8 Surprising Titles Found on Osama Bin Laden’s Bookshelf

TIME

From Popular Science to a popular guide to Islam

1. Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies by Noam Chomsky
America’s consummate liberal thinker takes on propaganda in democracies.

2. Oxford History of Modern War by Charles Townsend
Everything you wanted to know about war since the 14th century.

3. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy
A comprehensive study of the ups and downs of global power since 1500.

4. Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward
An inside look at President Obama’s wartime decision making.

5. A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam by I. A. Ibrahim
Published in 1999, the book is meant for non-Muslims.

6. New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin
A favorite of conspiracy theorists, New Pearl Harbor argues that the Bush administration allowed the 9/11 attacks to further its interests. It’s interesting to imagine what bin Laden, the 9/11 mastermind, thought about conspiracy theorists who argue the U.S. government, and not al-Qaeda was to blame for the attacks.

7. Popular Science magazine
Bid Laden owned an issue on innovations.

8. Delta Force: Xtreme 2 video game guide
The government release notes that this book probably wasn’t used by bin Laden himself. Still, someone in the compound was apparently a gamer.

Also found alongside the books was a document that appears to be an application to join al-Qaeda, asking questions including whether the applicant would be willing to do a suicide mission and whom al-Qaeda should contact if the applicant became a martyr.

ISIS takes ‘full control’ of Syria’s historic Palmyra city, activists say

Caption:A general view taken on May 18, 2015 shows the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a day after Islamic State (IS) group jihadists fired rockets into the city, killing several people. Fierce clashes have rocked Palmyra’s outskirts since IS launched an offensive on May 13 to capture the 2,000-year-old world heritage site nicknamed ‘the pearl of the desert’. AFP PHOTO /STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

CNN

ISIS militants took “full control” of the ancient city of Palmyra after Syrian government forces retreated from the area Thursday, activists said.

The reported gains by the Islamist group, which rules large parts of Iraq and Syria, will only deepen concerns for Palmyra’s residents and its archeological riches.

The Sunni jihadists made their advance early Thursday, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in the Middle Eastern nation.

ISIS fighters had stormed the modern city, which is also known as Tadmur, on Wednesday. The city is just a few hundred meters from the ancient ruins of temples and other structures, which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

U.N. and Syrian officials have expressed fears that ISIS plans to destroy the ruins, just as it flattened the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud and smashed statues in Iraq’s Mosul Museum.

The apparent seizure of Tadmur is ISIS’ second significant conquest across its sprawling battlefronts in less than a week. Over the weekend, it kicked Iraqi security forces out of the key city of Ramadi, a defeat acknowledged by a U.S. State Department official as a major blow.

At least 100 Syrian troops killed, activists say

A clear picture of who controlled what in and around Palmyra, which lies roughly 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Damascus, remained elusive Thursday.

Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, reported late Wednesday that popular defense groups had pulled out of some Palmyra neighborhoods amid a large assault from ISIS, which it said was trying to get into the archeological sites.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that Syrian security forces were present in the east and west of Palmyra but were preparing to withdraw to another area.

At least 100 Syrian regime troops were killed overnight fighting against ISIS in and around Palmyra, said the monitoring group’s Rami Abdulrahman.

Civilians, oil fields and heritage site

So far there has been no claim by ISIS that it has taken the city or any of the strategic military sites and oil resources surrounding it.

SANA reported that Syrian government forces had on Wednesday repelled ISIS fighters who attacked positions surrounding the Jizel oil field in the countryside near Palmyra.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has said she is deeply concerned about reports of the clashes in the area.

“The fighting is putting at risk one of the most significant sites in the Middle East, and its civilian population,” she said.

“I reiterate my appeal for an immediate cessation of hostilities at the site,” Bokova said. “I further call on the international community to do everything in its power to protect the affected civilian population and safeguard the unique cultural heritage of Palmyra.”

‘The wellspring of global civilization’

Between the first and second centuries, Palmyra “stood at the crossroads of several civilizations,” with its art and architecture mixing Greek, Roman and Persian influences, UNESCO says.

The city already was a caravan oasis when Romans overtook it in the mid-first century. Its importance grew as a city on the trade route linking the Roman Empire to Persia, India and China, according to the U.N. agency.

British historian and novelist Tom Holland has described Palmyra as “an extraordinary fusion of classical and Iranian influences intermixed with various Arab influence as well.”

The destruction of Palmyra wouldn’t just be a tragedy for Syria, it would be a loss for the entire world, he told CNN this month.

“Mesopotamia, Iraq, Syria, this is the wellspring of global civilization,” he said. “It really couldn’t be higher stakes in terms of conservation.”

Historical sites among Syrian wars’ casualties

This is not the first time ancient sites have been destroyed during Syria’s brutal four-year civil war, in which ISIS is one of the warring sides.

Notable casualties include 11th century crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers; its walls were severely damaged by regime airstrikes in 2013.

Aleppo Souk, a formerly thriving part of Syria’s economic and social life, was severely damaged in a fire in 2012.

“What is distinctive and horrendous about (ISIS’) mode of operation is that they are deliberately going out of their way to destroy (ancient artifacts),” Holland said.

ISIS propaganda claims the Islamist militants are destroying idols or false gods and following in the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammed, who smashed statues in Mecca.

Largest Paper in New Jersey Calls Chris Christie Out for Losing Touch with Reality

Christie (1)

attribution: None

POLITICUS USA

In the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) delusional answer to Fox News asking him why 65% of New Jersey voters think he would be a bad president, the editorial board at the Star-Ledger thinks they have finally figured it out.

“The man has lost touch with reality,” they opine.

This can be the only explanation for how Christie still thinks he can win the presidency “when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office.” They came to this conclusion after listening to Christie’s answer on Fox.

Christie told Megyn Kelly that New Jersey voters think he would be a terrible president because they love him so much they want him to stay their governor. Christie knows this because some people have said it to him at his town halls.

But the editorial board is not buying this excuse, especially because, as they write, “First, the governor needs to hold more town hall meetings in Democratic districts, and at night when working people can attend. He preaches to elderly and overwhelmingly white audiences, over and over.”

Citing several other polls the Governor might take a glance at if it is reality that he seeks, the editorial board took a few guesses as to why they don’t love Christie in his state:

It could be the rotten job market. Or the high property taxes. Or the crumbling transit system. Or the broken promise on pensions. Or the private jets. Or the Bridgegate indictments. And so on.

Ouch. Lest anyone think this is the opinion of some far left outlet or an obscure paper, Wikipedia says “the Star-Ledger is the largest circulated newspaper in the U.S. state of New Jersey.” In fact, “The Star-Ledger‍ ’​s daily circulation is larger than the next two largest New Jersey newspapers combined and its Sunday circulation is larger than the next three papers combined.”*

This is also the same paper that endorsed him in 2013.

From that same Quinnipiac poll that Megan Kelly referenced on Fox, 56% disapprove of the job Governor Christie is doing, which is the lowest approval rating for any governor in the nine states they surveyed.

Firing a very loud warning shot, the Star-Ledger ended on this note, “God forbid he gets a chance to make an even bigger mess on a larger stage.”

Familiarity has bred contempt when it comes to Chris Christie. Yet he believes he’s going to the White House.

This stunning disconnect with reality, so strong that the largest paper in the state has called it out — though they hope he doesn’t actually believe the things he says, exemplifies the Republican Party’s Fox problem of epistemic closure. They are breeding an entire party of delusional people who have no concept how extreme they sound to the rest of the country, how their belief in Glenn Beckian conspiracies isolates them because they sound crazy and dangerous, and most of all, they have no idea what people are really saying about them or about the issues.

It is very tough to win elections outside of gerrymandered safe zones when you’re party is not even close to reality.

*Wikipedia cites data from the New Jersey Press Association.

~Sarah Jones

Author Retracts Study on Same-Sex Marriage over Faked Data

Screen-Shot-2015-05-20-at-9.59.21-AM

Image via Michael LaCour

MEDIAITE

A study purporting to show that even brief contact with gay individuals could change voters’ minds on same-sex marriage has been retracted after one of the authors acknowledged the use of phony data.

The study, by Columbia University professor Donald Green and then-UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, was widely covered upon its publication inScience last December and led to headlines like “A 20-Minute Chat With a Gay Person Made People Much More Supportive of Gay Marriage” and “How to change a person’s mind on a divisive social issue in 22 minutes.”

But in a letter to Science requesting a retraction, Green said LaCour faked much if not all of the data.According to Retraction Watch, the study began unraveling when a pair of graduate students at UC Berkeley were unable to replicate the results. The students contacted a survey firm reportedly used by LaCour; the firm said it had never heard of the project and wouldn’t have been able to undertake such a study.

The pair brought their concerns to Green’s attention, who investigated and found more problems. At that point he confronted LaCour, who “confessed to falsely describing at least some of the details of the data collection.” UCLA was unable to find any of the primary data LaCour had supposedly collected, or even find evidence that he had used funding to conduct the surveys in the first place.

Green said he had initially been skeptical of LaCour’s idea for the study but became convinced when LaCour was able to replicate the findings. However, Green also distanced himself from the primary data, saying he helped LaCour primarily with the statistical analysis.

“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green wrote in his letter.

Per Retraction Watch, LaCour’s website listed him as slated to begin an assistant professorship at Princeton University next month, a mention that has disappeared in the last 24 hours.

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Beau Biden, U.S. vice president’s son, hospitalized

File photo of Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden addressing final session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, addresses the final session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in this September 6, 2012, file photo. Biden, a son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington, the vice president’s office said on May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

YAHOO NEWS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Beau Biden, a son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington, the vice president’s office said on Tuesday.

Biden, 46, a former Delaware attorney general, is undergoing treatment at the facility. No further details were available.

After eight years as attorney general, Biden joined the investor law firm Grant & Eisenhofer in 2015.

He served a yearlong tour in Iraq as a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard and underwent surgery at a cancer center in Texas last year. He suffered a mild stroke in 2010.

In a message to voters posted on his website in April 2014, Biden, a Democrat like his father, said he planned to run for governor of the mid-Atlantic state.

Doina Chiacu and Roberta Rampton

Scarborough Explodes On Guest: ‘You Just Compared Me To A Nazi!’ (VIDEO)

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MSNBC Screenshot

In my opinion Joe Scarborough has always displayed himself as a pompous jackass.  It sounded like Conason was making sense and Joe needed to stop him in his tracks by creating an argumentative diversion.  BTW, I am a die-hard fan of Joe Conason’s work as editor-in-chief of The National Memo.

TPM LIVEWIRE

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough went from zero to one-hundred on Wednesday morning after he became convinced a guest was calling him a Nazi.

The moment came, as many tirades do, in the middle of a debate about the Clintons. Guest and author Joe Conason made the case the Scarbrough, who has spoken several times at the Clinton Global Initiative, was hypocritical for going after the power couple for shady donations and Hillary Clinton’s email server.

“I’ve got a Churchill quote for you,” Conason said,

“Oh great, I love Churchill,” Scarborough said with a smile.

“It’s what he said about the Hun, which is: ‘They’re either at your feet or at your throat,'” Conason said, referencing Churchill’s remarks on Germany’s aggression in the lead up to war and its closeness to Europe afterward.

Scarborough’s smile began to fade.

“So you’re comparing me to Nazis now, that’s great,” he said.

The two talked over each other as Conason tried to explain what he meant by using the quote, but Scarborough cut him off.

“No, no, let me finish. You compared me to a Nazi —”

“No, I didn’t,” Conason said.

“Yes, you did. You brought up a Churchill quote when he was talking about the Nazis.”

“This was after World War I,” Conason interjected. “That’s why I picked that quote. They’re not Nazis.”

“Whatever, Joe,” Scarbrough said, before going on to say his fairness as a host is why his show is so successful. “You can come on here and call us Nazis or do whatever.”

“I didn’t call anyone a Nazi, Joe,” Conason said, exasperated. “If you feel I called you a Nazi, that was far from my intention. I was making a joke about a Churchill quote.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski eventually tried to calm Scarborough down. “Stop it,” she whispered on her co-host’s repeated use of the word “Nazi.”

Watch the clip:

~BRENDAN JAMES

Wall Street Preparing To Steal Billions From Gullible Libertarians

Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy web hosting services, pizza or even manicures. | CNN MONEY | attribution: AtlantaBitcoin.com

ADDICTING INFO

While Bitcoin has not become the super-currency that its fans had hoped, it has hit a point of critical volume that previous non-government currency had never reached. Unlike other Libertarian-based ideas such as the Liberty Dollar, Bitcoin has avoided the legal problems often found in alternative currencies by not presenting itself as a replacement to government issued currency, but only as a medium of exchange for use in place of the more traditional currencies. This has gained the attention of Wall Street, who now are seeking to tap into, and milk, the low-information, easily deceived people who seek out the cryptocurrency.

For those unfamiliar, Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are a medium of exchange relying upon high-end computer cryptography to confirm the exchange and creation of units. It works by people using computers to process the transactions of the currency in a peer to peer manner, and in exchange for doing so, they earn units of the currency. Its decentralized design makes it difficult, but not impossible, to be controlled or monitored by a central agency. This gives it an appeal for various groups, but also makes it very difficult to track down perpetrators who seek to exploit them.

Despite the severe blow by the Mt. Gox disaster, the adherents of Bitcoin are proud to claim that it has finally stabilized and spawned a new sense of legitimacy, with the prestigious New York Stock Exchange now introducing a Bitcoin pricing index. This index would work in much the same way as the LIBOR index, and would in effect serve as a measuring stick to determine global value. A golden day for the cryptocurrency, if you listened to the fans of Bitcoin.

This does not mean that Bitcoin will be used by the NYSE for trades, or that you can trade Bitcoin on the exchange, but that now there is a semi-official standard for other markets to be based off of. This comes on the heels of popular Bitcoin market Poloniexadding Margin Trading for the first time. Bitcoin has grown up, is the belief. But the reality is much, much darker for the Libertarians who love Bitcoin.

What this also means is that now Wall Street will be firmly in control of the exchange rates, and as history showed us with theLIBOR scandal, if the opportunity for exploitation exists, Wall Street will do it. Unlike LIBOR, where there are bank records and financial filings to verify against, Bitcoin’s own decentralized nature works against it. Unlike LIBOR, the manipulation of Bitcoin cannot be easily verified, and even if demonstrated, no penalties extracted. Also unlike LIBOR, which can only be indexed a few times per day due to the nature of the banks involved, Bitcoin manipulations can happen in milliseconds, controlled by complex trading programs without human interference. One moment is all it takes for someone to lose everything they have, and more, on the Bitcoin exchange.

It is a wild west show, no rules or regulations, exactly what the Libertarians wanted. Unfortunately, there are no ruled or regulations to stop abuse, manipulation or outright fraud. Libertarians often claim that they could go to court to defend themselves, but the courts require such rules and regulations in place, else there is no state for which the victims of even overt manipulation can stake a claim and be granted any compensation for their losses. No rules or regulations, nothing for them to sue over. In short, Wall Street can rob the users of Bitcoin blind, and the victims cannot do anything to stop it.

Caveat Emptor indeed.

There is an irony in a currency which was closely associated with Occupy Wall Street now being embraced by the very institutions it stood against. That the cryptocurrency markets did not respond with alarm is even more telling. The users of Bitcoin are about to be taken for a ride, and they are in effect handing over the car keys to do so.

So, it should be said that Bitcoin is indeed an ideal example of Libertarian ideas at work, because this is what happens every time. Pity they won’t wake up and realize that the very core of their ideas will never work, because once they prove it works, the very nature of Libertarianism enables a minority to take over of the idea, and monopolize it, denying it to others. Then that monopoly will exploit and abuse those who use it.

Someday they may wake up and realize that they are only selling to others the chains with which they would be enslaved.

~

10 things you need to know today: May 20, 2015

(AP Photo)

THE WEEK

1.Takata makes recall largest in U.S. automotive history
Japanese airbag maker Takata announced Tuesday that it was doubling its recalls in the United States to cover 33.8 million vehicles, making it the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Takata airbag inflaters can explode upon deployment, spraying shrapnel. The airbags have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries. The company made the announcement with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulators. Administrator Mark Rosekind said the safety agency’s goal is “a safe airbag in every vehicle.”

Source: The New York Times

2.Los Angeles council tentatively approves $15 an hour minimum wage
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday preliminarily approved an ordinance raising the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020, up from the current $9 an hour. The vote was 14 to 1. Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle have adopted similar laws, but Los Angeles, if the proposal receives final approval, will be the largest city to mandate such a large wage hike. The L.A. ordinance would affect as many as 800,000 workers, marking a major victory for worker advocates.

Source: Los Angeles Times

3.Judge tells State Department to release Hillary Clinton’s emails faster
A federal judge on Tuesday told the State Department to speed up the schedule for releasing thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state. The State Department had said a day earlier that its review would delay the public release of the 55,000 pages of emails, in bulk, until January 2016. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras gave the State Department a week to produce a plan for a rolling release of the emails. Clinton, now running for president, said she wants the emails released as soon as possible.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Politico

4.North Korea claims it can miniaturize nuclear warheads
North Korea said Wednesday that it had developed the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads so that they would be small enough to be mounted on missiles. A top U.S. military officer had said a day earlier that the rogue communist nation was years away from developing such missiles. Just weeks ago, Pyongyang released photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un allegedly observing the testing of a submarine-launched missile that could carry such a warhead. Experts suggested the photos had been doctored.

Source: CNN

5.Malaysia and Indonesia offer to take in migrants
Indonesia and Malaysia agreed Wednesday to temporarily shelter 7,000 migrants stranded at sea. The announcement signaled what could be a breakthrough in a humanitarian crisis that has plagued Southeast Asia for weeks as governments in the region declined to take responsibility for the migrants. Some of the migrants are Bangladeshis fleeing poverty, but most are members of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. Under the agreement, the international community must resettle and repatriate the migrants within a year.

Source: The Associated Press

6.House panel backs limit on ex-presidents’ spending
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesdaybacked a proposal to limit spending of taxpayer money on travel and other expenses run up by former presidents who make more than $400,000 a year. The bill for the four living ex-presidents’ pensions and benefits came to $3.5 million last year. George W. Bush’s tab came to $1.3 million last year. Clinton’s was $950,000. Most of the money paid for their offices — Bush’s in Dallas, and Clinton’s in New York. Former presidents can earn millions a year in speaking fees alone; since leaving office, Clinton has reportedly collected $127 million.

Source: Politico

7.Estimated 21,000 gallons of oil leak off the California coast
A ruptured pipeline is estimated to have leaked 21,000 gallons of oil into the ocean off California’s Santa Barbara County coast on Tuesday. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson said that by 3:45 p.m., the leak had left a four-mile long sheen of oil along Refugio State Beach in Goleta. The leak was first spotted at noon, and it was stopped by coast guard crews by 3 p.m. The pipeline is operated by Plains All America Pipeline, L.P., and runs along the coast near Highway 101.

Source: Los Angeles Times

8.Regulators accuse cancer charities of “sham”
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday accused four cancer philanthropies of bilking donors out of $187 million. The FTC called the activities of the charities — the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, the Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and the Breast Cancer Society — a “sham.” The accusations cover the period from 2008 to 2012. The charities are all run by James Reynolds Sr., his ex-wife, Rose Perkins, or his son, James Reynolds Jr.

Source: The Washington Post

9. Israel launches, then suspends, plan to segregate West Bank buses
Israel suspended a trial of new rules separating Palestinian and Jewish passengers on buses traveling to the West Bank early Wednesday, hours after introducing them in what was to be a three-month trial. About 500,000 people live in Jewish settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967. Jewish settler groups are calling for segregated travel on security grounds, but human rights groups said the plan was racist. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “unacceptable.”

Source: BBC News

10.Patriots decide not to challenge team’s Deflategate punishment
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Tuesday said his team would not appeal its punishment for under-inflating balls in last season’s AFC Championship game. The NFL imposed a $1 million fine and docked the team two draft picks. Kraft said sanctions were unfair, but that fighting the punishment them would only extend the Deflategate scandal and hurt the league. Quarterback Tom Brady, who was suspended four games for his involvement, is appealing his punishment with the support of the players’ union.

Source: Yahoo Sports

 

Ex-Cop: Media Doesn’t Call Biker Gangs ‘Thugs’ Because ‘Thug’ Is A Black Thing (VIDEO)

ADDICTING INFO

On Tuesday, Ex-NYPD detective Harry Houck laid out why the media has generally avoided calling the biker gangs whose violent confrontation in Waco, Texas left nine dead “thugs,” yet finds every opportunity to do so whenever a criminal, suspected criminal, group of peaceful protesters, or just some kid trying to walk home happens to be black. According to Houck, “thug” is a black thing.

Since the deadly mass shooting in Waco, many have noted the disparity between the media’s treatment of African Americans and actual violent (mostly white) criminals. “This is about a culture that looks at blackness and says that it sounds like a certain thing, it looks like a certain thing,” New York Times columnist Charles Blow told the CNN panel.

“I don’t know how you can make a comparison between Waco and Baltimore,” Houck replied. “Are these guys thugs? Yeah, they’re thugs… I use the word thug and I mean ‘bad guy’ when I use the word.”

“I think the word was owned by rappers,” he continued. “They started coming out with songs and calling themselves thugs, and I think that’s how this whole thing started, with the black community and the young men calling themselves thugs. Alright? And I think that’s how that all started.”

Interestingly, Houck’s use of the word “thug” does not seem to be restricted to criminals — just black people (aside from when he is attempting to cover his posterior, that is).

“Personally, I think people who use the word ‘thug’ or believe that the word ‘thug’ is a racist [word] is racist themselves,” Houck told Fox News in 2013 when struggling to defend Trayvon Martin’s murder at the hands of George Zimmerman. “You know, because I call somebody a thug, I’m a racist? No. I don’t think so. I mean, that’s crazy.”

When he was discussing peaceful Baltimore protesters following the murder of Freddie Gray in April, Houck certainly did not pull any punches with the “t-word,” either. Houck explained that “What we’ve seen the last couple of nights isn’t protesters. Those are thugs. Those are thugs.”

Blow disagreed with Houck’s assertion that “thug” is a ‘black thing,’ calling his claim “patently inaccurate.”

“That word has a long history, and whether or not a word is absorbed into a community in the same way people absorbed the n-word and sometimes gay people absorbed words that were historically used to bash them, and try to rub off the edges of them and absorb it into the culture, to make it less abrasive and hurtful,” Blow said. “A lot of times, that is what is happening with the etymology of words.”

Of course, even if Houck happened to be correct that Baltimore deserved the use of the word “thugs” to describe a community outraged over a murder of one of its citizens at the hands of police, while violent white bikers didn’t even earn handcuffs as they had a tea party with police and chatted on their cell phones, it would be interesting to hear him explain away the lack of that particular label when white people riot.

On the same day in October, there were two “white riots” on the same night — one in Morgantown, west Virginia after the Mountaineers won a football game and one at a pumpkin festival in Keene, New Hampshire because why not?

“It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops,” 18-year-old white guy Steven French, who described the chaos as “wicked,” said of the “Pumpkin Riot.” “It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”

In neither of these cases was the community responding to an injustice — these Caucasian rioters were tearing up their towns just for fun. However, they were not called “thugs.” They were “revelers” who “just got too drunk” and “partied a little too hard.” Sure, they got “rowdy” and “unruly,” but they certainly were not “thugs,” according to the media.

Houck, of course, remains oblivious to the different treatment white criminals receive as opposed to every black person in America, as far as the media is concerned.

Watch the exchange, below:

CNN panel discusses why white bikers aren’t called ‘thugs’

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