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In private discussions, Gawker staff have been unable to agree on the color of the goddamn dress or develop a workable theory as to why it appears different colors to different people. With that in mind, please take our own poll below, and remember, there's only one right answer
http://gawker.com/...

Over 800,000 people have taken the poll.
My daughter and I disagree about the colors.
What do you see?

Poll

I see

38%233 votes
61%371 votes

| 604 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Zendaya Coleman, a beautiful 18 year-old-entertainer, wore dreadlocks to the Oscar Awards   Show. She was just glowingly, adorably beautiful.

What was the response from the fashion police over at E! News Entertainment? Giuliana Rancic had this to say:

In case you missed it, Mrs Rancic thinks that the young lady's hair
"looked like she smelled of patchouli oil...or maybe weed." Yes, because only black people smoke ganja.

Seeing the backlash to her offensive remarks, she quickly apologized.

Giuliana Rancic Apologizes to Zendaya on Twitter
Oh No They Didn't! · 17m
Dear @Zendaya, I'm sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look....
Bohemian chic look? What exactly does that have to do with weed?

Ms Rancic may have picked on the wrong person, because Zendaya had something to say to her...and it was sooo beautifully said.

Great job, Zendaya!
Discuss

Fox and right-wing nut jobs are apoplectic!

President Obama made a video with BuzzFeed on Thursday to promote healthcare.gov. In it, he vamps in front of a mirror, draws a picture of his "crush" (First Lady Michelle Obama) and used a selfie stick.  It accomplished what BuzzFeed (and the White House) hoped: It drew lots -- and lots -- of buzz. (It had been viewed more than 16 million times as of 9 pm eastern.)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Sixteen million and counting?! No wonder Fox is pissed. LOL!

Here is the scandalous video:

Discuss


Bob Simon, a correspondent for "60 Minutes," was killed when the livery cab he was a passenger in crashed on the West Side Highway on Wednesday night, a police source said.
The 73-year-old reporter was a passenger in the livery cab traveling south on 12th Ave. at W. 30 St. when it the car rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz driven by a 23-year-old man and then slammed into a median.
http://www.nydailynews.com/...

Rest in peace, Bob Simon.
Condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers.

Discuss

Robert Nesta Marley was born on February 6, 1945; today would have been his 70th birthday. Millions of words have been written about Bob Marley, and  no doubt millions more will be written; is there anybody who doesn't know of the man?
Let's just make this one definitive statement and move on to the music: The man came, the man saw, and the man transformed the musical and cultural landscapes.

Tonight we'll have ourselves a good old fashioned Punky Reggae party.  Are you in? :)

A fun fact before we begin.
Do you know the first ever song Bob Marley recorded? (Without checking Google)  :)
Was it...
a) Who Feels it Knows it?
b) Judge Not
c) Can't You See?
Let us know in the comments.

On to the music!

Punky Reggae Party

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The Support the Dream Defenders Daily Kos Group has recently initiated an important project to assist those around the country who need a helping hand from their government. One need not be a rocket scientist to know that once individuals and families have health insurance coverage, a major burden has been lifted over their heads.  Healthy citizens can be more productive members of society while contributing to a growing economy.  

In this regard, we could use some help from all of you.  

As you know, the Affordable Care Act - or, Obamacare as it has widely come to be known - gave all states in the union the option to expand their Medicaid programs, with substantial assistance from the federal government.  Most states currently under Republican control have deliberately, callously, and maliciously refused to do so.  It is disgraceful.  It is immoral.  And defies all standards of basic human decency.

With your help, we intend to do something about it, but need your active involvement and support.

Continue Reading
Dennis Emmanuel Brown, born February 1, 1957, would have been 58 years old today. Sadly, he exited this earthly stage July 1, 1999, after suffering a cardiac arrest. It was known that he had a serious substance abuse issue and in those final months he was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Gone too soon, but not before he had claimed his territory and built his palace in the middle of the musical landscape.

Much like the never-ending quest to find the next Michael Jordan, reggae aficionados have been seeking "the next Bob Marley" and have prematurely placed that crown on many an unprepared head. There was Jacob Miller, Garnet Silk, Lucky Dube, and then there was Dennis Brown. In fact, the consensus was that Dennis Brown so deserved to be the successor to the Great One, that he was known and accepted as "The Crown Prince of Reggae with the "honey-coated voice". It is said that Bob Marley himself anointed Dennis as his successor, naming him as his favorite reggae singer.

Brown, who started performing at age nine, was also known as "Jamaica's Michael Jackson." Great things were expected from Dennis, and most agree that, for the most part, he delivered.

Some may even contend that he over-delivered; that as a young man he became the victim of unscrupulous, greedy promoters and producers who exploited him and his talent.
From the Guardian:

It didn't take long before every producer in Jamaica was knocking on the 14-year -old's door, enticing him with little more than small change to record for them. Brown was incapable of saying "no" and duly obliged, setting a pattern that would result in at least 78 albums for 37 record labels in his 30-year career, releasing six or seven albums a year at his peak.
I do take issue with the inference that he couldn't say no because he was weak. He was an inexperienced young man at the mercy of rapacious businessmen who knew how to get what they wanted. Without a team fighting for him, young Brown didn't stand a chance against the vultures.

Happy Birthday, Dennis Brown!

Now follow me below the dancing thinga-ma-jig for my favorites from the man himself.

Reference:
Dennis Brown. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 01:46, Jan 07, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/....

Poll

Do you have a favorite Dennis Brown song?

75%22 votes
10%3 votes
13%4 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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For the past five months, we have been busy with our Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act of 2015 (MBOPRA) and our Medicaid Expansion FOIA requests campaign. We still have a lot to do on both fronts, and we'll be having some exciting updates in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! For today, we thought we'd  check in with those young warriors for whom our group is named, the Dream Defenders.

Phillip Agnew, Ahmad N Abuznaid, and the Dream Defenders at their workshop.
Phillip Agnew and the Dream Defenders at their workshop

The Dream Defenders develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power; building alternative systems and organizing to disrupt the structures that oppress our communities.
As it turns out, the Dream Defenders like the true warriors they are, have been very busy. They have been in the forefront of the fight for justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and all the others who were sent to early graves by over-zealous, trigger-happy, petty tyrants. They have been instrumental in organizing the BlackLivesMatter protest movement; in getting out the vote for the last election, and in  shining the spotlight wherever evil lurks. In the midst of all that is happening, they still found time to travel to East Jerusalem to stand in solidarity with a people who know all about living in a state of fear.

One good thing to have come out of Michael Brown's death was the forging of a deeper bond and a new understanding between black and brown youths and oppressed Palestinians.  In November, a group of Palestinian students traveled to Ferguson to stand in solidarity with those protesting for justice in the senseless murder of an unarmed teenager. When the police flexed their military muscles, it was the Palestinians who took to social media to give advice as to how to deal with tear gas and other excesses that were being visited upon the peaceful protesters.

Moving forward, delegates expressed a desire for Black and American action in support of Palestine.
“I believe the Black Lives Matter movement can benefit greatly by learning about struggles outside of the U.S., but particularly the Palestinian struggle,” said Patrisse Cullors. “I want this trip to be an example for how Black folks and Arab communities can be in better solidarity with one another.”
Read more at EBONY
...................................................................................................
Activist Leader, FAMU Grad Agnew Arrested
Badge of honor: Phillip Agnew and Jeremy Shaw arrested for justice
Badge of honor:  Phillip Agnew and Jeremy Shaw arrested for justice

As it was with Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and so many others before and since, leaders of the Dream Defenders found themselves arrested and thrown behind bars for  daring to confront injustice. Nothing new there. In November, Phillip Agnew and Jeremy Shaw, founders of the group, were both detained as they protested in solidarity with Ferguson's activists.

Officers slammed Agnew the ground, then handcuffed and arrested him, Shaw said. Jeremy Shaw was arrested when he went over to see why Agnew was arrested, according to Shaw.

"It was uncalled for," she said. "It doesn't take three officers to arrest one person."

The men were released after posting $1000,00 bail bonds.

.....................................................................................

Long before the name Marissa Alexander became a symbol of prosecutorial zealotry,  the Dream Defenders were on the ground fighting for her release. It was through their efforts that the case against this abused woman who fired one warning shot was picked up by the national media.
"We feel that this case shows the absurdity in our broken system in that a Black woman who is a victim of domestic abuse who defends herself is going to jail for 20 years while a killer like George Zimmerman is walking free," said Dream Defender organizer Michael Sampson. "This is a clear episode of a racist criminal justice system choosing to make a victim of yet another person of color but as well, this shows also a sexist criminal justice system that doesn't care for the struggles of women and victims of domestic abuse.”
Marissa's long nightmare may finally be over. After serving three years behind bars, she will spend the next two under house arrest and wearing a monitoring device. Angela Corey failed in her bid to send her to prison for the next 60 yrs.

The Dream Defenders, leading by example, putting their lives and limbs on the line for justice, inspiring a nation. They still do need our financial support. If you can, please help them fight on by donating here.

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Mon Jan 26, 2015 at 11:47 PM PST

Welcome back, Venus!

by JoanMar

Venus Williams will be playing in the quarterfinals of a major tournament for the first time in five years! The champion showed glimpses of her former phenomenal self, with serves of over 109 mph as she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in the Australian Open. It wasn't an even performance from the 34-year-old, but o man it was sweet to see.
Venus Williams continued her impressive resurgence with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, reaching the last eight at a major for the first time since the 2010 US Open.
http://www.express.co.uk/...
It's important to note that Venus prevailed in the three-set match despite suffering from Sjogren's syndrome.
Of the six women still standing, three are Americans: Serena, Venus, and the young woman who is following in their footsteps, 19-year-old Madison Keys. The Williams Sisters deserve to be treated as national treasures. They are National Treasures.
 Venus's next match will be with the teenager whom she inspired:
The particulars have fluctuated through the years, but what is clear is that Keys was 4 years old when she spotted Williams on television at Wimbledon wearing — what else? — a white dress.
She wanted one of her own, and she wanted to swing like Williams, too, and so she was soon taking cuts with a racquetball racket at her family’s home in Illinois.
http://www.nytimes.com/...

We may yet see a rematch of the Williams sisters in the semi-finals. That would be grand!
Go, Venus!!

Discuss

I have wonderful news! The voters of Pennsylvania and Alaska have saved the lives of over a 1000 people this year!* "How did they do that?" you may ask. In the last election cycle, voters used the awesome power of the ballot box to get rid of Medicaid obstructionists Tom Corbett (R-PA) and Sean Parnell (R-AK), and thus saving lives and offering hope to the uninsured. We (the people) did that.

Both the new Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania and the Independent Governor of Alaska have pledged their enthusiastic support for the Medicaid Expansion program. Lives will be saved. Some people will be spared unnecessary suffering. Yep, elections matter, and the lives of poor people should also matter.

Dina Nelson needed a liver transplant but couldn't afford one because she was uninsured. She died at age 41. Back in 2014 her grieving fiancé confronted the ex-governor of Pennsylvania and had this to say:

“If Dina had access to good, preventative healthcare services when she needed it, her life would have been saved,” Rosenzweig told the Sun Gazette. “Gov. Corbett needs to hear more stories like Dina’s about the real impact of his decision to delay Medicaid expansion. How many lives lost are enough?”

I have some sad news, some 15,000 Americans will die because the door to health care has been slammed shut in their faces. For the most unconscionable of reasons, twenty-two GOP governors have opted out of the Medicaid Expansion Program. Their need to show their disdain for the current occupant of the White House was deemed of far greater importance than their duty to act in the best interest of their citizens.
In times of uncertainty and turmoil in the past, Americans have fought back in four principal ways: at the ballot box, by long-term populist appeals, with protests, and through legal action.
We have seen the difference the ballot box makes for people living in Pennsylvania and Alaska. In this week while we still commemorate the march on Selma, we are reminded  of the power of protests. Now let's see what we can do with some legal action of our own.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to [Government] records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.
What do we hope to achieve with this initiative?

It would be lovely if Republican governors would suddenly discover some honor, some empathy, some heart and decide to do the right thing by their constituents; but we all know that is not gonna happen. We'll settle for embarrassing the heck outta them...as means to an end.

As one member of our group puts it:

The way we see it, this is a win-win. If the governor refuses to comply, it's a story. Why are you not tracking the number of people you've killed? If they comply, it's a story. That story, whichever it turns out to be, will be sent to every major newspaper in that state and Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton and the AP and Al Jazeera.
This doesn't work without volunteers.

We have been promoting this initiative for 10 weeks (7 really, as we were on vacation for 3 weeks), and so far we have had 10 volunteers. Ten wonderful Kossacks have stepped up to join this fight for those who need a helping hand. Thank you! But we need more people to volunteer.

If you live in any of the following nine states, we need your help: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

If you live in any of the states that have refused the Medicaid Expansion Program, we need your help.

Remember, the goal is to get the Governors to tell us why they have refused the Medicaid Expansion Program, and how that act impacts the lives of citizens of their states.

Here is what we are demanding in our FOIA requests:

(1)  Any and all documents used by the Office of the Governor of the State of YOUR STATE HERE in determining whether or not to Expand Medicaid.

(2)  Any and all documents with which the Office of the Governor of the State of YOUR STATE HERE uses to track the number of deaths caused, or potentially caused, by the refusal to Expand Medicaid.

(3)  Any and all documents with which the YOUR STATE HERE Department of Health uses to track the number of deaths caused, or potentially caused, by the refusal to Expand Medicaid.

(4)  Any and all documents with which any State Governmental Agency in the State of YOUR STATE HERE uses to track the number of deaths caused, or potentially caused, by the refusal to Expand Medicaid.  

(5)  Any and all documents maintained by the YOUR STATE HERE State Government providing the number of uninsured emergency room and/or hospital and/or health clinic visits in YOUR STATE HERE during the last fiscal year.

If you live in a blue state but would still like to show your support for this initiative, you could offer to pay the cost of filing for those in red states who need the help.

Reference

* Opting Out Of Medicaid Expansion: The Health And Financial Impacts by Sam Dickman, David Himmelstein, Danny McCormick, and Steffie Woolhandler on January 30, 2014, at the Health Affairs Blog.  

Poll

I think

91%43 votes
6%3 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Mon Dec 29, 2014 at 11:33 PM PST

This is how you do it...

by JoanMar

I am in love. Haha!

https://www.youtube.com/...

Poll

Who wins?

13%3 votes
9%2 votes
27%6 votes
4%1 votes
22%5 votes
0%0 votes
4%1 votes
9%2 votes
0%0 votes
9%2 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

According to the website Killed by Police, law enforcement officers have sent over a thousand people to early graves so far this year. The overwhelming majority of those killed were young black men. As each killing was reported, members of Support the Dream Defenders group joined in the community mourning for those gone too soon, and added our voices to the chorus of condemnation for a system that remained unresponsive to our concerns. We railed at a culture that seemed to place little or no value on human life in general, and even less on the black life in particular. We cried along with heartbroken mothers, and we howled with despair at our helplessness.

And then Darren Wilson decided that he would kill Michael Brown because he could.

Police murdered an unarmed boy and left his body lying in the street unattended for over four hours and something shifted in our collective consciousness. Enough was enough! We had to act, and we did.

Durham NC Aug 14, 2014; Michael Brown moment of silence rally
As one awesome member of our group puts it:
In times of uncertainty and turmoil in the past, Americans have fought back in four principal ways: at the ballot box, by long-term populist appeals, with protests, and through legal action.
Come take this leap of faith over the Great Orange Divider with us.
Continue Reading
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