Monday, February 23, 2009

Final Destination

Everyone sets goals for themselves, or at least they should, it's a part of growth in a person's life to have milestones and growth. Reaching your goal is like reaching your destination, the final step in the plan that you set out to accomplish. If you never reach your final destination in a plan, you have not totally achieved your goal.
There are many ways to go about reaching your goal or final destination, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. When you have mapped out your route to reach your destination, you may not be able to foresee the pitfalls that you may encounter along the way, and yes, we all experience pitfalls along the way. When encountering those pitfalls or rocky situations, it's easy to look for an alternate route to your destination. As humans we are accustomed to looking for the easiest and quickest route to where we are trying to go. Sometimes those bumpy and rocky periods are exactly what we need and should be used as learning tools in the class of life. The lessons that we learn from overcoming the rocky times strengthen us and give us knowledge and stamina for future goals and destinations.
Taking a detour from our route because we experience tough times may not always be the wisest decision and more than likely may cause more problems than we were originally experiencing. Have you ever encountered an detour as you were driving and tried to follow a different route to get where you were heading? If you are like me, taking the detour has rendered you completely lost on many occasions, causing you to be further away from your destination, if I even made it to the destination at all. The same theory applies to goals we set for ourselves; stick to the route, tolerating the bumps along the way, holding on tight when things get rough, and you will reach your destination.
Happy Monday, let this be the start of a great week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

On A Lighter Note

It's Friday, by far my favorite day of the week! Let's lighten things up and put some music on to get the weekend rolling smoothly. I'm already ahead of you, been to the gym and had a great workout; there is nothing like a good sweat to great music to get the adrenalin flowing. I like a blend of old and new so check out some of my Friday morning playlist below and tell me what's coming through your speakers today?

1. Turnin Me On - Keri Hilson (feat Lil Wayne)
2. Stutter - Joe
3. Chocolate High - India Arie (feat Musiq Soulchild)
4. Just Like Me - Jamie Foxx (feat T.I.)
5. Shake Your Body Down (to the ground) - Michael Jackson
6. Cameo - Freaky Dancing
7. Kraftwerk - Numbers
8. Going Back to Cali - LL Cool J
9. Bonita Applebum - A Tribe Called Quest
10. They Reminisce Over You - Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Freedom of the Press - Without Common Sense

I'm sure there is no need to explain the title of the blog, if you read blogs, more than likely you read and/or watch the news and have been made aware of the NY Post cartoon that is drawing massive attention.
I've read blog after blog and comment after comment on whether the cartoon was racially motivated or simply political satire, my opinion is that is was a racial slur wrapped in political satire. Many are calling for an apology, from the cartoonist, and from the Post; if they give in and deliver an apology, do you really think it would be sincere?
Looking at this from a journalistic perspective, one could easily argue the Freedom of the Press argument, I'm almost certain that term will be used by the Post. As a writer/blogger, I value my right to speak candidly on any issue that I choose to discuss. I value my right to publicly display my opinions for those that wish to read them. At a granular level, Sean Delonas was exerting his right to Freedom of the Press and and in some form, Freedom of Speech. The dividing line should be coupling common sense with morals, and connecting that to your given freedoms, of which it appears Mr. Delonas did neither.
I foresee a lengthy media circus surrounding this issue which will no doubt make more money for the NY Post owner Rupert Murdoch who just so happens to also own FOX News. The more press this gets, the more airtime Rupert can devote to it, thus providing more viewing of his News channel. Media moguls don't get to be media moguls without having a niche, it appears the niche over at the Post is to spark controversy regardless of the fallout.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WTF Was the NY Post Thinking???

People this has to be the largest WTF I've had since the blog started, comparing President Obama to a rabid chimpanzee, really, WTF were they thinking!?! No, this did not appear in some obscure redneck publication, it's in the New York Post! Cartoonist Sean Delonas is the author of this blatantly racial cartoon and has not been available for comments regarding its publication
The caption beneath the cartoon reads "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is aimed at President Obama.
Rev. Al Sharpton spoke out against the cartoon saying "The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that "Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill."
The Post's editor-in-chief Col Allan released the following statement: "The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."
If you believe that statement above, you will believe just about anything! Clearly this has heavy racial overtones to it and the author should have known it would draw controversy... Perhaps that's exactly what they wanted.

Does Facebook Own Your A$$

Remember that semi-nude photo you posted on facebook, or how about that “not-so-nice” wall post you put on your ex-girlfriend’s page; Well here’s some news for you, for a brief period, Facebook owned the content the minute you posted the items.
Earlier this month, Facebook decided to give itself the right to all content posted on it’s site, even if you decided to close your facebook account. That’s right, ALL content! Anything you wrote or uploaded to Facebook, belonged to Facebook. Needless to say, tens of thousands of users balked at the notion that their information now belonged to Facebook. As of this morning, Facebook has reverted back to the old terms of use policy that said Facebook could not claim any rights to original content that a user uploaded once the user closed his or her account.
Ponderers this is a heads up, think before you post, think before you upload, just plain ole THINK! The internet is a world within our world and when you put your information into it, it may be up for grabs as to who can see/read/copy/etc your information.
I was not in agreement with the change in the terms of use policy by Facebook and participated in the online petition to have it reverted to its old verbiage. I do think people should be cognizant of the information they share on social networking sites. If it’s something you wouldn’t want the general public to have access to, you shouldn’t post it, simple as that.

Obamanomics - Current Issues

There’s quite a bit to keep up with where Obamanomics is concerned; it’s been a long time since a President took office and immediately took action. Many skeptics are saying he is doing too much too fast, but there are just as many people saying he is doing what long should have been done.
Here are some bullet points to keep the Ponderers up to speed on some of the key initiatives that are taking place within the Obama administration:

• Stimulus Bill – the $787 Billion Stimulus bill was approved in the House on Friday Feb 13, 2009 (with no Republican support) and was also approved in the Senate later that night. President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday Feb 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. More info from For You to Ponder on the bill.
• Housing Relief Program – President Obama is scheduled to unveil his Housing Relief Program at 12:15 PM ET. Stay tuned to For You to Ponder for a full breakdown.
• Afghanistan – President Obama has agreed to increase our presence in Afghanistan. The Pentagon released news that they are sending 17,000 more troops into Afghanistan. The President has stated that he believes there is something more needed there other than troops and will be looking towards diplomacy as a key ingredient.
• The Auto Industry – Obamanomics gave and additional $billion to GM on Wednesday Feb 17, 2009. The bailout continues.
• Buy American – To increase jobs, there is a provision in the Stimulus package requiring the use of U.S.-produced iron, steel, and other manufactured goods in public works projects funded by the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.
• Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – Spokesperson Robert Gibbs responded Yes to the question of whether the President still intended to get rid of this policy within the Military; he later expanded his answer to say that "So not everything will get done in the beginning but he's committed to following through". It looks like it’s coming, just no hard date on when.

These are all issues we should stay on top of, the time has come for us to be aware of the decisions our leaders make, and how those decisions affect our daily lives. Our President has come out of the gate at full speed; we owe it to him to keep up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Who's Killing Our Soldiers

Whose killing our soldiers? I can hear the answers coming in, “Iraq, Afghanistan”, just about any Middle Eastern country might be blurted out as the answer. Now for the shocking revelation, our soldiers are killing themselves.
The United States Army confirmed seven suicides in the month of January and has 17 suicide cases pending, bringing a possible total of 24 military suicides in a single month. If the numbers prove to be accurate, this will mean that more soldiers killed themselves in January than died in combat last month. Pentagon statistics show that there were 16 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq in January.
What’s wrong with this picture? If Soldiers’ emotional states are such that they are killing themselves, are we really doing any good in these countries? I hardly doubt that a person with suicidal thoughts is any shape to be protecting themselves, let alone a country!
I listen to debates on whether we should pull troops out of Iraq or deploy troops to Afghanistan, and most of the debates center around the cost of keeping the troops abroad and the trillions of dollars we are spending on war; maybe it’s time to discuss the cost of a soldiers emotional well-being, and in the end, their life. Yes, I know they signed up on their own and were not forced into the military, I’m not arguing that point, however I do think the length of time abroad in war-torn countries is a point that needs to be discussed.
With suicide rates as they currently are within the military, somebody should be asking the WTF question and making some decisions/modifications. We are bailing out the auto industry, the banks, and the economy as a whole, how about a bailout for the men and women abroad.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obamanomics Position on Afghanistan

Ponders, a decision is expected "shortly" (this could be days in political talk) on whether

President Obama will increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. Obama's Republican Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a statement that decisions have to be made on this matter. A strategic review is being conducted to help determine the best course of action.

Now I know what you are thinking, "Is this the change we can believe in?", It sounds vaguely familiar to the Iraq situation and the trillions of dollars spent on our activities there.

Obama stated many times during his campaign for presidency that he was in favor of withdrawing troops from Iraq, so far, there is no reason to think that he won't stand by that conviction, the bigger question to ponder is whether those troops will be diverted to Afghanistan.

Unnamed pentagon officials relayed that thousands of ground combat Marines, a marine aviation unit and Army Special Forces could be sent to southern Afghanistan in the weeks ahead.

Money spent on war is money spent on war, regardless of the location. I will be anxious to see how Obamanomics plays this out.

Due to the amount of press the Stimulus bill has gotten, this item has almost been left in the shadows; keep your eyes on it Ponderers, this decision will have a large impact on the American dollar.

To Tell The Truth

Say it aint so, is this another one bites the dust. I had a sneaking suspicion that this was coming, but I quietly hoped that it wouldn't. Illinois Republicans are gunning for a perjury investigation of Senator Roland Burris.
It appears, our Mr. Burris may have "selectively forgotten" to mention several phone calls he received from past Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother soliciting him for campaign cash. I say "selectively forgotten" because Burris did not mention any of the phone calls during his January 8 testimony before the Illinois House impeachment panel. I'm wondering how you could forget something like this, or think it wasn't important enough to mention. If there was no wrong doing on his part, it would seem he would have provided this informationm during the hearing.
Almost like a child who broke the cookie jar but didn't eat the spilled cookies, Burris decided to submit an affidavit providing information that Rob Blagojevich (the Governors brother) asked him to contribute or help raise money before the governor tapped Burris on December 30 to take Obama's senate seat.
I'm more than a little skeptical of this whole, "oh yea, now I remember!" deal. Was it perjury? For You To Ponder.

Quality Time

When was the last time you took a day to devote solely to your child or children? Not an hour or two, but dedicating the whole day to things centered on them and their enjoyment. In the fast pace lives of those of us that work and are also parents, it’s easy to forget how important time with your child can be.
Education does not only take place within the walls of a school in a structured environment. There are lessons to be taught and learned all around us. Almost every medium to large town or city has museums, parks, and historical sites that are open seven days a week. These are great places to spend time with your child and also teach them things about their surroundings. It you are in an area where these types of places are not readily accessible to you, take advantage of what you have; go for a walk in the woods, tell your child about the different types of trees you see, discuss nature and ecology as you enjoy your walk. This is a cool way to incorporate science into your time together. Another thing that’s fun to do is exploring your town or city. Take a long drive into areas you don’t normally travel. Tell your child about how the area was when you were growing up. As you drive you can teach your child the importance of directions and paying attention to their surroundings. It’s sad but there are many adults that are not able to tell you what direction to travel to reach a destination.
Most important is enjoying the time you are spending with your child. You are letting him or her know that they are important to you and so is their happiness. I know as working parents we can’t do this every day but we really should try to do it as often as possible. For those times when you can’t take the day off, remember to have some time just for your child when you get home from work. Leave the stress of the office at the office and come home and appreciate the blessing God has given you, your family.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stimulus Bill Has Been Approved

Here Ye Here Ye, Obamanomics has cleared it's first hurdle! The $787 billion stimulus bill passed by a 246-183 vote in the House earlier today. Voting in the Senate was delayed as they awaited the arrival of Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown who was delayed due to the death of his mother. Brown cast his vote at approximately 10:45 PM. Although the bill has passed and President Obama is expected to sign the bill on Monday, the bill has had many revisions over the past weeks to get to the approval point.
There was little to no Republican support of the bill in the House, but the bill was still able to gain approval.
Check back to For You To Ponder as you know I will have to give you the skinny on what this means to the everyday Joe. Just wanted to let those inquiring minds know that the bill was passed. Now get back to your regular scheduled Friday activities!

Everyday Love

Everyday love should be just that, everyday. There should be no reason to have a holiday that is centered around being in love. If you are in love with someone, aren't you in love with that person everyday?? If you are with someone but not really in love with them yet you go to great extremes to do the Valentine deal, in my opinion all you've done is told a very expensive lie.
What about those people who are in love but aren't together? In case you didn't know, there are some folks that are in love but are just too stubborn to succumb to their feelings; or maybe there are just some far reaching circumstances that prevent them from being together. Should these people throw caution to the wind in the spirit of good ole Cupid and go for it all? I think not! Whatever reasons that were keeping them apart will not disappear simply because it's Valentine's day.
I'm sure it sounds like I am totally against Valentine's day, nothing is further from the truth; what I am against is people pretending to be in love simply because some creative person decided it would be cool to have a love holiday. Valentine's day in my view is any rainy evening when you cuddle up in bed and read a book or watch a movie with the person you are in love with. It's any time you look around and see that special person and are so overwhelmed with the love you have for them that you have to stop what you are doing, go over and put your arms around them and say "I love you". It's the small everyday things that make you appreciate being loved by the person you are with.
Flowers are beautiful, wine is sweet, a nice dinner is appetizing, but all of these things loose their luster if they aren't shared with that special someone. There is also no rule that says you have to wait for a holiday to share these things with your significant other.
Being in love is an everyday holiday, something to celebrate every chance you get. If you are blessed to be in love then by all means live it up this Valentines day, but don't let that be the only time you go the extra mile. If you are like me and are not fortunate enough to be with that person that makes your heart skip a beat, still be thankful, be patient, what is meant to be will be, and what is not meant to be is not for you. If you are simply just enjoying your single life, you too should celebrate; celebrate being secure enough with yourself to be in love with who you are; treat yourself to something special or kick it with some friends.
Lastly, for the sake of honesty, don't go through the charades of Valentine's day with someone you really aren't in love with just to say you had a Valentine, that's just plain wrong, and sad.
Oh... Happy Valentine's day!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Serial Hypocrites

Do not read the following if you are a weak-minded, prejudiced, unyielding christian who feels you have nothing you can improve upon (yes I am really going to end the sentence with a preposition, it's my blog therefore I can do that).
Firstly, there is not one of us who is without flaw, we all sin which in my view puts us on an even playing field. You have your sins, I have my sins, we both will have to answer to them at some point. Those of you who so enjoy talking about what you USED to do opposed to the oh so righteous life you live today are plain old lying. Your "testimony" as you call it is nothing more than a lie which is intended to cover up the weak moral character that you try so hard to keep shielded. So you stopped drinking, you no longer go to the club, not treating on your spouse anymore; all good and fine but what about the little white lie you told your boss, the fudged numbers on your income tax, the lustful thoughts you had about Sue or Johnny across the street, all sins my friend, all sins. You've just traded the old sins for some new ones and last time I checked there was no sin meter to tell what was and what was not ok in the realm of sin.
And what about those christians who love the Lord but hate a person because he or she is black/white/asian/muslim/etc. It is impossible for me to believe any person can be a genuine Christian if he or she harbors prejudices against anyone because of skin color or ethnic origin. Now I can see being a little iffy about stupid people but then it doesn't matter what color their skin is or their ethnicity.
Some of you serial hypocrites masquerading as christians have actually bought into your own gimmick and truly believe the garbage that you spew.
Just a warning to you, if you’re going to preach your religion to me, please save your breath. I will measure your beliefs against your actions, and your actions will always trump your words. In case you were not aware, words are cheap. As Sunday rolls around, you all prepare to start using words to describe actions that you have no intention of doing, or stopping, come Monday morning. With some of you, the hypocrisy begins the moment the sermon is over, and such people have been checking the time every three or four minutes because dammit, them restaurants fill up fast, and if the Baptists get there first, there won’t be no room!
Maybe the light has not come on and you really aren't aware that you are a serial hypocrite, if this is the case, here are a few signs to enlighten you:
- If you are inviting people to bible study while on your way to the strip
club you may be a serial hypocrite.
- If you attend church every sunday but can not recall any of the
sermons you may be a serial hypocrite.
- If you preach christianity but have not done anything to help another
person in need you may be a serial hypocrite.
- If you pass out religious pamphlets but do not own a bible you may be a
serial hypocrite.

Having said all that, let me clear this up; I sometimes write blogs that have a spiritual or religous tone. I am a student of the bible, thirsty for knowledge. I seek ways to improve my own life as I know there is much room for improvement. I am not one to harbor knowledge but one to share it. What I am not is a bible beater, church beggar, gospel goody-two-shoes, or debbie-do-gooder. I sin, daily! I am a work in progress with an understanding of my shortcomings. I have no tolerance for serial hypocrites and will take time out of my busy day to tell them just what I think of them and their dime store religion.
As always, For You To Ponder.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Decline in Interest

No need to get your financial calculator out, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with finances. Although now that I think about it, I could tie this to finances, however, I will leave it alone.
OH! I forgot, I haven't explained what I'm talking about! Sorry, I get ahead of myself sometimes; the excitement of sharing my hair-brained thoughts with you just puts me into warp speed!
Declining interest - terminology used to express a decline in ones interest for the person they are dating or their significant other. AaHa! Now you're with me on this. We've all been there, jumping into a relationship with someone, falling head-over-heels to quickly and speeding towards Declining Interest territory.
Remember how you would rush to answer your phone because you wanted it to be him or her? Remember not being able to concentrate at work because your brain was planning your next encounter with that special person? What happened to the tingly feeling of excitement you got when you were close to that person?
Let me tell you what happened - Declining Interest happened! How did it happen to you you ask, well, let me explain the path. Declining Interest is the end result of poor planning, over utilization, inflation of emotion, and pure mismanagement of time.
I will break it down for you...

The Equation

(poor planning+mismanagement)*(inflation of emotion+over utilization)=Declining Interest

Poor Planning - getting giddy with the fact that you've met someone, you forget to continue planning the other areas of your life. You let other things that use to get some of your time go to waste. You get cocky about having a relationship and neglect to have plan B if things don't work out. End Result - when you wake up and see that you have lost who you are, you fight to get back, which takes time away from the significant other, thus "declining interest" in the relationship as a whole.

Mismanagement - You're so happy that he likes you as much as you like him. You choose to look beyond the fact that he seems like he makes all the decision, you're just happy to be with him. You're turning the management of the entire relationship over to the other person. End Result - You feel like you are powerless. You've allowed everything you do to be managed by the other person. Feeling trapped, you pull back to regain who you are, thus showing "declining interest" in the relationship.

Inflation of Emotion - You rush to say I love you. She's quick to get jealous and you've only been dating a month. You both argue versus discuss. End Result - You feel nervous because you are still getting to know the person and they are already falling in love. You've expressed how jealousy is a turnoff yet she displays jealous tendencies. No amount of trying allows you to have a civil discussion without tempers flaring leading to a full fledged argument. You recognize the signs of where this is going so you start to pull away and plan your getway thus showing "Declining Interest".

Over Utilization - You spend every waking minute together. When you aren't together you are on the phone together. Your five faves dwindles to one fave and you forget the rest of the world exists. End Result - Burnout. You're sick of seeing each other. You've run out of things to say and do. It's a chore to hold a conversation. You're both coming up with other things to do to avoid the other person, thus showing "Declining Interest".

To prevent Declining Interest, substitute the formula listed earlier for the one below.

(personal planning+shared management)*(measured emotion+measured utilization)

That concludes your Interst lesson for today!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What's In A Name

A recent article on CNN's website discussed whether a child's name could have an impact on whether they would be a criminal. The article talks about a new study that will be published in the March issue of the Social Science Quarterly. The study aims to show that adolescent boys with unpopular names are more prone to find their way into the juvenile justice system than boys with popular names. Some of the names noted as being significantly more deliquent are: Ernest, Preston, Malcolm, Kareem and Tyrell; the names Michael and David were noted as being far less likely to be deliquent.
The study goes into greater detail on how our names affect our lives, but what caught my attention was the fact that the "unpopular" names all appeared to be names generally used by African-American parents for their kids. I'm wondering, is it the names that affect a young boy's predispostion to deliquency or is it societies profiling of a person based on their name???? For You To Ponder

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


One of my favorite blogs that I read daily is PostSecret. I'm sure there is some psychological reason why we find it interesting to know another person's most intimate thoughts or embarrassing moments, etc.
Today I am borrowing from the PostSecret blog theme; In my experience, I have always felt like a weight was lifted if I were able to unload a secret I had been carrying around that was eating away at me. Many times we let fear of what others will think keep us locked in misery simply because we refuse to be open about a situation.
In today's For You To Ponder, everyone that responds should do so anonymously. Respond with a secret that you've been carrying around and would like to get off your shoulders. We will consider this blog the "Dumping Ground". It's a free-for-all, of you've wanted to say it, here is your chance, if you want feedback on it, ask, otherwise, just consider posting your secret like taking out the trash.
Before anyone asks, yes, I too will be leaving a deposit at the Dumping Ground, anonymously of course!

The 5 Minute Matrix - Reprinted Upon Request

5 minutes
Its seems just a short time when you think of it in terms of a 24-hour day, but humor me if you will, in stepping through 5 minutes and I think you might agree just how life changing 300 seconds can be to you, your woman, and your relationship as a whole.
Before we embark on our 300 second journey, I must explain something, these 5 minutes are like being in the matrix, there is no before, and the after is based solely on your actions within the 5 minutes. You could take 5 million minutes and never be able to fix/top/retract what occurred during the magic 5. It is true that a person may enter the 5 minute matrix many times throughout the course of their lives but each time they enter, the choices they make, the words they speak, and the energy they release will have life long ramifications.
To illustrate the 5 minute matix, I will give three brief scenarios, each will have a profound life changing out come.
All parties have been involved an equal amount of time, are in the same social,financial and educational class, and are currently monogamous.
Couple Blue & Green
5:15 AM
Blue wakes before the alarm clock goes off. Green is still asleep.
5: 16 AM
Green is snoring. Blue stops to look at Green and is agitated by her snoring but continues walking to the closet.
5: 17 AM
The snoring is louder, Blue is now really agitated and turns to wake Green; as she approaches the bed the sunlight drifts through the window and falls across Green's body.
5:18 AM
Blue spends 30 seconds admiring the light splashed across Green's body and remembering the first morning she awoke to the the beauty of Green (and the annoying snoring). She can't help letting her anger dissipate and love take its place.
5:18:30 AM
Blue sits down with pen and paper and begins to draft a brief note.
"As usual your snoring is driving me crazy. I'm up to go to work and you are in dream world. I never thought I would ever say this, but the sound of your snoring in the early morning has become the rhythm of my happiness. Each day that I am blessed to awake to that sound I know that my life is flourishing and love is abundant. If there were no snoring, there would be no you. If there were no you, I would be less. If you're reading this, I'm already at work...Good Morning Sleepy Head :-) "
5:20 AM
The note is carefully placed on the pillow next to Green

Couple Black and Yellow
4:00 PM
Yellow phones Black at work to see how her day went and what time she would be home.
4:01 PM
Black is agitated and cuts Yellow off in mid-sentence to ask if there was an emergency. When Yellow does not respond fast enough Black raises her voice, "are you going to say anything!"
4:02 PM
Yellow is caught off guard by the tone of Black's voice. The words sting like a slap in the face; her heart instantly feels heavy and she ponders how to proceed.
4:03 PM
Yellow cautiously re-approaches the conversation, ignoring the heavy impatient breathing on the other end. "I didn't want anything in particular, I just missed you and wanted to say I love you, nothing important I guess."
4:04 PM
Not missing a beat Black fires back in hurried, bothered tone. "I'm at work, the same place I am everyday, doing the same stuff I hate doing everyday. If I weren't here, you wouldn't be missing me, we'd be missing money! Love does not pay the bills!"
4:04:10 PM
Yellow feels like she has been punched in the face by the person she loves the most. "i'm sorry I bothered you. I'll let you get back to work." She is instantly greeted by a dialtone, Black has hung up.
4:04:30 PM
Yellow stares at a picture of she and Black that sits on the mantle above the fireplace; she does not recognize the happy laughing couple. He mind tries to wander back to happier times and she realizes that it has been far too long since times were happy and they weren't just going through the motions.
4:05 PM
Yellow removes the photo from the mantle, she knows it will be months before Black even realizes its not there anymore. As she places the picture in a drawer, she slips her heart and spirit in with it also; the last limb of a once blossoming and strong tree has now been cut off. There is nothing left to do but wait for it to die or be cut down.

Couple Red and Purple
1:00 PM
Purple awakes to the sound of rain against the window and lies awake listening to its melody.
1:01 PM
Red has been awake for some time listening to the rain and feels Purple slightly shift. They turn to face each other
1:02 PM
No words are exchanged. They can barely see each other in the darkness; only during the flashes of lighning are they able to fully see one another.
1:03 PM
Red begins lighting stroking Purple's palm with her fingertips, Purple releases a sigh of content, turns over and spoons her body in front of Red.
1:04 PM
Red welcomes the familiar fit of her partner and puts her arm around her to bring her closer. The worries that had her awake for the last 2 hours float away. With all that is wrong in the outside world, it can't compete with all that's right with the woman in her arms.
1:05 PM
Purple and Red drift into a peacful sleep in each other's arms.

Blue realized how much happiness Green brought to her life and acknowledged that a small quirk was not worth complaining about. The note written by Blue in those 5 minutes would be kept for a lifetime by Green and in times of trouble she would rely on it to keep her focused on them and what it took to be happy.

In a matter of 5 minutes Black confirmed all the doubts that Yellow had about the relationship and its tenacity. She hadn't given up on them but had reached a crossroad; she was willing to try. Those 5 minutes forever changed a woman and her feelings. The sands in the hourglass of their relationship ran out as Black hung up the phone.

Although no words were spoken, Purple eases Red through a very hard night of worries. The simple closeness of her woman soothed away even the worst of fears and restored hope. Red never mentioned it to Purple but from that night on whenever she felt things get rough in their relationship, she thought back to that night and knew no other woman could ever bring her such peace.

The 5minute matrix is life altering. Its hard to know when you are actually entering the matrix or if the things you do or say may have a life long impact on you. Live every 5 minutes as if you were in the matrix. The next 300 seconds could change the course of your journey.

Monday, February 2, 2009


No, I am not snapping my fingers high in the air after saying a witty comment, I'm also not snapping in tune to a song I am listening to; so what I am talking about - SNAP.
SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the new Food Stamps program in a nutshell.
We are all (ok maybe not ALL of us) ecstatic with the departure of the Bush regime, and the welcome change to President Obama. In the midst of all our celebrating, I'd like you to take a minute to think about SNAP.
Currently 1 in 10 Americans are receiving assistance from SNAP, in numbers, that's about 28 million people per month. In the land of plenty, that's a pretty high number of empty stomachs and open mouths to feed.
Now, lets look at just what SNAP can do for you, should you pass all the stringent criteria to be able to receive assistance (basically you can own nothing and you must be penniless or damn near close to it). The average monthly benefit in 2007 was $96 per person and $215 per household.
President Obama's proposed economic stimulus plan may have the ability to increase the funding for food stamps, or as it's now known, SNAP.
Many people feel that food stamps and public assistance is a crutch. I am not saying that it is not sometimes abused, but I do not feel it is a crutch, more-so a mechanism to ease the economic pains of the non-working and the working poor.
Our For You To Ponder - Could you feed yourself sufficiently on $96/month? Could you feed your household on $215/month? After reading the numbers, how do you feel about SNAP overall?

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Every city, small town, village and hamlet has somewhere you can buy Obama apparrel; from t-shirts to place mats, you can buy it. The market for Obama items is hot because people are buying, everyone wants a piece of history. Never before has their been a rash of people sporting t-shirts and hats with a presidents name and likeness, it's truly a new era.
As an African-American, it has been an overwhelming experience to see the first black president take the oath for the highest office in our nation. This election saw more black participation than any election in history and that is something to be proud of, a historical moment.
Now that Obama has been elected, the real work begins; this is where our support is most important. The conservative republicans would like nothing more than to show President Obama's tenure in office as a failure. They will take ever opportunity to discredit his statements, nullify his proposals and sabotage his efforts to restore balance to the American economy.
As citizens of the United States and supporters of Obama, our fight is just beginning. Wearing a t-shirt or a hat with the name Obama is just not going to cut it folks. This is the time when we have to rally support and help to ensure our president's goals are made a reality. The race is not won with the election, the baton is simply passed; It's get down to business time.
First and foremost, understand our president's goals and ideologies. You can't support something you don't understand.
Second, support starts at home, meaning, elect those city, county, and state officials that support the causes that Obama is leading.We have to continue to be involved in politics on a local level to ensure the president has people in place that support what he is trying to do.
Third, speak up, speak out; write your congressmen and your senators, let your voice be heard on issues that are being voted on. They are your representatives on capital hill and your thoughts and feelings should be made known to them.
I think it's embarrasing to have an Obama sticker on your car, an Obama hat on your head and shirt on your back, but not be able to discuss any of the presidents goals for our country over the next few years.
Consider the items below as a brief introduction to Obamanomics, some tidbits of information to help you understand the president's stance on various issues.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan - this plans covers the following: 1)doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years. 2)Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized. 3) Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries. The plan will be costly but is meant to jumpstart job creation and long-term growth.
  • Civil Rights (including LGBT)- 1)President Obama and Vice President Biden have a plan to work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination. 2)They are also working to pass the Fair Pay Act, to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. 3)President Obama and Vice President Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice. 4)President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Defense - 1)Obama and Biden support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000 Marines. 2)The Obama-Biden Administration will build up the capacity of each non-Pentagon agency to deploy personnel and area experts where they are needed, to help move soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines out of civilian roles. 3)Obama and Biden will create a national CAC of 25,000 personnel. This corps of civilian volunteers with special skill sets (doctors, lawyers, engineers, city planners, agriculture specialists, police, etc.) would be organized to provide each federal agency with a pool of volunteer experts willing to deploy in times of need at home and abroad. 4)President Obama and Vice President Biden will require the Pentagon and State Department to develop a strategy for determining when contracting makes sense, rather than continually handing off governmental jobs to well-connected companies.
  • Disabilities - 1)Obama and Biden will also authorize a comprehensive study of students with disabilities and issues relating to transition to work and higher education. 2) support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities by enforcing the Community Choice Act, which would allow Americans with significant disabilities the choice of living in their community rather than having to live in a nursing home or other institution, creating a voluntary, budget-neutral national insurance program to help adults who have or develop functional disabilities to remain independent and in their communities, and streamline the Social Security approval process . 3) President Obama and Vice President Biden support increased funding for autism research, treatment, screenings, public awareness, and support services. There must be research of the treatments for, and the causes of, ASD.
  • Education - 1) Obama and Biden will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding, and improve quality for both. 2) Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them. 3) Obama and Biden will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children. 4)Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.

Please take the time to dig deeper into these topics and get an understanding of the president's goals; ensure that your local elected officials are in line with supporting those goals.

These are only a few of the major things our president has lined up. I will try to continue to blog on this issue, making sure we are aware of the things that need to get done so that we can do our part in helping to make our president's term a successful one.