Monday Open Thread

Happy Monday, Everyone! This week 3 Chics is featuring some of the stellar performances and tributes to the 2015 Kennedy Center Honorees.

Today, it’s MS.Carole King


Janelle Monae

Sara Bareilles

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32 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Rick Johnson @WoodCowBooks
    John Adams on Crispus Attucks: a stout Molatto fellow, whose very looks, was enough to terrify any person – same old

  2. vitaminlover says:

    Good afternoon ladies, I took Monday off. So happy Monday!

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:


      “Frank Shadwald is a 77-year-old retired farmer who owns several hundred acres of valuable farm land in the Lower Wisconsin River Valley. But to Frank, his land is worth far more than money.

      “There are fifteen ancient Native American effigy mounds located on his property, an important site of Native American culture—past and present. For the past twenty years, Frank has worked to preserve them.

      “But what will happen to the land when Frank is not here to protect it?”

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      “Bill would lift protections on some historic effigy mounds”


      Madison— Landowners could excavate and possibly develop some of the surviving Indian mounds of Wisconsin — many dating back more than a millennium — under legislation by two lawmakers.

      The bill from Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Rep. Robert Brooks (R-Saukville) would shift the balance of state law more toward private property rights and away from the preservation of one of the state’s unusual features.

      The earthen burial mounds, shaped like bears, deer, panthers, birds and people, can stretch hundreds of feet in length or width and are one of the most enduring forms of art in the state. It’s been estimated that 80% were plowed under or otherwise destroyed to make way for farms and buildings, and those remaining sites that are cataloged are protected from disturbance by state law.

      The proposal has alarmed Robert Birmingham, the author of two books on the state’s Indian mounds. Birmingham, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and a former state archaeologist, called the mounds a “world archaeological wonder.”

      “It is unparalleled in that we have the mounds, some of them in awesome proportions. … Having such an explicit monumental architecture (of early natives) that reflects their religious beliefs is amazing,” Birmingham said.

      The draft bill on the mounds has already won some powerful backers, including the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Builders Association. It arises in part from a case involving Wingra Stone and Redi-Mix, which owns a quarry north of McFarland where an effigy mound has blocked the extraction of materials around and below it.

      Under the draft measure, the Wisconsin Historical Society would be required to give property owners a permit allowing them to investigate at their own expense whether their mounds contain burial remains, either through an archaeological dig or through ground-penetrating radar. If the mounds contained no remains, landowners could use their property however they wished.

      “While (the draft bill) will maintain the (Historical Society) mission to protect human burial sites and preserve history for future generations, it will also make common-sense reforms to current law to help ensure private property is not wrongly placed on the SHS burial site catalog and essentially frozen from use,” Kapenga and Brooks wrote in a memo to other lawmakers.

      The leaders of the Ho-Chunk Nation count the mound builders as ancestors of their tribe and they have launched a website to counter the bill as well as planned a rally at the Capitol on Jan. 12.

      “These are sacred sites and for many of them it would be like churches and mosques are (for other believers). This is how we would consider them,” said tribal president Wilfred Cleveland.

  3. Just dropping this here so y’all can see it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Monday, January 4, 2016
    First Principles

    Sometimes it is helpful to take a step back from the particulars and take a look at the first principles that are animating a political conflict. With that in mind, I would propose that what is driving the current conservative movement is a world view that sees everything through the lens of what we’ve come to call a “zero-sum game.”

    Zero-sum is a situation in game theory in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero.

    That sets up an “us vs them” battle where it is assumed that if they win, we lose. It’s why Isaac Bailey correctly identified the problem (even as his proposed solution fell short).

    …we are fast becoming a nation in which minorities make up a majority of the population. As a result, tens of millions of white Americans, accustomed for so long to having all the benefits of being the majority, are scared out of their minds—and it is this fear that Trump is exploiting so effectively.

    These changing demographics are a real threat to any white person who assumes that everything is ultimately a zero-sum game. Because if “they” win, it is an automatic assumption that I lose. That was the basic premise of an important article by Adrien Schless-Meier months before Trumpmania emerged.

    Take, for instance, the creeping anxiety among white folks in the U.S. about our impending “minority” status. The most recent projections from the Census Bureau name 2044 as the point when people of color will collectively outnumber white people in this country. This demographic reality has fostered a deep sense of paranoia about a pervasive existential threat, not just to white people but also to white institutions, values, and culture. White folks are, irrationally, afraid of being wiped out.

  5. rikyrah says:

    House Returns From Break With Plan to Send Health Care Repeal to Obama’s Desk
    Jan 4, 2016

    The House returns this week from its holiday break, and it will open 2016 doing something Republicans have been itching to do for years: send a repeal of the Affordable Care Act to President Obama’s desk.

    “We owe it it to the country to take our best shot at repealing #Obamacare while Pres Obama is still in office,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan said on Twitter in advance of the House’s reconvening for the second session of the 114th Congress.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Cole at BJ asked someone he respected about the Iran/Saudi Arabia issue, and here’s the response:

    As I wrote in the comments yesterday, I think that the Saudis were pretty sure what was going to happen if they executed Sheikh al-Nimr and that was part of the reason they did it. King Salman has been very aggressive since he assumed the throne last year and this was really done for, I think, three reasons:

    1) Internal messaging. As I’ve written here before the Saudis adhere to a type of Islam that they prefer to call Salafism (fundamentalism), everyone else often calls Wahhabism or Wahhabiya after its founder Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, but that is properly referred to as tawheed – the radical unity of the Deity. This is the same theology and doctrine as the Islamic State and it identifies Shi’a as not being apostates who are to be offered the chance to correct their practice of Islam, but rather a type of unbeliever to be violently suppressed wherever found. This execution was intended to message to Saudis, who are adherents of tawheed (its the only recognized/official version of Islam in the Kingdom as according to tawheed theology itself it is the only real version of Islamic belief/doctrine), that challenges to tawheed will be taken seriously and that the Shi’a will not be protected if Islamic State decides to move across the Iraqi border into the eastern Saudi provinces that are home to Saudi’s Shi’a.

    2) External messaging to the Islamic State. It was also intended to message to the Islamic State folks that the Saudis are actually enforcing tawheed and are therefore not apostates that need to be dealt with (read overthrown). And that the Saudis can deal with their own Shi’a, thank you very much.

    3) External messaging to Iran, and to Shi’a Muslims, that the Saudi’s will deal with the Shi’a as it sees fit. And that the Iranians cannot protect Shi’a Muslims no matter what it says.

    Other than the normal human rights condemnations, I’m not sure that there is much that the US can do here. Nor is there much that I think we will do. The Saudis execute a lot of people, we routinely condemn this, but we’re not suddenly going to break diplomatic ties or stop doing MIL-MIL partnerships over one specific execution; especially since Sheikh al-Nimr wasn’t an American national. Moreover, this was one Shi’a cleric – not to dismiss that a man lost his life on contested charges. As long as the Saudi authorities don’t start rounding Shi’a and Shi’a clerics and tribal leaders up on various pretenses, this should subside after a bit.

    All of this said, my guess is that there will be some very quiet, and hopefully, subtle diplomacy between the US and Saudi and the US and Iran (through the limited ties we have with them) to try to keep this from escalating. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been playing a very dangerous game over the last decade, and especially the last four or five years, throughout the Middle East. It has gone from regional cold war to proxy war for regional hegemony. If this gets out of hand and boils over into an actual hot war where the various Middle Eastern states have to take sides, then its going to be worse than anything we’ve seen yet. A lot of these countries militaries are good for internal security and if they’re partnering with the US or NATO on exercises and limited missions, but they don’t have a track record for actually fighting wars. A regional sectarian Sunni-Shi’a war for regional hegemony, where part of the mission of the Sunni challenger is not just to achieve hegemony, but to spread tawheed as the true (Sunni) Islam, will be very, very ugly. This will be a holy war wrapped into an interstate war (think the Thirty Years War). The religious aspect will change the nature of the warfare and we’ll likely see militaries in the region do things we didn’t think they would do otherwise. And there will be little way for the US and NATO to not be involved.

    I know none of this is particularly satisfying, but what I’m actually hoping to see is that plans for a normal Haj for Shi’a Muslims continue as they do every year. If the Supreme Religious Authority in Qom issues a ruling (fatwa) that (Twelver) Shi’a should not attend Haj this year as its not safe, so they have a limited exemption from the religious duty, or if the Shi’a in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Gulf States, as well as Iran chose to boycott, that’ll be interesting. The former – a formal declaration against going and exempting the Faithful – would make things worse in a formal sense. An unofficial boycott – voting with one’s wallet – would hurt Saudi financially and in terms of reputation and might help to get them to ease up a bit. Since it is in both Iran’s and Saudis interests to have Iranians and Shi’a from other states make Haj, my guess is that this, like what had previously seemed like unresolvable issues between The Kingdom and the Islamic Republic, will be resolved and everyone will move on.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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