Stereotypes persist.

Before attorney David Wasinger decided to take on two of the biggest global banks in federal court in New York, he had visited the city just twice: once when he was 6, and the second time on a tour bus with his children. As the sole partner at a five-attorney firm in St. Louis, Missouri, Wasinger was mostly focused on local business litigation and had never represented a whistleblower. But in January 2012 an old business acquaintance was ready to go public with accusations of widespread mortgage fraud at Bank of America’s Countrywide unit, and he turned to Wasinger. That touched off a series of events that put Wasinger at the center of two of the biggest legal cases to emerge from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, against Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co, respectively.

Before attorney David Wasinger decided to take on two of the biggest global banks in federal court in New York, he had visited the city just twice: once when he was 6, and the second time on a tour bus with his children. As the sole partner at a five-attorney firm in St. Louis, Missouri, Wasinger was mostly focused on local business litigation and had never represented a whistleblower. But in January 2012 an old business acquaintance was ready to go public with accusations of widespread mortgage fraud at Bank of America’s Countrywide unit, and he turned to Wasinger. That touched off a series of events that put Wasinger at the center of two of the biggest legal cases to emerge from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, against Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co, respectively.

theatlantic:

The Self-Sabotage of Small-Government Republicans in Congress

Given the K Street Project, the multi-trillion dollar Iraq debacle, and the general growth in government during the Bush years, I was predisposed to doubt Republicans would ever shrink government. And even though the Tea Party movement has now changed the makeup of the GOP in the House and Senate, I still have no confidence Republicans will ever succeed in shrinking government, because at every step they keep behaving so shortsightedly. It’s as if the way for their project to succeed is for them to be maximally intransigent at every moment for fear that if they sketched a strategy involving negotiation, compromise, and incrementalism, members would use it as an excuse to slip into voting for runaway statism at every turn.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

The Self-Sabotage of Small-Government Republicans in Congress

Given the K Street Project, the multi-trillion dollar Iraq debacle, and the general growth in government during the Bush years, I was predisposed to doubt Republicans would ever shrink government. And even though the Tea Party movement has now changed the makeup of the GOP in the House and Senate, I still have no confidence Republicans will ever succeed in shrinking government, because at every step they keep behaving so shortsightedly. It’s as if the way for their project to succeed is for them to be maximally intransigent at every moment for fear that if they sketched a strategy involving negotiation, compromise, and incrementalism, members would use it as an excuse to slip into voting for runaway statism at every turn.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

How Washington and Beijing Learned to Love Each Other

In October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong stood atop Beijing’s Tiananmen, China’s most important national monument, and proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The moment—still replayed on Chinese television—marked the culmination of China’s “century of humiliation,” a period of near-constant chaos, instability, and foreign meddling. 
For the United States, the Communist takeover in China meant that suddenly, the world’s largest country by population was suddenly an ally of the U.S. enemy, the Soviet Union. This alliance proved especially costly to Washington during the Korean War, when Chairman Mao’s troops came to the aid of the North Koreans, repelling American-led forces back to the 38th parallel.
In a 1958 article in The Atlantic, the Sinologist George E. Taylor considered this Moscow-Beijing alliance in an article entitled “Why We Do Not Recognize Red China.”  Aside from the era-appropriate use of the term “red”—scholars then distinguished between the Communist-led Chinese government on the mainland and the Nationalist-led one in Taiwan—Taylor’s essay argues that the United States shouldn’t recognize the Communist government ruling Beijing.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

theatlantic:

How Washington and Beijing Learned to Love Each Other

In October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong stood atop Beijing’s Tiananmen, China’s most important national monument, and proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The moment—still replayed on Chinese television—marked the culmination of China’s “century of humiliation,” a period of near-constant chaos, instability, and foreign meddling. 

For the United States, the Communist takeover in China meant that suddenly, the world’s largest country by population was suddenly an ally of the U.S. enemy, the Soviet Union. This alliance proved especially costly to Washington during the Korean War, when Chairman Mao’s troops came to the aid of the North Koreans, repelling American-led forces back to the 38th parallel.

In a 1958 article in The Atlantic, the Sinologist George E. Taylor considered this Moscow-Beijing alliance in an article entitled “Why We Do Not Recognize Red China.”  Aside from the era-appropriate use of the term “red”—scholars then distinguished between the Communist-led Chinese government on the mainland and the Nationalist-led one in Taiwan—Taylor’s essay argues that the United States shouldn’t recognize the Communist government ruling Beijing.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Kevin Hart on Thug Fights - Real Niggas All Day (by negri2d)

If you really think about it, we all puff up our feathers in our unique, cultural way when confronted with uncomfortable situations. The ignorant will view other groups’ customs with fear. We are still not that different from wild animals.

Don’t hold back now

WTF with people who don’t even take 5 seconds to looking things up and start trolling for shit. This is a big problem with people — look up  स्वस्तिक . If you don’t know how to say it, STFU

WTF with people who don’t even take 5 seconds to looking things up and start trolling for shit. This is a big problem with people — look up  स्वस्तिक . If you don’t know how to say it, STFU

theatlantic:

Mission Creep: When Everything is Terrorism

One of the assurances I keep hearing about the U.S. government’s spying on American citizens is that it’s only used in cases of terrorism. Terrorism is, of course, an extraordinary crime, and its horrific nature is supposed to justify permitting all sorts of excesses to prevent it. But there’s a problem with this line of reasoning: mission creep. The definitions of “terrorism” and “weapon of mass destruction” are broadening, and these extraordinary powers are being used, and will continue to be used, for crimes other than terrorism.
Back in 2002, the Patriot Act greatly broadened the definition of terrorism to include all sorts of “normal” violent acts as well as non-violent protests. The term “terrorist” is surprisingly broad; since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it has been applied to people you wouldn’t normally consider terrorists.
The most egregious example of this are the three anti-nuclear pacifists, including an 82-year-old nun, who cut through a chain-link fence at the Oak Ridge nuclear-weapons-production facility in 2012. While they were originally arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, the government kept increasing their charges as the facility’s security lapses became more embarrassing. Now the protestors have been convicted of violent crimes of terrorism — and remain in jail.
Meanwhile, a Tennessee government official claimed that complaining about water quality could be considered an act of terrorism. To the government’s credit, he was subsequently demoted for those remarks.
Read more. [Image: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock]

theatlantic:

Mission Creep: When Everything is Terrorism

One of the assurances I keep hearing about the U.S. government’s spying on American citizens is that it’s only used in cases of terrorism. Terrorism is, of course, an extraordinary crime, and its horrific nature is supposed to justify permitting all sorts of excesses to prevent it. But there’s a problem with this line of reasoning: mission creep. The definitions of “terrorism” and “weapon of mass destruction” are broadening, and these extraordinary powers are being used, and will continue to be used, for crimes other than terrorism.

Back in 2002, the Patriot Act greatly broadened the definition of terrorism to include all sorts of “normal” violent acts as well as non-violent protests. The term “terrorist” is surprisingly broad; since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it has been applied to people you wouldn’t normally consider terrorists.

The most egregious example of this are the three anti-nuclear pacifists, including an 82-year-old nun, who cut through a chain-link fence at the Oak Ridge nuclear-weapons-production facility in 2012. While they were originally arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, the government kept increasing their charges as the facility’s security lapses became more embarrassing. Now the protestors have been convicted of violent crimes of terrorism — and remain in jail.

Meanwhile, a Tennessee government official claimed that complaining about water quality could be considered an act of terrorism. To the government’s credit, he was subsequently demoted for those remarks.

Read more. [Image: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock]

(Source: theatlantic)

unhistorical:

June 28, 1969: The Stonewall riots begin.

The Stonewall riots, though not the first protest of its kind, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the gay liberation movement of the 1960s and 70s and the modern LGBT rights movement. It erupted in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The Stonewall Inn opened in 1967 as a Mafia-funded gay establishment, attracting and serving patrons of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as transgender patrons, who were often barred from other establishments, while technically lacking a valid liquor license to do so; at the time, many such establishments were closed down or refused licenses by the New York State Liquor Authority for promoting “indecent conduct”, forcing many (such as the popular Stonewall Inn) to operate illegally. The owners of Stonewall utilized bribes and other underhanded tactics to keep the establishments open, and the bar was also prepared for regular police raids - even to relocate, if such measures were necessary.

One of these police raids took place on the evening of June 27 to the morning of June 28 resulting in thirteen arrests, but more importantly, an event that triggered America’s LGBTQ community to public action. In accordance with “standard procedure”, the policemen barred the doors and began checking the identifications of the patrons, in some cases leading select customers to bathrooms to verify their sex. As the policemen assembled the patrons in line and transported the seized alcohol to police cars, a crowd began to form outside Stonewall to watch the events unfold. What finally sparked a full-scale riot was, reportedly, the cry of one woman, who yelled “Why don’t you guys do something?” to the crowd of bystanders, and then was shoved into a police wagon. Hundreds of people then broke into a riot, scuffling with the police, smashing windows, and hurtling items. These were not spontaneous, random acts of destruction, but rather the culmination of pent-up anger and frustration over the continued silencing and suppression of the communities; said one demonstrator:

We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of shit. It wasn’t anything tangible anybody said to anyone else, it was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place…

A lull interrupted the rioting before an even larger demonstration began over the next few days, collectively making up the country’s first major and highly-publicized gay rights demonstration. 

(via pbsthisdayinhistory)