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Patrick Kimmons

Patrick Kimmons (1991-2018), a Black American man, was killed by police in Portland, Oregon in the early hours of Sunday September 30th 2018. It seems he was armed – but it also seems he was shot in the back.

The police say they came across a shoot-out and drove into the parking lot on the corner of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street (formerly Stark). They saw flashes of gunfire. When they confronted Kimmons, he turned towards them holding a gun. They gunned him down. They recovered a gun near his body, one of five found at the scene.

Video: the police say they have surveillance video. It has not (yet) been made public.

Witnesses: four police officers and “numerous community members”.

One witness, Ayan Aden, was in the parking lot in her car with her boyfriend. She said she heard yelling and then saw Kimmons running through the parking lot. He dropped his gun near her car and kept running. The police said “stop” twice and then immediately started shooting. She and her boyfriend ducked. Two bullets hit their car. Aden:

“The shooting was excessive. He was clearly running away and threw the gun away.”

Some witnesses heard up to 16 shots.

His mother says he was shot 15 times, in the back and the leg.

The killer cops were Sergeant Garry Britt and Officer Jeffrey Livingston. Britt has been with the Portland police for ten years, Livingston for one and a half. Both are now on paid leave as the police investigate themselves. Their findings (cover-up?) will be presented to a grand jury, which will determine whether to charge the police with a crime.

Sgt Britt has taken part in two other shootings, of John Elifritz earlier this year, and of Joshua Stephen Baker in 2012. Baker, like Kimmons, was 27 on a September night, was running from police, and was believed to be armed and dangerous. But Baker was White and was taken alive.

The Portland police have a history of racial profiling.

Kimmons’ younger brother says that Kimmons had been part of a gang, the Rolling 60s Crips, but had quit for the sake of his children. He believes a rival gang was shooting at Kimmons when the police stepped in and killed him.

Kimmons was a baker at Dave’s Killer Bread.

Sequoia Turner, his girlfriend and mother of two of his three young children:

“He had a past, but we were working toward our future and our kids were our everything. He never experienced real love until we had our kids, you know. Trying to set an example that he wasn’t given was hard. But we worked together.”

Letha Winston, his mother:

“I don’t know how to go on, I don’t know how to begin to accept this. It kills me my son did not threaten the life or welfare of any of the 3 officers but was still murdered as he ran away! What happen[ed] to getting arrested? What[‘s] wrong with due process, or the judicial system?”

– Abagond, 2018.

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571

Nobel Prize winners for 2018

nobel-prizeThe Nobel Prizes are given every year in October to those who have most benefited mankind in one of six fields: peace, literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, and economics. For each prize, 9 million Swedish kronas (equal to a million US dollars or two metric tons of silver) is split among the winners.

The winners for 2018: (to be filled in as they are announced):

Medicine & Physiology: 

James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo win for discovering immune checkpoint therapy, which uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It works (sometimes) on skin, lung, and kidney cancer. Allison says it is a great example of how basic science can save lives.

Professor Honjo and his team at Kyoto University.

Physics:

Donna Strickland, Gérard Mourou, and Arthur Ashkin win. Mourou and Strickland developed a laser technique called chirped pulse amplification (CPA). Ashkin used that to create optical tweezers, using lasers to pick or move very small living things, like viruses or bacteria, without harming them. Strickland is only the second woman to win the Physics Prize since Marie Curie in 1903, and the first woman to win any sort of Nobel Prize since 2015.

Chemistry: 

Frances Arnold, George P Smith, and Gregory Winter win for using directed evolution to create proteins. Arnold, a chemical engineer at Caltech, gets half the prize, being the first to use something like natural selection to evolve chemicals for a particular purpose. She used it to create enzymes, proteins that speed up chemical reactions. Smith and Winter used it to create antibodies, proteins that kill bacteria and viruses. It is now used to make drugs, even green fuels,

Literature: 

To be announced next year – the Swedish Academy is still recovering from a scandal in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Peace:

Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege win for their “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”, making a “crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes.” Murad, the first Iraqi ever to win the Peace Prize, was made a sex slave by ISIS and was sold several times. She escaped in November 2014, becoming a champion for Yazidi Iraqis. Dr Mukwege runs a hospital in D.R. Congo under UN protection. He has treated many wartime victims of sexual violence. He was African of the Year in 2009.

Economics:

William Nordhaus and Paul Romer win for “constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge.” Nordhaus was the first to create a model that shows how the economy and climate change affect each other. He is for the carbon tax. Romer’s model shows that capitalism does not reward those with new ideas, not like it should, that government has to step in and push research, as is done in the US.

Winners listed by country of birth:

  • Britain: Winter
  • Canada: Strickland
  • D.R. Congo: Mukwege
  • France: Mourou
  • Iraq: Murad
  • Japan: Honjo
  • US: Allison, Ashkin, Arnold, Smith, Nordhaus, Romer

by county of immigration:

  • none were immigrants, which is surprising based on past years.

– Abagond, 2018.

See also:

599

Mocedades: Eres Tú

Remarks: 

This song finished second in the Eurovision contest of 1973. The Eurovision performance is shown above. A year later it went to #9 on the US pop chart. As of 2018 it is still one of only three songs completely in Spanish to make the top ten:

  • 1966: “Guantanamera” by The Sandpipers reached #9
  • 1974: “Eres Tú” by Mocedades reached #9
  • 1987: “La Bamba” by Los Lobos reached #1

The versions of “Macarena” (1995), “Despacito” (2017) and “Mi Gente” (2017) that reached the top ten in the US had parts in English.

See also:

Lyrics:

Como una promesa eres tú, eres tú,
como una mañana de verano,
como una sonrisa eres tú, eres tú,
así, así eres tú.

Toda mi esperanza eres tú, eres tú,
como lluvia fresca en mis manos,

como fuerte brisa eres tú, eres tú,
así, así eres tú.

Eres tú como el agua de mi fuente,
eres tú el fuego de mi hogar,
eres tú como el fuego de mi hoguera,
Eres tú el trigo de mi pan.

Como mi poema eres tú, eres tú,
como una guitarra en la noche,
todo mi horizonte eres tú, eres tú,
así, así eres tú.

Eres tú como el agua de mi fuente,
eres tú el fuego de mi hogar,
eres tú como el fuego de mi hoguera,
eres tú el fuego de mi hogar.
Eres tú como el agua de mi fuente…

Source: letras.com

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing (September 27th 2018) was held by the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear one of Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford. She says he tried to rape her back in high school. President Trump named Kavanaugh for the US Supreme Court, but he needs the Senate to confirm him by majority vote. The Republicans, Trump’s party, barely control the Senate (51 to 49).

Blasey Ford went first. It was heartbreaking. It is one thing to read her story, quite another thing to see her tell it. Television is so full of polished politicians, actors, admen, and cartoon characters, that it was startling to see a real person with real emotions.

They asked her what she most remembered. She said it was the laughter. Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were laughing as they tried to rape her.

Crystal Marie Fleming (@alwaystheself) on Twitter:

“I cried listening to the testimony of Dr. Ford this morning during my commute. I cried because the truth of her words rings clear to anyone with a functioning brain and moral compass. That she is required to publicly relive her trauma for a gang of elite men is beyond repulsive.”

Republicans on the committee are all White men. To question her in a respectful and professional way, they had to fly in a “female assistant” from Arizona, Rachel Mitchell, a sex crime prosecutor. Mitchell seemed to be fishing for proof that the Democrats had put Blasey Ford up to it.

Democrats asked their own questions. Only half of them are White men. The Democrats told her how good and brave she was, upending her life for the good of the nation and for women everywhere.

Angry White Men will be Angry White Men

Brett Kavanaugh’s turn came after lunch. One minute he was angry and rude, even to the senators, the next minute he was holding back tears, even about his father’s calendar. Huh? He presumably wanted us to believe that he was angry and upset because he was being falsely accused. But it came across like he felt entitled to a seat on the Supreme Court. His anger and entitlement made the attempted rape accusation seem all the more believable. He did not seem like a wise, fair-minded judge but a like a bitter, partisan hack.

Republicans all expressed sympathy for what he was going through. Sniff. They seemed strangely unconcerned about finding out the truth of Blasey Ford’s accusation of attempted rape. It reminded me of priests or police officers protecting one of their own.

Democrats kept asking him if he wanted an FBI investigation to clear his name. Each time they asked him the question he found a way not to answer it. Meaning that his anger had nothing to do with feeling he was falsely accused.

The committee, controlled by the Republicans, did not call any experts or witnesses, not even Mark Judge. It did not call Deborah Ramirez or Julie Swetnick – the two other women who have come out publicly against Kavanaugh.

– Abagond, 2018.

Update (October 2nd): According to a Quinnipiac poll, here is how many people believed Blasey Ford:

by race:

  • 83% Blacks
  • 66% Hispanics
  • 40% Whites

by gender:

  • 55% women
  • 40% men

by party:

  • 86% Democrats
  • 10% Republicans

Only 46% of White women believed her! 

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524

Julie Swetnick

Julie Swetnick (c. 1963- ) is now the third woman to come out against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the US Supreme Court. Her accusations are even worse than the other two!

Swetnick says, under oath, that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge arranged and took part in gang rapes back in high school in the early 1980s. She can name witnesses who can back her up.

She wants an FBI investigation. Kavanaugh, who denies it, does not.

Swetnick:

“During the years 1981-82, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to “spike” the “punch” at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say “No.” This caused me to make an effort to purposely avoid the “punch” at these parties. I witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to “target” particular girls so they could be taken advantage of; it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy.”

It gets worse:

“I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could be “gang raped” in a side room or bedroom by a “train” of numerous boys. I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside the rooms at many of these parties waiting for their “turn” with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.”

She herself was a victim:

“In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these “gang” or “train” rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.”

Kavanaugh:

“This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”

Kavanaugh said during a Fox News interview that he was a virgin during high school and that, “I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.”

As to Mark Judge: Swetnick says Kavanaugh and Mark Judge were “joined at the hip” and that:

“There is no question in my mind that Mark Judge has significant information concerning the conduct of Brett Kavanaugh during the 1980s, especially as it relates to his actions toward women.”

Mark Judge refuses to appear before the Senate and the Senate refuses to force him.

Democrats are calling on President Trump to either reopen the FBI background check on Kavanaugh or withdraw his name.

Tomorrow morning the first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is set to appear before the Senate.

In November a third of the Senate is up for re-election during the midterm elections. Republicans lead among men by 3 percentage points, but Democrats lead among women voters by 25 points.

– Abagond, 2018.

Source: Mainly Swetnick’s sworn statement (PDF).

See also:

565

Deborah Ramirez

Deborah Ramirez (c. 1965- ) is the second woman to come out against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. The first was Christine Blasey Ford, who came out last week accusing him of attempted rape back in high school.

Ramirez says Kavanaugh put his penis in her face when they were freshman at Yale University in the 1983-84 school year. It was during a drinking game, so her memory is not complete, but after careful consideration she is sure of this much, as reported by the New Yorker:

“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” … She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”

She wants an FBI investigation. Kavanaugh, who denies it, does not.

One witness can independently recall many of the same details as Ramirez – that it took place in a common room on the first floor in Entryway B of Lawrance Hall, that it was during freshman year, that another male student egged on Kavanaugh as he exposed himself. It was outside the bounds of what was acceptable, even at parties with heavy drinking. The witness says Kavanaugh was “relatively shy” but when he drank he could become “aggressive and even belligerent.”

Others remember it too, at least the rumours. In July when Trump named Kavanaugh as his pick, Yale alumni emailed each other about it. From there the story spread to the Senate and the New Yorker – well before Ramirez was willing to come forward.

Ramirez lives in Colorado and works for the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, which helps victims of domestic violence.

Ramirez is a registered Democrat, but she is not the Deborah Ramirez who received a grant from George Soros. That Deborah Ramirez is a law professor, and she went to Northeastern, not Yale.

Over 900 Yale alumni have signed a letter in support. It says in part:

“As women of Yale, some of whom are ourselves survivors of sexual assault, we stand behind Deborah Ramirez, Yale ’87, and with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. … We are coming forward as women of Yale because we have a shared experience of the environment that shaped not only Judge Kavanaugh’s life and career, but our own.”

– Abagond, 2018.

Source: Mainly the New Yorker, Heavy, the Open Letter from Women of Yale.

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535

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin: I Like It

Remarks:

This song is what is currently ringing in my head. It features Cardi B (New York), Bad Bunny (Puerto Rico), and J Balvin (Colombia). The Wikipedia classifies it as Latin trap.

This song went to #1 in the US on both the pop and R&B chart two months ago (July 2018) and is still #12 worldwide. It makes Cardi B, “Hotter than a Somali”, the first female rapper ever to have two #1 hits on the US pop chart.

It heavily samples “I Like It Like That” (1967) by Pete Rodriguez (New York). That song was covered in 1994 by the Blackout All-Stars and in 1997 by Tito Nieves, but is probably best known in the US from a 1996 Burger King ad.

See also:

Lyrics:

[Intro:]
Yeah baby, I like it like that
You gotta believe me when I tell you
I said I like it like that
You gotta believe me when I tell you
I said I like it like
[Cardi B:]
Now I like dollars, I like diamonds, I like stunting, I like shining
I like million dollar deals, where’s my pen? Bitch I’m signin’
I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks
I like going to the jeweller, I put rocks all in my watch
I like texts from my exes when they want a second chance
I like proving niggas wrong, I do what they say I can’t
They call me Cardi Bardi, banging body
Spicy mami, hot tamale
Hotter than a Somali, fur coat, Ferrari
Hop out the stu’, jump in the coupe (the coupe)
They trippin’ on top of the roof
Flexing on bitches as hard as I can
Eating halal, driving the Lam’
Told that bitch I’m sorry though
‘Bout my coins like Mario (Mario)
Yeah they call me Cardi B, I run this shit like cardio
Oh, damn
Diamond district in the Jag (I said I like it like that)
Certified, know I’m gang, gang, gang, gang (I said I like it like–)
Drop the top and blow the brains (I said I like it like that)
Oh he’s so handsome, what’s his name? (I said I like it)
Oh I need the dollars (I said I like it like that)
Beat it up like piñatas (I said I like it like–)
Tell the driver, close the curtains (I said I like it like that)
Bad bitch make him nervous (I said I like it)
Cardi B
[Bad Bunny:]
Chambean, chambean, pero no jalan (¡jalan!)
Tú compras to’a las Jordan, bobo, a mí me las regalan (jejeje)
I spend in the club (wuh), what you have in the bank (yeh)
This is the new religion, bang, en Latino gang, gang, yeh
Trato de hacer dieta (yeh), pero es que en el closet tengo mucha grasa (wuh)
Ya mude la Gucci pa’ dentro de casa, yeh (¡wuh!)
Cabrón, a ti no te conocen ni en Plaza (no)
El Diablo me llama pero Jesucristo me abraza (amén)
Guerrero como Eddie, que viva la raza, yeh
Me gustan boricuas, me gustan cubanas
Me gusta el acento de las colombianas (¿qué hubo pues?)
Como mueve el culo la dominicana (¿qué lo que?)
Lo rico que me chingan las venezolanas (¡wuh!)
Andamos activos, Perico Pin Pin (woo)
Billetes de cien en el maletín (ching)
Que retumbe el bajo, Bobby Valentin, yeh (boo)
Aquí es prohibido amar, diles Charytín
Que pa’l picor les tengo Claritin
Yo llego a la disco y se forma el motín (rrr)[Cardi B:]
Diamond district in the Jag (I said I like it like that)

[Bad Bunny:]
Bad Bunny, baby, be, be, be, be

[Cardi B:]
Certified, know I’m gang, gang, gang, gang (I said I like it like–)
Drop the top and blow the brains (I said I like it like that)
Oh he’s so handsome, what’s his name? (I said I like it)
Oh I need the dollars (I said I like it like that)
Beat it up like piñatas (I said I like it like–)
Tell the driver, close the curtains (I said I like it like that)
Bad bitch make you nervous (I said I like it)

[J Balvin:]
Como Celia Cruz tengo el azúcar (azúca’)
Tu jeva me vio y se fue de pecho como Jimmy Snuka (ah)
Te vamos a tumbar la peluca
Y arranca pa’l carajo cabrón, que a ti no te vo’a pasar la hookah (hookah, hookah)
Mis tenis Balenciaga, me reciben en la entrada (woo)
Pa-pa-pa-pa-razzi, like I’m Lady Gaga (woo)
Y no te me hagas (ey)
Que en cover de Billboard tú has visto mi cara (ey)
No salgo de tu mente
Donde quieras que viajes has escuchado “Mi Gente”
Yo no soy high (high), soy como el Testarossa (‘rossa)
Yo soy el que se la vive y también el que la goza (goza, goza)
Es la cosa, mami es la cosa (cosa, cosa)
El que mira sufre y el que toca goza (goza, goza)

[J Balvin (Cardi B):]
I said I like it like that
(I said I like it like that)
I said I like it like that
(I said I like it like that)

[Cardi B:]
Diamond district in the Jag (I said I like it like that)
Certified, you know I’m gang (I said I like it)
Drop the top and blow the brains (I said I like it like that)
Oh he’s so handsome, what’s his name? (I said I like it)

 

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