Friday, July 31, 2009

What The World Needs Now...

Is a US President who actually supports the people who are protecting him from getting assassinated.

Oooh. Did I just say that?

But seriously. Given what happened with this whole cop arresting a black scholar situation... you would think that a President wouldn't behave so "stupidly".

On a related noted, I found this video that is really funny.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a REAL Economy Stimulus Looks Like

A free market.

Competitive stores vying for the same customers.

As long as the government stays out of things that's really all the economy needs to right itself.

(Well, that and no new taxes!)

There is a new Harris Teeter grocery store opening near my neighborhood. To draw attention and customers they sent out coupons in the mail. $10 off a purchase of $50 or more.

About a week later, Farm Fresh, with a store located a few blocks up the street from the new shopping center- sent out their own coupons with the exact same offer.

Coincidence? No.

Government regulated? No.

Effective? Yes.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Search of A Few Good (Black) Men (and Women)

Everyone needs a few good role models. Or even just one great example to follow.

Ideally they would fill the role of mentor and be someone you could talk to and get to know on a personal level.

If nothing else, they should be someone who is successful at what they do and represent strong core values: honesty, fidelity, humanity,…

Mistakes are an inevitability in life. But the majority of a person’s really bad decision making should have taken place when they were young and stupid. Not when they’re old enough to really do damage and should have known better.

Regrettably, family members seldom fit the bill.

This is when having a real human Hero is of endless value. Even if you don’t know them intimately, you never actually meet them in person and they live and die without knowing they ever influenced you at all- they still fulfill a very real human need.

Like many other mammals and creatures, young learn from the older generations. They learn what is good to eat, how to acquire their food, where their physical boundaries are and how to interact with others of their own kind. Time and time again we have seen that then young are deprived of older role models, all hell can break loose.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Chicken or The Egg?

He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is your creator.

He loves you. He cares about you.

But if you don't obey everything he says to the letter, he'll make sure that after you do you are tortured and suffer for all of eternity.

This is one of, if not THE classic Chick or Egg questions.

Which came first? Humanities obsession with a religious "Loving Dictator"? Or their tenancy to follow a leader who through the people's own interest, enslaves them in suffocating rules, restrictions and in essence- slavery?

Did early man create and latch onto the idea of a father-like ruler who holds you to his breast with an iron fist, first allowing then forcing you to suck a tit that produces no milk or nutritional substance and then locks you in that hold now against your will all the while taunting that you eagerly begged for that just moments before?

Is it part of the human animal instincts to seek out one person who will dominate all the others and provide as well as enforce rules and justice?

Are humans really so incapable of surviving and existing in groups of any number without their appointing a leader to accept both the all responsibility and the blame- but by thereby also assuming all the power and control?

Is laziness the root of the problem here? Fear? Ineptitude?

Sheer 'efficiency' doesn't seem to provide the clarity I'm seeking.

I find it somewhat absurd and amusing that there is a required separation of church and state here in America- when governments and religions have so much in common.

Don't get me wrong.

I'm truly glad for the foresight that cause that clause to be added. God only know what trouble this country would be in if we were ruled by the double-fisted power of those things simultaneously.

You only have to look at any socialistic or communistic country to see the meager influence their general populations have and how the brutal totalitarianism rule inevitably turns to greed and self-serving.

"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

You may have heard that quote before by historian and moralist John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton. What you've likely never heard is the rest of the statement.

"Great men are almost always bad men."

John... how right you are.

While this wasn't the direction I'd originally planned for this blog, this fell into my lap and I need somewhere to put it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Paradox of Tragedy

A war.

An affair.

A physically impaired newborn.

A natural disaster.


There perhaps is nothing so controversial as stating something good was possible only because it was preceded by and actually resulted through something ruthlessly cruel and horribly tragic.

There may be some appreciation in a general ability to find a ‘sliver lining’, but when someone goes so far as to say that society and people are better off, improved, happier and wealthier because of death, destruction and mayhem, it’s hard to find an audience that won’t become angry and outraged.

Stay open minded for a moment. Let’s review history. While examples would be plentiful through ALL of history, we’ll stick to the last few hundred years just so it feels relevant.

I cannot get myself to say that tragedy is good. I’m not so cynical or jaded as to think that someone’s intense suffering is a good thing. However, there is room for gratitude that their suffering was not endured for nothing.

Suffering is part of the human condition. Anything that manages to survive birth, survives to endure an endless series of unfortunate events. Life = suffering.

BUT life is also about overcoming. It’s about championing a cause, defending the underdog, protecting things worth saving and experiencing the greatest of all of life’s joys: some kind of a meaningful relationship with another human being.

And regrettably, most of that would not be possible without tragedy.

It has been acknowledged by authorities of many kinds that without religious persecution in England and the greed of the wealthy that resulted in the death and suffering of thousands of people for thousands of centuries- people would not have been desperate enough to leave their homes and venture out on a rickety old timber boat to risk death, disease and starvation- to find a new country to live in. I am of course referring to how America as we know it got it’s early beginnings.

And it has similarly been acknowledged that America would have been a vastly different place without the sweat, blood and tears of all the people (indentured white servants, cheated imported Chinese, enslaved Africans and those who arrived here free) who cultivated the raw and wild land into homes, businesses and multi-cultured civilization.

It truly was an atrocity how the Native American Indians were nearly wiped out through deliberate and accidental means during that process.

It cannot be overlooked though that the harvesting of this continent was inevitable. The French, Germans, Russians, Mexicans and others were all after a chunk of this rich and fertile country. Without the story going the unfortunate way it did, there is a good chance that traveling to California would be owned by Mexico, Alaska by and …. By…. That many different countries trying to live side by side in the loose and highly desirable territories, would have inevitably led to more wars and bloodshed than our current history books list.

Likewise, every nationality that has called America home has somehow harmed it and enhanced it. Disease, pestilence, vermin, violence and treachery have come from every corner of the earth along with new customs, imaginative contributions, brilliant literature, scientific breakthroughs. You might say that each country that stepped foot on American soil brought with them their own Pandora’s Box.

Ultimately though, through bad events and circumstances good things can come. You just have to be resilient enough to withstand the inevitable changes of life, and open minded enough to appreciate a silver lining.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Children, Hunting & Guns

Where is the problem?

I'm really surprised that after centuries of humanity teaching their children to provide food and protection for themselves and their families that suddenly it would be a taboo thing.

Guns are NOT bad. People who use guns CAN be. People have used kitchen knives to kill and threaten and maim other people. Should be eliminate kitchen knives too??

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Media Lies

"But what is the difference between literature and journalism? ... Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all."
Oscar Wilde

"The news and the truth are not the same thing. "
Walter Lippmann

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get the people to stop reading them."
Ray Bradbury

"I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but [an American] political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either."
Edward Zehr

"The people will believe what the media tells them they believe."
George Orwell

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The US President Can't Throw

In this video notice how the catch is cut off by the camera man panning away from the plate. Also, you can hear booing in the crowd. And, the announcer says that the got the ball "to the plate"- not over the plate.

Remarkably hard to find was the video that shows the arch of the pitch, and how the catcher (who's not the teams actual catcher...why?) is squatting over the plate and still had to reach to snag the ball.

For more on how some people are taking this and more comparison on how a "real" president throws, check out this link.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Explaining "Twilight" to Guys

So there are these Vampires. Except they're good Vampires. I mean, they don't drink humans blood. And one of them falls in love with a human...

About this point most guy's eyes will glaze over with utter boredom. Trying to explain the craze for this "vegetarian" Edward guy who claims to be a Vampire who doesn't actually ever hurt humans takes well, super human powers.

Regardless of the fact that the first

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Would You Date Yourself?

It may seem like a strange thing to ask, but honestly if YOU are not the kind of person you would want to date, then why should anyone else want to date you?

I'm a big advocate of list-making. Lists get to the point. You can read them as often as you like, modify them as needed and they serve as visual reminders.

I like happy endings so let's start with the negative items first.

What are five things about yourself in each category that you would NOT want to have in a potential date/romantic partner? Think good and hard about each category. Be honest. I'm including a few suggestions, but your they may be things I haven't listed.

Let's start with Irritating Habits.
Maybe you are chronically late- everywhere. Maybe you chew your food really loudly or say you're going to call someone in an hour and then don't call them back for three days. Possibly you're just a slob and never clean all the garbage out of your vehicle and your house has never heard of "spring cleaning".

Moving on to Personality Characteristics.
Do you wake up grouchy and grumpy in the morning? Are you unbelievably rude to strangers or other drivers? Do you always see the negative side of every situation? Do you think it's okay to lie, cheat or steal if no one really gets hurt? (like parking in Handicap Parking spots when you're not handicap?)

How about Personal Hygiene?
Brushing teeth twice a day isn't just so your teeth don't fall out, it's an act of kindness to anyone you hope to ever kiss. Smelling nice doesn't mean forgoing a shower and deodorant and trying to mask your body odor with a douse of cologne. Long scraggly nails and bitten-to-the-wick nails are gross on anyone. Trimming nose hairs, tweezers mole hairs and cleaning out your ears are surprisingly effective in taming your overall appearance.


Now list five things in each category that you DO like about yourself and would like to see in your match.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

10 Questions to Ask Before Proposing

I found this guy on the page linked another site under the blog category from a different site with an image of Michael Jackson that I Google searched.

From what I've read, although we come from quite different demographics- not to mention political preferences- Single Black Male seems to be an intelligent guy with good ideas. I read some of the articles on his page and found him both amusing and informative. I love finding things in common with people and I really enjoy the fact that he and I are both writing about love, relationships and life. He's a really good writer and I encourage you to check out his page.

This is a only slightly modified version of his list, because honestly, some of his questions don't need to be changed. However, like SBM said, as much as I try to generalize this list, it's truly a list of questions that I'd want answered before a marriage proposal.

10. What are your political stances and religious beliefs?

All our views and beliefs don't have to be mirror image, but I've gone down the path of NOT sharing the same core belief systems and honestly that is one do-over I don't want to repeat.

9. Do you plan to gain 30 pounds or more once married?

Like the religion mistake, I somehow thought that by marrying someone who was physically active and in great shape- that they intended to STAY that way. Oops. THAT didn't happen. It's not just the woman who often let themselves go in marriage or relationships. Guys are guilty of it too. And it's not okay. Aging is inevitable but turning into The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man is NOT a part of aging. And chub-a-lub fat on a guy or a girl is just gross. That being said I've been-there-done-that with having children and getting back into I-can't-believe-you've-ever-been-pregnant shape and in under a year. Three times. So I definitely practice what I preach.

8. How many people have you slept with? Do you have any STD's?

I'm gonna be honest when I say I have a healthy sexual appetite and I understand that variety and finding out what you like involves some experimenting. I'd just rather not find out that you've been experimenting with everything with a vagina in the last three states you've lived in and you started when you were 9 with your babysitter. And I don't really want to know everything that you've tried or even the exact number of women (or men) you've been with. I just want to know what the odds are that you've caught something (STDs like HPV don't show symptoms in men), that you've always practiced safe sex and don't get shocked to discover you have a child or two who's momma is going to show up at our doorstep demanding money some day. And yeah, if you've slept with anyone in my family or any of my current good friends- you can show yourself the door.

7. Are you going to do your share around the house/yard?

I'm a home improvement and gardening enthusiast, but I gotta tell you that enthusiasm sours quickly if I'm the only one doing it. I've had at least one job since I was 14 and I intend to always do something to make money. And since I can have a job, raise children, run a house and keep up the yard as a single woman, it should be expected that if we're married, we'll do be doing ALL those things together. Work together, play together, clean together. We need to both be committed to maintaining our lifestyle and that includes the environment we live in. If taking in ESPN is more of a priority than reminding yourself how the dishwasher and washing machine work, and if you don't care that you can't see the sidewalk for the jungle of grass in the front yard, then we're going to be having make-up sex every damn week after I sweetly remind you of your agreement to work together, and THEN you go cut the grass and load the dishwasher. I'm not going to love and live with someone who doesn't care if our house comes crumbling down around us as long as the Cable works or he has a job and hobbies so he's always gone.

6. What are your career plans and dreams?
Everyone needs a five year and 10 year plan. Even the homeless guy collecting quarters in the intersection needs to think about what's his future is going to look like. I want to be with someone who's ambitious, and driven to have a full and successful life. We're not necessarily talking Bill Gates successful (although that is okay too~) but if you've never given a thought to what you'll be doing, and who you'll be in the next ten years- just know that I've experienced living with a guy who went through an (early) mid-life crisis and I really, really don't want to do that again. Spare us both the insanity of that.

5.Have you ever been arrested, admitted to a mental hospital or been to rehab?

Everyone's got something in their past they're not proud of. Armed robbery, schizophrenia and a heroin addiction cannot, will not be the past of anyone I bring into my relationship life. The same goes for addictions to gambling, drinking, strip clubs, porn websites and any other compulsive life-damaging, money-wasting, relationship-destroying behaviors.

4. Are you going to sign this prenuptial?
I might be one of the first women who isn't making a six figure income to insist on a written contract before marriage, but I believe it will continue to become more popular once women realize how effective a prenup can be in protecting them and not just the man. It's not just a given anymore that the male in a marriage will be the one making more money, the only one going into a relationship owning a home or having large assets. And a nice little "in case of infidelity" clause can do wonders for a married woman's confidence. And by the way, if you're caught in Vegas gambling your 401K away and in the arms of a prostitute and you find yourself homeless and without a job after we get divorced, there is no way I'll be paying you alimony.

3. What's your credit score? Where is your money invested?

How a person deals with their money says a lot about their perspective on life, their priorities and their character. If a guy is a sweetheart but a moron with his money, then he's gonna need to take some financial planning classes at the local community college before we tie any knots. There isn't much point in working hard to make money if you don't know what to do with it besides spend it as quickly as you get it. And I definitely don't want to be the only one saving for retirement, family vacations and home improvements. I'm looking for a partner, not another child.

2. How do you feel about children and your role as a father?

Like many things in the last century, the role of parenthood has changed. I firmly believe that it takes two people to create a child and raise a child- and for a good reason. You need to serve as back up for each other so neither goes crazy. I want to be with someone who genuinely enjoys children, is hands on and is loving and playful. The ability to discipline in an effective but not traumatizing way is going to be an issue too. Being actively involved in a child's life from conception on is a must. Our parenting styles need to be at least mostly similar. And this might be asking a lot, but I need to know that you'd be willing to throw yourself in front of a bus- not just for the children we have together, but for the children I already have. Because I'd do the same for yours.

1. Are we going to continue to "get it on" 5 times a week (7 for the first year)?

I'll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, I'm dead serious about this. Regardless of what religion and your parents may have told you, there ARE good women who have healthy sexual appetites. While it's typically the guy who wants insurance for getting laid, ~surprise~ some women want to make sure their man won't get lazy or revert to websites and magazines after the honeymoon bliss wears off. We can keep it as interesting in the bedroom (or dressing room, or back of the car) as we want. As long as no one is getting hurt, we both like it and it doesn't involve animals or other people, as far as I'm concerned it's an option. But 'Put out or get out'. A guy may have coined the expression but it works for both genders.

So there you have it. Along with developing your own Personal Creed, tackling your "Never Done" list and finding out you and your partners Love Languages, creating your own list like this is one more thing to do in your quest for love, success and pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson: Music Icon, Pop Star and Now All-day/night Drama Mini Series

If things with MJ were shocking and unexpected when he was alive, those qualities have only multiplied with his death.