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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 10:58 AM
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“What would America be like if we loved black people as much as black culture?”

Source: Raw Story

One of the stars of the Hunger Games movie series called several pop stars on the carpet for appropriating black culture in a nearly 5-minute critique of the music and fashion industries, NBC News reported.

“The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred,” 16-year-old Amandla Stenberg says in the video. “But here’s the thing: Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves. Appropriation occurs when the appropriator is not aware of the deep significance of the culture that they are partaking in.”

The video, titled “Don’t Cash Crop My Corn Rows,” began as a school project but got wider attention after being posted online. Stenberg shows clips of singers Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry engaging in the behavior in both their attire and, in Cyrus’ case, her emphasis on “twerking” while using black women as “props.”

“What would America be like if we loved black people as much as black culture?” Stenberg asks.


Iowa bishop issues oddly detailed death threat from pulpit — but he won’t reveal target

Source: Raw Story

A bishop in Des Moines, Iowa is coming under fire after a video of him making detailed death threats to an unknown person started circulating online, WHO-TV reports.

In the video, Bishop Jeremiah Reed of the Des Moines Apostolic Temple claims that someone has been calling him in an attempt to “mess with him” — but that it would be in this person’s best interest to stop.

“We’ve got telephone calls,” he said in the video, “and I am holding folk back. Ain’t nobody that big in the world that cannot be hunted down. I got folk that will hunt you, put you in the cornfield, or drop you in the river with a weight on you, or cut your tongue out and leave it on your chest.”

“That’s the kind of connections I have,” Reed continued. “I want people to know that I’m not a playboy.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/watch-iowa-bishop-issues-oddly-detailed-death-threat-from-pulpit-but-he-wont-reveal-target/

Chicago Elections Chief Got Lobbying Contracts from Rahm Emanuel's Administration

Source: International Business Times

If Chicago’s first mayoral runoff in history ends up razor close on April 7, the city will be relying on a purportedly independent arbiter to oversee any recount. But that arbiter, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, is chaired by a politically-connected lawyer whose firm has received secret city lobbying contracts from incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. After receiving those contracts, the chairman has already used his power to boost the mayor’s allies against anti-Emanuel challengers in other municipal elections.

Board chairman Langdon Neal was appointed to his position by the Cook County Circuit Court, not by any city official -- a structure that is supposed to preserve the board’s independence from candidates for municipal office. However, the laws establishing the election commission do not prohibit Neal from getting contracts from the mayor, whose election he will oversee. How much he has made from those contracts remains a closely guarded secret: the Emanuel administration has denied an open records request for the terms of the deals, refusing to respond to International Business Times within the timeframe mandated by Illinois law.

The only details that have been disclosed are in city lobbying records, which show that Neal’s law firm, Neal & Leroy, was awarded three lobbying contracts from Chicago Public Schools, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, and the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago at the beginning of 2012. Neal himself was listed as a lobbyist for the agencies in the city’s disclosure database in 2012, and the most recent city records show Neal is registered as a lobbyist for the agencies in 2015. All three agencies that gave Neal & Leroy lobbying contracts are controlled by Emanuel’s appointees.

A 2013 advisory opinion from Cook County officials said Neal's dual roles as an election overseer and a registered lobbyist contracted by Chicago does not violate county ethics rules. Ethics experts, though, say that the financial links between Neal and Emanuel's administration present an inherent problem for an election official who is supposed to be independent from the candidates running for office.

“The type of relationship that Neal & Leroy has with Chicago governmental authorities presents a conflict of interest and should be illegal,” said Dick Simpson, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/chicago-elections-chief-got-lobbying-contracts-rahm-emanuels-administration-1869898?utm_content=bufferaa011&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’

Source: The New York Times

In December, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, made his debut as an on-air contributor on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” offering his outsider’s perspective, as a biracial South African, on the United States.

“I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” he said with a smile. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days, back home.”

Now, after only three appearances on that Comedy Central show, Mr. Noah has gotten a huge and unexpected promotion. On Monday, Comedy Central will announce that Mr. Noah has been chosen as the new host of “The Daily Show,” succeeding Mr. Stewart after he steps down later this year.

The network’s selection of Mr. Noah comes less than two months after Mr. Stewart, 52, revealed on Feb. 10 that he was leaving “The Daily Show” after a highly successful 16-year run that transformed the show into authoritative, satirical comedy on current events. (An exact timetable for Mr. Stewart’s departure has not been decided, Comedy Central said.)

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/arts/television/trevor-noah-to-succeed-jon-stewart-on-the-daily-show.html?src=twr&_r=1

... Kerry Washington's Breathtaking Speech On LGBT Equality: 'Our Definition Of Humanity Is At Stake

Source: Crooks and Liars


"I think some stuff needs to be said," Washington noted with loud approval from the crowd. "There are those of us that to varying degrees do not . We don't have equal access to education, to health care. And some other basic liberties, like marriage, a fair voting process, fair hiring practices."

"Now, you would think that those that are kept from our full rights of citizenship would band together," she continued. "But history tells us that, no, often we don't. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people. We have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other.'"


"So when black people today tell me that they don't believe in gay marriage... the first thing that I say is 'Please don't let anybody try to get you to vote against your own best interest by feeding you messages of hate.' Then I say 'you know people used to say stuff like that about you and your love.'"

"We can't say we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other's existence and the truth of each other's hearts," Washington pointed out. "As long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable."

Read more: http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/watch-kerry-washingtons-breathtaking

Daddy's girl

Uptown Funk Treadmill Dance

What Ontario students will learn in new sex-ed classes

Source: Toronto Star

The Ontario government has unveiled the first update to the province’s sex education curriculum since 1998.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has vowed that the updated curriculum will be in place in public and Catholic schools this September.

“We’re very committed to this,” Wynne told reporters on Monday.

The changes will impact students from Grade 1 to Grade 12.

Grade 1

Students in Grade 1 will be taught the proper names for body parts – something child-abuse investigators have long urged.

They will also learn how to recognize non-verbal signals, such as facial expressions and tone of voice, to better communicate with others.

Grade 2

In Grade 2, students will learn about bodily changes and development, verbal and physical violence, and the concept that “no means no.”

Grades 3-4

Grade 3 students will learn about same-sex relationships, while the physical, emotional and social impacts of puberty will move from Grade 5 to Grade 4.

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/02/23/what-ontarios-students-will-learn-with-the-updated-sex-education-curriculum.html

What a healthy and responsible curriculum that deals with the realities that children will face as they mature.

Can you even imagine how this curriculum would go over in the states... right-wing heads would explode!

Republican Presidential Hopeful Says There’s No Such Thing As A War Crime

Source: Think Progress

Ben Carson, who is considering mounting a campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said Monday that the United States should not hesitate to put boots on the ground to defeat the Islamic State — and that they should be free to fight them without any fear of prosecution for their actions whatsoever.

In a Fox News interview, Carson offered a broad criticism President Obama’s handling of national security. Asked how he would take on ISIS were he president, the neurosurgeon voewed he would “not hesitate to put boots on the ground.” He then suggested that the military should not be micromanaged or subject to any war crimes law:

CARSON: Our military needs to know that they’re not gonna be prosecuted when they come back, because somebody has, said “You did something that was politically incorrect.” There is no such thing as a politically correct war. We need to grow up, we need to mature. If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/security/2015/02/16/3623391/ben-carson-no-war-crimes-rules/

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