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Showing posts from 2012

American Girls are What Exactly?

For the last few years, my husband and I had a holiday tradition. We delayed shopping as long as we can and then we bite the bullet and run (literally) through a mall the week before Christmas. The primary gift recipients are the nephews and the niece. The 30 second GameStop® to get two Mario games for the boys went well, and then….. We braved American Girl®.  We walked past the cheerleader, the grocery cashier, and the housewife before finally looking at one-another flabbergasted and my husband commenting, “Man what a scam!” I’m not sure how to describe the look on both my husband’s and my faces while we did the quick hunt around the store for the “phonograph” requested by my niece. Let’s just say that while I think American Girl® has a fantastic layout and brilliant marketing operation, it is literally terrifying to see the images that future women are experiencing. They are truly beginning to resemble a depiction from pre-19th Amendment ideals, through the 1950s myths and even the …

Legally Forming a More Perfect Union—by Definition

Why is it so complicated to define the rights of “pursuit of happiness” or “liberty”? I found most aspects of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) downright wrong, primarily because of the wide-ranging disparity of definitions given for both what a State is and what it has a right to regulate.

While searching far and wide for any serious phrase defining “State”; the closest I came to was a mixture of definitions provided by The Associated Press, Collins English Dictionary and Webster: “Any territory that became a member of the union called the United States of America”.Becoming part of any of the 50 states and six major US territories, (as members of that union), certain decisions and definitions will apply to all.As a nation, we’ve been fighting over different issues and whether each State should have final say or our federal government should. These distinctions have been debated, fought and fluctuated for over 236 years now.
By pressing to make DOMA all-encompassing and becoming commo…

Joe--Don’t Confuse Red Cross Invisibility with Inactivity, Inertia or Indifference

Mr. Scarborough,

Earlier today I watched your interview on “Morning Joe,” with Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) where you discussed the pain and suffering of your friends in Staten Island (like my friends and co-workers in Staten Island). You went on to address your perceived failures by the Red Cross both now and in the past, asking, “You'll make sure that the Red Cross does their job that they make the right decisions that they won't store it all in warehouses away from places and then re-sell it the way they did in Katrina?" I am a volunteer for American Red Cross and have been since 2003. I have supported disaster responses during fires, nor’easters, floods, a tsunami, an oil spill, terrorist attacks, 2 earthquakes and I have personally deployed during hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav, Ivan, Irene, Isaac and now Sandy. I think after watching Red Cross get lambasted multiple times on multiple levels,  it is time to clarify for you, and for all media the reality o…

Before We Forget And We Fall For Another Timeshare Pitch With A Four Year Contract

I honestly think that I hear things during political debates that aren’t the most memorable (because they just don’t resonate more than the most provocative statements); but items that often provide the best insight into people.  Watching the debate at Hofstra University, which made it difficult for even conservative comedians to resist the jokes regarding the extreme demographic blanching of Nassau County, had many noticing the racial demographics. Many publications and programs (from Politico to Reuters to Bill Maher) were writing and tweeting quickly and repeatedly. I figured that was the way things would be and was relaxing with some liqueur while resisting the urge to engage in a drinking game with my friends over the words economy, education, taxes, Libya or the more commonly fun shots being consumed by friends over the words oil, gas and coal.

Instead, the key moment for me, was Mitt Romney’s attempt to a respond to the question: “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the …

Volunteering Leave to Fulfill Multiple Missions

Volunteering was a natural occupation of my time. I began volunteering in 2003 and continue to do so today. There are many different avenues to go down as a volunteer and every specialty you may enjoy is out there for the taking. Whether humanitarian needs, animal rescue, environmental, academic, or veteran support to note a few; there are basic activities that Americans and others spend a great deal of their personal time giving back to their communities.  The majority of people I worked alongside as a volunteer retired from their former careers and had more the time to donate than many in their 20s to 40s. While that was true before the recession, in the past four years those numbers have moved a great deal toward a younger base. Both people who are unable to get employed and can function more effectively by staying sharp and working while they hunt for jobs, and professionals like myself who know that the need is far larger than the volunteer reserves in the USA if we don’t partici…

The Ultimate Super Pac Campaign

Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert, First of all, thank you for taking the time to form an exploratory committee to orally examine the exchange of information and funding through available now utilizing the post-Citizens United Super Pac. After your Super Pac made $1,023,121 as of January 30, (I am sure it has gone up even more at this point); I remember you discussed what to do when you determined Mr. Colbert running himself was not a tenable option. So I was wondering if you are trying to figure out where to spend that money in the upcoming weeks (even though the amount in it seems barely consequential considering the $512 million the ad total reached today for the 2012 election). While it would be too partisan to use it for either candidate or party; I think both sides would potentially agree (and do be careful, because both sides agreeing may in fact cause the galaxy to rupture!) on the following proposal. The Super Pac campaign I’m proposing is simply enforcing the Americans right to cr…

Is 2012 An Ultimate Political Acquiescence or Inevitable Real Conflict?

As I begin to reach a saturation point from multiple political pundits this month, I have also had the opportunity to be party to multiple conversations providing copious perspectives. Nothing however compared to this past weekend. Republican friends of mine, particularly Caucasian males in their twenties (and even their sixties) who, (although vehemently anti-gay), seemed almost homosexually orgasmic with the Vice President choice of Paul Ryan. The next day, another colleague of mine, was more than slightly amused by the nomination noting, “If the Republican contributors get even a hint that Ryan could be put to the top of the ticket, Romney may want to hire a food tester over the next few months!”

While Republicans appear in high spirits about Ryan, The Democratic Party still seems buoyant rather than anxious about Romney. They seem happy with him as an adversary and some even personally ecstatic regarding the constant favors he seems to bestow upon Jim Messina, David Axelrod and Ja…

Preconditioned Problems

No matter how many advertisements or how much ducking and weaving both sides are doing politically this year, health care and the US economy are both extremely intertwined at this point. Many demographics throughout multiple US voting populations are already in a different nebula than ever before (even compared to the 1930s). In 2010 a friend who was a salaried employee was laid off and became a contractor.She had Cobra and stayed true to her republican roots telling me that she was a good worker and she would be able to get a salaried position for benefits again. I gently tried to ensure her, but also knew that she was in her early 50s and not in perfect health, so frankly, when her checks from Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) ran out, she had a snowball’s chance in hell of being gainfully hired for a salary even in the ballpark of her previous job when everywhere she was looking, the agencies could take a 22 year old at less than half the price and train them a…

Social Media Defining our Personal Standards for Decorum

In less than 10 seconds, it is possible to undo a decade’s worth of work. When Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou tweeted, “With so many Africans in Greece... the West Nile mosquitoes will at least eat homemade food!!!” the immediate response was being removed from the Greek Olympic Team. The head of the Greek Olympic Mission, Isidoros Kouvelos summed it up: "She showed no respect for a basic Olympic value and unfortunately she is out," told Greek SKAI TV. "She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes." It seems a bit extreme a choice, but it reminds us of the standards that the Olympic Games try to maintain. My curiosity is: How on earth, if you as a country (or a team) have invested so deeply in these athletes and are already putting them under such constant, extreme pressure already that anyone responsible for their conduct or their media exposure would let any of them near an I Phone or a Twitter account? As much as it seems like a Twilight Zo…

Commanding Camaraderie

Last week, on Hardball an academic pundit Cynthia Tucker touched upon the reference that flashed back to George Bush vs. Al Gore and John Kerry and even Obama McCain referencing camaraderie at the local brewery noting, “Mitt Romney is a geeky, awkward candidate on the campaign trail,” Tucker continued. “He doesn’t project a lot of personal warmth. He doesn’t’ seem the kind of guy you’d want to sit down and have a beer with.” A friend of mine vented for a good few minutes about it noting, “Why do I want to elect someone I want to have a drink with? I think our primary leader should be a person who is outstanding, not someone who is average in everything!Isn’t this person supposed to be extraordinary? Our president is representing our country around the world and needs to be competent and practical and on the ball, not merely personable!” I thought about his exasperation for a minute and was flashing back to numerous times this metaphor has been used in the last 3 going on 4 elections.Wo…

The Real Quandary of the Second Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed always sounded pretty simple to me. It had one straightforward purpose. Citizens have the right to keep weapons in their homes to protect their properties, primarily to protect the nation from possible corruption of government leaders causing law enforcement or military to be corrupted also and potentially enable repression to turn a democracy into a stratocracy military dictatorship even tyranny. Now that all the buzz words are on the table for the legitimate reasons for the second amendment, it may be good to understand the key distinction compared to the remaining nine amendments in the bill of rights. Most amendments indicate responsibility. For those who don’t have time to go look them up on Wikipedia®: The right to say what you want without being criminally, (not so much litigiously) responsible for what may ensue as a result; not being…

What is a Pro-Choice Woman?

It does not matter what political party you belong to, what your age is, or what your other demographics are. The past year has been a surreal experience for any US citizen with two x chromosomes in their body. When pundits go all over about democratic strategist Rosen's remark regarding Mitt’s wife Ann Romney, "has never worked a day in her life” rather than considering that an attack on every woman who had a child. To understand the real life issues, it may be better for candidates to realize more than the fact that all mothers are working extremely hard jobs in and of themselves. That is a given and nobody in any party is debating that—not even mothers with the uncommon luxury of enough income in a one income household. It may be better to distinguish between a mother whose husband was laid off of a middle management job (and is now working 3 minimum wage jobs at 70 hours a week) and who is babysitting her friends’ kids and her nieces during the day while both her friend a…

Voluntary Expectations

Non-profits, NGOs and Charities are all experiencing a massive deficiency during this recession. While the HR folks and the managers of operations and/or development folks all tried their best, they really didn't understand the financial requirements for riding out a recession like 2007. So they are suffering an enormous 'skills shortage' and are still unsuccessful in recovering and reactivating volunteers. I think many non-profit agencies fell into the old school economic philosophy assuming that when folks are out of work, they volunteer. Alas, unlike the past couple, this recession really is an anomaly and in the current financial climate, not only is the supply of wealthy donors going down substantially, but volunteering is just not a tenable option for many that would and have done so in the past.Retirees that had their IRAs tank and students who are now graduating with their average student loan debt burden topping $25000 are all required to pay off debts and (by nec…