Tuesday Open Thread |80’s Freestyle & Pop Music Week

A lot of the 80’s freestyle & pop musicians delivered “one hit” wonders. LOL Don’t judge me. I got a real good kick out of the music from the 80’s. Artist cultivated their own styles, and they weren’t afraid of their creativity.

I’oin’t know, for me, today’s music has lost it’s spirit, it’s fun, it’s energy–IT’S ORIGINALITY!

And there was far more diversity, and far less CO-OPTING in the 80’s So much music tastes and blends to choose from, and I had a taste, sometimes a meal from them all.

It’s far easier to sample music and utilize electronic voice-enhancement. SMH

Could it be because folks just aren’t willing to put in the hard work of sitting with their creations, and listening to what intuitively comes in?

Daniel Earl “Dan” Hartman (December 8, 1950—March 22, 1994) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for such songs as: “Free Ride”, “I Can Dream About You”, “Instant Replay”, “Love Sensation”, and “Relight My Fire”, all of which had world-wide success.

Ok, now on with today’s featured artist, Mr. Dan Hartman

Born in Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg, Hartman joined his first band The Legends at the age of 13. His brother Dave was also a member of the band. He played keyboards and wrote much of the band’s music, but despite the release of a number of recordings, none turned out to be hits. He subsequently spent a period of time backing the Johnny Winter Band and then joined the Edgar Winter Group where he played bass, wrote or co-wrote many of their songs and sang on three of their albums. He wrote and sang the band’s second biggest pop hit “Free Ride” in 1972. Upon launching a solo career in 1976, he released a promotional album which had, as its full title, Who Is Dan Hartman and Why Is Everyone Saying Wonderful Things About Him?. It was a compilation disc including songs from Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group. His second release, Images, was his first true album and featured ex-Edgar Winter Group members Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringer and guests Clarence Clemons and Randy Brecker.

From October 21 until November 5, 1977 blues legend Muddy Waters used Hartman’s Studio in Westport, Connecticut. Hartman ran the recording board for the sessions, produced by Johnny Winter, which created the album I’m Ready.

In late 1978, Hartman reached No. 1 on the Dance Charts with the disco single, “Instant Replay,” which crossed over to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and also reached the Top 10 on the UK charts. Musicians Hartman worked with on the associated album included Vinnie Vincent and G. E. Smith. This was followed by his second chart topper, 1979’s “Relight My Fire,” which featured friend Loleatta Holloway on vocals. This song later became the theme for the NBC talk show Tomorrow and in 1993 became a hit single for British boy band Take That featuring Lulu. There was also a cover version of “Instant Replay” recorded by the duo Yell! (Paul Varney and Daniel James) in January 1990.

During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood. Hartman produced and co-wrote “Living in America”, a No. 4 hit for James Brown which appeared on the soundtrack of 1985’s Rocky IV. The song was the last of Brown’s 44 hit recordings to appear on the Billboard Top 40 charts. The track also appeared on the Hartman produced album Gravity.

Dan Hartman- I Can Dream About You

Instant Replay

…and Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet /ˈspændaʊ ˈbæl.eɪ/ are a British new wave band formed in London in the late 1970s. The band initially was inspired by, and an integral part of, the New Romantic movement, becoming one of the most successful groups to emerge during the New Romantic era.

The group’s debut single “To Cut a Long Story Short”, which reached No. 5 in the UK in 1980, was the first of ten UK Top 10 hits, including a No. 1 single in 1983 with the song “True”. The band also has had eight UK Top 10 albums, including three “greatest hits” compilations and an album of re-recorded material.

Spandau-Ballet-in-1983

Spandau Ballet-True

And Paul Young

Paul Young

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Wiki:  Paul Anthony Young (born 17 January 1956) is an English singer and musician. Formerly the frontman of the short-lived bands ‘Kat Kool & The Kool Cats’, Streetband and Q-Tips, his following solo success turned him into a 1980s teen idol. He is famous for such hit singles as “Love of the Common People”, “Wherever I Lay My Hat”, “Come Back and Stay”, “Everytime You Go Away” and “Oh Girl”. His debut album No Parlez turned him into a household name.His smooth yet soulful voice belonged to a genre known as “blue-eyed soul”. Since the mid-1980s, he has had international success, along with his backing band Los Pacaminos.

In 1985, he appeared at Geldof and Ure’s charity convention Live Aid, where he appeared at the London Wembley Stadium performing the Band Aid hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (having sung the opening lines on the original single release), and his own hits “Come Back and Stay” and “Everytime You Go Away”, with Alison Moyet joining him on-stage to perform “That’s The Way Love Is”.At the 1985 Brit Awards, Young received the award for Best British Male.

Since the late 1990s, Young has released very little new material, but has continued to tour in different parts of the world.

Paul Young-Everytime You Go Away

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39 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread |80’s Freestyle & Pop Music Week

  1. BREAKING: #MarissaAlexander sentenced to an ankle monitor and 2 years of house arrest.

  2. I’m swinging it out…

    [Instant replay]
    I’ve got to have it
    [Instant replay]
    Ooh woh ooh-ooh
    [Instant replay]


  3. rikyrah says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch Apologizes For Referring To Black Actors As ‘Colored’
    ByTracy Walsh
    PublishedJanuary 27, 2015, 1:23 PM EST

          

    British actor Benedict Cumberbatch apologized Monday for using the term “colored” on the “Tavis Smiley” show last week during a discussion about diversity in the film industry, CNN reported.

    The star of “The Imitation Game” and “Sherlock” was discussing the barriers that black actors face when seeking roles in the United Kingdom versus the United States when he used the term.

    “I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really different in the UK,” he said, adding: “A lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in America] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.”

    The British anti-racist organization Show Racism the Red Card criticized Cumberbatch for using the “outdated” term while applauding his overall comments on diversity, according to CNN.

    The actor offered a contrite statement to People Monday:

    I’m devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology. I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done. I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive. The most shaming aspect of this for me is that I was talking about racial inequality in the performing arts in the U.K. and the need for rapid improvements in our industry when I used the term. …

    I feel the complete fool I am and while I am sorry to have offended people and to learn from my mistakes in such a public manner please be assured I have. I apologize again to anyone who I offended for this thoughtless use of inappropriate language about an issue which affects friends of mine and which I care about deeply.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/benedict-cumberbatch-tavis-smiley-apology

  4. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker Forms New Committee Ahead Of 2016 Run

    ByDaniel StraussPublishedJanuary 27, 2015, 12:46 PM EST352views

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has formed a new committee and set up a website set to go live on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

    The tax-exempt 527 committee will be called Our American Revival, the Post said.

    Rick Wiley, a former political director for the Republican National Committee, will be the committee’s executive director.

    “Our American Revival encompasses the shared values that make our country great; limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable government to the American people,” Walker said in a statement announcing the committee.

    Walker now joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the group of potential Republican 2016 candidates who have formed committees as precursors to formally running for president.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-walker-pac-our-american-revival

  5. rikyrah says:

    Rupert Murdoch: Mitt Romney ‘Had His Chance’
    ByTracy Walsh
    PublishedJanuary 27, 2015, 2:35 PM EST

    Rupert Murdoch, the man who runs the media conglomerate that includes Fox News, came out on Tuesday against a potential 2016 presidential bid by onetime GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

    Romney has said he is considering running for President for a third time, having come up short in 2008 and 2012.

    Murdoch tweeted that Romney “had his chance”.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rupert-murdoch-mitt-romney-president

  6. rikyrah says:

    Denver Cops Open Fire On Car Full Of Teens And Kill 17-Year-Old Girl

    By Brendan James
    PublishedJanuary 27, 2015, 1:11 PM EST

    Police officers in Denver reportedly opened fire Monday morning on a car full of teenagers and killed a 17-year-old girl.

    Police alleged the girl, identified as Jessica Hernandez, was driving a stolen car and had hit one of the officers who opened fire, according to the Denver Post. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The officers have been put on leave while the investigation takes place.

    The Post reported there were four other teenagers in the car at the time. The AP reported that none of them was injured.

    Denver Police Chief Robert White said two officers fired multiple shots into the vehicle after the car hit one of them in the leg. The officer was taken to the hospital for his injuries, according to the Post.

    Police did not say whether anyone in the car had guns or other weapons, the Post reported.

    The shooting will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau, the Office of the Independent Monitor and the District Attorney, according to the paper.

    The Post noted that this was the third time in recent months that the police force has shot a suspect who was allegedly using cars as weapons.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/teen-girl-shot-killed-denver-police

  7. rikyrah says:

    Richard Sherman:
    “Under Goodell the league continues to put players like Marshawn Lynch in a position to be mocked by the media, which seems to get a kick out of seeing people struggle on camera. As teammates we’re angry because we know what certain people do well and we know what they struggle with. Marshawn’s talking to the press is the equivalent of putting a reporter on a football field and telling him to tackle Adrian Peterson.

    Some of the same people slamming Marshawn for not talking are
    just as likely to condemn the Browns’ Andrew Hawkins and Johnson Bademosi for protesting police brutality with T-shirts. They want to hear us speak, but only if we’re saying something they want to hear.”
    http://mmqb.si.com/2015/01/27/

    And to prove his point:
    Former NFL quarterback and football analyst Boomer Esaison believes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman should be punished for remarks he made about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82644730/

    • vitaminlover says:

      Slightly off-topic but Mr Sherman has the cutest face. (smile)

    • Kathleen says:

      Richard Sherman is one of the reasons i root for the Seahawks and I’m not a huge football fan. And as for Boomer, he bad mouths the Bengals, who treated him pretty well. And I’m not a Bengals fan though I love Marvin Lewis.Boomer has no class.

      • Kathleen says:

        And I have no spelling or punctuation skillz. Yikes. Another episode of “Geezer Commenting. I even have my glasses on.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Obama Administration Uses Scalia’s 2012 Obamacare Dissent Against Him

    BySahil KapurPublished
    January 27, 2015, 6:00 AM EST 19278 views

          

    It’s undisputed that virtually everyone had — for years — construed the Affordable Care Act to allow subsidies for Americans even if their state didn’t set up an insurance exchange. But the Justice Department wants it to be clear that “everyone” includes the four conservative justices on the Supreme Court who voted to wipe out Obamacare in 2012 and will now hear a new challenge to the law.

    In the government’s brief defending the ACA, filed with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, DOJ returns on three occasions to the language of the joint dissent of the conservative justices in NFIB v. Sebelius. Justice Antonin Scalia was the de facto leader of the conservatives in that case, who nearly derailed Obamacare until Chief Justice John Roberts, much to the ire of his fellow legal conservatives, joined with the Court’s liberal justices to mostly save President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

    With Obamacare under the legal gun yet again, the government is using the words of the dissenting justices to suggest they themselves interpreted the statute then as the White House does now when it comes to the core question in the new case, King v. Burwell: Does the ACA allow subsidies on the federal exchange?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obama-doj-supreme-court-brief-king-burwell

  9. rikyrah says:

    Add border security to the list of GOP ‘stumbles’
    01/27/15 01:04 PM—UPDATED 01/27/15 02:11 PM
    By Steve Benen
    In its first month, the Republican-led House, with its largest GOP majority in generations, has tackled a series of awful bills that have no chance of becoming law. We’ve seen Republicans splinter and complain about one another. We’ve seen GOP leaders schedule floor votes on some key priorities, only to pull the bills from consideration soon after.

    It’s probably not what the congressional majority party had in mind.
    House Republicans are not off to a strong start, Speaker John A. Boehner acknowledged on Tuesday. Asked about the eleventh-hour withdrawal of bills related to abortion and, most recently, border security – both of which were initially considered easy lifts for the emboldened Republican majority before intra-party divisions emerged – Mr. Boehner attributed them to their attempts to fast-track the legislation without committee consideration to work out the disagreements.

    “There have been a couple of stumbles,” he said.
    Um, yeah. Worse, these aren’t “stumbles” Republicans can blame on the White House or the Senate – the giant Republican majority, filled with optimism in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 midterms, is struggling to get its own act together.

    Yesterday, much of the attention inside the Beltway seemed to be focused on the weather, but in the House, the day’s “stumbles” actually helped capture much of what’s gone wrong for the party.

    The idea was to spend the afternoon passing a border-security bill championed by its GOP authors. By late morning, Republicans announced they had scrapped the scheduled vote – some blamed the inclement conditions outside, some noted that the House majority was divided between conservatives who supported the bill and further-right conservatives who said the legislation didn’t go far enough.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/add-border-security-the-list-gop-stumbles

  10. rikyrah says:

    The ‘House Freedom Caucus’ gets to work
    01/27/15 10:40 AM
    facebook twitter 1 save share group 11
    By Steve Benen
    Following up on a report from a couple of weeks ago, House Republicans continue to find new ways to splinter from their like-minded allies. For about four decades, far-right members of Congress have enjoyed a special group separate from the Republican mainstream – the Republican Study Committee – home to the House’s most rigid ideologues and reactionary voices.

    But the more radicalized House Republicans become, the easier it is for some GOP lawmakers to see their colleagues as not quite conservative enough. Sure, the Republican Study Committee is fine for most run-of-the-mill far-right members, but what about the right-wing elite who aren’t sure about Republicans’ commitment to the cause?

    As of yesterday, they officially have their own little team.
    GOP lawmakers who find the far-right Republican Study Committee too squishy now have a new clique to call home: the House Freedom Caucus.

    “The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans,” the group declared in its first official communiqué.
    And just how big is the newly named House Freedom Caucus? As of yesterday, it has just nine members.

    In fact, the group is small enough to list the full membership: Republican Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), John Fleming (La.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) and Matt Salmon (Ariz.). Collectively, they issued a two-sentence statement of purpose that could probably have been endorsed by any nine members of Congress in either party or in either chamber.

    The funny part, however, continues to be the process through which members can join the House Freedom Caucus.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-house-freedom-caucus-gets-work

  11. rikyrah says:

    Benghazi committee veers onto predictable path
    01/27/15 10:05 AM
    By Steve Benen
    When the House Intelligence Committee wrapped up its investigation of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, it was the seventh congressional committee to weigh in on the deadly terrorist violence that killed four Americans. The Intelligence panel’s findings, all of which discredited right-wing conspiracy theories, were intended by its Republican authors to be the “definitive” congressional statement on the attack.

    But GOP leaders didn’t much care, and soon after announced they would continue to support an eighth committee to do what the other seven committees had already done. This other, select committee spent $1.5 million in taxpayer money last year to review facts that have already been reviewed, and the panel, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), is digging in for more unnecessary efforts in 2015.

    The committee is off to a not-so-sterling start.
    Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi are accusing Republicans of conducting crucial interviews in secret and withholding information.

    The tensions between the two parties erupted into the open on Monday after a letter from the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), criticizing Chairman Trey Gowdy’s (R-S.C.) handling of the investigation went public.

    Cummings said Republicans were holding meetings with witnesses, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Maghreb Affairs Raymond Maxwell, who claims he was instructed to edit documents relating to the 2012 attacks. He said that Democrats were being excluded from these Republican-only meetings. Democrats say they have never asked Gowdy to require witnesses to meet with them, just that when witnesses are willing to sit down with both sides, they be included.
    In a four-page letter to the far-right South Carolinian, Cummings told Gowdy, “You have had different standards for Republicans and Democrats participating in the investigation, secret meetings with witnesses, and – perhaps most importantly – withheld or downplayed information when it undermines the allegations we are investigating.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/benghazi-committee-veers-predictable-path

  12. rikyrah says:

    Perry says jobless rate has been ‘doctored’
    01/27/15 09:17 AM—UPDATED 01/27/15 09:19 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The sharp improvement in American job creation clearly poses a challenge for Republicans. The GOP spent last year insisting that the Affordable Care Act, higher taxes on the wealthy, and federal regulations were crushing the job market, and yet, 2014 saw the fastest drop in unemployment in literally three decades.

    What’s a Republican to do? As is too often the case, it appears resorting to conspiracy theories is easier than dealing with reality.
    After a two-year hiatus from politics, unemployment trutherism made its return to the Republican campaign trail on Monday, making a brief appearance alongside Rick Perry at an Iowa breakfast.

    According to Bloomberg Politics reporter Dave Weigel, the former Texas governor told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition that they couldn’t trust the official unemployment rate coming out of Washington.

    “It’s been massaged, it’s been doctored,” Perry said, as quoted in a tweet by Weigel.
    Weigel has not yet published a report with the full context, but he provided a transcript to W. Gardner Selby. The former Texas governor explicitly said, in reference to the unemployed, “I mean, who is it standing up for these people that I call the uncounted? They’ve lost hope that they can even get a job, so they’re not even counted. When you look at the unemployment rate today, that’s not the true unemployment rate, it’s been massaged, it’s been doctored.”

    Actually, no, it hasn’t.

    If Perry and others on the far-right want to make the case that the unemployment rate is an imperfect metric, that’s fine. In fact, I’m inclined to agree, and as regular readers know, I’ve said many times there are better metrics that offer a more accurate look at the jobs picture.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/perry-says-jobless-rate-has-been-doctored

  13. rikyrah says:

    3 Black Adoptees Speak Out About Life With White Parents

    They share their thoughts about the new film Black or White and their own struggles with racial identity.

    By: Danielle C. Belton

    Posted: Jan. 27 2015 3:00 AM

    Does love know no color?

    The ad campaign for Kevin Costner’s new film Black or White definitely supports that idea, pushing the hashtag #LoveKnowsNoColor while promoting the transracial custody drama.

    Black or White pits a child’s white maternal grandfather (Costner) against her black paternal grandmother (played by Octavia Spencer) in a legal battle for custody. Think Losing Isaiah meets The Blind Side, dealing with the matter of white parents raising black or biracial children. In both those films, as in Black or White, the main focus seems to be on the adults in the room, fighting over the future and well-being of a child of color. But what of the children put in this situation, raised by white families?

    The Root talked to three transracial adoptees, all adopted by white families in the 1970s, about their experiences and views on transracial adoption, as well as Costner’s new film. While all three appreciated the love and foundation their families provided, a common theme evolved: In a racially polarized society, children of color cannot be raised devoid of their history and culture. All three agreed that white families who adopt children of color need to abandon the naivete of colorblindness and deal with the racial reality their black and brown children face.

    Here are their stories:

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2015/01/_3_black_adoptees_speak_about_growing_up_with_white_parents.html?wpisrc=burger?wpisrc=mostpopular

  14. rikyrah says:

    this is so sad

    ……………..

    56-Year-Old Baltimore Woman Dies 7 Days After Giving Birth to Twins

    Lisa Swinton McLaughlin went home in pain, thinking it was stemming from the cesarean section. She died seven days later from a bowel obstruction.

    By: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

    Posted: Jan. 26 2015 3:25 PM

    Seven days after giving birth to twin boys, 56-year-old Lisa Swinton McLaughlin died on Jan. 4 from a “bowel obstruction,” the Daily Mail reports.

    Lisa McLaughlin lived in Baltimore and thought the pain she was experiencing in the days after giving birth was a result of the cesarean section she’d had, her husband, Mike McLaughlin, told Omaha.com.

    Mike McLaughlin said that he and his wife had been trying to have children for decades. They had tried a variety of fertility treatments and were ecstatic when she became pregnant and then delivered the twins, albeit prematurely.

    “She was just on cloud nine,” Mike McLaughlin said. “That’s the happiest I’ve probably seen her in my life.

    “She wanted what every other woman had, and that’s children,” he said

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2015/01/_56_year_old_baltimore_woman_lisa_swinton_mclaughlin_dies_days_after_giving.html?wpisrc=newsletter_jcr%3Acontent%26

  15. rikyrah says:

    Koch brothers put a price tag on the 2016 elections
    01/27/15 08:41 AM
    By Steve Benen
    When it comes to campaign fundraising, it’s easy for the numbers to start to blur together. One candidate raised several million dollars, but is struggling with cash on hand. Another had a subpar monthly report, but fared well in the quarterly report. There are PACs, super PACs, campaign committees, state parties, and on and on, each furiously trying to fill their coffers – and in a “permanent campaign” environment, it seems to never stop.

    I mention this because I understand how easy it is to start tuning out reports on the role of money in elections. Everyone gets it: there’s a lot of money being raised and spent.

    But some reports shouldn’t be dismissed too quickly. This piece from Matea Gold, for example, was legitimately jaw-dropping.
    A network of conservative advocacy groups backed by Charles and David Koch aims to spend a staggering $889 million in advance of the next White House election, part of an expansive strategy to build on its 2014 victories that may involve jumping into the Republican primaries.

    The massive financial goal was revealed to donors here Monday during an annual winter meeting hosted by Freedom Partners, the tax-exempt business lobby that serves as the hub of the Koch-backed political operation, according to an attendee. The amount is more than double the $407 million that 17 allied groups in the network raised during the 2012 campaign.
    The question is not whether $889 million is a lot of money to invest in a single election. It is. Rather, the key here is understanding what such a sum represents in a democratic system of government.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/koch-brothers-put-price-tag-the-2016-elections

  16. rikyrah says:

    Rashida Jones tells reporter she’s ‘ethnic’ on SAG Awards red carpert
    by theGrio | January 26, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    It’’s probably not a good look to tell black folks you look “tan” and “tropical” if you’re trying to compliment them on a Hollywood red carpet.

    But TNT correspondent Danielle Demski just couldn’t help herself when she spotted actress Rashida Jones on the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ red carpet.

    “You look amazing … gorgeous […]” Andrews started. “You look like you’ve just come off like an island or something. You’re very tan. You’re very tropical.”

    Weird.

    Jones, who identifies as both African-American and Jewish, cracked back quickly:

    “Well … you know, I’m ethnic,” she laughed.

    http://thegrio.com/2015/01/26/rashida-jones-ethnic/

  17. rikyrah says:

    Humans Of New York Campaign To Send Brooklyn Students To Visit Harvard Goes Viral

    Posted on January 24, 2015 by Courtney Herring

    When a young boy from Brooklyn attending Mott Hall Bridges Academy told a photographer about the most influential person in his life – his principal, Ms. Nadia Lopez – I’m sure he had no idea her life or the lives of he and his classmates were about to change.

    That photographer was Brandon Stanton of the wildly popular blog and Facebook page, Humans of New York (HONY). He decided to speak with Ms. Lopez himself after the response to posting a photo of the boy gained such an overwhelmingly positive response from the online community.

    Where most teachers and principals refer to the children in their schools as “students,” Ms. Lopez and the staff at Mott Hall Bridges Academy calls them by another name: scholars. The primary school color is purple – the color of royalty, to reinforce the fact these children come from great lineages.

    This rhetoric is highly important when talking about these middle schoolers, as Mott Hall is located in Brownsville, a neighborhood in Brooklyn with the highest crime rate in all of New York City.

    “When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”

    As so many other disadvantaged youth, the students at Mott Hall aren’t typically expected to succeed because of their environment, but Ms. Lopez is seeking to change that for each incoming class of 6th graders in her school in part by taking them to visit Harvard University.

    The school has many needs, but Ms. Lopez understands “a visit to Harvard is more than just a visit to Harvard.” It would be a life-changing experience for her scholars, many of whom have never been outside of New York state, or the city, for that matter. It’s been often said that “you can’t be what you can’t see,” and the idea is no different for these Mott Hall scholars who need to understand the limitlessness of their potential, despite the present conditions of their surrounding environment.

    Stanton understood just how powerful Mott Hall’s vision was for these middle school scholars. Stanton, Lopez and the assistant principal of Mott Hall, Ms. Achu also knew appealing to the readers of HONY on social media could help. In fact, Humans of New York has over 11 million Facebook followers, alone.

    After posting a photo of Ms. Lopez and her philosophy around the education of her scholars, it went viral – gathering over 500,000 likes, and over 47,000 shares. So Stanton decided to collaborate with Ms. Lopez to launch a crowdfunding campaign appealing to the HONY community and folk online at large to make her vision happen.

    The results have been astounding, to say the least. Initially, Ms. Lopez’s goal was to raise $100,000 by February 5th to fund the Harvard visit program for the next three years. Mott Hall raised that amount in less than one hour.

    Currently, the campaign has raised well over $500,000 for the the trip, with two weeks still remaining. It’s enough to make the Harvard trip a permanent fixture in the school’s curriculum. It’s also enough to create a summer enrichment program to prevent what Ms. Lopez calls the “summer slide,” the steep regression in the retainment of information for students who don’t engage actively in learning activities over the summer break. Additionally, the summer program would provide a safe space for the scholars to come to, as well.

    That’s the power of social media, and more importantly, of authentic story-telling and a highly engaged online audience. Without the ability to crowdfund online and to promote the campaign via social media, raising over half a million dollars in two days would not have been as foreseeable. In fact, it likely would have been an impossible feat.

    http://thegrio.com/2015/01/24/humans-of-new-york-ms-lopez-harvard/

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Conservative Plan to Repeal Obamacare Is Insanely Immoral
    By Brian Beutler @brianbeutler

    Because the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, there are many fair-minded conservative criticisms of it, and a few plausible conservative ideas to either mold Obamacare into something different than it is today or phase in a comprehensive alternative and phase out those parts of the ACA that don’t fit into the new system.

    Michael Strain, a conservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has tendered such a plan. There is nothing immoral about it, and Congress wouldn’t necessarily be behaving immorally by adopting less generous federal health spending programs.

    The challenge for conservatives, though, isn’t just to identify preferable health policy ends—it’s also to chart a path from here to there that doesn’t impose mass suffering on current beneficiaries. Conservatives have done neither, and for this reason their critics have described their health care posture in withering moral terms. Strain’s purpose in this Washington Post op-ed is to defend conservatives from those critics. He fails not because conservative health policy ideas are inherently immoral, but because he must gloss over the fact that the right’s current approach to implementing them is abominable.

    As a political matter Obamacare probably can’t be repealed outright anymore. Any repeal bill would have to move in increments, and replace the ACA system with something that doesn’t dramatically reduce coverage. But Strain also notes that conservatives might “have their way with Obamacare” if “the Supreme Court deals it a death blow.”

    Absent a viable alternative, which does not exist and isn’t in the offing, wishing for this outcome is morally dubious, and Strain’s counterclaim is unusually weak.

    In a world of scarce resources, a slightly higher mortality rate is an acceptable price to pay for certain goals — including more cash for other programs, such as those that help the poor; less government coercion and more individual liberty; more health-care choice for consumers, allowing them to find plans that better fit their needs; more money for taxpayers to spend themselves; and less federal health-care spending. This opinion is not immoral. Such choices are inevitable. They are made all the time.

    This argument about ends is concise, unobjectionable, and completely unresponsive to the situation at hand. If the Supreme Court eliminates ACA subsidies in three dozen states this summer, the federal government will indeed spend less on health care. But none of the other tradeoffs Strain lists will happen. The savings will not be plied into programs that help the poor or be returned to taxpayers, individual liberty will not increase, and a wider array of health plans will not materialize. Millions will lose their coverage, insurance markets will collapse, and the public dividend will be a slightly lower budget deficit.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120847/repealing-obamacare-king-vs-burwell-would-be-immoral

  19. rikyrah says:

    William Rivers Pitt Should Stop Wanking
    by brendan
    Mon Jan 26th, 2015 at 11:46:30 PM EST

    So I guess I’m a little late to the party, since the 2015 SOTU is SOOOO last week, but I feel like I need to respond to William Rivers Pitt, who wrote:

    It was a fine show on Tuesday night, a masterful performance, and a comprehensive waste of time. Leaving aside everything I’ve said, there is the stone-cold fact that absolutely none of the progressive ideas President Obama proposed on Tuesday night have the vaguest chance of seeing daylight in this new GOP-dominated congress…which begs the question:
    Why did he wait until now – when everything he proposed was demonstrably doomed before the words even passed his teeth – to uncork the kind of rhetoric so many of his voters have been waiting for? Was it to poke a stick in the eye of this new assemblage? Perhaps to lay some rhetorical groundwork for the 2016 presidential race?

    Or did he never mean any of it in the first place, and said it on Tuesday night secure in the fact that none of it would ever come to pass?

    One of the reasons I stopped writing about politics for so long was because I finally hit a wall where I could no longer deal with the cynics and my own growing cynicism about everything. And although I have in the past enjoyed some of Pitt’s work, this is a classic example of the “It’s Never Good Enough” syndrome that has affected many of my fellow left wingers. But just to remind you -and Mr. Pitt- what the last Democratic president’s response to an electoral trouncing was:

    It might seem like a small thing, but this is not what Clinton did when faced with a similarly hostile Congress in the last two years of his crippled presidency. Here’s what Clinton did. He signed the:
    Balanced Budget Act of 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 Iraq Liberation Act Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 You might want to familiarize yourself with this list of legislation because it all combined to set the stage for the war in Iraq and the Great Recession. That’s what being “serious” about working with a Republican Congress looked like, and history doesn’t look kindly on the results.

    So, I’m pretty grateful that our president has no intention of going out and giving a State of the Union address where he will explain how he is going to meet John Boehner and Mitch McConnell halfway.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2015/1/26/234630/083

  20. rikyrah says:

    Making room for morality in the health care debate
    01/26/15 04:53 PM—UPDATED 01/26/15 07:14 PM
    By Steve Benen
    One of the things that makes the debate over health care policy so interesting is that it has such sweeping implications. We can look at the issue, for example, and ask economic questions, such as, “How much is the Affordable Care Act helping the economy?” We can look at the same issue and ask fiscal questions, such as, “How important is it that ‘Obamacare’ is reducing the national deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars?”

    We can look at the issue from a political perspective. And an ideological perspective. And a sociological perspective. And given extreme circumstances, maybe even a national security perspective.

    But at its root, for many involved in the debate, the angle that matters is a moral one. Policies like the ACA tend to do extremely well on substantive questions, and quite poorly on political ones, but when we strip away the layers, we’re often left with the morality of either providing or denying families access to basic medical care. Confronted with the question, either the dial on your moral compass spins or it doesn’t.

    This came up in a big way over the weekend, when the American Enterprise Institute’s Michael R. Strain made a curious argument about mortality rates in the Washington Post. The headline on the piece read, “End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.”
    In a world of scarce resources, a slightly higher mortality rate is an acceptable price to pay for certain goals – including more cash for other programs, such as those that help the poor; less government coercion and more individual liberty; more health-care choice for consumers, allowing them to find plans that better fit their needs; more money for taxpayers to spend themselves; and less federal health-care spending. This opinion is not immoral. Such choices are inevitable. They are made all the time.

    In fairness to Strain, he almost certainly did not write the jarringly callous headline, but he did write this quoted excerpt. In fact, his piece went on to say that if Republican policymakers successfully repealed the federal health care reform law, it “could” result in more American deaths, “but it clearly would not be immoral.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/making-room-morality-the-health-care-debate

  21. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh

    ………………

    Inside ABC’s Botched Plan to Fire Rosie Perez From ‘The View’ (EXCLUSIVE) Variety

    Ramin Setoodeh

    ABC has put the brakes on a plan to fire Rosie Perez from “The View,” after Variety broke the news of the decision on Jan. 14.

    At the time, the network wasn’t ready to announce the co-host’s departure. According to a source familiar with ABC execs’ thinking, fear of “an Ann Curry situation”–a reference to NBC’s botched firing of the “Today” anchor in 2012–led executives to reverse course and keep Perez on the network’s 11 a.m. talk show for now.

    Perez had only been on “The View” for four months when ABC execs concluded that she wasn’t the right fit for the talk show. The network thought it had an easy plan to offer Perez a graceful exit: the actress was already scheduled to take a month off from “The View” in January to prepare for her role in Larry David’s Broadway play, “Fish in the Dark.” Instead of having her return to the Hot Topics table once she was done with rehearsals, the show would announce she had to leave permanently for her other commitment.

    Under one scenario hatched by execs, to avoid the appearance of pushing out their first Latina co-host in 18 seasons, ABC would throw a farewell for Perez, and invite her on to explain why she was departing.

    But the Variety story that broke the news of Perez’s ouster created pandemonium backstage at the “The View.” One problem was that ABC execs hadn’t told the other co-hosts of the plan. Rosie O’Donnell, who joined the 18th season of “The View” in September along with Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace and returning moderator Whoopi Goldberg, was particularly caught off guard, sources say. O’Donnell is close friends with Perez.

    After O’Donnell and others pressed ABC bosses for an explanation, the network backpedaled on the plan. Among concerns, ABC worried about outrage from viewers about dropping a Latina co-host so quickly. And they had not vetted other candidates who could replace Perez.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/inside-abc%e2%80%99s-botched-plan-to-fire-rosie-perez-from-%e2%80%98the-view%e2%80%99-exclusive/ar-AA8C885?ocid=HPCDHP

    • Ametia says:

      Rosie Perez is to Latina, for that audience or something? After all, the population of Latinos has outgrown the black population. She’s be a daily reminder to the majority white audience.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  23. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :)

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