got "captured?" Is Trump insane? Not quite, but close. Trump most likely has a major personality disorder. That's not a medical diagnosis, which I can't give; I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and I haven't met Trump.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Trump and the Polls

    I don't believe Donald Trump is really running for President. Even before The Donald decided to slam John McCain as "not a war hero" because he "got captured" (as if Trump, who did not serve, would ever have been trusted with a plane),  it hasn't looked like a real campaign. I'm not convinced that Trump will ever consent to a real FEC disclosure filing, and I don't believe he will ever expose his ego to the risk of public defeat at the ballot box. Trump will only stay in if he finds some built-in excuse for losing, like running as a third-party spoiler.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Reading David Brooks While White

    Dear David Brooks,

    Thank you for writing to Ta-Nehisi Coates on behalf of white America!  Since you took that on yourself, I suppose the rest of us lumped into this class have been saved a lot of time.  Though, could you have been less embarrassing and condescending about the whole thing?

    When you say:

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Lame Duck Amok (or, Barack Obama in Winter)

    So President Obama is having a couple of pretty good months for a lame-duck President. Obamacare upheld, same-sex marriage legalized nationwide, and the Confederacy-lovers suddenly on the ropes. Things can change fast in national politics, and this post might seem completely wrong in six weeks, but right now, today, Obama's opposition seems about as hapless as they've ever been: unable to cope with events, usually on the defensive and mostly on the wrong foot. And yes, some of this is the usual ups-and-downs of partisan politics.

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    Ramona's picture

    "Onward, Christian Soldiers". Not just a hymn anymore.

    I guess you've heard that the Rightward so-called Christians have a flag, yes, a flag, and some of them think it would be cool to fly it above the American flag on the same pole, even though flag etiquette has said forever that no flag should fly above Old Glory.  Their reasoning?  Something about God coming first, which they assume any good American should obviously recognize.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Problem of Waiting on Civil Rights Issues

    In 2003 and 2004, I had the unique opportunity to have written an experimental musical that was produced off-off Broadway and in the New York International Fringe Festival.  The framed poster from the debut is in my apartment.  To me, it's a major accomplishment.  Somewhere along the run, two men met and fell in love.  They were together for years after I went separate ways with the company that produced the show but technology has allowed us all to meet, disperse and stay in touch.

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    Ramona's picture

    Goodness and Mercy and The Charleston Massacre

    On Wednesday evening, June 17, a 21-year-old White Supremacist sat for an hour in a prayer meeting with the good people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and, when the hour was up, opened fire with his .45 caliber Glock.  He slaughtered nine innocent church members for no other reason than that he held such a deep, abiding hatred for blacks he wanted to be the one to kill them.  His goal was to start a race war.


    Later, after he was caught, he admitted to the police that the parishioners were so nice to him he almost didn't do it.  It was the twist of the knife for those of us already grieving over his murder victims.  One single second of conscience, one deviant drop of human kindness, and the people who welcomed him into their fold might have been saved.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why Not Say It's Racism? The Charleston Massacre

    The murder of nine people in Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston has left me sick and stunned, as it has left many of you. And what I needed badly, over the last two days, was national unity. But I didn't get it. Apparently, we're too divided as a nation to band together after a terrorist attack. We're so divided that some of us won't admit that the terrorist had the motives that he clearly proclaimed. Apparently, there are sides to take in everything, even this.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Dag Pardon and Clemency Project

    President Obama will be in office quite awhile longer but the time to tell him who to pardon on the way out is now.  It won't due to wait until his last months in office because the decisions will largely have been made by then.  Let's start a pardon and clemency list.  Put your suggestions for who should be pardoned, and why, in the comments and I'll sweep through and move all of the new suggestions, without comment, into the main thread.  Of course. we can debate the merits below.

    Pardon and Clemency List

    1. Piper Kerman

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Rachel Dolezal and the de-Professionalized University

    Rachel Dolezal, currently this week's Object of Public Shame on the Internet, has apparently been fired from her job teaching at Eastern Washington State. Or rather, I learn from today's New York Times, they didn't have to bother firing her. You see, Dolezal was what's called an "adjunct instructor," someone who teaches on a course-by-course basis for low pay without any security for the next semester. There are more adjunct teachers than normal salaried professors in American universities today. So, EWU didn't have to fire her. She's just not hired for any classes for next fall.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Michael Des Barres documentary travels from Live Aid to Alf

    The upcoming documentary "Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me to Be?" began exactly 30 years ago. That's when a 14-year-old J. Elvis Weinstein watched Live Aid - the mega-concert created to raise funds for to help the Ethiopian famine. The Duran Duran off-shoot band Power Station helped kicked off the festivities, but without lead singer Robert Palmer.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Seveneves: A Short Review of a Long Book

    By sheer coincidence, I finished Neal Stephenson's Seveneves a couple of days before learning that two friends from college, including the former managing editor of The Daily Lobo, our independent school paper, were in town.  Back in the 1990s, the staff of our paper passed around copies of Stephenson's Snow Crash, a witty send-up of the cyber-punk genre.  We loved that book. 

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Two-Body Problem: What I Learned

    A few weekends ago I came home from commencement, hung up my silly robe for another year, cleaned my fridge, packed my car, and left town for the city where I live with my spouse. I won't be back until later in the summer. I've been making that five-hundred-mile round trip nearly every weekend for three of the last four years, with breaks for summers or sabbaticals. But this was the last time.

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    Ramona's picture

    No More Making Fun of the Iowa Straw Poll. Except This One Last Time

    Just got the news that Iowa has decided to dump their traditional GOP fundraiser, their presidential-hopeful-quasi-indicator-of-nothing, their old-fashioned, hilariously awful Iowa Barbecue and Straw Poll .  I thought I would be happy when they finally took my advice and got rid of that thing, but now I feel sad.  I've laughed so much over their shenanigans, I feel the way I do whenever a favorite comedy show bites the dust. Sad, but so glad for the memories.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The TPP and the Washington Post

    The Washington Post's jihad against American workers continues with its latest [June 10] unrestrained attack on critics of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Since March, the newspaper that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos purchased in 2013 has promoted the multi-lateral free trade deal in a number of lead editorials.

    Currently, Republican House leaders are trying to round up enough votes to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). If TPA is granted, the House and Senate would only have the right to vote up or down after negotiators finalize the TPP's language. This would almost certainly lead to the bill's passage.

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    Ramona's picture

    Beau Biden: What Might Have Been

    I awoke yesterday to the news that Beau Biden has lost his battle with brain cancer.  The pain I felt, even though I didn't know Beau Biden personally, was a visceral as if I had lost a dear friend.  It's no secret that I adore his father, Joe, and much of what I'm feeling, I'm feeling for him.  (I wrote about him here.)  The grief, the sorrow, must be awful.  He lost his first wife and his small daughter in a tragic car-truck accident, and nearly lost Beau and his brother, Hunter. He should not have to endure another loss of a beloved child.
     

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    The Case for a Fossil Fuels Tax part 4

    This is part 4 in a series. The first three parts are here, here, and here.

    The truth is out there. Indeed it is Mulder and Scully. In fact, the truth can sometimes be found in such unpromising soil as a column by conservative pundit James Poulos or an address to investors by the CEO of Exxon. Poulos is known, if at all, for posing in print the antediluvian question: “What are Women For?” Yet Poulos provides real insight into how to solve anthropogenic global warming (“AGW”). As improbably, and in conjunction with Poulos, 

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