The buzz around news stations and blogs has been all about 50 Cent’s recent car accident. James C. McKinley Jr. of Artsbeats Blog reports, “The rapper 50 Cent was hospitalized briefly Tuesday morning after a truck hit his car from behind on the Long Island Expressway, according to his Web site, ThisIs50. His publicist said that the 36-year-old rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had been treated for minor injuries to his neck and back at New York Hospital Queens and then released. According to Mr. Jackson’s Web site, the accident occurred when the driver of a Mack truck lost control after the load he was carrying shifted, causing the truck to hit the rear of the SUV with Mr. Jackson and his driver.”
Oh man: The Kraft Food Facebook page got a dose of pride yesterday when the official image was temporarily changed to a rainbow Oreo. (It appears to be gone now.) We absolutely applaud Kraft and Nabisco for taking a stand, but it’s almost as if the company was trolling its more, uh, conservative customers.
“Now I hate Oreos,” wrote one open-minded consumer on Kraft’s page. “Oreo, your market base is ‘FAMILIES’. how do you get a child? think about it. You are alienating your market base. Wow, geniuses,” wrote another. Anyway, they go on and on and tend to reinforce every stereotype you have about the kinds of people who would take a stand on Facebook against rainbow cookies, but one comment gets to the more crucial question surrounding the image: “gay pride and homophobic beliefs aside, please make those rainbow oreos, they look delicious.”
In communicating the tale of a former soda executive who felt a great sense of “karmic debt” for targeting the black and Latino community when he worked at Coca-Cola, David Morse, a soda guru for Ad Age, says sorrrrry, but those folks do guzzle more of the carbonated crap, and should actually thank the soda companies for … well … wait … we’re not quite sure what … either obesity or cavities or racism light. After all, soda “does well” with them! [Ad Age via Gawker]
Last week the Respect My Vote! campaign took on the war on voting, a coordinated effort to disenfranchise our communities. We had an overwhelming response, people all over the country spoke out in their communities, and via social media, and collectively we reached over 5 million people.
This week we are adding college affordability to our issue agenda for Respect My Vote!
Both sides of the isle agree that we need to prevent this increase, but they can’t agree on how. Use your voice to call on Congress, and tell them not to let student loan interest rates double!
Did you know that for the first time Americans owe more in student loan debt than in credit card debt? Since 1981 college costs have increased on average 6.4% annually, while the annual income growth over the same period is 0.4%. Basically, for a long time now, the cost of going to college has been increasing way beyond what families can afford. Today, 94% of undergraduate students borrow to pay for their education.
This is a clear example of how policy makes a huge difference in our daily lives. Keeping the interest rates where they are, which everyone agrees should happen, will save families on average $1000 this year. But should Congress not find a solution, low- and moderate- income families will face increased financial burden that they cannot afford.
This is why it is so important you vote, so your voice is heard on decisions like this one, which have real-world consequences. Make sure you are registered to vote, and then pass this message along to all your friends and family and make sure they are registered to vote as well.
Join #RespectMyVote this week and declare to Congress #DontDoubleMyRate.
For Future Generations…
Moms react to Time’s provocative breast-feeding cover
By Jessica Yadegaran
Contra Costa Times
For many, the photograph of a sexy blond mother nursing her almost-4-year-old son was provocative enough.
But the headline “Are you Mom Enough?” slapped above the current Time magazine cover story about the latest trends in parenting stung, and has sparked a heated debate about the modern relationship between mom and baby.
The magazine has yet to hit Bay Area newsstands, but the article is already burning up chat rooms and mommy blogs. On Friday, nearly 1,000 people participated in an online chat on the topic at www.mercurynews.com. And on The Bump, a pregnancy and parenting website, thousands of moms buzzed on the topics of breast-feeding past the first year, children sleeping in the parental bed, and wearing baby in a sling — the cornerstones of what’s called “attachment parenting.”
“If they can ask for it and lift up your shirt, it’s time to stop feeding them on the breast,” read a post on The Bump by Elizabeth.
Another poster, Trinity, praises the cover girl. “I would high-five that woman,” she says. “I don’t plan on breast-feeding past one year, but I do know it’s perfectly normal to do so, especially in other cultures. Americans freak out. But hey, that kids’ probably got an immune system of steel!”
While the Time cover is certainly provocative, it’s also somewhat misleading, as the article focuses largely on the life of attachment parenting guru William Sears and the impetus for his 1992 “The Baby Book” book, which has sold 1.5 million copies and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The Orange County pediatrician believes children are more likely to thrive both physically and emotionally when reared in a child-centered environment that includes breast-feeding long past the first year and sharing a family bed.
But it is that photo of a svelte, beautiful mother of four pictured with her suckling preschooler and without so much as a centimeter of baby weight that some moms in the Bay Area find particularly inflammatory.
“(The cover) is purposefully divisive and rude,” says Janna Lipman Weiss, a 40-year-old Walnut Creek mother of two. The former molecular biologist referenced the Sears book during her daughters’ early years, breast-feeding for four-and-a-half years all together.
But not everything Sears preaches worked for her.
“My first one didn’t like being touched all the time, so even if I wanted to follow Sears, my daughter wasn’t having it,” Lipman Weiss says. Also, Sears’ suggestion to nurse around the clock and somehow deal with the accompanying bleary-eyed sleeplessness was particularly irksome — and impossible — for her.
Breast-feeding has always been a
controversial topic. Questions like “How old is too old?” or “Are you a bad mom if you don’t do it?” have long plagued anxiety-ridden new mothers, says Shannon Guyton, the Los Angeles-based site director for The Bump.
But one thing’s for sure, she says. “Every mom who’s breast-fed knows that Time photo is not an accurate view of breast-feeding,” she says. “There’s not a single sexy thing about it.”
According to a 2006 study by the Centers for Disease Control, only 13.6 percent of babies in the U.S. are exclusively breast-fed through the first six months of life, which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. The World Health Organization recommends a full year of exclusive breast-feeding.
In the Bay Area, the initiation rate of breast-feeding — how many moms are breast-feeding when they leave the hospital — is 95 percent, according to Nancy Held, a lactation consultant, registered nurse and vice president of Day One Centers, which has locations in Palo Alto and Walnut Creek.
“That’s very high,” says Held, who was interviewed by John Sasaki of KTVU for a report on reaction to the Time cover. “Then we have people going back to work and pumping and things drop off.”
Held says the thought of anyone breast-feeding for a year makes her happy. Everyone hears stories about women who are still breast-feeding their 5-year-olds, but that is hardly the norm, she says.
“I think to be clear, the image was used by Time magazine for shock
value,” Held says. “Dr. Sears has been around for 20 years, so there’s nothing new about him. Parents have become much more anxious in the past 10 years, so our job is to support them and give them the confidence that only they can decide what’s right for their baby.”
There are varying degrees of attachment parenting: Some believers would never leave their babies for a date night or let them utter a cry without running to their side. Others take a more moderate approach, believing in the research-based studies that show how skin-to-skin contact improves the emotional well-being and development of an infant and helps increase mom’s milk production.
Naysayers claim that extreme attachment parenting such as breast-feeding into toddlerhood — or Sears’ gentle prodding that staying home with baby is best — threatens to rewind the feminist movement.
Samantha Cook, a freelance educator and Oakland mother of three, disagrees. She has been a proponent of the attachment parenting style a decade and believes it is about creating strong family bonds.
“I think it’s empowering for women to be able to parent in the way we want,” says Cook, 35. But she admits she has received criticism from friends, particularly on the East Coast, for her parenting choices, which include breast-feeding each child for a minimum of two years and co-sleeping with her 7- and 9-year old boys.
“That’s when our king-sized bed comes in handy,” she says.
Life Without Black People
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.
At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief.
‘At last’, they said, ‘no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare.’
All of the blacks have gone! Then suddenly, reality set in.
The ‘NEW AMERICA’ is not America at all – only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man,
invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Albert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer later invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern, and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door – barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board, and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.
Now, isn’t that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘by the time we leave for work, millions of Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.’
Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.
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