Category Archives: Uncategorized

Black Guns Matter, too

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So, a new video was presented from Barcroft TV via Youtube entitled “Black Guns Matter.”

Self responsibility is a heavy virtue.

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How one breakthrough candidate dampened my excitement for the next

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The quickest of the quickest background needed for this piece – 1. I am a life long Democrat voter and 2. I voted for President -soon to be former – President Obama twice.

I still remember the Election Day from that year. The day just carried an excitement, I remember hearing people honking in the streets as they – as we waited for the tally to come in to confirm what so many people expected, hoped for – America had elected its first Black president.

The next election, 2012, was a decidedly less exciting affair. I don’t remember the day, the excitement. I do remember voting – this time I did early voting. The lines were long, but  the weather was pleasant. The only celebrity I met in person was Mario Van Peebles who stopped by to “encourage” the voters to stay in the voting line and actually vote I suppose.

The novelty of the first African American president(technically he is mixed, but I feel confident his race will be recorded as African American) had been greatly lowered. These people elected to their jobs were, well, expected to do their jobs. I was increasingly aggravated by the slow process that change that Obama administration had promised.

And to be more honest, I didn’t even remember what I wanted the Obama administration to accomplish. I just got caught up in the day to day fights of Democrats vs Republicans, but I had no overarching dreams/goals for the administration to accomplish. Wow, that’s sad to say, but when I announce myself as a life long Democrat, essentially I am saying that I took my marching orders as far as the most important issues from the Democratic party. Abortion, gun rights, social issues – I had an opinion about these issues because they were the issues being talked about.

Enter Madame Hilary Clinton. The supposed first female president  of the United States. And I didn’t care.  I knew the Hillary Clinton name from years of public use, she was a woman, I do believe women are capable of handling leadership roles. But her gender didn’t matter to me. I had learned from watching President Obama.

Skin color and sex didn’t matter. It comes down to whether she could do the job.

And I didn’t know if she could. Moreover, I didn’t trust her to do the job.

So I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote for Trump. For the first time, in my voting life, I didn’t vote at all. I felt embarrassed not to be able to say that I voted for someone.But I didn’t believe the other candidates had a chance and I don’t believe in a protest vote.

 

 

 

Another #bbhmm essay i.e. I don’t buy Rihanna as a bill collector

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BBBHM is a tale of revenge, that was highly celebrated in some circles and highly criticized in others.

In my circle of one (I complete me), I was …. than enthused with the video and the song for that matter.

  1. Revenge is a dish best served cold is how the saying goes. That is true for the person who is perpetrating the avenging actions. For those who witness such actions to sympathize and later route for the actor causing violence and havoc it is best to “feel” for their character – be outraged at their betrayal, see the devastating effects of that betrayal – on a personal emotional level and any subsequent concrete effects.
    1. The real word inspiration for Rihanna’s revenge fantasy was the fact that Rihanna’s accountant had alleged stolen money – $9 million to be approximate – (not so much stolen as gave really crummy accounting advice), regardless under his wisdom the Bajan beauty found herself nearly bankrupt by the end of 2009.
      1. Regardless of the cause, rumors about the main actors in Rihanna’s financial drama have been circulating for years. The thing is – Rihanna never came out and cried broke, gave any interviews (that I recall and none that an admittedly quick google search revealed) about her pain about being taken advantage of or experiencing Hollywood star levels of poverty. I heard the stories, looked at Rihanna – the glamour, the clothes, the homes, the travel and…..everything looked fine, so I moved on, nothing to see here, nothing to worry or cry about over here.
      2. In othe words, as an audience member I wasn’t exactly demanding that RiRi get retribution.
    2.  The character of Rihanna does not strike me as a bill collector. Yes #BBHMM is essentially a song about a bill collector. Bill collectors are demanding, dogged, unrelenting – hounding their targets at all times of the day and night, paying insistent attention to detail. The public personae/character of Rihanna is that of a stoner, a party girl, she throws shades and then goes back to the party. However else her actual private behaviors are, Rihanna’s behavior in public screams she will get sassy but overall stays in chill position.    That is to say I did not believe that the Rihanna was the right person to star in video/song. I believe the character of Rihanna wouldn’t have qualms about committing such acts I just don’t believe she would be the mastermind or the driving force behind this plot.

They said there would be riots in Boston….and there was….why?

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Somehow, somewhere I heard that people would definitely riot in Boston come Sunday last.

And since I was told that it would be so, I immediately doubled down on my natural inclination to think that riots will NOT occur.

But….this happened.

And I want to want to know why did it happen? Can you accurately predict when a riot will occur? Who is rioting, who usually riots? But always coming back to my initial curiosity – how can you predict when a riot will occur?

***(I’ll also toss in, can’t promise that I will answer this time, ever burning question – do rioters ever destroy/riot outside of their own neighborhoods? , is that a line that separates a riot from a revolution?)

Child support: Mommy, Daddy and…..the State?

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“Fair prejudices” held: Child support cases administered by the state ensure the neutral transfer of funds from one parent to the other.

Turns out I was absolutely wrong.

in part because the government uses fathers’ payments largely to recoup welfare costs rather than passing on the money to mothers and children. Close to half the states pass along none of collected child support to families on welfare, while most others pay only $50 a month to a custodial parent, usually the mother, even though the father may be paying hundreds of dollars each month.

Here’s the real world example:

Karla Hart, a struggling mother of four here, held out her monthly statement from the county child-support office.

Paid by the father: $229.40.

Amount deducted to repay federal costs of welfare: $132.18.

Her share: $97.22.

Then, what exactly is the point of state administered child support?

When Congress set up the current child support system in the 1970s, recovering welfare costs was an explicit goal, with some experts arguing that it was only fair for fathers to repay the government for sustaining their offspring and that giving families the money was a form of “double dipping.” But experience and research have suggested to most experts and state and federal officials from both parties that the policy is counterproductive — driving fathers into the underground economy and leaving families more dependent on aid

**Sigh, new “fair prejudice”: acknowledge that there is a price for everything and that there is always someone who foots the bill. And will look for a way to recoup their pay out.

*See original article: “Mothers scrimp as States take child support.”

The Different Faces of Bravery: Lessons from The Princess’s Man

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Prejudices:

1. I was born and raised to think highly of democracy

2. As I’ve matured, I have come to think of democracy as one of the better ways of governing (really, running most institutions including family) SO, I don’t believe in the right to rule being passed along through blood relations.

3. I did not know anything about the historical figures presented in “The Princess Man,” SO I was not particularly partial to any faction.

4. I know enough about coups to know that they are very, very, very rarely bloodless transitions of power, so many of Suyang’s political and murderous machinations did not surprise me SO I wasn’t **horrified about how many people the new King decided to depose of – that is how you ceased power in those days.

I’ve read a few essays and many of them noted the great plotting, character development, and the importance and nobility of sticking to your values even in the face of opposition.

There were many instances of heroic bravery in the series – examples of people standing up to certain death for their beliefs. And for most of the series, I admired the instances of such type of bravery.

However, by the final episode, I was ready for another type of bravery. People have reported breaking into smiles and cheering when (former Princess) Se Reuyang and Seung-yoo rode through the fields (which I did find touching).

But no, I cheered at the jail scenes and the palace scene/throne room when Queen Consort—, the mother of Se Reuyang, told both of her husband and her daughter to put their ideals in their pocket and to consider what they really wanted in life and the people they valued and how their ideals would ultimately destroy everything.

It is suppose to be the height of cowardice to run away, to give up. And indeed a great many things can be accomplished if someone is willing and able to push through the pain, not become mired in past fires and keep moving forward – usually something is gained for their efforts.

However, it is also brave to look forward without flinching and consider your future. It is wise to consider the consequences of achieving your goals and considering what will be gained and what will be lost from them.

There were a few scenes were it seemed that Se Ryuang and Seung-yoo could truly see the tragedy and the hopelessness of their chosen paths – however, both characters were willing to push aside the questions of “what comes after I get what I want?” and instead redoubled their efforts of getting what they want. They became stuck in their own choices.

For Seung-yoo, what he wanted most was vengeance for his father and the many others that lost their lives. And my goodness, that body count ensured by Suyang’s rise and maintenance of his rise to power, was nothing to sneeze at. But as I thought about it, I became less convinced of the ‘nobility’ or even ‘rightness’ of Seung-yoo’s quest.  The opposition STAYED losing. Every time, you turned around there was one loss after another. AT some point in the series, I think it was after the death of the Prince Consort and King Danjang, that I began to hope Seung-yoo would cut his losses and run. But no, blood must beget blood – really that was his logic. There was no objection to what kind of ruler Suyang would be.And with his cunning, foresight and ability to mobilize his administration to carry out his plans – well, Suyang seemed like he had a solid foundation for a good leader. However, the opposition only objected to how he came to power – that’s it!

For Se Ryung – her goal was to make her father see reason and stop killing so many people. More or less, she never whole sale signed off on having her father killed. But she strongly endorsed that he have a change of heart. But one point, her father told her point blank that the man who had murdered countless people was the same man who had been a nurturing and kind father to her. It was at that point that I knew that Se-reyung’s battle was a lost cause. You cannot “save” someone who does not want to be saved, or even thinks that they need to be saved. Ultimately, I think Se-Reyung gave up her battle and cut her losses, but she would not tell her spouse to give up or “compromise his values,” which really were only about vengeance upon one person.

Suyang too at some times seemed blinded by his own ambition – to attain and maintain power. Watching his continual “purges” for the sake of getting rid of traitors/conspirators helped me see how easy it is for rulers to become paranoid and resort to chronic mass killings of their enemies.

Everyone had picked a path and were determined to stay the course.

Enter my sheroe. I cannot find her name right now, so she will be labeled honorably as Se-ryung’s mother (SM). SM reminded her husband and her daughter of the consequences of their actions and to consider what they would really gain and lose if they continued on this path.

**My hands shot up and I shouted out “Yes!” Finally, someone who is talking some pragmatic sense.
It was her her words that allowed the major characters to experience varying measures of peace and happiness. Without, her there would have been no real “happy ending” for Princess’s Man. And for giving a well deserved, yet still believable happy ending to a series I really liked, I salute Se-ryung’s Mom.

***IMAGINE HER PICTURE HERE-It’s a shame her picture from the series isn’t that easy to find ;(

**But I still found it abhorrent. One death in particular that made me tear up was King Dahjong. I knew it was coming – its rarely enough to dethrone a King — but still, how the the teenager looked to the sky and called for his older sister and father…ack. I was praying for a last minute rescue mission.