Friday Night Fun and Culture: Carolina Chocolate Drops

I was just a little kid about five or six when I discovered country music with fiddles, banjos and great big old Martin dreadnaughts.

Some folks think that’s where I took a wrong turn and was doomed to seeking out the thrills of roots music in places like Greenwich Village and coffee houses, blues joints and and bars featuring rude musicians playing raw music all across this nation.

From the Gaslight to the Freight and Salvage.

Now I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area which may not have as much live music as Austin with it’s Sixth Street but its got the Granada Theater and the Kessler Auditorium.

Last year Tina and I saw one of the finest groups of roots musicians touring today, a group that keeps the old time music fresh and alive.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Senator Bernie Sanders Reacts to Conventions

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Through a combination of corporate greed and disdain for gay people’s rights — as well as a CORRUPT publication process — Elsevier enabled the publication of Mark Rengerus’s scientifically invalid, anti-gay study, and another study by Loren Marks, propagandistically twinned to the Regnerus study.

The Regnerus study was funded for a total of $785,000, mainly through the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s program for Marriage, Family and Democracy. That Witherspoon program’s Director is W. BRADFORD WILCOX.

Wilcox is an EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER of Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research, which published Regnerus and Marks. The Regnerus study was accepted for publication on a suspicious rush schedule; the peer reviewers had conflicts of interest; none were same-sex parenting topic experts. Wilcox was a peer reviewer for one of the studies. His Witherspoon Institute is promoting the twinned studies in anti-gay-rights contexts, including through a stand-alone site it created for them.

What’s more is that Wilcox is a paid Regnerus study consultant. He “assists” Regnerus with “data analysis.” That means every time there’s an opportunity to monkey around with the data, in ways that are being hidden from the public, Wilcox can “assist” Regnerus to do that monkeying around with data, in ways that make gays look worse, and the public has no way of fact-checking what Regnerus and his anti-gay-rights funder did while monkeying around with the data.

When over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent journal editor James Wright and Darren Sherkat a letter complaining that the Regnerus study does not support its conclusions, and complaining also about the suspicious publication process, Wright went through the motions of a sham “audit,” that turned up a lot of shockingly unprofessional behavior at the journal but held nobody accountable for it. Wright understands perfectly well all of the conflicts of interest in this that his editorial board member Wilcox has as one of Regnerus’s funders, and as a paid study consultant promoting the study in anti-gay-rights political contexts, yet WRIGHT DID NOT DIVULGE THAT INFORMATION IN THE SHAM “AUDIT.” The information about Wilcox’s relation to Regnerus, and Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research had to be dug out by investigative reporters. Nobody at Elsevier wanted the public to know about Wilcox’s improper roles in the publication of Regnerus. In fact, they did everything they could to hide Wilcox’s roles in publishing Regnerus.

Elsevier must now retract Wilcox’s and Regnerus’s scientifically invalid, gay-bashing garbage from publication immediately. If it must be republished in the future, put it through valid peer review first. We will not stand silently by, allowing a science publisher’s greed to undermine – at our expense — the trust on which science is based.

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We Take Care Of Our Own

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President Obama’s Full Speech 2012 DNC

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Bill Clinton’s Stunning Jobs Claim At DNC Actually True

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 09/06/2012

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton highlighted a stunning fact during his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday: Democratic presidents have overseen the creation of nearly twice as many jobs as Republican presidents since 1961.

“What’s the job score? Republicans, 24 million; Democrats, 42 [million],” Clinton said to cheers and applause.

Bloomberg Government first reported these figures in May, after analyzing growth in private-sector jobs since 1961.

On Wednesday, Clinton used the figure to justify Democratic policies.

“It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics,” Clinton said. “Why? Because poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth. When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all.”

That said, Democratic presidents may not be able to take all the credit for the private-sector jobs created during their tenure. After all, the economy saw a big boost under Clinton in part because of the technology boom and stock market bubble that resulted — Clinton arguably was just in the right place at the right time.

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A Tale of Two Conventions

From Mother Jones:

The nation is deeply divided, but the gatherings in Charlotte and Tampa show how starkly dissimilar the Democratic and Republican visions of the American experience are.

Thu Sep. 6, 2012

Not too far from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, a local art gallery is featuring an exhibit called “Divided State of America,” but it’s not necessary to trek to this space to contemplate the deep divisions within the nation. You need only spend a few nanoseconds at the Democratic presidential convention, after experiencing a week at the Republican gathering in Tampa, to realize you have left one reality for a much different one. And this goes far beyond policy positions and political stances.

Here’s a brief guide:

The people. It’s rather obvious: Planet Democrat is inhabited by people of different colors; Planet Republican is monochromatic. This stark contrast has long existed and is not a surprise. (One recent poll showed Mitt Romney with zero—yes, zero—support among African Americans.) Yet shifting from Tampa to Charlotte is not unlike the moment in The Wizard of Oz when black-and-white gives way to the full spectrum. In Tampa, it seemed there were more black and Latino Americans on the stage than among the audience of thousands of white people. The streets of downtown Charlotte—which, for some reason, is called “uptown”—are overflowing with diversity.

And this extends beyond race. The thousands of delegates in Charlotte represent more income (or class) diversity. Sure, plenty of well-heeled Democratic donors, lobbyists, and supporters are strolling about, but there are many folks who look as if they are heading back to tough jobs when the convention is done: teachers, nurses, Teamsters, and the like. In Tampa, I conducted an experiment and asked several journalists to fill in this blank: “These Republican delegates look like they come from ________.” The most common answer: “a country club.” Another reply: “a gated community.”

The street. Tampa was an antiseptic affair. The arena was in a security area that resembled a Green Zone. Delegates were bused in, then bused out. With scant interaction between the convention and the rest of the world, no sense of community was created. It was as if the GOP delegates were suburbanites—or exurbanites—commuting to and from their place of business, zipping past the locals and their neighborhoods. In Charlotte, the delegates and others have flooded the downtown area, walking from one event to another, interacting with one another, the residents of the city who have flocked to the city’s center, and even the street-corner anti-abortion protesters. There’s a vibrancy that embodies the best values of community and urban life.

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