Sunday Open Thread

Happy Sunday, Everyone. And no it’s not Christmas, but here in the Mini-APOLIS, it sure as heck feels like it.

And so, yes, I’m going there…. LOL

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20 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    “Frozen” Black Recreation Gets A Cold Reaction
    Posted on February 21, 2015 by The Reel Network

    by Kristina Byas

    From an Egyptian Meg to an Asian Cinderella, we have all seen the many recreations of Disney Princesses and female characters depicted as women of color.

    One Brazilian artist has taken the main characters of Disney’s Frozen and given them some color. The picture features Queen Elsa and Princess Anna as young black girls.

    With Frozen being such a popular release for Disney, many saw the artist’s work as beautiful, while others didn’t take kindly to the swapping of races.

    What exactly is the problem with this? The answer should be nothing, but unfortunately people are probably always going to find something wrong with Disney Princesses being drawn as ethic characters. Is it because they think it takes away from the story for some reason? Maybe? Or does it cause discomfort for people to see the princesses as a different race? That is possible as well. But what about the artists who drew these pictures?

    The Disney films have been known for lacking diversity, so online artists have been adding their own spin and giving these classic characters a bit of flavor. It is actually common for many artists on Tumblr to recreate these characters.

    They haven’t just stopped with African American and Asian princesses. Some characters have been recreated as Mongolian and Tibetan, as well. In fact, the artist of the Frozen art has redone Rapunzel as an Indian woman and Merida from Brave as a Latina.

    Disney did feature a black princess in The Princess and the Frog, but there was a controversy over that because she fell in love with a man who was not black in the film. Many claimed that Disney intentionally avoided a happy ending for a prince and princess of color.

    Although Princess Tiana fell in love with a prince who was not black, the fact that there even was a film released with a princess of color is a big step. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that diversity is something that viewers are longing for.

  2. Ladies, check your email.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Denis Smith, formerly a state official in charge of charter schools, here reviews Governor Kasich’s penchant for colorful and inaccurate statements.

    Smith writes:

    “According to the Columbus Dispatch, the governor said “We need more superintendents who are educators, and less superintendents who are politicians.”

    Evidently, Kasich doesn’t know that Ohio law requires its superintendents to be highly professional:

    “State law directs that the head of an Ohio school district must hold a professional school administrator license to serve as a superintendent. According to the Ohio Department of Education website, a superintendent must “Earn a master’s degree from an accredited university; Complete an approved preparation program; Receive a recommendation from the dean or head of teacher education at the institution where he or she completed the preparation program; Complete the Ohio Assessment for Educators licensure exam #015, Educational Leadership, prescribed by the State Board of Education.”

    “In addition to all of these requirements, Ohio professional administrator licensure requires that a school superintendent “must have three years of successful experience in a position requiring a principal or administrative specialist license.”

    Contrast this with the lack of requirements to lead a charter school:

    “Under Ohio law, there are no education or professional requirements for an individual to serve as a public charter school superintendent or principal. None. As Woody Allen might have put it, if 80% of success in life is just showing up, you’ve got a good chance of becoming the top administrator of a charter school just by showing up, with a new start-up school proposal in hand, at the offices of a charter school sponsor.

    “And yes, governor, let’s say it again: there are absolutely no administrative licensure requirements in charterdom. You don’t even have to be an educator in order to open and become a superintendent of a “public” charter school.”

    As for politicians, no requirements there either.

  4. rikyrah says:

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2015

    No, Democrats: Money is NOT your problem
    Or rather the lack of money is not your problem. The corruption of Wall Street megabucks that Dems have been slurping up for the past 30 years is the problem.

    Democratic voters see repug candidates with a D next to their names (Chandler, Conway, Grimes ….) lining up to suck Jamie Dimon’s cock, and they stay home. If they went to the polls, Democratic voters would outnumber repug voters 2 to 1.

    Give us actual Democratic candidates, and Democratic voters to vote, it would give us actual Democratic candidates.

    From the Herald:
    Democrats have become a confused political party with a muddled message and an inability to turn out enough of its loyal voters, a party task force charged with how to revive the embattled party said Saturday.

    “I am here to tell you the Democratic Party has lost its way,” said Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who presented the report to the Democratic National Committee WINTER.

    The report, an effort to dissect the party’s crushing losses in last year’s congressional and gubernatorial elections, found “the circumstances that led to the series of devastating electoral losses did not develop overnight.” Republicans have done a better job adapting to the rapidly changing electoral landscape, it said, particularly in the area of fundraising.

    Read more here:


  5. rikyrah says:

    Bill O’Reilly Goes Ballistic On Eric Engberg, David Corn, Calls Bob Schieffer A ‘Plagiarist’
    By John Amato
    2/22/15 11:45am

    Bill O’Reilly joined Fox News’ Media Buzz with host Howard Kurtz and refuted former CBS reporter Eric Engberg’s account of the Falkland Islands/war zone controversy that has landed BillO in hot water.

    As is his style, BillO took over the interview from an intimidated Howard Kurtz and cried that Engberg refused to go on his show and then started with in with the insults. “He’s suspicious of the NY Times, not me!”

    Kurtz: You have said your photographer was rundown, hit in the head, he was bleeding, the army was chasing you guys, Engberg says, I never heard any injury to the photographer.

    O’Reilly: I don’t think he was there. I don’t think he knows what happened and I’ll tell you why If he were in the Plaza Del Mayo, where was the video, why did I have to run it up to the feed point and send it to new York? I’d like everyone to ask him, ‘Were you there?’ because his reputation, his nickname was ‘Room Service Eric,’ because he never left the hotel.

    BillO then blasted CBS’s Bob Schieffer for “big footing” his story which happens all the time in the news business.

    If you write an article and send it in and another reporter put there name on the article, what’s that called? it begins with a “p.”

    Howie refused to respond to O’Reilly’s accusations of plagiarism, laughed and called it what it actually was.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Too-White Media Misses Most Racist Part Of Rudy Giuliani’s Anti-Obama Rant

    Tommy Christopher on February 21, 2015

    This week’s political news has been dominated by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s anti-Obama rant, and subsequent doubling and tripling-down rantlets about how Obama doesn’t love America. In case you missed it, he told a crowd at a dinner for Republican douchebags that ““I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.”
    Giuliani then went on a full-blown media blitz to defend the comments, and apparently explain that Obama was actually killed during the attacks of 9/11. On Friday, the White House responded to the attacks in the person of Press Secretary Joshua Earnest. Here’s what he said, followed by a transcript of what he was actually thinking:

    What’s been fascinating about this kerfuffle is the way the political media has met the accusation that the President doesn’t love America with the heat of a thousand “Would you please pass the jelly?” fainting parties. Part of the reason is that while the news media at large is composed mostly of white males, our political news media is also aimed much more squarely at a white, male, mid-western audience for whom such an insult resonates. Tell someone within a half-hour of any city that they don’t love America, and they’ll laugh in your fucking face. It’s one of those absurd, meaningless assertions, like those old commercials that promise a precise percentage of additional “goodness.” Earnest wouldn’t say, but I’d bet good money that’s exactly what President Obama did when he heard that quote.

  7. rikyrah says:

    How 401(k) accounts widen race/ethnic wealth disparities
    February 22, 2015 By Harold Pollack Comments (0)

    My latest Wonkblog column is based on a recent NBER working paper that examined 401(k) contributions and withdrawals among continuously-employed workers at a single firm between 2003 and 2010.

    Few workers at this firm set any land speed records for saving and investing. But the race/ethnic disparities in saving remained really striking. Ironically, minority workers contributed surprisingly similar amounts to their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Yet they were vastly more likely than their white counterparts to make withdrawals or to borrow against their 401(k) funds. Minority workers were also much more likely to invest their money in money market funds and other safe assets that bring really low rates of return.

    In effect, these workers were using their 401(k) accounts as current savings reserves or as an emergency fund. As my writing collaborator Helaine Olen noted over email, these apparently foolish savings behaviors suddenly seem to make a lot more sense in the life-context of the people who are actually making these decisions. Upper-middle-class people who already have a secure financial foundation can invest at age 40 or 50 for the long-run, and thus accumulate significant nest eggs. Many others realistically can’t or won’t.

    The American employer-based retirement system increasingly relies upon tax-advantaged savings vehicles exemplified by the 401(k). In so many ways, 401(k) accounts are basically designed for upper-middle-class and affluent people. This system works reasonably well for us, because (a) we have money to contribute, (b) we have other money we can use for short-term emergencies; (c) we face high marginal tax rates that provide strong incentives to contribute to tax deferred accounts, and (d) we possess basic comfort and familiarity with the general world of mutual-fund investing. Most of us are also guaranteed a pretty decent Social Security benefit when we retire. With these floors in place, we’re free to take reasonable risks making long-term investing for our eventual retirement. Outside this top economic layer, this system works much worse….

    I’m sure many minority (and non-minority) workers would benefit from better choice architecture that channels people’s investments into more sensible low-fee investments. But that’s not the main issue. People really need a better basic Social Security retirement benefit. That’s the only way millions of people will have a secure retirement.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up
    JAN. 25, 2015

    The middle class that President Obama identified in his State of the Union speech last week as the foundation of the American economy has been shrinking for almost half a century.

    In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning, in today’s dollars, $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because the shift was primarily caused by more Americans climbing the economic ladder into upper-income brackets.

    But since 2000, the middle-class share of households has continued to narrow, the main reason being that more people have fallen to the bottom. At the same time, fewer of those in this group fit the traditional image of a married couple with children at home, a gap increasingly filled by the elderly.

    This social upheaval helps explain why the president focused on reviving the middle class, offering a raft of proposals squarely aimed at concerns like paying for a college education, taking parental leave, affording child care and buying a home.

    Middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change,” Mr. Obama told Congress and the public on Tuesday.

    Still, regardless of their income, most Americans identify as middle class. The term itself is so amorphous that politicians often cite the group in introducing proposals to engender wide appeal.

    The definition here starts at $35,000 — which is about 50 percent higher than the official poverty level for a family of four — and ends at the six-figure mark. Although many Americans in households making more than $100,000 consider themselves middle class, particularly those living in expensive regions like the Northeast and Pacific Coast, they have substantially more money than most people.

    However the lines are drawn, it is clear that millions are struggling to hang on to accouterment that most experts consider essential to a middle-class life.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Health Care Opens Middle-Class Path, Taken Mainly by Women
    FEB. 22, 2015

    HUNTINGTON, W.V. — For Tabitha Waugh, it was another typical day of chaos on the sixth floor cancer ward.

    The fire alarm was blaring for the second time that afternoon, prompting patients to stumble out of their rooms. One confused elderly man approached Ms. Waugh, a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center here, but she had no time to console him. An aide was hollering from another room, where a patient sat dazed on the edge of his bed, blood pooling on the floor from the IV he had yanked from his vein.

    “Hey, big guy, can you lay back in bed?” she asked, as she cleaned the patient before inserting a new line. He winced. “Hold my hand, O.K.?” she said.

    Ms. Waugh, who is 30 and the main breadwinner in her family of four, still had three hours to go before the end of a 12-hour shift. But despite the stresses and constant demands, all the hard work was paying off.

    Her wage of nearly $27 an hour provides the mainstay for a comfortable life that includes a three-bedroom home, a pickup truck and a new sport utility vehicle, tumbling classes for her 3-year-old, Piper, and dozens of bright blue Thomas the Tank Engine cars heaped under the double bed of her 6-year-old, Collin.

    The daughter of a teacher’s aide and a gas station manager, Ms. Waugh, like many other hard-working and often overlooked Americans, has secured a spot in a profoundly transformed middle class. While the group continues to include large numbers of people sitting at desks, far fewer middle-income workers of the 21st century are donning overalls. Instead, reflecting the biggest change in recent years, millions more are in scrubs.

    “We used to think about the men going out with their lunch bucket to their factory, and those were good jobs,” said Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University who studies work and family issues. “What’s the corresponding job today? It’s in the health care sector.”

    In 1980, 1.4 million jobs in health care paid a middle class wage: $40,000 to $80,000 a year in today’s money. Now, the figure is 4.5 million.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Smartypants goes in on Juan Williams about his article on Unca Clarence.


    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Juan Williams Ignores Systemic/Structural Racism

    In case you ever had any questions about how Fox News tolerated Juan Williams as their token black commentator, your answer can be found in what Williams wrote in a WSJ editorial titled: America’s Most Influential Thinker on Race.

    Let’s take this a step at a time. First of all, the person Williams is referring to is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    Secondly, the use of the word “influential” can be taken to mean influential in a good way or a bad way. Williams suggests it in a good way.

    Now…the reaction Williams notes from a lot of people is to simply call Thomas – and Williams by this association – an “Uncle Tom.” I totally understand that response. When I was reading this article I had to stop several times as my blood boiled. But I think its also important to take this kind of argument apart and demonstrate why it is so wrong. So I’m going to give it a go.

    Williams uses Thomas’ words to suggest that government policies that attempt to alleviate the effects of racism reinforce the inferiority of African Americans. For example:

    “After all, if separation itself is a harm, and if integration therefore is the only way that blacks can receive a proper education, then there must be something inferior about blacks,” he wrote in his concurring opinion in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995). “Under this theory, segregation injures blacks because blacks, when left on their own, cannot achieve. To my way of thinking that conclusion is the result of a jurisprudence based upon a theory of black inferiority.”

    Its almost as if Thomas and Williams never heard of things like separate and unequal, redlining, or sundown towns. That speaks to the heart of what both men completely ignore…the reality of systemic and/or structural racism. When we confront the reality of disparities for black people in everything from education to poverty to housing to health to criminal justice, we are left with a question of why those disparities persist.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Republicans want to shut down poverty research in North Carolina
    By Emily Badger February 21

    The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill studies, among other things, the depths of povertyin a state with severe pockets of urban distress, the impact of foreclosure clusters on minority neighborhoods there, and the economic impact oflegal aid for North Carolina’s low-income residents.

    Now the center may be shutting down, the target of a Republican-appointed committee recently charged with reviewing the state university system’s research centers. The panel’s recommendations, announced this week, have caused an uproar in the state over political retaliation against academia — and, more specifically, over the areas of research curiously singled out by the panel. As Inside Higher Ed points out, the three centers the committee wants to ax “reflect scholarly interests in poverty, the environment and social justice.”

    Conservative officials in the state have long groused that academics from North Carolina’s public universities have attacked conservative politicians over policies such as the state’s stringent voter ID law. Since 2010, Republicans have controlled both houses of North Carolina’s state legislature, and the vast majority of the university board’s members have been appointed by the legislature since then. Last year, the New York Times reports, legislators asked the board to reexamine funding for the more than 200 research centers affiliated with state schools.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Juan Williams has to earn them Slave Catching $$$$$

    Juan Williams takes to the WSJ to write a paean to Justice Clarence Thomas entitled “America’s Most Influential Thinker on Race“.

    Justice Thomas, who has been on the court nearly a quarter-century, remains a polarizing figure—loved by conservatives and loathed by liberals. But his “free”-thinking legal opinions are opening new roads for the American political debate on racial justice.

    His opinions are rooted in the premise that the 14th Amendment—guaranteeing equal rights for all—cannot mean different things for different people. As he wrote in Fisher v. University of Texas (2013), he is opposed to “perpetual racial tinkering” by judges to fix racial imbalance and inequality at schools and the workplace. Yet he never contends racism has gone away. The fact that a 2001 article in Time magazine about him was headlined “Uncle Tom Justice” reminds us that racism stubbornly persists.

    His only current rival in the race debate is President Obama. At moments of racial controversy the nation’s first black president has used his national pulpit to give voice to black fear that racial stereotyping led to tragedy. But that is as far as he is willing to go. His attorney general, Eric Holder , has gone further by calling Americans “cowards” when it comes to discussing race. And some critics have chastised him even for that.

    Justice Thomas, meanwhile, is reshaping the law and government policy on race by virtue of the power of his opinions from the bench. Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American on the Supreme Court, stood up as a voice insisting on rights for black people. Justice Thomas, the second black man on the court, takes a different tack. He stands up for individual rights as a sure blanket of legal protection for everyone, including minorities

  13. rikyrah says:

    KSK(africa) @lawalazu
    That news reporters are even entertaining the question of Prez Obama’s Christianity, is disturbingly reminiscent of their birther coverage
    8:56 AM – 22 Feb 2015

  14. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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