Sunday Open Thread | Jonathan Butler | Praise & Worship

Jonathan ButlerJonathan Butler (born October 10, 1961, Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa) is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music is often classified as R&B, jazz fusion or worship music.

Born and raised in Cape Town during Apartheid, Butler started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child. Racial segregation and poverty during Apartheid has been the subject of many of his records.[1] His first single was the first by a black artist played by white radio stations in the racially segregated South Africa and earned a Sarie Award, South Africa’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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24 Responses to Sunday Open Thread | Jonathan Butler | Praise & Worship

  1. Ametia says:

    Angel Cabrera of Argentina and Australian Adam Scott are heading to a sudden-death playoff to determine the winner of 77th Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, after each man sank remarkable birdies on the 72nd hole.

    Great golf match going on. Tiger’s in 4th.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Obama Called Their Bluff: Republicans Admit They Are Too Scared to Cut Social Security

    By: Jason Easley
    Apr. 14th, 2013

    You may have missed it, but over the weekend congressional Republicans admitted that they are terrified that any Social Security cuts will lead to their defeat.

    If you are paying attention to the politics of Obama’s chained CPI offer, you may have noticed that Republicans have been running away like their hair’s on fire away from his proposal.

    The reason why is that Republicans are afraid that the president is setting them up. Roll Call reported, “The debate Walden’s remarks has set off inside the GOP shows many Republicans harbor deep-seated fears about publicly supporting the entitlement cuts they supposedly back and have demanded Obama and other Democrats embrace since taking control of the House in 2011…Many GOP operatives fear Obama’s embrace of chained consumer price index, a mechanism to slow the growth of Social Security benefits over time, is a trap — a means of getting Republicans to support the policy on the record only to see Democrats savage them for it down the line.”

    The Republican strategists who suspect this are partially correct. President Obama is using Chained CPI to set up a win/win/win situation for Democrats. Republicans have to choose between raising taxes in order to get the Chained CPI, arguing for Chained CPI without the tax increase, or rejecting Chained CPI. If Republicans express any desire to cut Social Security, Democrats will savage them for it during next year’s election. If Republicans agree to raise taxes at all, the base of their party will erupt in rage. If Republicans split and some of them reject Chained CPI, it will never become law. (Chained CPI probably won’t become law anyway, because Harry Reid and many Senate Democrats have promised to oppose any changes to Social Security.)

    While the activists on the left continue to completely ignore the political realities unfolding before them, it is looking more and more like Obama’s Chained CPI offer was designed to call the Republican bluff on Social Security.

    The truth is that outside of the right wing ideologues, many Republicans see real political danger in messing with Social Security. In plain English, Republicans will get nothing on Social Security unless they agree to raise taxes. Since they will never raise taxes, Chained CPI is pretty much DOA.

    Democrats have constructed an elaborate political trap for Republicans. If they go on record as supporting Social Security cuts, President Obama his party will snap it closed.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Gabrielle Reece: Women Should Be “Submissive” With Their Husbands
    Celebrity News April 13, 2013 AT 2:00PM By Justin Ravitz

    She’s a modern woman, wife and mom, but Gabrielle Reece has a surprising take on the ideal relationship between a wife and her husband. Married for 17 years to surfing legend Laird Hamilton, the pro volleyball star and fitness expert, 43, advises women to be “submissive” with their men in her new book My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper.

    “To truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and — look out, here it comes — submissive,” writes the former model, who shares daughter Reece Viola, 9, and son Brody, 5, with Hamilton, 49

    Reece, who took off ten years from work to raise their kids, clarified that provocative argument speaking with Natalie Morales on TODAY Friday, April 12. “I think the idea of living with a partner is ‘How can I make their life better?'” she reasoned. “So if I’m the woman and he’s the man, then yes, that’s the dynamic. I’m willing and I choose to serve my family and my husband because it creates a dynamic where he is then in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated.”

    But being “submissive” isn’t a negative or antiquated thing, she argued. “I think because women have the ability to set the tone that the ultimate strength and showing real power, I believe, is creating that environment. I dont think it’s a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of strength.”

    After tying the knot with Hamilton in 1997, Reece and the iconic blond went through a rough patch — filing for divorce four years after the wedding, but reconciling two years later.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Box office report: ’42’ knocks it out of the park with $27.3 million; ‘Oblivion’ huge overseas
    by Grady Smith

    Tomorrow, the Major League Baseball will celebrate its annual Jackie Robinson Day, and all players and umpires will wear jerseys with the number 42, which Robinson, the first African-American player in the MLB, made famous. Don’t be surprised if the execs at Warner Bros. join in on the fun. The studio did have a grand slam weekend, after all.

    Warner Bros.’ new baseball drama 42 topped the box office with $27.3 million — far ahead of recent baseball titles like Moneyball ($19.5 million debut) and Trouble with the Curve ($12.2 million). In fact, 42 scored the best ever debut for a baseball film, surpassing The Benchwarmers‘ $19.7 million bow. 42 also became the latest release to earn a rare “A+” CinemaScore grade, signifying exemplary word-of-mouth among ticket-buyers. Former “A+” releases include The Help, Tangled, The Blind Side, Titanic, and A Few Good Men.

    42, which was produced by Legendary Pictures for $40 million, stars newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, as well as Harrison Ford as MLB exec Branch Rickey. The film played exceedingly well with older moviegoers (59 percent of audience members were above the age of 35) and African-American crowds (all ten of 42′s top theaters were in urban markets). According to Warner Bros., a surprisingly high 52 percent of the opening weekend crowd was female.

    If history is any indication, 42 will keep running around the bases for a long time to come. Like fellow “A+” films The Help and The Blind Side, which also deal with racial issues, 42 should earn a terrific multiplier and finish well above $100 million. Warner Bros. says it plans on expanding the film from its already-wide 3,002 theater count next weekend.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Jane Seymour, James Keach divorcing
    by Lanford Beard

    A representative for Jane Seymour has confirmed the actress is divorcing James Keach after nearly 20 years of marriage.

    “They are separated and have been for several months,” Seymour’s camp confirmed to People in a statement. “At this time they are negotiating the terms of their divorce.”

    The statement continued, “They will continue their relationship as devoted parents to their children, as business associates and partners, and in their joint dedication to preserving and furthering the charitable endeavors that they’ve worked on throughout their marriage.”

    The couple have 17-year-old twin sons, Johnny and Kristopher. It was Seymour’s fourth marriage and Keach’s third.

  6. rikyrah says:

    April 13, 2013
    Rhee-thinking public education

    PBS’ John Merrow roundaboutly reports on why Michelle Rhee’s Hobbesian career of continual fear and danger of violent humiliation proved to be nasty, brutish, and relatively short.

    America’s most famous school reformer, [she] was fully aware of the extent of the problem when she glossed over what appeared to be widespread cheating during her first year as Schools Chancellor in Washington, DC. A long-buried confidential memo from her outside data consultant suggests that the problem was far more serious than kids copying off other kids’ answer sheets. (“191 teachers representing 70 schools”)….

    Rhee has publicly maintained that, if bureaucratic red tape hadn’t gotten in the way, she would have investigated [further]….

    At best, that story is misleading

    Merrow’s background story sets the stage:

    She surrounded herself with people with no experience running a large urban school system. Her deputy would be her best friend, Kaya Henderson…. Her Chief of Data and Accountability would be Erin McGoldrick, whom Rhee had met at Sacramento High School some years earlier and who was an avowed fan of Rhee. A classics major at Notre Dame, McGoldrick … had no experience in Rhee’s ‘data-driven decision making’…. Rhee selected Jason Kamras, the 2005 National Teacher of the Year and a veteran of seven years in the classroom, to lead what she called her ‘Human Capital Design Team.’ Kamras’ assignments were to design a teacher evaluation system and create a model union contract.

    That no one in her inner circle had any experience managing an urban school system did not seem to concern Rhee….

    From her first days in Washington, Michelle Rhee had flaunted her [own] inexperience (“I have never run a school district before,” she told her 5,000 teachers at their first meeting.)

    USA Today’s education reporter, Greg Toppo, adds:

    Only one educator lost his job because of cheating, according to [District of Columbis Public Schools]. Meanwhile, Rhee fired more than 600 teachers for low test scores — 241 of them in one day in 2010.

    “Survivor” test scores, lip-smacking bonuses, Damoclean teacher evaluations, a “‘produce or else’ approach,” private incentives ruthlessly tethered to others’ public education, an administrative boot-camp mentality applied to the classroom management of eight-year-olds–all grounded in a socioeconomic war zone of entrenched poverty and, too often, parental indifference.

    What could possibly go wrong with all that?

  7. rikyrah says:

    Teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’

    Posted by Valerie Strauss on April 6, 2013 at 4:00 am

    i-quitIncreasingly teachers are speaking out against school reforms that they believe are demeaning their profession, and some are simply quitting because they have had enough.

    Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y.:

    Mr. Casey Barduhn, Superintendent
    Westhill Central School District
    400 Walberta Park Road
    Syracuse, New York 13219

    Dear Mr. Barduhn and Board of Education Members:

    It is with the deepest regret that I must retire at the close of this school year, ending my more than twenty-seven years of service at Westhill on June 30, under the provisions of the 2012-15 contract. I assume that I will be eligible for any local or state incentives that may be offered prior to my date of actual retirement and I trust that I may return to the high school at some point as a substitute teacher.

    As with Lincoln and Springfield, I have grown from a young to an old man here; my brother died while we were both employed here; my daughter was educated here, and I have been touched by and hope that I have touched hundreds of lives in my time here. I know that I have been fortunate to work with a small core of some of the finest students and educators on the planet.

    I came to teaching forty years ago this month and have been lucky enough to work at a small liberal arts college, a major university and this superior secondary school. To me, history has been so very much more than a mere job, it has truly been my life, always driving my travel, guiding all of my reading and even dictating my television and movie viewing. Rarely have I engaged in any of these activities without an eye to my classroom and what I might employ in a lesson, a lecture or a presentation. With regard to my profession, I have truly attempted to live John Dewey’s famous quotation (now likely cliché with me, I’ve used it so very often) that “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” This type of total immersion is what I have always referred to as teaching “heavy,” working hard, spending time, researching, attending to details and never feeling satisfied that I knew enough on any topic. I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised. STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.

    A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place. This lack of leadership at every level has only served to produce confusion, a loss of confidence and a dramatic and rapid decaying of morale. The repercussions of these ill-conceived policies will be telling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come. The analogy that this process is like building the airplane while we are flying would strike terror in the heart of anyone should it be applied to an actual airplane flight, a medical procedure, or even a home repair. Why should it be acceptable in our careers and in the education of our children?

    My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom. Teacher planning time has also now been so greatly eroded by a constant need to “prove up” our worth to the tyranny of APPR (through the submission of plans, materials and “artifacts” from our teaching) that there is little time for us to carefully critique student work, engage in informal intellectual discussions with our students and colleagues, or conduct research and seek personal improvement through independent study. We have become increasingly evaluation and not knowledge driven. Process has become our most important product, to twist a phrase from corporate America, which seems doubly appropriate to this case.

    After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered.

    For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Self-deportation’ can’t be rebranded
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:04 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared on “Meet the Press” last weekend and said something interesting about the Republican Party and its approach to immigration policy.

    “[T]he politics of self-deportation are behind us,” Graham said. “Mitt Romney is a good man. He ran in many ways a good campaign, but it was an impractical solution, quite frankly. It was offensive. Every corner of the Republican Party from libertarians, the RNC, House Republicans and the rank and file Republican Party member is now understanding there has to be an earned pathway to citizenship.”

    For those hoping to see comprehensive immigration reform this year, it was a heartening sentiment. It was also mistaken — the politics of self-deportation are still at the core of many GOP contingents.

    A pocket of conservatives is lashing out privately and publicly against broad immigration reform and could seriously complicate any momentum for a House deal. […]

    Some in the party want to solve the problem much the same way that Mitt Romney did in 2012.

    [Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California] said: “You make sure that people who are here illegally do not get jobs, and they don’t get benefits and they will go home. It’s called attrition. I don’t happen to believe in deportation. If you make sure they don’t get jobs and they don’t get benefits, I mean Mitt [Romney] called it self-deportation, but it’s not; it’s just attrition. They’ll go home on their own.”

    What I love about this quote is its amazing effort to try to rebrand “self-deportation,” as if the meaning of the phrase can change if the explanation is worded slightly differently. For Rohrabacher, he doesn’t want mass deportation from the government; he just wants to create an environment in which undocumented immigrants’ lives are made so miserable, they’ll “go home on their own.”

    Rohrabacher says, however, this is “not” self-deportation, which it obviously is. In fact, he’s describing the policy precisely.

  9. rikyrah says:

    ‘Let’s use the debt limit, yes, as leverage’
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:52 PM EDT

    Americans have seen quite a few congressionally imposed crises in recent months, from the so-called “fiscal cliff,” to the sequestration cuts that are already hurting the country as planned, to threats of government shutdowns. But there’s still one more storm on the horizon, which happens to be the easiest one to deal with and the one that has the potential to do the most damage.

    I’m referring to the next debt-ceiling increase — or for those who watch The Rachel Maddow Show closely, Congressional Storm Gertrude.

    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) sat down with Politico this week and said, “Let’s use the debt limit, yes, as leverage.” As a practical matter, what he meant was, congressional Republicans should threaten to hurt Americans on purpose unless President Obama agrees to slash public investments. Because the White House won’t want such a catastrophe, Republicans will have “leverage” that Portman wants to see his party “use.”

    The Ohio Republican isn’t the only one thinking this way.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Colorado Sec. of State mad as dickens over bill to make voting easier
    By Laura Conaway

    Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:20 PM EDT

    The poll-watching Tea Party group known as True the Vote opens another national summit today, with top elections officials from two states among the listed speakers. Announced by email yesterday from True the Vote, one of them is the Republican Secretary of State from Kansas, Kris Kobach, last seen considering taking Barack Obama off the ballot in this state. The other is the Republican Secretary of State from Colorado, Scott Gessler, last seen trying to purge voters from the rolls two weeks before the November election.

    Back home in Colorado, Gessler has sounded a little frustrated lately. Colorado’s legislature has flipped from Republican to Democratic control, and the new majority wants to make voting easier. Colorado’s county clerks, while not unanimously in favor of the changes, generally like them. From the Cortez Journal:

    La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Lee Parker, a Republican, supports the bill and says it’s not a partisan issue.

    “To me, this is really bipartisan. This makes sense. This is not Republican versus Democrat,” Parker said.

    Meanwhile, Secretary of State Gessler is having a fit over the changes. He says the Democrats are “crazy” and guilty of “piss-poor thinking.” And he says they’re “trying to change the rules of the game in a very one-sided direction.” That might be because making it harder to vote has generally helped Republicans, and making it easier has generally helped Democrats.

    Democrats want to encourage mail-in voting by sending every voter a ballot, and they want to allow for same-day registration. The legislation, House Bill 1303 (pdf), comes up for its first hearing on Monday.

  11. rikyrah says:

    President Obama is lengthening the game clock. From 2 terms to forever.
    President Obama is doing something never done in modern times-He lengthened the game itself

    Most people are thinking in 4 to 8 years.

    President Obama is thinking forever.

    The 8 year thinking is yesterday. The two term thinking is yesterday.

    President Obama is thinking, like all the greats, like Lincoln, like FDR, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, like LBJ he is thinking forever.

    And it is such a radical idea, because in retrospect, no one ever said it aloud before.
    No one ever thought to say it aloud. President Obama is doing it for all of life.

    Dr. King did not do what he did, so he could use one bathroom for one time.
    Or to sit in one restaurant to get one meal and say he won.

    Dr. King did it to last forever.

    President Obama is doing that. And I quite believe this has been his vision since before he was President, though he didn’t come out and say it.

    Quite a few here mock the ropeadope, the chessmatch, the 10 step ahead.

    Quite honestly, maybe I sold him a little short. 10step? HELL, its 50 steps ahead.

    It is the long time prize.
    And in every war, in every battle, sadly there is collateral damage.

    But wave on wave on wave on wave on wave on wave
    The 100% complete victory only can occur by the battles fought.
    Should Dr. King have given up day one when they put the hoses on him?

    Dr. King foresaw it all in his “Mountaintop” speech, where he let the world know, this is not a quick or temporary thing, but it is forever all eternity.

    Maybe just maybe some can see how truly historic the entire package is.
    And maybe just maybe President Lincoln himself had a 500 step ahead plan
    and in his plan, he envisioned the hard chocies President Obama has to make to get to the next step

    And maybe, just maybe President Lincoln is standing right now, next to President Roosevelt, standing right now next to President LBJ, standing next to Dr. King standing and guarding the back of President Obama.
    Maybe he is them. Maybe they are him.

    Dot the I’s and Cross the T’s.
    A war is not won in a short period of time. And battles lost are part of any war.

    And like Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt, LBJ and Dr. King, time is not measured in 2 terms as President(and especially not after just months after beginning the 2nd term.)
    And yes, that means continuing the legacy of all them with Hillary(or a suitable other if not Hillary) to CONTINUE the legacy of all of those mentioned.

    And keep in mind, to win the war, any of the others mentioned did things that many did not like at the time it was done.
    All of them are smarter than me.
    All of them are a helleva lot smarter than the opposition is.

  12. Ametia says:

    You can see the whole film on YouTube for free. Here’s the trailer from 1950:

  13. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  14. Hey Chics! How about this? That’s what I’m talking ’bout!

    Meet Willie Jones – THE X FACTOR USA 2012

  15. CarolMaeWY says:

    Thanks for introducing me to a new musician.

  16. CarolMaeWY says:

    Nice late night listening. :smile:

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