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JHan's Journal
JHan's Journal
September 29, 2017

Russia's Recent Facebook Ads Prove the Kremlin Never Loved Black People

"Evoking racial fears among Americans is an old game for Russia."

What is new with today’s Kremlin is that a new opportunity to exploit race in a different way has presented itself. Instead of siding with the oppressed black American population, Russian security services have clearly realized that it is to the Kremlin’s advantage to side with racist white people. Russia’s own rising nationalism, which views immigration from Central Asia as a threat, and Russian politicians’ support of it make for a very convenient relationship with American racists.

“The Russian leadership sees themselves as the redeemers of whiteness,” said Maxim Matusevich, director of the Russian and East European Studies program at Seton Hall University. “It is a reversal of the past when the Soviets were standing up for the oppressed and the minorities. Now all of a sudden they’re standing up for whiteness. That’s why I think Putin is so popular with segments of the American right because they see Russians as the guardians of whiteness: They’re white and they are Christian, they are anti-gay and anti-minority.”

For more than 70 years, the USSR engaged in a robust propaganda campaign to prove it was the oasis of black liberation. It was all a lie. In its current model of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin has proven that, like its former USSR predecessor state, it will use black people as a political tool whenever it suits them.

We were a tool of the USSR foreign policy then and we are a tool of Vladimir Putin’s Russia now. The Soviets didn’t love us then, and Putin’s Russia certainly proves it doesn’t love us now.

September 28, 2017

There's an interesting article on The Daily Banter..

Featuring Bravenak - I'm still allowed mention her right?

I know I can't re-post said article here because - well we know what will happen and the AA group gets enough alert stalking as it is......

But it's an interesting example of the privilege and arrogance of those who risked Trump and argued with twisted logic that Trump would be good for America.

Some love to ho-hum anger against third party advocates, but as we learn more about Kremlin manipulation of the electorate last year, the behavior of third party advocates, in retrospect, looks even more irresponsible and reckless.

Rather than engage in a little introspection, and ponder how they were duped by propaganda or enthusiastically spread it, they lash out at those in the crosshairs of the Trump administration who remain justifiably angry at their recklessness and divisiveness.

This tweet sums it up best.https://twitter.com/manglewood/status/795322499538046981

And the article is now in General Discussion! https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029648029

September 27, 2017

This Terry Gross interview is really really really good...and gives good context to "What Happened"

It's been shared in General Discussion already but worth a repost.


My takeaway:

It doesn't matter who Democrats run: the Right will relentlessly swiftboat and demonize them. With allies like the Mercers, Cambridge Analytica, and other arms of the RW media, (and Kremlin interference and Republican complicity ), Democrats must understand the divisive tactics of their opponents. Hillary succinctly breaks down the challenges we face, globally, from Right Wing forces.

Further, one of the many lessons of "What Happened" is the insidiousness of the dangerous supposition that the Democratic party is a failing institution. Risks were taken, with healthcare reform, and Democrats paid a massive political price for trying to fix problems courtesy the Bush Administration. Democrats may have lost the meme wars, may have been out-financed and outplayed by well-funded Right Wing think tanks and funding - funding which financed opposition and obstruction to Obama during his presidency - but that does not equal a failing party. We must never forget a minority of voters determined the course of America and they do not represent all 300 million Americans.

Another lesson of the book for me personally, and further confirmed in reactions to Hillary's recent interviews where she's described as newly "unguarded" and "real" compared to Hillary the candidate, is the fallacy of authenticity and likability politics.

We've all heard the complaints that Hillary is insincere and inauthentic, affecting her "likeability", but insincerity/inauthenticity comes with practice and one would think if there was any truth to that claim, that by now she would be good at it and it would go unnoticed, yet her detractors constantly feel the need to repeat the insincerity meme, as if to convince themselves and others. The contradictions in the Hillary critiques are mind-boggling.

The main problem with "likability" and "Authenticity" metrics is that they divert attention away from a person's actual record and their actions.

No surprises then, that an authentically horrible narcissist is in the WH.

September 20, 2017

Studies help explain link between autism, severe infection during pregnancy


A Korean couple who are both working as professors at prestigious U.S. universities proved the main cause of autism.

The couple found that certain bacteria in the mother’s digestive tract can lead to having an autistic child. Furthermore, they found the exact brain location linked to autistic behaviors, which can be used to find a cure for autism.

Science journal ‘Nature’ published the couple’s two research studies on the 14th. The couple are Harvard Medical School’s professor Huh Jun-ryeol, and MIT’s professor Gloria Choi.

The studies vividly explain the detailed process of a pregnant mouse, which is infected by a virus, having offspring that shows autistic behaviors.

The researchers found out that certain bacteria in the mother’s digestive tract can develop immune cells that directly influence the baby’s brain cells development. When the researchers removed the bacteria with antibiotics, the mouse had a normal baby mouse.

From MIT:

The researchers found that the patches are most common in a part of the brain known as S1DZ. Part of the somatosensory cortex, this region is believed to be responsible for proprioception, or sensing where the body is in space. In these patches, populations of cells called interneurons, which express a protein called parvalbumin, are reduced. Interneurons are responsible for controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain, and the researchers found that the changes they found in the cortical patches were associated with overexcitement in S1DZ.

When the researchers restored normal levels of brain activity in this area, they were able to reverse the behavioral abnormalities. They were also able to induce the behaviors in otherwise normal mice by overstimulating neurons in S1DZ.

The researchers also discovered that S1DZ sends messages to two other brain regions: the temporal association area of the cortex and the striatum. When the researchers inhibited the neurons connected to the temporal association area, they were able to reverse the sociability deficits. When they inhibited the neurons connected to the striatum, they were able to halt the repetitive behaviors..

EDIT: Changed original OP title to headline from MIT.
September 18, 2017

Dolores Huerta: The Civil Rights Icon Who Showed Farmworkers 'Si Se Puede'

Huerta was 25 when she became the political director of the Community Service Organization, run by influential community organizer Fred Ross. That's where she met Chavez, and in 1962 the two teamed up to form what became the UFA, organizing farmworkers who toiled for wages as low as 70 cents an hour, in brutal conditions.

"They didn't have toilets in the fields, they didn't have cold drinking water. They didn't have rest periods," Huerta tells NPR.

In 1965, the grape workers struck, and Huerta was a leading organizer. She faced violence on the picket lines — and sexism from both the growers she was staring down and their political allies, and from within her own organization. At one point, a lawmaker is seen referring to Huerta as Chavez's "sidekick." At a time when the feminist movement was taking root, Huerta was an unconventional figure: the twice-divorced mother of 11 children. "Who supports those kids when she's out on these adventures?" one of her opponents is shown asking in historical footage.

Now grown, her children provide some of the most moving accounts in the film. They speak with great admiration for their mother, but are also candid about the price her tireless dedication to the cause exacted on the family. As one daughter puts it, "The movement became her most important child."


And yet, her role in the farmworkers movement has long been overshadowed by that of Cesar Chavez, her longtime collaborator and co-founder of what became the United Farm Workers of America union. That's true even when it comes to credit for coining the movement's famous slogan, Sí se puede — Spanish for "Yes, we can" — which inspired President Obama's own campaign battle cry and has often wrongly been attributed to Chavez. (Obama acknowledged Huerta as the source of that phrase when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. She talks about its origins below.)


more links:



September 13, 2017

Hillary Clinton: A Vox Conversation on What Happened.


On page 239 of What Happened, Hillary Clinton reveals that she almost ran a very different campaign in 2016. Before announcing for president, she read Peter Barnes’s book With Liberty and Dividends for All, and became fascinated by the idea of using revenue from shared natural resources, like fossil fuel extraction and public airwaves, alongside revenue from taxing public harms, like carbon emissions and risky financial practices, to give every American “a modest basic income.”

Her ambitions for this idea were expansive, touching on not just the country’s economic ills but its political and spiritual ones. “Besides cash in people’s pockets,” she writes, “it would be also be a way of making every American feel more connected to our country and to each other.”

This is the kind of transformative vision that Clinton was often criticized for not having. It’s an idea bigger than a wall, perhaps bigger even than single-payer health care or free college. But she couldn’t make the numbers work. Every version of the plan she tried either raised taxes too high or slashed essential programs. So she scrapped it. “That was the responsible decision,” she writes. But after the 2016 election, Clinton is no longer sure that “responsible” is the right litmus test for campaign rhetoric. “I wonder now whether we should’ve thrown caution to the wind, embraced [it] as a long-term goal and figured out the details later,” she writes.

The whole interview is worth the watch. It's seriously good.

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About JHan

Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness.

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