When East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo was asked what he plans to do for Latinos, he responded: "I might have tacos when I go home."
I missed this with all of my Officer Friendly snarking, but after East Haven, Connecticut police were arrested by the FBI (including the head of its union) for harassing the city's East Haven community, the city's mayor was asked what he would be doing "for the Latino community" He responded as follows:
When WPIX reporter Mario Diaz asked Maturo what he plans to do for the Latino community, Maturo said, "I might have tacos when I go home. I'm not quite sure yet."Maturo added: "When you ask me what I would do for Latinos, I may go out and have a Latino dinner in the Latino community. There's nothing wrong with that and you can twist it and turn it whichever way the press decides to do."
A bad month gets worse for the embattled siren
Vulture gets a listen:
Here's what we can tell, based on a few early listens: Most of the tracks we've already heard ("Video Games," "Blue Jeans," and "Born to Die," plus leaked songs like "National Anthem") are stuffed in the first half, and the last seven tracks feel a little scraped together. Del Rey uses the same images over and over -- the red dress, bikini tops, lipstick -- and she leans on a good liquor reference whenever possible. (An incomplete list of substances consumed: black Cristal, Bacardi chasers, cognac, top-shelf liquor, cherry Schnapps.)Speaking of booze, we swear to God that she recruited the Maybach Music chick to drop in a "Pabst Blue Ribbon on Ice" voice-over on "This Is What Makes Us Girls," and the reference will either make you laugh or cringe, depending on how you feel about Rick Ross and/or pandering to worn-out ideas of hipsterness. That last part applies to the whole, probably.The melodramatic strings and moody atmospherics of "Video Games" carry through most of the album, though Del Rey does get a little frisky with some half-rapping on "National Anthem" and "Lolita." ("National Anthem," which leaked in unfinished form a few weeks ago, contains lines like, "Money is the reason we exist / Everybody knows it, it's a fact [kiss kiss]" and "Do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds?" LDR is not afraid of herself, even if you are!) "Million Dollar Man" sounds a lot like a Fiona Apple outtake; "Off to the Races," the album opener, just sounds nuts. None of the songs stood out as a particularly easy live fit for Del Rey's voice -- she's still jumping registers and milking that fragile falsetto. How will the tour go? And why didn't she perform "Born to Die" on SNL, we wonder?
Racial profiling abounds in New York city
Here in New York, Officer Friendly loves everyone. But sometimes he has to use his outside voice when talking to Muslim people:
Since August, an Associated Press investigation has revealed a vast NYPD intelligence-collecting effort targeting Muslims following the terror attacks of September 2001. Police have conducted surveillance of entire Muslim neighborhoods, chronicling every aspect of daily life, including where people eat, pray and get their hair cut. Police infiltrated dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups and investigated hundreds more.
They were known as Miller's Boys, police officers who worked the 4-to-midnight shift, patrolling the largely working-class town of East Haven, Conn., including the small but growing Hispanic community that has spread out in recent years from New Haven. The officers were more than well known in that community; according to residents and federal authorities, they were feared.They stopped and detained people, particularly immigrants, without reason, federal prosecutors said, sometimes slapping, hitting or kicking them when they were handcuffed, and once smashing a man's head into a wall. They followed and arrested residents, including a local priest, who tried to document their behavior.They rooted through stores looking for damning security videotapes of how they had treated some of their targets, described by one of them on a police radio as having "drifted to this country on rafts made of chicken wings."And after it became known that the Justice Department was investigating the department, according to an indictment unsealed on Tuesday, a picture of a rat appeared on a police union bulletin board, and in the locker room, an ominous note: "You know what we do with snitches?"
The New York City police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, through a top aide, acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that he personally cooperated with the filmmakers of "The Third Jihad" -- a decision the commissioner now describes as a mistake...Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told The New York Times on Monday that the filmmakers had relied on old interview clips and had never spoken with the commissioner. On Tuesday, the film's producer, Raphael Shore, e-mailed The Times and provided a date and time for their 90-minute interview with the commissioner at Police Headquarters on March 19, 2007.Told of this e-mail, Mr. Browne revised his account. "He's right," Mr. Browne said Tuesday of the producer. "In fact, I recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed." In an e-mail, Mr. Browne said that when he first saw the film in 2011, he assumed the commissioner's interview was taken from old clips, even though the film referred to Mr. Kelly as an "interviewee."He did not offer an explanation as to why he and the commissioner, on Tuesday, remembered so much of their decision.
There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other.
Slavery is an evil to the slave, by depriving nearly three millions of men of the best gift of God to man -- liberty. I stop here -- this is enough of itself to give us a full anticipation of the long catalogue of human woe, and physical and intel- lectual and moral abasement which follows in the wake of Slavery. Slavery is an evil to the master. It is utterly subservient of the Christian religion. It violates the great law upon which that religion is based, and on account of which it vaunts its preemi- nence.
Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually. In the meantime, the white or European race, has not degenerated. It has kept pace with its brethren in other sections of the Union where slavery does not exist. It is odious to make comparison; but I appeal to all sides whether the South is not equal in virtue, intelligence, patriotism, courage, disinterestedness, and all the high qualities which adorn our nature.But I take higher ground. I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good--a positive good.
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic.MR. RUSSERT: We'd still have slavery.REP. PAUL: Oh come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world -- enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites -- causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty -- criticising [sic] the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.
Guys, I'm going to spend much of the day trying to pull our Sunday crowd-sourcing into a coherent post. There's some great stuff in there.
In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America's manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself...
What Lee Evans and Kyle Williams will be thinking about for the rest of their lives
I haven't watched the Giants v. 49ers yet, though I know the Giants won. I did watch the Ravens v. Patriots and I just want to say that Lee Evans will probably think of that dropped pass every day for the rest of his life:
Lee Evans sat on a chair facing his locker under Gillette Stadium, alternating between fingering a piece of black athletic tape and dabbing at his eyes with a towel.Then as the number of reporters waiting to interview swelled, the wide receiver slowly stood up from the chair, turned around, and unhesitatingly shouldered the blame for not holding on to what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown pass in the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in Sunday's AFC championship game."There's really not a whole lot to say about it," Evans said. "It is what you saw. It was an opportunity for us to go to the Super Bowl, and I let it go."
Comfortable History is like the computer virus that poses as the shield -- it positions the espouser as a brave truth-teller, even as it infects us with lies.
I'd like to think that the Confederate Flag in the back was photo-shopped. At any rate, what's amazing is the frame here--It's not the firing on federal property that inaugurated the War, it's Bull Run, or some such. It's as if I punch you in the face and then accuse you of bullying me after I get the crap kicked out of me. Except worse.
It's worth checking out this Fresh Air interview with Romney biographers Michael Kranish and Scott Helman. There's good stuff on Romney's business ventures, the time he spent proselytizing, and his relative liberalism as Mormon official. It's pretty well balanced in the best sense.
"How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead?" Bozell wondered. "Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does."
Reducing misogyny to the usage of the word "bitch" misses the point.
So it turns out that the rumors of Jay-Z dropping "bitch" from his vocabulary are utterly false. Leaving aside the thin empathy underlying this alleged "Come to Wollstonecraft" moment, I'm not really disappointed. I think reducing misogyny to the usage of the word "bitch" misses the point--and then in some way's it really is the point. I don't know that hip-hop is any more sexist than other art-forms that takes boys and young men as its primary audience, and is generally created by boys and young men. I don't think hip-hop has anything on comic books or video games, for instance. It's true that hip-hop is more profane than any of those other art-forms--but it's more profane about everything, not just gender.
I understand the focus on the word "bitch," given its particular history and usage. But we should mindful of reductionism for reasons both political and artistic. There is a whole school of thought that holds racism is impossible unless attended by the word "nigger." And there are plenty of ways to regard a women as bitches, without ever saying the word.
Finally, I have never wanted a world where white people were forever banned from using the word nigger. That's not really the point. All words exist in a context. Rap's "bitch" problem has never been about the word itself, but the context in which it's regularly used.
Should President Obama be the defining image of a successful black man in America?
One of the reasons I've been MIA (French class aside) is I've been working on a piece for the magazine about Obama's relationship with the black community. One of the themes I'm looking at is how Obama employs symbolism to woo African-Americans.
Blacks love Obama for relieving them of the burden of making excuses for him.
This GQ piece on Terrell Owens, presently exiled from the grid-iron, got me thinking a lot about my son, the psychology of children, and regrettably, very often adults.
It's his mouth, that unhinged gusher of an orifice with its gleaming slice of teeth. Or at least memories of the chemistry-killing vitriol that spewed from that mouth during his time with San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas. And how he punctuated the raw stream of consciousness with a magic bag of clever if ultimately self-destructive antics once the play ended: the spike on the "sacred" Dallas star logo in 2000, the Sharpie pulled from his sock to sign a ball after a 2002 touchdown against the Seahawks, the 2006 Thanksgiving Day TD after which he blithely deposited the ball into a huge Salvation Army kettle.If there's one word Owens can't abide, it's regret. The mere sound of the syllables sends ripples of discomfort across his face. His grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's soon after San Francisco picked him in the third round of the 1996 draft and hasn't recognized him for years, always told him: "Never regret anything." They talked bad about Jesus, she would remind him, so you know they're going to talk bad about you. "To say I regret anything would be a slap in my grandmother's face," he says.