Ta-Nehisi Coates and the case for reparations

In a wide-ranging interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Ta-Nehisi Coates explains how he reported his essay in The Atlantic on “The Case for Reparations,” why he tries to approach journalism as a historian rather than as a “Senate aide,” and what you should read next if you want to understand American racism.

Read the article here: The Atlantic

* This is a long interview, but its really well worth the watch. (Pls don’t fucking argue with me about this unless you watch the whole thing, or have read the article.)

Just try to tell the difference in our depressing as fuck hawk vs. hawk quiz:

Hillary’s talking like a hawk again. Critics on the left and right have said she sounds more like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the grand old hawk of the GOP. How right they are. Can you guess who gave the following quotes—Clinton or McCain?

America has become amnesiac - a country in which forms of historical, political, and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated.

The United States has degenerated into a social order that is awash in public stupidity and views critical thought as both a liability and a threat. Not only is this obvious in the presence of a celebrity culture that embraces the banal and idiotic, but also in the prevailing discourses and policies of a range of politicians and anti-public intellectuals who believe that the legacy of the Enlightenment needs to be reversed. 

Politicians such as Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich along with talking heads such as Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter are not the problem, they are symptomatic of a much more disturbing assault on critical thought, if not rational thinking itself. 

Under a neoliberal regime, the language of authority, power and command is divorced from ethics, social responsibility, critical analysis and social costs…

A long article about how neo-liberal economics (free market capitalism) and military-police state governance have abandoned democracy and our youth for the sake of profit and control. Great article, well worth the read…

Conservative elites delight in tearing down smart, educated people.

So why are so many conservatives abandoning this enthusiasm for the exceptional in favor of what can only be described as jealous sniping aimed at people who are actually trying to expand the world creatively and scientifically?

There’s a lot of high-falutin’ talk on the right about supporting the strivers, but in practice, the conservative response to someone who tries to stick his head above the crowd is to beat it down with a hammer. Conservatives may think of themselves as lovers of excellence, but in reality, “Who do you think you are?” is swiftly becoming an unofficial right-wing motto…

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) totally owns Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) for blocking a resolution that would have formally acknowledged the fact that climate change is real, and that carbon pollution is causing it.

Having had the opportunity to hear those words which I can only describe as being from an alternate reality" will now become my new go-to phrase whenever I need to win an argument on the internet…

The infrastructure bill seeks to reclassify extinct species as non-native, and prevent them from returning.

Can any more destructive and regressive measures be crammed into one piece of legislation? Already, the infrastructure bill, which, as time goes by, has ever less to do with infrastructure, looks like one of those US monstrosities into which a random collection of demands by corporate lobbyists are shoved, in the hope that no one notices…

John Oliver: ‘Our Drug Laws Seem a Little Draconian and a Lot Racist’

Clocking in at nearly 18 minutes, the comedian’s recent segment on the broken prison system could be one of his most inspired rants yet. Touching on everything from prison privatization to the inherent racism in the legal system to the fact that America has the “greatest number of prisoners of any country in the world” (an amount equivalent to the size of Slovenia’s entire population), John Oliver doesn’t hesitate to talk about “fact[s] that need to be spoken.”

This time, the “Last Week Tonight” host even got the help of America’s favorite Muppets to drive home his incredibly important point.

(via: TruthDig)

With so many threats to the 250-300 wolverines in the lower 48 states, we must protect them under the ESA.

If you’ve been keeping up with one of the world’s toughest animals, the wolverine, you may know that a big decision is coming their way. In early August, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether or not imperiled wolverines in the lower-48 will be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as “threatened.”

The Service previously found that the wolverine warranted ESA protection in 2010 and proposed to list this species as threatened in February of 2013. However, according to a memo that was leaked to the press last week, the Service’s Regional Director based in Denver has now overruled and rejected the Service’s own Field Office’s recommendation to list wolverines as threatened…