I mean, really, why should college kids be the only ones to stress about midterms?
From up on high to the lap of your lappy, a few Black Truths (which, as a negro, I kinda hold to be self-evident…) I also think its self-evident that Run DMC rules. No relation there… (except for the last 8 seconds of This Week in Blackness- below- with the 13 black commandments. heh)
oh, and just cuz I feel like it and have always enjoyed all of these Earth at night time photo/maps (even though that doesn’t exist… except if there is like some insane eclipse that covered the whole day-time side of the planet while the other was in genuine night), anyways, hereyago:
On Obama’s polite suggestion of Sonia Sotomayor as the first woman of color on the Ultra Supreme Council of the Western Imperial Lands:
If you come to my blog for the latest news, then its a sad sad world we live in. If however, you get the basics eavesdropping on SEPTA or reading over someone else’s New York Times on the Q train, then there’s nothing wrong with hearing out my highly flitered tidbits of background information, or the little bits of flotsam and jetsam that slip beyond the media blitz. Or is it “blitzes”? (Mmmm… blintzes…)
Be that as it may (a great expression, BTW. Anybody who insists that they know what is actually, literally means is putting you on. Don’t date them…), I am cross-posting some stuff about the would-be appointee to the SCOTUS (even those of you who don’t read a lot of blog can hopefully figure that one out), so that even you can sound smart, savvy, and up to date at the water cooler, at the graduation party, on the trolley, and at that bullshit friday art opening where they serve that crappy free wine. People will date you.
Again with the “don’t say good ol’ SS neber did anything good for ya“.
BTW,i ❤ the blogosphere…
1. HER UPBRINGING: Judge Sonia Sotomayor has arguably lived the American dream. She was born to a Puerto Rican family and grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx.
Her father was a factory worker with a third-grade education, and died when Sotomayor was nine years old. Her mother raised Sotomayor while working as a nurse. After her father’s death, Sotomayor reportedly turned to books for solace, and she says it was her love of Nancy Drew books that ultimately led her to the law.
2. HER EDUCATION: Sotomayor graduated as valedictorian of her class at Blessed Sacrament and at Cardinal Spellman High School in New York. She won a scholarship to Princeton where she continued to excel, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a co-recipient of the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. At Yale Law School, Judge Sotomayor served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and as managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order.
3. HER WORK OFF THE BENCH: After law school, Sotomayor spent five years as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, trying dozens of criminal cases. Robert Morgenthau, who chose her for the position, described her as a “fearless and effective prosecutor.” She entered private practice in 1984, working as an international corporate litigator handling cases involving everything from intellectual property to banking, real estate and contract law.
4. HER JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: As Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSBlog writes, “Almost all of her career has been in public service — as a prosecutor, trial judge, and now appellate judge. She has almost no money to her name.” The White House notes:
If confirmed for the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years. …
In 1998, Judge Sotomayor became the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most demanding circuits in the country. She has participated in over 3000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, handling difficult issues of constitutional law, to complex procedural matters, to lawsuits involving complicated business organizations.”
(The New York Times has summarized her most notable court opinions and articles.)
5. HER STRUGGLE WITH DIABETES: Sotomayor is a Type One diabetic. She has been open about her diabetes in the past, noting that when she was diagnosed at he age of eight, it foiled her hopes of becoming an investigative detective like her heroine, Nancy Drew. While hardly a debilitating disease — indeed, recent medical advancements have made it quite manageable to live with — there remain enough late-in-life health implications to have sparked debate in legal, political and medical circles over whether it should be a factor in her nomination.
6. SOTOMAYOR SUPPORTED BY REPUBLICANS: In 1992, Republican President George H. W. Bush appointed Sotomayor to the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Later, in 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the 2nd Circuit, and she was confirmed with bipartisan support in a 67-29 vote.
Indeed, five current Republican Senators voted in favor of her nomination then: Sens. Collins, Gregg, Hatch, Lugar, Snowe. Among the no votes were current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, current Minority Whip John Kyl and Sen. Jeff Sessions, currently the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.
Additionally, the White House points out, “Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time.”
7. SOTOMAYOR ON ABORTION, GAY MARRIAGE: Sotomayor’s record on two key hot button cultural issues is thin. But, quite notably, her sole opinion regarding abortion was in line with the anti-abortion movement’s position. Some details from the anti-abortion site LifeNews.com:
“Despite 17 years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion was constitutional,” the pro-life group Americans United for Life noted in a recent analysis of potential Supreme Court candidates.
Sotomayor participated in a decision concerning the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama recently overturned and which prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.
Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico City Policy, but AUL says the significance of the decision “may be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second Circuit’s earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy.”
AUL notes that Judge Sotomayor also upheld the pro-life policy by rejecting claims from a pro-abortion legal group that it violated the Equal Protection Clause.
That said, pro-choice groups hailed her nomination, with Planned Parenthood declaring that she “understands the importance of ensuring that our Supreme Court justices respect precedent while also protecting our civil liberties.”
Sotomayor has also not ruled on any cases involving gay civil rights, but gay legal activists described her positively:
Long-time gay legal activist Paula Ettelbrick said she met Sotomayor in about 1991 when they both served on then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s advisory committee on fighting bias.
“Nobody wanted to talk to the queer person at that time,” said Ettelbrick, who represented Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. “She was the only one [on the advisory committee] who made a point to come over and introduce herself. She was totally interested [in gay civil rights issues] and supportive.”
“From everything I know, Judge Sotomayor is an outstanding choice – fair and aware, open and judicious,” said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry organization. “I believe she has the demonstrated commitment to principles of equal protection and inclusion that defines a good nominee to the Supreme Court. In choosing Judge Sotomayor, the first Latino candidate for the Supreme Court, President Obama has made a strong and appealing nomination that should and will receive the supportof those committed to equality for lesbians and gay men.”
8. SOTOMAYOR WOULD BE FIRST HISPANIC JUSTICE: If confirmed, Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic to ever serve on the Supreme Court. Tom Goldstein notes:
To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark. It really is impossible to overstate its significance. The achievement of a lifetime appointment at the absolute highest levels of the government is a profound event for that community, which in turn is a vital electoral group now and in the future.
[blackmaps notes: fantastic! maybe she can get those tokenizing fuckheads to stop using the term hispanic]
9. SOTOMAYOR “SAVED BASEBALL”: “During a brief period in 1995,” the New York Times reported, “Judge Sonia Sotomayor became revered, at least in those cities with major league baseball teams. She ended a long baseball strike that year, briskly ruling against the owners in favor of the players.” A bit more:
The owners were trying to subvert the labor system, she said, and the strike had “placed the entire concept of collective bargaining on trial.”
After play resumed, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that by saving the season, Judge Sotomayor joined forever the ranks of Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams. The Chicago Sun-Times said she “delivered a wicked fastball” to baseball owners and emerged as one of the most inspiring figures in the history of the sport.
10. SOTOMAYOR ON THE CONSTITUTION AND “JUDICIAL ACTIVISM”: …bo-ring…
11. SOTOMAYOR ON DA REVOLUTION: she authored the majority opinion, stating that “shit won’t be televised…. si el pueblo tiene exito, sería porque unidos, jamás serán vencidos. or at least thats what they like to brag. no lo se really, i went to princeton, biatches!”
wait, seriously though. did that thing say that she “saved baseball”? i’m sorry, but how do you get away with blocking that approval? thats like saying she invented ice cream! Obama, you are one savvy motherfrakker…
…and now amigos, you too can sound smarts!
don’t say I never… wait, did I already say this?
The World, and Ice cream, and Puppies, and Baseball, are all Yrs,
I leave you with, the League of Extraordinarily Old People:
ps- so what do you think? a Soutable replacement? ehh??
Obama told aides he feels “like a cylon without a Resurrection Ship.”
As for me, I just have All Along the Watchtower ingrained in my brain for the next decade or two. So, too many BlackMaps/BSG fans have tugged on my sleeves about sharing this to remain silent much longer. Its pretty frakking awesome for the subset within the subset within the subset of you who follow the show and you know… have like heard of some guy named Barack O’ something.
Or maybe you are just a tad depressed in the post Battlestar lull. Its spring you dastards! Go out and play with bunnies and zombie-jesus!
From L’Onion avec pleasure:
WASHINGTON—According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica.
“The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'”
“I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.”
Obama attempts to console himself with leaked production stills from the upcoming spin-off Caprica.
Since the end of the series, Obama has reportedly brushed off key budgetary decisions, ignored his wife and children, and neglected his daily workouts, claiming that he no longer cares if he lets himself go “just like Lee did before the rescue on New Caprica.”
In addition, sources confirmed that instead of meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday, the depressed president sat alone in the Oval Office, scouring Internet message boards for posts by other fans about the series conclusion.
Hoping to cheer himself up, Obama also decided to re-watch the extended director’s cut of “Unfinished Business,” a season three episode he once described as “bringing the Starbuck-Apollo relationship to a head in the best possible way.”
Revisiting the series, however, has only made the president more miserable. After a staffer suggested he bring DVDs of the show along on a recent policy trip to Denver, Obama reportedly muttered under his breath, “What’s the point? It’s over.”
“We were going over his schedule when he sighed and asked if I watched Battlestar,” said a White House secretary, whom Obama used to playfully call “Billy.” “I told him I was planning on it because my sister’s a big fan, but he just stared out the window the whole time.”
“I also noticed he took down his Battlestar Galactica season 4.5 poster,” she added.
Obama watched the finale just as he had every previous episode, alone in the White House screening room with the volume turned all the way up. Sources said he emerged exhilarated and told several aides that the show’s writers “wrapped things up the best they could, though the very end was a little much.”
The commander in chief also bragged that he “totally called” the fact that “All Along The Watch Tower” would be used as the jump coordinates for the FTL drive.
Despite his initial excitement, by Monday morning the absence of the hour-long Sci-Fi program had begun to affect the president.
“I’m a little concerned,” first lady Michelle Obama was overheard saying at a fundraising event Tuesday. “When Firefly was canceled, he walked around like a zombie for a week, and Serenity was the only thing that snapped him out of it. Last night he said he felt like he had just discovered David Axelrod was one of the Final Five, whatever that means.”
A devoted fan of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Obama was initially hesitant to watch the new series, saying he was upset to learn that hotshot pilot Starbuck would be played by a woman. However, during a particularly slow week in the U.S. Senate, Obama decided to rent the first season from Netflix.
Aides said Obama “blew through” season one in a weekend, then purchased season 2.0 from a local Best Buy, and, in order to catch up in time for season three, downloaded the majority of season 2.5 from iTunes.
“When we spoke last month, he said season three was his least favorite because some of the episodes with Helo and the Sagittarons—and pretty much anything that involved Cally—were boring and didn’t advance the plot,” Afghan president Hamid Karzai said. “But I told him that when you watch it all on DVD, and you don’t have to wait a whole week for a new show, those peripheral episodes actually add new color to the already established world.”
Added Karzai, “Lately, though, it seems like he’d rather talk about the resurgence of Taliban warlords in Kandahar than the show.”
During an emergency press conference on Wednesday, Obama addressed his recent detachment, as well as various other matters facing the United States.
“Our nation finds itself in uncharted territory in the deep emptiness of space,” Obama announced. “The Old Girl has limited supplies, no allies, and now, no hope. I never said this would be an easy journey. Yet I promise you this: There is a place where there is no war and no economic turmoil. It is where, according to the Sacred Scrolls handed down to us by the Lords of Kobol, the thirteenth tribe traveled over three thousand years ago. That place is called Earth. Not the other Earth. This Earth. It’s complicated. Anyway, I plan to take us there.”
Added Obama, “So say we all! So say we all! So say we all!”
The World is Yrs,
Spoiler Alert! Don’t hit play unless you’ve already seen the last episode or don’t really give a frak:
With the inaugs just around the corner, its hard not to be gearing up for a national freakout on Tuesday. I myself have found it irresistable to venture a roadtrip to the federal district if only to witness the euphoric clusterfrak up close. That, and I wouldn’t mind checking out the netroots party (so long as I can find somebody to sponsor me) seeing as it may be my only chance to flirt with prescient number geek Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight. We’ll leave the humdrum world of politics (earthly ones at least… Laura Roslin still awaits), in just a moment, but I just had to share this nugget of ridiculocity. That is, Oklahoma Senator Colburn lost a college football bet, and is apparently going to therefore sing “Rocket Man” (in his underwear at the top of his lungs??!) to pay it off:
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is slated to serenade Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida with his very own rendition of Elton John’s 1970s classic Wednesday afternoon. Coburn owes Nelson because the Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 in last week’s BCS title game. Nelson chose “Rocket Man” because he is a former astronaut who flew on the space shuttle Columbia in the 1980s. If Oklahoma had won, Nelson would have had to sing the title song from the musical “Oklahoma!” It also happens to be the official state song.
I think that story speaks for itself…. Why do people even report on this stuff?
Update. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can torture yourself:
Okay, so I promised more maps, so courtesy of dreamy mathgeek Nate, if you give a frak about your new congress hereitis:
the little numbers represent the respective Congressional Districts in each state.
There are, obviously, a couple of different trade-offs at play here. On the one hand, you’d like the the shape of each “state” to bear some resemblence to its real-life counterpart. On the other hand, you want the states that share borders in real life to also share borders in the cartogram. And furthermore, it would be nice to have the Congressional Districts within each state in some sort of reasonably representative geography — which isn’t easy in a state like New York where three-quarters of the districts are in New York City and its immediate suburbs.
Accomplishing all of those things with one cartogram is, I’ve determined, probably impossible; the example I’ve provided cheats by creating a sort of warp zone between Minnesota/Iowa and North/South Dakota. Still, I think it gets the job done by and large.
I don’t have enough cartograms in my life, so consider it a job well done, bud.
Seeing as I’ve managed to get more than a few of you enamored with the unflappable 10-year-old 5th grader come journalist, Damon Weaver, I feel obliged to keep you updated on the sitch, and share in my frabjous zeal.
For those of you waiting, with bated-breath and all, to find out if he’ll land that interview with Obama (not Michelle, the other one), he’s just moved one step closer. Apparently Rahm, or whomever behind the scene of the hallowed transition committee, has granted Damon an inaugural press credential. They say a kid can dream, Weaver, but you’ve got the whole frakking world rooting for you!
Holy Frak! While all the normies are counting down till the inaugs, I’m like losing my mind waiting for the (bittersweet) conclusion of BSG. Are you like totally done waiting for the rest of Season 4 or what?! (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, its time for you to skip ahead in the blog, cuz its gonna get a tad geeky in here). In fact, just to provide some context for Battlestar geekage, I love the show, but I’m not THIS crazy. Behold a BSG pimped out PC:
Can we say “Galactica ACTUAL”?!
Finally, on Friday we get to see what happens when the ship jumped away with President Laura Roslin onboard (with a cuckoobananas hybrid no less), and the whole saga with Hera, and maybe Starbuck is done losing her mind?, and for the love of Kobol would they just tell us who the final cylon is already?! Here’s an embedded treat to refresh some of your memory and get a peek at whats to come:
So Say We All!!!!
Esteban Sunshine Superboy
Admittedly, most of my favorite heroes do wear tights, but I’m leading off today’s post with a few everyday, real-world warriors who embody one key virtue: persistence
The 5th Grader
My favorite thing in the world right now is this kid, who has launched a pretty robust national media campaign to interview some guy named Barack Obama. His credentials (though one might wonder what anyone needs credentials for to ask a question or two)? He had already interviewed VPOTUS-elect, then Delaware Senator Joe the Biden (back before the election), and the last American Princes/ would-be Junior Senate appointee Caroline Kennedy (of… New York? Really?!), not to mention a phalanx of NBA players, and presumably his congressional rep who hooked him up with tickets to the inaugs in DC.
If you’re not already famills, I’m happy to introduce you to 10 year old badass, Damon Weaver:
I mean, he straight up calls Joe Biden his homeboy! Godspeed-you-Damon-Weaver and your audacious mission to get Barry O’B to keep it real!
The Senior Citizen Ninja Nigress
Lets see. Second only to my new favorite 5th grader is this 86-year-old black women who according to the New York Times
fought off an intruder armed with a knife who broke into her home in South Jamaica, Queens, on Sunday morning, crept into her bedroom and apparently was going to smother her
Vivian Squires, “described by neighbors and family members as a feisty, independent woman” was clearly not feelin the whole up-in-my-grill-with-a-knife routine. Last I heard, she was being hospitalized, but her family and neighbors did not see her going down so easily…
You know who else aint going down all quiet-like?
Actual Rearing Pirates!
Well, black pirates. Somalian pirates! Johann Hari thinks that you are being lied to about pirates:
Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy – backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China – is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as “one of the great menace of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell — and some justice on their side.
Am I surprised the British Royal Navy would deploy anything larger than an inner tube with a rudder to feel more ‘in control’ of the Red Sea, or even the Black, White, or Yellow ones, or the Green fucking Bay for that matter? Hell no- what surprises me, is that in this cuckoo-bananas world so antsy to label pretty much anybody a terrorist, the media have totally bypassed the potent term for a somewhat innocuous one. I mean, pirates?? Even if I wasn’t informed about the pillaged and embattled Somalian peasants, there are very few things in a post-Pirates of the Caribbean world that win over public sympathies quicker than pirates.
Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” – from 1650 to 1730 – the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda-heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often rescued from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why?
You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, If you slacked-off you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.
Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what [Marcus] Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century.” They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves.
I actually just wrote a historiographical research paper about gossip, mutiny and rebellions in the downfall of Atlantic empires called “Loose Lips Sink Ships”- I won’t mention the subtitle here
And just because I’m being brainwashed to stamp everything in life with ethnography:
The words of one pirate from that lost age – a young British man called William Scott – should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste.
You’ll have to read the rest for yourself here, but I think their persistence here is noteworthy.
HIV, the Playa, and the Slayer
Finally, I was already planning on linking to this fierce and heartfelt post that my friend and co-conspirator (and Minneapolis former Green Party Mayoral and City Council candidate) Farheen Hakeem sent to me, but what put me over the top was yesterday when I was reading the latest Buffy trade paperback (Wolves at the Gate) which had more than one gay moment, including some sexual tension between Xander and… wait was I in the middle of making a point before I started geeking out?
Ahem… so Brandon is a friend of Farheen who wrote about Living with HIV Buffy the Vampire Slayer Style on blackpower.com (yes, white people, there is such a thing). Brandon begins:
There are days when I feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer except less blonde, with better legs, and no breasts. Nevertheless, there are days when I wake up and feel as if I spend my entire existence fighting demons, attempting to drive stakes through my internal craziness, and doing everything I can to keep the Seal of Darkness from opening and letting all hell break loose.
I am a black, Latino, Native American, white, HIV positive, queer man coming off eight years of Bush and living in the worst recession since the Great Depression. I grew up with a single mother. I watched her be physically abused. I survived mental and physical abuse and somehow I have made it into my early 30s. Did I mention that I am also a recovering meth addict, and my boyfriend lives in New York while I live in Oakland? When I say there are days I feel like Buffy. I am not exaggerating.
I will direct you to the full story to get the full linkage between Brandon’s life and the Scoobies, but not before sending you off with this piece of eye candy. Bon apetíte: