GAME DEVELOPERS’ ASSOCIATION CALLS 10,000 TWEETERS ‘HARASSERS’–INCLUDING KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN

In a sign of how frenzied, panicky and intolerant the games industry establishment has become over the legitimate concerns of ordinary gamers, the International Game Developers’ Association brandedsome 10,425 Twitter accounts, including those of journalists, as harassment “offenders” in a humiliatingly ill-conceived attempt to provide a “blocking tool” to its members.

The blocking tool, which has been widely mocked online for its lack of sophistication and “blanket ban” approach, was assembled by Randi Harper, a persistent online agitator. The tool prevents users from seeing not only the tweets of users Harper has decided are implicated in harassment, but also many accounts who simply follow those users, by blocking a list of thousands of users with the use of an automated “bot.”

So indiscriminately has the block list been compiled that the IGDA’s own staff appear on it. Roberto Rosario, chair of the IGDA in Puerto Rico, is named on the list. In an acutely embarrassing moment for the Association, Rosario, who is not a GamerGate supporter, publicly threatened to resign unless his name was removed or the bot was disavowed.

He later told Breitbart: “It’s ridiculous, an insult, its anti-ethical, probably criminal and just plain false. I’ve been fighting for freedom, openness, anti-censorship and equality. A simple Google search of my name will reveal all the projects I’ve headed or collaborated on. The facts are there, clear as day.” As we went to press, Rosario had received no communication from the IGDA.

Dozens of innocent developers, journalists and even some feminist critics have been caught in the tool’s exceptionally wide net, thanks to whom they follow on Twitter. Prominent internet personality and YouTuber Total Biscuit noted this weekend the absurdity of an international trade body accepting unfit-for-purpose software and capricious, arbitrary “harassment” clarifications by an independent developer who is hardly non-partisan in the ongoing GamerGate controversy.

He also criticised the “echo chamber” mentality that is leading to such heavy-handed and absurd attempts to stifle debate. This is the third or perhaps fourth time a block list or block bot has been assembled by opponents of the GamerGate movement, which seeks better ethical standards in game journalism and rejects feminist critiques of video gamessuch as those of video-blogger Anita Sarkeesian.

Randi Harper herself is no paragon of civic virtue. She has been incarcerated on multiple occasions for what she claims were traffic offences but around which much more salacious rumours swirl, say games industry insiders. Harper denied on Saturday night that there was any more to her arrests, or the time she has spent behind bars, than her driving violations.

In the best traditions of far-Left feminist activists, Harper has also spuriously accusedGamerGate supporters such as lawyer Mike Cernovich of “rape threats.”

As with developer and prominent anti-GamerGate activist Brianna Wu, who became notorious for her sock-puppeting and trolling on message boards and social media, there is more than a whiff of hypocrisy around the woman now earnestly claiming to be a brave warrior in the war against online bullying.

The International Game Developers’ Association included a link and endorsement for Harper’s block list on its website in a new “harassment resource” section. But critics say linking to the bot, together with poorly-judged wording, has only served to spark more unkind words on social media, the exact opposite effect the calming and supportive tone on the IGDA’s website evidently wishes to elicit.

Associations ostensibly set up to support developers are now actively driving a wedge between different sections of the community, as this latest episode demonstrates. Several industry insiders have told Breitbart that the proportion of professional developers who support GamerGate may be as high as 50 per cent.

Brad Wardell, chief executive of games developer Stardock, put the figure even higher in an October interview with The Escapist: “If you were to take an actual survey of game developers who are following this issue… the overwhelming percentage of them (>75%) are sympathetic with the #GamerGate people.”

Suggestions that GamerGate supporters are exclusively white heterosexual men, as feminist campaigners have claimed in order to brand it a misogynistic hate group, were blown out of the water ten days ago when writer Oliver Campbell released a video showing the sexual, ethnic and gender diversity of the movement.

These developers, many of whom are independent and self-employed, and who support ethical reforms in game journalism and denounce harassment, now feel they are not being represented by the trade body.

One contracted female developer, who spoke anonymously to protect her job at a mid-sized American design studio, told Breitbart: “The harassment of women narrative seems to have won in the media. But that has never been what GamerGate was about. And now the IGDA is siding with people who are in it for attention and not trustworthy, tarring thousands of us with the same brush.”

And a male video game enthusiast, who asked not to be identified, wrote: “I’m 28, male, white, and a survivor of child sexual abuse and torture. I have never harassed anyone online, and the fact that I have been placed on this blocklist simply because I fall in line with the GG ideas of ethics in gaming journalism is infuriating to say the least.”

“Now I have to worry about people picking my name off that list as a way of deciding that because someone labeled me a scumbag for nothing, I get to be harassed,” he explained. “If that happens I am going to be called a lot of nasty things, and frankly just the possibility of the kind of memories and emotions that could dredge up for me is terrifying.”

He continued: “I’m just some random guy on the internet that wants ethics to be intrinsic to any kind of news media. Gaming is a hobby of mine that has helped me cope with a lot of the things that happened to me in my youth and has helped me move beyond flinching when I look at my own scars. The two together are why I personally back gamergate, but the fears of being labelled the kind of person that did those things to me have prevented me from being very outspoken about it. Now that fear has be redoubled by this whole debacle.”

The block list endorsed by the IGDA contains a number of eyebrow-raising inclusions. Alex Wilhelm, a reporter at TechCrunch, the UK Twitter account for publisher Penguin,Guardian journalists, actor Taye Diggs, feminist critics and your present correspondent are all present on the list.

But perhaps the most absurd Twitter account on the list is the official account of KFC. That’s right: Kentucky Fried Chicken was, at least for a while, according to a prominent international video games industry body and thanks to the hysteria of so-called social justice warriors such as Randi Harper, one of the worst harassers of women on the internet.

In one final, finger-lickin’ irony, the IGDA’s executive director, Kate Edwards, was reportedly unable to see messages of thanks posted to her on Saturday night when she admitted the block had been a bad idea and removed it from the IGDA’s website, because she had herself already used the now widely discredited, and ideologically repugnant, bot.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/11/22/Game-developers-association-calls-10-000-tweeters-harassers-including-Kentucky-Fried-Chicken

Walmart’s Bottomless Greed: Dodging Billions in Taxes, Scheming to Avoid Billions More

There’s another reason Walmart is known as one of America’s greediest corporations: it won’t pay its fair share of taxes.

Walmart Stores is America’s top-earning corporation. In 2013, its revenues were $473 billion, yet it only declared $16 billion in profits. While it has been reported that Americans subsidize Walmart because its low-wage employees receive an estimated $6.2 billion annually in Food Stamps, Medicaid and other anti-poverty benefits, what’s not widely known is that Walmart has parked $21.4 billion in untaxed profits offshore and is currently lobbying to cut U.S. corporate tax rates.

“Walmart’s offshore profits have doubled in recent years at the same time that its offshore investments flattened, suggesting that the company is piling up cash overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes on the earnings,” a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness found. “Walmart is working to reduce corporate tax rates and eliminate all taxation of foreign profits.”

“You’re starting to see Walmart playing games like other companies,” said Frank Clemente, Americans for Tax Fairness executive director and author of How Walmart is Dodging Billions in Taxes and Scheming to Avoid Billions More. “They’re engaging in a tax dodge.”

Walmart employees 74 lobbyists in Washington, has spent $32 million on tax-related lobbying in the past five years and underwrites other tax-cut lobbying by the Capital’s three largest tax-cut groups, AFT found, which are the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition, Alliance for Competitive Taxation, and the Business Rountable.

“There’s a big campaign going on here in Washington, D.C., to reform the corporate tax system,” Clemente said. “It’s a big lobbying effort being waged by big corporations to try to reduce their income tax rate at the same they’re lobbying for corporate tax loopholes.”

 

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/wal-marts-bottomless-greed-dodging-billions-taxes-scheming

Somalia’s al-Shabaab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/somalia-s-al-shabaab-kills-28-non-muslims-in-kenya-1.2845724

 

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the Saturday dawn attack on a bus in which 28 non-Muslims were singled out and killed.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station in Somalia saying it was in retaliation for raids by Kenyan security forces carried out earlier this week on four mosques at the Kenyan coast.

Nineteen men and nine women were killed in the bus attack, said Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the killings through its radio station in Somalia saying it was in retaliation for raids by Kenyan security forces carried out earlier this week on four mosques at the Kenyan coast.

Kenya’s military said it responded to the killings with airstrikes later Saturday that destroyed the attackers’ camp in Somalia and killed 45 rebels.

The bus travelling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked about 50 kilometres from the town of Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia, said two police officers who insisted on anonymity because they were ordered not to speak to the press.

The attackers first tried to wave the bus down but it didn’t stop so the gunmen sprayed it with bullets, said the police. When that didn’t work they shot a rocket propelled grenade at it, the officers said.

The gunmen took control of the vehicle and forced it off the road where they ordered all the passengers out of the vehicle and separated those who appeared to be non-Muslims — mostly non-Somalis — from the rest.

George Ochwodho, a non-Muslim head teacher of a private primary school in Mandera, survived the attack. He was travelling home for the Christmas vacation since school had closed.

Passengers quizzed on Islamic creed

Ochwodho told AP that the passengers who did not look Somali were separated from the others. The non-Somali passengers were then asked to recite the Shahada, an Islamic creed declaring oneness with God. Those who couldn’t recite the creed were ordered to lie down. Ochwodho was among those who had to lie on the ground.

Two gunmen started shooting those on the ground; one gunman started from the left and other from the right, Ochwodho said. When they reached him they were confused on whether either had shot him, he said.

Ochwodho lay still until the gunmen left, he said. He then ran back to the road and got a lift from a pick-up truck back to Mandera where he was rushed to hospital. He spoke from a hospital bed where he was being treated for shock.

17 out of the 28 dead were teachers according to the police commander in Mandera county.

A shortage of personnel and lack of equipment led to a slow response by police when the information was received, said two police officers who insisted on anonymity because they were ordered not to speak to the press. They said the attackers have more sophisticated weaponry than the police who waited for military reinforcements before responding.

135 attacks since October 2011

Kenya has been hit by a series of gun and bomb attacks blamed on al-Shabaab, who are linked to al-Qaeda, since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011. Authorities say there have been at least 135 attacks by al-Shabaab since then, including the assault on Nairobi’s upscale Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed. Al-Shabaab said it was responsible for other attacks on Kenya’s coast earlier this year which killed at least 90 people.

Al-Shabaab is becoming “more entrenched and a graver threat to Kenya,” warned the International Crisis Group in a September report to mark the first anniversary of the Westgate attack. The report said that the Islamic extremists are taking advantage of longstanding grievances of Kenya’s Muslim community, such as official discrimination and marginalization.

Kenya has been struggling to contain growing extremism in the country. Earlier this week the authorities shut down four mosques at the Kenyan coast after police alleged they found explosives and a gun when they raided the places of worship.

Some Muslims believe the police planted the weapons to justify closing the mosques, Kheled Khalifa, a human rights official said Friday warning that methods being used to tackle extremism by government will increase support for radicals.

One person was killed during the raid on two of the mosques on Monday. Police said they shot dead a young man trying to hurl a grenade at them.

The government had previously said the four mosques were recruitment centres for al-Shabaab.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/somalia-s-al-shabaab-kills-28-non-muslims-in-kenya-1.2845724

RCMP de-radicalization councillor admits holding meetings for months with Taliban representatives

http://jonathanhalevi.blogspot.ca/2014/11/rcmp-de-radicalization-councillor.html

Muhammad Robert Heft, who runs the Toronto-based Da’wah organization, Paradise Forever (P4E Support Group Inc.), and serves as a de-radicalization councillor for the RCMP, admits holding meetings for months with Taliban representatives.

On October 24, 2014 Muhammad Robert Heft posted the following:

“Please pray for the success of my mission. I am meeting with the head of the Taliban Embassy in Doha, Qatar and we are working on a treaty that would state clearly that the Taliban (Mujahideen) don’t condone vigilante violence, Criminal acts or Terrorism in Non Muslim Countries. They have agreed to take it to Mullah Omar. When and if it is signed then it will be read at a press release in Doha, Qatar and CNN, CBC, BBC and Al Jazeera will be invited. This will hopefully put some doubt as to the legitimacy of ISIS and there Fatwas about killing indiscriminately. It’s not a solution but every bit helps Insha’Allah.”

In his comments to this post he added more important details about his initiative with the Taliban, the number of meetings he held with its representatives and the duration of his contacts with this organization.

The following are Heft’s comments:

“And we will read it in English & Arabic in order that the conspiracy theorists have no excuse to believe.”

“Perhaps you [Adam Ibn Yousef] missed the point. Good or Bad they would put doubt into the Jihadi rhetoric of ISIS and perhaps save some people from ruining their lives. That doubt is incredibly important in the deradicalisation process. All the best.”

“I will be meeting this week but I expect that it will take time to revise the statement that has been drafted and then taken to the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. I have been at this for 6 months. This will be my fourth meeting Insha’Allah. When the time is right then it will be read publicly by them in Arabic and myself in English in front of cameras Insha’Allah. All the best.”

 

The Taleban, the Islamic Movement of the Taliban (De Talebano Islami Ghurdzang or Tehrik), also known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (De Afghanistan Islami Emarat), is designated by the Canadian government as a terrorist organization.

According to the Canadian government, “the Taliban uses terrorist tactics, including the extensive use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and suicide attacks, to further its political objectives and is known to attack civilian targets, government compounds, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/Afghan bases, military targets in built-up urban areas, as well as infrastructure projects. In 2011, the Taliban was responsible for the majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and have been known to carry out a number of attacks on girls’ schools in particular.”

Heft did not clarify whether he informed the Canadian government of his initiative with the Taliban or sought its permission for holding meetings with official representatives of a designated terrorist organization that fought against the Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

Highlights from a previous article on Muhammad Robert Heft:

One of Heft’s senior partners in his outreach activities is Canadian and Pakistani born Naeem Muhammad Khan. Based on an interview with him (April 24, 2008), National Post journalist, Stewart Bell, described Naeem Muhammad Khan as a Torontonian who “openly supports the Taliban and calls Osama bin Laden a hero.”

Heft was appointed in 2007 to the Canadian representative for Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment based in Dubai UAE, (مؤسسة محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم للأعمال الخيرية والإنساني) and he holds this position even today.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment was a member of the Union of Good. Both organizations were designated (in 2008 and 2002 respectively) by Israel as unlawful entities because of their ties to Hamas terrorist group. “The Union of Good” was designated as an unlawful entity by the US on November 12, 2008.
RCMP de-radicalization councillor is also a representative of an UAE charity outlawed by Israel because of its ties to Hamas terrorist organization

 

 

The Making of Ferguson Long before the shooting of Michael Browns summer’s events.

Long before the shooting of Michael Brown, official racial-isolation policies primed Ferguson for this summer’s events.

In 1968, Larman Williams was one of the first African Americans to buy a home in the white suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. It wasn’t easy; when he first went to see the house, the real estate agent wouldn’t show it to him. Atypically, Williams belonged to a church with a white pastor, who contacted the agent on Williams’s behalf, only to be told that neighbors objected to sales to Negroes. But after the pastor then gathered the owner and his neighbors for a prayer meeting, the owner told the agent he was no longer opposed to a black buyer.

Kinloch and some middle-class white neighborhoods that also adjoin Ferguson were once unincorporated in St. Louis County, but in the late 1930s the white neighborhoods formed a city, Berkeley, to separate their schools from Kinloch’s. With a much smaller tax base, Kinloch’s schools were inferior to Berkeley’s and Ferguson’s, and after Berkeley’s incorporation, Kinloch took on more characteristics of a dilapidated ghetto. This arrangement persisted until 1975—several years after Williams moved into Ferguson—when federal courts ordered Berkeley, Ferguson, and other white towns to integrate their schools into a common district with Kinloch.

Other African Americans followed Williams into Ferguson, but the black community grew slowly. By 1970, Ferguson was still less than 1 percent black. But it had some multi-family buildings, so when public housing in St. Louis was demolished in the 1970s, the St. Louis Housing Authority gave vouchers to displaced families to subsidize rentals in Ferguson. By 1980, Ferguson was 14 percent black; by 1990, 25 percent; by 2000, 53 percent; and by 2010, 67 percent. Other northern and northwestern suburbs near St. Louis were similar. Meanwhile, those beyond the first ring to the south and west remained almost all white. Recently, the white population in the city itself has been expanding.

In what follows, I’ll describe how St. Louis became so segregated—a pattern where racial boundaries continually change but communities’ racial homogeneity persists. Neighborhoods that appear to be integrated are almost always those in transition, either from white to mostly black (like Ferguson), or from black to increasingly white (like St. Louis’s gentrifying neighborhoods). Such population shifts in St. Louis and in other metropolitan areas maintain segregation rules established a century ago.

I tell this story with some hesitation. I don’t mean to imply that there is anything special about racial history in Ferguson, St. Louis, or the St. Louis metropolitan area. Every policy and practice segregating St. Louis was duplicated in almost every metropolis nationwide. Yet this story of racial isolation and disadvantage, enforced by federal, state, and local policies, many of which are no longer practiced, is central to an appreciation of what occurred in Ferguson this past summer, many decades later. Policies that are no longer in effect and seemingly have been reformed still cast a long shadow.

more at

http://prospect.org/article/making-ferguson-how-decades-hostile-policy-created-powder-keg

 http://billmoyers.com/2014/10/27/century-racist-policies-created-ferguson/

How a Century of Racist Policies Made Ferguson Into a Pocket of Concentrated Despair

 

Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown’s fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it.

White America has come up with a number of rationales for these enduring pockets of despair. An elaborate mythology has developed that blames it on a “culture of poverty” — holding the poor culpable for their poverty and letting our political and economic systems off the hook. A somewhat more enlightened view holds that whites simply fled areas like Ferguson — which had a population that was 99 percent white as recently as 1970 — because of personal racial animus, leaving them as hollowed-out, predominantly black “ghettos.”

But a study by Richard Rothstein, a research fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, comes to a very different conclusion. In his report, “The Making of Ferguson,” Rothstein details how throughout the last century a series of intentionally discriminatory policies at the local, state and federal levels created the ghettos we see today. BillMoyers.com spoke with Rothstein about the report. The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Joshua Holland: Most people believe that Ferguson became so racially polarized because of “white flight” — white people fled the area because of personal prejudice against African-Americans. In your report, you argue that this misses a crucial point. What are we overlooking?

Rothstein: The segregation that characterizes Ferguson, and that characterizes St. Louis, was the creation of purposeful public policy. We have a segregated nation by design.

The St. Louis metropolitan area was no different from most metropolitan areas of the country. The ghetto in the central city of St. Louis was redeveloped for universities, and for a number of other uses, and the African American population in the central city was shifted to inner ring suburbs like Ferguson.

It was done primarily with two policies: First, public housing was segregated, purposely, by the federal government, so that what were previously somewhat integrated neighborhoods in urban areas were separated into separate black and white public housing projects.

And then, in the 1950s, as suburbs came to be developed, the federal government subsidized white residents of St. Louis to move to the suburbs, but effectively prohibited black residents from doing so. The federal government subsidized the construction of many, many subdivisions by requiring that bank loans for the builders be made on the condition that no homes be sold to blacks.

Because black housing was so restrictive, there were so few places where African-Americans could live in St. Louis. So what was left of St. Louis’ African-American community became overcrowded. City services were not readily available. The city was zoned so that the industrial or commercial areas were placed in black neighborhoods but not in white neighborhoods. So the industrial areas, where African-Americans lived, became slums.

And then white residents in places like Ferguson came to associate slum conditions with African-Americans, not realizing that this was not a characteristic of the people themselves, but rather it was a creation of public policy.

This is a somewhat oversimplified description of a complex array of policies. But every policy that I described in this report can be found in every other metropolitan area throughout the country. These policies applied in the New York City area, and they applied in the liberal San Francisco area. It’s a story that characterizes the entire country, but you cannot understand what’s going on with Ferguson today without knowing this history.

What’s Wrong with this Picture? by Anglobitch

From early childhood, middle-class American men are encouraged by the mainstream media to aim for and expect this:

 

 

And so they burn the midnight oil to acquire this

 

because they think they need lots and lots of these
in order to get this:

 

 

But then THIS happens:

 

 

Since American men make up the bulk of my readership, I felt duty-bound to pass some kind of comment on 80 year-old Charles Manson’s engagement to his 25 year-old girlfriend, Star. All one can say to the psychopathic cult leader is: “Good Luck!”
On a more serious note, the legacy culture’s obsession with young men ‘manning up’ and accepting ‘adult’ responsibilities (i.e. becoming ATM machines for exclusive exploitation by entitled Anglo-American women) is becoming embarrassing. That outworn narrative is, like America’s ‘War on Drugs’, utterly discredited. For here is a male who, by rejecting all such ‘responsible’ agendas, attracted a girl young enough to be his grand-daughter. Hardly a public advertisement for the benefits of ‘manning up’ and social conformity! Rather, Mr Manson is a poster boy for psychopathy, criminality, ugliness and idleness. Yet in a post-feminist world ruled by the psychotic vagaries of female mate-selection, such traits have become the highest virtues.

unnattractive Arab women jealous of Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-30104554

 

Last week, Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe performed a song during a live episode of Arab Star Academy, a pan-Arab TV music talent contest, wearing a figure-hugging long black dress with revealing sheer panels. Over 2 million people watched the performance online after several copies of the video were uploaded onto YouTube. So far, so show business – but the intensity of debate that followed online seemed to indicate how polarised the debate on female dress in the Arab World has become.

Many of the reactions on social media, mostly from women in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, were strongly critical of the star’s choice of dress. “Scandalous” was a much used term. One YouTube user commented: “Art has limits and you, Haifa, have crossed the line”. Views about what women can and can’t wear vary hugely across the Arab world. While in Lebanon miniskirts and bikinis are not uncommon, in other more conservative societies such as Saudi Arabia women cover their faces and bodies fully in black. But even in such traditional societies, women will often follow celebrity styles when alone in women-only gatherings.

Wehbe has caused a stir before with her outfits. “It is true that we got used to her wearing scandalous clothes but not to this extent…it was a shock for the viewers,” an Egyptian woman on Twitter commented. But not everyone thought the dress was in poor taste. A female YouTube user wrote “you should be used to the way she dresses by now and after all everyone is free to dress as they wish”. And another defended her saying “She’s not the first or the last to wear a revealing dress, and she looked beautiful in it”.

Dana Khairallah, a Lebanese lifestyle blogger, says that people kicked up a fuss about this outfit because of an ongoing struggle within Arab culture. “They think if women dress this way it would misrepresent our culture,” she says. “I find that hypocritical. I see Arab girls dressing more provocatively in clubs but no one cares because there are no cameras.”

“There’s also an element of social media meanness in what is happening that drives this bullying of celebrities.” she adds.