Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Smokey Robinson & the Miracles Week


Smokey Robinson (born William Robinson, Jr., February 19, 1940) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson is one of the primary figures associated with Motown, second only to the company’s founder, Berry Gordy. Robinson’s consistent commercial success and creative contributions to the label have earned him the title “King of Motown.”

As an original member of Motown Records’ first vocal group The Miracles and as a solo artist, Robinson delivered 37 Top 40 hits for Motown between 1960 and 1987. He also served as the company’s vice president from 1961 to 1988.

The 1960 single “”Shop Around” was Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart, and the first major chart success for The Miracles. The song was also Motown’s first million selling hit single.

The Miracles remained a premier Motown act through most of the 1960s. The group’s billing was changed to “Smokey Robinson & the Miracles” after 1966. Their 1969 recording “Baby, Baby Don’t Cry” hit the national Billboard Pop Top 10, and when their 1967 recording of “The Tears of a Clown”was released as a single in 1970, it became a #1 hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Robinson began a low-key solo career while concentrating on his duties as vice president of Motown, releasing his first solo LP, “Smokey,” in 1973. His first hit single, “Sweet Harmony” was dedicated to The Miracles.

In 1975, Robinson’s solo career took off with the success of the #1 R&B hit “Baby That’s Backatcha.” Robinson’s 1976 single “Quiet Storm” and its accompanying album typified a genre of smooth, slow R&B that has spawned late-night radio shows called “quiet storm.” Other Robinson solo hits include 1979’s “Cruisin’,” 1981’s U.K. #1 hit “Being With You,” 1982’s “Tell Me Tomorrow” and 1983’s duet with labelmate Rick James “Ebony Eyes.” He also recorded the soundtrack to the 1977 film “Big Time.”

Being With You

Just to See Her

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70 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Smokey Robinson & the Miracles Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    for the 3CHICS stable:

  2. rikyrah says:

    With Holder In The Lead, Sentencing Reform Gains Momentum

    Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for significant changes to the way the nation deals with convicted criminals. And he’s not alone.Evan Vucci/AP

    Sit down with the attorney general to ask him about his priorities, as NPR did earlier this year, and he’ll talk about voting rights and national security. But if you listen a bit longer, Eric Holder gets to this: “I think there are too many people in jail for too long, and for not necessarily good reasons.”

    This is the nation’s top law enforcement officer calling for a sea change in the criminal justice system. And he’s not alone.

    Over the past few weeks, lawmakers have introduced bipartisan measures that would give judges more power to shorten prison sentences for nonviolent criminals and even get rid of some mandatory minimum terms altogether.

    “The war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old,” Holder said. “There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color.

    • Yahtc says:

      “The war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old,” Holder said. “There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color.

      I am grateful that Eric Holder has used his position to address this most important issue.

      Unfortunately, I now believe that the consequences were INTENDED. Only the Black community was targeted for marijuana possession. In NYC only the Black community is frisked and searched.

      In the school to prison pipeline system, only Black students are targeted (worst example is Meridian, MS):

      The lawsuit says children who talk back to teachers, violate dress codes and commit other minor infractions are handcuffed and sent to a youth court where they are denied their rights.

      Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin said Wednesday that Mississippi officials had failed to cooperate with the eight-month investigation.
      “We had no choice but to file suit,” Austin said, giving examples of what he alleged are unconstitutional actions taken by the school district and court:

      • Children are handcuffed and arrested in school and incarcerated for days at a time without a probable cause hearing.
      • Children detained wait more than 48 hours for a hearing, in violation of constitution requirements.
      • Children make admissions to formal charges without being advised of their Miranda rights.
      • Children are not routinely granted legal representation during the juvenile justice process.

      Austin said Wednesday that Meridian is not the only location in the country with such a system. However, he said, it is the only one to date where local authorities have not been fully cooperative with federal investigators.
      He pointed to Shelby County, Tennessee, as a school system where complaints had been received but where local officials had been fully cooperative with the Justice Department.
      Mississippi officials did not have an immediate response to the lawsuit.

      • Yahtc says:

        The children have been sent to the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

        Here is NPR’s audio on this Walnut Grove Facility:

        I wish everyone would listen to this NPR report.

        April 30, 2012
        The audio of this story, as did as the original Web version, indicates that GEO pulled out of all three Mississippi prisons it manages. After the story aired, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and GEO said the company pulled out of just one prison, East Mississippi Correctional Facility. The state says it then decided to find new management for all three GEO prisons — including the Walnut Grove and Marshall County facilities — “in hopes of gaining better performance and prices.” The Web version and the headline have been edited to reflect the new information.

        In 2010, former inmate Ross Walton describes mistreatment he says inmates received from guards. Faced with a court order to reform the Walnut Grove juvenile prison, the company managing the prison is leaving Mississippi.

        One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes “systemic, egregious and dangerous practices” at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

        As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

        Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison “has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk.”

        Walnut Grove, located an hour’s drive east of Jackson, is a 1,450-bed prison that houses inmates ages 13 to 22 who are minors convicted as adults. It is run by GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison corporation, which posted a profit of $284 million last year. The Mississippi Department of Corrections pays GEO to manage the prison.

        Jonathan Smith is chief of special litigation in the civil rights section at the Justice Department, which spent two years looking into conditions at Walnut Grove.

        NPR News Investigations
        Town Relies On Troubled Youth Prison For Profits:

        “To have a prison that’s chaotic, poorly run, dangerous, didn’t provide services, highly sexualized and highly violent really limits the ability of the state to turn those folks around, and to ensure public safety upon their release from prison,” Smith said.

        Among the conditions described in the report released last month:

        Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called “among the worst that we’ve seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.”
        Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
        The prison showed “deliberate indifference” to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
        Some guards had gang affiliations — a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.
        “A lot of times, the guards are in the same gang,” Bowling said. “If an inmate wanted something done, they got it. If they wanted a cell popped open to handle some business about some fighting or something like that, it just pretty much happened.”

        A GEO spokesman said via email that the abuses documented by the government occurred before GEO took over Walnut Grove in late 2010. Another private prison company, Cornell Companies, ran the Walnut Grove facility until Cornell was purchased by GEO.

        At the Justice Department, Jonathan Smith does not accept that statement. He said troubles at the prison continued after GEO stepped in.

        In an interview last Thursday, Mississippi state Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps had nothing but praise for GEO. He pointed out the prison had recently received a perfect score by outside auditors from the American Correctional Association.

        Since GEO took over in August 2010, “have there been incidents? The answer is yes,” he said. “Will there be more? The answer is yes. But they’re doing better, and I’m pleased with it.”

        On Friday, the news broke that GEO would be out as manager of its three Mississippi prisons by July.

        Later that day, Epps had changed his tune. He told The Associated Press that a new operator at all three state prisons may “do a better job in the operation of the facilities” than GEO did.

        GEO did not give a reason why it was out in Mississippi. Last week, CEO George Zoley said the company was discontinuing its contract at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility that houses inmates with mental illness because the facility had been “financially

    • Yahtc says:

  3. rikyrah says:

    Adrian Fenty and his ‘budding romance’ with Laurene Powell Jobs, billionaire widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs
    By The Reliable Source, Published: AUGUST 08, 7:29 PM ET

    Looks as if Adrian Fenty took the phrase “Go West, young man” to heart — and has done very well for himself.

    Last year, the former D.C. mayor scored a plum job with Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest venture capital firms. Now we’ve learned that Fenty is dating Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

    The two met at a Houston education conference in 2011 and bonded over a shared passion for school reform. In February 2012, Fenty joined the board of College Track, a non-profit college prep program for underserved students co-founded by Powell Jobs.

    …Sources tell us the relationship began as a friendship and blossomed into a “budding romance” around the time Fenty and his wife, Michelle, formally announced their separation in January. The Fenty marriage had been rumored to be on the rocks for months; there’s no indication that Powell Jobs had any role in the split. (The divorce is close to completion but not yet finalized.)

  4. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Alec Baldwin Set To Host New MSNBC Primetime Showby Joe Concha | 8:57 pm, August 8th, 2013

    Mediaite has learned from a senior source in the cable news industry with knowledge of MSNBC’s programming that actor Alec Baldwin is getting his own weekly show in MSNBC’s primetime lineup.

    According to our source, the so far untitled show will air Fridays at 10 p.m. ET and will feature a large dose of Baldwin’s outspoken liberal politics.

    The gig would make sense, considering Baldwin’s long history with the NBC family. He starred on the network’s award-winning sitcom 30 Rock for seven years, has frequently hosted Saturday Night Live, and hosted the network’s American airing of 2007′s Live Earth concert. Most important, Baldwin’s fiercely liberal and often combative political views make sense for a network that has become the place for progressive viewpoints on cable.

    The MSNBC 10 p.m. hour is currently occupied by Lawrence O’Donnell, but only Monday through Thursday. As such, this new Baldwin show will not replace any of the network’s primetime talk shows — just the Lockup prison documentary series that airs Friday evenings.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Who Should Play Michelle Obama?

    A new Hillary Clinton TV miniseries inspired The Root to speculate about who could portray the current first lady.

  6. Yahtc says:

    “Street’s Name Triggers Fight in Tulsa”
    City Council to Vote on Proposal to Remove Reference to a City Founder, Who Was Linked to Race Riot

    A proposal to rename a street running through a burgeoning arts district is reigniting racial tensions in the city, where one of the worst single incidents of violence against blacks in U.S. history occurred.
    The Tulsa City Council is set to vote Thursday on whether to rename Brady Street, chosen decades ago to honor W. Tate Brady, one of the city’s founders, who died in 1925. More recently, he has been linked to the Ku Klux Klan and the race riot that razed Tulsa’s prosperous black neighborhood in 1921.
    “Knowing all that information, why in the world would they want to keep that name?” said Kristi Williams, a 37-year-old hospital record keeper and part of the group of African-American activists that proposed the name change……..
    ……….The name controversy started a couple of years ago after a local journal described Mr. Brady as a prominent Klansman who may have contributed to the climate of racial tension that led to the riot. Seeking to lynch a black shoe-shiner accused of assaulting a white woman, a white mob attacked Greenwood, the city’s black district just blocks away from Brady Street. As many as 300 were killed, and thousands were left homeless.

  7. Yahtc says:

    “New York Police Ends Practice of Keeping Innocent New Yorkers in Stop-and-Frisk Database”:

  8. rikyrah says:

    How will Republicans explain government shutdown to constituents?

    By Greg Sargent, Published: August 8 at 12:24 pmE-mail the writer

    With the right wing in full-throttle defund-Obamacare mode, everyone seems to be wondering whether the August recess will bring a rerun of the now-mythical Summer of ’09, when the Tea Party came into its own and changed the national conversation on health care. One question seems to be whether the continuing Obamacare obsession will eclipse immigration reform.

    But the Asheville Citizen Times of North Carolina offers an account of something else entirely: A GOP Congressman, Patrick McHenry, getting confronted by a constituent — one Skip Edwards — who is upset with his votes to repeal Obamacare, because of his own medical and financial situation. What’s particularly interesting is Rep. McHenry’s claim that he supports parts of the Affordable Care Act, chiefly the bit prohibiting discrimination against people with preexisting conditions:

    Edwards and his wife, both 63, had health insurance until he lost his job during the recession and the East Asheville couple found themselves in financial trouble despite staying relatively healthy.

    Both had pre-existing conditions and were denied insurance, making them eligible for a state plan called Inclusive Health. “It cost us $1,300 bucks a month — extremely expensive,” Edwards said. “It taps us out every month. But at our age and health, we’ve got to have it.”

    McHenry, 37, has repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act, choosing to either defund, repeal or delay it. In defending his position, he said he did agree with some aspects of the act, including ending discrimination against pre-existing conditions and extending the age a children can stay on their parents’ health insurance. […]

    Edwards and others wondered why McHenry would vote against a plan they feel is better than nothing at all. He said he would not vote for something he feels is bad policy.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Praises Edward Snowden? THEY LIE
    Thursday, August 08, 2013 | Posted by adept2u at 8:30 AM

    I had a real WTF moment yesterday. The old twitter stream lit up with news of icon John Lewis praising Edward Snowden, covering him with the laurels of the civil rights movement comparing him to Gandhi.

    The story originated from The Guardian the source of Edward Snowden’s public relations media so I should have taken it with the same grain of salt I have when they’ve dropped bombshell after debunked half true old story bombshell.

    I should have but I didn’t I actually believed it for a day, until John Lewis himself had the chance to speak about the statement.

    Atlanta Journal Constitution John Lewis’ Statement

    “News reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading, and they do not reflect my complete opinion. Let me be clear. I do not agree with what Mr. Snowden did. He has damaged American international relations and compromised our national security. He leaked classified information and may have jeopardized human lives. That must be condemned.
    “I never praised Mr. Snowden or said his actions rise to those of Mohandas Gandhi or other civil rights leaders. In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word “praise” from its headline.
    “At the end of an interview about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I was asked what I thought about Mr. Snowden’s actions. I said he has a right as an individual to act according to the dictates of his conscience, but he must be prepared to pay the price for taking that action. In the movement, we were arrested, we went to jail, we were prepared to pay the price, even lose our lives if necessary. I cannot say and I did not say that what Mr. Snowden did is right. Others will be the judge of that.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Fun Times in Kentucky

    by BooMan
    Thu Aug 8th, 2013 at 05:36:34 PM EST
    It’s pretty awkward that Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton was caught on tape in January saying that he was only going to work for McConnell to help Rand Paul’s presidential campaign in 2016 and that he was basically going to “hold his nose” for the next two years while he worked to reelect the Human Turtle. It doesn’t help that Benton is caught up in a scheme to pay an Iowa state senator to switch his allegiance from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in the lead-up to the Iowa Caucuses. I guess it’s a rather simple thing to replace his campaign manager and it will be largely forgotten by November next, but part of this arrangement was about preventing any daylight between McConnell and the Paul camp, and that seems to have blown up in their faces.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The conventional wisdom on immigration reform is wrong

    By Greg Sargent, Published: August 8 at 9:18 amE-mail the writer

    The chances that comprehensive immigration reform will ever pass the House are very slim. However, the easy conventional wisdom about what’s happening now — which holds that the conservative base controls the outcome completely, that the death of reform is preordained, and that House Republicans are only looking for a way to kill reform blamelessly — is overly simplistic and is increasingly looking like it’s just wrong.

    To understand what’s really happening, the key question to ask is: Are House Republicans just playing for time, or are they actually grappling with the issue of immigration reform and what to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants?

    In a story that deserves a bit of play today, the Daily Pilot reports that California Rep. Kevin McCarthy — who as the GOP whip is a member of the House leadership team — addressed immigration reform in a meeting of constituents. In some ways, what he said wasn’t surprising: He repeated that the borders must be secure first, and stopped short of supporting citizenship.

    But McCarthy came out for legal status, crucially putting it this way: “What you then have to address is the 11 million that are here considered illegal.” This comes after GOP Reps. Aaron Schock and Daniel Webster also embraced varying but significant levels of reform earlier this month.

    Frank Sharry of America’s Voice tells me McCarthy’s comments are significant, explaining the broader picture this way:

  12. Yahtc says:

  13. WTF! Obama protesters in Arizona sing “Bye Bye Black Sheep”

    • Yahtc says:

      The fringe is on a crazed binge of their OWN self destruction!

      • It’s worse than the 60’s.

      • Yahtc says:

        I agree.

        Now the hoses and dogs teeth are the symbolically and physically represented in SYG, gutting the Voting Rights Act, militias, hate groups, vigilantes chomping at the bit, Tea Party……..and they are blatantly scattering BOLDLY throughout the country.

        BUT……they can be stopped if we organize properly.

        ………and get them on the proper meds :) and get a good supply of straightjackets.

  14. Yahtc says:

    Thank you, rikyrah for your posts this afternoon. Shine that burning hot spotlight where it needs to be shined!!!!!!!!

  15. rikyrah says:

    These Six States Want To Allow Health Insurers To Deny Coverage To Sick People

    By Sy Mukherjee on August 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Officials in Texas and five other GOP-led states are refusing to oversee even Obamacare’s most basic — and popular — consumer protections and insurance market reforms. That includes the law’s ban on denying coverage or charging more because of a pre-existing condition and discriminating against women on the basis of gender. The decision could present major hurdles to Americans who buy health insurance through federally-run marketplaces in the Lone Star State, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

    A majority of states haven’t set up their own insurance marketplaces, opting to let the federal government set one up for them. But every one of those states (other than the six in question) have at least said they will police the insurers that sell plans on their federally-run marketplaces to make sure that they aren’t giving consumers short shrift. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will instead be responsible for enforcing Obamacare’s insurance industry reforms and reviewing consumer complaints in the states refusing to do so on their own.

    That could be confusing for Americans who are buying insurance for the first time through the marketplaces. For example, imagine you’re a relatively poor person with diabetes. Your income isn’t low enough to get you on Medicaid — but your employer doesn’t offer health benefits, and you’ve never qualified for insurance on the individual market because of your medical condition. On October 1st, you can go buy insurance with government subsidies for the first time on an Obamacare marketplace. But the plan you choose charges you a suspiciously high premium relative to your income. You suspect it’s because of your medical problem, which is clearly illegal under the reform law. But who do you complain to?

    Usually the answer is your state’s insurance department. But the answer is CMS if you live in one of the six states that won’t enforce the consumer protections. Unfortunately, if you don’t know that, you could spend months oscillating between the state and federal government, trying to figure out if you’re getting hoodwinked by your insurance company. And in the meantime, the bills are piling up.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Why I Wouldn’t Vote For Cory Booker
    By Charles P. Pierce at 11:00AM


    Anyway, back in the spring of 2012, when the destruction wrought by the people who wrecked most of the national economy and stole what was left of it was the sub rosa issue in the presidential campaign, the president’s campaign was making television ads to that effect. This was because the Republicans were on their way to nominating for president G. I. Luvmoney himself. In response, Cory Booker went on Disco Dave’s Disco Dance Party and said that the president’s ads were “nauseating.”

    “I have to just say, from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” Mr. Booker said. “To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses. And this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with. he last point I’ll make is this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides,” Mr. Booker continued. “It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”

    I’ve forgotten, how many houses did Jeremiah Wright steal out from under their owners? How many toxic mortgages did he foist off on unsuspecting customers while getting rich betting against the same investments? How many pensions did he loot? How close did Jeremiah Wright come to wrecking the entire world economy? This is both-sides-do-it taken to a level of political idiocy. And the reasons you live in a state where unions are investing their pensions in private equity funds — and how’d that work out, by the way? Jeremiah Wright must have stolen all the money. — is because they don’t have any choice, because, down through the years, the financial services industry, and its many sublets in various legislatures and under various presidents of the United States, successfully lobbied to break unions and, thereby, end the system of guaranteed pensions provided by your actual employer.

    Yet, when the predatory nature of America’s business elites threatened to become an actual political issue, Cory Booker leaped to salve the wounded fee-fees of the crooks. Which is why I would not vote for Cory Booker.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Vote suppression alleged in close Florida election
    by Brendan Farrington, Associated Press | August 8, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    SOPCHOPPY, Fla. (AP) — A small Florida Panhandle town best known for its annual Worm Grunting Festival is at the center of an investigation into charges the white city clerk suppressed the black vote in an election where the black mayor lost by a single vote and a black city commissioner was also ousted.

    Both losing candidates and three black voters have filed complaints, now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, that City Clerk Jackie Lawhon made it more difficult for blacks to cast ballots by questioning their residency.

    The candidates also allege Lawhon abandoned her duty to remain neutral and actively campaigned for the three whites on the ballot.

  18. rikyrah says:

    DSCC: McConnell’s ‘Own Campaign Manager Can’t Stand Him’

    Following the release of a phone recording in which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) campaign manager sounded unethused to be working in his current position, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) said Thursday it’s further proof of the incumbent’s dismal standing.

    “Mitch McConnell is so unpopular in Kentucky that even his own campaign manager can’t stand him,” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky told TPM over the phone. “Unfortuantely for McConnell, polls show that people of Kentucky won’t be holding their noses in 2014.”

    Barasky was referring to comments made by McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton, who told a conservative activist in January that he took the job on the GOP leader’s re-election campaign to help the presidential prospects of his old boss, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

    “Between you an me, I’m sorta holding my nose for two years,”
    Benton said in the recording, “’cause what we’re doing here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in ’16.”

    • Yahtc says:

      “Between you an me, I’m sorta holding my nose for two years,”
      Benton said in the recording.

      Only the Tea Farty members seem to like McConnell’s stink.

  19. rikyrah says:

    A Cold Current

    DeLisle, Miss.

    There are moments from childhood that attract heat in our memories, some for their sublime brilliance, some for their malignancy. The first time that I was treated differently because of my race is one such memory.

    As a child of the ’80s, my realization of what it meant to be black in Mississippi was nothing like my grandmother’s in the ’30s. For her it was deadly; it meant that her grandfather was shot to death in the woods near his house, by a gang of white patrollers looking for illegal liquor stills. None of the men who killed her grandfather were ever held accountable for the crime. Being black in Mississippi meant that, when she and her siblings drove through a Klan area, they had to hide in the back of the car, blankets thrown over them to cover their dark skin, their dark hair, while their father, who looked white, drove.

    • Yahtc says:

      I needed to step away and calm down after clicking on the article and reading about how she was treated by her classmates.

      Putting myself in her place, a great silent prayer would be “Thank you God for not making me a evil, deranged WHITE girl!”, and I would think that prayer as I looked BLANKLY (matter-of-factly) at the girls in the same way I would at an inanimate painting in order to TAKE AWAY their power.

      (I am going to read Jesmyn Ward’s 3 books.)

      • Yahtc says:

        I like the way, Jesmyn Ward concluded her article:

        There is power in naming racism for what it is, in shining a bright light on it, brighter than any torch or flashlight.

        A thing as simple as naming it allows us to root it out of the darkness and hushed conversation where it likes to breed like roaches.

        It makes us acknowledge it. Confront it.

        And in confronting it, we rob it of some of its dark pull. Its senseless, cold drag. When we speak, we assert our human dignity. That is the worth of a word.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Charles Johnson ‏@Green_Footballs6m
    What “threats?” RT @Salon: @ggreenwald will come to the US despite threats, declines protection offer from Brazil

  21. rikyrah says:

    The U.S. Has a Really Helpful Student Loan Repayment Program—and No One’s Using It

    The menu of repayment options available for struggling borrowers is a key benefit of taking out federal instead of private student loans, but new data show that many students aren’t taking advantage of the government’s programs.

    The details come from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s student loan ombudsman, Rohit Chopra, who posted an interesting breakdown of the $1 trillion in outstanding federal student loans. He found that two-thirds of all direct-loan borrowers are on the standard 10-year payment plan; the remaining third are in one of the special plans that are supposed to help borrowers manage their monthly payments. About two-thirds of those people are in plans that either extend the term of their loan or start the monthly payments small but increase them over time, or some combination of those options. They can make loans more affordable in the short term, but they increase how much total interest a borrower pays over the life of the loan.

    Just 3 out of 10 borrowers in the repayment plans are getting the kind of help that pegs a borrower’s payment to his or her monthly income. These income-based repayment plans (known as IBR) are generally praised by student advocates for making loans affordable and because they forgive the remaining balance after 10, 20, or 25 years, depending on the program. Chopra found that given the average amount borrowers in each program owed, “it’s possible that many borrowers in plans not based on income might be better off with an income-based plan.”

    So why aren’t more students using the IBR plans? Chopra says it’s because borrowers don’t know about them and enrollment isn’t as easy as it could be. Publicizing the programs is largely up to the loan servicers that collect monthly payments and are supposed to work with borrowers in trouble. Yet two-thirds of borrowers surveyed by the National Consumer Law Center a year ago said (PDF) that they didn’t hear from their loan servicers before they defaulted on their debt. As Inside Higher Ed has reported, enrolling in IBR can be complicated, and as Bloomberg News revealed last year, servicers haven’t necessarily been compensated properly to encourage them to put in the extra work.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Wal-Mart signs corporate-wide settlement with US Labor Department
    Agreement resolves OSHA citations at Rochester, N.Y., store following 2011 inspections

    WASHINGTON —Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to improve safety and health conditions in all 2,857 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores under federal jurisdiction. The settlement, which resolves two enforcement cases that began in 2011, includes provisions for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer to enhance safety and health practices and training related to trash compactors, cleaning chemicals and hazard communications corporate-wide.

    “This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Wal-Mart workers safe and healthy on the job,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We hope this sends a strong message that the law requires employers to provide safe working conditions, and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law.”

    Under the settlement, trash compactors must remain locked while not in use, and may not be operated except under the supervision of a trained manager or other trained, designated monitor. Wal-Mart will also improve its hazard communications training; and, for cleaning chemicals, will enhance its procedures to ensure that employees do not handle undiluted chemicals. Also, the company must ensure that a protective protocol is in place in case of any malfunctions with a store’s cleaning chemicals dispensing equipment. Wal-Mart will ensure employees are trained on the new procedures in a language, format, and vocabulary that the workers can understand.

    For the safety citations pertinent to the corporate-wide trash compactor abatement, the settlement affirms one repeat lockout/tagout citation, two serious lockout/tagout citations, two serious confined space citations, and one serious machine guarding citation.

  23. rikyrah says:


    I need a G-T-F-O-H gif


    Trayvon’s Death Is an Outrage, But …
    Thanks to immigration, stronger laws and years of hard work, our poisonous biracial era is ending
    By Joe Klein Monday, July 29, 2013

    Read more:,9171,2147711,00.html#ixzz2bPSUmNkZ

  24. rikyrah says:

    Oh, Shut Up
    By Charles P. Pierce at 10:15AM

    My man Chuck Todd is a mess right now. I sympathize. I truly do. But I can’t bring myself to agree with him that every American, to say nothing of every one of his Beltway BFF’s, are as stupid as obvious anagram Reince Priebus thinks they are.

    “This is why this miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News because, you know, we know there’s this giant firewall, we know we have nothing to do with it, we know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever it is going to be, if it comes out. But there’s nothing we can do about it…Whether it’s negative because the Clinton people are upset that it’s too tough on them, or negative because the Republicans think it’s this glorification of her-no matter what, only we are going to own it, because people are going to see the peacock and they see NBC and they see NBC News and they think: ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.’

    My man Chuck is doing his agnostic Villager fan-dance here. He knows full well that the movie could depict Hillary Clinton with horns and a tail and devouring Vince Foster’s liver with fava beans and a nice key-antie and the Republicans would still have a screaming fit over this because Having Screaming Fits is all the party’s really good at these days. (Hell, Priebus is already in the middle of a screaming fit and the thing hasn’t even started production yet.) The sooner Chuck realizes this, and stops caring about every hissy-fit they throw, the better we’ll all be. He also knows that any meeping complaints from Democrats will be drowned out to the point where he can ignore them. And I realize that Maureen Dowd gave all the Cool Kidz permission to take Priebus’s idiocy seriously over the weekend, largely because the very prospect of having the Clintons to re-litigate energizes the aging colleen to a point that the Good Sisters likely would have referred to as “a near occasion of sin.” But you’re being trolled here, Chuck. Honestly, you are. Return to the pack, son.

  25. Ametia says:

    These racists pieces of shit need to be EXPOSED.

    George Zimmerman’s Biggest Defender: A Racist With a Criminal Past

    Frank Taaffe, Zimmerman’s unofficial media emissary, is a convicted criminal who recently appeared on The White Voice, a virulently racist podcast.
    —By Mariah Blake
    | Thu Aug. 8, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    In April 2012, two days before George Zimmerman was arrested for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, he huddled with a fellow neighborhood watch volunteer, Frank Taaffe. According to Taaffe, who disclosed the meeting on Fox News, Zimmerman asked him to share “several talking points” with the media. Taaffe obliged. Indeed, as Zimmerman’s legal drama unfolded over the next year and a half, Taaffe emerged as his most visible and outspoken defender. He gave hundreds of interviews to media outlets, ranging from the New York Times to Fox News to CNN, and made near-daily appearances on cable news shows during Zimmerman’s trial.

    Taaffe used this platform to cast Martin as a drug-addled hoodlum and Zimmerman as a community-minded do-gooder (“the best neighbor you would want to have”) who had every reason to suspect the black teen was up to mischief. He also railed against Zimmerman’s critics, whom he accused of staging a witch hunt. “It’s really sad that he has already been convicted in the public media and has already been sentenced to the gas chamber,” he lamented in an interview with NBC’s Miami affiliate last year.

  26. Ametia says:

    Bey’s new DO.


  27. Ametia says:

    Researchers get green light to exhume bodies at Fla. reform school

    They will be digging up the grounds of a former reform school in the Panhandle, searching for the remains of boys who were sent to the school between 1900 and the 1950s.

    DNA samples could solve mysterious Fla. school deaths
    Researchers uncover more deaths at shuttered Fla. school

    On the grounds of the school are a series of crosses, a modest tribute to the 96 boys who died in state custody at the Arthur G. Dozier Reform School. Troubled boys from across Florida were sent there, but often never came back.

    CBS News) MARIANNA, Fla. — The governor of Florida and his cabinet have given the go-ahead for researchers to begin a grim project.

    • Yahtc says:

      This is the website of the survivors of the Dossier Reform School:

      • Thank you for this!

      • Liza says:

        Roger Dean Kiser, founder of the “Whitehouse Boys” describes a beating he received at age 12 while incarcerated at the Dozier reform school in Marianna, Florida:

        “Then all of a sudden, it happened. I thought my head would explode. The thing came down on me over and over. I screamed and kicked and yelled as much as I could, but it did no good. He just kept beating me over and over. However, I never let go of that bed rail. Then there was nothing. The next thing I remember, I was sitting on another wooden bench in the one-armed man’s office. I remember wiping the slobber and blood from my mouth. My body felt like it was on fire. I stood and found that I hardly could.

        God, God, God, it hurt badly. I will never forget that until the day I die.

        One of the men in the office yelled at me to sit down. I told him that I had to go to the bathroom really bad. He pointed at a doorway and said that it was the bathroom; he told me to “make it quick.” I slowly walked into the bathroom and closed the door. I looked in the mirror. There was dried blood all over my black and blue face, my hair and in my mouth. I took my torn shirt off, which was hanging from the waistband of my pants and then I turned around and looked into the mirror. My back was black and blue, and also bloody. I almost panicked out of my mind when I saw my reflection. I looked like a monster. I started to cry, but I covered my mouth with both hands so no other boys would hear me. I loosened my belt buckle to get my pants down. It was very painful, but the worst was yet to come. Once they were down, I noticed that my legs were all bloody and my skin was black in color.

        I stood over the toilet and tried to urinate, but it just would not come out. I decided to take my underwear down and sit on the toilet until I could go, but the underwear would not come off; it was stuck to my rear end and legs. The cotton material had been beaten into the skin of my buttocks and was dried with blood. I pulled my pants back up and washed my face, mainly because I did not want the other boys to see that I had been crying. I was so scared that I could not stop shaking.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: The GOP’s fundamental miscalculation on Obamacare

    By Greg Sargent, Published: August 7 at 9:17 amE-mail the writer

    What if Republicans — in their drive to repeal and even defund Obamacare — are making the same mistake they made in 2012 about the economy?

    Last year, Republicans gambled that high public dissatisfaction with Obama’s economic performance meant majorities had concluded that the President had been an abject failure, meaning there was simply no chance he’d be reelected. Instead, exit polls suggested voters didn’t hold Obama to blame for the economy in high enough numbers to ensure his defeat. One possible explanation — advanced by Ron Brownstein, yours truly and others — is that despite their disappointment, they found the sluggishness of the recovery understandable, given the circumstances, and saw the election as a nuanced choice between sticking with a disappointing status quo and a worse alternative. Republicans appeared caught off guard by this.

    A similar miscalculation may be guiding the current GOP drive to repeal Obamacare — and the conservative drive to shut down the government to force its defunding.

    For a long time now, the polling on Obamacare has shown a pattern. Disapproval of the law runs high, and polls that offer respondents a straight choice between repeal and keeping the law as is find high support for repeal. But polls that offer a more nuanced range of options — such as changing the law or repealing parts of it — find only minority support for the GOP position of full repeal. This pattern has been clear for years now. Meanwhile, polls that ask directly whether Republicans should keep blocking the law find majority opposition to that.

    It seems reasonable to surmise that dissatisfaction with the law may not necessarily translate into broad support for getting rid of it entirely (let alone replacing it with nothing). As in 2012, voters may be taking a longer, more nuanced view than Republicans think.

    Today’s GOP, however, is flirting with something even more extreme than endless repeal votes: shutting down the government to force the defunding of Obamacare. And David Drucker reports this morning that even a poll commissioned by a Tea Party group finds that Republicans will bear more of the blame for a shutdown than Obama will. As Drucker concludes, “a solid majority of voters oppose the Affordable Care Act” and are “nervous about implementation,” but it’s not clear that this translates “into support for a plan to shut down the government.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    2010 vs. 2014: Obamacare and the Fall of the Tea Party
    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 4:56 PM

    For a couple of weeks now, we have been hearing Republicans howling and hollering about the Tea Party pressure to shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded. While Speaker Boehner keeps up the impression that he is ready for a budget fight with the president in the next months to extract deep cuts in order to pay the bills Congress already approved, Republican senators – even very, very conservative ones – are cracking down on the Teabagger craze.

    Wingbats like Ted Cruz are still desperate, and the Heritage Foundation is threatening members of Congress that they will “rate” them on defunding Obamacare as a precondition to fund the government. But in the mean time, people that the 2010 Tea Party sweep brought to office are weary of the move, from Scott Walker to Bob Corker. The efforts to keep the government open on the parts of these Republicans aren’t sitting well with the Tea Party “grassroots.” Teabaggers feel disillusioned, angry and ready to either primary some Republicans or sit at home on election day.

    Ironically, much of the Tea Party took shape in protest to the Affordable Care Act – or at least, a caricature of it. That, and the patently absurd fantasy that President Obama was exploding the budget deficit. Now with the deficit falling at the fastest pace in 60 years and health care close to being fully implemented, exactly the same issues that united the Right in 2010 are now causing potentially lethal fractures. Why?

    Ultimately, you can’t ignore facts. The truth is that it isn’t exactly the Affordable Care Act or the budget deficit themselves that united the Republican coalition three years ago. It was the myth that the Right created about them combined with the fear of a black man in the White House that drove the Republican flood to the polls in 2010. That’s what brought the GOP success that year. That and the Professional Left’s well crafted campaign to keep as many Democrats home as they could, because of the lack of various rainbow-farting ponies in the President’s first two years in office.

    But with the 2010 electoral success, the Republican party also turned another page: it gained a committed group of activists whose loyalties belonged to the maintenance of various mythical versions of the president’s policies and the president himself and not to the electoral success of the Republican party. When Republican leaders refused to strongly condemn the intrinsic racism of the Tea Party, hoping instead to make them part of a permanently successful GOP coalition, the inmates began to take over the asylum. Their myth of Obama as the Devil became their reality, and they expected the entire Republican party to live by that myth. They began to believe in another dangerous myth: the 2010 elections all but foretold the 2012 elections, and Obama was doomed.

    That myth wasn’t shattered for them until President Obama trounced Mitt Romney last year. But while the president’s thumping victory nevertheless failed to kill the root myth that held the Tea Party together – Obama was still the devil.

    The calculation for the Republican electoral professionals, though, had changed. After a whole year of conducting “polls” to show that Mitt Romney would win with 300 or more electoral votes and Karl Rove’s meltdown on Fox News over Ohio’s election results, some of the Republicans had began to realize that speaking only to the southern white racists would no longer be enough to gain political power. Some had realized this, but not the Tea Party. Even if they did realize it, it didn’t matter to them. As I said before, the Tea Party’s allegiance belongs to maintaining the Obama-as-Devil, health-reform-as-death-panel, and Obama-as-big-spender myths, not to what is in the practical electoral interest of the GOP.

  30. rikyrah says:

    I’ve been playing Tour Guide to out of town visitors.

    If you’re in Chicago, or coming to Chicago, may I suggest the following:

    At the DuSable Museum:

    KKK – “Kin Killin’ Kin” is a powerful and thought-provoking series of images that reflect artists James Pate’s deep love and even greater concern for the epidemic of youth violence in the African American community. If he were a singer, he would sing about it. If he were a dancer, he would dance about it. If he were a journalist, he would join the thousands who write about it. James Pate is a master visual artist who has directed his artistic vision to one of the most critical social ills of our time…youth violence.

    In the KKK-“Kin Killin’ Kin” series, James Pate reveals a negative social reality in hopes of finding collective and positive solutions to a problem that touches us all directly or indirectly. Pate’s powerful images are visual call-to-action to find solutions to youth and gun violence in the community and created in hopes of engaging our youth and community in acknowledging that harsh reality of gun violence, and to dialogue positive alternatives and solutions towards negative behavior.

    Organized by SHANGO: center for the Study of African American Art and Culture, Inc., and EbonNia Gallery, Curated by Willis Bing Davis


    Very powerful exhibit. Was fortunate enough to attend a reception/panel for the artist. I love what he did and what he’s trying to say. If you can, see it, and watch to see if it comes to a city near you.


    At the Black Ensemble Theater

    Ain’t No Cryin’ the Blues: In the Memory of Howlin Wolf

    Written by Jackie Taylor
    Directed by Rueben Echoles
    Starring Rick Stone

    When Rick Stone first took to the BE stage as Howlin’ Wolf in 2003, Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun Times wrote, “But it’s Rick Stone who consistently knocks your socks off in his terrifically sustained performance. And as he moves through Wolf’s hits– ‘Red Rooster,’ ‘Goin’ Down Slow,’ ‘I Ain’t Superstitious,’ ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and more — it’s the audience that begins howlin’ loudest.” Rick Stone is coming back to do it again in this love story reflecting the life and times of one of the greatest blues singers the world has ever known – Howlin’ Wolf.

    It closes August 11th – GO SEE IT!!!


    And, swing around to the Chicago History Museum for:

    Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

    Open through January 5, 2014

    Relive the experience of the Ebony Fashion Fair in this one-of-a-kind exhibition. Explore its fifty-year history and discover how Eunice Johnson overcame adversity to bring couture fashion to African American communities, while raising millions of dollars for charity. More than sixty garments, including works by Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Stephen Burrows, Yves Saint Laurent, and Patrick Kelly help tell the story of this world-renowned fashion show and its redefinition of American beauty.



    From the beautiful outfits shown..

    to the beautiful pictures from the archives of Ebony/Jet

    to the wonderful video presentations that they have in the exhibit…

    Any woman who loves Black Beauty will love this exhibit. I hope that they travel this exhibit, because it was terrific.

    • Ametia says:

      Thank you for sharing these wonderful exhibits with us, Rikyrah. I’d definitely want to check them out, especially the Ebony/Jet archives.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Been loving Smokey Week…THANK YOU

  32. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims inch higher, but remain near five-year low
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Aug 8, 2013 8:35 AM EDT

    It’s never good news when initial unemployment claims climb, but the new figures out this morning are better than expected and are still near a five-year low.

    The number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 to 333,000 in the week ended Aug. 3, but the level of initial claims remained close to a five-year low in a possible sign of some improvement in the U.S. labor market. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to climb to 339,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of new claims over the past month, a more reliable gauge than the volatile weekly number, fell by 6,250 to 335,500 to the lowest level since November 2007.

  33. rikyrah says:

    August off to an awkward start for the GOP
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Aug 8, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) received some unexpected pressure from the far-right this week, when he told constituents he’s strongly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, but he doesn’t want to shut down the government. For his conservative constituents, that’s simply unacceptable — Pittenger’s many votes to repeal “Obamacare” aren’t enough to satisfy the right, which wants GOP lawmakers to go much further.

    As it turns out, Pittenger isn’t the only one.

    In this clip, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) was also pressed by a constituent on whether he’s prepared to vote against any funding bill that includes funding for Obamacare.” As Jonathan Cohn explained:

    The question draws strong applause from the audience. Schock says he shares the frustration with Obamacare, calling it “an extremely flawed bill” and supporting repeal. But shutting down the government, Schock goes on to explain, would be an extreme step — one that would have harsh consequences for average Americans. “If you’re going to take a hostage,” Schock says, “you gotta be willing to shoot it.” Another attendee quickly quipped, “kill it.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    UNC Wilmington student calls for change after racial taunts
    Amy Elliot Aug-07-2013

    A UNC Wilmington student athlete is speaking out after a racial verbal attack on campus.

    On Monday afternoon, five men drove around the intramural fields on UNCW’s campus yelling out racial slurs and threats to student Brent Campbell.

    “When it happened, it didn’t really surprise me. It didn’t at all. Calling the police was… I didn’t even know an option. You know, it’s like, what are you going to do? Say stop being mean?,” he said.

    But he did decide to take action, writing a letter to Chancellor Gary Miller to alert him of what he said is a bigger issue on campus.

    “This guy and his friends, they are not the issue. They are really not,” Campbell said. “They are just a symptom of the real issue. I can’t blame them. How childish would it be of me to be angry at them for something they were taught?”

    The chancellor responded with an email to the entire campus, saying in part, ” I applaud UNCW student Brent Campbell for coming forward to share his experience and encourage all of you to do the same.”

    Miller went on to say, “This is a very upsetting development indeed — and one we’re not taking lightly.”
    – See more at:

    • Ametia says:

      <b.THIS: The problem is that they have never been in community with black people before. He has only ever seen me, he has never known me. If he knew me, truly knew me, he would have never done those things. I know he wouldn't. If he were found I would ask that his punishment be to get to know me. He should be forced to meet with me once a week for a month over lunch or dinner.

      That isn’t an empty suggestion to sound caring or altruistic. I mean that. I mean it down to my core. The reality is that knowledge and love have the power to change a heart more readily than discipline or punishment. If he could see my eagerness to forgive him, if he could come to know my struggles here at this school, if he could get a glimpse of the person that I am….he would find, in all of that, the solution. That is how you change a heart. That is how we could grow to become a unified campus. That is how UNCW could come to achieve authentic racial reconciliation.

      – See more at:

      If folks like these 5 RACIST boys had true Knowlege and love they would know that Ben Campbell was HUMAN. There in lies the problem. They’ve been taught that Brent, the black guy is not HUMAN.

    • Liza says:

      So, five white boys (not men) who have to be 18 years of age and older because they were college students yell out threats and racial slurs from their car to a black student who is alone. Apparently, time stands still in Wilmington, NC, and these boys were raised to believe that 1955 will last forever in their racist Deep South world.

      The black student Brent Campbell was right to bring this to the attention to the chancellor and the email the chancellor sent to the entire campus is really not a bad idea. Other racist students might actually be encouraged to keep their mouths shut in situations where they would otherwise be tempted to use racial slurs or threaten a black person.

      I just think that Brent Campbell is too kind in his assessment of the racist boys who threatened him and made the slurs. He says, “The reality is that knowledge and love have the power to change a heart…”

      I would just say that it’s good to know that such kindness exists even though I am incapable of that level of kindness toward people who I believe are ignorant, cowardly, racist and, most importantly, cannot be redeemed. Despite their youth, knowledge and love will have no positive effect on their hearts and minds. They have already reached an age where it would take a major life changing event to impact their values and beliefs. They don’t want to know Brent Campbell. They want to gang up as five cowardly, racist bullies and taunt him from the safety of their car while he is alone and unprotected, and they do this for entertainment because they cannot recognize or respect the humanity of anyone who isn’t just like them.

      Brent Campbell seems to be a sweet kid and I wish he were right about knowledge and love, etc… but I’ve just never seen any of these transformations that he thinks are possible and I’ve been around for awhile. However, what his letter did accomplish is to expose the a$$holes and this is what is needed, consistent and constant exposure when things like this happen.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Black lawmakers say new Alabama districts violate Voting Rights Act; court case begins Thursday
    By The Admin | August 7, 2013

    Starting Thursday, black lawmakers and others will try to prove in federal court that new legislative districts drawn by Republicans discriminate against black voters.

    The Alabama Legislative Black Caucus, the Alabama Association of Black County Officials and others sued the state in August 2012 over the redistricting plans for the Alabama House of Representatives and the Senate. The districts are scheduled to be used in the 2014 elections.

    The Legislature approved the plans earlier last year. Reapportionment is required after each census. Republicans controlled the process for the first time in more than a century after winning filibuster-proof majorities in the Legislature in 2010.

    Black lawmakers and others say the plans unfairly pack black voters into majority black districts, reducing the influence of black voters in the other districts. (Alabama Media Group)
    – See more at:

  36. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Answers Your Housing Questions with Zillow

  37. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Speaks to Troops at Camp Pendleton

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at 3CHICS!!

  39. Yahtc says:

    Good Morning to all of you!

    >”We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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