Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor, the 5 Foot Freak) died on March 22, 2016. And yes, I am extremely saddened. A group that became a musical soundtrack for my youth lost one of its members. The impending trending topic and social media responses ensued. In fact, I saw so many different types of people worldwide give the exact same account: Phife Dawg helped them get through it.
From Madness and Reality:
Many people, including yours truly when he was little and didn’t know any better, believed that the War on Drugs was actually about stopping and preventing the sale and usage of illegal drugs. I thought it was a righteous effort to send people who poisoned communities to prison. I thought those who use drugs deserved what they got. Overall, I thought drugs were bad.
That is until I started doing a wee bit of research, especially reading Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow and realized that the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ was not really about drugs. It was actually more like a war on black people. And recently, someone who has played an enormous role in that war just revealed that it was so.
From Michael Crowley at Politico:
In his victory speech after last week’s Florida primary, Donald Trump pinpointed the key moment in his meteoric political rise: “Paris happened.”
Trump said that after the November terrorist attacks that left 130 dead in the French capital, soon followed by a terrorist massacre in San Bernardino, California, his campaign “took on a whole new meaning. … And all of a sudden the poll numbers just shot up.”
From Steven Waldman at the Washington Monthly:
On Meet the Press this weekend, they debated whether Hillary Clinton is being held to a double standard when she’s criticized for shouting and not smiling enough. I agree about the irksome smile-more complaint , but it’s not sexist to say Hillary should shout less.
Truth is, most politicians in the television age – male or female — sound worse when they shout.
From Julian Sanchez at Cato Institute:
In a third-act twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan, the FBI has announced that it has just discovered a method, provided by an unnamed “third party,” of breaking into deceased San Bernardino shooting suspect Syed Farook’s iPhone without help from Apple. As a result, the hearing at which Apple and DOJ lawyers were scheduled to square off today has been postponed for at least two weeks while the Bureau tests out this “new” approach, potentially rendering the legal battle with Cupertino moot.
The scare quotes in the previous sentence are there to signal my skepticism that there is a genuinely novel in play here—which matters because the FBI has been consistently representing to the courts that Apple’s assistance, and an order to compel that assistance, was “necessary” to access the data—which is to say, that the FBI had no viable alternative methods to decrypt the contents of the phone.
From Michael John Scott at MadMikesAmerica:
Almost every detail about the Mudhouse Mansion is riddled with mystery, which is perhaps what made the building so attractive to ghost hunters and thrill-seekers.
It was built sometime in the late 1800s on a little hill in Lancaster, Ohio, and sold in the 1920s to the Hartman family, who are still the owners of the property—though the family name switched with Lulu Hartman-Mast’s inheritance. Sometime in the 1930s, the house slipped into abandonment, and in the ensuing years reportedly played host to transients and traveling hippies. Like any derelict home—especially one so ominous—the Mudhouse Mansion of Ohio soon gave way to numerous creepy tales.
From Marc McDonald at BeggarsCanBeChoosers.com:
A lot of progressives despise and fear Donald Trump. I don’t. While Ted Cruz does creep me out (and frightens the hell out of me), there are actually some things I admire about Trump.
I mean, it took some big balls to stand on a GOP debate stage and repeatedly blast the decision to invade Iraq. We’ve been doing that at this blog for years. I’ve gotta tell ya, there’s a certain sense of vindication when the GOP frontrunner is basically saying the same thing about Iraq that we’ve been saying since 2003.
There’s a couple of other things that I’ll admit I like about Trump.
From Esther Yu-Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress:
Stefan Jagsch, a German neo-Nazi leader, has Syrian refugees to thank for saving his life following a car crash into a tree last week.
Jagsch, a 29-year-old member of the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party (NPD) and the party’s top candidate for an election in the Hesse region, was seriously injured after he swerved off the road and hit a tree in the German town of Büdingen. Witnesses said that two Syrian refugees who passed the accident rushed to his help, pulling him from the wreckage and administering first aid.
Green Eagle contrasts followers of Donald Trump with history’s real thing. Let’s not make the current variety more than a pale reflection.
From Green Eagle:
So, there have been few American politicians in our lives as openly nasty and hate filled as Donald Trump. But I think it’s time to stop the facile comparisons to Hitler. These claims prove to me, more than anything else, how knowledge of what Hitler and the Nazis were, has largely disappeared in this country. Here’s a bit of perspective.
First of all, the United States in 2016 is facing little compared to the massive trauma of Germany in the 1920’s, when Hitler rose to prominence. Yeah, our last Republican President gave us one of the most humiliating military disasters in history, and Republican economic cant caused a major disruption in the economy. But, in truth, the Iraq aggression really affected Americans in only very minor ways, compared to World War I Germany, where a large part of a whole generation was killed off, and the people at home suffered immense deprivation, only to lose a war that they need never have entered, and end up being charged massive reparations as a result. And the 2008 economic collapse, as bad as it was, was a minor disruption compared to the complete devastation of the German economy that took place in the twenties, leaving a large part of the middle class destitute. It is these people, not the poor, who formed the real core of Hitler’s support.
From PZ Myers at Pharyngula:
We’re in trouble now: one of those conservative campus watchdog groups has discovered that the University of Minnesota Morris has Satanist students. And not just ordinary, run-of-the-mill Satanists — these are gay devil-worshippers!
Actually, it looks more like a recruiting newsletter was sent out, but I’m sure our evil student body will leap on it.