links for 2010-09-06

  • "Machete" was a cut above the competition in a close Friday box-office race crowded with new releases. According toreports, the sexed-up, action-packed Robert Rodriguez-directed film took first place with $3.9 million on Friday. [...]

    Rounding out an action-heavy top three, "Takers" pulled in $3 million during its second Friday in theaters. Although the film opened at #1 last weekend, it appears news of the film's star T.I.'s arrest hasn't completely doused the fire of the heist flick. The film also boasts appearances from Idris Elba and singer Chris Brown, who has recently triumphed on the music charts with his single "Deuces." The movie has made an estimated $29.5 million since landing in theaters. "

  • "The Roosevelt administration passed many enduring economic reforms in the 1930’s, including the Social Security Act and the National Labor Relations Act. The latter made it easier for workers to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers. Domestic and farmworkers, however, were explicitly excluded from both laws, a deal that allowed Roosevelt to gather the votes of Southern, white congress members, among others. At the time, 95 percent of domestic workers were Black women in the South. Most agricultural workers were Black, Filipino or Mexican. Today, workers in other job categories are also vulnerable to labor abuses, like day laborers and “workfare” workers. Organizations nationwide are creating and fighting for solutions. Here are some highlights."
  • The comments are a perfect illustration of the problem. – LDP

     "The disappointing campaign has been another in a series of alarming reports from aid groups and even the United Nations that they do not have enough money. The UN says it only has half of the $460 million it requires for its relief mission, with Care International, one of the aid groups leading the effort in Pakistan, reporting 15 percent of its already modest $10 million goal. The amount of foreign donations given per flood victim is very low compared to other such disasters. The figures for the Haiti earthquake, tsunami, and Kashmir earthquake were $1087.33, $1249.80, and $388.33 respectively. For the Pakistan floods, the world has given only $16.36 per victim. These shortfalls have led many to ask a macabre question. Why did the world, particularly U.S. individual donors, give so much for Haiti but show so little concern for Pakistan?"

  • "Pan’s confident and almost nonchalant attitude about abortion resonates in the Asian-American community, whose abortion rate rose 11 percent in the 1990s while rates fell for all other racial and ethnic groups.

    While the decision to abort still involves emotional wrangling and not all who have made it are eager to discuss it, many Asian-American women accept that the procedure may be necessary and prudent. Amid barbed national debates about abortion access—and despite religious ties, intergenerational communication gaps and taboos regarding sex (particularly premarital sex)—Asian-American women are standing assertively behind their choices, and behind other women’s right to make that choice."

  • "A few weeks ago when I heard about Fantasia’s suicide attempt I wasn’t particularly surprised. Once again we seemed to share many things in common. In her interview on Good Morning America she stated, “everybody feels like I’m so strong…and it just became heavy for me…to the point that I just wanted to be away from the noise.” It would take both hands for me to count the amount of times, in my life, I have pondered the same dilemma, come to a similar conclusion. I did not, however, immediately admit that I could relate to Fantasia’s hopelessness because there are precious few women friends who won’t judge or chastise you (a black woman) for not being strong. Or, who won’t attempt to encourage you (a black woman) by reminding you that as a black woman, YOU ARE STRONG. And while I have my moments of fortitude, there are far more moments of pain."
  • A review of Wo Ai Ni Mommy. "The parents seemed woefully unprepared, especially given the fact that they were adopting an older child. They did not appear to have learned even rudimentary Chinese phrases. And yet the adoptive mother is unsympathetic when her new daughter balks at language drills, saying it’s “too hard.” In a voiceover, the mother says something like “She’s thinking this is too hard, why don’t you learn Chinese?” Yet it does not seem to have occurred to the adoptive mother that perhaps she might have tried. [...] The mom badgers the child to Sit up! and learn her lessons. And this segues into a truly awful segment where the adoptive mother lectures the girl about how she has another Chinese kid at home who speaks English and how the mother loves her. And she asks the little girl if she is ugly because she’s a white person."