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Current Topic: Society

Road to Freedom | High Museum of Art Atlanta
Topic: Society 1:02 am EDT, Jul  9, 2008

If you live in or around Atlanta and you don't see this photo exhibit while its open (till October) you have made poor use of your time, as I can think of few things you could do with a Saturday afternoon here that are more important. The American Civil Rights movement is, I think, the last time people gave their lives for political establishment in this country. When I was young I used to think that these things had happened a long time ago... that this was ancient history and that ancient people did abhorrent things. Age changes your perception of time. The sixties weren't very long ago. These people... who were murdered by klansmen in the woods, who were shot at by snipers while marching in the streets, whose churches were bombed, who were infiltrated and spied upon by the government, federal, state, and local, who were brutally attacked, harassed, and arrested primarily because they demanded the right of poor people to register to vote... they were hardly older than my parents.

The threats that exist today to our civil liberties absolutely pale in comparison to what was going on here, in our hometown, just a few short years ago. If you want to know what a real fight looks like, and what real sacrifices are, you need look no further.

The exhibition features work by more than twenty... press photographers and amateurs who made stirring visual documents of marches, demonstrations and public gatherings out of a conviction for the social changes that the movement represented. Key photographs include Bob Adelman's Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, 1963; Morton Broffman's Dr. King and Coretta Scott King Leading Marchers, Montgomery, Alabama, 1965; Bill Eppridge's Chaney Family as they depart for the Funeral of James Chaney, Philadelphia, Mississippi, 1964; and Builder Levy's I Am a Man/Union Justice Now, Memphis, Tennessee, 1968.

Supplementing the photographs are archival documents, newspapers, magazines and posters from the period. These complementary materials demonstrate how, in the hands of community organizers and newspaper and magazine editors, photographs played a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. Documents such as Rosa Parks' fingerprint paperwork and the blueprint of the bus on which she protested are shown alongside related photographs for the very first time. Also included will be several contemporary portraits, by photographer Eric Etheridge, of the young men and women who challenged segregation as Freedom Riders in 1961 and who are now senior citizens. All the photographs and documents in this exhibition will be accompanied by descriptive captions and an audio-visual component to provide deeper historical context.

Don't miss the worksheet near the end of the exhibit listing security procedures for civil rights workers operating in the rural south.

Road to Freedom | High Museum of Art Atlanta

Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -
Topic: Society 1:08 pm EDT, Jun 17, 2008

The A.P. doesn't get to make it's own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it's clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don't exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model - paid content.

So here's our new policy on A.P. stories: they don't exist. We don't see them, we don't quote them, we don't link to them. They're banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.


Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas
Topic: Society 2:17 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2008

All the computer models, all of the other findings, all of the other angles of study, all come back to and are based on CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas. It is not.

Here is the deal about CO2, carbon dioxide. It is a natural component of our atmosphere.

Geee whiz... ground breaking 'science' from KUSI San Diego.


Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas

Landship Recruit: 1917 | Shorpy :: History in HD
Topic: Society 5:42 am EDT, Jun 10, 2008

New York, 1917. "Landship Recruit on Union Square." The U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden battleship erected by the Navy, served as a World War I recruiting station at Union Square from 1917 to 1920, when it "set sail" for Coney Island. This is the first in a series of photographs depicting life around and aboard the landlocked boat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

Landship Recruit: 1917 | Shorpy :: History in HD

Decius (emperor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Topic: Society 8:13 am EDT, May 27, 2008

Persecutions of Christians

Seeing it as a disruptive force, early in 250 Decius issued the edict for the suppression of Christianity. Exploiting popular hostility as a means of unifying the Empire, the "Decian persecution" famous to Christians began. Another motive for this persecution may have been Decius' religious views and pride in his Empire. He was a Roman of the old style who wished to restore Rome to its ancient glory. However, there were several factors eclipsing this glory: barbarian incursions into the Empire were becoming more and more daring, the ancient traditions were being forgotten, and the Empire was facing a serious economic crisis. To a traditionalist such as Decius, it would seem obvious that these problems were partly caused by the people neglecting the ancient gods. For Rome's ancient glory to return, she would need to return to her ancient religion. Therefore, Decius may have tried to stamp out the Christians because they were daily turning more and more people away from the traditional practices of worship and therefore, according to Decius' religious views, daily turning the gods away from Rome.

Decius (emperor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

eVetRecs: Request Copies of Veterans Military Personnel Records
Topic: Society 8:57 pm EDT, May 21, 2008

Request Copies of Military Personnel Records

Welcome to our online military personnel records request system.

Use our system to create a customized order form to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records.

My grandfather was a Marine deep in the shit in the Pacific in WWII. I want to learn about his service. Apparently these people can help. Cool.

eVetRecs: Request Copies of Veterans Military Personnel Records

This Mob Is Big in Japan -
Topic: Society 4:10 am EDT, May 20, 2008

I came to Japan in 1988 at age 19, spent most of college living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and then became the first U.S. citizen hired as a regular staff writer for a Japanese newspaper in Japanese. If you know anything about Japan, you'll realize how bizarre this is -- a gaijin, or foreigner, covering Japanese cops. When I started the beat in the early 1990s, I knew nothing about the yakuza, a.k.a. the Japanese mafia. But following their prostitution rings and extortion rackets became my life.

Most Americans think of Japan as a law-abiding and peaceful place, as well as our staunch ally, but reporting on the underworld gave me a different perspective. Mobs are legal entities here. Their fan magazines and comic books are sold in convenience stores, and bosses socialize with prime ministers and politicians. And as far as the United States is concerned, Japan may be refueling U.S. warships at sea, but it's not helping us fight our own battles against organized crime -- a realization that led to my biggest scoop.

I loved my job. The cops fighting organized crime are hard-drinking iconoclasts -- many look like their mobster foes, with their black suits and slicked-back hair. They're outsiders in Japanese society, and perhaps because I was an outsider too, we got along well. The yakuza's tribal features are also compelling, like those of an alien life form: the full-body tattoos, missing digits and pseudo-family structure. I became so fascinated that, like someone staring at a wild animal, I got too close and now am worried for my life. But more on that later.

Very good article on Yakuza.


This Mob Is Big in Japan -

Foreign Policy: The List: The World’s Most Dangerous Gangs
Topic: Society 3:37 am EDT, May 20, 2008


Foreign Policy: The List: The World’s Most Dangerous Gangs

7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened |
Topic: Society 3:26 am EDT, May 20, 2008


7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened |

Out With the Boys for a Night of Numbering - The Lede - Breaking News - New York Times Blog
Topic: Society 3:19 am EDT, May 20, 2008

“Could I pass for a boy?” I asked. The black skirt of my abaya still trailed the floor, but from the waist up I felt pretty pleased with the effect.

Fahad, the most talkative of the boys, snorted.

“No,” he said. “But I think that’s as good as we’re going to do. We’re going to put you in the middle seat, and if you see someone in another car staring, turn slowly away.”

We piled into the S.U.V., and Thamer clicked through a rap mix CD to find Akon’s “Smack That,” to set the right mood for an evening of numbering. The boys bobbed their heads in time to the music.

“Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo/Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo?” Akon sang.

In reality, getting a girl to go anywhere with him, let alone to “kick it,” is a near impossibility, Fahad explained. For most young Saudi men, a night of numbering is simply a night driving around with friends, listening to music, chasing cars containing black-draped figures that could just as easily be old women as young girls. Since numbering is considered harassment, detention by the religious police is an ever-present possibility.

Out With the Boys for a Night of Numbering - The Lede - Breaking News - New York Times Blog

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