The All Boys Club

stadiumOn Friday, September 12, 2014, The New York Times ran a front page article entitled, “Ray Rice Is an Outlier: Most Suspects Play On.” Albeit a female, the reporter had to “stick to the script,” only giving an account of the facts as she had researched them; keeping any, and all opinions to herself. This makes me extremely happy I live in America where I – little old me – can make my voice heard. In this piece, she cited three different instances where professional athletics abused their wives/girlfriends. A pitcher from the Philadelphia Phillies assaulted his wife, witnesses saying he hit her in the face and pulled her hair; a goaltender with the Colorado Avalanche, a National Hockey team kicked his girlfriend to the floor, stomping her in the chest. Lastly, she mentioned a defensive lineman with the San Francisco 49ers who also abused his expectant fiancée.

Let me first of all say, there are women down the line in administration in these organizations, but I believe they do not, and will never have a say in what clearly are, “All Boys’ Clubs.” We are well aware, these associations are set a part from the court systems, and I’ve read that any one group will not hand out any strict punishment until a Judge has handed down his, or her decision. In this I completely disagree. As one is not contingent on the other, why wait for a judicial ruling? Without question, there has to be a “NO TOLERANCE” attitude taken on by any league, because otherwise, isn’t the meaning one of clear condoning? My simple message: Domestic violence of any sort is reason for dismissal – not only from the team, but from the alliance. I have also read somewhere along the way that coaches are willing to forgive and forget, because a particular player is such a value to his team. As always, I’m left reminding, and asking anyone if they would allow some guy to abuse their sister or daughter? Would you then, say – “Well, you know he is a good provider, and he loves her.” When does violence spell L – O – V – E?

Yes, every country is proud of their professional sports teams; this has been since Greek Olympic games, or what have you held at the Colosseum in Greece, or Italy. But, to allow a player to suit up, or even come into the stadium, because a verdict has not been made by any court system is, in my opinion, beyond shocking. It is my belief, if you mess up, you’re gone. And, don’t anyone try to explain why this person is such an asset to the team – he’s the best at whatever – if he abuses his wife, or girlfriend that moves him backward in development. You cannot put a price on a woman’s sanity, safety, and well being. I have read conflicting research, indicating that low self-esteem is not a reason why some women tolerate this type of behavior, and others that definitely link the disorder to accepting abuse. I have to say again, how can any one stable person describe this kind of mistreatment as love.

Have the women who ran along the streets of Baltimore in support of “their” team, stepped back for even a minute to remember the then girlfriend knocked unconscious, and dragged shamefully along the floor, while the world stood by as witness? We know this type of man is acting out what he has seen growing up through the years, and that he has absolutely no respect whatsoever for any female. But, shame on these #27 jersey wearing people, because they too have condoned this outrage. Ray Rice told the Entertainment & Sports Programming Network (ESPN), “We have a lot of people praying for us.” I say we all pray that this young woman’s eyes are opened, because if she’s been abused once, it’s only a matter of time before it’s revisited. Tell me what you think.

Information from Deadspin, NY Times, ESPN & CBS News

 

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Another Celebrity Gone to Soon

micFor days now, we’ve been bombarded with news and information regarding Robin Williams. When the news broke last Monday evening, I, with hubby sat and watched FOX News, a real rarity for me. The next shocking thing to happen involved my welling up with tears. I do not want to be compared to the unstable Miley Cyrus who admitted that she couldn’t stop crying, but yes, I surprised myself. I think that definitely speaks of the person for whom the tears are shed. I gave it some thought and realized that yes, many of us grew up with this celebrity. With all the tears that have fallen, I’m left asking and wondering if this troubled soul even knew what an impact he made on a nation; on the world.

I have to go back to Mork & Mindy, or the early days of stand-up on Home Box Office. Then, he also had his hand in Comic Relief, also broadcast on HBO. Last Monday night I sent a tweet, naming my favorite movie/comic showcase. I listed those routines on HBO, and the movie, Moscow on the Hudson. Then, the next day I listened as his other works were mentioned: Popeye, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come. At that point, I admitted, how can you choose? The list goes on and on making it, I believe for me, way to difficult for a solid decision. By the way, did anyone notice the movie, Moscow on the Hudson never received any mention by the media? Maybe the time we’re in, huh?

There has been so much talk since this happened with regard to depression, suicide, and drug abuse. But, as we look back, and catch pictures of Mr. Williams with fans who were pure strangers, and although possibly struggling, he still took the time to say thank you for your support – never turning anyone away. That in itself is a true gift. Think of how you feel when and if you are depressed, or simply sad about something – talking to anyone, even going out of the house is sometimes a serious struggle. How then, can you put on a smile and meet your day. I would say that takes commitment and much practice. I’ve heard through the years, that you have to deliberately train yourself to do this. Doing it every day, day after day until it becomes habit. Also, when you do something usually for thirty (30) days (the magic number), it then sticks with you. And that, my friend, is the way to get it down in your soul.

One of my twitter followers sent a tweet last week from a site, “Care2.” This site commemorates Robin Williams’ life by asking their visitors to share their memories. There you can also sign your name to a card that will be used to thank suicide hotline volunteers. Personally, I believe this is a great way to bring attention to the devoted people who spend their time trying to help other distressed hearts. Please take a walk over and add your name. I’ve already done so.

Info provided by Wikipedia & IMDB

Most Sought After Job

hot-dog-free-vector-art-800x565Each year as colleges/universities send out the next batch of contributors to society, there is always a new profession on the hot plate. This has stood true through the ages, and straight up to today; with each decade. In the Forties this country had gone to war, meaning an abundance of jobs were available in factories. The Fifties and Sixties also secured work for the general public in manufacturing, construction work and women – moved out of the kitchens, and into the office. Granted this does not cover what a person’s favorite work would have been. My statistics only cover available positions. I can imagine, however, someone in town wanting to become President, or the local Physician. But, thinking back, with each group charging the work force, there has always been complaints of : “There isn’t anything in my field.” That phrase always crops up. So don’t let any numbers fool you – from the Sixties right up until yesterday. Now, can you recall what you wanted to do since the age of…..oh, I don’t know…..four?

With all that in mind, in 1936 the nephew of Oscar Mayer – Carl G. Mayer – created the very first version of what is known as the “Wienermobile.” If you live in America you are aware of this fun looking vehicle that’s driven from city to city. The reason for this hot dog mobile – to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products, of course. I do understand, in 1969 it even made it all the way to Europe. Now, although that first model came off the line with just enough room for one driver, the new versions have voice activated GPS, an audio center with a wireless microphone, and a horn that plays the wiener jingle – remember that? It plays an array of genres from Cajun to Rap, and everything in between. By way of history, there are eight (8) vehicles in existence, but only six (6) full-sized.

To the fun stuff. In 1988 the company instituted the “Hotdogger Program.” That is what the driver of one of these icons is called, a Hotdogger. But, there are requirements. You must be a United States citizen, and a college senior ready to graduate. This, the most sought after job in the nation, is only for one year; applicants can expect their employment to run from June 1st of one year to the following June 1st. Imagine this on your resume? I’d liken the experience to traveling around Europe for one year, “finding myself,” right? I think somewhere, long ago, I may have caught sight of one of these mobiles around town. And, if you’ve ever run into one of stardom anywhere, this Wienermobile works the same; even though you’re right out of college, driving this vehicle catapults you to celebrity status. It produces frenzied waves, and squeals of delight like a small child, while jumping up and down. Even while trying to keep your own car in the road as you attempt to get the driver’s attention. Who would believe that, but it’s true. Again, we humans are strange animals, yes?

This odd, but delightful American icon has stood the test of time, even if it did have to be parked for a while in World War II – all because of fuel consumption. This, however, is one thing I’d like to go back in time to achieve. After all, doing so has to give a person the impression of contributing to the uplifting of this country’s citizens, don’t you think? Even if it is a mere hot dog. I’m sure nephew Carl had no idea how much ruckus his machine would cause throughout the years. Has all this talk of hot dogs made you hungry? It’s made me hungry. You know where I’m going, yes? And, I need it grilled with mustard and relish, or maybe chili, cheese and onions. Oh, yum. Okay, that’s all until next time.

Info courtesy of Fox News, Hotdoggerblog.com & You Tube

Cursive Threatened to Become Hieroglyphic

12488847_sI heard this question asked of someone the other day, which made me shake my head back and forth. Then, when I did the research for this piece, I wagged my head even more. Back in 2011 there had been much talk of cutting cursive writing from the curriculum by many school districts. We older people may have the biggest problem with this, since we couldn’t pass from one class to another without the knowledge of said art. Although, in speaking to a sixteen year old, she also finds this ridiculous, since she mandatorily had to be able to write before she could be promoted. But, I’m left asking, will the absence of this teaching turn our young people into the new pioneers? Having to sign documents with a simple “X.” I still have that special note paper tucked away that I’d use on occasion to drop a friend a note; just to let them know I had them on my mind.

I read of two young people having difficulty reading a journal belonging to their deceased grandmother. One of them said, “It was kind of cryptic,” and they had to decipher it by reading the passages back and forth between each other. A Director from the University of Central Arkansas taught a class last summer. He asked the students in that particular class to raise their hands if they wrote in cursive. No one did. The two students with the deceased grandmother were a part of this class. Have we gone that far in the future where a simple found note to someone’s friend, has become like hieroglyphics on a stone wall? A few weeks ago, I asked a question in a tweet, and I also posted it to facebook. My question – Who kept a journal? Not surprising, most who responded in the affirmative, were my writing buddies. Yes, I know, when you’re driving, and you have a thought, you can speak it into your devices nowadays, but journaling my thoughts, fears, and aspirations by typing on some computer screen, is definitely unnatural for this writer.

I have one reader who homeschools her children; Marilla Zerbert of RillaWriter. Depending on which state you live, there is a part of the school program you are required to follow. However, there is also a rule exempting a family from this. I know of the law, because the attorney I now work with helped write it. I don’t want to be labeled as “old” because of my thinking, but aren’t there some things that are seriously mandatory? Uh…I don’t know…’reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic? How can a society believe there is no need for, or see cursive writing as archaic? I would also think the art would assist in the development of fine motor skills, wouldn’t you think?

I don’t have any young people around constantly, any longer. Therefore, all I know is basically, from what I catch on t.v. But, honestly, I might lose my mind if I had a youngster around, and they were always on their phone. Yes, that alone would probably label me as ancient. As a parent, I say you really need to draw a line. Now, throw texting in the mix, together with e-mailing, and all personal interactions have been removed. We all e-mail. I will honestly admit – it has made life so much easier. But, again, it’s about drawing a line. However, I don’t believe we should trade cursive for texting, or swap hand written signatures for electronic ones, making that the norm. Can a nation be in that big of a hurry? I’d like to think of it this way. The citizens of other countries speak their own native tongue, as well as English, which I believe gives them a bit of an edge. Once the art of cursive writing is removed from the school curriculum here, that will simply be another “minus” for our future leaders, don’t you think? Share your opinion, won’t you?

Information from PBS Newshour & The NY Times

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

#Bring Back Our Girls

19101653_sWhen this story broke I had no intention of writing about it, because it had too many heavy political overtones. However, over the past few days, all of this has reached a new light, even hitting the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama, many actresses, news people and others have stormed twitter with #BringBackOurGirls, as well as other social media avenues. All of this definitely gave me the “green light” to comment on the issue. Will doing so make a difference? Singly, as one person, I don’t believe so, but as a whole – maybe. I say America is way overdue in becoming involved, and to speak out with regard to incidents taking place on the continent of Africa. When it comes to the abduction of over 200 young women it is time for the world to play a part. So, even if in some small way this post raises just one person’s consciousness, then I have done my part.

Who is the “Boko Haram?” Your regular everyday person walking the street does not know. Actually, this is the first time I’ve heard of the radical group. Since the breaking news of this event we’ve learned they want stricter enforcement of Sharia law, and we’ve found the name means “Western education is forbidden.” Of course, that is an approximate translation. Certainly, we in the west are well aware of this. According to Bronwyn Bruton, an African scholar at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., in an interview with the New York Times said, “The violence most of the African rebel groups practice makes Al Qaeda look like a bunch of schoolgirls.” Being African-American, understanding my people, and remembering the atrocities of the Rwandan Genocide, none of this surprises me, in the least.

In this country, we proudly send our young women off to college and universities year after year; here it is a right of passage. Also, it is obvious that when boarding schools are mentioned here, an entirely different picture comes to mind – never a scenario such as what we’ve heard about over the last few weeks. Sex slavery is the fastest growing criminal movement in the world. Equality Now, is an organization working for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world. They indicate women and girls make up 98% of the victims trafficked. This problem gained such attention that even Hollywood has made movies addressing the issue. And although, I would be one of the first to complain that America cannot be the World Police, this concern is far too important for any country to, forgive the cliché, “turn a blind eye.” Since this is such an important topic I believe no nation can stand on the sidelines and simply listen, as mothers and fathers plead for the return of their girls.

I’ve learned over time, and I will always be the first to say, change places with the victim; put yourself in the shoes of one of these parents. I cannot imagine the heartbreak and pain of having my daughter abducted, knowing in the back of my mind what could happen. One mother interviewed, undoubtedly had no words, she could only respond with tears. What I fear most, however, is that all of the publicity will give rise to a sense of having more power, which in turn, will cause the group to tighten their grip. As I mentioned earlier, the cries are not only coming from the White House, other politicians are also speaking out. Will the world stand by and continue to watch, and listen only? You will never make me believe there is nothing that can be done to remedy this atrocious act. Let me join the other voices, and cry…please, bring back our girls.

Information courtesy of NY Times & Equality Now

Image provided by 123rf.com

 

Is Robo-Journalism Our Future

20947645_sLet me paint a picture. I’m envisioning a massive room – one floor that encompasses the width and length of the building. There is a sea of desks/work stations lined with computers. These cubicles have no need for sides, because the pictures of sons, daughters, a husband, or a wife that should be filling these spaces, are all missing. Also absent are the pink begonia, and the pothos one could have received for that last birthday, or an employee of the month gift. No half eaten bagels, or donuts clutter this space, and no cups with the Starbucks logo, or any that broadcast, World’s Best Cube Mate hang around either. Why? Because these workers never leave their work areas – they aren’t in need of bathroom breaks, or trips to the water cooler. You see, they’re all BOTS – as in robots.

I’m certain most of you heard of the latest earthquake to hit the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, March 17th. Will man be the cause of his own undoing? The LA Times has a BOT they call Quakebot. What does Quakebot do? This non-gender collection of bolts and chips sits quietly waiting for news to break with regard to earthquakes. It doesn’t need awakening from its sleep to make it downtown, or to its home office to rush words onto a screen, and then to print. Quakebot is, “programmed to extract the relevant data from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) report and plug it into a pre-written template,” right down the hall in the offices of the LA Times. Additionally, from what I understand it completes a piece in a matter of seconds flat. Of course, human hands and eyes must come along, peruse the info sitting in queue and then, hit publish, but click here to take a gander at the finished product.

Now, the developer says this piece of machinery can’t walk the street to interview the local George or Georgette, personalizing the piece, but I don’t know if I’d put money on the fact that doesn’t sit somewhere in our future. I mean, think of it. It would certainly have no need of paper, or pencil, and no microphone in your face. One would simply need to speak clearly, and everything said would be recorded for later use. Or maybe the information would be transmitted to the stationary computer in the office via satellite. Who knows? Some say “Robo-journalism” is a threat to journalists, which is what I meant about man causing his own downfall. Naturally, as the world progresses, we find bigger and better uses from that one computer chip – the invention that hurled many things as we know them into a different dimension. Granted we still need man to push the button, backup, or click the mouse, many jobs have already been lost to progress.

Right now, I’m imagining the fanciest night ever, and I’m dolled up in my finest. It’s the evening for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize awards in journalism, one of the highest honors. There are many in attendance, however, in the seat where Southway, the head writer for the Living section should be, sits Quakebot. It’s funny, isn’t it? I know you’ll all call me crazy, and laugh at the thought of a computer taking the place of a human being, and accepting the award, let me just leave you with this story. Many years ago as a little girl, a time when only three or four channels graced a home on the television, I had a grandfather who would say all the time – “Mark my words, there’s gonna come a day when everyone will have to pay for television.” Now of course, I hope you know I don’t believe any of this BOT stuff with it attending such a dinner, but it does leave you wondering, doesn’t it? What do you think of this whole concept?

Info provided by Source Open News

Image 123rf.com

New Tech Gadget

18876137_sA few weeks ago, I posted a blog entitled Give Caesar His Due. Since that time, I heard a very interesting tidbit in the news, and thought it definitely fit as a follow-up to that post. What did I hear? Talk of a new tech gadget called a Business Microscope. Whenever I hear that phrase, in my head I’m imagining a huge microscope with a tiny human splattered between two slides and shoved under the stage clips. What do you think this microscope does? For one thing, it keeps track of those work place wanderers, drifting from desk to desk socializing, which if you remember is something I mentioned I have done on occasion. This new little gadget is made by Hitachi, and comes in the form of a badge. Someone, in that company thought this piece of equipment would boost productivity. Really?

Of course, from what I understand it does need a second badge with which to communicate – they sort of talk to each other. However, there are no consequences at the moment. If you are caught doing something wrong as in meandering, it simply gets reported. I’ve heard some say harsher penalties, like receiving some sort of shock should be put in place. Of course, the mention of tasing someone, I hope, had been mentioned as a joke. Now, the correspondent reporting this story had his own list of places and types of people he thought should receive punishment for their deeds. Namely:

Toilet Talkers – People who take their phones in the bathroom with them, and never stop conversing;

Microwave Marauders – Someone who brings in a smelly lunch dish everyday, and heats it in the microwave with absolutely no regard for their co-worker; and lastly,

Elevator Crowder – Actually he had two types in this instance. The young person discussing their weekend, and the older one talking about objects, like their yacht, while in a crowded elevator.

I gave some thought to this doohickey, and my employer. I wondered if it could be set up to monitor how long a person spends in the bathroom – not talking on the phone, but taking care of nature, or how many times they go throughout the day. Here I’d like to inject a funny story. A law firm I worked for some years ago took on a new secretary. The poor thing had such a hard time adapting, she made many trips to the restroom, and would spend long minutes hiding out in there, I’m sure. Moving on; how about those trips, morning and afternoon to the coffee maker. Then, there is the employee returning late from lunch. Does that person get a device to monitor when they left and what time they return? I don’t know, but for use in this country – I’m peering in my crystal ball, and perceiving yet another unconstitutional contraption. Just one other thing to provide more job stability for that Supreme Court Judge.

I haven’t conducted any surveys, but I can pretty much say with confidence there are so many people who hate their jobs. Then, there are the ones who chose their careers at the end of high school with their heads, and are now wondering how they ever did that. I remember an attorney I worked with who used to ask himself everyday why he picked that profession. After awhile, just getting up in the morning to go to that place of employment is a job in itself. How then, can an employer possibly think tracking a person’s movements during the day to increase productivity, will seriously do just that?  Personally, I think that would push a person out the door faster than a bolt of lightning. I want to work for a company because they are fair, they accept me as an adult, and show me that I’m respected. Does something like this, speak appreciation? I don’t think so. What do you think? Would laying under a microscope make you want to work harder? One last thing, if you think my image for this post is disturbing, isn’t this entire idea?

Images courtesy of 123rf.com

CNN.com

Hitachi