Justice Department finds racism in Antelope Valley


First Ferguson, now Antelope Valley.  According to the LA Times, Los Angeles County agreed to pay 2 million to Antelope Valley residents who were discriminated against by housing authorities. The FBI investigation found the LA County Sheriff’s deputies harassed and intimidated black, Latino and Section 8 residents living in the area.

In a complaint filed in federal court, U.S. Justice Department officials alleged that the local governments had engaged in a “targeted campaign of discriminatory enforcement against African American [housing] voucher holders in order to discourage and exclude them and other African Americans from living in the cities.”

The complaint alleged that the county housing authority and Sheriff’s Department subjected black so-called Section 8 voucher holders to “more intrusive and intimidating compliance checks” than their white counterparts and also were more likely to terminate black residents’ vouchers.

According to the article, the county had already reached a settlement with federal authorities in April over alleged racial profiling.   They agreed to pay victims and track data on stops involving minorities.

Can we finally admit there is such a thing as structural racism???



Secret Wars and why I love comics — A review

Secret Wars (2015-) 004-023

This summer saw the titans of the comics industry DC and Marvel duke it out in similar plotted maxi series that will fundamentally change their comics for years to come.

DC’s series Convergence is done. Marvel’s Secret War is ½ done. What do I think? Secret War is why I started reading comics. It bodes well for the new vision of Marvel Universe to come. Convergence, not so much.

On a personal note, I had decided to give up on comics after these two maxi series ended. I felt it was time. Marvel had gone out of its way to call a beginning and end date to its universe which seemed like a good out. And I have been displeased with the DC’s new 52 for some time (with the rare exception being Grayson and Batman) with Superman’s comic  unreadable and his romance with Wonder Woman is just dumb.

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SCOTUS rules in favor of the administration in King v Burwell

The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Completed in 1935, the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, is the first to have been built specifically for the purpose, inspiring Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes to remark, ÒThe Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.Ó The Court was established in 1789 and initially met in New York City. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia, the Court moved with it, before moving to the permanent capital of Washington, DC, in 1800. Congress lent the Court space in the new Capitol building, and it was to change its meeting place several more times over the next century, even convening for a short period in a private house after the British set fire to the Capitol during the War of 1812. The classical Corinthian architectural style was chosen to harmonize with nearby congressional buildings, and the scale of the massive marble building reflects the significance and dignity of the judiciary as a co-equal, independent branch of government. The main entrance is on the west side, facing the Capitol. On either side of the main steps are figures sculpted by James Earle Fraser. On the left is the female Contemplation of Justice. On the right is the male Guardian or Authority of Law. On the architrave above the pediment is the motto ÒEqual Justice under Law.Ó Capping the entrance is a group representing Liberty Enthroned, guarded by Order and Authority, sculpted by Robert Aitken. At the east entrance are marble figures sculpted by Hermon A. MacNeil. They represent great law givers Moses, Confucius, and Solon, flanked by Means of Enforcing the Law, Tempering Justice with Mercy, Settlement of Disputes between States, and Maritime and other functions of the Supreme Court. The architrave carries the motto ÒJustice the Guardian of Liberty.Ó The interior of the building is equally filled with symbolic ornamentation. The main corridor is known as the Great Hall and contains double rows of marble columns
The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. 

The Supreme Court has sided with the President of the United States in the case King v Burwell.  At stake were the tax credits given to individuals if they signed up for the federal exchange in states that refused to set up their own state run exchanges.

The ruling was a jaw dropping 6-3 where only the most ardent conservative voices voted against.  Justice Antonin Scalia’s decent was classic Scalia writing:

The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare

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Rachel Dolezal not the only white person to pass

Rachel Dolezal from the Grio.com


Vox.com has a very interesting article about the history of white people passing for black. This article comes as Rachel Dolezal, a leader in the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, stepped down from her leadership post at the civil rights organization.  Ms Dolezal became a lightening rod after she proclaimed to be black, but was outted by her parents as white.

Vox blogger Dara Lind speaks to professor of criminal justice at John Jay College and author of the book Near Black, Baz Dreisinger about the history of whites passing for black.

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Why Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham should just get a room

from Variety


No, it’s not a browmance in season three of Hannibal. Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter are gay lovers.  Outside of gratuitous violence, it is probably the only thing about the series that makes me long for Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the titular character.   Will’s whisper of “I forgive you…” and Hannibal pausing, dramatically, just enough to react as he exits the catacomb is just too much to bear.   It makes a farce out of the true evil of Hannibal Lecter and a mockery of Will Graham, the agent trying to catching him (or perhaps run away with him as Graham infers to detective Pazzi).

If you read the book Hannibal, which is the source of this season’s first arc, you know Will Graham and all this nonsense is nowhere to be found. No, its all been dreamed up by Bryan Fuller, himself a gay man, who maintains in an interview with Variety that the cat and mouse relationship is a browmance – if by browmance you mean gay soap opera –:

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Christopher Lee RIP at 93



The man who will perhaps be best remembered as The Man with The Golden Gun and Dracula, Christopher Lee, has passed away. He was a ripe ole age of 93 and was old enough in fact to  have worked during the golden age of Hollywood and had friends like legendary screen actor Boris Karloff, was cousin to James Bond creator Ian Flemming and was the only cast member of Lord Of The Rings to  have actually meet JRR Tolkien.

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Is the rent really Too Damn High?


via Curbed NY


Via The Upshot, CurbedNY did a study of the neighborhoods hardest hit by high rent.  Turns out Captain America is right about Brooklyn.  It’s too expensive, even with that phat Shield salary.

Brooklyn rents reached new heights in April, and Manhattan rents have been steadily rising for more than a year. Escalating rents go hand-in-hand with gentrification, a topic that is only getting more contentious as the new-building boom—and with it, almost inevitably, even higher rents—creeps deeper into the outer boroughs.

The chart above shows exactly where the rent increases are being most felt.  The deeper the red, the higher the rent.  As predicted, Manhattan is still the king of high rental prices, particularly in Tribeca.

But Brooklyn is no slouch.  The red is concentrated around much of midtown and lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, The Heights (Brooklyn and Prospect) Fort Green, Park Slope, Williamsburg.  Even BedSty and East New York is starting to see rent increases.

Take a look at the interactive map at curbed New York using the link above. (52)