Wednesday Open Thread|Blaxploitation Movies Week

Today’s movies are a trilogy that helped define the era and ushered in a Black Hero Original: John Shaft..complete with an Oscar Winning theme song and two sequels.


Shaft is a 1971 American “blaxploitation” film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a private detective, John Shaft, who travels through Harlem and to the Italian mob neighborhoods in order to find the missing daughter of a mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree as Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Drew Bundini Brown as Willy, Charles Cioffi as Lt. Vic Androzzi, Christopher St. John as Ben Buford, and Gwenn Mitchell and Lawrence Pressman in smaller roles. The movie was adapted by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black from Tidyman’s 1970 novel of the same name.

shaft movie poster

The Shaft soundtrack album, recorded by Isaac Hayes, was also a success, winning a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture; and a second Grammy that he shared with Johnny Allen for Best Instrumental Arrangement; Television or Other Visual Media|Grammy Award for Best Original Score; the “Theme from Shaft” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and has appeared on multiple Top 100 lists, including AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs.

Widely considered a prime example of the blaxploitation genre, Shaft was selected in 2000 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


John Shaft, a private detective, emerges from the New York City subway and walks through Times Square, with scenes characterizing early 1970s New York. Shaft visits a shoeshine parlor, and is informed that some gangsters are looking for him. Police Lt. Vic Androzzi meets Shaft outside the parlor and unsuccessfully tries to get information from him on the two gangsters. After Androzzi leaves, Shaft spots one of the men waiting for him in his office building. He commandeers the first gangster, forcing him into his office where the second gangster is waiting. After a quick fight, Shaft throws one of them out the window, while the other surrenders and reveals to him that Bumpy, the leader of an uptown gang, wanted to meet Shaft and knock him out at his office.

At the police station, Shaft lies to Lt. Androzzi and his superior about the fight, by saying that his friend was in an “accident”. He is allowed to return to the streets for 48 hours. Shaft arranges a meeting with Bumpy, the leader of these gangsters, in his office. It turns out Bumpy’s daughter has been kidnapped, and Shaft is asked to enable her safe return. Shaft starts his investigation by looking for a man named Ben Buford, who is revealed to have been part of “the movement” with Shaft years ago, and eventually finds out that Ben’s group is holding a meeting. Shaft then returns home to his girlfriend where they make love.

The evening of the meeting, Shaft is tailed by a fingerman to the meeting, where an ambush ensues. Shaft and Ben escape from the carnage but Ben’s group and the fingerman are murdered by unknown assailants. Ben confronts Shaft, thinking he was set up, but they refrain from fighting and move on.

Shaft is told by Vic after the shooting that Shaft himself. and not Ben, was the target, and that tensions brewing between the “uptown” hoods belonging to Bumpy Jonas and the “downtown” Mafiosi have culminated in a couple of murders. Vic states it’s “hood against hood” by those who know, but the perception is black against white to the general public, with the possibility of an escalation into full-blown race war on the streets of the city. He also shows Shaft some pictures of two of the Mafia men who just arrived in New York. Vic begs Shaft to explain what’s going on, though Vic already knew Bumpy was looking for Shaft.

Shaft and Ben later meet Bumpy at his uptown office where Shaft ups the price for the job, based on his newfound information from Vic. Bumpy states that the reason for turning him on to Ben is because Shaft is going to need an army to get his daughter back, and “Ben’s got one”.

Shaft retires to the “No Name Bar”, across the street from Shaft’s apartment in Greenwich Village. In the bar, he notices two men there who resemble pictures shown him by Vic of the Mafiosi watching Shaft’s apartment. Shaft takes over the bar from the bartender and calls the cops without the knowledge of the two Mafiosi. As the cops arrive to arrest the two men, one of them spits in Shaft’s face. Shaft responds by breaking a bottle of scotch over the man’s head.

After spending the night with one of the women from the bar, Shaft visits Vic and the two Mafiosi the following morning. When Shaft returns home, he wakes the woman up, and as she leaves his place, she complains about his rotten manners out of bed, leading to a brief verbal spat.

A few seconds after the woman leaves, Vic comes in echoing the woman’s spat to Shaft. Vic tells Shaft that the room that he was in at the station house was bugged and he is supposed to bring him in for questioning, but instead leaves. Ben and Shaft go to the apartment where Marcy Jonas is being held to make sure she’s alive. Once there, a gunfight ensues during which two hoods get killed and Shaft takes a bullet in the shoulder.

Shaft goes home and receives medical attention from a doctor working underground with him (Shaft refuses to go to any hospital because the hospital will notify police about his gunshot wound.) Shaft tells Ben to round up his men and meet him at the hotel where Marcy has been taken, to prepare to get her back. He also calls Bumpy to tell him his daughter is fine and he is going to need some taxicabs to meet him at the hotel for the getaway.

Shaft’s plan resembles a military commando-style operation. Ben’s men all dress as hotel workers (cooks, waiters, elevator operators, etc.) to avoid arousing suspicion. Shaft and one of Ben’s men go to the roof and prepare to enter the room where Marcy is being held captive. Shaft’s plan is to cause a distraction with an explosive thrown through the window of Marcy’s room while Ben and his men come down the hall and deal with the Mafia men as they leave their rooms.

The rescue plan is successful. Marcy is spirited out of the hotel into one of the waiting taxicabs. As the others get away in the remaining cabs, Shaft walks to a phone booth to call Vic. Shaft tells him his “case just busted wide open”, to which Vic responds that Shaft should close it for him. Shaft tells Vic that he won’t, declaring, “I guess you’re gonna have to close it yourself … shitty!” (referring to the earlier spat with his one-night stand when Shaft asks the woman to close the door on the way out, a remark Vic overheard and teases him about), howling in mocking laughter and walking away as the closing credits roll.

Shaft’s Big Score


Shaft’s Big Score! is a 1972 action film directed by Gordon Parks. It is the second entry in the trilogy starring Richard Roundtree as the private-eye John Shaft. Ernest Tidyman once more supplied the screenplay. The first film’s composer Isaac Hayes was unavailable, so Parks, the returning director, did the score himself. The film was produced on a budget of $1,978,000.


While New York is never at a loss for criminal activity, things take a turn for the worse when the corrupt co-owner of a funeral parlor and insurance agency kills his partner, a personal friend of John Shaft, only to discover that the money he was planning to steal to pay his gambling debts is missing. He makes a deal with the mobster he owes (Joseph Mascolo) to split the business but also makes the same deal with crime lord Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn). The bullets start flying when the hoods find they’ve been played against each other, and Shaft is forced to clean up the mess.

Shaft in Africa

Shaft in Africa Quad

Shaft in Africa, released in 1973, is the third film in the blaxploitation trilogy of films that starred actor Richard Roundtree as John Shaft. John Guillermin directed and Stirling Silliphant did the screenplay.[3] The cost went up to $2,142,000, but the gross fell to $1,458,000. MGM quickly sold the property to television, but the television series was cancelled after just seven episodes.


At home in his New York City apartment, John Shaft is drugged with a tranquilizer dart, then kidnapped and persuaded by threats of physical force, the promise of money, and the lure of a pretty tutor to travel to Africa (much of the movie was filmed in Eritrea), assuming the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker. His job is to help break a criminal ring that is smuggling immigrants into Europe then exploiting them. But the villains have heard that he is on his way.

Shaft must pass a test before being hired for the job; the test involves him surviving in a small, overheated room without water, and a floor covered in deep sand, mimicking the supposed conditions of Africa. Shaft ingeniously covers himself with the sand, thereby avoiding heatstroke and winning the contract from his employer. Shaft must then embark upon a mission to infiltrate and destroy a human trafficking and slavery ring in West Africa and France.

shaft in africa soundtrack

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66 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread|Blaxploitation Movies Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    john miller @deaconmill

    The mere fact Putin feels he has to lie to Americans shows just how much he realizes Obama means what he says and won’t back down.
    8:17 PM – 11 Sep 2013

  2. rikyrah says:

    Where are Republicans on sentencing reform?

    By Greg Sargent, Published: September 11 at 2:57 pm

    When Eric Holder announced recently that he is pursuing an ambitious package of sentencing reforms, including proposals to reduce “mandatory minimum” sentences, there was a widespread sense it could attract broad bipartisan support. The thinking was that agreement cuts across party lines that our decades-long experiment in mass incarceration has been a huge policy failure.

    Now Dem Congressional aides are asking: Will leading Republicans step forward and support reform? Some bipartisan pairings of senators, like Patrick Leahy and Rand Paul, and Dick Durbin and Mike Lee, have already issued their own calls for action. The administration has already spoken out, which guarantees support among Congressional Dems. Where are leading Republicans?

    I can report a new development on this front. I’m told GOP Senator John Cornyn is working on a separate but related package of prison-reform legislation that could help bring more attention to the overall debate. According to his office, Cornyn is developing proposals designed to reduce recidivism rates and time served in prison. The ideas are not sentencing reform and would not reduce the sentences themselves — as would Holder’s proposals — but instead would give prisoners ways to reduce already-doled-out sentences.

    The policies, which are modeled on similar reforms in Texas, would allow certain types of non-violent prisoners to do various programs — such as recidivism reduction programming, work programs, or other productive activities. Prisoners at low risk of recidivism could trade in the time they do in such programs to convert their remaining time in prison into time in halfway houses or home confinement.

  3. rikyrah says:

    John Boehner must cut loose the Tea Party

    By Greg Sargent, Published: September 11 at 12:32 pm

    Here’s the read among Congressional Dems on this fall’s fiscal fights. At some point, House GOP leaders will have to pass an important bill with a lot of Democratic support — stiff-arming the Tea Party in the process. GOP leaders are trying to defer that moment for as long as possible, but there’s just no clear way around it.

    Multiple reports this morning tell us House GOP leaders are struggling to round up support among House Republicans for their new strategy for the fall. They are proposing a vote on a measure that would temporarily fund the government at current sequester levels, with another measure attached to it that would defund Obamacare. The Dem-controlled Senate would pass the first but not the second; conservatives would get to vote to defund Obamacare; the House GOP would dodge blame for a shutdown.

    But conservatives are rejecting the approach because, well, it wouldn’t defund Obamacare. And let’s face it, this strategy is rooted in fear. House GOP leaders don’t want to tie Obamacare defunding to a government funding bill because it will pass the House and force a shutdown confrontation that they will lose. But conservatives won’t be happy until they have that confrontation. And as David Drucker reports, this has “frustrated” more sober minded House Republicans who understand that this crusade is reckless, counterproductive and self destructive.

    Right now, it’s unclear whether House Republicans can even pass their latest funding gimmick out of the House, because House Dems won’t support it and House conservatives won’t either because it won’t ultimately defund Obama’s tyrannical law. So House leaders are promising to fight the good fight in the next battle — they will supposedly demand a delay in Obamacare in exchange for a debt limit hike — in hopes of winning support in the first round.

    But here’s the rub: At some point, something will have to pass with a lot of Dems.

  4. rikyrah says:

    September 11, 2013, 6:38 pm
    President Obama Cancels Congressional Picnic

    He wooed Senate Republicans on a budget deal, tried to sweet-talk lawmakers from both parties to back him on a military strike against Syria, and is now hoping to reach an agreement that would keep the government from shutting down or defaulting on its debt.

    But when it comes to Congressional outreach, President Obama will only go so far.

    Lawmakers on Capitol Hill received a blast e-mail on Wednesday evening that was curt and blunt:

    Good evening,

    The 2013 Congressional Picnic has been cancelled. The president and Mrs. Obama look forward to welcoming members of Congress and their immediate families at the Congressional Holiday Ball in December. More details regarding the Congressional Holiday Ball will follow at a later date.

    Thank you,
    White House Office of Legislative Affairs

    The Congressional picnic, which had been scheduled for a week from Wednesday, is a lavish affair, with glad-handing and backslapping accompanied by live music. It is a moment when even the Louie Gohmerts of the world can put down their swords and fraternize with the enemy.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Bill de Blasio’s primary finish a win for blacks, progressives and New York
    by Joy-Ann Reid | September 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Call it “afro-mentum.” Call it the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Either way, Bill de Blasio’s sweeping victory in the New York Democratic primary for mayor is a hint of change progressives can believe in.

    De Blasio won every age group, religious faction and income group, both men and women, and every borough, to take just over 40 percent of the vote, technically enough to avoid a run-off, though second place finisher Bill Thompson is not done fighting yet.

    He won among women and gay voters, despite the presence of a gay, female contender, Christine Quinn, the city council leader, who was seen as too close to Bloomberg — and in every borough, and every pocket of the city with the exception of some enclaves of the very rich like the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, which sided with Quinn (though she did lose Chelsea, one of the city’s oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods). He tied Bill Thompson, the only African-American in the race, overall at 42 percent of the vote, by winning black women 47 percent to 37 percent, and losing among black men 49 percent to 36 percent. And he won Hispanic men and women, white women with 36 percent, and 46 percent of white men. For Democratic primary voters, at least, de Blasio was the ultimate uniter.

    And he ran an unabashedly progressive campaign, vowing to raise taxes on the rich, end the emphasis on “stop-and-frisk” policing, stopping a string of community hospital closures and working to make New York housing more affordable for ordinary people — an anathema to a city overtaken by mass gentrification over the last 20 years. For that, he was rewarded with a commanding 50 percent of the vote of very liberal voters, and 34 percent of those describing themselves as “somewhat liberal.” He lost moderate voters to Thompson by 3 points.

    More importantly, de Blasio’s independence, and the inability of the big city papers, his well-funded rivals and their institutional backers, or the Michael Bloomberg media and cash machine to stop or even slow his late and sudden rise, signals a potential end to a period in the Big Apple’s history dominated by two pugnacious mayors who put the city squarely in the service of the rich, and who cast all of the blame for the city’s ills on squeegee men and black teenagers. Or to put it in Bloombergian terms, it’s the rich people who pay the bills, people, so all you 47 percenters bow down and say thank you.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine responds to gay rumors via Instagram
    by Carrie Healey | September 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Jasmine Jordan, daughter of the NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, took to her Instagram account to address rumors that she has come out as gay.

    Questions about Jordan’s sexuality were brought to light following an article on the gossip blog Media Take Out.

    The article notes two photos from Jordan’s Instagram account in which she tags another woman.

    Jordan is currently a junior at Syracuse University, and the woman from the photos is a basketball player named Carmen.

    Jordan responded to rumors:

  7. Yahtc says:

    US and UK accused of ‘squeezing life out of’ Ascension Island
    Britain denies uprooting families living on tiny mid-Atlantic island to make way for American military base

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t own anything with the half-bitten APPLE logo on it. Never have and I never will.

      I’m not easily impressed with the latest fads, trends, and gadgets. There are really good tech toys out there to chose from. Steve Jobs gets my respect for his creativity, and that’s it.

  8. Ametia says:

    Public Advocate Bill de Blasio embraces daughter Chiara and son Dante during celebratory rally at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

    Dante de Blasio — and his afro — may be what captured the hearts of enough voters to carry a win for Bill de Blasio in Tuesday’s election.

  9. Ametia says:

    Public Advocate Bill de Blasio kisses his wife Chirlane McCray after voting in the New York City mayoral primary Tuesday in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

    Bill de Blasio surged in the final two weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election — with a lot of credit going to son Dante and daughter Chiara, both of whom helped him campaign.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Walking While Black in the ‘White Gaze’

    “Man, I almost blew you away!”

    Those were the terrifying words of a white police officer — one of those who policed black bodies in low income areas in North Philadelphia in the late 1970s — who caught sight of me carrying the new telescope my mother had just purchased for me.

    “I thought you had a weapon,” he said.

    The words made me tremble and pause; I felt the sort of bodily stress and deep existential anguish that no teenager should have to endure.

    This officer had already inherited those poisonous assumptions and bodily perceptual practices that make up what I call the “white gaze.” He had already come to “see” the black male body as different, deviant, ersatz. He failed to conceive, or perhaps could not conceive, that a black teenage boy living in the Richard Allen Project Homes for very low income families would own a telescope and enjoyed looking at the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.

    A black boy carrying a telescope wasn’t conceivable — unless he had stolen it — given the white racist horizons within which my black body was policed as dangerous. To the officer, I was something (not someone) patently foolish, perhaps monstrous or even fictional. My telescope, for him, was a weapon.

    In retrospect, I can see the headlines: “Black Boy Shot and Killed While Searching the Cosmos.”

    That was more than 30 years ago. Only last week, our actual headlines were full of reflections on the 1963 March on Washington, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and President Obama’s own speech at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate it 50 years on. As the many accounts from that long ago day will tell you, much has changed for the better. But some things — those perhaps more deeply embedded in the American psyche — haven’t. In fact, we should recall a speech given by Malcolm X in 1964 in which he said, “For the 20 million of us in America who are of African descent, it is not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Mark Joyella @standupkid

    RT @orlandosentinel: Breaking news: Pastor Terry Jones arrested with 1000s of kerosene-soaked Qurans, deputies say
    5:56 PM – 11 Sep 2013

  12. rikyrah says:

    Lhota Hopes to Capitalize on Elite Dismay Over a Liberal Tilt

    Published: September 11, 2013

    They are startled and unsure how to react. “Terrifying,” is how one banker put it.

    Many in New York’s business and financial elite, stung by the abrupt ascent of Bill de Blasio, an unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal, are fixated on a single question: What are we going to do?

    The angst, emanating from charity galas and Park Avenue dinner tables, has created an unexpected political opening for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, whose once-sleepy candidacy is now viewed by players in both parties as their last, best hope for salvaging the business-friendly government of the Bloomberg era.

    Even before his victory speech on Tuesday night, Mr. Lhota was moving quickly to exploit his newfound role. He planned to speak on primary night with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose blessing could confer credibility with the Manhattan establishment.

    His fund-raisers are wooing real estate and business moguls turned off by the leftist tenor of the Democratic primary campaign, and some Democratic officials have already quietly approached him to offer help.

    “I’ve heard from people who would usually be inclined to support the Democratic candidate,” said an upbeat James S. Tisch, the chief executive of the Loews Corporation and a finance chairman of Mr. Lhota’s campaign, as he greeted well-wishers at a breakfast fund-raiser that attracted 200 guests — both Democrats and Republicans — on Monday.

    Even if Democrats hold a runoff election, Mr. de Blasio’s commanding finish in the primary Tuesday night means that his liberal message could well dominate that intraparty contest, leaving Mr. Lhota likely to face a left-leaning opponent in November.

    Mr. Lhota knows he has to make a convincing case: he has struggled to connect on the campaign trail, where his semi-ironic humor does not always translate, and he occasionally needs to be reminded to talk to people at parades.

  13. rikyrah says:

    University of Alabama Sororities Still Won’t Rush Black Women

    In a fantastic and depressing exposé, the Crimson White reports that at least four traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama had their alumnae blatantly block two black women from pledging this year, women that current sorority members had already targeted as prime candidates who they wanted to offer bids to.

    The sororities mentioned in the article are Alpha Gamma Delta, Tri Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi, four sororities part of a robust Greek life at UA that felt they were, in the words of Alpha Gamma Delta member Melanie Gotz, “powerless over the alums”:

    “People are too scared of what the repercussions are of maybe taking a black girl,” Gotz said. “That’s stupid, but who’s going to be the one to make that jump? How much longer is it going to take till we have a black girl in a sorority? It’s been years, and it hasn’t happened.”

    Another unnamed member of Tri Delta agreed:

    “To my knowledge, the president and the rush chair and our rush advisors were behind this, and if we had been able to pledge her, it would’ve been an honor,” the Tri Delta member said. “However, our [alumnae] stepped in and went over us and had her dropped.”

    “Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores,” the Tri Delta member said. “Sometimes sisters [of active members] don’t get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white.”

    The national headquarters of all four Greek organizations have denied having anything to do with pressing the chapters to reject these women. The Crimson reports that UA’s Pi Beta Phi alumane said they would pull funding from the sorority if one of the women pledged.

    University of Alabama’s traditional white sororities haven’t pledged a black woman since Carla Ferguson pledged Gamma Phi Beta in 2003. She was also not coincidentally at all the first black woman to ever get a bid. Unfortunately for Ferguson, her acceptance was tainted by suggestions that the only reason the sorority offered her a spot was because of political pressure from the ominously named “Machine”, a group of white sororities and fraternities, who allegedly threatened Gamma Phi Beta, telling them that their social calendar would improve if they let in a black woman. A few years before that, Melody Twiley attempted to Rush traditional white sororities two years in a row and was rejected both times.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Luck and a Shrewd Strategy Fueled de Blasio’s Ascension
    Published: September 10, 2013

    The commercial that changed the course of the mayor’s race almost never happened.

    Bill de Blasio’s campaign team had mused about building an ad around his wife, Chirlane McCray, a telegenic African-American poet, then abandoned the concept.

    They then turned to his 15-year-old son, but nothing seemed to go right. The de Blasio family kitchen in Brooklyn was not big enough for the camera crew, so they borrowed a bigger one from a neighbor.

    The neighbor’s kitchen turned out to be too fancy, sending the wrong message for a populist candidate. So a long lens was used to blur out the expensive fixtures.

    But when the commercial was finally shown to the candidate and his wife, they seemed overcome, instantly recognizing the power of its message: that the aggressive policing of the Bloomberg era was not an abstraction to Mr. de Blasio, it was an urgent personal worry within his biracial household.

    “This,” predicted the campaign’s pollster, Anna Greenberg, “will be huge.”

    The ad exploded, transforming the fortunes of a fourth-place campaign and confirming the convictions of a long-shot politician who had banked his candidacy on a series of big bets: that a relentless critique of the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactic would resonate with white New Yorkers, not scare them off; that in a city of tribal politics an Italian-American could win the hearts of black voters; that a tired-seeming message about a tale of two cities would stir those people still hurting after a traumatic economic recession; and, most of all, that there was far greater unhappiness with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg than polls had registered or Mr. de Blasio’s rivals had realized.

    On the outside, Mr. de Blasio’s improbable ascent in the Democratic mayor’s race, from afterthought to front-runner in just four weeks, looked meteoric and spontaneous.

    Behind the scenes, though, it required shrewd maneuvers and hardball politics that seemed incongruous with the candidate’s high-minded image: sidelining the Rev. Al Sharpton, who could have ignited the passion of black voters for William. C. Thompson Jr., the sole African-American candidate in the race, and making the case to the city’s powerful health care workers’ union that their longtime ally, John C. Liu, was doomed to fail.

    Underlying it all was a message of indignant liberalism, sketched out by Mr. de Blasio at a Manhattan restaurant in 2012, that was simple, sellable and penetrating enough to transcend class, gender and race.

  15. Blacks bring it home for Bill de Blasio

    After a piece last month about a second poll showing Bill de Blasio was not a one-poll wonder, a New York political operative close to the New York City public advocate e-mailed me with a prediction. De Blasio has “staying power.” When I asked whether it was possible for his candidate to snatch the black vote from the only African American in the race, the answer was succinct. “Yup. I do. Particularly amongst black women,” he replied. He was right on both counts.

    Michael Barbaro of the New York Times delivers a fascinating tick-tock on how de Blasio went from the back of the pack to the top of the heap in the race for the Democratic nomination for mayor of the Big Apple. And a dive into the exit polls shows how thoroughly de Blasio’s disciplined strategy worked.

    De Blasio won just about every demographic. You name it, he won it. For instance, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the only openly gay candidate and the only woman in the race. She lost the gay vote to De Blasio, 47 percent to 34 percent. She also lost the women’s vote to him, 39 percent to 16 percent.

    But let’s focus on African Americans. Former city comptroller Bill Thompson was the only African American in the race. He and de Blasio tied for the black vote with 42 percent each. Now, let’s take a deeper dive. Thompson beat de Blasio among black men, 49 percent to 36 percent. As predicted, De Blasio won black women, 47 percent to 37 percent. But here’s the kicker: While black men were 12 percent of voters, black women made up 17 percent.

    • A BIG salute to the sistas!

      • rikyrah says:

        I’ve said it before and will continue to say it..

        every one of those Black males who were Stopped and Frisk has a Black mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter, grandma, aunt, etc. that loves that Black man and knows that ‘ but for the Grace of God’ that those situations didn’t turn into an Oscar Grant situation.

        Black people DO vote issues and are sophisticated.

        And a choice between a Black man who was mealy-mouthed and ‘ evolved’ about Stop and Frisk


        A White man, before it was popular, before there was a court case declaring it unconstitutional, said it was racial profiling and had to end…

        wasn’t a hard choice.

  16. Rikyrah, I use to so crush on Richard Roundtree’ fine self. :)

  17. rikyrah says:

    Medical Examiner In Zimmerman Trial Sues For $100M, Claims Prosecution Threw Case

    In a bombshell allegation, Florida medical examiner Dr. Shiping Bao (pictured) claims that Florida state prosecutors were biased against Trayvon Martin and purposely threw the case, and he is suing the state for $100 million, reports

    According to Bao, the medical examiner, state attorney’s office, and
    Sanford Police Department all felt that Martin “got what he deserved.”
    Bao also claims that he received the strong, though subtle, message not
    to speak on certain things:

    “He was in essence told to zip his lips. ‘Shut up. Don’t say those things,’” said Bao’s legal counsel, legendary Attorney Willie Gary.

    Bao’s allegations come swiftly on the heels of him being fired from his position as associate medical examiner.

  18. A Boy Makes Anti-Muslim Comments In Front Of An American Soldier. The Soldier’s Reply: Priceless.


  19. rikyrah says:

    Bill de Blasio, victor in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, with his happy family: son Dante (from left), daughter Chiara, Bill de Blasio, and wife Chirlane McCray.

  20. rikyrah says:

    comment from another blog about the American people understanding and supporting the President’s Syria position:

    And this comment here from js hopper:

    Funny thing is…

    When most reasonable people hear the issues explained DIRECTLY from President Obama they tend to agree with his approach/ rationale.They respect the fact that he gives a thoughtful honest viewpoint.

    That’s what scares the shit out of the Republicans, Firebaggers, Paultards and the Corporate Media.It pisses them off and drives them CRAZY.

    That’s why ALL OF THEM typically refuse to allow Obama direct access to their audience. They ALWAYS prefer to tell their followers what he said…and how to react and feel about what they want you to believe he said.They will slice up his statements and attempt to manipulate their viewers and give them a false impression.

    Just go to any Firebagger blog and you will find them still trying to convince people Obama is worse than Bush because he said ” fill in the blank snippet” from his speech last night. Take one sentence out of context and use it to FAP FAP FAP in self righteous ratf**king outrage.

  21. rikyrah says:

    TOWN was on a roll today



    You go to McDonald’s and order a cheeseburger. They give you a McWrap instead. What do you do?

    You can follow the Obama way or you can follow the Chris Matthews way.

    The Obama way is you go to the counter, say hey, I ordered a cheeseburger but I got a McWrap instead. Can I have a cheeseburger? Calvin gives Obama a cheeseburger & tells him to keep the McWrap. Obama gets his cheeseburger and goes away.

    The Chris Matthews way is to scream & shout how they gave him a MCWRAP instead of a CHEESEBURGER. The Chris Matthews way is to DEMAND to know who in the back put a McWrap in his bag instead of a cheeseburger and to pound on the counter and yell.

    Then the manager comes running to offer Chris a free cheeseburger and Chris shouts NO! He DEMANDS the person who gave him a McWrap be FIRED and he wants an APOLOGY for giving him a McWrap instead of a cheeseburger. So the manager profusely apologizes, gives Chris a cheeseburger and Chris marches out the door screaming that he will NEVER EVER come to McDonalds EVER AGAIN (until he comes back the next day).

    The Chris Matthews of the world want Obama to scream, shout, pound the counter, flip the straws & napkins up, toss the ketchup packets and act a fool to get the cheeseburger. The Obamas of the world know all you have to do is point out the mistake and ask for the cheeseburger in order to get the cheeseburger.

    • rikyrah says:


      You can follow the Obama way or you can follow the Rachel Maddow way.

      The Obama way is you go to the counter, say hey, I ordered a cheeseburger but I got a McWrap instead. Can I have a cheeseburger? Calvin gives Obama a cheeseburger & tells him to keep the McWrap. Obama gets his cheeseburger and goes away.

      The Rachel Maddow way is to repeatedly question the cashier about why she was given a McWrap instead of a cheeseburger, to say that Burger King doesn’t give you a McWrap instead of a cheeseburger, in fact Burger King’s slogan is HAVE IT YOUR WAY. She will then proceed to tell the McDonald’s manager how the restaurant should be run and jump behind the counter to demonstrate how the McDonald’s would be run if she were running it.

      Obama asks for the cheeseburger and goes away. Rachel Maddow will make you listen to how she would have done it before she gets the cheeseburger.

      • rikyrah says:


        You can follow the Obama way or you can follow the Chris Hayes way.

        The Obama way is you go to the counter, say hey, I ordered a cheeseburger but I got a McWrap instead. Can I have a cheeseburger? Calvin gives Obama a cheeseburger & tells him to keep the McWrap. Obama gets his cheeseburger and goes away.

        The Chris Hayes way is to bring over a representative from Arby’s to tell the McDonald’s people that not only is their service bad, but they don’t serve grass fed beef to the public like Arby’s does. That giving people McWraps instead of what they ordered is tremendous food waste and should be stopped at all costs. Chris Hayes & the Arbys worker will stand at the counter snarking on the deficiencies of McDonalds until someone points out that both Arbys & McDonalds are fast food places. Then Chris will ask for his cheeseburger and eat it, all the while complaining that the wrapper is not made out of recycled materials.

        Obama asks for the cheeseburger and goes away. Chris Hayes puts down the cheeseburger but eats it anyway.

  22. rikyrah says:

    New York Recount is Underway, But Bill de Blasio is NYC’s Next Mayor
    Lindsay Funk

    Addressing a cheering crowd outside The Bell House in Brooklyn late Tuesday evening, Bill de Blasio credited his strong showing in the day’s Democratic mayoral primary election to his energetic grass roots supporters. “That’s how we change this city,” he told supporters before aides shepherded him inside for his election night victory party.

    Bill de Blasio’s focus on change reflects his meteoric rise to success on a platform of reform. As the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro points out, while the other candidates campaigned on “tinkering” with outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s agenda, longtime activist de Blasio pledged to overturn major hallmarks of the Bloomberg administration, including the controversial stop-and-frisk policing program.

    The candidate made headlines for running ads against stop-and-frisk featuring his 16-year-old biracial son Dante. In the ad, Dante says his father is the only candidate that will end stop-and-frisk, a program that has disproportionately affected minority communities.

    Dante was at de Blasio’s side Tuesday night as the candidate arrived with his family at The Bell House.

    Bill de Blasio’s broader effort to focus on inequality and community issues resonated across the city.

    According to New York Times data, de Blasio received a plurality of support from voters in every borough, of every religion, and at every education and income level. He won white voters, Hispanic voters, LGBT voters, and both male and female voters. He tied with African-American candidate Bill Thompson in winning support from black voters.

    The supporters at de Blasio’s “block party” on Tuesday night reflected the diversity of the candidate’s support across the city and the resonance of his message countering inequality.

    What really stood out was [him] including the outer boroughs and addressing the inequality in the city,” said her son, Jelani Wheeler, a student at St. John’s University who volunteered with the campaign.

    Eric Weltman of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, echoed Wheeler’s comments about inequality in the city. “[de Blasio] talked about the growing wealth divide, which is obviously very visible in the city and around the country. I think he’s somebody who’s genuinely going to take a stab at making this a city where people of average or even low-income means can sustain and support themselves.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    This is Why Bill de Blasio is Winning the NYC Mayor’s Race
    Michael McCutcheon

    Addressing a cheering crowd outside The Bell House in Brooklyn late Tuesday evening, Bill de Blasio credited his strong showing in the day’s Democratic mayoral primary election to his energetic grass roots supporters. “That’s how we change this city,” he told supporters before aides shepherded him inside for his election night victory party….

    The supporters at de Blasio’s “block party” on Tuesday night reflected the diversity of the candidate’s support across the city and the resonance of his message countering inequality.

    “I like what he has to say; he didn’t pull any punches,” said Dana Beauford, a city worker from the Bronx. “We need somebody like Bill de Blasio.” She appreciated de Blasio’s opposition to stop-and-frisk and his support for keeping community hospitals open.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Standing Up to His Own Establishment

    by BooMan
    Wed Sep 11th, 2013 at 10:54:53 AM EST

    It’s true that President Obama televised speech last night was semi-moot because the real objective now is not so much to get congressional authorization to use military force as to get a U.N. resolution passed that will effectively disarm the Syrian regime of their chemical weapons stockpiles and their capacity to make more weapons. But the credible threat of force is what got Russia to come to the table on disarmament after a year of frustration.
    In assessing Vladimir Putin’s thinking, I am forced to conclude that he did not think Obama could be deterred from acting by a defeat in Congress. I am not sure that he is correct about that, but I am glad, at least for now, that we don’t have to find out.

    I want to reiterate that the foreign policy establishment in this country, including the president’s cabinet, believes that the civil war in Syria cannot be concluded in a tolerable manner unless Assad is forced to enter negotiations that will end with his resignation. They are probably correct about that, but we cannot produce that outcome without a serious military commitment that the president does not want to make. The proposed strikes against Syria were being sold as “incredibly limited,” but make no mistake that the opportunity to tilt the battlefield against Assad was not going to be lost. The president had lost control of his own foreign policy, and Putin gave him a lifeline.

    Let’s be clear that the president, in seriously considering Putin’s offer, is bucking his own foreign policy establishment, although the Pentagon may be with him on this. The president is severely disappointing both Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who both thought the United States had been roped in to intervening decisively. The Israelis can’t be too displeased, as eliminating the chemical stockpiles in Syria will be a great stress relief for them. But they wanted more. Anyone who wants the Syrian civil war to end anytime soon with the Assad regime as the loser is going to be plenty miffed about the president’s lack of resolve.

    But the limited punitive strike that was really intended to be something more was never likely to be successful unless in involved substantial mission creep. As I put it last week, “in for a penny, in for a trillion pounds.” That was the point, because the policy demands it. And the policy is extremely difficult to execute because it does not seek to depose Assad until such time that the human rights of religious minorities in Syria can be protected. The president is rejecting that plan in favor of something quite laudable that still won’t do a whole lot to advance the overall policy. He is still refusing to make Syria’s future our responsibility.

    “I don’t think we should remove another dictator with force — we learned from Iraq that doing so makes us responsible for all that comes next.”

    We should thank him for that, fully cognizant that he stands nearly alone against a foreign policy establishment that thinks we either have a military or a humanitarian imperative to end the civil war. It’s not an easy position for him to take, and it’s not clear-cut morally, but we don’t have the wherewithal to create the outcome we want at an acceptable cost, and we don’t have a united Congress or a willing public.

    The president is pursuing a prudent course and he will take severe criticism for it. Remember that.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Warning, you will be crying from laughter by the end of this post:

    Whose Mighty Mouse Swag Brother is This? Featuring Roast From My Readers

    [ 30 ] September 10, 2013 | Luvvie

    Yesterday, I was perusing Tumblr when I came across the picture of a strapping young lad, captured by someone on public transportation. I posted the picture on my Awesomely Luvvie Facebook page and the comments my readers replied with were better than anything I could come up with

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Best Cab Ride of My Life

    By Jim Higley Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    The story is short. But the picture is worth – well – everything.

    I was in a cab heading home from O’hare airport – a journey I make with regularity. The cab driver was polite. His car was clean. And I was settling in for my 25 minute ride home.

    It was then that I noticed it. The sign. There were actually two of them. Identical. Laminated. And posted perfectly on the back side of the driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat:

    I think I read it three or four times. The cynic in me was looking for something missing. There had to have been a catch.

    But there wasn’t.

    I snapped a photograph and posted it on my Facebook profile with a note, “Nominating my cab driver for today’s ‘act of kindness’ award.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    The President Makes The Case

    Sep 10 2013 @ 9:38pm

    That was one of the clearest, simplest and most moving presidential speeches to the nation I can imagine. It explained and it argued, point after point. Everything the president said extemporaneously at the post-G20 presser was touched on, made terser, more elegant and more persuasive.

    The key points: it is an abdication of America’s exceptional role in the world to look away from the horrific use of poison gas to wipe out civilian populations and kill rebels in a civil war. Given that the world would have ignored August 21 or engaged in meaningless blather about it, Obama took the decision to say he would strike. Since such a strike was not in response to an imminent threat to our national security, Obama felt he should go to the Congress, and reverse some of the strong currents toward the imperial presidency that took hold under Dick Cheney.

    As that moment of truth loomed, the Russians gave way on defending or denying Assad’s use and possession of chemical weapons. Putin only did so if it could be seen as his initiative and if he could take the credit for it. Kerry’s gaffe provided the opening. And we now have a diplomatic process that could avert war if it succeeds. And of course, Obama is prepared to give such a proposal a chance. Any president would be deeply foolish not to. There is no urgency as long as Assad has formally agreed to give the weapons up, doesn’t use them again, and the process can be practically managed as well as verified at every stage.

    I’m tired of the eye-rolling and the easy nit-picking of the president’s leadership on this over the last few weeks. The truth is: his threat of war galvanized the world and America, raised the profile of the issue of chemical weapons more powerfully than ever before, ensured that this atrocity would not be easily ignored and fostered a diplomatic initiative to resolve the issue without use of arms. All the objectives he has said he wanted from the get-go are now within reach, and the threat of military force – even if implicit – remains.

    Yes, it’s been messy. A more cautious president would have ducked it. Knowing full well it could scramble his presidency, Obama nonetheless believed that stopping chemical weapons use is worth it – for the long run, and for Americans as well as Syrians. Putin understands this as well. Those chemical weapons, if uncontrolled, could easily slip into the hands of rebels whose second target, after Assad and the Alawites and the Christians, would be Russia.

    This emphatically does not solve the Syria implosion. But Obama has never promised to.

    What it does offer is a nonviolent way toward taking the chemical weapons issue off the table. Just because we cannot solve everything does not mean we cannot solve something. And the core truth is that without Obama’s willingness to go out on a precarious limb, we would not have that opportunity.

    The money quote for me, apart from the deeply moving passage about poison gas use at the end, was his description of a letter from a service-member who told him, “We should not be the world’s policeman.” President Obama said, quite simply: “I agree.” And those on the far right who are accusing him of ceding the Middle East to Russia are half-right and yet completely wrong. What this remarkable breakthrough has brought about is a possible end to the dynamic in which America is both blamed for all the evils in the world and then also blamed for not stopping all of them. We desperately need to rebuild international cooperation to relieve us of that impossible burden in a cycle that can only hurt us and the West again and again.

    If the Russians can more effectively enforce what the US wants, it is a huge step forward to give them that global responsibility, and credit. That inclination – deep in Obama’s bones in domestic and foreign policy – is at the root of his community organizing background. Stake your ground, flush out your partner’s cards, take a step back and see what would make a desired result more likely without you, and seize it if it emerges. The result is one less dependent on US might or presidential power, and thereby more easily entrenched in the habits and institutions of the world.

    Yes, he’s still a community organizer. It’s just that now, the community he is so effectively organizing is the world.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Fraud Stealing $100 Million Shows Flaws in U.S. Crop Insurance
    By David J. Lynch – Sep 11, 2013 12:01 AM ET

    Harry Dean Canady will learn next month whether he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison for cheating taxpayers of more than $1 million and threatening to kill the U.S. agents who brought him to justice.

    A convicted felon with an alcohol-fueled temper, Canady, 64, pleaded guilty in December to defrauding the federal crop insurance system and is behind bars pending sentencing.

    His thieving was just a sliver of the largest fraud in the program’s 75-year history, a case that so far has ensnared 41 North Carolina tobacco farmers, insurance agents and claims adjusters whose law breaking cost taxpayers close to $100 million, federal prosecutors say.

    “The system has checks and balances in place,” says Banu Rangarajan, 45, the assistant U.S. attorney who led the prosecution. “The problem is all the checks and balances here were involved in the fraud. The adjusters were paid off. The agents were paid off. Everybody was paid off.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    Ex-addict Gives Apology and $400 Cash to Shop He’d Once Robbed

    Owners of an Asian market in Nashville were stunned last week when a man came into their shop insisting they take an envelope. When they finally opened it they found $400 cash and a letter of apology from a thief who had once robbed their store.[….] The letter, which he posted on Twitter and Instagram, explained that the man was once a drug addict and now that he is sober, he wants to make amends with those he’s hurt.

    Wu told WSMV News, “We just want to let him know if he’s watching, wherever life takes you, we forgive you for what you did.”[….]

  30. rikyrah says:

    Ok, prepare to be absolutely horrified and disgusted.



    The Child Exchange
    Inside America’s Underground Market for ADOPTED CHILDREN

    Orphaned in Russia, brought to America, and then abandoned time and again

    A mother decides she adopted ‘a pig in a poke’ and sends her daughter away. Inga: ‘My parents didn’t want me. Russia didn’t want me. I didn’t want to live.’
    EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains language that some readers may find offensive.

    BATTLE CREEK, Michigan – Inga spent most of her childhood in a Russian orphanage, longing for parents who would protect her.

    Her biological mother, a prostitute, had abandoned her when she was a baby. She never knew her father.

    At the age of 12, her life was about to change. It was 1997, and an American couple was adopting her.

    “My picture was, I’m gonna have family, I’m gonna go to school, I’m gonna have friends,” Inga says today.

    Less than a year after bringing Inga home, her new parents, Priscilla and Neal Whatcott, gave up trying to raise her. They say the adoption agency never told them that Inga struggled to read or write, that she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, that she smoked.
    The Whatcotts say they tried therapy and support groups. They even reached out to a Russian judge to undo the adoption.

    When nothing worked, they turned to what Priscilla now calls “the underground network.” In an early example of adoptive parents using the Internet to seek a new home for an unwanted child, Inga was orphaned repeatedly.

    In the next six months, the Whatcotts sent her to three different families. None wanted to keep her. In one home, Inga says she had sex with a sibling who then urinated on her. In another, she says the father molested her.

    Sent to a Michigan psychiatric facility at the age of 13, Inga says she had sex again – this time with her therapist. Michael Patterson, the therapist, was acquitted of first degree criminal sexual conduct and remains a licensed social worker in Michigan. He says he “did not cross the line” physically with Inga and remembers her as “a very troubled child.”

    On Patterson’s last point, no one disagrees. When Michigan institutionalized her, officials characterized Inga’s troubles this way: “substance abuse, domestic violence, separation from parents, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, attachment issue and mental health issues.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Another letter to the editor about Syria:

    I don’t think Obama gives two shits how he gets there; he’s just concerned with the final destination. Does anyone remember all the ups and downs and sausage-making over the ACA? Nope. They just know it’s Obamacare.

    The way I see it, we have a president confident enough and secure enough in his authority to let others take the credit, to let the Russians lead. Because in the end, who cares how we get there? What matters is that the weapons are gone.

    But of course the Washington class will frame this as a huge loss for the president, because. Can you imagine George W. Bush or Dick Cheney taking this route? Not a chance. They would’ve bombed the shit out of Syria just to show they could.

    The current solution doesn’t have the drama of dropping bombs or sending sorties over Damascus, so Obama comes off as a bit of a dull president. And in this case, that’s fantastic, because he’s getting shit done. He always does.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Black Enterprise lists the most powerful African-American corporate board members in US

    by Derek T. Dingle, Black Enterprise | September 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    When Starbucks decided to continue its global expansion by opening 1,500 coffee shops in China, CEO Howard Schultz consulted Ariel Investments L.L.C. President Mellody Hobson and former PepsiCo executive Olden Lee, along with its other nine board members. As CBS Corp. locked horns with Time Warner Cable over broadcast fees, retired senior executive Bruce Gordon was among the corporate directors briefed by top management. Verizon Communications’ proposed acquisition of Canadian telecoms requires input from board members such as Darden Restaurants CEO Clarence Otis Jr.

    Hobson, Lee, Gordon, and Otis represent the business elite responsible for oversight of some of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies. These corporate directors are charged with the fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder value by making decisions—from acquisitions and divestitures to executive compensation and layoffs—that will maximize earnings, dividends, and the stock price. As such, these corporate watchdogs ensure the continued viability of American industry, including trillions in assets and millions of managers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

    These days, corporations that don’t have black directors on their boards are operating in the Stone Age of business. Shifting demographics and the burgeoning black consumer and business markets mean corporations cannot afford to be governed without the presence of African Americans in their boardrooms. “There are a lot of gifted, diverse directors who have been shut out over the years,” asserts John W. Rogers, Jr., chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments L.L.C. (No. 7 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $4.9 billion in assets under management), who joined forces with Hobson and Charles Tribbett III, a senior partner with executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, 11 years ago to create the Black Corporate Directors Conference. “If you have diverse perspectives and diverse points of view, you’re going to get better decisions made. If you have better decision making, it will ultimately increase the value of the common stock.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    CNN: 61 Percent Now Support the President’s Strategy on Syria

    Posted on September 11, 2013 at 9:18 am by Bob Cesca

    When this came down last night, I was kind of shocked.

    A majority of Americans who watched President Barack Obama’s prime time address to the nation on Tuesday said they favor the approach to Syria that the president spelled out in his speech, according to an instant poll.

    But an exclusive CNN/ORC International survey of speech-watchers conducted immediately after the conclusion of Obama’s address also indicates that those who tuned into the address were split on whether the president made the case for military action against Syria.

    Sixty percent of those questioned said it was not in the national interests of the U.S. to be involved in the bloody two year old Syrian civil war, and more than half said the speech did not change their confidence in the president’s leadership on military and international issues.

    According to the poll, 61% said they support the president’s position on Syria, with 37% saying they oppose his response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.

    I’m sure there will be more numbers dropping throughout the day. But if they’re anything like CNN’s numbers, the speech was a huge success.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at another blog. I agree completely with this statement.

    The GOP won’t realize that POTUS has flipped the script on them until it’s all said and done.

    I’m so glad you have calmed down about Obama on Syria. He is on the verge of accomplishing, without firing a shot, what Bush launched an invasion to do. Congress is going to get him out of bombing Syria, and yet Obama is going to be able to point to the Republicans and call them the ones who blinked as a dictator massacred his people. He is re-establishing the precedent that going to war requires congressional approval. He will have enhanced internationalism.

    Republicans are loving this right now because they think Obama looks incompetent. They are blindly stumbling into an outcome that gives Obama everything he has ever said he wants, ever. And they’re not going to realize it until it’s too late. It’s such a perfect outcome, how could this have not been planned? Is Obama on the verge of pulling off the greatest rope-a-dope in the history of US politics?

  35. Ametia says:

    Village People ‘cop’ regains control of copyright share for ‘YMCA’ and other hits
    Posted Sep 11, 2013 7:56 AM CDT

    The Village People’s former lead singer—who dressed as a cop during performances—has regained a share of the copyright for “YMCA” and other hit songs he co-wrote as a result of a 1978 law regarding termination rights.

    Victor Willis invoked a provision of the law that allows songwriters to regain control to their creative work 35 years after granting the copyright to others, the New York Times reports. A court ruled in favor of Willis, but the decision is being appealed. Litigation also continues over the split of copyright share between Willis and co-writers.

    Willis told the New York Times he is speaking about the case to alert other artists about the law. “I’m hoping that other artists will get a good lawyer and get back the works that a lot of us gave away when we were younger, before we knew what was going on,” he said. Willis said he became aware of his termination rights because his wife is a lawyer.

    Willis had sought to recover the copyright to 33 songs, including “YMCA” and “In the Navy.” He was not able to reclaim rights to “Macho Man,” however, because it was written before the 1978 law took effect.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Turning the exceptionalism debate on its ear
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    For much of President Obama’s first term, when conservatives weren’t questioning President Obama’s citizenship, patriotism, or affinity for capitalism, they complained loudly and frequently about the president’s commitment to “American exceptionalism.”

    After last night, the criticisms look pretty silly. Obama has not only embraced the principle, he’s now begun using it as a key part of his rationale in confronting Syria.

    The right’s rhetoric on this has never really made any sense, but it was a Republican staple for years. Throughout the 2012 campaign, in nearly every stump speech he delivered, Mitt Romney insisted that Obama thinks “America’s just another nation with a flag.”

    I wonder if conservatives noticed the not-so-subtle theme in the president’s remarks to the nation on Syria.

    “My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements — it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them. […]

    “America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Vote Over Gun Law

    COLORADO SPRINGS — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

    The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. It also gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.

    The recall elections ousted two Democratic state senators, John Morse and Angela Giron, and replaced them with Republicans. Both defeats were painful for Democrats – Mr. Morse’s because he had been Senate president, and Ms. Giron’s because she represented a heavily Democratic, working-class slice of southern Colorado.

    In an emotional concession speech, Mr. Morse called the loss of his seat “purely symbolic” and defended the record of the last legislative session as “phenomenal.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    De Blasio First in Mayoral Primary; Unclear if He Avoids a Runoff


    Published: September 10, 2013 218 Comments

    Bill de Blasio, whose campaign for mayor of New York tapped into a city’s deepening unease with income inequality and aggressive police practices, captured far more votes than any of his rivals in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

    But as Mr. de Blasio, an activist-turned-operative and now the city’s public advocate, celebrated a remarkable come-from-behind surge, it was not clear if he had won the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff election on Oct. 1 with William C. Thompson Jr., who finished second. At night’s end, he had won just over 40 percent of the ballots counted; thousands of paper ballots had yet to be tallied, which could take days.

    de blasio and wife
    Mr. de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, at a Brooklyn library Tuesday

  39. Ametia says:

    Health-care ‘data hub’ is ready, White House officials say
    By Sandhya Somashekhar,

    Obama administration officials, facing criticism that they are behind schedule in implementing the president’s health-care law, said Tuesday that they have finished a major piece of the technology that will help millions of Americans sign up for insurance this fall.

    Federal health officials said they have completed the “data hub,” a complex system that will verify people’s Social Security numbers, immigration status and other information when they log on to government Web sites to buy health plans and apply for government subsidies.

  40. Ametia says:

    Who is the MAN who would risk his neck for Brother man?


    Good Morning, Rikyrah & Everyone! :-)

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