US Spelling Bee's 8 Winners, ALL Kids of Color, Challenge Trump's White Nationalism Beliefs

America had a first-ever, dramatic end to the National Spelling Bee. They ran out of words, and eight kids were still standing. The winners are Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao, and Rohan Raja.

With all Trump's hateful anti-immigration rhetoric, I note publicly the absence of a majority of white kids in the final rounds. In fact, they are hard to find in this inspiring group of young people.

What's up? Are white kids not making the cut -- or are they too "good" to undertake a mental challenge like the National Spelling Bee?

What I know is that the mental rigor of these kids represents America's future. American kids academic test scores are in the toilet internationally. We must nurture our best minds, as well-educated kids are no longer a given in America. It's costs too much money, say Republicans. Parents can do it better.

Trump would have you believe that white kids are doing just great. But ARE THEY? I propose that without the finest minds of kids of color -- and their determination to excel and make America great -- America's fall from grace will be even worse than the trajectory we are currently seeing play out before the whole world.

THIS is America's future and I pray that white people just take a reality check on what's REALLY made America great. It takes all colors.~ Anne via Buzzfeed

Major Film Studios Follow Netflix In Putting Georgia On Notice Over Illegal Abortion Law

Young women protest against quack-science “Heartbeat Bill” in Georgia.

Young women protest against quack-science “Heartbeat Bill” in Georgia.

It was a slow start on whether or not America’s film industry would become involved in Georgia politics, threatening to abandon existing projects and future expansion of filming major projects like the revolutionary, Oscar-winning ‘Black Panther’ movie.

Netflix was the first major studio to take a stand against the medical-quackery ‘heartbeat bill banning abortion at about six weeks, joining the ACLU lawsuit in fighting the law not only as an infringement of Roe v. Wade, but as pseudo-science that has no basis in medical facts.

Today, an onslaught of new studios including Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC Universal and Warner Media raises their collective business voices against the new law.

"We operate and produce work in many states and within several countries at any given time, and while that doesn't mean we agree with every position taken by a state or country and their leaders, we do respect due process," WarnerMedia said in a statement on Thursday. "We will watch the situation closely, and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project."

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams' show ‘Lovecraft County ‘ is currently in production in Georgia and both stars have said that they will donate their their episodic fees for the first season to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia. Producer Jason Bateman, of ’Lovecraft County’ and ‘The Outsider’ says he will no longer work in Georgia if the law remains in place.

Georgia Handmaids promise a fight at the Georgia ballot box. Given the intense activism generated by Stacey Abrams’ governor’s race among women of color and white suburban women both, the Handmaid threats may bring ballot box results.

Georgia Handmaids promise a fight at the Georgia ballot box. Given the intense activism generated by Stacey Abrams’ governor’s race among women of color and white suburban women both, the Handmaid threats may bring ballot box results.

Virtually all of the players believe that the bills will lose in the federal court system. Still, every studio head speaking on this issue said they will leave Georgia if somehow the bill is upheld. Given the proliferation of ‘Heartbeat Law’ around the country, it’s entirely feasible that the film industry will only exist in blue states.

CBS, which films MacGyver in the state, chimed in. "Creative voices across our industry have expressed strong concern about the recently signed bill in Georgia. The ability to attract the best talent is the first step in producing great entertainment content and is always an important consideration in where we film any series," said a rep for the company. "We are monitoring the legislative and legal developments in Georgia with the full expectation that the process in the courts will play out for some time. For now, we will continue producing our series based there that have production orders for next season. If the law takes effect in Georgia or elsewhere, these may not be viable locations for our future production."

The Atlanta Constitution reports that Netflix’s position right now is that if producers and actors don’t want to work in Georgia, they have Netflix’s support. At least one Netflix movie has already relocated, in spite of Georgia’s generous tax credits that have helped the film industry generate $2.7 billion in state spending for the period ending June 30, 2018. Only California and New York generate more dollars in the business sector.

Gov. Brian Kemp, who narrowly beat popular Democrat Stacey Adams last November has declined to comment on the standoff since Netflix’s statement on Tuesday. On a separate note, on Thursday US District Judge Steve Jones rejected Georgia election officials’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, filed by allies of Democrat Stacey Abrams after her 2018 loss to Kemp.

The lawsuit is seeking court intervention to stop voter registration purges, absentee ballot cancellations, precinct closures and potential voting machine tampering. The lawsuit alleges that racial minorities have suffered particular disenfranchisement under the Republican purges.

MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy

There aren’t many solo images of MacKenzie Bezos out there. Even though the mom of four is a successful writers and played her own roll in the formation of Amazon, almost all images of MacKenzie include her husband Jeff Bezos.

Vogue US interviewed one of the world’s richest women in 2013 in advance of her “gripping new novel Traps”. The interview by Rebecca Johnson describes MacKenzie as a “bookish and she” girl who spent hours in her bedroom writing elaborate stories. She attended first Hotchkiss and then Princeton, a very deliberate choice that gave her access to writer Toni Morrison. One of America’s most important voices became Bezos’ mentor and called her in 2013 “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.” It was Morrison who made the all-important recommendation of Amanda “Binky” Urban as a literary agent.

Now that she’s divorced, Johnson’s Vogue interview is even more interesting, describing the couple as two very different people who have created a sensational marriage. Enough said on that topic — except that Money Magazine says that MacKenzie made the first move, asking Jeff to lunch.

Shown from left are the speakers at the Nov. 2018 Princeton ceremony dedicating Morrison Hall: MacKenzie Bezos, Class of 1992, who studied with Morrison; Morrison; Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University who helped recruit Morrison to Princeton; and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. Photo by Nick Donnoli, Office of Communications

Shown from left are the speakers at the Nov. 2018 Princeton ceremony dedicating Morrison Hall: MacKenzie Bezos, Class of 1992, who studied with Morrison; Morrison; Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University who helped recruit Morrison to Princeton; and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. Photo by Nick Donnoli, Office of Communications

MacKenzie Bezos made big news this week, taking an action very different from her ex-husband’s. Jeff Bezos is not known for his largess, his philanthropy or his civic activism. MacKenzie plans to live a different life. He was very outspoken about declining to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back, The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. Jeff Bezos joins them as three of America’s five richest people and the only one not to sign the Giving Pledge. Note that only 7 percent of the world’s billionaires have signed the Giving Pledge.

Mackenzie Bezos is not one of them, signing a pledge to give at least half of her $37 billion in assets to charity, writes ELLE US.

“We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she said in her statement, obtained by Bloomberg News. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

It will be interesting to watch Ms.Bezos bloom in her own right., joining Laurene Powell Jobs and Melinda Gates as yet another woman with a seat at the big boys table.