Sunday, May 29, 2011

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Debunking Stupidity: It’s a “fact” that Black women are ugly?

Dear Edward,

Nearly 20 years after a black parent documented how hard it was to hear, "Mommy, I want to be white,"1 Psychology Today reinforced the false and hurtful sentiment that Black women aren't attractive.

Last week they published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races,2 penned by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is notorious for hiding behind pseudoscience to promote discredited racist and sexist ideas.3

By giving Kanazawa a platform and validating his ideas, Psychology Today dehumanized Black women and girls everywhere. After widespread public outcry, they removed the article from their website.4 But that alone won't erase the damage they've done by validating these discredited ideas — the editors need to apologize, explain how this happened, and let us know that it won't happen again. Please join us in demanding they do so immediately, and then ask your friends and family to do the same:

Kanazawa 's article is flawed from top to bottom.5 Using a dataset from an unrelated study of teenagers, he draws the obviously false conclusion that Black women are "objectively" less attractive than women from other racial groups.

Kanazawa has a long history of hiding behind pseudo-science to express racist and sexist views. He once wrote an article asking "Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?" and another suggesting that the US should have dropped nuclear bombs across the entire Middle East after 9/11 because it would have wiped out Muslim terrorists.6

So why does Psychology Today continue to give him a platform? Black women constantly face both subtle and explicit messages that they are valued less than women of other races — messages that are especially damaging to Black girls. Now Psychology Today has served as launching point for yet another attack, this time in the name of science.

Almost as if to cover up the racism inherent in his piece, Kanazawa says that black men are, "if anything more attractive" than their counterparts of other races because of "greater testosterone."7 But even here Kanazawa relies on the same pseudoscience to describe black men in familiar terms — brutish, hypermasculine, oversexed, exotic. And that's dangerous, too.

He uses a modern-day version of the faulty logic used to dehumanize blacks as inferior for hundreds of years, from the social Darwinists and eugenicists of the 19th century to The Bell Curve just 15 years ago. Psychology Today has a responsibility not to give such false logic a stage, nor validation.

To undo the damage it's done, Psychology Today needs to explicitly reject Kanazawa 's ideas. Please join us in demanding that their editors apologize, explain how this article was published in the first place and what they'll do to ensure it won't happen again in the future. It takes just a moment:

Thanks and Peace,

-- Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha, and the rest of the team
May 23rd, 2011

Help support our work. is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:


1. "Growing Up in Black and White," Time, 5-17-1993

2. "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" Psychology Today, 5-15-2011

3. "The Illustrious Career of a Crap Psychologist," Jezebel

4. "The Pseudoscience of "Black Women Are Less Attractive'," ColorLines, 5-17-2011

5. See note 3

6. "How to Debunk Pseudo-Science Articles about Race in Five Easy Steps," Racialicious, 5-17-2011

7. See reference 2

Photo by Angela7Dreams|Flickr

h/t Nubia

Gov. Arnold! bamboozled 'em all (even his old lady!)

Click cartoon to see full-sized. See for more Dan Rosandich cartoons.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

I’ll title this photo “Can’t we all get along?” as I’m surrounded by my anti-union colleagues. From the left Lee Carey, Kory Longnecker, Edward, and Tim May. Two weeks ago tonight we worked over six hours with no breaks or lunch, so our asses were dragging in this photograph that was taken by Rick Hernandez.

The Death of Print - Get Satisfaction

Newspaper Plant Closures - News & Tech

Fairfax job cuts part of paper 'death throes' - ABC News

Remain TEAMSTERS or De-Certify our Union? - Ronnie Pineda

Community Impact Newspaper Launches 11th Paper in Texas - E&P

Some guidelines on how to be a true Angeleno - Los Angeles Times

A Paid Content Model That Makes Sense - Newspaper Death Watch

Former Tribune directors and officers to file claims - Washington Post

Tribune Company‘s Bankruptcy Fees Top $150 Mil - Matthew Fleischer

Recovery of Money/Property - 548 Fraudulent Transfer - Burbage Weddell

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Desertification of the Union at Los Angeles Times

From: Adam N. Stern, Esq.

To all Los Angeles Times Employees represented by GCIU Local 140-N

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I have had the honor of representing GCIU 140-N since shortly after you organized a union and secured your first contract.

Since that time, I’ve had a front-row seat to the actions and attitudes of your employer. In the more than twenty years that I have represented local unions, I have never dealt with a more mean-spirited anti-union employer. In my view, employees need a union to counterbalance the legal and economic power of employers and never more than at the Los Angeles Times.

After some employees files a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to decertify the Union as the exclusive bargaining representative, the Union asked me to set out the legal ramifications associated with decertifying your Union.

First, if the Union is decertified, the Collective Bargaining Agreement will immediately become null and void and the Employer will have no legal obligation to follow any portion of the contract in the future. Should the employees vote to decertify the Union, the Employer will be free to maintain any term and condition of employment that it chooses, as long as it does not violate some law like minimum wage, maximum work hour rules, and the like. Nothing in the law would prevent the Employer from converting full-time employees into part-time employees, eliminating health insurance, establishing any shift it cares to, adopting any and all work rules and disciplining and/or terminating employees without cause. In this regard, under California law, all employees employed in the state of California are presumed to be at-will employees. At-will employees can be terminated at any time for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. Hence, the Employer, for example, could decide to terminate all employees who are late to work, even by so much as one second. Unless the Employer somehow managed to violate some law in so doing, the employees would be absolutely powerless to contest such strict rules.

The concept of job seniority does not exist in either California or federal law. Rather, seniority is a concept, which is created in a contract or adopted by an employer because it wishes to do so. No rule of law requires your employer to follow any idea of seniority with respect to any term or condition of employment. Therefore, should the employees decertify, the senority protections in your Collective Bargaining Agreement would evaporate. The Employer would be free to lay off anybody it wishes regardless of the amount of time such as employee worked for the Employer. The assignment of shifts, selection of vacation time, and days off would not be controlled by any idea of seniority, but rather the Employer could simply do whatever it pleases.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement also contains a grievance and arbitration procedure, which enables any represented employee to file a grievance when he or she believes the Employer, has violated some provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Should the Union be decertified, the grievance and arbitration procedures in the Collective Bargaining Agreement would disappear along with the rest of the contract. Thereafter, if an employee believed that the Employer was mistreating an employee, violating its own rules or virtually any other complaint and employee may have, it could not be grieved, and the Employer would never be obligated to arbitrate any dispute. Instead, the employee would have to find an attorney, who in turn would have to find some law that the Employer violated, and file a lawsuit. Normally, the losing party to a lawsuit is required to pay costs associated with that lawsuit (usually excluding attorney fees) to the party that wins. Most employees whose rights are violated never sue their Employer, because there are typically very short time limits involved, they cannot afford to hire an attorney, they are unaware of their rights, or they believe that their employer with its team of attorneys will drag out the case, increase the cost, and endlessly delay any hope the employee has of finding justice. For these reasons, historically, individual employees attempting to bring some sort of change to their workplace rarely succeed in doing so by filing a lawsuit.

I hope that you will consider the facts of union representation for yourself and make your decision on how to vote in any upcoming election based upon your needs and that of your family. The Employer can promise you the moon, but if they are unwilling to put any promises in writing and sign them, no such promise would ever be enforceable. Rather, you would just have to trust them.

Very truly yours,
Adam N. Stern, Esq.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

June 8 and 9 Election at the Los Angeles Times

From Ronnie Pineda:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The NLRB will be holding an election for us to decide whether to remain TEAMSTERS or De-Certify our Union. The Union informed the NLRB through our Attorney Adam Stern that we agreed to hold the election on May 27, 2011 but The Company, Lee and his FREE Attorneys from the National Right To Work Foundation argued that it was not a good day because of the holiday and that there would be employees on vacation.

Well there are going to be people on vacation the days they suggested as well but the NLRB decided because of the holiday it would not hold the election on the 27th.
We, as a result of the Boards position agreed to hold the election on the earliest of the available dates of June 8 and June 9 with the polls open during 7:00 am to 8:00 am and again at 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm on both days.


This election will be based only on the votes cast and not strictly percentages. In other words, only the ballots cast will determine whether the Union remains or not so it is critical that ALL MEMBERS VOTE YES TO KEEP OUR UNION.

We cannot afford to assume that there will be enough votes to win and that your vote won't matter, WRONG! Every vote counts and we must show not only those that signed the petition to hold this election but the company as well, that we are not only building on our contract but also in our numbers!


Do whatever it takes to be in the shop to vote on either day, but don't wait until the 9th if you can cast your ballot on the 8th.

The negotiations are going amazingly different this time around and I think we need to continue to stand together if we are to survive and see what is accomplished in contract negotiations.

In Solidarity!
Ronnie Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Friday, May 06, 2011

L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein named CEO of Tribune Co.

By Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer

May 6, 2011, 8:55 a.m.
Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein was named chief executive of Tribune Co., which owns The Times, the Chicago Tribune, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and other media properties.

Hartenstein will remain publisher of Los Angeles Times Media Group, but has appointed former Times executive Kathy Thomson president and chief operating officer.

The change in the management structure at Tribune did not signal a geographic shift for the company, Hartenstein said. Tribune will remain headquartered in Chicago, and Hartenstein said he "will be racking up a lot of frequent-flier miles."

Hartenstein's chief challenge will be to keep the company running as it struggles to exit bankruptcy protection after several years of stop-and-start negotiations with creditors and bankruptcy court hearings.

"The board feels strongly that it is in Tribune's best interest to have one person providing strategic vision and day-to-day direction for the company and its employees as we prepare to emerge from the Chapter 11 process," said Sam Zell, Tribune's chairman.

Zell credited Hartenstein with understanding the challenges new technology presents the media industry. Hartenstein's appointment comes after a roughly six-month period during which Tribune was managed by a four-member executive council following the resignation of former Chief Executive Randy Michaels after complaints about behavior deemed improper by the board of directors.

Originally, Michaels was replaced by a four-member executive council that consisted of Hartenstein; Tony Hunter, president, publisher and CEO of Chicago Tribune Co.; Nils Larsen, Tribune Co. chief investment officer; and Don Liebentritt, who was in charge of the company's Chapter 11 restructuring.

That council is being dissolved, but each of the executives will remain in senior management positions with Tribune.

Hartenstein, a Los Angeles native, noted that he has deep personal and professional ties to Southern California, and Tribune's board believed it made sense to keep him as publisher of The Times because it is the company's largest business.

Tribune sought bankruptcy protection in December 2008 after a leveraged buyout by Zell that a year earlier saddled it with more than $12 billion in debt. In addition to The Times, Tribune owns the Chicago Tribune, other newspapers and 23 broadcast stations.

Creditors have been fighting over how to divvy up the equity in the business for years. Aurelius Capital Management, the largest junior creditor in the bankruptcy case, has locked horns with the senior group -- which includes lender JPMorgan Chase & Co. and investment funds Oaktree Capital Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co. -- over what a reorganization plan would look like.

In March, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey adjourned 10 days of hearings in the case with the warning that he saw problems with both the Aurelius plan and a competing plan filed by Tribune and its senior creditors that might make it impossible to approve either of them.

The next bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for June 14.

Hartenstein said his job will be to focus on the company's operations regardless of how long the bankruptcy continues.

"The bankruptcy process is between two sets of creditors with some large issues and some large numbers between them," he said.

"But if we improve the business and the enterprise we are doing, everything will work out," Hartenstein said.

He said he doesn't consider the appointment a "caretaker" position until a new board is established when Tribune does emerge from bankruptcy.

"I don't do anything on an interim basis. I am pretty much full-throttle," Hartenstein said.

Hartenstein, 60, became publisher of The Times in August 2008 after a lengthy career at Hughes Electronics Corp., the defense contractor and satellite maker later acquired by General Motors Corp.

At Hughes, he pushed the idea of using satellite technology to beam television programming directly into the homes of consumers. His concept would become DirecTV Group Inc., the satellite television business. Hartenstein was its president and then CEO, from its inception in 1994 until 2004.

He remains connected to the satellite-based entertainment business, serving as the non-executive chairman of Sirius XM Radio Inc. He is also on the board of Broadcom Corp., SanDisk Corp. and the City of Hope hospital in Duarte.

Thomson is returning to The Times after serving for the last 18 months as a vice president of FLO TV Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. Previously she was chief of staff at The Times from September 2008 to 2009. She spent 15 years in a variety of positions at DirecTV, culminating in the role of senior vice president, sales and marketing operations.

"She brings a modern approach and extensive knowledge of other relevant digital industries that will also be key factors in ensuring our future success," Hartenstein said.

L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein named CEO of Tribune Co.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Series of miracles

Today is nothing less than a miracle. Your life is even more of a miracle.

Feeling the warm sun on your face seems like such a simple thing. And yet that simple little experience is made possible by unimaginably complex and profound factors, all coming together in a single moment.

And then, when one amazing moment is finished, another has just begun. Even the most seemingly ordinary life is a series of magnificent miracles, each one following quickly after the one before.

It is all too easy to take it all for granted. And just the fact that you can take it for granted is itself an amazing thing.

You can never fully appreciate all that goes into the wonder in which you're immersed. And because of that, there is no limit to how much you can treasure it all.

Even when you are continually thankful, there is always more for which to be thankful. Even when you know you have it good, you don't ever fully know how good you have it.

Celebrate the miracles that come in every moment within the overall miracle that is your life. And as each moment falls away, there is another one for you to celebrate.

Ralph Marston