Tag Archives: California

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power Book Review

To be a woman in politics is to have a backbone made of steel. It requires courage, strength, an incredibly brilliant mind, and the ability to navigate through the bullshit.

Nancy Pelosi has done this and so much more. She has broken barriers, become a controversial figure, and stood toe to toe with some of the most notorious political figures of our era. Her biography, Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, by Susan Page, was published earlier this year. Pelosi was born in Baltimore, the youngest child, and only daughter in a prominent Italian-American family. Though she was raised in an era in which girls were boxed in, her mother encouraged her to color outside of the lines.

Moving to California after marrying, Pelosi only got into politics after her children were grown. Starting at the local level, she climbed up the ladder with a shrewd mind and an understanding of the game. Page spends most of the book examining her career and the challenges (especially when going against you know who) that she has come against. Diving into the details of the last few decades, the woman we meet is one who does not shrink when coming against a man who thinks that he knows better than her.

I enjoyed this book. The reader is introduced to Pelosi as the whole woman, not just the image on the evening news. She is thoroughly human in a way that I found relatable and inspirational. Pelosi may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you cannot deny that what she has accomplished is exceptional and admirable. We need more women in this world like Nancy Pelosi.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power is available wherever books are sold.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History, Politics

Sandy Hook Part II: At Least Eighteen Children and Two Adults Killed in an Elementary School in Texas

We all remember the horror of Sandy Hook in December of 2012. The young lives lost, the adults who tried to save their students, and the heartache that will never fade.

This morning was the sequel to that day. An eighteen-year-old gunman charged into an elementary school in Texas. Among the dead are at least eighteen children and two adults.

This is the third mass shooting to make national news in the last seven days. The third occurred in a church in Orange County in California. Five people were injured and one man was killed. Closer to home, a man was killed by a stranger carrying a gun on the Q train on Sunday in New York City. The accused was caught today. When did we become so desensitized that this unnecessary loss of life that it is nothing more than another headline?

I keep thinking that it is going to get to the point in which we have to wear bulletproof vests as part of our regular wardrobe and go through airport-style security to complete simple errands.

I blame the NRA. I blame the Republicans who are more concerned with their careers and lining their own pockets than doing what is right for the country. I blame all of our politicians who are too chicken shit to speak up and save lives. I blame Fox News and other right-wing media organizations who knowingly peddle lies. I blame those who are more concerned with the unborn than the current members of the young generation. I blame those who use mental health as an excuse instead of looking for real-world solutions and once more create a sense of shame around needing help.

We need rock-solid gun control laws now. We needed them in 2012 and we needed them after Columbine 23 years ago. I don’t know what it is going to take to get this legislation on the books. How many of our children will die before we do something about it?

If you have children, hug them and tell them that you love them. It may be the last time you say it to them.

The only thing I can think of right is to vote in November. Regardless of party or affiliation, if a candidate or incumbent does not support gun control, do not vote for them. Send the message that lives are more important than power.

May the memory of those murdered today be a blessing and finally be the impetus needed to get off our asses and fix this problem for good. Z”L.

P.S. I have no doubt that certain members of the press will use the fact that the allegation that the accused crossed the border illegally to once more further their own agenda.

P.P.S The fact that the shooting in the church in California is news to me tells me everything I need to know about where this nation is going.

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Filed under Mental Health, National News, New York City, Politics, Television

Flip or Flop: Fort Worth (2017-2018)

Getting into real estate as a profession is a gamble. The potential of earning more than a reasonable income is more than compelling. But, the risk is that if things go south, those involved could lose their shirt.

Flip or Flop: Fort Worth aired on HGTV from 2017-2018. A Texas offshoot of the original California-based series, the show follows married couple and military veterans Andy and Ashley Williams as they buy, renovate, and sell run-down houses. As with every show within this genre, there are always problems and the possibility of not being able to sell the finished product is always there in the background.

Unfortunately, some shows are not meant to last. As much as I enjoyed it, my opinion was not enough to keep it on the air for more than a year.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

The CA Gun Law to the SC & TX Abortion Laws: Top That

The game of politics can often be ground down to the game of top that.

With a growing number of states (among them Texas and South Carolina) with the United States enacting severe anti-abortion laws, California has responded with its own law.

The proposed bill, according to a press release from Newsom, would allow Californians to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” for damages — the same injunction-skirting mechanism Texas has used to ban all abortions after six weeks, which has so far been permitted by the Supreme Court.

The lawmakers who have created and enacted these draconian pieces of legislation knew exactly what they were doing. They knew that if their bills were written in a certain way, it would be impossible for the Supreme Court (or any court) to strike it down.

Bravo to Governor Newsom. At least someone is thinking rationally.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Tokyo Ever After Book Review

Many girls dream of becoming princesses when they are young. But what happens when you discover that you are a princess?

This is the jumping off point of the new YA novel, Tokyo Ever After. Written by Emiko Jean, the book was published last month. Izumi “Izzy” Tanaka is a high school senior living in a small town in California. One of only a handful of Asian-Americans students in her school, she is used to the not so polite questions and stares she receives from her her classmates.

Raised by her single mother, she never knew her father. That is, until her best friend does some digging. Izzy’s father is the Crown Prince of Japan. Before she knows it, she is in Tokyo, meeting her father and family that she never knew existed. The world of the Imperial family is an ancient one, bound by rules, traditions, and expectations that are a 180 from the middle class life she knew in the United States. Torn between the life she knew and the life that she could have, Izzy has to make a choice.

The narrative is somewhere between What a Girl Wants and The Princess Diaries. I truly loved this book and Izzy as a main character. The tension between her want to fit in with her new relations and being true to herself felt very relevant to me as a reader. I loved the details of the Imperial Palace, the images were so visceral that I felt like I was there with Izzy.

Do I recommend it? Yes .

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Fairy Tales

Disgusting

In Orange County, California, Attorney Matt McLaughlin has submitted a bill for the ballot next November.

This bill would make it legal for gay men and women to be executed simply because they are gay.

I am all for free speech, but when a bill is presented to the voting public making it legal to kill someone because their sexuality, that is beyond wrong.

It is disgusting.

The constitution states the following: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. It does not state “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but only if you are heterosexual”.

There are countries around the world where homosexuality is a crime. The punishment, even at the idea of being gay, at best to being thrown into prison and tortured. At worst, the punishment is execution. Iran is notorious to executing those who are perceived to be gay, even if they are not.

This should not be happening in the United States. But it is. And it’s disgusting.

 

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Filed under National News, World News

Throwback Thursday- Clueless

In the annals of high school/teenage movies, Clueless stands out.

Funny, irresistible and and extremely quotable, Amy Heckerling transfers Jane Austen’s Emma and the inhabitants of rural 19th century English Highbury to mid 1990’s California.

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen bee of her world. An only child, her mother is dead, her father Mel (Dan Hedaya) is a high priced lawyer. He has re-married and divorced at least once since his first wife’s death, keeping Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd) in the family.

Cher’s best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) and her boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) are constantly arguing. When Tai (the late Brittany Murphy) and Christian (Justin Walker) enter the story, Cher begins to see that she might be more clueless than she thinks she is.

I adore this movie. It’s funny and smart and still holds up after nearly twenty years. And after nearly twenty years, I still have closet envy. Who doesn’t want a closet with a computer that helps you to choose your outfit for the day?

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Filed under Emma, Jane Austen, Movie Review, Movies