Judge handcuffs public defender for speaking out in court

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen -- who is fighting a contested election this year -- put deputy public defender Zohra Bakhtary in handcuffs and made her sit with the criminals in the dock while he sentenced her client, who was unrepresented for the duration of the event. Read the rest

30 students debate mass surveillance on Capitol Hill

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Last week, 30 students used a House Judiciary Committee hearing room to hold a debate on mass surveillance in America.

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Xenophobic UK politician ranting about "political correctness" gets a public spanking from an historian

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Chris Wood is a councillor from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a xenophobic party known for its leader and lawmakers' racist and sexist gaffes; this week, he added to the annals of UKIP inanity when he took to Twitter to complain that the BBC had cast a person of color as Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI. Read the rest

Trump campaign cancels interview after overhearing reporter speaking in Spanish

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Donald Trump was all set to be interviewed by TV Azteca's Marcos Stupenengo -- a white, green-eyed Argentine expat -- until they overheard him talking on the phone in Spanish, whereupon the interview was summarily cancelled and Stupenengo was escorted out of the building by Trump's Secret Service detail (who apologized to him). Read the rest

Reading With Pictures: awesome, classroom-ready comics for math, social studies, science and language arts

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Since its inception as a 2012 Kickstarter, the Reading With Pictures project has gone from strength to strength, culminating in a gorgeous, attractively produced hardcover graphic anthology of delightful comic stories that slot right into standard curriculum in science, math, social studies and language arts. Read the rest

Too Like the Lightning: intricate worldbuilding, brilliant speculation, gripping storytelling

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Ada Palmer -- historian, musician, librettist -- debuts as a novelist today with a book called Too Like the Lightning, a book more intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall.

Weird porn author who was dragged into Hugo Awards mess pulls off epic troll

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For the second year in a row, a bunch of disgruntled "conservative" sf readers and writers are attempting to destroy science fiction's Hugo Awards by nominating slates of works that are, variously: rabid racist tracts; works by their ideological opponents; tepid military sf; works by bystanders; and weird porn by Chuck Tingle, a master of the form, who has nothing to do with any of this. Read the rest

Data-driven look at America's brutal, racist debt-collection machine

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In 1996, New Jersey's courts heard 500 debt-collection cases; in 2008, they heard 140,000 cases, almost all against black people, almost all of whom were not represented by lawyers. The cases were filed by vulture capitalists who bought the debt for pennies on the dollar and employed "attorneys" who filed up to 1,000 cases a day, "reviewing" each one for about four seconds. Read the rest

Chicago’s hottest tourist ticket: a corruption walking-tour

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Journalist Paul Dailing, creator of the 1001 Chicago Afternoons blog, has created a walking tour of the most corrupt sites in Chicago's fantastically corrupt history, and it's selling out. Read the rest

Black Americans killed at about 20x the rate of Europeans

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Black Americans Are Killed At 12 Times The Rate Of People In Other Developed Countries, writes Nate Silver. And the ratio gets worse when you compare to other western democracies such as the United Kingdom and Germany. America's often tagged with a much higher homicide rate than similar nations; it's a difference that would become modest were the killing of black people to stop.

Extending on an analysis by the academic Kieran Healy, I calculated the rate of U.S. homicide deaths by racial group, based on the CDC WONDER data.3 From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year. Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.

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Spike Lee interviews Bernie Sanders: Vermont, Trump, Clinton, guns and Brooklyn

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The Hollywood Reporter arranged for a sit-down between Bernie Sanders and Spike Lee (who recently spoke for Sanders at a rally in the South Bronx) and the two talked (MP3) about the lay of the electoral land. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders can only win if nonvoters turn out at the polls, and they almost never do

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All the projections that suggest Sanders can't win the nomination and the election suppose that a large slice of his supporters (or people who would support him if they could be reached) just won't bother to vote -- and that's a pretty save bet. Read the rest

Professional and unprofessional hairstyles are as different as black and white

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Searching for "unprofessional hairstyles" and "professional hairstyles" on Google Images exposes a stark racial divide in what's assumed to be appropriate for business settings. Spotted by @bonkamona, the results differ somewhat by platform or query wording, but the ethnic issue remains: professionals are pale-skinned, unprofessionals dark-skinned. Read the rest

United pilot orders Arab-American family off his flight for "safety"

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Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband, and their three small children were removed from a United Airlines flight prior to takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport, after the pilot said they posed a threat to the plane's safety. Read the rest

White SC cops pull black passenger out of car, take turns publicly cavity-searching him

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White cops from Aiken, SC improperly stopped a car driven by a black woman (they claimed the stop was motivated by temporary tags, but driving with current temporary tags is not grounds for a stop), then improperly questioned her passenger, who voluntarily gave them his ID, then induced a drug dog to "alert" on the car, then forced both black people to expose themselves in public, culminating with two officers taking turns sticking their fingers up the passenger's rectum, again, in public. Read the rest

Cornell University gets a grant to catalog and preserve Afrika Bambaataa's hiphop archive

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Afrika Bambaataa concluded his inaugural three year term as the visiting scholar at Cornell's Hip Hop Collection by donating his personal library of 450 containers of 20,000 hand-annotated vinyl records, as well as other archival materials. Read the rest

Nixon started the War on Drugs because he couldn't declare war on black people and hippies

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Nixon aide/Watergate jailbird John Ehrlichman confessed to Dan Baum that Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs because "We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities." Read the rest

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