Archive | November, 2010

Two Friends Just Doing Each Other’s Hair

27 Nov

Lil Kim is gonna braid my hair

Sarah is gonna backsweep my hair for me

Birthday Wishes: November 27

27 Nov

Happy Birthday, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.  Kennedy was the daughter of the late John F. Kennedy and the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Kennedy Schlossberg is a published author, attorney, and at one time put in a bid to be the Senator from New York.

Quote of the day:

    For mothers who must earn, there is indeed no leisure time problem. The long hours of earning are increased by the hours of domestic labor, until no slightest margin for relaxation or change of thought remains.          Katharine Anthony, biography and mathematician


Peekin’ & Gropin’: That Won’t Keep Us Safe from Their Harms

26 Nov

In the ongoing saga of the TSA v. Common Sense, the latest set of security standards has created the most colorful ruckus so far. I’ve been pondering a post on this for a couple of days, and wouldn’t you know it, someone beat me to it. Mark Morford’s piece is funny, pointed, and brilliant. He makes the main points I was planning to make, at least at first. A few quick points, inspired by reading his words, that I think merit comment or amplification:

  1. The TSA is repeatedly closing the barn door after each horse gets out. Every new security measure is reactive, a strange strategy for safety. Tom the Dancing Bug illustrates this point brilliantly.
  2. We are also imposing increasingly heavy burdens on travelers within the United States in response to threats that have originated outside our country. The liquid-toting bomber, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, and $4200 package bombs all originated from airports that do not follow TSA guidelines.
  3. The TSA is touting a CBS News poll that finds 80% of Americans favor the use of the peek-a-boo scanners. A little closer analysis of the very skimpy poll, however, shows some big flaws:
    • There is no explanation in the questions of what the scanners do in a poll taken before there was widespread public awareness of the issue;
    • The poll was taken of the general populace, not of people who travel frequently or who have been subjected to these measures;
    • The poll sets up a false dichotomy of scanners v. racial profiling; and
    • As any supporter of full marriage equality will tell you, we should never put civil rights up to a popular vote.
  4. This new, excessive set of measures places an increased burden on already vulnerable categories of travelers such as the elderly, handicapped and transgender communities.

At the end of the day, we really need to ask ourselves if we’re on the right track. Should we continue to spend millions on a reactive infrastructure that humiliates and inconveniences millions of Americans or put that investment into more effective intelligence work that might actually intercept a terrorist before (s)he acts? Our color-coded, bomb in the toothpaste, strip for the camera approach serves mostly to increase our national sense of fear. Sounds to me like the terrorists are winning.

(title adapted with all due respect to Burt Bacharach; image ©2010 R. Bolling)

Hero of the Week Award, LBJ: November 26

26 Nov

With all the hype I have been hearing lately about cutting the whopping 2% that NPR gets from the Federal government, along with the TON of money they get with their “beg-a-thons,” I thought I would add some much needed perspective and a sense of history.  National Public Radio was started to ensure journalistic integrity, so that there would be a source of news that could not be purchased by corporations and thus biased for a political agenda.  If we lived in a hyper-liberal society, NPR would offer a conservative perspective.  The country we live in now is so conservative that the Nixon years (Affirmative Action and the EPA started in the Nixon Administration) look downright leftist; consequently, NPR is acting responsibly by offering a slightly more liberal perspective (some would argue moderate and not liberal).

I would like to underscore the history of NPR and when it started.  President Lyndon Baines Johnson working with congress started the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, November 7, 1967.  I shall quote LBJ, because his words are far more eloquent than mine.  He describes the purpose of Public Broadcasting as:

It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a “chicken in every pot”. We in America have an appetite for excellence, too. While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man’s spirit. That is the purpose of this act.

More concretely:

It will give a wider and, I think, stronger voice to educational radio and television by providing new funds for broadcast facilities. It will launch a major study of television’s use in the Nation’s classrooms and their potential use throughout the world. Finally — and most important — it builds a new institution: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Would that we could elect another LBJ.  While I would not want to be personal friends with him, nor sit and drink a beer with him, he was a fantastic leader with courage, intellect, and great intelligence.  My guess is he also knew the difference between North Korea and South Korea.  President LBJ earns the HWA posthumously for having the vision and leadership to safeguard true democracy.


Bigot of the Week Award: November 26

26 Nov

It looked as though the Salvation Army was going to win this week’s award, and trust me, their putting hate before serving needy families right now certainly earns them the BWA, however the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) helped influence this week’s award.  Yes, the BWA goes to the Family Research Council (FRC), now added to the list of Hate Groups by the SPLC.  Tony Perkins, the head of the FRC is outraged that people are accusing them of hate, just because they do promote hate and discrimination.  The FRC supported Jim DeMint’s efforts to fire all gay teachers.  The always charm free Perkins said that “gay teens try suicide because they know homosexuality is abnormal.”  Really?  Really?  And how would one describe the behavior of a purported heterosexual man that does nothing but obsess over homosexuals?

Women’s History: November 26

26 Nov

November 26, 1883 Sojourner Truth passed away.  In 1843,Isabella Baumfree took the name Sojourner Truth, believing this to be on the instructions of the Holy Spirit and became a traveling preacher (the meaning of her new name). In the late 1840s she connected with the abolitionist movement, becoming a popular speaker. In 1850, she also began speaking on woman suffrage. Her most famous speech, Aint I A Woman, was given in 1851 at a women’s rights convention in Ohio.

Quote of the Day:

    What are we educating women for? To raise the question is to face the whole problem of women’s role in society. We are uncertain about the end of women’s education precisely because the status of women in our society is fraught with contradictions and confusions.    Mirra Komarovsky

Will and Grace: Thanksgiving Moment

25 Nov

Click here!

Giving Thanks and Giving of Ourselves…

25 Nov

While many of us are able to enjoy a beautiful bounty of food with loved ones today, the increasing number of homeless in the United States is mind boggling and disturbing.  Here are a couple of resources: ImpactNW and National Alliance to End Homelessness.  If you email me back I can refer you to organizations in your area where you can make a difference.  Just donating some time, food, clothing can make a huge difference.  Many families are just a paycheck away from being on the streets.  The culture of giving seems to be a cultural artifact from the past.  Let’s bring new life into a culture of giving.

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

25 Nov

My best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone is intentional and sincere.  As I was reading The Declaration of Independence and The American Constitution this morning, I was grateful that both documents are living documents and I was in awe of how inclusive they are.  Granted, I acknowledge with shame the history of native genocide and the shame of treating our black sisters and brothers as less than human, but I find hope that both documents are living and thus have the ability to evolve.  While reading both documents I was struck by the humanity of the intent that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

No where does it say that if you are a homo you are less than human–less than equal.  Again, gratefully the document has evolved to try and ensure that women, blacks, and all non-white males are afforded the same rights and are to be treated equally regardless.  I was also impressed with the power of the language that government’s job is to protect the rights of the citizens, to ensure we are treated equally.  No where does it say that the government is supposed to discriminate, bully, persecute, deny unalienable rights.  While I hope everyone will read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, I also charge those in power that violate the principles of these two documents and sell out these rights for money.  The Fecal Five would do well to read both documents twice.  So I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, not just the white heterosexual christian males.

Annie Lennox: Women’s History

25 Nov

Yes, I do love Annie Lennox but I also thought this would be a great way to just celebrate women all over the world.  Click here to watch the video.

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