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The first reactions to 'Black Panther' promise a game-changing movie for Marvel

Source: Vox, by Alex Abad-Santos


The hard truth is that there have been 17 Marvel movies (including Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvelís joint venture with Sony), and none of them have had a woman or person of color as the titular or central character. That will finally change with Black Panther, the first Marvel movie about a black superhero. (Marvel Studios didnít own the rights to Blade until 2013.) And judging by the first reactions to film, which had its world premiere Monday night, itís a milestone many fans are more than ready to see Marvel pass.

One of the most prominent reactions among those who saw the film ó aside from how awesome the movie is ó was the feeling that they were seeing themselves onscreen for the first time.



In the comic books, TíChalla, a.k.a. Black Panther, is king of a fictional African country called Wakanda. Within the Marvel universe, Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet (if not the most), one that has repelled every attempt at invasion ó including intergalactic ones ó from anyone silly enough to think they could defeat the Wakandan forces.

Pride, power, and grace are synonymous to Wakanda and its king. Thatís a big part of what makes Black Panther so powerful, since these kinds of depictions of black identity ó superheroes, royalty, geniuses, warriors who have never been colonized ó have so rarely been seen in mainstream pop culture up to this point.

When it comes to superhero movie first reactions, Black Pantherís included, they all tend to shout the same chorus: that itís the best superhero movie ever. But in Black Pantherís case, thereís something deeper happening in how itís inspired these sorts of reflections on the power of representation. It may be a good movie, but more importantly, it may also be a movie that changes the game.

Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018.

Read it all at: https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/1/30/16950798/black-panther-marvel-first-reactions

February Premieres and Returning Favorites

Channel Zero: Butcher's Block Syfy, Feb 7, Wednesday, 10-9CT Another creepypasta original story from the internet!

Olympic Winter Games NBC(s), delayed broadcasts and live streaming, begins Feb 9, ends Feb 25

Here and Now HBO, Feb 11, Sunday, 9-8CT Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter? Give it a shot?

Homeland Showtime, Feb 11, Sunday, 9-8CT Season 7 - always watchable!

The Radical Story of Patty Hearst CNN, Feb 11, Sunday, 9-8CT Miniseries starts - an iconic story of the '70's.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver HBO, Feb 18, Sunday, 11-10CT

Ash vs. Evil Dead Starz, Feb 25, Sunday, 9-8CT Deadites and Lucy Lawless! What more do you want?

The Walking Dead (and Talking Dead) AMC, Feb 25, Sunday, 9-8CT FFS! Kill the bastid already, Rick!!!

Shoot the Messenger WGN, Feb 26, Monday, 10-9CT Interesting original stuff on WGN now!

Designated Survivor ABC, Feb 28, Wednesday, 10-9CT No, I'm not a snob!

Survivor: Ghost Island CBS, Feb 28, Wednesday, 8-7CT

Any other shows of note you want people to watch?

Alternative programming for Tuesday night 'SOTU' 2-hour block of time.

Sorry - Broadcast networks and cable news stations will be televising this "Festival of Lies" which is nothing more than a repeat (ad nauseum) of what we have been hearing for over a year now.

Basic cable selections

WGN: 'The Hulk' and 'Bellevue' - 'Bellevue' premier last week pretty interesting!

NFL Channel: rebroadcast of '2005 Superbowl,' New England v Philadelphia - *trigger warning*

AMC: 'Demolition Man' - *spoiler* - the present-day mysterious "Taco Bell" is featured in our future!

Syfy: 'The Goonies' - Yes, that's for people who NEVER watch the 'SOTU!'

Premium cable selections

Alt-HBO: "The Great Wall" as in China. This is probably what the Dotard imagined!

Alt-HBO: "Why Him?" - If that's still nagging at you.

Alt-Cinemax: "American Psycho" - Yeah, we knew what the deplorables were getting us into!

Alt-Showtime: "Scream" - ALWAYS appropriate.

Alt-Movie Channel: "Hell or High Water" - For those who do not enjoy escapism.

Don't forget 'On Demand' and 'Red Box' for something new!

Any one else find something good to watch?

New 'Go To Church or the Devil Will Get You' sign being erected on I-65

Source: AL.com, by Kelly Kazek

Many travelers along Interstate 65 have been wondering for more than a year what happened to the iconic sign with the image of a red-tailed Satan and the message "Go To Church or the Devil Will Get You." Whether passing motorists agreed with its sentiment, the sign was a well-known landmark that many will be happy to know is being replaced.

The sign, erected decades ago by W.S. "Bill" Newell, was toppled by a storm in fall of 2016. It was located on Newell's private property near the Verbena exit beside the north-bound lanes. Newell was known as a Christian and a patriot who enjoyed providing the message for motorists to contemplate.

Newell's sons, Sam and Keith, took over maintenance of the sign upon their father's death in 2009. A new signboard has been erected, this time closer to a picturesque mill waterwheel so that it is more visible to those traveling north, according to Althea Newell, wife of Sam Newell. The signboard is currently covered with blank, white paper.

Despite the fact that the original sign was damaged when it fell, the devil image was salvaged and will be used on the new sign, Mrs. Newell said. The message will be the same, likely with the exact wording as the original, she said.

Mrs. Newell didn't know when the message would be added to the new signboard, saying it depends on when crews at her husband's firm, Newell and Sons Construction in Montgomery, will be available to work on it.


Patriots conspiracy theories cheat truth about latest Super Bowl run

The New England Patriots and Tom Brady - the 'Hillary Clinton' of the NFL!

Source: Sporting News, by Bill Bender

The Patriots cheat. The NFL is rigged, and officials are in on it. The fix is in.

In other words, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and New England are heading to the Super Bowl again.

Conspiracy theories involving the Patriots have jumped the shark. Each cycle is more absurd than the last, and it has mutated into something almost as painful as the Patriots' long-term success is for many.

New England's success under Belichick and Brady created this irreversible phenomenon. And it's not like Duke or the Yankees ó it's much worse. Fans aren't rooting against the Patriots. They're too busy looking for flags. They're looking for controversy. They're looking for clues, like a ref patting Brady on the back; anything that allows a trip down the wormhole of the Spygate or Deflategate controversies, the asterisks that smear the NFL's greatest dynasty

There are two big issues the supposed fix doesn't address. One, the Patriots easily could be 0-4 in Super Bowls since Spygate. They lost twice to the Giants, and unless you believe Seattle's Russell Wilson intentionally tossed an interception at the goal line and Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan threw the game with play-calling, there is no cheat code for those New England victories. Had the Patriots lost those two games, the narrative around Belichick and Brady would be a hell of a lot different.

If the league is guilty of anything, it's allowing Patriots paranoia to permeate each year. Last week, there was the accidental NFL Facebook post that showed the Patriots and Vikings in the Super Bowl. Concepts such as "rigged" and "WWE" have been attached to the Patriots; the NFL villain that just won't die. Goodell hasn't done anything to stop the controversy, and the more the NFL becomes like pro wrestling, the less popular it will be with its football-first fans.

Read it all at: http://www.sportingnews.com/ca/nfl/news/new-england-patriots-conspiracy-cheaters-belichick-brady-spygate-deflategate/1umfy02l1pyl51wdzqjfelmt36

U.S. Civil Rights Trail (ICYMI)


The fight for American civil rights spanned decades, cities and states Ė from Topeka, Kansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma and Birmingham, and all the way to Washington, D.C. Chart the course of the Civil Rights Movement through the Civil Rights Trail that begins with the site of school integration and takes you to the scene of Bloody Sunday and finally the Supreme Court of the United States.

This website allows you to explore the destinations important to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as plan your journey to cities along the trail. On this site, youíll find places to see and things to do at each destination. Plus, youíll find in-depth explorations crafted to allow you to experience the destination or event in a more comprehensive way. Discover the trail. Discover the fight for civil rights. And make sure the true stories that changed history are never lost.

(U of) Alabama athletics brought in $174.3 million last year

Source: AL.com, by Michael Casagrande

University of Alabama athletics continues to be profitable and football remains the driving force, according to budget documents the school files annually with the NCAA.

The school made $15.6 million more than it spent in 2017, according to the document obtained by AL.com through open records requests.


In terms of football, the profit was $45.9 million with total revenue of $108.2 million
. With expenses rising last year, the profit was down $1.8 million from the 2016 report filed with the NCAA. The revenue, however, was up from $103.9 million in 2016.

For perspective, USA Today reported the University of Texas had revenue of $215 million in 2017 (compared to Alabama's $174.3 million). It was the highest revenue number in the 13 years of the newspaper's survey of athletics money, up from the previous record of $173.2 million Texas set in 2015.


Contributions accounted for $32.9 million. That could take a big hit in 2018 with the new tax plan passed by Congress and signed by the president. In the past, 80 percent of those contributions could be written off as charity donations.

That deduction is eliminated under the new tax plan, which will make things more difficult for athletics departments to raise money from donors.

Read it all at: http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2018/01/alabama_athletics_brought_in_1.html#incart_river_home_pop

The real reason DREAMers are at risk

Spoiler: Itís not Chuck Schumer.

Source: Vox, by Matthew Yglesias

The blame game has begun. Left-wing anger is growing at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats for backing down on their threat to keep the government closed unless Congress agreed to some legislative protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

But itís worth pointing out the obvious: Republicans are the people who have put the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers at risk.

The real reason Schumer and Senate Democrats are struggling to secure help for DREAMers is that there are only 49 of them in a 100-person body (and you need 60 to pass legislation), their colleagues in the House are even more disempowered than they are, and the executive branch is controlled by people who are fundamentally hostile to the cause.

The reason the DREAM Act failed in 2010 is that Republicans killed it. The reason comprehensive immigration reform failed in 2013 is that Republicans killed it. The reason DACA ended in 2017 is that Republicans killed it. And the reason that the bipartisan Durbin-Graham plan to help DREAMers hasnít been enacted in 2018 is that Republicans are blocking it.

The most important thing Senate Democrats can do on immigration with only 49 votes is block the passage of new, bad immigration laws unless they receive offsetting policy concessions. And they are doing that. The Trump administration knows that if it wants to secure changes to US immigration law, itís going to need to give Democrats help on DACA in exchange.

Read it all at: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/24/16927834/daca-deal-blame-game

Furloughed feds will receive back pay

The devil is always in the detail.

Source: AL.com, by Leada Gore

Federal workers will receive pay for the time they were off the job during the short-lived government shutdown.

The continuing resolution passed by Congress includes a measure that will grant back pay for federal workers who were furloughed at the start of the government shutdown at midnight on Saturday. Uniformed military personnel and federal workers deemed critical to ongoing functions were guaranteed back pay once the government opened. Workers who are furloughed, however, have no such guarantee and it takes Congressional action for them to be paid.

The bill also contains a pay guarantee for any other possible shutdowns in 2018, a provision that could be important with the current funding deal set to expire on Feb. 8.

Many federal workers arrived at work on Monday only to be sent home before Congress reached a spending agreement by late afternoon. In 2013, some 800,000 federal workers were furloughed - some as long as 16 days - during a shutdown. Back pay was granted in that case as well.


Annoy a jackass - watch some pro football today!

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots early game, CBS, 3-2CT.

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles 6:40, Fox, 5:40 CT.

Super Bowl in 2 weeks!

Take a break anyway. You know you need it!
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