Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beyoncé - XO


Anthony Rek LeCounte ― A Ballad of Fallen Choices

Anthony Rek LeCounte is a Yale-educated conservative. He blogs at Token Dissonance.
"Long ago, in another era of acrimonious government, there was something of a moral (or at least political) consensus in America that held the willful destruction of a human life, whether developing in the womb or already bequeathed into the world, to be a terrible act. Among conservatives and a great many liberals and independents, this conviction manifested in the pro-life movement. For Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party, the homage that abortion advocacy paid to life, even as the once and would-be future First Family barred a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat from that party’s convention for his pro-life views, was the now tatterdemalion campaign facade of, “Safe, Legal, and Rare.” Even Barack Obama echoed that throwback mantra as recently as 2010.

Whether 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will maintain the old formulation or condemn it with the extreme prejudice she has shown so many of her husband’s political stances remains unclear. After all, it has been absent from the Democratic Party platform since the Obama era, to the bemusement even of Democrats who consider themselves “pro-choice but not pro-abortion.” Yet it seems that pro-choice and pro-abortion activists are marching “forward” and taking public offense at the once quotidian supposition that abortions should be rare."

Read more:

Ayo Sogunro ― How would Africa be today if colonialism never happened?

Ayo Sogunro is a Nigerian social critic, human rights activist and writer. He is notable as an essayist and satirist with right-wing libertarian tendencies.

On Quora, I turned some attention to the “what if?” in alternate African history: How would Africa be today if colonialism never happened?
Africa would simply be (no) more or less like Europe or the Middle East is today.
Political Geography: A number of folks think the modern political geography would simply align with the ethnic groups in existence today. But this is unlikely. At the time the Europeans came, large African empires had already started assimilating small tribes or forming alliances with other large ethnicities. Languages would have further diffused and solidified until regional lingua franca are established. These empires and large tribes (like the historical Malian and Songhai, and the newer Oyo, Benin, Zulu, etc) would have maintained their military might to expand their territories and built even stronger city-states through regional commerce while also trading (slaves, minerals and other local commodities) with the Arabs and Europeans (who would have been forced to learn the local languages and acknowledge the regional administrations). Most likely, the Arabs would remain on the fringes of the Sahara while the Europeans stayed on the coast.

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Orphe Divougny ―The Job-Killing Impact of Minimum Wage Laws

Young Black Males and the Minimum Wage

For every 10 percent increase in minimum wage, employment for 16-19 year old black and Hispanic teens falls 6.6 %.
(Employment Policies Institute)

"Moreover, the estimates indicated that increases in the minimum wage tend to raise the probability that non-enrolled teenage workers become both non-enrolled and non-employed and reduce the probability that already non-enrolled/non-employed teenagers find a job; these results were especially pronounced for blacks and Hispanics and for individuals who had a lower wage prior to the increase in the minimum wage.

In sum, the evidence from this analysis suggested that the teenage employment elasticities typically reported in the literature likely understate the size of the disemployment effects on the lowestskilled workers, instead capturing net employment changes among a broader group of teenagers that mask labor-labor substitution."

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"Being Du Bois: Lessons in the Management of Identities"

Immigrants and African Americans

African Americans who migrated from the South to Chicago in 1918. Photo: Getty Images/Chicago History Museum

(Department of Sociology, Harvard University)

The experiences of African Americans and immigrants have long provided different, and sometimes contrasting, models with which the United States has understood racial and ethnic difference. In some historical moments, blacks and immigrants have made common cause in their struggle for inclusion (Parks & Warren 2012, Telles & Ortiz 2008). More often, however, they have been rivals or competitors, viewing their interests as standing in opposition. Indeed, since the early twentieth century, African American scholars have often noted that the successful incorporation of immigrants into American society, and perhaps even their social recognition as whites, was connected to their differentiation from blacks (Du Bois 1920, Frazier 1966 [1939]).

In recent years, historians have picked up this notion, pointing to immigrants’ achievement of “whiteness” in large part by distancing themselves from African Americans as a key factor in their upward mobility (Ignatiev 1995; Roediger 1994, 2005). Other observers have argued that applying this contemporary racial lens creates an oversimplified and anachronistic understanding of past immigrants’ incorporation experiences (see Alba 2005, Fox & Guglielmo 2012, Jacobson 1998). Nevertheless, most would agree that immigrant progress has often come, at least in part, at the expense of African Americans.

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Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men

No black politician should vote for immigration reform until they read this Harvard study.

Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men
George J. Borjas, Harvard University
Jeffrey Grogger, University of Chicago
Gordon H. Hanson, University of California, San Diego
Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

"The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates.

As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 2.5 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 5.9 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by 1.3 percentage points."

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You ain't even black!!!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kentucky ― Matt Bevin's Lt. Governor's running mate, Jenean Hampton

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Republican Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

The New York Times:

In 1988, on the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Patterson, a Republican, became a senior judge in 1998, but never officially retired. In 1990, Judge Patterson ruled that the New York City Transit Authority could not require drug testing of all its employees, only those with safety-related jobs. That same year, he declared unconstitutional proposed federal restrictions on access to telephone-pornography services. 

 Judge Patterson had no qualms about sentencing the former president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo, to prison for nearly six years in a money-laundering case in 2013. But he was vexed by federal guidelines that forced him to impose a sentence of two years and three months in 2003 on a South Korean immigrant, a postal worker who had fired seven shots from a handgun at the United Nations building to protest North Korea’s treatment of its citizens. The judge said the man was making a political statement rather than intending to inflict injury.

Read more

NAACP Loses Battle to Silence Black Pro-Lifer Who Bashed Its Pro-Abortion Stance


The NAACP has lost its legal battle to silence a black pro-life writer who parodied its pro-abortion stance by referring to the NAACP as the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People.”
Today, the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned that decision and ruled in favor of full free speech rights for Bomberger, his group the Radiance Foundation, and Judge Harvey Wilkinson wrote the opinion on behalf of the three-judge panel that unanimously ruled against the NAACP.

Quote of the Day

"Most conservatives like to think that they have principles that are color-blind: the eternal verities and such. I think this is a kind of self-flattery that excuses historical ignorance on our part. Enslavement stripped Africans of their ethnicities, their languages, and their religion. That means more than any one other group in this country African-Americans are a people created by the history of our nation and its politics: commerce, slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, the civil rights movement. It is a naïveté bordering on psychosis to suggest that black politics should conform to some imagined color-blind set of principles. Just junk that and start reaching out into the black community. I sense a real hunger on their part for political competition for their vote and support. 

 There is an absolutely electrifying intellectual tradition of black self-sufficiency and independence that is a good fit within a big-tent conservatism. And it is larger than Booker T. Washington. Zora Neal Hurston endorsed Robert Taft in the 1950s. Malcolm X was in many ways both more radical than King and more conservative too. This tradition is not at all color-blind, but it is localist, communitarian, religious (Muslim and Christian), and entrepreneurial. I also think conservatives should start political discussions on our drug war, on prison reform, and on policing that can and should help us re-connect with African Americans."


Michael Brendan Dougherty is senior correspondent at He is the founder and editor of The Slurve, a newsletter about baseball.

Akil Alleyne ― Obama's Proposed Resolution for War On ISIS is Unconstitutional

For some more background, check out my article on the last permission slip for war that President Obama requested from Congress:

J. Hunter ― To What Degree Does College Matter?

(From Black & Red)

Usually, presidential candidates hail from an incestuous web of elite universities–Yale and Harvard, predominant among them. Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, however, wishes to become president of the United States without that distinction. In fact, Walker dropped out of college, never earning a bachelor’s degree (So did Rand Paul, by the way). For some, Walker’s missing sheepskin disqualifies him for serious consideration in the presidential race. That view is wrong.
Susan Milligan writes a piece in U.S. News and World Report that reflects some of the apprehension felt about potentially nominating, and even electing, the degree-less Governor Walker. Chidike Okeem, a conservative blogger, more vehemently rejects Walker’s candidacy in light of his academic deficiency. He calls the notion “beyond absurdity,” and writes that conservatives who dismiss Walker’s degree-critics as elitists “show the embarrassing way in which anti-intellectualism is treated as a sought-after virtue within mainstream conservatism.”

Mahalia Jackson ― Keep Your Hand on the Plow

Phumlani M. UMajozi ― Markets should drive job creation in South Africa

The South African libertarian blogger writes about South Africa's rising unemployment.


(Policy Debates)

"WHEN I visit home in Kwa-Zulu Natal, I’m always saddened by seeing young unemployed people wandering around the township streets. Amongst these young people, there are many I grew up with. Some ask me for money, and I do help if I can. Most of them do search for jobs but to no avail. 

They end up giving up on the search; not only because they become disenchanted, but also because it becomes more and more expensive to look for employment. They have to pay for the travel costs, pay for access to the internet and pay for documenting their resumes. 
The process to look for employment can be tedious and expensive, especially when jobs are hard to find. The disillusionment and hopelessness experienced by my fellow mates in my neighbourhood, can be felt by millions of young people around South Africa."

Read more:

Justice Reform in the Deep South

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Miss. CreditMeggan Haller for The New York Times

From the editorial board of The New York Times:

It has been getting easier by the day for politicians to talk about fixing the nation’s broken criminal justice system. But when states in the Deep South, which have long had some of the country’s harshest penal systems, make significant sentencing and prison reforms, you know something has changed. 

Almost all of these deep-red states have made changes to their justice systems in the last few years, and in doing so they have run laps around Congress, which continues to dither on the passage of any meaningful reform. Lawmakers in Alabama, for example, voted nearly unanimously early this month to approve a criminal justice bill. Alabama prisons are stuffed to nearly double capacity, endangering the health and lives of the inmates, and the cost of mass imprisonment is crippling the state budget at no discernible benefit to public safety.

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Professor John H. Mcwhorter and Professor Glenn Loury discuss Baltimore.

Glenn Loury (Brown University) and John McWhorter (Time, Columbia University) discuss Baltimore. 

Stephen L. Carter ― Why Voters Are Loyal to the Clinton Brand

Stephen L. Carter, a Bloomberg View columnist, is a professor of law at Yale University.

(Bloomberg View)

Have the questions swirling around the finances of the Clinton Foundation damaged Hillary Clinton’s brand? Many observers seem to think so. That word -- “brand” -- keeps popping up. Yet polls showthat voters continue to lean her way. When pundits express surprise at Clinton’s staying power, they are misunderstanding how brands work. Once we see what it actually means to have a brand, we will see why a rational Clinton supporter would be reluctant to switch. 

To start with, why do brands matter? Consider a consumer who goes into the pharmacy to buy toothpaste. She wants to buy her favorite brand. She finds it on the shelf, pays her money and leaves. Chances are that her favorite brand was not the lowest priced among the various available toothpastes. It might not even have been the most effective at cleaning teeth. But it was the brand she was familiar with. 

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Jarvis DeBerry ― Republicans need more than the South to win the White House

Editorial writer and columnist for / The Times-Picayune

From The Times-Picayune:

As Rep. Tom Davis was preparing to retire from Congress in November 2008, the moderate Republican from Virginia had some less than sunny things to say about the GOP. "We've become a regional party," he said, " basically become a white, rural, regional party, and not a national party. And we're going to have to retool ourselves."

It's been almost seven years since Davis made that remark. Has his party been able to spread out since then? If you look at the states represented by the declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, not really.

Christian Mays ― Will the Black Republicans Please Stand Up?

The former Republican opines about the state of Black conservatism within today's Republican Party.   

(The Detroit News)

 Carson joins a near-extinct list in today's politics of African Americans publicly supporting the GOP. That wouldn't have been the case 50, or even 20, years ago. Black Republicans had a distinguished history of moderate conservatism, civil rights advocacy, and a very talented pool of political statesmen and women that represented the best of our community. Today, that history is rapidly disappearing and being replaced with mediocre politicians who pander to right wing talking points, and unfortunately it looks like Carson is going to be no better. 

He adds: Black Republicans today are portrayed as race traitors, self-hating, and out-of-touch with the majority of African Americans, especially on race relations and politics. For most of the Obama administration, those who have been given a pedestal or position to speak from have done a horrible job at erasing that stigma. Supporting policies that decrease the chance of students of color from going to great universities, shortening unemployment benefits for families who have fallen on hard times, voting in favor of stricter voting laws that directly affect minorities, staying silent when colleagues of your own party make racist statements about your community and the president. Many of the black Republicans on television seem more comfortable talking about corporate taxes and the super-rich than they are about the issues of police brutality, lack of education, and poverty.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Stocks Up On Guns and Ammo Now

Don't say that I've never warned you. Smart gun owners stock up on ammo when the prices are low and stay out of the market when panic is in full swing.