Who are you getting your Ferguson information from? I’m having problems verifying what’s actually happening!

Who are you getting your Ferguson information from? I’m having problems verifying what’s actually happening!

That’s actually what’s taking me so long to update some of my posts; not only is the information surfacing slowly about his case specifically, but I make sure to cross reference at least three sources because some people are just blatantly lying to stir shit up.

Also live feeds keep going down and new ones pop back up but I know some of you are sensitive to video, so

Here’s a list of some twitter handles:

Journalists (All of these are either on the ground in Ferguson as I type this or actively covering events in Ferguson, both Brown’s case and the rallies):


Instagram Accounts: (TW: Some of these accounts feature graphic video or images of Ferguson events)

Tumblr Accounts:

I’m sure I forgot a bunch but here’s a start. I’ll update it periodically and reblog. Some of it is compilations from a bunch of sources, some is original content. Disclaimer: I’m not vouching for any other content on any of these blogs/twitters/instagrams or any that may be posted after this list but as of right now, the information regarding Ferguson and discussions taking place about the rallies/police and Mike Brown’s death seems accurate.

if you want to be included on any of these lists, shoot me a message with your web-address and I’ll check it out

You will find everything I’ve posted under tagged/ferguson, tagged/police-brutality or tagged/michael-brown

August 19, 2014 at 7:30PM
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Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech

Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech
By jason.koebler@vice.com (Jason Koebler)

More than 15 years after its inception, Fark.com, one of the internet’s most prominent link aggregators, decided to ban misogyny in its notoriously irreverent comments section. Is it only a matter of time until other sites follow suit?

In a message posted yesterday, Fark founder Drew Curtis said it’s no longer acceptable to make rape jokes on the site, or call women “whores or sluts,” or suggest that a female victim of a violent crime was “somehow asking for it”—you know, the kind of stuff that pervades Reddit threads and comment sections all around the internet.

From a human decency perspective, it makes a whole lot of sense—just as banning the “jailbait” subreddit a couple years ago made a whole lot of sense. But while the banning of jailbait or the deploy of similar moderation techniques on other sites spurred cries of “CENSORSHIP” throughout the virtual land, Fark’s, perhaps improbably, has been met with measured responses and general acceptance.

I am really pleased to see different sites deciding not to privilege aggressors’ speech over their targets’

It’s a step forward for Fark, for sure, but is it a step forward for internet communities everywhere? Probably not yet, but it’s a move in the right direction, and it may spur other websites to consider moderating their comments more closely. 

Sure, Fark isn’t the powerhouse it was in the early 2000s, when all my high school friends were obsessed with the site. But it’s still got a large community and moves like this will probably keep it relevant for years to come.

“I am hoping it will convince other web communities to make a similar decision,” Curtis told me. “Now that we’ve done it I feel like a complete ass for waiting so long. So will everyone else who makes the same call.”

He’s likely right on that last point. Moderating speech online is tricky, and there’s the whole “slippery slope” argument to be made about censorship. Let’s be clear here: privately owned websites are obviously not required to respect the First Amendment, but there’s a mandate on the internet that anything and everything goes that there’s this de facto assumption that you should be able to say whatever you want, anywhere on the internet.


— hair systems (wigs) (@agirlirl) March 26, 2014

But Fark’s move is more likely to actually facilitate truly free speech, rather than restrict it. And it’s a sign that women’s rights are thankfully and finally being taken a bit more seriously of late (take a look at what Gawker finally did over at Jezebel last week for another example).

“I would say that these sorts of decisions are exactly what we need, and in fact align with the spirit of free speech because they actually encourage more speech, not less, and give voice to those who otherwise would be shouted down, drowned out, or scared off,” Whitney Phillips, an internet researcher who is currently working on a book about internet trolls at Humboldt State University, told me.

In other words, if “the internet” is filled with trolls who post rape gifs in comment sections, anonymous individuals who call all women sluts and whores, and people who ask female members of online communities to show their tits every time they participate, women are more likely to simply stay out of the discussion rather than join it. 

antagonistic speech infringes on the speech of those who are silenced by that kind of abuse

Fark certainly never got quite that extreme, but the point stands: If a site is a violent place for a woman to go, why would she go there?

“I am really pleased to see different sites deciding not to privilege aggressors’ speech over their targets’,” Phillips said. “That tends to be the default position in so many online ‘free speech’ debates which suggest that if you restrict aggressors’ speech, you’re doing a disservice to America—a position that doesn’t take into account the fact that antagonistic speech infringes on the speech of those who are silenced by that kind of abuse.”

Curtis agrees, and it’s hopefully just a matter of time until others follow suit.

“I view Fark as not a country with a government but a house party,” he said. “I’m glad everyone came to my house party but if you insult the other guests, the host, [crap] on the food, argue that the furniture sucks, want to tell everyone about how cool the other house party is down the road, well then we’ll show you the door. Go have all the free speech you want out in the street.”

August 19, 2014 at 5:00PM
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We Created a Policing Monster By Mistake

We Created a Policing Monster By Mistake
By Kevin Drum

Although I’ve avoided writing about Ferguson for private reasons, I almost wrote a short post yesterday in order to make one specific point. But it turns out to be OK that I didn’t, because Annie Lowrey wrote it for me and did a better job than I would have.

The point of her post is simple: Two decades ago violent crime really was out of control, and it seemed reasonable to a lot of people that police needed to respond in a much more forceful way. We can argue forever about whether militarizing our police forces was an appropriate response to higher crime rates, but at least it was an understandable motivation. Later, police militarization got a further boost from 9/11, and again, that was at least an understandable response.

But at the same time this trend started in the early 90s, the crime wave of the 70s and 80s finally crested and then began to ebb. Likewise, Al Qaeda terrorism never evolved into a serious local problem. We’ve spent the past two decades militarizing our police forces to respond to problems that never materialized, and now we’re stuck with them. We don’t need commando teams and SWAT units in every town in America to deal with either terrorism or an epidemic of crime, so they get used for other things instead. And that’s how we end up with debacles like Ferguson.

Police militarization was a mistake. You can argue that perhaps we didn’t know that at the time. No one knew in 1990 that crime was about to begin a dramatic long-term decline, and no one knew in 2001 that domestic terrorism would never become a serious threat. But we know now. There’s no longer even a thin excuse for arming our police forces this way.

August 16, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Where Do Republicans Stand On The Michael Brown Case?

Where Do Republicans Stand On The Michael Brown Case?
By Dish Staff

by Dish Staff

Protest over the killing of unarmed teen in Ferguson

Notably, Rand Paul spoke out against police militarization with an op-ed in Time:

There is a systemic problem with today’s law enforcement. Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies – where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.

Ilya Somin couldn’t be happier:

The op ed should help put to rest the notion – never very plausible to begin with – that libertarians are ignoring these issues. Paul has not gone as far in opposing the War on Drugs and police militarization as I and many other libertarians would like. I would prefer to abolish the War on Drugs completely, not just cut it back and reduce sentences, as Paul has advocated. But he has gone much farther on both than the vast majority of other mainstream politicians, including most Democrats.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Wallace-Wells sees a rare opportunity for bipartisan action:

[T]he conservative perspective on law and order has been subtly changing, most obviously in the strengthening conservative enthusiasm for reforming prison sentencing, a cause embraced not only by libertarians like Mike Lee and Rand Paul but also by more conventional Republicans like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. Even given this recent history, it was still striking today to see Rand Paul, in his statement, turn from more general concerns about the militarization of police to the specific topic of race: “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.” This is exactly the argument that liberals have been making for an awfully long time, but that conservatives have rarely joined. It seems hard to imagine, given how clearly the conversation has turned to militarization, that we won’t hear more of this.

But Dave Weigel identifies a split on the right:

The modern GOP, the one that elected Richard Nixon and built its base in the South and the suburbs, established early on that it was the “law and order” party. The crime waves of the 1960s and 1970s and the crack wars of the 1980s were crucial to Republican dominance, and led to tough-on-crime legislation that’s still on the books. Only recently, as violent crime rates have tumbled, has the libertarian tendency of the GOP reasserted itself. We’ve seen the “Right on Crime” Republican legislators pass prison reform bills; we’ve seen Rand Paul talk about restoring the voting rights of felons, and shrinking the number of crimes that can be classified as life-ruining felonies.

It’s an open question: Which of these tendencies will characterize the conservative response to Ferguson? The law-and-order tendency that assumes the cops pointing their guns at protesters are preventing the outside agitators from doing something wild? Or the libertarian tendency that asks if you really want a photo of the occupation of Crimea to be indistinguishable from a photo of the St. Louis metro area?

Ben Domenech argues, “If you want an indication about where someone sits on the dividing line between conservative and libertarian, sometimes it’s as simple as how they answer this question: how do you feel about cops?

Do you naturally tend to trust them, viewing them as a necessary and needed hedge acting in defense of law and order? Or are you naturally suspicious of them, believing them to be little more than armed tax collectors and bureaucrats with a tendency to violence and falsehood in service of their whims? Are cops the brave individuals who stand between the law-abiding and those who would rob, rape, and kill, or are they the low-level tyrannical overpaid functionaries of the administrative state, more focused on tax collection in the form of citations, property grabs, and killing the occasional family dog?

This isn’t to say that only libertarians are suspicious of cops. There has always been a strain of conservatism very skeptical of government power, and as police forces have become more interested in seizing assets and ignoring complaint, many conservatives have become openly critical of their behavior. Indeed, Mary Katharine Ham has a great response to what we’re seeing in Ferguson, as does Kevin Williamson. But how you answer that initial question will tell you a lot about your political assumptions regarding authority.

Hans Fiene notes, “For many conservatives, especially those of us living in nice, comfy suburbs, it’s hard to apply the “power corrupts” doctrine to law enforcement because we’ve never seen corrupted enforcers of the law”:

We’ve never been wrongly arrested. We’ve never witnessed our children put in jail based on the false reports of police officers. We’ve never seen our neighbors beaten or tazed without cause. And in the extremely unlikely scenario that a police officer drove into our neighborhood and murdered our unarmed friend in cold blood, we cannot possibly fathom a scenario where the justice system wouldn’t be on our side and where that police officer wouldn’t spend the rest of his life in jail. Therefore Michael Brown must have been a violent thug, foolish enough to think he could swipe a cop’s weapon because, in our minds, there’s no conceivable way that a police officer would gun down an innocent man. But just because we don’t see the corruption of law enforcement in our own lives doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Meanwhile, Matt Steinglass wonders where the gun-rights crowd disappeared to:

Curiously, observes Francis Wilkinson in Bloomberg View, gun-rights advocates have not used the confrontation in Ferguson as an example of a situation where possession of a gun might have protected a citizen from the illegitimate use of force by a government agent. They have not argued that Michael Brown might be alive now if he had been able to shoot back at the police officer who killed him, or that the demonstrators who fired warning shots when police tried to shut down protests would have been justified in shooting officers to defend their right to freedom of association. No such arguments have been heard with regard to any of the unarmed black men killed by American police officers over the past few years. One wonders what might account for the fact that gun-rights advocates defend the right of a white Nevada rancher to shoot agents of the Bureau of Land Management, but not the right of young black men to shoot police officers.

More Dish on the events in Ferguson here.

(Photo: Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 14, 2014. By Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

August 15, 2014 at 1:40PM
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95% of Republican House districts are majority-white

95% of Republican House districts are majority-white
By Christopher Ingraham

Congressman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) represents the whitest Congressional district in the nation. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Congressman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) represents the whitest Congressional district in the nation. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Congressman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) represents the whitest Congressional district in the nation. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Writing in the Brookings Institution’s FixGov blog last week, political scientist Christopher Parker pondered House Republicans’ stubborn refusal to back immigration reform, despite support in the Senate and across wide swaths of the conservative commentariat. He surmises that House Republicans are balking because they “represent constituencies haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re ‘losing their country’ to immigrants from south of the border.”

Recent pollingbacks this up. Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives. According to Parker’s polling, nearly two-thirds of Tea Party conservatives want to eliminate birthright citizenship, and 82 percent of Tea Partiers say they feel “anxious or fearful” about undocumented immigrants.

Another factor behind Republican recalcitrance on immigration and similar issues is the simple racial math underlying many House congressional districts. According to U.S. Census data, only 13 out of 234 Republican-held districts are majority-minority (that is, districts where white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population). That’s about 5 percent of all Republican districts. In contrast, fully 49 percent of Democrat-held districts are majority-minority.

You can see how this looks in the chart below, which plots one thin bar for every congressional district in the U.S., sorted by the white non-Hispanic share of the district population, and colored according to whether a Democrat or Republican holds the seat.


On the left side of the chart are districts with the lowest white non-Hispanic population share. These districts are overwhelmingly Democratic. The least-white district in the United States is New York’s 15th, which lies within the Bronx and is held by Democrat Jose Serrano. In terms of ranking by non-white population share a Republican district doesn’t show up until number 21 on the list – that would be Florida’s 27th, a majority Hispanic district with a large Cuban population, held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

10 least-white districts

District (Representative)     Party     Total pop.     Non-Hispanic white pop.      % white
NY-15 (José Serrano)D713,763 15,998 2.24
CA-40 (Lucille Roybal Allard)D698,159 35,962 5.15
CA-44 (Janice Hahn)D700,824 50,905 7.26
CA-34 (Xavier Becerra)D704,381 66,927 9.50
NY-5 (Gregory Meeks)D733,970 85,273 11.62
TX-29 (Gene Green)D705,502 83,184 11.79
TX-9 (Al Green)D696,093 85,896 12.34
FL-24 (Frederica Wilson)D687,488 85,462 12.43
NY-13 (Charles Rangel)D740,984 96,680 13.05
CA-51 (Juan Vargas)D696,599 100,555 14.44

Republicans, on the other hand, are better represented on the right side of the chart. The whitest district in the nation (at 96.2%) is Kentucky’s 5th, represented by Republican Hal Rogers. There are a fair number of Democrat-held districts over here too – seats in highly liberal but overwhelmingly white New England states like Maine and Vermont, as well as some seats in West Virginia and the Northern Great Lakes region.

10 whitest districts

District (Representative)     Party     Total pop.      Non-Hispanic white pop.      % white
KY-5 (Hal Rogers)R721,703 694,217 96.19
ME-2 (Mike Michaud)D663,304 629,567 94.91
OH-6 (Bill Johnson)R720,406 683,330 94.85
WV-1 (David McKinley)R615,010 580,150 94.33
VT-1 (Peter Welch)D625,498 589,350 94.22
ME-1 (Chellie Pingree)D665,780 625,174 93.90
PA-18 (Tim Murphy)R706,534 661,505 93.63
WV-3 (Nick Rahall)D615,013 575,575 93.59
PA-5 (Glenn Thompson)R705,633 659,708 93.49
PA-9 (Bill Shuster)R704,950 658,990 93.48

Separately charting the distribution of Democratic and Republican seats yields an even clearer picture of the racial divide between the parties. The charts below show the number of seats by each district’s white population at 10 percent intervals.


The Republican distribution is highly skewed toward seats with strong white majorities. About two-thirds of Republican House seats are in districts where the population is more than 70 percent white. The Democratic seats, on the other hand, are surprisingly balanced, with similar numbers seen on both sides of the distribution. Less than three-in-ten Democratic seats are in districts where whites make up more than 70 percent of the population.

These numbers neatly illustrate why House Republicans can afford to balk on immigration reform, and to talk about things like a “war on whites:” in general, there’s very little disincentive for doing so. A sizeable majority of the House Republican caucus simply doesn’t need to worry about appealing to minority voters, period.

Things are different in the Senate, where statewide races force politicians to appeal to more heterogeneous audiences, both in terms of ideology and race. For a sense of this, we can zoom out to the national level and look at racial breakdown of all constituents represented by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate.


Whites make up a little more than 50 percent of the total population of all House districts represented by Democrats. But whites represent 75 percent of all Republican House constituents. Party constituent populations in the Senate, on the other hand, are considerably more balanced. Whites make up 63 percent of all Democratic constituents, and 65 percent of all Republican constituents.

In the House in particular, Democrats and Republicans represent populations that are racially quite different. They are quite literally playing to two very different audiences when it comes to race.

Moreover, House Republicans’ constituents are considerably whiter than even Senate Republicans’ constituents. Conversely, House Democrats represent a less white coalition of voters than their counterparts in the Senate. These differences partly explain not only the vast ideological gulf between House Democrats and Republicans, but also the frequently fractious relationship between Republicans in the House and Senate.

Something something gerrymandering. Something something systemic racism.

(Seriously, 95% though? Damn.)

August 12, 2014 at 11:23AM
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The best way to survive a headshot in a first-person shooter

The best way to survive a headshot in a first-person shooter
By Chris Plante

Step 1: Wait for your opponent to line up a perfect headshot.

Step 2: Discard your weapon a fraction of a second before they fire.

Step 3: Deflect incoming bullet with discarded weapon.

Step 4: GIF it.

Step 5: Become internet famous.

Check out the post at Reddit for a GIF of the shot in real-time.

Continue reading…

August 11, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Next-Gen Fame

Next-Gen Fame
By Andrew Sullivan

Sarah Kessler traveled to Anaheim for this year’s VidCon, where famous YouTubers connected with more than 18,000 attendees:

Some kids are here to see beauty vloggers like Michelle Phan (6.7 million subscribers), who posts tutorials about makeup and life advice on her channel. Another, typically older, crowd prefers the Jon Stewart-esque commentary of Philip DeFranco (3.3 million subscribers) and the news-based comedy channel he created called SourceFed (1.4 million subscribers). Others enjoy following daily updates from a family of six that goes by the name “Shaytards” (2.4 million subscribers). The Fine Brothers (9.3 million subscribers), who mostly direct rather than star in videos on their channel, attract an audience that is half comprised of people older than 25, though you’d never guess it here. Other corners of YouTube, like the extremely popular video game YouTubers, aren’t even represented at VidCon, where teenage girls running after cute boy YouTubers are the most visible force.

Kessler notes that, already, “traditional entertainment companies are rushing to capitalize on [YouTubers’] popularity”:

It’s almost inevitable that the worship of authenticity, personal relationships, and equality between the fans and the famous, will take a hit at the expense of something much more profitable. Some draw parallels between YouTubers’ nascent fame and the early days of ESPN or CNN, which, before they became profit powerhouses, seemed laughable in comparison to network channels.

“I believe to my core that the next generation of media businesses will look more like Michelle Phan and Phil DeFranco,” says Bing Chen, YouTube’s former creator development lead, who recently left to found a startup that builds apps for YouTubers’ communities. “Michelle Phan is unequivocally this generation’s Oprah Winfrey, FreddieW has, with RocketJump, become this generation’s Steven Spielberg, Phil DeFranco and SourceFed has become this generation’s Jon Stewart, if not Rupert Murdoch and News Corp.”

(Video: Michelle Phan advises viewers on how to be unique)

The times, they are, a changin’

August 9, 2014 at 5:27PM
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