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Gender: Male
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Member since: Thu Oct 6, 2011, 03:00 PM
Number of posts: 10,886

Journal Archives

"IA GOP Kingmaker Mickelson Wants To Bring Back Jim Crow-Era Voting Laws"

More: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/08/ia-gop-kingmaker-mickelson-wants-to-bring-back/203912

Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, the state's self-appointed vetter of GOP presidential candidates, recently told members of the League of Women Voters that it should be harder for people to vote, suggesting it be limited to state property owners or people who pass a civics test -- both of which were used to disenfranchise black voters and others in colonial America and the Jim Crow era.

On the June 4 broadcast of Mickelson in the Morning, Mickelson hosted two representatives of the League of Women Voters. During the discussion, Mickelson declared that unlike his guests, whose group works to register more Americans to vote, he is in "the voter repression business" and doesn't want people to vote "unless they agree" with him. He also suggested that in order to vote, Americans should have to pass a "civics test" to prove they're smart enough.

Later in the show, in response to a caller's comment about who should be eligible to vote on property tax ballot issues, Mickelson suggested that only people who pay property taxes -- i.e., property owners -- should be allowed to do so, which would effectively exclude local citizens who are students or renters.

Mickelson's suggestions are a stunning endorsement of disfavored economic restrictions on the right to vote that are now presumptively unconstitutional. Owning property was a prerequisite for white males to vote in colonial America, but eventually gave way to a law requiring voters to be taxpayers. However, by the 1850's, even the tax-paying requirement was phased out in most states. Despite passage of the 15th Amendment, which sought to eliminate that litmus test, some groups, including women and African-Americans, were still denied the vote.

"Akon Launches Solar Academy That Will Supply Electricity to 600M People in Africa"

When he’s not singing or producing music, Akon is busy providing sustainable living options to people in African countries. The Senegalese-American singer’s initiative, appropriately called Akon Lighting Africa, aims to supply electricity to 600 million people in Africa who lack it with the launch of the Solar Academy.

Located in Bamako, Mali, the Solar Academy will help African engineers and entrepreneurs develop skills that will enable them to produce solar power. Experts will be on hand to help the participants with training and equipment, according to a Reuters report.

According to Akon Lighting Africa, the goal of the academy is to teach people how to maintain solar-powered electricity systems and microgrids. Both systems have been growing quickly in rural parts of Africa. In a continent that has 320 days of sun a year, roping in its natural resources will be valuable to the solar-energy efforts.

“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise,” said Samba Baithily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.

"The Straw Feminist"

"Why are there still no women coaching men’s sports?"

More: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/09/female_coaches_why_aren_t_there_more_women_in_charge_of_men_s_teams_.html

Near the end of the trailer for Wildcats, a 1986 sports comedy with a 13 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, a voice-over actor informs prospective moviegoers that during the film, “Goldie Hawn tackles the impossible.” The movie is about a woman who coaches a men’s football team, and the implication is that such an endeavor equates to doing that which is undoable.

Sadly, that disembodied voice from the mid-’80s was on to something. Huge numbers of otherwise reasonable people, in 2012, simply take it as a given that women couldn’t possibly coach men’s sports teams. And so, regardless of ability, talent, or potential outcomes, a woman who aspires to lead a high-level men’s team is actually reaching for the near impossible.

There are exactly zero women working as coaches for the 122 teams playing in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL. Zero head coaches, zero assistant coaches, zero assistant to the assistant coaches. The average NFL team employs 18 coaches. Major League Baseball teams have six coaches and a manager. Most NHL teams carry at least four coaches, and a typical NBA squad has one head coach and four to six assistants. All together, that’s more than 1,000 jobs ... all held by men. To state it another way: 50.8 percent of the U.S. population has virtually no shot of becoming men’s football, baseball, basketball, or hockey coaches at any level that would involve payment for services due.

Women coach women’s teams at all levels. But so do men. In fact, the percentage of women’s college teams coached by women, for instance, has shrunk considerably since the passage and implementation of Title IX. (In 1972, 90 percent of women’s college teams were coached by women—that number is now down to 42.9 percent. And according to this ESPN story, men have been hired for 68.5 percent of the college women’s team coaching openings filled since 2000.) This is by no means meant to suggest that coaching men’s teams should be valued more highly than coaching women’s teams or represent the ultimate goal for a coach. The point here is simply that choosing a coach from an inherently flawed and unnecessarily narrow universe of candidates is probably not the best way to proceed. Not to mention that coaching women generally pays far less than coaching men.

"Black artist will burn, bury the Confederate flag across the South on Memorial Day"

More: http://thegrio.com/2015/05/22/artist-john-sims-burn-bury-confederate-flag/

Can you think of a better way for a black man to spend Memorial Day than to burn a Confederate flag?

As was reported in the Orlando Sentinel, an artist will do exactly that, with plans to make it happen in all the states throughout the former Confederacy.

John Sims, an artist from Sarasota, Florida, is honoring the constitutional right of self-expression by staging burnings and burials of the Rebel flag, that troublesome symbol of the Old South that many, particularly African-Americans, associate with slavery, white supremacy and state-sponsored terrorism and lynchings.

“We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag [they want],” Sims said. “And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.”

One of my bros texted me this:


Something to think about.

Geraldo Rivera at the Baltimore Protest


"Yordano Ventura at center of another Royals brawl, this time with White Sox"

More: http://www.sbnation.com/2015/4/23/8486821/yodano-ventura-royals-white-sox-brawl

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura found himself in the middle of a benches-clearing incident for the third straight start on Thursday night, this time against the Chicago White Sox. At the end of the seventh inning, White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton grounded a ball back to Ventura to end the inning. Before throwing to first base, though, Ventura and Eaton exchanged words, which soon escalated into both benches and bullpens emptying. After the ensuing melee, five players were ejected -- Ventura, Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez for the Royals, and Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija for the White Sox. Like Ventura, Sale, who started for the White Sox on Thursday, allowed two runs in seven innings before getting ejected. Ventura, 23, was available to pitch on Thursday because he somehow avoided suspension for throwing at Brett Lawrie of the Athletics on Saturday in Kansas City. Ventura was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for hitting Lawrie in the fourth inning of that game. But it goes back even further for Ventura, who took exception to a Mike Trout line drive single in Anaheim on April 12. Trout later scored in that inning, and Ventura exchanged words with the MVP, leading to another bench-clearing altercation.

"Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy"

More: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/18/3647978/neil-degrasse-tysons-new-show-will-blow-your-mind-on-4-20/

What will you be doing on Monday, 4/20, at 11 p.m.?

Perhaps watching the premiere of acclaimed astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new show StarTalk. Tyson, who may be best known for hosting the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in 2014, will now be appearing weekly on the National Geographic Channel in what may be the first late-night science talk show. Along with a trusty cast of comedians and science-minded folks like Bill Nye, Tyson hopes the adaptation of his popular podcast to a broadcast format will make getting a regular dose of science as pain-free as possible. He thinks that by embedding it between pop culture discussions and entertaining asides, the science will go down easy, and even leave you wanting more. And he’s right.

The first episode features an interview with George Takei, who requires no introduction to any Star Trek fans: he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. Takei has also become known for his activism surrounding human rights. Other guests this season include President Jimmy Carter, director Christopher Nolan, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Ariana Huffington.

ThinkProgress was lucky enough to snag a few minutes of Tyson’s time to ask him about his new show, his feelings on how the media covers science, what we can do about climate change, and more.

"Simpsons Showrunner to Ted Cruz: We Don’t Love You Back"

Link: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/simpsons-showrunner-to-ted-cruz-we-dont-love-you-back/
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) may love the Simpsons, but the Simpsons (or at least their creators) may not love him back.

During a podcast with The Federalist‘s Ben Domenech, Cruz told The Daily Beast‘s Washington bureau chief Will Rahn that he was indeed a Simpsons fanatic, and as proof, cited his two favorite episodes: “‘Round Springfield,” which originated the famous post-9/11 French slur “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”, and “Treehouse of Horror VII,” in which the aliens Kang and Kodos take over the bodies of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. (These are, incidentally, the Cruz-iest episodes Cruz could like.)

But alas, much like the relationship between Chris Christie and Bruce Springsteen, this relationship is purely one-sided:

“To paraphrase Kang, ‘Ted Cruz?’ Go ahead, throw your vote away,” Simpsons showrunner Al Jean told The Daily Beast, using one of the senator’s favorite episodes against him.
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