Serendipity SOUL|Saturday Open Thread | Etta James Week

Ms. Etta James Jan 28, 2012




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28 Responses to Serendipity SOUL|Saturday Open Thread | Etta James Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Including the Young and the Rich
    White House Hosts ‘Next Generation’ Young and Rich

    APRIL 18, 2014

    On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House.

    Their name tags read like a catalog of the country’s wealthiest and most influential clans: Rockefeller, Pritzker, Marriott. They were there for a discreet, invitation-only summit hosted by the Obama administration to find common ground between the public sector and the so-called next-generation philanthropists, many of whom stand to inherit billions in private wealth.

    “Moon shots!” one administration official said, kicking off the day on an inspirational note to embrace the White House as a partner and catalyst for putting their personal idealism into practice.

    The well-heeled group seemed receptive. “I think it’s fantastic,” said Patrick Gage, a 19-year-old heir to the multibillion-dollar Carlson hotel and hospitality fortune. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Mr. Gage, physically boyish with naturally swooping Bieber bangs, wore a conservative pinstripe suit and a white oxford shirt. His family’s Carlson company, which owns Radisson hotels, Country Inns and Suites, T.G.I. Friday’s and other brands, is an industry leader in enforcing measures to combat trafficking and involuntary prostitution.

    A freshman at Georgetown University, Mr. Gage was among the presenters at a breakout session, titled “Combating Human Trafficking,” that attracted a notable group of his peers. “The person two seats away from me was a Marriott,“ he said. “And when I told her about trafficking, right away she was like, ‘Uh, yeah, I want to do that.’ ”

    Justin McAuliffe, a 24-year-old heir to the Hilton hotel fortune, was similarly impressed by the crowd. “Hilton, Marriott and Carlson,” he said. “That is cool.”

    The daylong conference was organized by Thomas Kalil, a deputy director for technology and innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with the help of Nexus, a youth organization based in Washington that seeks to “catalyze” the next generation of billionaire philanthropists and other stakeholders.

    Mr. Kalil moved nimbly among the affluent participants and through the ornate halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the summit was held. “A lot of this is not just, you know, collaborations between the administration and philanthropists,” he said, “but philanthropists finding each other, finding other philanthropists with shared interests.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    When Bravo Comes to Charleston

    APRIL 18, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — For the last few years Charleston has been getting the sort of high praise it has not seen since before Reconstruction.

    Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler have named it the best city in the United States. Bon Appétit has declared Husk, the pride of its trailblazing food scene, the third-most important restaurant in the country. Its Spoleto music festival has been called by The Wall Street Journal “a world-class event in a first-class setting.”

    Finally, it seemed, Charleston was getting its long-deserved due as an international capital of refined culture and distinctive taste after shaking the degradations of the Civil War, Hurricane Hugo and Borat — the “Da Ali G Show” character who blew through the society circuit here with an indelible display of lasciviousness several years ago.

    Then, Bravo came to town.

    More specifically, its reality show “Southern Charm.” The network billed it as a peek into the “notoriously closed society of Charleston” starring “a group of the city’s most charismatic gentlemen and their Southern belle equals.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    Deadbeat on the Range

    APRIL 17, 2014

    Imagine a vendor on the National Mall, selling burgers and dogs, who hasn’t paid his rent in 20 years. He refuses to recognize his landlord, the National Park Service, as a legitimate authority. Every court has ruled against him, and fines have piled up. What’s more, the effluents from his food cart are having a detrimental effect on the spring grass in the capital.

    Would an armed posse come to his defense, aiming their guns at the park police? Would the lawbreaker get prime airtime on Fox News, breathless updates in the Drudge Report, a sympathetic ear from Tea Party Republicans? No, of course not.

    So what’s the difference between the fictional loser and Cliven Bundy, the rancher in Nevada who owes the government about $1 million and has been grazing his cattle on public land for more than 20 years? Near as I can tell, one wears a cowboy hat. Easterners, especially clueless ones in politics and the press, have always had a soft spot for a defiant white dude in a Stetson.

    This phony event has brought out the worst of the gun-waving far right, and the national politicians who are barely one degree of separation from them. Hundreds of heavily armed, camouflaged supporters of the scofflaw turned out Saturday in Nevada, training their rifles on public employees who were trying to do their job. The outsiders looked like snipers ready to shoot the police. If you changed that picture to Black Panthers surrounding a lawful eviction in the inner city, do you think right-wing media would be there cheering the outlaws?

  4. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare helping millions register to vote
    03/28/14 06:54 AM—Updated 03/28/14 12:12 PM
    By Zachary Roth

    It’s the right’s worst nightmare: Obamacare working to boost not just the number of Americans who have affordable health insurance—but also the number who are registered to vote. And it could be coming true.

    Take it from Rush Limbaugh.

    “What do you really think is going on?” the conservative radio host asked his listeners while discussing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last October. “Voter registration. In addition to you going to get your health care, there is obviously massive Democrat voter registration going on at these exchanges.”

    Limbaugh isn’t entirely wrong.

    Under the terms of an agreement announced this week between California and an alliance of good government groups, the state will mail voter registration forms to 4 million people who applied for Obamacare via California’s online exchange. The deal could end up creating 400,000 new registered Golden State voters—the actual numbers will be available later this year.

    Nationwide, Obamacare could ultimately be responsible for registering anywhere from 3 to 7 million voters—potentially over 10% of the total number of eligible voters who aren’t registered today—over the next eight years.

    “We think it’s a huge opportunity to reach people,” Sarah Brannon of Project Vote, which worked on the California settlement, said of the health care law.

  5. rikyrah says:


    A Day Late and a Dollar Short is on Lifetime right now.

    Whoopi, Ving Rhames, Anika Nona Rose, Tischa Arnold, Mekhi Pfeifer, Kimberly Elise. Will repeat at 10 PM EST.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at Luvvie’s about the B613 Goons:

    Milaxx says:
    April 18, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I think the levels of B613 goons is as follows:

    1. Level C goons: Foot Soldiers like Charlie and Huck. They get all the dirty jobs, killing/torturing etc…

    2. Level B goons: Public Faces like Jake. These goons may be connected in places that matter. They are also useful for jobs that require presentable faces in public like military or other political agents. Jake can put on a suit and attend a State dinner, Huck & Charlie can’t. They lack the social graces necessary.

    3. Level A goons: Stealth goons like Tom. They are seen but not seen. They have the benefit of being able to get close to presidents and leaders because they are often Secret Service or body guards. No one expects them because they stay in the shadows until it’s too late.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The £20m Fabergé egg that was almost sold for scrap
    A scrap metal dealer bought an ornament to be melted down for its gold – until he read a Telegraph article revealing it to be a £20 million Fabergé egg

    He intended to sell it on to a buyer who would melt it down, turning a quick profit of a few hundred pounds. But prospective buyers thought he had over-estimated the price and turned him down.

    The egg languished in his kitchen for years until one night in 2012, when he Googled “egg” and “Vacheron Constantin”, a name etched on the timepiece inside.

    The result was a Telegraph article published a year earlier, featuring a picture of his egg and the title: “Is this £20 million nest-egg on your mantelpiece?” The dealer – who wishes to remain anonymous, given his newfound wealth – contacted the Fabergé expert named in the article, Kieran McCarthy of Mayfair jeweller Wartski.

    Mr McCarthy said: “He saw the article and recognised his egg in the picture. He flew straight over to London – the first time he had ever been to Europe – and came to see us. He hadn’t slept for days.

    “He brought pictures of the egg and I knew instantaneously that was it. I was flabbergasted – it was like being Indiana Jones and finding the Lost Ark.”

    Mr McCarthy flew to the US to verify the discovery.

    “It was a very modest home in the Mid West, next to a highway and a Dunkin’ Donuts. There was the egg, next to some cupcakes on the kitchen counter.

  8. rikyrah says:


    Orphan Black premieres tonight on BBCAmerica, 9pm EST

  9. rikyrah says:

    Coal Company Cuts Off Ex-Miners From Their Health Benefits

    By Rebecca Leber on April 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    More than one-thousand ex-coal miners are losing their promised health benefits in eight months. Murray Energy redirected the blame in its announcement this week to the Obama administration, insisting that the largest independent coal company in the U.S. is the real victim here — of the so-called war on coal.

    “Murray Energy’s inability to provide these benefits is, in part, due to the destruction of the coal industry, including our markets, by the Obama Administration and its appointees and supporters, who have eliminated the livelihoods of thousands of coal miners, and their families, by the forced closing of 392 coal-fired electric power plants in America, now and in the immediate future,” Murray said in a statement confirming the cuts. “Due to these action and devastated coal markets, Murray Energy is unable to support these benefits.”

    The affected workers are all non-union retirees at five West Virginia mines, which Murray bought out from Consol Energy last year. Unionized coal workers were not affected, but the move impacts anyone belonging to the broad “supervisor” category. “Consol Energy’s hope and expectation was that Murray Energy would honor these obligations beyond the one year period that was negotiated as part of our agreement,” Consol said in a statement reacting to Murray Energy’s decision. “While we respect the fact that Murray Energy is a different company with different priorities, this is an unfortunate and disappointing decision.”

    Ex-miners are in bad shape to lose health insurance (Murray claimed 80 percent of the lost benefits can be made up by Medicare). Black lung disease has been on the rise for years while the Obama administration kicked around a long-delayed rule to monitor dust exposure. At the same time, the industry systematically fights coal miner claims for disability benefits with lawyers and well-paid physicians, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation. In the past, Murray’s mines have been the target of federal investigations for having excessive coal dust.

    At Murray Energy, miners historically have the bad luck of serving as a political tool, too. When Bob Murray’s candidate of choice lost the 2012 presidential election, the company immediately fired hundreds of employees, because the coal industry had, in Murray’s words, entered “survival mode.” Months later, they quietly rehired a number of workers. Murray also allegedly coerced miners to attend a pro-Romney rally without pay and donate to Republican candidates. Most recently, the company launched a lawsuit against the EPA for its coal-fired power plant regulations under the Clean Air Act.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

    A furor over what the Topeka school district considers an honor has erupted after plans were announced for Obama to address a combined graduation ceremony for five area high schools next month an 8,000-seat arena. For some, it was the prospect of a tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate. For others, it was the notion that Obama’s speech, tied to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawing segregation in schools, would overshadow the student’s big day.

  11. I’ve been cooking for awhile now. I’ll have 12 people over tomorrow for Easter dinner and we’ll have an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Got to get things done.

  12. AMETIA, you rocked Etta James this week. Loved every minute of it.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Nearly 100 recent homicides linked to users of Stormfront white supremacist site, SPLC says
    By Reuters
    Friday, April 18, 2014 6:17 EDT

    A white supremacist charged with killing three people near two Jewish community facilities in suburban Kansas City this week posted more than 12,000 messages on a racist website which carries the slogan “No Jews, Just Right,” according to an organization that tracks hate groups.

    The online activity by Frazier Glenn Cross follows a trend in which prolific posters on hate online forums are becoming “disproportionately responsible” for racist murders and mass killings, according to a report released on Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights organization.

    The report said nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by frequent users of one white supremacist website, Stormfront. The site describes itself as a community of “White Nationalists” and “the voice of the new, embattled White minority.”

    “It has been a magnet for the deadly and deranged,” said Heidi Beirich, author of the report.

  14. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Columbus Short Gives Bizarre Interview to TJMS
    Comments: 150 | Leave A Comment
    Apr 18, 2014
    By Tonya Pendleton,

    Tom Joyner, Sybil Wilkes and J. Anthony Brown are still shaking their heads over this morning’s bizarre interview with Scandal actor Columbus Short. To put it lightly, he was less than a gladiator on the show this morning. Short was already generating controversy for three domestic violence allegations. The most recent one accompanied his estranged wife Tanee McCall‘s third divorce filing where she said he pulled a knife on her and threatened to kill her and himself. Short responded to the allegations by saying his legal counsel had forbidden him to speak but that he would have his turn in court.

    After Thursday’s explosive Scandal finale, Short called in for his previously scheduled interview on Friday, but the interview soon took a strange turn. Although we’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt as he was calling in at 4;45 a.m. Pacific time, he still sounded….off and even called Tom the “n” word. Yes, he did.

    Since Short’s fate as gladiator Harrison is in limbo after he was apparently shot in the season finale, we’re not sure what Shonda Rhimes is now going to do with his character.

    She must be thinking “Again?” after another scandal felled actor Isaiah Washington‘s character on Grey’s Anatomy some years ago. Can we suggest that Short is in need of his own Olivia Pope in real life…and quickly?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Homeless Lose a Longtime Last Resort: Living in a Car

    Cities in Silicon Valley, Elsewhere Crack Down on Vehicle Dwellers Driven Out of Apartments by Rents

    PALO ALTO, Calif.—In the three decades he worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, Fred Smith never imagined he would spend his golden years homeless.

    But three years ago, Mr. Smith could no longer afford an apartment here, so he moved into an aging Winnebago camper. The 70-year-old showers at a gym where he has had a longtime membership. For most meals, he eats $1.20 orders of eggs or fish patties at McDonald’s.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Republican Governor’s Education Policies Result in Mass Exodus of NC Teachers

    [….] Classes are larger and teachers’ workloads have increased, but NC teachers haven’t had a significant pay raise in five years. McCrory also removed supplemental pay for advanced degrees, which amounts to penalizing teachers for improving their qualifications. Moreover, pay raises only apply to teachers in the first year. Then there are the indirect costs, such as increasing taxes on the middle and poverty wage classes to pay for the tax cuts McCrory gave the richest families in North Carolina.[….]

    As a result of McCrory’s “reforms,” they are finding it difficult if not
    impossible to survive even with several additional jobs. Moreover,
    contrary to Republican talking points, they are working 12 months a year – many more days and much longer hours than Republican members of the U.S. Congress.

    WUNC, reports 600 teachers have left their jobs in Wake County – since July 2013. That’s an alarming increase of 41% from last year.[….]

  17. rikyrah says:

    Governor Will Automatically Restore Voting Rights For All Virginians With A Drug Record

    The Virginia Constitution does not allow anyone with a felony conviction to vote unless their rights have been restored by the
    governor. But on Friday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced he would immediately restore voting rights to anyone who has completed their sentence for a drug offense, and reduce the waiting period for other violent felonies from five years to three.

    The move comes two months after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for states to roll back felon disenfranchisement laws rooted in Reconstruction-era voter suppression “too often based on exclusion, animus, and fear.”[….] Some 5.8 million Americans can’t vote because of a current or previous conviction, and felon voting policies strip the right to vote from more minority voters than voter ID laws.

  18. rikyrah says:

    North Dakota Finds Itself Unprepared To Handle The Radioactive Burden Of Its Fracking Boom

    By Rebecca Leber April 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm Updated: April 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    North Dakota recently discovered piles of garbage bags containing radioactive waste dumped by oil drillers in abandoned buildings. Now, the state is trying to catch up to an oil industry that produces an estimated 27 tons of radioactive debris from wells daily.

    Existing fines have apparently not been enough to deter contractors from dumping oil socks — coiled filters that strain wastewater and accumulate low levels of radiation.

    “Before the Bakken oil boom we didn’t have any of these materials being generated,” the state’s Director of Waste Management Scott Radig told the Wall Street Journal. “So it wasn’t really an issue.”

    The state is in the process of drafting rules, out in June, that require oil companies to properly store the waste in leak-proof containers. Eventually, they must move these oil socks to certified dumps. However, North Dakota has no facilities to process this level of radioactive waste. According to the Wall Street Journal, the closest facilities are hundreds of miles away in states like Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Montana.

    Even though it is illegal, contractors have taken the occasional shortcut to dump the oil socks in buildings, on the side of the road, or at landfills. And the rate of dumping incidents has been on the rise as drilling activity has increased in the Bakken shale region, according to one North Dakota Department of Health study. Dump operators now even routinely screen garbage for radiation.

    If things don’t improve, oil drillers may risk turning parts of the state into EPA Superfund sites, which would mean a long and expensive clean-up.

  19. rikyrah says:

    California Regulators Decide Utilities Can’t Charge Solar-Killing Fees

    On Tuesday, California regulators issued a decision that state utilities could not charge certain fees for solar-plus-storage systems in homes and offices, clearing the way for such projects to proceed. For about a year, California’s big three utilities — Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, and San Diego Gas And Electric — have been charging customers, be they individuals or businesses, various fees for setting up a solar system on their property that includes battery storage. That includes an $800 interconnection application fee, as well as various other charges that can bring the cost between $1,400 and $3,700.[….]

    Grid operators and utilities worry that the rise of battery storage and distributed generation like solar will cause more and more customers to simply defect from the grid entirely.[….] Rive attempted to allay those fears, pointing out that the spread of batteries at the residential, commercial, and utility level could work to grid operators’ advantage if properly harnessed.[….]

  20. Yahtc says:

    Percy Lavon Julian

    From Wikipedia:
    “Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975) was an American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine, and a pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones progesterone and testosterone from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work laid the foundation for the steroid drug industry’s production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills.

    “He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the wild Mexican yam. His work helped greatly reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies, helping to significantly expand the use of several important drugs.

    “Julian received more than 130 chemical patents. He was one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted (behind David Blackwell) from any field.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good morning, Everyone.

    Off to swim and then run errands.

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