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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Politicians and Cell Phones

Yet another narcissistic sanctimonious political clown blows himself up taking selfies with his mistress!

I mean, damn! I will whip out my cell phone and take a pic of my significant other person – at the winery sipping a glass of wine, or on a day out on the water…With their clothes on!

Being in the high-tech business I know damn well that anything you take on that phone is public property. That phone is connected to the world, and anything on it can be taken off of it from 10,000 miles away by a curious hacker. Even worse, some guy on the down low has got to know that at some point their significant other, or kids might just get curious…

Anthony Wiener (D), Ted Courser(R), Cindy Gamrat (R)Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy,…

Sometimes Karma will just spin around and kick the sanctimonious right in the cajones.

“Family Values”…Indeed.

Indiana GOP’s House Leader resigns after texting sexually explicit video of himself cheating on wife to everyone on his “Contacts” list

The controversial House Majority Leader in Indiana — he cosponsored the state’s “religious freedom” law — resigned suddenly on Tuesday after a sexually compromising video was sent to all of the people on his “Contacts” list, the Advocate’s Bil Browning reports.

 After news of the mass-texting began to circulate, Representative Jud McMillin (R) claimed that his “phone was stolen in Canada and out of my control for about 24 hours. I have just been able to reactivate it under my control. Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.”

But his “Canadian girlfriend stole my phone” defense apparently didn’t convince many of his “Contacts” — or at least, not the ones who mattered — and so Tuesday night he released a statement in which he said that the “time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family.”

During his five years in the legislature, McMillin has crusaded to “protect the integrity of the institution of marriage,” but the Advocate reported that the woman on the video he texted was not, in fact, his wife. According to his campaign website, he claimed that “the family has always been the foundation of our strength of community” and that “[i]n these times of turmoil the rest of the country could learn something from our example.”

It’s unclear what the rest of the country could learn from his example at this time, other than — perhaps — opposing LGBTQ rights across the board could have karmic implications for conservative Republicans with a proclivity for taking videos of themselves cheating on their wives.

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Nawwwwww!, Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks

 

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Why the Poor Stay Poor in America

In summary – America is Failing

At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints.

Meanwhile, just 8 percent of American men at the bottom rose to the top fifth. That compares with 12 percent of the British and 14 percent of the Danes.

Despite frequent references to the United States as a classless society, about 62 percent of Americans (male and female) raised in the top fifth of incomes stay in the top two-fifths, according to research by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Similarly, 65 percent born in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths.

Where you are born counts… What you should notice is that the Red State South still serves as the boat anchor holding the rest of the country back. That is in huge reason today due to failed Republican Tax CUt policies necessitating a reduction in every service from social services to education. You get what you pay for, and in the case of conservative tax cut and slash policy – what you get is stagnant economic mobility. Ergo the poor stay poor.

In America, the Poorer You Are, the Poorer Your Children Will Be

This country’s terrible social safety net is making it impossible for working-class parents to keep up with their wealthier peers.

When people talk about “balancing work and family,” they’re usually talking more about the workplace than what’s going on at home. Now we’re starting to get data on what the workaday life looks like from a kid’s eye view, and it doesn’t look good.

When debating the issue of work-life balance, arguments over unlimited vacation and employment discrimination center around women’s barriers to opportunity—the perennial glass ceiling that Anne Marie Slaughter and Sheryl Sandberg rage at when lamenting not “having it all.” For working-class folks crushed by on-call schedules or poverty wages, it’s often hard to find any life outside work, let alone to balance work and family lives. But centering the conversation not on career ambition but the life course of a family helps put the false dichotomy of work vs. life in perspective.

In their new book “Too Many Children Left Behind,”Bruce Bradbury, Miles Corak, Jane Waldfogel, and Elizabeth Washbrook help illuminate these gaps by comparing the impacts of inequality across four wealthy countries—the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They found that poor children in the US are “doubly disadvantaged relative to their peers in the other three countries” because the government’s “social safety net and supports for working families do the least among the four countries to combat inequality”—particularly our national lack of guaranteed paid time off and vacation.

That’s old news, but the center of the researchers’ narrative is not necessarily workers’ lives but their children’s. Poverty limits access to basic resources like nutrition and decent childcare. But a geometrically expanding class divide looms over all income brackets, as wealthier parents zealously splurge on “enrichment expenditures”:

spending on books, computers, high-quality child care, summer camps, private schooling, and other resources that offer a motivating and nurturing environment for children. A generation or more ago, during the early 1970s, a typical family in the top fifth of the income distribution spent about $3,850 per year on resources like these, four times as much as the typical family at the bottom of the income distribution, which spent about $925…. by 2005 it had grown tremendously, to $9,800 versus $1,400.

So poor parents struggling just to cover basic food and shelter face both massive income inequality in their day-to-day lives, plus a seven-fold gap in the amount they can “invest” to help their children thrive in the future. Given that social mobility is already suppressed at all income levels—with children’s future earnings highly correlated with the earnings of their parents—the Herculean amount of “catch up” poor parents must undertake just to get on the same footing as their higher-earning peers makes the great American wealth gap seem even more devastating, for both today’s working households and generations to come.

Moreover, the gender gap straddles the class divide: the “earnings advantage” provided by parents’ wealth, or lack thereof, is skewed against women. A child is likely to inherit a greater share of his dad’s wealth than mom’s. Beyond the perennial “equal pay” debate and the simplistic notion of “78 cents on the dollar,” how does that reality of gender inequality play out in family dynamics, in those difficult late-night conversations on who should stay home with a newborn, or stay late at the office?

But the most enduring impact of these deficits may be impossible to quantify. Economic disadvantage intertwined with structural inequality has a savage effect on a child’s long-term educational prospects—including basic preschool-level skills, like language aptitude and sociability, and failing primary-school grades. And the “achievement gap” (which is itself a notion often politicized with complex racial biases) has folded into a deepening black-white education divide over the last three decades.

Other research has revealed that economic status is a growing factor in academic outcomes, as “the relationship between income and achievement has grown sharply” over the last 50 years. So wealth trumps intellect on many levels.

Closing the gap takes more systemic solutions than just “leaning in.” Class lines reflect a deficit of democracy, created by neglect of government institutions. Research suggests much of the education gap is perpetuated or aggravated while children are wending through the highly segregated school system.

Co-author Jane Waldfogel says via e-mail that in addition to better workplace benefits, policy solutions might come through richer, more accessible early education and childcare: “Universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds would help level the playing field by ensuring that all preschoolers receive educationally oriented early education (rather than the case now, where more affluent families can buy preschool, while lower income families have to make do with lower quality care).”

Federal programs like Head Start and childcare subsidies have for years suffered massive funding gaps, leaving tens of thousands of kids underserved. But some states are directing resources into expanding preschool—with pioneering programs in New York City—though it remains to be seen whether lawmakers who have failed to adequately fund K-12 are really willing to invest enough public dollars in the long-term to create a sustainable universal pre-K system.

Waldfogel’s research reveals a need for not just income supports but simply less need to work all the time. For young children of parents who are either out working around the clock, or constantly stressed at home, overwork translates into a materially and emotionally impoverished home environment. During the developmental years, research shows “inequalities in income and family resources are in turn linked with disparities in more proximal factors such as books in the home, lessons and activities outside the home, and parents’ spanking.”

Although many factors shape a household’s social climate, the connection between a parents’ economic frustrations and a pattern of a lack of nurture, even cruelty at home, suggests a troubling through-line in this inheritance of inequity: Wealth doesn’t trickle down, yet economic violence does.…More…

 

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It’s Always About Race…

Another well written piece discussing the realities about political and social discussion in America…

Race Is Always the Issue

Blackness has been relentlessly disparaged in American discourse—both covertly and overtly.

Every conversation about resources in the United States is also about race and racism. Like parents choosing a neighborhood for its “good schools,” Americans talk about prison and crime as a means of discussing race and racism in polite company.

One needn’t hate Hispanics to choose a school system with no Hispanics. One need not say that black people are violent apes to call the police when an injured human being who happens to be black knocks on your door for help. Freedom—from being stopped and frisked; from predatory criminal justice fines; from cells—is arguably the resource from which every other resource flows: education, marriage, income, wealth, happiness, actualization. In “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a decoder ring for the language of criminality, revealing that it rests on the idea that America can only be great so long as America is fundamentally white.

The articulation of America’s greatness is rarely as strong as when the country is preparing to elect its next leader. If nothing else, the political class generates tons of text and ideas for ordinary readers to parse. Coates parses the ideology of white racism in crime policy and rhetoric from the Fugitive Slave Clause through Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and on to Bernie Sanders. The occasion is the 50th anniversary of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”

During my doctoral training, Moynihan was offered as a cautionary tale to young academics. Moynihan, they said, dared to tell the truth about the culture of poverty in black communities. As a result, the liberal elite and angry black-activist oligarchy ran him out of society’s good graces, if not exactly out of town. We were warned against dabbling in social prescriptions: “Look what they did to Moynihan!”

We should all be so lucky as to be punished the way Moynihan was punished. Moynihan was a sociologist and a junior government official when he wrote his now-infamous treatise on the moral and economic decay of the black family. By the time he died in 2003, Moynihan was more than just a sociologist. He entered the rarified world of power. He worked with presidents. He commanded audiences within the cognitive elite. He had, I was once told by someone at a conference who’d had a bit too much to drink, a fantastic office at Harvard. Moynihan made it.

That he made it despite being “made into a racist,” as he put it, refutes the idea that being labeled a racist is some scarlet letter. It also raises questions about the renewed interest in revitalizing Moynihan’s reputation. Orlando Patterson and Ethan Fosse wrote in a new book that “history has been kind to Moynihan.” I agree. History has been kind to Moynihan. But it is not that empirical evidence of a deep culture of poverty among blacks has proven Moynihan’s case. Instead, the rapid acceleration and ruthless efficiencies of incarceration have made Moynihan’s theses seem prescient by intensifying every structural condition of race, poverty, and criminality in the United States. Moynihan is prescient only if one ignores that Moynihan went on to participate in the kind of policies and ideology that perpetuated the conditions he was originally critiquing. That kind of prescience is called winning by owning the rules of the game.
As voters prepare to turn the board over to a new gamemaster, Coates argues that the rules are still the same. Bill Clinton signed a crime bill in 1994 that effectively paid states to build prisons and reduce parole so that those prisons might stay full. In 2015, activists are circulating clips of Hillary Clinton online. In one, she can be heard calling kids “super predators” as an argument in support of her husband’s crime policies. Hillary likely borrowed the “super predators” language from a 1996 book that predicted a new crime wave unless these hyped up, extra-terrestrial, mostly poor, and almost always dark young people were locked away.

As fortune (or power) would have it, the narrative of a crime wave is reemerging. In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests all across the country, standing against police brutality and extra-judicial murders, mass media, and the pundit class are coalescing around a narrative of growing violence in the streets. A Wall Street Journal reporter puts a fine point on the connection: “The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months.” Waves in the bathtub aren’t even that simple to explain, much less crime waves. No one with any serious training in data, statistics, and crime attributes isolated crimes to a national trend armed with only nine months of data.But when crime is really a proxy for talking about race, the threshold for conclusions to be seen as scientifically rigorous always shifts. Always. Were the issue actually crime, statistics would tell you that crime continues its longitudinal trend downward nationally. Were the issue criminality, science would tell you that civil unrest stems from very different social processes than those which produce criminals. Were the issue safety, public policy would protect black taxpayers from being indiscriminately murdered by the police.

 But the issue is race. There, the scientific threshold bows to the superiority of racial logic. Suddenly, crime waves exist in a vacuum and have arbitrary beginning and end points. The poor become at once both fragile and super predators. Blackness assumes the essential, biological, and irrefutable character of criminality. Donald Trump can run for president of the United States despite once allegedly saying, “Laziness is a trait in blacks.” Not only is history kind to those who espouse racist ideologies, but the present ain’t too bad either.

As yet, no candidate has engaged respectfully with Black Lives Matter, the contemporary analog to the black oligarchy that supposedly ran Moynihan into the ground. Hillary Clinton appeared tone deaf and high-handed in a recent video, showing her talking with some BLM activists. Bernie Sanders has probably fared the worst. When some activists who identified as members of BLM interrupted his speech at a Netroots event, Sanders came off as thoroughly exasperated.

On the other side, most of the Republican candidates ignore BLM activists or cast them as emblematic of a type of learned helplessness. Democratic action, it seems, is only for a white polity. Any democratic action taken by a black polity causes “strife,” as Republican candidate Ben Carson described BLM. On policy, both sides could not be more compatible. If resources are about race, then there isn’t much threat from either party to the status quo of commoditized black freedom.

Fifty years after the Moynihan report on the state of the black family, there is still no penalty for questioning the morality of black culture. From academia to politics to media, Americans talk about race and racism much as they always have. They fight proxy wars but the terms of battle are the same. Black freedom has always been circumscribed and the means of circumscription have proven resilient. Whether the supposed issue is crime or schools and whether the accepted cause is biological or cultural, black folks are always a problem not to be solved but contained.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Archibald Motley – Painter of the Jazz Age

Born in 1891, Archibald Motley would document, through his art – the next 70 years of black experience in Chicago and France.

Portrait of a Sophisticated Lady

Octoroon, 1922

Self Portrait

Archibald Motley, The Painter Who Captured Black America in the Jazz Age and Beyond

The artist Archibald Motley captured both the high times and cultural vibrancy of the Jazz Age, as well as graver themes of racism and injustice.

The sexy sway of a 1920s Paris nightclub, filled with light and dark-skinned people pressed against each other.

The bustling streets of the almost exclusively black “Bronzeville” neighborhood Chicago in the 1930s under a nighttime glow.

A depressing surreal scene of horror following the death of Martin Luther KingJr.and the failings of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

These are just a handful of the diverse visual expressions of the African American experience that the artist Archibald Motley so adroitly and sumptuously captured throughout his career.

Bronzeville By Night

As versatile in his aesthetic style as he was committed to scrutinizing African American culture, Motley was a uniquely daring and sharp artist who stood out even among the Harlem Renaissance greats.

Yet, Motley’s name does not elicit the same nods of recognition and respect as his peers, like Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and Zora Neale Hurston. That could–and certainly should–change after the retrospective Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist opens October 2 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Traveling through different chapters of his career, though not boxed into a strict chronology, the exhibition showcases how Motley was a thorough and sensitive observer of the black community, documenting its diversity while bringing his own keen perspective to its traditions and subcultures.

Motley “set his work apart” because he “created a modern, vibrant world which, as seen through a pair of jaded, laserlike ‘Negro’ eyes, revealed the jazz-and-blues-accented absurdities that lay behind life’s facades and public face,” writes Richard J. Powell in “Becoming Motley, Becoming Modern” an essay in the book,Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist.

Mending Socks

Powell, who is an art historian and Dean of Humanities at Duke University, curated the Whitney exhibition.

In other words, Motley wasn’t afraid to capture the good and the bad of black life, as his peers made tremendous gains yet the community in general often struggled in poverty and disenfranchisement in a segregated, very racist America.

At least a significant part of Motley’s distinct perspective on African American life came from his unique upbringing for a black man of his era.

Born in New Orleans in 1891, Motley was raised in Chicago’s then largely white immigrant Engelwood neighborhood and married his white childhood friend, Edith Granzo, in 1924.

Trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Motley’s earliest critically-acclaimed paintings were portraits of different figures within the African American community.

His 1924 Mending Socks depicted his grandmother, Emily Motley, a former slave, sitting with a quiet pride and refinement.

Motley was not so forward-looking that he ignored the complicated, painful slaveholding past. Mending Socks features part of a portrait of his grandmother’s mistress in the upper left corner, hanging over her.

As important as it was for Motley to capture history, it was equally, if not more, significant to him depict the spectrum of skin tones considered black. A blend of ethnicities himself, he was dedicated to painting “the whole gamut,” as he said, of African American complexions.

1920’s Mulatress with Figuring and Dutch Seascape and 1925’s The Octoroon Girl speak to his commitment of not only visually presenting multi-racial figures, but doing so in a way that showed them as refined, strong figures.

As the Whitney exhibition notes of Motley’s artistic interest in these portraits: “On the one hand, he believed that seeing themselves in art would help African Americans feel pride in their own racial identities; on the other, he hoped that seeing beautiful contemporary black subjects would dispel stereotypes and undermine racism.”...More…

Street Scene

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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24 Questions for White People From Black People

Amusing…and a few are on point…

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Don’t Argue With This Ref!

Argue with this Ref, you are not just out of the Park…

You are in the hospital or morgue!

A soccer referee in Brazil is facing serious disciplinary action after pulling out a gun on the field during the middle of an amateur regional league match. 

The shocking incident occurred over the weekend in the city of Brumadinho, according to The Telegraph. The referee, Gabriel Murta, was allegedly assaulted by members of visiting team Amantes de Bola before he went and got his gun.

Murta, who reportedly works as a police officer during the day, claims to have been kicked and slapped by the Amantes manager and his substitutes after they demanded a red card for a player on Brumadinho. Murta reacted to the attack by going to the locker rooms and returning with a gun, according to The Mirror.

When confronted, Murta wasted no time in pulling out the gun, keeping it down and to his side, but visible for all involved to see.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in News

 

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Along Came a Spider…Part 2

What is with these folks and spiders? There are only a couple of types in the USA which can hurt you, basically the Black/Brown Widow, or the Recluse…Which are fairly rare. They may be ugly – but for the most part they leave people alone.

So in mind of the woman who jumped out of a moving car with her child in it last wee, because of a spider…

We have this moron, who certainly killed the Spider in question…Along with his car and part of a gas station.

 

Man lights car on fire trying to kill spider with cigarette lighter

When a Michigan driver stopped at a gas station earlier this week, he spotted a spider on his gas tank. In a quick attempt to get rid of the spider, the man burned it with his cigarette lighter which caused his entire car to catch on fire.

Surveillance video from the Mobil gas station in Center Line shows first the gas pump, then the car becoming engulfed by flames as soon as the man strikes the lighter. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident.

The driver put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. In an attempt to explain his actions, he told authorities that he’s deathly afraid of spiders and therefore pulled his lighter out somewhat thoughtlessly in his moment of panic. Employee Susan Adams told Fox 2:

“He didn’t have a cigarette. He didn’t have anything on him. All of a sudden I look out and I see flames.”
Next time this man attempts to get rid of a spider, we suggest a simple shoe drop.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Nawwwwww!

 

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