Category Archives: National News

The Collapse of the Champlain Towers South Was Preventable

When something bad happens, we tend to say “if only…” or “had I known…”. While not everything in life is preventable, that does not mean that we are absolved of taking preventable actions when we are able to do so.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Champlain Towers South partially collapsed. 24 people are dead and 121 have not be found. According to building residents, there were signs of structural damage. But instead of doing what they needed to do to fix the problems, the condo board ignored them. Which, as we all know now, led to the building’s current state.

What makes me angry is that this tragedy was preventable. Those who died and/or are still missing might still be alive today, celebrating the 4th of July. But they are not. I hope those who are responsible for this get what is coming to them.

May the memories of those killed be a blessing. Z”l.

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I Appreciate Sha’Carri Richardson’s Maturity

The mark of an adult, in my opinion, is the ability to admit when one has made a mistake and accept the consequences.

On Friday, Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson spoke to The Today Show, She apologized for drug use that led to her one month suspension from competing in the trials for this month’s Olympics.

I admire Ms. Richardson for accepting her punishment with grace and maturity. While I understand that she was grieving for her mother, what she did was wrong. Instead of taking a tantrum (unlike a certain former President) in public, she put on her big girl pants, and let the chips fall where they may.

It is a lesson we can all learn, regardless of how old or young we are.

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Filed under Books, Life, National News, Politics, Television

Bill Cosby’s Release is Both Wrong and Disgusting

Once upon a time (the 1980’s and early 1990’s to be specific), Bill Cosby and his family sitcom, The Cosby Show was everywhere. He was America’s TV dad, breaking boundaries and telling stories that we all could relate to, regardless of skin color.

Cut to nearly 40 years later; Cosby was a felon, found guilty of sexual assault. But as of yesterday, he was released from prison due to the accusation that his due process rights were violated.

Adding fuel to the fire, his TV wife, Phylicia Rashad initially supported him by the following tweet on Wednesday:

“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

By Thursday, it had been retracted and replaced with another tweet.

Starts at 6:09

This is why the #Metoo movement exists. To make sure men like Cosby are given their day in court and then locked in jail for the rest of their natural lives. While I understand that Rashad and Cosby have been friends and colleagues for years, she should not be excusing his behavior. She should be calling him out on what he did and standing by the victims.

As a response to her initial tweet, Howard University, where Rashad is a Dean of the College of Fine arts, has received complaints from students, parents, and potential students. Honestly, I don’t blame them. By condoning him, she sends the message that these kinds of act are not just acceptable, but those found guilty will get just a slap on the wrist.

When it comes to rape and sexual assault, we have finally reached the place in which the victims are believed and the perpetrators get what is coming to them. Bill Cosby’s release is not just wrong and disgusting, it is a cold reminder why we still need #Metoo.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Television

Juneteenth is the Newest Federal American Holiday

The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

This week, the arc of justice finally reached it’s mark this week. President Biden officially designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As others have pointed out (which I agree with), as important this proclamation is, it must be backed up by laws up holding equality and shutting down of institutional racism in every fact of our society.

The fact is that African-Americans have built this country. Instead of thanking them and giving greater opportunities, we have degraded them, dehumanized them, and denied the most basic of rights that we claim is due to every American.

In a move that surprised no one, several members of Congress, who are all male, Caucasian, and Republican, voted no. Thankfully, a majority knew and understood how vitally important it is to at least try to reach the ideals written in our founding documents.

This is just a step in the road to real equality, but it is huge and if nothing else, a day to be proud of.

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Beautiful Things: A Memoir Book Review

Addiction is not a thing we can turn on and off like a light switch. It is an all consuming habit that devours and destroys everything in its path.

Hunter Biden, the younger son of President Joe Biden released his memoir back in April. Entitled Beautiful Things: A Memoir, is an emotionally raw and difficult read about Biden’s decades of drug addiction, his adoration of his late older brother Beau Biden, and his many attempts to get clean. He tells the story of his life as only he tells it. From the death of his mother and baby sister when he was a young child, to his father’s time in politics and his attempt to live a normal life while dealing with his inner demons, nothing is off the table.

If this book is not among the top five, if not the best book of the year, something is wrong. I have a feeling that putting pen to paper was a cathartic experience for him. It is real, it is uninhibited, and it is emotional. I wanted to reach out through the pages and give him a long hug. Leaving no stone unturned, he is honest about his long years of drug abuse.

He also talks about the accusation that came from the other side during the 2020 Presidential election in regards to the laptop that linked him to the Ukraine scandal. Unlike a certain person and their family, Hunter Biden comes off as a genuine person who is not always looking out solely for number one.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Mental Health, National News, Politics

Paxton Smith is My New Hero

When fighting against injustice, superheroes don’t always wear capes or use fantastic weaponry. Some are just brave enough to stand up and speak their truths.

Earlier this months, recent Texas high school graduate Paxton Smith stepped up the microphone to give her valedictorian speech. Instead of reading from the text that was approved by the administration, she used her platform to speak out against the heartbeat bill signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.

The problem with this bill is that it goes into effect before pregnancy is detected, taking away the person’s right to make a decision about their body and their future. The problem with this bill and others like it is that is shortsighted. It does not take into account if the pregnancy comes about via rape, incest, or if it is medically necessary to abort the pregnancy. It also ignores the millions of already existing children who for a variety of reasons, are growing up in less than economically ideal circumstances. Where is the need to help those kids?

We need more young women like Paxton Smith. With future leaders like her, I see a bright future for this country.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Politics

Google Hired an Anti-Semite as Diversity Chief

The job of diversity chief is to ensure that employees feel that they do not have to hide their religious or cultural identities to feel safe at work.

Yet somehow, the HR people at Google ignored this most basic job description when they hired Kamau Bobb. When it was discovered that back in 2007, he made the claim that Jewish people “have an insatiable appetite for war and killing”. Instead of firing him (as they should have), he was kept on the payroll, but was moved to another position.

Now granted, this blog post is 14 years old. One would hope that he would have learned a few things in that time. The irony in this story is that the company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are both Jewish. Aside from the extremely scary rise in antisemitism in the US and around the world, the fact that this man accused his employers of having bloodlust should have been a reason for immediate termination. Instead he was given a slap on the wrist and retained his employment.

The message, as I see it, is clear. Antisemitism is not something to be ashamed about and shunned for. It is acceptable and even applauded. The only way to get rid of hate and prejudice is to confront it. By not doing so, the powers that be are adding even more fuel to the fire and allowing this disgusting perspective to thrive. Adding fuel to the fire of this problem is that this company is so ingrained in our daily lives that we could not avoid it if we wanted to.

Good job, Google.

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The Lincoln Project on Memorial Day and the January 6th Commission

January 6th, 2021, was a day that will forever part of American history. Those of us above a certain age will forever remember where we were and who we were that day.

Nearly 6 months after the fact, a bi-partisan commission is being put together to figure out what happened and more importantly, what went wrong. As expected, while some members of Congress understand the importance this commission, others (cough, Republicans, cough) have shot down the idea.

Today, as we all know, is Memorial Day. Instead of remembering those who have given up everything to protect this country and everything she represents, they are as usual more concerned with saving their own skins and brown nosing you know who.

The Lincoln Project is far more eloquent and knowledgeable on this topic than I am. I will end this post with their latest video because a picture is always worth a thousand words.

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Filed under History, National News, Politics

Thoughts On the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

It is amazing how a year can change us or the world as we know it to be.

One year ago today, George Floyd‘s life was taken by Derek Chauvin. Floyd could have been just another number, another causality of the police brutality against Americans of color. Instead, he became an icon and a match that would light the fire of protest against prejudice and hatred for people across the country and the world.

I wish that it did not have to be this way. Mr. Floyd did not have to die that day. But because he was a black man in America, Chauvin decided that he was both judge and juror.

May the memory of George Floyd forever be a blessing and a reminder of how powerful and pervasive racism can be.

Z”l.

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Filed under National News, Thoughts On....

The Problem with the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Starts With the Headlines

The purpose of the media is supposed to report the facts of the news. How the viewer or reader judges the facts is based on the induvidual.

As the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine boils over into a second week, the headlines from the various media outlets around the world do not help the situation. They make it worse by inverting the truth in order to get readers attention.

A good example of this is an article that was published by Reuters yesterday. The headline is as follows:

“Israel air strikes kill 42 Palestinians, rockets fired from Gaza”

Let’s break down how the topic is presented. The first half accuses Israel of purposefully targeting civilians. The second clarifies that the airstrikes are in response to the rockets that have been from Gaza into Israel.

The writer relies on the reader’s emotion to catch their eye before letting logic to tell the whole story. As we all know, human beings are emotional creatures. Logic and thought come into play after we opened our mouths.

Reuters is not the first publication to use this model. Most news companies rely on the format. The problem is that it does not tell the whole story. If the purpose of the media is to report the details to the public, they are failing miserably.

On a final note, I would like to ask you a question. I want you to imagine that it is an ordinary day. The sun is shining above and the breeze is just enough to be comfortable without being overwhelming. Your out, enjoying a perfectly lovely afternoon. Then a siren goes off. You have 15 seconds to find shelter and have no idea if this day will be your last. Do you let your neighbor destroy you or do you fight back, knowing there will be innocent casualties on both sides?

Happy Sunday.

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Filed under National News, World News