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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Alabama Standoff Continues

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So this crazy bastard has a five year-old in a bunker and our representatives want to fight gun control. What will we say to the parents if this thing goes bad?

When you get this post, email and call your representatives and tell them to co-sponsor legislation to tighten access to guns (or introduce legislation in your state). Encourage your family and networks to do the same.

Don’t wait until gun violence intimately touches your life because if we don’t do anything, it will. Trust me, I know.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Family, Health, Politics, Youth

 

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What’s On the Menu?

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Dirt.

A french restaurant in Tokyo, has the latest in cuisine.

Offerings include salad with dirt dressing, dirt ice cream and dirt risotto. They actually have seven courses for the dirt menu for $110.

Perhaps it’ll boost your immune system…

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Family, Fun

 

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Love Shack Law

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Did you know that it is illegal for unmarried couples to cohabitate, in the state of Virginia? Still on the books (1877), senators are working to repeal this law which makes living together a misdemeanor.

Talk about the government being in your bedroom…

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Politics, Relationships, women, Youth

 

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Uncle Luke

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Interestingly enough, I was just telling my daughter about 2 Live Crew about a week ago: the music and their landmark court case. A song was playing that used a sample from “Me So Horny” and we were discussing rap music. C’mon Tipper, teens have always listened to music that their parents rejected. How about parents engaging with their kids and actually knowing their friends, monitoring their music/game/tv consumption and…wait for it…talking about it.

BTW – I was a fan and I did not feel degraded as a woman… in my view, it was music plain and simple. In fact, I wrote an term paper on the supreme court ruling for my Media Law class in college, but I digress. 

ANYWAY, I stumbled across an article about how Luther Campbell aka “Luke Skywalker” is tearing it up on the football field as a defensive coordinator for a Miami high school. The writer’s underlying premise seemed to be that this former rap artist could not possibly be a role model to young men. Why not? We’re talking entertainment from more than twenty years ago!!! Obviously if he’s volunteering his time and has made personal financial investments in the recreational football leagues in his Miami neighborhoods, his priorities have changed. It bothered me that he was denied a coaching license based on his prior career.

Since 2010, he’s volunteered as an assistant coach with city approval at Miami’s Central and Northwestern high schools, which have each made appearances on Rivals.com’s national prep football rankings, but Florida officials refused to grant him a coaching license until this past summer, when the decision landed in an administrative judge’s lap.

Really?!? He has no criminal record, not a sex offender and is willing to donate his time to mold the youth of his neighborhood. Campbell is 53 and has a track record for charitable works and coaching in Miami. Florida offcials surely have more important issues to tackle than blocking this man’s volunteerism…no pun intended.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Family, Fun, Rant, Sports, women, Youth

 

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Orange Is the New Black

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I had never heard of Piper Kerman, a fresh-faced blond, until recently. And why would I? Kerman was arrested for smuggling drug money from Chicago to Brussels, ten years after the fact…ahhhh to be young and stupid. She plea bargained and manuevered only 1 year of prison time. Her memoir, Orange Is the New Black has been picked up by Showtime as inspiration for a mini-series.

Meanwhile Kerman has a few insights from lockdown that can be applied to the workplace. Talk about transferrable skills. I’m an avid reader so I may pick up her memoirs today. Should be a good read.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Girls, Movies, women, worklife balance

 

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The 25 Best Jobs of 2013

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The best of the bunch according to US News & World Report. A graphic presentation of top careers for the coming year.

Only three of the top careers is not IT or health-related. Sixteen focused on some aspect of health (one that of animals).

1. Dentist
2. RN
3. Pharmacist
4. Computer Systems Analyst
5. Physician

¡Ay, que lastima! Writer/PR professional was absent…

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Health, women, worklife balance, Youth

 

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Women Have BEEN In Combat…hellooooo!

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Women in the military is an issue which is close to my heart. Although I have philosophical issues with the military, I admire those who bravely serve our country and am passionate about them receiving the treatment and benefits that they have earned.

In a previous position, I had the honor of meeting many women in uniform and experiencing their humility. I was charged with educating the public about women in the military at a time when nobody wanted to talk or hear about it, circa 2005. It was also my responsibility to communicate about women veterans and female soldiers as well as the unique research, advocacy and programming that the organization offered.

So today’s announcement is long overdue. Women have been in combat due to the nature of modern war. Purple hearts have been awarded to women for getting limbs blown off while getting a unit to safety during an attack. Unfortunately when I looked it up, the list of notable recipients did not include any women (although I’ve met a few). An interesting issue raised is this change increasing promotion opportunities, as those in combat are frequently rewarded.

There will be those who disagree. Those who will argue that women have no place and will drag down the quality of our military. Already there are grumblings of elite forces such as Navy Seals requesting an exclusion. Other arguments such as women lacking the physical strength.

I believe that women should simply be recognized for all the contributions that they have made to the military.

The armed services have until May 15 to implement.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Civil Rights, Family, Politics, women

 

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The R Word

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My daughter and I attended the public inauguration ceremony yesterday with about one million other people from around the country. Although chilly, it was warmer than 2009 and you had much more personal space…thank goodness.

I can recall all the points during the speech that were punctuated by applause and screams from the crowd. It was telling to hear audience “boos” as certain Congressional members and “VIPs” emerged to take their seats for the ceremony. The biggest cheers were for Jay-Z and Beyonce and, of course, Michele Obama and POTUS Maximus. There was an eclectic and historic mix on that balcony at the west Capitol steps.

I never tire of hearing from my President and yesterday was no different. As a wordsmith, I love to dissect his speeches as I did yesterday. I purposely did not read any analysis so that I could give my independent and initial opinion. He spoke to the disenfranchised in our nation and to all creeds, colors, genders and orientations. Who else has EVER done that?

But what struck me most were his racial references and the allusions to the enslavement of Africans in this country. Up to this point, Obama has stayed away from references to race, particularly his own (other than his subtle yet powerful statement regarding the Trayvon Martin case) and politically I have understood why. However yesterday, there were references abound and it made me smile.

We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

Race is an issue that we shield our eyes from in this country. Perhaps it stems from shame, but it is high time that this country has to reconcile itself with race.

I love President Barack Hussein Obama, not only for the color of his skin but more importantly for the content of his character. There are many who will never understand the disbelief that I still feel that I lived to see a Black President and the gratitude that he has normalized that idea for my children, especially my son.

I am hopeful that the content of his speech is an indicator of what’s to come. That in this second term, POTUS Maximus will finally “brush his shoulders off” (headnod to Jigga).

 
 

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Dear 47 Percent

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We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

-President Barack Hussein Obama, Inauguration Speech 2013

 

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Django…the D is Silent

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I’ve waited a bit to reflect before this posting. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Tarantino’s latest film, but it always is with him. This topic touches a tender place for African Americans so there will be some emotional responses. There are some who don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to be reminded- then don’t go see this movie…

I reserved judgement and viewed it myself despite the fact that some urged audiences to stay away, including Spike Lee whom I respect as a filmmaker and agree with sometimes regarding images in movies. For instance, I totally agreed with his concern about the use of “nigger” in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino played fast and loose with it and it did nothing to enhance the film. It began to actually hurt my ears (not one of my favs).

Back to Django. I did not have the visceral reaction that I half expected based on some of the chatter. It was a classic Tarantino, “spaghetti western”/revenge film that takes place during enslavement in the American south. The dramatic music, bloody violence, camera angles and unexpected humor. It was entertaining.

Why did I see it? I am a huge Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx fan. At first, I was hesitant because it seemed weird/corny in the previews but I was curious. Would I purchase it? No. Would I see it again? No.

For anyone who thought that the use of “nigger” in this film was excessive, it was the 19th century in Mississippi (as well as Texas and Tennessee). Do not kid yourself! A person of African descent was called a “nigger” whether free or enslaved. PERIOD. We may not like it, but it is historically accurate.

I did appreciate the level of violence in the movie. I think that other movies have downplayed the brutality and degredation that was inflicted on millions of people (subhumans). People need to understand that punishments such as time in the “hotbox” were actually used.

There wer some specific issues that I have heard concerned people and I won’t detail them here. What I will say is that the audience can not view any non-documentary film (which is set in a particular time period) from a 21st century prespective. In other words, everything that we have learned about enslavement in America, we can not apply that knowledge to the characters in the film. They were living it and did not have the luxury of emotional distance and psycho-analysis. We have no idea what our mindset would have been if we had to endure the everyday atrocities that many managed to survive.

I do not believe that there is any agenda to promote racial inferiority that Tarantino is trying to advance. There is nothing in this film that is going to make a person’s views change. Now, if a bigot that sees this film, it could strengthen that person’s views. But so what! A movie isn’t going to change their ideology.

What I believe is Django is sparking discussion and debate. And I am hopeful that  it will ultimately make people learn more about this horrific system that boosted this country’s economy. Let’s not hold art and entertainment accountable for our eduction. Pick up a book. Learn some history.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Arts, History, Movies, Race, Real Talk, Reflection, violence

 

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