pam bondi & rick scott, Republicans … marriage equality


by Scott​ Arceneaux

We knew that Pam Bondi and Rick Scott were pushing their radical agenda when they said that marriage equality would cause “great harm” to the state.

Now, they’re digging themselves deeper into the hole.

Earlier this week, Bondi tried to stand by her statement by claiming that marriage equality would make the state’s computers crash and that the paperwork needed to get it done would bog down the state’s systems.

Bondi and Rick Scott don’t get it. 19 states already have allowed their citizens to marry the ones they love — and their state hasn’t crumbled. Can you click here and tell Rick Scott and Pam Bondi to let all Floridians marry whomever they love?

Together, we can help our state get away from the bigoted leadership of Rick Scott, who is no stranger to gay-bullying. In 2010, Scott said that “I don’t believe that foster care should be done by single-sex couples.”

Add your name to tell Rick Scott and Pam Bondi that enough is enough: It’s time to realize that love is love.

Thanks for all you do,

Scott​ Arceneaux

The Only African American Automobile Company! ~~ Lonnie G. Bunch at The NMAAHC


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.
A Page From Our American Story
At the dawn of the Automobile Age in the early 20th century, hundreds of small auto companies sprouted up across America as entrepreneurs recognized that society was transitioning from horse-drawn carriages to transportation powered by the internal combustion engine. Some of these early companies grew to become giants that are still with us today, such as Ford and Chevrolet. Many others remained small, struggling to compete against the assembly lines of the larger manufacturers.One such company was C.R. Patterson & Sons of Greenfield, Ohio, makers of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile from 1915 to 1918. Though its name is little recognized today, there is in fact a very importantreasontoensure that it is not lost to history: it was, and remains to this day,theonlyAfrican American owned and operated automobile company.

Frederick Patterson with a prototype of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile.

Charles Richard Patterson was born into slavery on a Virginia plantation in 1833. Not much is known about his life on the plantation, and historians have to sift through conflicting reports about how he came to settle in Greenfield, Ohio, a town with strong abolitionist sympathies. Some say his family arrived in the 1840s, possibly after purchasing their freedom; others suggest Patterson alone escaped in 1861. In any case, he learned the skills of the blacksmith and found work in the carriage-making trade, where he developed a reputation for building a high quality product. In 1873, he formed a business partnership with another carriage maker in town, J.P. Lowe, who was white, and eventually became sole proprietor of the renamed C.R. Patterson & Sons in 1893. It was a successful business employing an integrated workforce of 35-50 by the turn of the century, and Charles Patterson became a prominent and respected citizen in Greenfield. His catalog listed some 28 models, from simple open buggies to larger and more expensive closed carriages for doctors and other professionals.

When Patterson died in 1910, the business passed to his son Frederick, who was already something of a pioneer. He was college-educated and was the first black athlete to play football for Ohio State University. He was also an early member and vice president of the National Negro Business League founded by Booker T. Washington. Now, as owner and operator of the enterprise his father started, Frederick Patterson began to see the handwriting on the wall: the days of carriages and horse-drawn buggies were nearing an end.

Early advertisement for the Patterson-Greenfield automobile. At first, the company offered repair and restoration services for the “horseless carriages” that were beginning to proliferate on the streets of Greenfield. No doubt this gave workers the opportunity to gain some hands-on knowledge about these noisy, smoky and often unreliable contraptions. Like his father, Frederick was a strong believer in advertising and placed his first ad for auto repair services in the local paper in 1913. Initially, the work mostly involved repainting bodies and reupholstering interiors, but as the shop gained more experience with engines and drivetrains, they began to offer sophisticated upgrades and improvements to electrical and mechanical systems as well.

This valuable experience allowed C.R. Patterson & Sons to take the next great step in its own story as well as in African American history: in 1915, it announced the availability of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile at a price of $685. From the company’s publicity efforts, it is evident they were bursting with pride:

“Our car is made with three distinct purposes in mind. First — It is not intended for a large car. It is designed to take the place originally held by the family surrey. It is a 5-passenger vehicle, ample and luxurious. Second — It is intended to meet the requirements of that class of users, who, though perfectly able to spend twice the amount, yet feel that a machine should not engross a disproportionate share of expenditure, and especially it should not do so to the exclusion of proper provisions for home and home comfort, and the travel of varied other pleasurable and beneficial entertainment. It is a sensibly priced car. Third — It is intended to carry with it (and it does so to perfection) every conceivable convenience and every luxury known to car manufacture. There is absolutely nothing shoddy about it. Nothing skimp and stingy.”

A child leans out of a 1917 Patterson-Greenfield roadster. Orders began to come in, and C.R. Patterson & Sons officially entered the ranks of American auto manufacturers. Over the years, several models of coupes and sedans were offered, including a stylish “Red Devil” speedster. Ads featured the car’s 30hp Continental 4-cylinder engine, full floating rear axle, cantilever springs, electric starting and lighting, and a split windshield for ventilation. The build quality of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile was as highly regarded as it had been with their carriages.

The initial hope and optimism, however, proved to be fairly short-lived. In an age of increased mechanization and production lines, small independent shops featuring hand-built, high quality products weren’t able to scale up production or compete on price against the rapidly growing car companies out of Detroit. In small quantities, parts and supplies were expensive and hard to come by when major manufacturers were buying them by the trainload at greatly reduced costs. Plus, the labor hours per car were much higher than that of assembly line manufacturers. As a result, the profit margin on each Patterson-Greenfield was low.

A Patterson-Greenfield bus printed with the words 'Greenfield School District'. In 1918, having built by some estimates between 30 and 150 vehicles, C.R. Patterson & Sons halted auto production and concentrated once again on the repair side of the business. But they weren’t done yet. In the 1920s, the company began building truck and bus bodies to be fitted on chassis made by other manufacturers. It was in a sense a return to their original skills in building carriage bodies without engines and drivetrains and, for a period of time, the company was quite profitable. Then in 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression set in. As with many small businesses, sales dried up and loans were hard to obtain. The company, now run by the sons of Frederick Patterson, soldiered on until 1939 when, after 74 years, C.R. Patterson & Sons closed its doors forever.

Sadly, no Patterson-Greenfield automobiles are known to survive today. But we should not let that dim the fact that two great entrepreneurs, Charles Richard Patterson and his son Frederick Patterson built and sustained a business that lasted several generations and earned a place not just in African American history, but in automotive history as well.

 Portrait of Lonnie Bunch All the best,
Signed by Lonnie Bunch
Lonnie Bunch
Director

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution’s family of extraordinary museums. The museum will be far more than a collection of objects. The Museum will be a powerful, positive force in the national discussion about race and the important role African Americans have played in the American story — a museum that will make all Americans proud.

P.S. We can only reach our $250 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider making a donation or becoming a Charter Member today.

Fashion Brands and Costs …


Fashion made-in-China: fine for everyone but the Chinese

AFP

Designer Uma Wang greets the audience after the presentation of her collection during the 2015 Spring / Summer Milan Fashion Week on September 18, 2014 in Milan

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Milan (AFP) – It has been called fashion’s dirty little secret but according to Miuccia Prada, soon everybody will be doing it.

Made-in-China’s just fine with Prada’s supremo and a host of other influential industry figures.

But for Chinese companies and designers seeking to become global style players, producing high-end clothing on home soil is complicated.

Trade barriers, brand perception issues and the sourcing of certain fabrics combine to form an obstacle to them competing internationally with an exclusively homegrown product.

Uma Wang, China’s best-known international designer, says the nature of her business dictates a 40 percent made-in-China, 60 percent made-in-Italy production model.

The creative work including production of samples is mostly done at Wang’s headquarters in Shanghai. But she spends half the year in Milan overseeing production and dealing with suppliers.

For Wang, whose sales are mostly outside China, import/export taxes are the key issue.

“An item produced in China, by the time it is sent to the shops, it adds an extra 30 percent to the price,” Wang told AFP.

The add-on costs are even greater if high-tech fabrics, an area in which Italy is acknowledged as having an edge, have to be imported and subjected to China’s textile tariffs.

So for Wang, with 58 shops around the world but only six in China, sticking with Italy makes sense.

Even if the trade barriers were to be swept away, she could not easily move production closer to home.

“The quality, for making the clothes, the basic sewing, is no problem in China,” she says.

“But for the fabric it is 100 percent from Italy. For the material I have to say that China is not yet at the level.

“And now I’m really used to the switch — two time zones, two cultures, the two foods! It’s amazing.”

Zhu Chongyun, another Chinese female fashion entrepreneur, has just begun to share Wang’s two-continent lifestyle following her acquisition of venerable Italian house Krizia earlier this year.

Shenzhen-based Zhu said she would retain Krizia’s Italian identity.

“We don’t want to mislead the public into thinking that because (Krizia) is now Chinese-owned it is going to have more of an Asian culture — that is not what I want,” Zhu told AFP.

- The Pepsi challenge -

Seven years ago, Alfred Chan, the Canadian owner of Hong Kong-listed group Ports Design Ltd, declared that the world’s biggest fashion houses should “take the Pepsi challenge” and try Chinese manufacturing.

Armani (for its diffusion ranges), Burberry and Prada, among others, did and found they liked the taste.

Miuccia Prada told the Wall Street Journal in 2011 that: “Sooner or later everybody will be doing it because (Chinese manufacturing) is so good.”

Exactly what proportion of top menswear, womenswear and accessories are produced in China is difficult to measure because of the complex and variable ways in which such things are assessed.

It’s clear, however, that powerful industry trends are driving more production China’s way.

The post-2007 fallout from the global financial crisis hammered a sector dominated by profit-driven conglomerates that covet cost-savings.

The downturn has also made China’s new rich more important as consumers of luxury products. By one estimate, the combined purchases of shoppers in China and the tourists it sends abroad will account for 50 percent of the sector’s worldwide turnover by next year.

All of which makes it noteworthy that one of the companies declining Chan’s Pepsi challenge is his own designer subsidiary, Ports 1961.

Originally a Canadian brand, Ports 1961 moved its HQ from New York to Milan two and a half years ago and is in the process of making itself as Italian as a thimble-sized espresso.

“For us it is an issue about positioning,” says Salem Cibani, the company’s youthful CEO.

“Our commercial line (Ports International) is luxurious and very well-made with some expensive fabrics. But when we are producing in Italy, there are certain artisanal things that we are doing at a very high-level designer way that are not necessarily very doable in China.

“Also the best materials are coming from Italy. To move them all the way to China and back is also an exercise that takes time and adds cost.

“Yes Italy is more expensive, but for what you get, the value is still there.”

That view is endorsed by Italian cashmere magnate Brunello Cucinelli, a titan of the “absolute luxury” sector which he sees staying in old Europe.

“The French have been making champagne for 500 years and it is very, very special,” he says. “When I hear people saying there are other ‘champagnes’ that are the same, it’s just not true.

“My grandfather and grandmother were simple farmers but already they were making clothes. It is part of our culture. In these things, it takes centuries to arrive at a certain level.”

meet david young, republican


running against Staci Appel, Democratic Party

 

As Chief of Staff for Senator Grassley, David worked day in and day out on behalf of Iowans. He listened to their concerns, developed solutions, and navigated the federal bureaucracy to get results.

Like his friend and mentor, Chuck Grassley, David believes in a government that works for people.  Public service is about helping your fellow man.

David Young has already set his sights on ending Social Security’s promise, saying that the Ryan budget didn’t go far enough and that benefit cuts, increasing taxes on benefits and increasing the retirement age are all on the table. Our seniors can’t afford David Young, we must respond now!

David Young is so extreme that 85% of his own party’s primary voters rejected him just a few weeks ago. With the Tea Party once again flexing its muscle in Iowa’s primary contests, our response is critical.

  • Zero Based Budgeting – this solution simply means that each year, the funding level for all government programs and agencies will begin at $0.  This is a better budgeting practice than giving every program the same amount as last year, plus a raise.
  • Sunset Legislation – attaching a sunset clause to every law enacted by Congress means policies will no longer outlive their usefulness.  When the sunset date arrives, Congress will examine the program anew and determine if it should continue for another finite period of time.
  • Full Federal Audit – the budget of every government department and agency should undergo a thorough outside audit to ensure taxpayer funds are being used in the most effective manner possible.
  • Flatter, Fairer, Simpler Tax Code – the current U.S. tax code is 74,000 pages long.  Giving a percentage of your income to fund the government should not require us to hire professional assistance.  Additionally, the longer the code the more loopholes exist and the more opportunity there is to skirt the system and engage in fraudulent activity.
  • Balanced Budget Amendment – it is often said states are the test tubes of democracy.  The concept here is simple:  never spend more money than you have revenue.  In Iowa, this concept is just common sense.
  • Full Repeal of Obamacare – The disastrous rollout of government run Obamacare is the prophetic announcement of the real mess to come.  Trying to fix our health care system via a top-down approach, will never improve a broken system.  All Americans deserve the benefits of lower health care prices, better access to providers, and less government spending.

 

 

Resource: his website , internet

 

meet Michael Baumgartner, Republican from Spokane


Want to know how extreme the Republicans are in our State Senate?

Here are some “ideas” coming from Michael Baumgartner, State Senator from the 6th District in Spokane:

  • The unemployed should be required to perform public service before getting unemployment benefits.
  • Washington should be a right-to-work state. Don’t we want workers to have collective bargaining rights?
  • The State Supreme Court is like dictators Mugabe and Putin. Because they’re serious about funding our schools.

In a little over three years, Michael Baumgartner has defined himself as one of the most outspoken voices against Democratic values in our State Senate.

Rich Cowan is challenging Michael Baumgartner and will fight for Democratic values in the State Senate. Will you sign our petition and show your support for Rich Cowan?

We’re in Spokane for our State Convention, and everybody is talking about Rich Cowan.

Rich is a native Spokane film and television producer who challenged Cathy McMorris Rodgers in 2012 and developed a taste for taking on the right wing.

Believing that he could do the most good for our state by helping to take back our Senate, he began campaigning last August and has already raised over $122,000 and knocked on over 9,000 doors himself.

Rich has been all over the news recently because he just began filming his latest project, Spokane’s first television series called Z-Nation, which has created 200 crew jobs and 200 acting jobs that pay a family wage with health care and benefits! 1,300 people in the Spokane area are also eagerly signing up to serve as “zombie” extras on the show.

Rich is doing all he can to take back our State Senate. He knows “zombies” belong on the big screen, not in Olympia!

We need to make sure Michael Baumgartner doesn’t become the next Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Join us and stand with Rich Cowan today.

In solidarity,

Jaxon Ravens
Washington State Democrats Chair