Sunday Open Thread | Praise & Worship

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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50 Responses to Sunday Open Thread | Praise & Worship

  1. rikyrah says:

    Patient secretly recorded doctors as they operated on her. Should she be so distressed by what she heard?

    By Yanan Wang April 7

    Last summer, Ethel Easter wanted nothing more than to see a doctor. A hiatal hernia had caused her to suffer more than a hundred abdominal attacks within 24 hours, her stomach was bruised, and she found blood in her urine. The pain was excruciating, so Easter prayed that a surgery could be scheduled as soon as possible.

    The doctor who would be operating on her at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston did not share her urgency.

    He told the 44-year-old Easter that she would have to wait two months, and Easter burst into tears.

    “I can’t do this for two months,” she cried. “I can’t do this anymore.”

    “Well, who do you think you are?” Easter recalled the doctor abruptly yelling back at her. “You’re gonna wait like everybody else.”

    Shaken, Easter later went to see her family doctor, who told her that the surgeon had taken notes on their meeting and raised “red flags” about her attitude — “as if I was the problem,” Easter said in a phone interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday.


    From the start, Easter was troubled that she didn’t trust her own surgeon, but she was in too much pain to cancel the operation. Then she had an idea: She would go through with the surgery — it was ultimately scheduled about a month later, for August — but she would sneak a recorder into the operating room so that her family could know what happened to her in case things went wrong. She had a “bad feeling,” after all.

    The audio recorder was the size of a USB drive. At the time, Easter had braided extensions in her hair. When she was changing into her hospital gown, she put her hair up in a ponytail and stuck the recorder inside.

    “I was fearful,” Easter said. “I didn’t know if I was going to come out of the surgery, so I just wanted my family to know if something went on.”

    The surreptitious recording, parts of which she shared with The Post, became the most traumatic part of the experience.

  2. rikyrah says:


    just dust…just dust in the eyes.

    Father’s labor of love puts 5 kids through Boston College
    By Michael Levenson
    APRIL 10, 2016

    It was past midnight, and all was quiet inside Robsham Theater, a sprawling performance space at Boston College.

    Fred Vautour sponged down sinks, scrubbed toilets, and polished mirrors. Pushing a yellow cart loaded with a mop, broom, and cleaning supplies, he moved on to the hallway, where he swept up paper scraps and cleaned the large windows looking onto the campus. In the distance, the Gothic towers of Gasson Hall and Bapst Library faded into the dark sky. In a little more than 12 hours, Elizabeth Warren was coming to speak on economic inequality.

    For the last 15 years of his long working life, Vautour, 62, has performed his painstaking rounds on the graveyard shift at Robsham Theater as if they were a calling. And, in a sense, they are.

    Next month, his youngest child will collect her nursing degree from BC, and Vautour’s triumph will be complete: The night-shift custodian will have put all five of his children — Amy, John, Michael, Thomas, and Alicia — through Boston College.

    “It kind of gives you the tingles,” Vautour said. “We became a big BC alumni family.”

    Vautour said he never could have afforded a college education for five children on his salary of $60,000 a year. His wife, Debra, was a homemaker who now works the front desk at the Waltham Senior Center.

    But because Vautour is a BC employee, all five children were able to attend the college tuition-free, which knocked about $51,000 off of BC’s $66,000 annual price tag. After scholarships, Vautour said, each child’s college education cost him about $3,000 per year.

    Knowing that five college degrees were in reach kept him going, he said, night after night and year after year.

  3. rikyrah says:

    all by design.


    Reviving a Hollowed-Out High School

    Thanks to Chicago’s school-choice system, many local campuses are struggling to survive, burdened with too few students, poor funding, and bad reputations.

    APR 8, 2016

    Austin High School on Chicago’s struggling West Side is a proud school with a bad reputation and too few students. It likely has just one more shot at survival.

    Austin has hollowed out in recent years, as have dozens of similar schools across Chicago’s poor and mostly Latino and black neighborhoods. With 391 students, including just 57 freshmen across three academies in a building meant for nearly 1,700, Austin is one of 35 Chicago public high schools that are well under half full. Ten schools aren’t even a quarter full.

    These schools face a set of woes that make a turnaround all but impossible. A citywide school-choice system leaves these mostly open-enrollment schools with some of Chicago’s most challenging and low-achieving students. Deeply strained budgets fueled by declining enrollment hurt staffing levels, teacher retention, and programming. Mix in a stubborn reputation for violence at many schools—unwarranted in the case of Austin and some others—and these schools are in a death spiral.

    In a high-school universe defined by choice, these schools and students are the clear losers. Chicago’s neediest students are clustered at the bottom of the pecking order of the district, in the most under-resourced and embattled schools.

    Chicago has a poor track record of delivering for its weakest students but this latest chapter, arguably an inevitable and predictable consequence of school choice, may be a new low. Students who need the healthiest and most stable schools are segregated in the most unstable institutions, often with the most troubled classmates. Victims of a set of powerful and destructive forces that have undermined their schools and neighborhoods, these students and their schools face an increasingly bleak and uncertain future.

  4. eliihass says:

    I keep meaning to mention it, but always forget…

    I’ve been following CNN’s Race For the White House series since it started airing…very instructive for what it’s worth…

    Of course history as they say, is often written or told by and from the (often skewed and sanitized) perspectives of the so-called ‘winners’ …but there are still telling and pertinent nuggets to be gleaned from this well-done series that even features some truth-telling …sometimes unconscious, uncomfortable, and other times hard, disappointing and unfortunate…

    But what is true is that nothing is new in our politics… and some of the players and the playbooks used are still very much active and reflected today…And some of the supposed ‘good guys’ were only ever really opportunists — and most involved …even those cast as ‘honorable’, were in fact all really about ego..

    It’s even funnier to watch and listen to that godawful Pat Buchanan (Rachel Maddow’s favorite good ole fun and loving racist ‘uncle’) …he’s one of those sharing their recollections and their perspectives of various presidential elections, and the various candidates and their campaigns…

    It’s worth going back to the very start of the series to catch up…

    • eliihass says:

      About time these fantastic and phenomenal women started proudly and unabashedly staking their claim to these powerful legacies revolving about the men they married – legacies that they sacrificed and suffered greatly for…and very much helped create…

      None of them married a ready-made man with a trust-fund…nor did they marry into a family of wealth, influence, standing or prominence…

      Each together with their husband, built and came to prominence from scratch…

  5. rikyrah says:

    ummmmm…good luck with that.

    04.08.16 12:15 AM ET

    The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President

    Gen. James Mattis doesn’t necessarily want to be president—but that’s not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there.

    An anonymous group of conservative billionaires is ready to place their bets on a man dubbed “Mad Dog,” hoping to draft him into the presidential race to confront Donald Trump.

    Think of it as a Plan B should Trump be nominated by the Republican Party in Cleveland: swing behind retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis and press him into service yet again as a third-party candidate.

    Mattis is the former commander of Central Command, which includes the strife-afflicted conflict zones of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and has developed a reputation among troops as a general officer who cares about the little guy. This reputation blossomed into the political realm during the 2012 presidential contest, when a Marine Corps veteran started an online campaign to write-in Mattis on presidential ballots—it ultimately lacked the backing to take off.

  6. rikyrah says:

    where are all the 2 piece and a biscuit Preacher Mofos that were shuffling for Bruce Rauner?

    Where are they now?


    Chicago State, a Lifeline for Poor Blacks, Is Under Threat Itself

    APRIL 9, 2016

    CHICAGO — The lack of a state budget in Illinois has been dismissed by many here as politics as usual, another protracted ego contest between the Republican governor and the Democrats who rule the Legislature.

    It does not feel that way at Chicago State University, a 150-year-old, predominantly African-American school on the city’s far South Side.

    Since last July, when the fiscal year began, the university has received zero dollars from the state, though it relies on Illinois for 30 percent of its $105 million budget. If no one swoops in with a rescue plan, the school could shut down, stranding students mid-degree, eliminating hundreds of jobs and shuttering a path forward for a poor and underserved community.

    In February, the school declared a financial emergency. Officials canceled spring break and moved commencement up to April 28, rushing to finish the semester before funding goes dry. Last month, members of the faculty and staff were notified that the school was making contingency plans to collect their keys. Reserve funds to pay employees will run out after April 30.

    “People are losing their minds,” said Barbara Ameyedowo, 28, a math major who is expecting to graduate in December. “Students are leaving. I’m hopeful that it will be resolved, but I’m so sad. Chicago State is all this part of the South Side has left.”’

    Governors and legislatures around the country have made deep cuts to state universities in recent years, leaving the smallest and least prestigious schools financially stressed, as tuition is hardly adequate to sustain many institutions. In Illinois, the absence of a budget means there has been no state financing, straining state universities and prompting some to furlough and lay off employees.


    The crisis has left many of the 4,500 students at Chicago State, the vast majority of whom are black and from low-income backgrounds, shaken and angry: Why are they, rather than their peers at more elite state universities, at risk of becoming the first major casualties of the budget stalemate?

    “It’s aimed at hurting minorities,” Glenn Weston, 23, a junior who is studying accounting, said of the budget conflict. Though Chicago State University is not a member of the historically black colleges and universities system, he said, “Chicago State is like the H.B.C.U. of Chicago. Other schools here would never close.”

    For months, the students have organized in protest, their cries largely directed at Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican. In January, a group of students drew attention to their cause by forming a human chain and shutting down part of a busy expressway. At a rally downtown in February, students marched on sidewalks, chanting “Black education is good for your health” and “Black minds matter.”

    Students are fearful that the school could shut down, leaving them with unfinished degrees and few options to transfer nearby.

    For many students, the university is a lifeline. Originally founded as a teachers’ college during boom times in the 1860s, the small, austere campus of concrete plazas and low-slung brick buildings now occupies 160 acres of land deep on the South Side of Chicago. It is bordered by an expressway and a residential neighborhood that was once solidly middle-class but has been upended by poverty, gang violence and declining population. Streetlights are marked with dark green banners, the school color, stamped with the Chicago State logo.

    “There’s a lot of frustration in the community,” said Phillip Beverly, a political-science professor at Chicago State, who grew up five blocks from the school and whose grandmother and wife are graduates. “You’re closing off an avenue for people to change their lives.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    but Kasich is the ‘ reasonable one’, so I’ve been told.

    h/t Zandar

    Tens of thousands of Ohioans could lose Medicaid coverage under fee proposal

    By Catherine Candisky

    The Columbus Dispatch • Thursday April 7, 2016 11:48 AM

    Gov. John Kasich’s administration projects tens of thousands of poor Ohioans will lose Medicaid coverage while taxpayers save nearly $1 billion under a plan to charge new fees for the government health coverage and impose penalties on those who miss payments.

    The proposal, subject to federal approval, would require those being treated for breast and cervical cancer, teens coming out of foster care and other working-age, nondisabled adults on Medicaid to make monthly payments into a health-savings account to help cover their expenses beginning Jan. 1, 2018.


    State officials project about 15 percent of Medicaid enrollees will lose benefits if the plan is enacted. They would either be disenrolled for failing to make payments or choose not to sign up to avoid the cost.

    Zandar’s take on it:

    The problem of course is that Ohio has a much larger population than Indiana, so we’re talking about hundreds of thousands losing their Medicaid for not being able to come up with the $99 per year.

    When that happens, it’ll be the fault of those lazy people for not paying into the system…as system many of them already pay into thanks to sales taxes, payroll taxes, and state income taxes.

    But of course kicking half a million plus off Medicaid is the entire point. Kasich’s plan is to do that all over the country and make it tens of millions instead.

  8. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh

    thanks to Zandar for the h/t:

    The Voter Support Agency Accused of Suppressing Votes
    APRIL 8, 2016

    The federal Election Assistance Commission was formed after the disputed 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore and given an innocuous name and a seemingly inoffensive mission: to help state election officials make it easier to vote.

    In this ideologically riven election season, it turns out, that is not easy at all.

    The election commission is in federal court this month, essentially accused of trying to suppress voter turnout in this November’s election. The Justice Department, its nominal legal counsel, has declined to defend it. Its case instead is being pleaded by one of the nation’s leading advocates of voting restrictions. The agency’s chairman has disavowed its actions.

    The quarrel exemplifies how the mere act of voting has become enmeshed in volatile partisan politics. Seventeen states will impose new voting restrictions for November’s presidential election. Many are the object of disputes between those who say they are rooting out voter fraud and those who say the real goal is to keep Democratic-leaning voters from casting ballots.

    The lawsuit’s origin is straightforward. The agency’s executive director, Brian D. Newby, had been in his job less than three months in January when he unilaterally reversed a policy that the body’s commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, had endorsed since the agency’s creation in 2002: that people registering to vote need offer no proof, beyond swearing an oath, that they are American citizens.

    That decision gave Kansas, Georgia and Alabama officials a blessing to alter the federal voter registration applications handed out in motor vehicle offices and many other state agencies, replacing the oath with something stiffer: a demand for proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

    There was but one problem, critics say: Mr. Newby had no authority to make policy, a power reserved for the agency’s four commissioners.


    A head-scratching legal battle has ensued. The Justice Department refused to defend Mr. Newby’s decision, arguing that it was clearly illegal. Mr. Newby’s defense was assumed by the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, a former Republican Party chairman in one of the nation’s most conservative states, and perhaps the leading advocate of tightening requirements for registering new voters.

    The dispute raised eyebrows for another reason: Mr. Newby came to the commission from suburban Kansas City, where he was an election commissioner appointed by and answering to Mr. Kobach. In an interview, Mr. Kobach said he played no role in Mr. Newby’s hiring or his registration decision.

    A decision on whether to issue a preliminary injunction over Mr. Newby’s action may come soon, but the battle is unlikely to end quickly. Mr. Kobach has twice taken a crusade for requiring proof of citizenship to the Supreme Court, and twice lost. Many expect this case to end there as well.

  9. rikyrah says:

    What a fabulous idea. We need more educators interested in solving problems.


    Calif. school district puts Wi-Fi on wheels to close digital divide

    COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. –When 9th grader Anisa Perez takes the bus home from school, she does her homework using the Wi-Fi network on her school bus.

    The bus essentially works as a large mobile hot spot, thanks to Coachella Valley school district superintendent Darryl Adams.

    He’s a former rock musician, who believes technology is the key to a quality education. Under his direction, Coachella became the first school district in the country to put iPads in the hands of every student — Pre-K to 12th grade.

    But that’s when Adams uncovered a new problem: most of his students, like Anisa, don’t have Internet at home.

    “I would be here sometimes on Friday night and drive by school and there would be parents with kids in the car sitting there doing their homework.”

    More than 95 percent of the students there live below the poverty line. Many just can’t afford Internet access at home.

    High school senior Michelle Penital said she would go to Starbucks when she needed Internet access. “I would do my homework with my friends.”

    “To us that was unacceptable, we could do better,” Adams explained. “And we were thinking, well we have a hundred buses here. Why don’t we put routers on the buses and park them where there is no connectivity?”

    So last year, that’s exactly what he did. One of those buses is now parked next to Anisa Perez’s trailer park, which never had the internet before.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s legacy-defining week with business
    04/10/16 10:30 AM EDT

    The past week has arguably been one of the most significant in burnishing President Obama’s legacy in the business world.

    The administration took its toughest actions yet against tax deals known as “corporate inversions,” and finally pushed through strict new rules on retirement investment.

    Those initiatives came about despite intense opposition from the business community, which criticized both sets of proposals.

    “I don’t think you can overstate the importance of both regulations,” said Dennis Kelleher, head of the Wall Street reform group Better Markets.

    The rules on inversions had an immediate impact, as the U.S. drug company Pfizer said it would pull out of its plan to merge with Ireland-based Allergan.

    Treasury’s rules target companies that seek to reduce their tax bills by merging with a smaller company and moving their headquarters overseas. The rules were seen by some observers as targeting Pfizer’s move specifically.

    Obama signaled how important he believes the rules are by appearing at the White House press room to tout them.

    “It sticks the rest of us with the tab and it makes hard-working Americans feel like the deck is stacked against them,” Obama said of the business practice.

    The actions harkened back to Obama’s efforts to win congressional approval of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

    “The fact that he personally engaged in a tax issue I think it pretty important,” said Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “It signals the significance the president attaches to this issue.”

    Obama’s Wall Street law is under attack by Congress, where Republicans have offered a number of bills that would undo his work.

    • eliihass says:

      What a horrible nightmare that never seems to end SG..

      It might make folks uncomfortable, but here’s yet another glaring example of that deeply desensitized and damaging world psychology when it comes to race…a disturbing psychology that has black folks – especially those of the darker and darkest hues…completely dehumanized, and viewed as unsympathetic… forever banished to the bottommest of bottoms of society’s rungs…and completely forgotten except of course when on the rare occasion, they serve an exploitable purpose – for better or for worse..

      There was rightfully outrage and heartbreak around the world – including from Africans and Nigerians I bet – at the images of a young Syrian kid washed ashore on a beach…

      But hardly any attention to the horrid destruction of bodies and souls that continues to happen with these vulnerable African children and their mothers – and fathers in some instances…

      It’s a shame..

  11. Liza says:

    The woman who attacked this child was arrested. What is going on out there?

    This woman was arrested for assaulting this young brother in class. Mary Hastings.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 10, 2016


    • Liza says:

      Dear God, what a senseless and tragic end to this man’s life. And the man who killed him will probably end up doing 25 to life at Angola. RIP, Will Smith.

  12. Good morning, everyone! Happy Sunday!

    Sing hallelujah
    We give all honor and praise to your Name!
    Sing hallelujah
    We trade our sorrows
    For garments of praise…..

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