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Believe it or not there was a time when the National Rifle Association actually supported gun control.

A series of photographs show the effects of nuclear bomb testing has had on a remote area of Kazakhstan.

A free tutorial on how to turn dollar store tea lights into the cutest snowman Christmas ornaments.

How the deranged took over America and why they may be here to stay.

There’s a cop who calls himself the “Riot King” of St. Louis and his behavior is scarier than his name.

Serialized television has become a disease.

A Tumblr user shares how naughty her great-great-grandmother was back in 1890.

Here is how you can create a professional camera rig for $200.

The history of Russian involvement in America’s race wars.

Study by MIT economist says that the U.S. has regressed to a Third World nation for most of its citizens.

A stock analyst downgraded Chipotle for paying its workers too much. That tells you everything wrong with the economy right now.

The anti-Trump resistance forgets that George W. Bush is a war criminal.

Paper cutouts turn landmarks across the globe into scenes of temporary amusement.

TrumpsHair is the site that lets you add Trump’s hair to anything.

Photos show the North Korea that neither Donald Trump nor the Western media wants the world to see.

How a narcissistic brand of nationalism is taking over the United States.

The deadly consequences of militarizing the local police force.

This Arab illustrator is empowering women through art.

Harvey Weinstein and the economics of consent.

Decline and fall: how American society unravelled.

How millions of white Americans bought into a racist myth.

The reason why Harvey Weinstein is the beginning of a new backlash against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.

Brad Pitt talks about his side venture as an artist.

Banning terrorists won’t stop terrorism.

10 stories about Donald Trump you won’t believe are true.


6 ways to break the hypnotic spell of the mainstream media.

This is what it looks like when the president asks people to snitch on their neighbors.

Make these spooky masking tape mummy hands.

Chinese textile firms are increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border while the resulting clothes still sport the “Made in China” label.

Why do so many super rich despise the poor?

Disabled and scraping by in the underground economy.

Seven weird side effects of President Trump that nobody saw coming.

“Magic yarn” wigs delight thousands of kids with cancer.

Straight people don’t exist, new research says.

The 50 best protest songs of all time.

How the Nazis used Jim Crow Laws as the model for their race laws.

The lie that poverty is a moral failing was buried a century ago. Now it’s back.

How to turn your passions into retirement income.

A brief dictionary to help you understand the terminology that the US far right uses.

Brexit, Trump, and sexual harassment are all united by the same chauvinism.

Inside Russia’s alliance with white nationalists across the globe.

How to spot and stop fake news.

A free tutorial on how to make your own gnomes from champagne or wine corks.

There’s a word for the state of American Democracy: Kakistocracy.

It’s time to stop sympathizing with Ivanka Trump.

Nikita Khrushchev’s granddaughter says that Trump uses the term “fake news” in the same way that Stalin once used the term “enemies of the people.”

Black Friday is about to become a victim of the retail apocalypse.

Meet 15 unique animals that you’ll have a hard time believing are real.

6 Civil War myths everyone believes that are really total bullshit.

10 examples of Donald Trump unraveling before the unraveling began.

Twitter verifies Jason Kessler, the organizer of the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in violence that left one person dead.

A historian explains why the Founding Fathers would be baffled by conservatives’ obsession with flag worship.

90-year-old Czech grandma turns small village into her art gallery by hand-painting flowers on its houses.

Have Turkish archaeologists found the final resting place of Saint Nick?

Has the original Santa Claus been found in Turkey?

Guardians can sell the assets and control the lives of senior citizens without their consent—and reap a profit from it.

America is not a society that values human life.

Voices from the anti-Trump resistance.

Hogwarts actually exists? Here are 10 real-life schools for magic.

How much should you charge a band for CD and album cover art?

Yes, Stephen Paddock fits the mass shooter profile.

MilkLeaks chronicles the very worst of alt-right agitator Baked Alaska.

Giant straw animal sculptures invade Japanese fields after rice harvest.

Don’t tell Grandma but cross-stitch embroidery has an extreme side.

Americans are now paranoid that robots will toss their resumes in the trash.

We can’t ban guns in America, but we managed to ban all this other stuff.

The rise and fall of the word “Monopoly” in American life.

A disturbing dispatch from Seattle’s super secret white nationalist convention.

How Trump’s focus on working class men hurts working class women.

“X” marks the spot where economic inequality took root.

It’s time to talk about what’s radicalizing white male terrorists.

The Smithsonian presents a gallery of 6,000+ rare rock and roll photos on a crowdsourced web site, and now a new book. 11:30 am

What you need to know about the tech support scams that target senior citizens who own computers.

7 DIY projects for your old t-shirts.

A cashless society would destroy our privacy and freedom.

Twenty-one colorful cubes compose Denmark’s newly opened LEGO house.

American Flag

Let’s take a moment to remember the sacrifices our armed troops have made for this country on this Veterans Day holiday.

Now let’s go on to the links for this week.

A U.S. military veteran speaks out on the issue of whether NFL players should be allowed to take a knee or be required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

NFL players never used to stand for the national anthem before 2009, when the NFL switched it as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic.

Here are some ways people disrespect the flag daily based on flag code.

Niger is the perfect example of the US state of perma-war.

How Twitter killed the First Amendment.

Sorry, but Haribo gummies are reportedly made with slave labor.

Interesting and colorful paintings made with controlled pours.

Artist shows how people in other professions react when asked for free stuff.

How to be an artist, according to Bauhaus master Josef Albers.

Artists who caught companies and fake artists shamelessly copyright their work and selling it.

White people commit the most heinous crimes, so why is America terrified of black men?

11th-century herbal remedy guide now digitized and online.

Wall Street got a bailout, why not Puerto Rico?

One man’s hobby is to Photoshop himself into various celebrity photos in a hilarious way.

Facing poverty, adjunct professors in America turn to sex work and sleeping in cars.

How to master color theory.

Trumpism run amok: How Alabama’s GOP runoff explains the brave new world.

Profile of an American city where the government barely exists.

Is this the end of the job as we know it?

Ta-Nehisi Coates explains why America should have seen Trump coming.

Leonardo da Vinci’s bizarre caricatures and monster drawings.

Hurricane Maria started in 1898: how America spent more than a century brutalizing Puerto Rico.

The United Nations says that robots could destabilize the world through war and unemployment.

How many Palm Beach mansions does a Wall Street tycoon need? As many as destroying America’s hometown newspapers can buy him.

Smithsonian digitizes and lets you download 40,000 works of Asian and American art for free.

Silicon Valley is now using empathy as a marketing tool to sell virtual reality equipment.

The late Steve Erwin’s son is an award-winning photographer and these photos show why.

Why it’s hard to separate Woody Allen the director from Woody Allen the person.

Yes, you can make your own solar cells from white powdered donuts.

The first historical record of Jesus describes him as a “magician.”

An interesting looking crochet version of The Exorcist.

Obama goes from the White House to Wall Street in less than one year.

Amateur artist turns old flip-flops into amazing action figures.

12-year-old boy creates creepy yet awesome sculptures using found materials.

The psychedelic retro-futurism of Swedish artist Kilian Eng.

The making of the first hand-drawn VR cartoon.

People are attacking Kendall and Kylie Jenner for their racist handbags…again.

Ivanka Trump hides behind her White House job to avoid a copyright lawsuit.

LuLa Roe has just changed its return policy and its consultants are screwed.

Scenes from 30 movies re-enacted with LEGO bricks.

Eight before-and-after graffiti transformations that create beauty out of blankness.

World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall likens Donald Trump to a chimpanzee.

Bruce Springsteen lists 20 of his favorite books.

The chateau you should visit in France instead of Versailles.

Pepe the Frog’s creator has found a reliable way to fight the alt-right’s appropriation of his character.

Street-style photographers unite to proclaim #NoFreePhotos

How the band Rage Against the Machine predicted Donald Trump’s presidency 17 years ago.

This amazing tree that shows how languages are connected will change the way you see our world.

One woman’s quest to save Baltimore television, including some early footage featuring a young Oprah Winfrey.

Download Theft! A History of Music is a new free graphic novel exploring 2,000 years of musical borrowing.

Bic ballpoint pen portraits drawn on vintage maps and stationery by Mark Powell.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world.

How Women’s Suffrage leaders left out black women.

Arnold Schwarzenegger to Neo-Nazis: Your heroes are losers.

As young galleries seek alternatives to art fairs, a promising solution has emerged.

Why can’t white supremacists confront the fact that the source of their economic problems are white economic elites?

It’s time to stop coddling the Confederacy.

Fort Morgan J.C. Penney closing means the end of a woman’s 65-year career at the store.

A look at the oldest photos ever taken in the United States.

The case for naming and shaming white supremacists.

A new book makes the provocative proclamation that there is no such thing as a gifted child and adults can help almost any child become gifted.

Not only was Sylvia Plath a talented poet but she was a talented visual artist as well.

The best free PDF editor for Mac, Windows, and Linux when you’re in a bind.

How did we treat our monuments to white supremacists when they weren’t our white supremacists.

Vibrant mushroom arrangements photographed by Jill Bliss.

Take a tour of Riyadh’s women-only makerspace.

An open letter to fellow white Americans.

A humorous look at the worst fashion trend of every decade starting with the 1900s.

Years after Syd Barrett’s death, there are two attempts to make retro-style animated music videos to Barrett’s song “Effervescing Elephant.”

DC’s legendary punk label Dischord Records makes its entire catalogue free to stream.

A look at Gay Monopoly, a vintage boardgame from 1983.

Beauty blogger and her new husband ruined their wedding photographer’s reputation over a $125 fee, so a jury told them to pay her $1 million.

Sorry, Google memo man: women were in tech long before you.

How a Maryland town is turning its New Deal past into a new economy present.

An Indian woman was born into the Dalit caste, which made her “untouchable” by society. Despite the odds, she managed to immigrate to America where she became the first Indian woman to be employed as a conductor on the New York Subway.

Adobe to (finally) pull the plug on Flash, for real this time.

She encouraged a girl she babysat to continue with her interest in art. Eleven years later she got this letter.

The Italian highlanders who may have Scottish roots.

World’s oldest smiley face found on a jug from 1700 B.C.E.

Meet Anatomic Anna and Andy, dolls with removable organs.

Extinguished, a stunning animated short, will positively melt your heart.

Interactive art center Meow Wolf is forging a new business model for artists.

11 women who did groundbreaking things that men got the credit for.

The British Museum creates 3D models of the Rosetta Stone and 200+ other historic artifacts for free download or view in virtual reality. 

How the plastic pink flamingo became an icon.

A free tutorial on how to make a cardboard geodesic dome den.

An entire Manhattan village owned by African Americans was destroyed to build Central Park.

Why the myth of meritocracy hurts children of color.

Comic Parchment, the ultimate font.

Play The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy video game, which was designed by author Douglas Adams in 1984, for free online.

How classic cartoons created a culturally literate generation.

People are furious at these new shirts from Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian are accused of stealing ideas from indie African American designers. 

See photographs of figures in Russian history rendered in colorized portraits, such as Tolstoy, Chekhov, and more.

This artist is brining out the beauty in stretch marks.

The rise in art protests: how the gallery became a new battleground.

What it means to be on the left.

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements shows how the elements actually get used in making everyday things.

Someone called this white girl’s Japanese tea party racist on social media but then this Japanese user stepped in.

Gorgeous color autochromes of American women from over 100 years ago.

Creative mom dresses up in amazing cosplay to represent older women characters.

Fender custom shop recycles Hollywood Bowl bench boards to make $12k guitars.

Rural America is stranded in the dial-up age.

Director Michel Gondry makes a charming film on his iPhone, proving that we could be making movies, not taking selfies.

This man spent 6 years crocheting a Super Mario Bros map blanket.

Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals.

Transgender soldiers of the American Civil War.

The 11 most unintentionally hilarious religious paintings.

Meet the unconventional family who lives in a 1940s time warp.

$330,000 in financial aid bought this person a slot in the American meritocracy. He writes about the flaws in that system.

Last November my Unitarian Universalist church joined the many other houses of worship across the United States in putting up a Black Lives Matter sign.


My congregation did one better with this sign. It also added the heart logo of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Standing on the Side of Love campaign and a rainbow banner indicating that it’s a welcoming congregation for the LBGTQ community. My congregation voted to erect this sign despite the fact that other houses of worship who have put up Black Lives Matter signs and banners have had them either defaced or stolen outright.

This morning I learned that my congregation has had the sign stolen. Yes, it’s distressing but, no, my congregation is not deterred. The word is that we will get a new identical banner and put it up. My congregation refuses to cower to the forces of racism, homophobia, and other types of ugly prejudice that has especially sprung up in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election.

This morning I came across a brief video rant from Ed Schultz where he tells it like it is on how Baltimore got so bad that it made yesterday’s riots possible. As someone who grew up in the Baltimore area, I can easily verify what Schultz said.

Baltimore’s problems are multi-faceted and they go back several decades, including chronic underfunding of public education, segregation, white flight, zero-tolerance policies on drugs, and outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to places like India and China. My story focuses on just one aspect of Baltimore’s problems. I know that certain members of my own family, especially those on my late father’s side, may be upset that I’m being so open about this. But I’m at an age and position where I really don’t care about what other people think. My husband has since divorced me and gotten remarried. I don’t have any children. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. My mother is currently busy dealing with her ongoing MS. Thanks to my circumstances I have a certain freedom where I can be this open about my family without much blowback from immediate family members because I don’t have many of them left and I don’t have to worry about any disapproval at the next family get-together.

When I was a child my paternal grandparents lived in Ellicott City and my parents would take me to visit them a few times a year. Things weren’t perfect. While my grandfather was very doting towards me, my grandmother was always so standoffish and I later learned that she didn’t even like children. I didn’t notice this while my grandfather was alive because he made up for my grandmother’s disinterest. It was after he died when I was 12 when I noticed this more and, well, we never developed a close grandmother-granddaughter relationship but that’s another story.

About a year or two before my grandfather died, my grandparents began to invite a friend of my grandfather’s over for dinner while I visited with my parents. I don’t know how my grandfather met him in the first place or why they became friends. I only knew him as Mr. Multz or, alternatively, as Mr. M because I was told to address him that way. (I don’t even know the man’s first name.) I remember he was an elderly guy who was about 60 or so. He usually arrived to my grandparents’ home alone. I don’t know if he was a widower or if he had ever been married. I don’t recall him mentioning any grown children or grandchildren but, then again, he mainly socialized with the adults and he didn’t bother much with me. While the man could be charming at times I remember he was also obnoxious. He was a bit of a loudmouth. He made Archie Bunker seem like a sensitive caring creative type by comparison.

Mr. Multz was a landlord who basically purchased what were once stately homes near the Pimlico Race Track (whose biggest claim to fame is being the venue for the annual Preakness, the second jewel in the Triple Crown) then broke them up into rental apartments where he didn’t do much maintenance or upkeep on them. Thanks to people like him, the area around the race track went from being a white middle class Jewish area with a low crime rate to being a predominantly poor African American area with all the crime and other social problems to match.

When it was time for the family to sit down to dinner would be when my parents and I got a glimpse of Mr. Multz at his worst. First he would rant about the Jews and how inferior they were while they had a lot of money and they’re trying to take over the world and stuff like that. So, yeah, he proclaimed himself a big anti-Semite. Then he would go on about African Americans and people of color and how inferior they were compared to whites. He may have even dropped the “n” word (I don’t remember). So he proclaimed himself a racist.

My grandparents would nod politely while not even protesting what Mr. Multz said. My parents would just sit there stunned but I don’t recall them saying anything either.

Finally Mr. Multz would start going on an anti-Catholic rant and my grandfather would speak up and ask him not to go any further mainly because his daughter-in-law (my mother) was Catholic and I was being raised in that faith at the time. Then Mr. Multz would change the subject. (Here’s some family background. My father was raised Episcopalian. My mother was raised Roman Catholic. When they decided to marry, my mother wanted a Catholic wedding and my father went along with it mainly because he had dropped out of his own church. The priest told my parents that he would marry them only under two conditions: they first had to attend a series of private lessons and consultations with the priest for a few months before the wedding and any children they had must be raised as Roman Catholics.) Despite my grandfather’s intervention, one can still conclude that Mr. Multz hated Catholics just as much as he hated Jews and people of color.

Mr. Multz would also brag about how he purchased those one-time stately homes and rented them to people of color while bragging that he wasn’t doing much to take care of those rental properties while he was raking in the cash. To be honest, I think he thought of his own tenants as being little more than feral animals who didn’t deserve anything other than the roof over their heads (which may have even been leaky at times) that he was charging rent for. Basically that man was a slum lord.

My parents couldn’t stand Mr. Multz yet my grandparents kept on inviting him over to dinner during our visits. I remember my parents basically just gritted their teeth and bared it.

My grandfather died of cancer when I was 12. Not long afterwards, my uncle had contacted my parents about something that totally distressed him. While he was calling friends and relatives in the days following my grandfather’s death he called Mr. Multz to inform him about the death. While Mr. Multz was initially friends with my grandfather, he told my uncle (my father’s brother), “That’s okay. I’ve always liked your mother better anyway.”

Yeah, Mr. Multz was a nasty piece of work.

I think I may have seen Mr. Multz one other time after my grandfather’s death when my grandmother had him over for dinner but that was it. I think my parents had put their foot down and told my grandmother that they would no longer visit her while Mr. Multz was at the house. I don’t know if anything ever happened between my grandmother and Mr. Multz because my grandmother never remarried.

In the years since that time, my grandmother has also died and I never saw nor heard from Mr. Multz again. I doubt that he is still alive because he was elderly when I was a child.

Which gets back to the present. When you have enough people like Mr. Multz, who basically felt that anyone who isn’t a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant is a sub-human, renting properties they allow to fall into disrepair to people they basically disdain for decades, you create a powder keg that explodes when something happens like the brutal murder of Freddie Gray at the hands of the Baltimore police.

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