Monthly Archives: November 2018

Thoughts On Ivanka’s Response To The Email Scandal

We all know how vulnerable we are when we go on the Internet. We are reminded every day of how easily the websites we visit everyday can be hacked into or destroyed by viruses.

One of the hallmarks you know who’s Presidential bid was the constant reminder that Hillary Clinton used her personal email server for government business. On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump was interviewed about her own use of government emails on a personal server. She defended herself by stating the following:

Well, there really is no equivalency. All of my emails that relate to any form of government work which was mainly scheduling and logistics and managing the fact that I have a home life and a work life are all part of the public record. They’re all stored on the White House system so everything has been preserved. Everything has been archived. There just is no equivalency between the two.

In previous interviews Mrs. Clinton claimed that the emails did not contain sensitive data and apologized for her error.

Regardless of where one lands on the political spectrum, using a private server for government emails is wrong. No server, regardless of how strong the firewall or anti-virus program is, is completely free from hacking or viruses. From my perspective, logic dictates that any government employee should only be using government email on a government server when discussing work matters. I do not want to think of what would happen if a hacker is an able to get their hands on classified data because a government employee used a personal server to access that email account.

The other issue is that Ivanka, like the rest of her family, believes that she is above the law. No one is above the law, not even members of the Trump family.

I keep thinking about what our children and grandchildren will one day ask about this time in American history. I just hope that when that question is asked, we can give them an answer that makes sense.

 

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Flashback Friday: Catfish: The TV Show (2010-2018)

The Internet has changed our world as we know it to be. Especially when it comes to romance and dating. Online dating has become a normal way to find love, but the question is if the person we are talking to is real or hiding behind a fake profile?

The MTV reality show Catfish: The TV Show (2010) is based on the concept of catfishing. Catfishing is defined as the fake online persona that someone hides who they really are behind on a social media or online dating website profile. Each episodes, Nev Shulman and Max Joseph are contacted by someone who has fallen for the person they met online. Through various means of research, they either confirm or deny that the person on the other side of the email or messenger chat is real or fake.

Catfish: The TV Show is an interesting show from my perspective. Of course, it’s a reality show that is quite compelling. But, at the same time, it shows that as much as we want to find love, we have to be careful when using the Internet to find love.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday-Wife Swap (2004-Present)

It has been said that one cannot understand another person until you walk a mile in their shoes.

Wife Swap (2004-Present) took this concept and turned it into a reality show. The premise of the show is as follows: Two wives switch families for two weeks. The first week, the wives follow the rules of the rules of the homes where they have switched families. The second week, the new wives can rewrite the rules. After the two weeks, the wives reunite with their spouses and the couples meet to discuss their experiences. During most, not all of the episodes, there is resistance on both sides when it comes to how each family lives and the changes that they new wife makes during the second week.

I have mixed feelings about this program. On one hand, it’s just another reality show. But, on the other hand, it forces the participants to meet someone whom they might have never met before and perhaps open their mind to someone or something new.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Timeless Character Review: Agent Denise Christopher

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Timeless. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the first two seasons.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Timeless to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Every team needs a level-headed, capable leader. They are the ones who keep calm when everything and everyone around them is falling apart around them. On Timeless, that leader is Agent Denise Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey). Responsible for bringing and keeping the Time Team together, she is the unquestioned leader of their group. Part mama bear and part military general, it up to her to ensure that the missions are completed and Rittenhouse is stopped. But she also has to deal with the administrative part of leadership, working with Mason Industries and the her bosses in the NSA.

Like many working women, Denise juggles both a work life and a home life. Married too Michelle (Marci T. House), she has two young kids. But while her home life looks flawless, it was not easy to come out. When the Time Team met her in the early 1980’s, a younger Denise Christopher (Karen David) came from a traditional Indian family. Working as a police officer, she kept her sexuality close to her chest and nearly married a man to please her family.

To sum it up: Like anyone in a management, Denise Christopher’s professional life is a balancing act between caring for her team and making sure that they can complete the job they were hired to do. Add in her home life and you’ve got the average working woman. Any woman with a full-time job, a partner/spouse and children will tell you that it is never easy. But Denise Christopher stands out as a character because she balances both and proves that even though it is not easy, it is still possible.

 

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Throwback Thursday- Wild ‘n Out (2005-Present)

When music and comedy come together, it is often the perfect way to entertain.

In 2005, Wild ‘n Out (2005-present) premiered on MTV. Hosted by Nick Cannon, the show combined comedy and music into one package. Two teams of comedians (with a celebrity guest star) are pitted against each other in improvisational comedy battles. At the end of each episode, after a musical performance, one team is chosen as the winner.

Wild ‘n Out is one of those MTV shows that I enjoyed. It was funny, slightly raunchy, not exactly politically correct at moments, but all together, not a bad way to relax after a long day.

I recommend it.

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The Other Einstein Book Review

There is an old saying:

“Behind every great man there is a great woman”

The issue with this statement (at least from my perspective) is that while a man is pushed to succeed and accomplish his goals, a woman is encouraged to put her dreams and aspirations aside to support her man.

Mileva Marić had as much potential to succeed in the world of science and math as her husband, Albert Einstein. But because she was a woman and he was a man, she put her ambitions aside to support his ambitions. Their story is told in the new book, The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict. Mileva (or Mitza as she was known to her loved ones) met her future husband at University. As the only female student in her program, Mileva worked hard to earn the respect of her teachers and classmates. While Mileva was putting everything she had into earning her degree, Albert was not really putting in the effort. He was the kind of student a teacher might describe as having potential, if he was was willing to do the work to see that potential become reality.

They marry after Albert graduates and for a while, it seems like a solid and happy marriage. But as Albert’s fame and success grows, his marriage to Mileva is slowly shifting to shaky ground. Will their marriage last or will his fame break up what once appeared to be a perfect relationship?

I really loved this book. I loved it because it introduced me to a side of a legend that I had not known before. And frankly, it was a side that I didn’t like at certain points in the book. I also loved it because Ms. Benedict gave a voice to a woman who should have been able to succeed in her chosen field, but didn’t because of the era she lived in. It was a reminder to me that I shouldn’t take the educational and career opportunities for granted because it was not that long ago that woman had to fight for the opportunities that seem normal in 2018.

I recommend it.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer’s Workshop Book Review

Writing, like any form of art, contains a bit of science. For all of the creativity and ingenuity involved, there a basic skill set required to obtain at least some success.

Also, like any art form, there are many experts with varying suggestions and ideas on how to achieve that success.

The 2010 book, Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer’s Workshop, was inspired by The Loft Literary Center. Edited by Daniel Slager, the book is about more than just writing. The abundant knowledge that exists within the book exudes comes from the writers who have achieved the dream that many of us would dearly love to call reality. Bringing in multiple writers in various stages of writing, this book encourages its reader to continue to write, even when obstacles get in their way.

I really enjoyed this book. When it comes to books about writing, there are many to choose from. I liked this book because it just spoke to me about writing. Yes, it’s difficult, time-consuming and earning your living solely by your pen (or computer) is not guaranteed, but in the end, it is always worth it.

I recommend it.

 

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How About Them Tariffs? GM Will Be Cutting Jobs And Closing Plants

When a certain person was running for the highest office in the land, he used his so-called business acumen as one of the reasons why he was qualified for the position.

He also insisted that imposing tariffs on certain materials coming into and going out of this country would be good for the economy.

Yesterday, it was announced that GM would be cutting over 14,000 jobs and closing 7 factories. The claim by GM is that the factories are closing (and employees losing their jobs) because the car models that these factories produce are not selling as vigorously as other car models.

I’m not an expert in economics by any stretch of the imagination. However, I know enough to know that these tariffs are not doing what he promised they would do.

When it comes to elections, voters vote with their wallet as much as they  do with their political, social or religious beliefs. When an economy is tanking during a major election cycle, many voters will often blame their political leaders and not vote for the incumbent.

I suggest that a certain person learns that, otherwise he may go down in history as another one term President.

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He Gassed Children. What Else Is There To Say?

America is a land of immigrants. Most, if not all us (excluding those who are Native American) can say that at some point in history, someone in their family left their homeland for a new life in America.

The latest news in the war over our national immigration policy that the Border Patrol sent in by you know who to control the caravan coming up from Central America and Mexico gassed innocent people who were simply there to ask for asylum. The migrants in this caravan are not hoodlums and thugs who want to enter the United States and cause trouble. These are ordinary civilians, who want a better life for themselves and their families. What’s worse is that children were caught up in this melee and were affected by the gas.

I understand the frustration on both sides. I also understand that not everyone who wants to come into the United States will be let in. However, to indiscriminately fire tear gas at women and children is inhumane. But given you know’s stance on immigration, this is nothing new and just another reason why he is ill qualified for the position he was elected to.

P.S. Did anyone else notice that the White House tried to keep the new report on climate change quiet on Friday, hoping that we would still be either still stuffed from Thanksgiving dinner or paying more attention to the flat screen TVs that were 50% off to notice? Climate change is real and will have a drastic effect on every aspect of our lives, if it has not had a drastic effect already. If I were a betting woman, I would say that he would only believe it when he cannot access both Mar-a-lago and Trump Tower due to rising sea levels. But I am not betting woman, I am just asking questions.

 

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The Favourite Movie Review

Politics can sometimes be construed as a game of one upmanship.

The new movie, The Favourite takes place in England in the early 18th century. Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) is on the throne, but she is not the one who is running the country. Emotionally unstable and in bad health, she relies heavily on her friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), who unofficially rules in the Queen’s stead. Enter Abigail (Emma Stone), a cousin of Sarah’s whose family has fallen from their aristocratic roots. Abigail is looking for a job and soon climbs up the ladder as Sarah’s maid. As Sarah becomes more involved with the war with France, Abigail takes her place as the Queen’s emotional support system. Seeing that power is within her grasp, Abigail takes it and challenges anyone who would dare threaten her new-found power.

This movie is very interesting. The dirty game of politics is usually confined to men. But in this film, the women play dirty, pull no punches and do what they have to do to gain or stay in power. Couched in the language and imagery of a BPD (British Period Drama), but adding layers of politics, feminism and history, this film is a must see.

I absolutely recommend it.

The Favourite is presently in theaters. 

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