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In The News / Chicago Moors minister convicted of tax fraud
« on: September 13, 2017, 06:18:38 pm »
Nowadays you have splinter sects of splinter sects, so I have no idea what the "center" of the Moorish movement is currently, but anyway...

a self-described Moorish “Grand Sheik,” who led a sovereign-citizen-style fraud scheme seeking more than $100 million in tax refunds, has been sentenced to 68 months in federal prison.

Marcel A. Walton, 47, of Chicago, received the sentence last Friday in U.S. District Court where he earlier pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in the scheme that actually “stole” $2 million in bogus refunds from the U.S. Treasury.

The case is one of the largest successful tax-fraud prosecutions brought against a leader in the Moorish movement — an offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement that primarily attracts African-Americas.

“The defendant identified [a] vulnerability in the IRS’s trust tax return processing system and orchestrated a massive tax scheme to exploit that vulnerability by filing numerous false returns,” court documents say.

Seven of his followers previously were sentenced to relatively short prison terms.

“It is also noteworthy that, while the government is the direct victim of the crime, all citizens and residents of the United States ultimately suffer the consequences of this type of criminal conduct,” federal prosecutors said in court filings.

Walton headed the Moorish Science Temple of America, based in Chicago, and worked for the city’s parks department since 2004.  He told his followers that if they became members of his temple, they could claim money purportedly owed to the Moors by the U.S. government.

Walton claimed his Moorish ancestors discovered America and that Moorish prophet “Noble Drew Ali” was given the deed to all lands making up North America, court documents say.

Further, he contended that modern-day Moors, such as himself, were entitled to back pay, tax refunds or reparations from the federal government for its “use of Moorish lands.” The next step, Walton said, entitled his followers  to file retro-active tax returns seeking refunds of  as much $900,000 each.

At least 17 of Walton’s followers filed an estimated 50 returns seeking more than $16.4 million dollars in refunds and obtained $3.3 million in refunds before federal investigators detected the fraud scheme and recovered $852,221, the court documents say.

The government limited its loss calculations to instances where Walton’s  role was corroborated by interviews with his temple members.

“However, it is likely that this calculation under represents the harm intended to be caused by defendant as defendant can otherwise be linked through various public filings to individuals who filed fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds exceeding $100 million,” the court documents say.   

For his assistance, Walton urged his followers to “tithe” 10 percent of the tax returns they received to him. Walton also personally participated in the fraud scheme.

In 2010, the documents say he filed fraudulent IRS returns, using the name “Marcel Antonio Walton Trust,” seeking approximately $300,000 for each of the years 2007 through 2009.

In early 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a $310,162 refund check to the  “Marcel Antonio Walton  Trust,” and mailed it to the defendant’s home address in Chicago.

“Over the course of the next several months, defendant converted all of the money to his own personal use,” the court documents say.

Walton “preyed upon” his “unsophisticated” followers and their vulnerabilities in the same manner that he preyed upon the United States and the vulnerabilities of the IRS’s tax filing system, the documents say.

Directing / Colin Trevorrow exits Star Wars pt. 9
« on: September 05, 2017, 03:33:52 pm »
Director Colin Trevorrow has exited Star Wars: Episode IX.

Lucasfilm and Disney released an official statement on the subject, which originally appeared on

Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.

RELATED: Star Wars: Leia Was Going to be at the Forefront of Episode IX

Just last month, British screenwriter Jack Thorne boarded the film, which was originally penned by Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and later by Trevorrow and his writing partner
Derek Connolly. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “script issues have continued to be the continuing sore spot with Episode IX’s development,” as Trevorrow attempted several drafts for the
film. Additionally, the working relationship between Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Trevorrow reportedly became “unmanageable.”

Trevorrow’s departure follows the behind-the-scenes turbulence on the Han Solo anthology film. In June, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were removed from the Star Wars anthology movie in the middle of filming. Director Ron Howard was later hired to complete the project.

Trevorrow was tapped as director for Episode IX in 2015 after his success on Jurassic World. Though Jurassic World was a resounding success at the box office, earning a whopping $1.6 billion, his followup film The Book of Henry was considered a flop both critically and financially.

Scheduled to hit theaters on May 24, 2019, Star Wars: Episode IX is a production of Lucasfilm and likely starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.


new director needed: Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton, Reggie Hudlin, make it happen Disney!

Other Comics / Comics and Fascism
« on: September 04, 2017, 07:26:01 pm »

Superheroes And The F-Word: Grappling With The Ugly Truth Under The Capes


November 16, 2016·9:39 AM ET 

 Glen Weldon 
Twitter  Tumblr     

Superheroes preserve the status quo, employ symbolic visual imagery, have flawless bodies and use their powers to place themselves above the law. Are they just fascists in tights?

yogysic/Getty Images

Superheroes preserve the status quo, employ symbolic visual imagery, have flawless bodies and use their powers to place themselves above the law. Are they just fascists in tights?

Superheroes are democratic ideals.

They exist to express what's noblest about us: selflessness, sacrifice, a commitment to protect those who need protection, and to empower the powerless.

Superheroes are fascist ideals.

They exist to symbolize the notion that might equals right, that a select few should dictate the fate of the world, and that the status quo is to be protected at all costs.

Both of these things are true, and inextricably bound up with one another — but they weren't always.

Truth, Jawlines And The American Way: The Changing Face Of Superman

Monkey See

 Truth, Jawlines And The American Way: The Changing Face Of Superman
When he debuted in 1938, Superman was, briefly, a progressive icon. He sprang, after all, from the minds of two Jewish kids in Cleveland warily watching the rise of Hitler in Europe. In his first year of life, they sent their "Champion of the Oppressed" (his very first nickname, years before "Man of Steel") after corrupt Senators, war-mongering foreign leaders, weapons merchants, and crooked stockbrokers. He purposefully razed a slum to force the city government to provide better low-income housing. (He also launched one-man crusades against slot machines, reckless drivers, and cheating college football teams, which ... yeah. Guy kept busy.)

Both Captain America and Wonder Woman were created expressly to fight the Nazi threat. Literally, to fight it — to punch it right in its dumb Ratzi face.

Batman, on the other hand, spent much of his first year protecting only his city's wealthy elite from murder plots, jewel thieves and extortion. (Also werewolves and madmen with Napoleon complexes piloting death-blimps. Comics, guys!) It took him a while to turn his attention to the kind of petty crime that afflicted the common citizen — the arrival of Robin the Boy Wonder helped him focus.

But with the advent of World War II, Superman, Batman and other costumed heroes found themselves conscripted alongside Captain America. Not to fight the Axis themselves, mind you, but to root out stateside saboteurs and urge readers to plant Victory gardens and buy war bonds.

In the process, the visual iconography of superheroes — which, comics being comics, is 50% of the formula, remember — melded with that of patriotic imagery. This continued for decades after the war, as once-progressive heroes like Superman came to symbolize bedrock Eisenhower-era American values — the American Way — in addition to notions of Truth and Justice.

The Wertham Era

'Caped Crusade' Peeks Under Batman's Iconic Cowl

Book Reviews

 'Caped Crusade' Peeks Under Batman's Iconic Cowl
Yet there was always something about superheroes, and Superman in particular. He'd helped inspire the country to defeat fascism, but he looked like he did — the kind of idealized male musculature the Nazis fetishized — and he possessed "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men." What's more, he used said powers and abilities against those comparatively weak and frail mortal men, if they stepped out of line. He also came from an advanced planet peopled by a — and here's a pesky phrase that kept cropping up in Superman comics — "super-race."

It wasn't intended, but it was there. People noticed.

One person in particular: Dr. Fredric Wertham, who in his 1954 anti-comics screed Seduction of the Innocent, noted that Superman's whole schtick was hurting criminals without getting hurt himself, and dubbed him an "un-American fascist" symbol. It hit a nerve.

Wertham's crusade changed the industry completely, effectively ending crime and horror comics and shuttering many comics publishers, but the changes to superhero comics — and their fascist overtones — proved more subtle. Suddenly Superman's powers didn't derive from his "super-race" genetics, but from science: the rays of Earth's yellow sun, to be specific. But Batman, who'd been deputized by Gotham's Police Department as early as 1941, grew even chummier with the cops; most stories now began with an urgent plea for help from a worrisomely hapless Commissioner Gordon.

The Marvel Era

Wertham's concerns about the fascistic elements in superhero comics were about themes and implications, not actual text. Because at the time, kids were the primary audience for comics, which presented stark, simple morality plays — light versus darkness, good versus evil. More abstract qualities like characterization, psychology and any overtly political context simply never showed up in a given comic.

That changed when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the Fantastic Four in 1961 and, especially, when Lee and Ditko created Spider-Man in 1962. The men recognized that a demographic shift was underway — older teenagers and adults were now buying comics. So Lee, Ditko and Kirby created a roster of heroes whose troubled lives reflected those of their readership: conflicted, quarrelsome and deeply insecure.

Comic book creator Stan Lee in the Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles in 2006.   
 Damian Dovarganes/AP
And with the words "With great power comes great responsibility" (Amazing Fantasy #15, August 1962), Lee introduced a concept that greatly mitigated, for Spider-Man at any rate, the fascism baked-in to the superhero genre: sacrifice.

Previously, superheroes had paid lip-service to the notion of selflessness. The altruism they exhibited was reflexive and unquestioned, a part of the narrative infrastructure as essential to the genre as colored underpants. This was because that altruism hadn't needed to be questioned, as superhero stories were still simple stories to reassure children that good always triumphed over evil.

The fact that their tremendous powers and abilities shielded superheroes — often literally — from experiencing any lasting harm also served to undermine their status as truly heroic.

Lee and his co-creators cut against that tendency by showing Peter Parker really suffering — before, during and after his decision to be Spider-Man. Soon, Marvel comics teemed with mopey, hot-headed, angst-ridden heroes whose powers and abilities only served to complicate their lives, and deepen their baseline misery.

It took DC heroes like Superman and Batman a while to catch on to this trend, but when they did, they doubled down on it. Superman entered an era in which he lost and gained his powers with metronomic regularity, and Batman became a tortured obsessive.

Super-Fascism As Plot Point

In the 1980s and afterward, as superhero comics shed their child readership and turned in on themselves to cater exclusively to teens and adults, the dawning of the "grim-and-gritty" era meant that the fascism latent in the superhero genre became one of its chief storylines. In books like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Empire, Civil War and many others, creators explicitly grappled with how heroes exert their will when their penchant for benign intervention becomes ... less-than-benign. In monthly comics and one-shot tales set in alternative universes, scores of superheroes became dictators (often for "the greater good") and crushed any insurrection that would upset their status quo.

'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds

Movie Reviews

 'Steel' Trap: Snyder's Superman, Between Worlds
Both this year's Batman v. Superman and Captain America: Civil War revolve around a non-powered billionaire attempting to rein in a rogue superhuman, and both engage in the by-now inevitable chin-stroking about freedom and government control.

Today, fascism has more potential tools in its arsenal than ever, and the cinematic superhero glut we now find ourselves in reflects that: again and again, these movies offer symbolic, dark-mirror reflections of the surveillance state.

A Changing Superhero Landscape

Although conceived in a progressive spirit, the superhero genre's central narrative has always been one of defending the status quo through overpowering might; in the vast majority of those cases, the one doing all that defending and overpowering is a straight white male. (This is just one of the reasons that the superhero genre, which has a knack for distilling American culture to its essence, can get a little on-the-nose, sometimes.)

More often than not, the straight white male in question has a square jaw and killer abs and holds vast amount of power but chooses not to use it to subjugate others, simply because he's a Good Person.

Which is to say: historically, the genre's organizing principle is that the only thing keeping fascism from happening is that straight white dudes are chill.

But slowly, incrementally, as comics (and movies, and tv shows, and games, t-shirts and coffee mugs) start to fill up with more characters like Ms. Marvel (a Pakistani-American teenage girl from Jersey City), the visual iconography of superheroes, and what those superheroes mean to the culture, will force the genre to do something it has historically resisted.

It will change.

And once superheroes look different, and once the world on the comics page more closely resembles the world off of it, you will still be able to discern the low but steady drumbeat of fascism that the genre has never been able to escape.

But it will grow lower, and less steady.

Feel The Funk / Rural Rap: Hick-Hop in the Trump Era
« on: September 02, 2017, 06:13:25 pm »
West Coast rapper Murs explores the presence of "hick-hop" in the midst of a rise in controversies over the Confederate flag and seething red-state resentments in the Trump era--

From a journalistic standpoint it’s intriguing. Much like the Detroit-grown Insane Clown Posse/ICP, the so-called “hick-hop” groups and solo acts are Caucasian rap music performers who have cultivated careers that manage to thrive without seemingly much, if any, of a relationship with the minority demographics that created and nurtured hip-hop in its earliest years (e.g. black, Latino). Most of them operate on independent labels, which in this era of Itunes, YouTube and streaming-platform-based promotion (Spotify, etc.), would seem to be an advantage and a balancing force compared to the resources afforded to the music acts signed to major corporate labels. I guess we'll see how this sub-genre evolves-- if at all-- are some of them doing trap-style records?


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Locally, Kid Rock continues to tease his theoretical bid for the GOP senate seat in 2018-- but in the meanwhile, he's scheduled to perform for six nights in a row at the newly constructed Little Caesar's Arena in downtown Detroit.  The stadium was largely subsidized with roughly $324 million in city money, against an estimated $800+ million overall cost for Olympia Entertainment (Aside from owning the Little Caesar's pizza corporation, the Ilitch Family owns the Red Wings hockey team and the Tigers baseball team).

There will be a Kid Rock- themed restaurant (!!!) in the arena that will be open for business throughout the year, apart from any sports games.
Kid Rock 2017, "Podunk"

Editorial from the Detroit Free Press

When the Ilitch family's Olympia Entertainment division chose divisive performer Kid Rock to christen Little Caesars Arena with six shows and a new restaurant, it sent a message to the Detroiters who made the project possible and who have yet to see the benefits promised. It's a message that's not too far off those Jim Crow-era signs warning that blacks weren't welcome.

Negro, go home.

That's what it feels like, at least. And for weeks, I've been struggling to come up with an alternative, less wounding interpretation. But how can I?

More: Little Caesars Arena, District Detroit: A look at what's planned
Henderson: How to rebuild Detroit? One block at a time

This is a musician who got rich off crass cultural appropriation of black music, who used to wrap his brand in the Confederate flag — a symbol inextricably linked to racism, no matter what its defenders say — and who has repeatedly issued profane denouncements of the very idea of African Americans pushing back against American inequality. Just last week, he trashed Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who's jobless right now because he dared challenge the nation's racism with a silent, kneeling protest during the pre-football game singing of the national anthem.

Having Kid Rock open this arena is erecting a sturdy middle finger to Detroiters — nothing less. And the Ilitches, who've done so much for this city and also taken so much from it, should be the last to embrace that kind of signaling.

This isn't about music and whether Kid Rock is any good. Lots of people can argue, legitimately, about that.


Sam Riddle calls out 'hypocritical' Detroit Red Wings for hosting Kid Rock

It's about culture — our culture, in our city. This is a place of incredible, rich diversity, of immigrants and native peoples and the descendants of slaves, all hardened by our history but resilient and powerful in our determination for a bright future.

"I love America, I love Detroit and I love black people!" Kid Rock said in 2011, when the local NAACP gave him an award — he gave $50,000 to Detroit-based organizations —purportedly in the hopes that he'd change some of his antics. He did, while the positive publicity lasted.

But Kid Rock’s actions, the symbols he chooses and the stances he favors — the dog whistle racism about Kaepernick, the twisted nods to the Confederate flag as a symbol of American pride — are incompatible with the pro-Detroit platitudes he sometimes mouths.

This is a man who is exploitative and resentful of the city’s population, not a man who is for Detroit and Detroiters.

It's hurtful. It's disrespectful. And in the context of the current national racial strife, born of racist torch marches, of presidential equivocations, and of a prolonged debate about the presence of racist history in our midst, I think the Kid Rock extravaganza at a new Detroit arena is absolutely nuts.

I can admit to having just come to this position on this issue lately. Back when Kid Rock was announced as the arena's opening act, it bugged me, but didn't register as much more than an annoyance.

Henderson: What's the source for white anger on display in Charlottesville?
Nancy Kaffer: A call to action after 1967 Detroit riot goes largely unheard

Then Charlottesville happened. And then the president of the United States tried to muddy the national conversation on race by indulging false equivalencies between violent white supremacists and those who fight back against them.

And through all that, Kid Rock's top billing at the arena opening began to chafe even more. Then he opened his mouth.

At a concert a few weeks ago, while performing the song "Born Free," he broke into the lyrics to declare, "F-ck Colin Kaepernick," something he has done pretty consistently, it turns out, since Kaepernick first started kneeling in the fall of 2016.

There are certainly reasonable people who object to Kaepernick's chosen vehicle for protest — the flag, and the anthem.

But Kid Rock's reaction is not a reasoned objection. It's just an ignorant and racist sentiment couched in awww-shucks patriotism, precisely the kind of thing that has characterized so much of his career.

Back when he used to incorporate the Confederate flag into his performances, he said he "never flew that flag with hate in my heart."

That doesn't even make sense. But it speaks to the power of his commercial cynicism. Play to the bigots who'll cheer the explicit signaling. Pretend to the rest of the world that it's just about feeling good about America — as if you can invoke the most racist parts of American culture without being stained by them.

That hypocrisy also echoes in Kid Rock's musical evolution, from a wanna-be hip-hop artist, eager to capitalize on the genre's commercial success, to a bold celebrant of what might politely be called the culture of white resentment. He follows the money — and the message can be tailored to preserve the cash flow.

And this is the note on which Olympia and the Ilitches want to open our new arena?

I say "our" quite purposefully there, because Detroiters — of all hues and beliefs and economic class — have leveraged our financial future, pledging some $324.1 million in future tax dollars — including proceeds from a tax meant to support public schools — to help pay for this $863-million stadium.

We've also put our faith in the Ilitch family — again — to come through on the big promises they've made about what we would get in return.

That's not turning out the way we imagined, either.

The Ilitches pledged to ensure that 50% of the work done to construct this arena would go to Detroiters, a modestly fair proffer for all the tax dollars that went in.

But that target was missed by almost half, for many reasons, and $2.9 million in fines were levied against the companies who landed arena contracts.

The Ilitches also promised that this arena would be built simultaneously with the other developments that would make up the new District Detroit neighborhood.

This echoed their promise back in the early 1990s surrounding Comerica Park, pitched as a catalyst that would ignite development akin to Wrigleyville on the north side of Chicago.

That never happened, of course, and as the new arena prepares to open, nearly all of the promised development outside of the Ilitch investments — the new Little Caesars headquarters on Woodward, the new Wayne State Business School next to the arena and a slew of parking lots — are still if-come. 

And that makes Kid Rock's opening appearances even more insulting.

Detroit has given artistic birth to so many performers whose work appeals across racial, class and musical barriers. Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger — any one of them could have been the kind of choice that made all of Detroit proud.

Kid Rock could — and probably should — draw significant protests, launched from a community that has grown tired of being told its concerns don't matter, even when our money is used for something built in our own backyard.

It will be an inauspicious start, to say the least.

And the signal it sends won't be appreciated — or easily forgotten.

Correction: The original version of this column said Kid Rock gave $100,000 to the NAACP. He made those donations to other Detroit-based organizations and to the American Red Cross.

Hudlin TV / Anna Diop cast ast Starfire in Teen Titans TV show!
« on: August 24, 2017, 06:09:53 am »

Legacy alumna Anna Diop has landed one of the leads, the series-regular role of Starfire, in the new live-action series Titans, from Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros TV. She joins Australian newcomer Teagan Croft, who was cast as another lead, Raven, in the series that’s slated to premiere in 2018 as part of the inaugural slate of a new DC-branded direct-to-consumer digital service.


'Titans': Teagan Croft Cast As Raven In Live-Action Series For DC Digital Service

Written by Goldsman, DC Entertainment’s Johns and Berlanti, Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be superheroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In the action-adventure series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes that includes Starfire, Raven and others.

Diop’s Starfire (aka Koriand’r) is an alien princess from a warrior planet who seeks asylum on Earth. A no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners stranger on our world, she has the ability to shoot energy bolts and fly. Searching for her place on Earth, she’ll come into contact with the Titans.

Goldsman, Johns and Berlanti Prods’ Berlanti and Schechter executive produce Titans, from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros Television.

Diop, repped by Abrams Artists Agency, co-starred on Fox’s 24: Legacy and was a series regular on the CW’s The Messengers. She also recurred on ABC’s Quantico and OWN’s Greenleaf.

Vox Populi / Die Hard Trump Supporters Still Die Hard
« on: August 19, 2017, 06:38:07 pm »
Oh, good lord.. somebody would find a black woman to represent for the Trumptonian demographic-- sheesh, beloved.. way to turn off your brain.. (yeah, I went there.. I don't care..).  You can be "conservative" all you want, you can be Republican, but dammit...  ::)

Parson Hicks, 35, a strong supporter of President Trump, dismissed the moral outrage at his remarks about violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the past week.

For Parson Hicks, a health care finance executive who supports President Trump, this past week has felt a little like déjà vu. Mr. Trump says something. His opponents howl and then predict, with certainty, a point of no return.

The last time this happened, she said, was in October with the notorious “Access Hollywood” recording of Mr. Trump talking lewdly about women. His opponents were sure he was finished. His supporters knew better.

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“Let’s be honest, the people who are currently outraged are the same people who have always been outraged,” said Ms. Hicks, 35, a lifelong Republican who lives in Boston. “The media makes it seem like something has changed, when in reality nothing has.”

It was a week of incessant tumult, when Mr. Trump tumbled into open warfare with some in his own party over his statements on the violence in Charlottesville, Va.; business executives abandoned his advisory councils; top military leaders pointedly made statements denouncing racism in a way he did not; and his embattled chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, stepped down. But around the country, Mr. Trump’s supporters — and, according to many polls, Republicans more broadly — agreed with his interpretation of a swirl of racially charged events and stood with him amid still more clatter and churn.

Sixty-seven percent of Republicans said they approved of the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville last weekend, compared with just 10 percent of Democrats, according to a CBS News survey conducted over the past week.

It’s an indication of what now seems an almost immutable law of the Trump presidency. There are signs that Mr. Trump’s support among Republican leaders and some Republican voters is weakening. But in an increasingly tribal America, with people on the left and the right getting information from different sources and seeing the same facts in different ways, it reflects the way Mr. Trump has become in many ways both symbol and chief agitator of a divided nation.

Moral outrage at Mr. Trump’s response to Charlottesville continues to glow white hot, but it has a largely partisan tinge.

From Ms. Hicks’s perspective, the president simply pointed out a fact: Leftists bore some responsibility for the violence, too. Of course, Nazis and white supremacists are bad, she said. But she does not believe Mr. Trump has any affinity for them. He said so himself. But she is exasperated that a significant part of the country seems to think otherwise. The week’s frenzied headlines read to her like bulletins from another planet.

“I feel like I am in a bizarro universe where no one but me is thinking logically,” she said. “We have gone so off the rails of what this conversation is about.”

Ms. Hicks, who is black and grew up in Charlotte, N.C., welcomes the public soul-searching on the meaning of Confederate monuments. She believes that the statues were erected to intimidate black people and that they should be taken down. But instead of focusing on that, she sees opponents of Mr. Trump focusing on Mr. Trump.

“This is not about me as a black person, and my history,” she said. “This is about this president and wanting to take him down because you don’t like him.”

Mr. Bannon’s departure was more noise that didn’t mean much, she said. “The show is going to go on.”

Much of what powers the love for Mr. Trump among his core supporters is his boxer’s approach to the political class in Washington and to the news media, a group that in their eyes has approached them with a double standard and a sneering sense of superiority for years.

Larry Laughlin, a retired businessman from a Minneapolis suburb, compares Mr. Trump to a high school senior who could “walk up to the table with the jocks and the cheerleaders and put them in their place.” That is something that the “nerds and the losers, whose dads are unemployed and moms are working in the cafeteria,” could never do. Mr. Trump may be rich, he said, but actually belonged at the nerd table.

“The guys who wouldn’t like me wouldn’t like Trump,” he said. “The guys who were condescending to him were condescending to me.

“I feel like I’m watching my uncle up there. Where me and Chuck Schumer — that’s like going to the dentist,” he added, referring to the Democratic leader in the Senate.

Gregory Kline, 46, a lawyer in Severna Park, Md., who is a Republican, said he did not vote for Mr. Trump but understands that part of the president’s support comes from fury at the left, particularly the media. When there is an attack by Muslim terrorists, for example, the media reaches for pundits who say most Muslims are good. But when it is a white supremacist, “every conservative is lumped in with him,” he said.

“It’s not that people are deaf and dumb and don’t see it,” he said of Mr. Trump’s sometimes erratic behavior. “It’s that they don’t care. I’ve heard rational people I really respect make the craziest apologies for this president because they are sick of getting beat on and they are happy he’s fighting back.”

Is there anything Mr. Trump could do that would change the minds of his supporters? For the most loyal, probably not. A recent Monmouth University poll found that, of the current 41 percent of Americans who approve of the job he is doing, 61 percent say they cannot see Mr. Trump doing anything that would make them disapprove of him. (A similar share of the other side says there is nothing Mr. Trump could do — other than resigning — to get them to like him.)

But for many others, support is conditional. (Mr. Trump’s poll numbers have dropped considerably since he took office in January.) Michael Dye, a 52-year-old engineer who is the treasurer for the Republican Party in Annapolis, Md., said he was “a bit stunned” that Mr. Trump had not focused more on condemning what was a large neo-Nazi march through the middle of the University of Virginia, Mr. Dye’s alma mater.

“At best it is naïve to think that the people showing up for the original protest were there simply because they were upset that this statue was being taken down,” said Mr. Dye, who said he voted reluctantly for Mr. Trump.

Of the chant “Jews will not replace us,” he said: “You can argue that it was 10 percent of the crowd. But there are those types in there and I’ve got a problem with that and I wish he’d specified that.”

Even with his reservations, Mr. Dye said he would still vote for Mr. Trump. He wants his party to hold the reins and steer policy, and if Mr. Trump is the only route to that, he will take it.

Partisanship is now so deep that what we see depends entirely on who is looking. So when Mr. Trump said there had been “violence on both sides,” Democrats — and some Republicans — heard a dangerous moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and the people who opposed them. But for many Trump supporters, his words appealed to a basic sense of fairness.

“Anyone who was fair-minded could see that there was violence on both sides,” said John McIntosh, 76, who lives in New Bern, N.C., and voted for Mr. Trump. He said that did not excuse the driver of the car that killed a counterprotester and injured many others.

When those who were horrified tried to convince those who were not, it did not go well.

“Everybody is like, how can you not see it, he’s a total white supremacist, a total Nazi,” said Debra Skoog, a retired executive in Minneapolis and a lifelong Democrat who voted for Mr. Trump. “I just don’t see it that way. I don’t find his language as incriminating as some people do.”

Yascha Mounk, a political scientist at Harvard University who writes about democracy, said partisanship in the United States today is dangerously deep.

“It’s now at a stage where a lot of Americans have such a loyalty to their political tribe that they are willing to go along with deeply undemocratic behavior,” he said. “If their guy says, ‘I think we should push back the election for a few years because of a possible terrorist attack,’ I fear that a significant part of the population would go along with it.”

And in a polarized nation, many see a moment, full of passion on both sides, in which actions like taking down statues in the dead of night — as happened in Baltimore on Wednesday — are just bound to lead to more division.

“People who see this stuff going down the memory hole as quickly as it is happening feel unsettled by it,” Mr. Kline said. “The left doesn’t realize that the reaction a lot of people would have is to sit back and say, ‘Wait a minute, what’s going on here?’ ”

Vox Populi / Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« on: August 16, 2017, 09:55:54 am »
@Supreme, let us know how folks in Phoenix respond to this-- hopefully there will be some protests, people letting 45 know that he's a horrible human being   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump plans to rally supporters in Phoenix next week.

Trump's campaign announced the event Wednesday — a day after the president blamed "both sides" for weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators.

The campaign says the Aug. 22 rally will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The president has been holding campaign-style events in Trump-friendly areas since he took office. Next week's rally will be Trump's first in the West.

Trump told Fox News in an interview this week that he may pardon Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh), the former Phoenix-area sheriff who recently was convicted in federal court.

A federal judge ruled in 2013 that Arpaio's officers had racially profiled Latinos. Critics say a pardon would amount to an endorsement of racism.

Vox Populi / Clarence Thomas Clerks & the White House
« on: August 03, 2017, 12:14:34 pm »

There’s a reason Clarence Thomas writes so many solo dissents and concurrences. The second-longest-tenured justice on the Supreme Court has spent more than 25 years staking out a right-wing worldview that can generously be described as idiosyncratic. Thomas’ Constitution is one that gives a president at war the powers of a king while depriving Congress of any meaningful ability to regulate the country. His opposition to the very existence of much of the federal regulatory state, too, has never quite found five votes on the court. No other justice, except perhaps Neil Gorsuch if he continues down his current path, would carry his conservative principles to such an extreme position with regard to presidential authority and congressional constraint.

Now a judge who’s spent his career teetering off the right edge of the federal bench finds himself at the center of the table. Thomas was on hand at the inauguration to swear in Vice President Mike Pence, using the same Bible that Ronald Reagan used when he was sworn in for both of his terms as president. But Thomas is more than just the Trump administration’s philosophical hero. His once-fringy ideas are suddenly flourishing—not only on the high court, through his alliance with Gorsuch, but also in the executive branch.

Donald Trump’s crude understanding of the United States government aligns startlingly well with Thomas’ sophisticated political worldview. The president’s belief that the commander in chief can wage war in whatever way he wishes corresponds neatly to Thomas’ theory of the “unitary executive,” and his visceral hostility to the Affordable Care Act dovetails with Thomas’ abhorrence of the federal social safety net. The two men also share an absolutist opposition to gun control, a belief that the government may favor and promote Christianity over other faiths, a deep skepticism of the elite academic establishment, and a nostalgia for the perceived America of yesteryear. Both take a hard-line stance against illegal immigration and show little concern for the rights of individuals accused of terrorism. Thomas is a thinker and Trump is a feeler, but together they have arrived at similar conclusions. They want less government, a more authoritarian executive, more God, fewer racial entitlements, and more guns.

While Trump may share Thomas’ intuitions, he is far too witless to grasp, let alone implement, the justice’s complex theories of law. And save for the occasional ruling in the administration’s favor, there isn’t much Thomas can do directly to guide the course of Trump’s presidency. Nevertheless, the justice’s fingerprints are all over the executive branch. That’s because he’s trained a small army of acolytes to implement his larger project of shrinking the regulatory state and fighting back against the supposed chokehold of political correctness. (It’s exactly this scourge of “political correctness,” both Trump and Thomas would have you believe, that allowed claims of improper sexual conduct to briefly overshadow their professional accomplishments.)

Everywhere you turn in Trumpland, you’ll find a slew of Thomas’ former clerks in high places. They are serving in the White House counsel’s office (Greg Katsas, John Eisenberg, David Morrell); awaiting appointment to the federal judiciary (Allison H. Eid, David Stras); leading the departments of the Treasury (Heath P. Tarbert, Sigal Mandelker) and Transportation (Steven G. Bradbury); defending the travel ban in court (Jeffrey Wall); and heading the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (Neomi Rao). Thomas clerks are also working with dark money groups to execute Trump’s agenda (Carrie Severino) and boosting him in the far-right media (Laura Ingraham).
Jeffrey Wall 

Former Thomas clerk Jeffrey Wall is now Trump’s acting solicitor general.

Department of Justice

In an era in which former clerks seem, on balance, to be drifting away from Washington jobs, a whole lot of members of the old Thomas crew are moving back home. It’s near impossible to count every former Supreme Court clerk who is now playing a role in the sprawling executive branch, but it’s easy to see that an enormous number of Thomas protégés are stepping into positions of immense power. Every expert we spoke to, among them the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin, agreed the Trump administration has brought on a striking number of Thomas clerks.

To be sure, a number of clerks who trained under Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and other conservative justices have taken jobs with the government. But Stephen Vladeck, who teaches law at the University of Texas and serves as a Supreme Court analyst for CNN, says it’s instructive to compare the career paths of clerks who worked for Thomas and those who served under Scalia. The latter, Vladeck says, have gravitated more toward the conservative establishment—institutions like law schools and legal foundations. The Thomas clerks, who have “a bit more of a libertarian or populist streak,” are a more logical fit for the key legal jobs serving the Trump White House. It is the Thomas alums that have risen to prominence in the past six months, and they are working zealously to put their mentor’s ideas into action.

Consider Wall, Trump’s acting solicitor general, who left his law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, to join the administration. Wall is the attorney who, back in May, so adroitly argued the travel ban case before the lower federal appeals courts and aggressively litigated the case in pleadings this summer at the Supreme Court. It was Wall who insisted on the “presumption of regularity” in the litigation, cautioning the judges to focus on the long tradition of deference to executive authority—especially in the realm of national security—and to ignore Trump’s incendiary tweets and campaign statements.

Wall has said that the judges for whom he has clerked are still his “close friends.” Perhaps most significantly, at an event last year celebrating Thomas’ 25th anniversary on the court, Wall defended the justice’s singular relevance and influence, rejecting any criticism that Thomas hasn’t had a profound impact on the court as “pernicious and wrongheaded.” (He’s quite right about that; liberals consistently underestimate Thomas’ influence.) Describing his former boss as an “intellectual catalyst,” Wall said that Thomas “is content to sow ideas that result later in changes in the law.”

That’s precisely the influence we are now seeing at work across the federal government. In arguing the travel ban cases, Wall insisted that limiting Muslim immigrants’ access to the United States does not amount to unlawful animus, that the president must have near-total authority to control the nation’s borders, and that his decisions must not be second-guessed by the courts. These are classic Thomas principles, and the justice himself embraced them in a partial dissent when the court allowed only part of the ban to take effect.

Thomas’ influence can also be seen in the work of Neomi Rao, whom the Senate recently confirmed to lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Until her appointment as Trump’s regulatory czar, Rao served as a professor at George Mason University’s law school—an institution that, at Rao’s urging, was recently renamed in honor of Antonin Scalia. Rao has devoted her academic career to criticizing the administrative state—the web of agencies and committees that promulgate federal regulations. Her attacks on the government sit at the intersection of two quintessential Thomas principles: an aversion to regulations (especially labor and environmental rules) and a hostility toward limits on executive authority.
Neomi Rao 

Former Thomas clerk Neomi Rao is set to lead the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Screenshot via YouTube

Rao believes, for instance, that independent agencies are unconstitutional. These commissions—which include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Federal Reserve—flourish in part because they are removed from political pressures. Rao would like to change that. She believes that since these agencies are part of the executive branch, the president must be empowered to fire and replace their leaders.

 Thomas sees his clerks as trainees in a very specific ideological program.

It seems extremely likely that Rao has been placed in her perch at OIRA not only to bust traditional agency regulations but also to bring independent agency rules under her purview. While her office does not currently review rules by independent agencies, she has argued that it should. Thomas has strongly suggested that all agencies within the executive branch, independent or not, must ultimately be accountable to the president. If Rao gives herself veto power over these agencies’ rules, she will bring Thomas’ vision a step closer to the reality. In the process, she could nullify whatever vestiges of liberalism are still lingering from the Obama era. For example, the EEOC recently took the position that federal law protects gay employees, directly contradicting Trump’s Justice Department. If Rao’s view wins out, Trump could fire as many EEOC commissioners as he needs to in order to reverse the agency’s position. Thomas, who takes a dim view of nondiscrimination law and gay rights, would be doubly proud.

The justice must already be delighted at the work of his former clerk Allison Eid, whom Trump has nominated to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Eid currently serves on the Colorado Supreme Court, where she established her conservative bona fides by dissenting from a ruling that prohibited the state from sending public funds to private religious schools. The court’s decision was compelled by the Colorado Constitution, which bars the government from spending “any public fund or moneys … to help support or sustain any school … controlled by any church or sectarian denomination.” But according to Eid, this constitutional bar on public funding of parochial schools was likely motivated by unconstitutional animus toward religion—even though its plain text indicates nothing more than a desire to observe the separation of church and state.

Eid’s dissent, which she wrote in 2015, maps neatly onto Thomas’ own concurrence in 2017’s Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. In Trinity, the court ruled that Missouri could not deny a grant to a Christian school solely on account of its “religious character.” (A day after the court decided Trinity, it vacated the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision on parochial schools, effectively vindicating Eid’s dissent.) Thomas asserted that the court had not gone far enough in Trinity: He wrote that the government may never “discriminate against religion” by refusing to subsidize houses of worship and sectarian programs. Thomas, like Eid, appears to believe that when a state declines to fund religious activity—even out of respect for the Establishment Clause—it engages in unconstitutional discrimination. When Eid is confirmed, he will gain a critical ally in his fight for ever-more entanglement between church and state. And she will be the first of many Trump picks who are as immutable in their views as their former bosses. This is a movement and a cause, not just constitutional theory.
Allison H. Eid 

Trump has nominated former Thomas clerk Allison H. Eid to the 10th Circuit.

Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Thomas, who has described his clerks as his “little family,” sees them as trainees in a very specific ideological program. He famously invites them to watch The Fountainhead at his home each year and has taken them on annual trips to Gettysburg to reflect on what he views as the conservative lessons of the Civil War. He also tutors his clerks on his judicial philosophy, instilling in them a profound reverence for his own vision of the rule of law.

It’s no surprise that so many of Thomas’ clerks share a belief system with their former boss, and with each other. Thomas is known to be ideologically rigid when it comes to hiring (and in everything else). Prior to 2013, every clerk he’d brought on during his Supreme Court tenure had first served under an appellate-level judge who’d been appointed by a Republican president.* Even Scalia occasionally hired “counter-clerks,” liberal-leaning men and women who had clerked for Democratic appointees on lower courts. Thomas has expressed no interest in this kind of ideological diversity. (To his credit, he does value educational diversity, intentionally hiring clerks from lower-ranked schools. Compare that with Scalia, who was openly biased against schools outside the T14.)

 Trump’s reactionary view of conservatism is causing a schism at the Supreme Court.

Like all justices, Thomas tends to get his clerks from a handful of feeder judges. Thomas’ chief feeders are J. Michael Luttig and J. Harvie Wilkinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Laurence Silberman and David Sentelle of the D.C. Circuit, Edith Jones of the 5th Circuit, and William Pryor of the 11th Circuit—all rock-ribbed conservatives except for Wilkinson, who has recently drifted to the center. By drawing from this pool, Thomas ensures he won’t hear many progressive counterpoints to his conservative instincts. And that’s OK with him. Thomas has said that picking clerks is like “selecting mates in a foxhole,” explaining: “I won’t hire clerks who have profound disagreements with me. It’s like trying to train a pig. It wastes your time, and it aggravates the pig.”

While Thomas is famously one of the most personable justices on the high court—the stories of his generosity to former clerks and court staff are myriad—he has also cultivated a with-us-or-against-us mindset that owes more to AM radio than George Will, and that maps perfectly onto Trump’s Fox News–inflected worldview. Thomas is close buddies with Rush Limbaugh (he officiated at Limbaugh’s third wedding) as well as fringe radio dogmatist Mark Levin. Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman has described him as “the Tea Party of the Supreme Court.”
Donald Trump and Clarence Thomas 

President Trump shakes hands with Justice Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Capitol at the inauguration on Jan. 20.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Thomas does not travel in the same conservative legal circles as John Roberts. Throughout his campaign, Trump derided the chief justice as an open traitor to the conservative project, explaining that “what he did with Obamacare was disgraceful.” Trump called Roberts a “nightmare for conservatives” in January 2016 and claimed that he writes like a “dummy.” He has described Thomas, meanwhile, as his favorite justice, calling him “very strong and consistent.” We also know from a leaked email sent to the Daily Beast in February that Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, tried to organize conservative activists to defend Trump’s initial travel ban. This political activism did not preclude Thomas from participating in the court’s travel ban decisions, in which he has twice supported the president. There is a long-standing debate about whether Ginni Thomas’ political activities might affect her husband’s votes.

At the very least, the fact that she openly aligns herself with Trump—even as the rest of the justices try to ignore the unseemliness of it all—reflects his comfort with the Trumpian worldview.

It feels increasingly evident that Trump’s reactionary view of conservatism is causing a schism at the Supreme Court. Over the past two terms, a split has opened up between the two center-right justices, Roberts and Kennedy, and the three far-right justices, Samuel Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas. One explanation for the trend is that the center of the court is distancing itself from the hard-right crusaders, whom Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono recently dubbed “the three horsemen of the apocalypse.” This rift, if it continues, presages a possible split between the kinds of judges and justices Trump prefers—polemicists and bomb throwers—and the more traditional movement conservatives who have historically populated the federal bench. If Trump seeds the lower courts with judges like Allison Eid who share Thomas’ views, he stands to reshape the country for decades. That means that long after the Cabinet appointees and White House lawyers leave the scene, constitutional law will bear the thumbprints of Thomas and his clerks. Thanks to Trump, Thomas’ ideas—about the unitary executive, the wall between church and state, and so much more—will now surely outlive both men.

Both Trump and Thomas have spent decades as the brunt of liberal jokes and slights. Both see themselves as innocent victims of women and interest groups that have fabricated claims against them. Both have seen their ideas slip from the very fringes of political discourse into the ascendancy.

Now, Thomas stands as a symbol of what a faltering, lawless Trump may yet accomplish—if his supporters can turn a blind eye on the faltering lawlessness. At the precise moment in which the more than 120 vacancies on the federal courts may be the only reason for conservatives to hold their noses and stand by Trump, it’s Clarence Thomas who stands as a living embodiment of wars already won and triumphs yet to come.

 Top image: Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States and iStock.

 *Correction, Aug. 3, 2017: This story originally misstated that during his Supreme Court tenure, Clarence Thomas had never hired a clerk who’d served under a judge appointed by a president from the opposite party. Before 2013, Thomas had not brought on a clerk who’d worked under an appellate-level judge appointed by a Democrat.

Latest Flicks / "Detroit" film
« on: August 01, 2017, 05:17:11 pm »
The "Detroit" movie is pretty brutal, challenging to watch from start to finish; even with all of my foreknowledge about the various events of the rebellion, it's still very striking -- and rather infuriating-- to see this incident dramatized for essentially the first time some 50 years after the fact.  I watched it with my mom and her memories were still there of the incidents and  that era. And of course, all of the issues presented are still here and still having negative impact on city residents.

all the actors gave good performances- very notable is Will Poulter as Krauss (a pastiche of the real cop(s) who were on trial for murder)-- hard for me to believe this guy played the nerdy son in that We're the Millers film.
Another is John Boyega as security guard Melvin.  His character is presented with any number of opportunities to "go off", but (I don't think this is much of a spoiler) he doesn't.  Instead he just kind of semi-silently deals with it, possibly seeing that he's outnumbered and outgunned.  [There's also a vague connection to Star Wars' Finn in that both characters are reluctantly drawn into a big-deal conflict, but their attempts at "heroism" fall way short].  Jason Mitchell is memorable as Carl, who manages to become the inadvertent catalyst for the night of horror that awaits the folks at the Algiers.  Algee Smith plays Larry, an early member of the Dramatics whose life gets turned completely around by that night.
Anthony Mackie's role is a little smaller than you might assume, but he's solid as an ex-paratrooper who is among the victims of the interrogations.

Large parts of the film are still sickening to watch.  It's a very claustrophobic film once it gets to the hotel setting.  I'd have to classify it as a horror film as well as a "historical drama".

Not enough attention was paid to the "lead-up" to the riots, as well as the trial and the political aftermath in the city.  But of course, this was still 2.5 hours, and not everything could be said.

I'd give it an A- overall.  Hopefully when awards season comes around, this movie will get some acknowledgments for the director, actors, cinematography, and screenwriter.

Vox Populi / Kid Rock for Michigan Senate?
« on: July 27, 2017, 06:15:13 pm »
No.. No... Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!


When my name was thrown out there for US Senate I decided to launch I was beyond overwhelmed with the response I received from community leaders, D.C. pundits, and blue-collar folks that are just simply tired of the extreme left and right bullsh*t. As part of the excitement surrounding this possible campaign, I decided to take a hard look to see if there was real support for me as a candidate and my message or if it was just because it was a fresh new news story. The one thing I've seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it. We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America all while still calling out these jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians.

During this time while exploring my candidacy for US Senate, I am creating a 501(c)(4) - a non-profit organization for the promotion of voter registration. Not only can I raise money for this critical cause, but I can help get people registered to vote at my shows. Since the announcement, the media has speculated this was a ploy to sell shirts or promote something. I can tell you, I have no problem selling Kid Rock shirts and yes, I absolutely will use this media circus to sell/promote whatever I damn well please (many other politicians are doing the same thing, they just feed you a bunch of bullsh*t about it). But either way, money raised at this time through the sale of merchandise associated with this very possible campaign will go towards our 'register to vote' efforts.

One thing is for sure though…The democrats are 'shattin’ in their pantaloons' right now…and rightfully so!

We will be scheduling a press conference in the next 6 weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me… it’s game on mthrfkers.

-- Kid Rock


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Latest Flicks / SDCC: Fox will produce Dr. Doom movie
« on: July 20, 2017, 07:28:31 pm »

Well, the Fargo fellow is accomplished, yes?  I'm not familiar with him.

I wish that Priest would get the gig to write the script, also as ongoing writer for the Fantastic Four comics.

 ::) Whoo-boy.  Oh-kayy..... Well, I guess we'll see what happens.  If this were to be finally released, I would have to put in for vacation time if I were part of Disney's PR representation.. lol..   :P

Whoopi Goldberg was named the “surprise” Disney Legend Friday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, and she had some surprising things to say about the most infamous film in the studio’s history.

Asked by Yahoo Movies what her favorite Disney movie is, the View host and EGOT winner deferred picking favorites and instead brought up Song of the South, the 1946 Walt Disney-produced live-action/animated film that has remained unreleased for decades due to its racially insensitive portrayal of African Americans in the Reconstruction Era.

“I’m trying to find a way to get people to start having conservations about bringing Song of the South back,” she said of the film, which Disney has kept locked in its vault, refusing to issue either digitally or on disc. “So we can talk about what it was and where it came from and why it came out.”

Goldberg also pointed to the controversial crows in the 1941 animated classic Dumbo, “jive-talking” birds voiced by white men, one of which was named Jim Crow after the racial segregation laws.

“I want people to start putting crows in the merchandise, because those crows sing the song in Dumbo everybody remembers,” she said, referencing the tune “When I See an Elephant Fly.”

“I want to highlight all the little stuff people maybe miss in movies.”

Watch Goldberg’s fellow Disney Legend honoree Mark Hamill talk about his aspirations to work at Disneyland:

Vox Populi / Michael Eric Dyson, book on Pres. Obama
« on: July 12, 2017, 04:56:46 pm »
Anybody pick this up yet?  I'll have to get it soon and check it out.
Book Review: Michael Eric Dyson’s ‘The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America’
 March 29, 2016 · No comments
Culture · Tagged: activism, Culture, Ferguson, Michael Eric Dyson, President Barack Obama, Race, Shanita Hubbard, Trayvon Martin 

The Black Presidency book cover“If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.” President Obama’s empathy-filled words spoken after the murder of Travon Martin resonated deeply throughout black America. They conveyed a sense of “I feel what you feel” to African Americans who shed a tear over what felt like another lawful murder of a young black man. Such a message coming from the most powerful man in the world in reference to race was promising. It alluded to the possibility of having the Commander in Chief who would speak openly about the nation’s deepest racial woes and tackle the issues head on. Yet is this true? Do we have a president who is taking on race directly with great empathy for the black community?

In Michael Eric Dyson’s nuanced new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, the revered academic and cultural critic writes with candor, passion, and understanding about this nation’s first black President. True to his form as a professor, Dyson writes in a way that prompts readers to explore their own previously held cognitions about race in the era of Obama while sympathetically and honestly exploring how the president himself measured up on the difficult task of responding to race. From the protests in Ferguson to the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, to the controversy over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Michael Eric Dyson  leaves no stone unturned as he unpacks how President Obama has changed how he talks about race over the past seven years. Dyson examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events.

The brilliance of this book is how masterfully Dyson captures a proverbial conversation between generations of black Americans from a range of backgrounds. Imagine, if you will, a private conversation about President Obama that included an older relative who marched with Dr. King; a smart cousin who isn’t politically savvy but instinctively feels protective of the president; your respectability politics-loving aunt; the bell hooks-quoting sister; and your young black lives matter activist brother. This conversation would be passionate, challenging, smart and raw. Each person would speak about the president in a way that is unique to their perspective and offer balanced feedback. If moderated by a party that is fair, analytical, and politically knowledgeable, this conversation would be profound. Consider this book a sort of moderated conversation between the above- mentioned parties, offering the same profound and analytical discourse.

—Shanita Hubbard

Shanita Hubbard is a mom, writer, and social justice advocate. Follow her on Twitter.

Other Comics / Black Panel at 2017 Comic-Con San Diego
« on: July 09, 2017, 02:10:43 pm »
Whoever attends, let us know how it goes!  Kudos!

The Black Panel 

 The Black Panel is 20 years old. A new era begins with an unprecedented event. Panelists for the year’s 20th-anniversary forum will not be announced in advance. If you’ve never been to Michael Davis’s Black Panel, you wouldn’t know some of the biggest names in media have graced its stage. Who’s been chosen for this 20th-anniversary celebration? Non-ya. Don't get that? Here's a clue: Non-ya is a response, not a rapper.


Friday July 21, 2017 10:00am - 11:30am
Room 5AB

  1: Programs, Anniversaries,  Comics,  Education
Tags Anniversaries, Comics, Education

In The News / NABJ Convention in New Orleans 2017
« on: July 01, 2017, 08:02:53 am »
Ah, man... being held in New Orleans this year!  I know there will be some parties going down.. And the cast of Greenleaf and Queen Sugar will be in the house!   Wow.... Dang, wish I could make it down there.  Probably won't be able to, though... shoot...   :-[

2017 Convention

OWN'S Queen Sugar and Greenleaf Casts to Converge on #NABJ17

Today's the last day to save at the preregistration rates!
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30, 2017) -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce that the casts of OWN's "Greenleaf" and"Queen Sugar" are among those who will attend the annual A&E Task Force reception at the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans Aug. 9-13, 2017. NABJ even received a shout-out on this week's episode of "Queen Sugar" and by Director Ava DuVernay on Twitter.

Once again, the A&E Task Force will present their "How I Landed My Dream Job Before 30" panel, which will feature Justin Tinsley of ESPN's The Undefeated, Sylvia Obell of Buzzfeed and more for an in-depth conversation on how they landed at some of the biggest media brands before hitting a milestone age. Veteran broadcast journalist Tony Harris will be back to present new documentary Black and Blue, which is a timely look at the state of police affairs and race relations on the heels of the controversial verdicts involving police shootings this week.
Finally, take time to network with A&E members at the convention, including Task Force chair Kelley L. Carter of ESPN's The Undefeated, Gerrick Kennedy of the L.A. Times, Eric Deggans of NPR, Patrick Riley of talent agency ICM and more!
Have you registered for #NABJ17 yet?

Today is your last day to save as a pre-registrant!
With over 100 workshops and training sessions available, check out the list

here, about 3,000 professionals, educators and students from across the media industry will gather at #NABJ17. From the various trainings, to the Hall of Fame Luncheon, to the infamous Sports Task Force Jam, to the Salute to Excellence Awards, #NABJ17 is the place to be in August!
Register today and save!

Pre-Register by June 30 and save:  Discounted convention pre-registration rates are still available for the #NABJ17 Convention until June 30. Attendees who pre-register can save up to 30 percent and will have opportunity to participate in more than 75 workshops led by innovative companies including Facebook and Google. Click here for pricing details and to register.

Book Your Hotel Now: Our room block is quickly filling up. Reserve your hotel room at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott, our overflow hotel. For hotel booking instructions, click here.
Programming Notes: The NABJ Career Fair opens at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11. Wednesday is primed with a full day of professional development programming, including half- and full-day training sessions and standard workshops that registrants can take advantage of. Please note: Each individual workshop and convention-related programming will require a convention badge to enter the room. Be prepared and register today.
National Association of Black Journalists
1100 Knight Hall
Suite 3100
College Park, MD 20742
T: 301-405-0248
F: 301-314-1714

workshops schedule:

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