Monday, January 31, 2011

After the Choice

I was just over on Mark Shea's blog, reading about a new study which showed that abortions aren't linked to a higher level of mental health issues. A couple of links after, I got to an NPR story with the details:

"...Choosing to have an abortion is not an easy decision, and scientists have put a lot of effort into trying to find out whether women are harmed by that choice. This new study, in the New England Journal of Medicine, says they are not.

Robert Blum, an expert on reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, did not work on the study, but he has worked in the field for decades.
"This is an extremely, extremely well done study," he said. "There is no evidence that abortion predisposes a woman to psychiatric and mental health problems."...

Blum, a former president of the Guttmacher Institute, would like to say goodbye to the political buzz words.
"There is no post-abortion trauma, post-abortion syndrome, or anything of the like," he said..."

I'm sure for some women, this is true. Even many. But as I read the story, I thought of two young women I spoke to in the last week or so who shared with me the exact opposite.

The first, tall, thin and beautiful Janae*, told me of her experience two years ago. Enrolled in college, she had been making good grades and was heavily involved in groups on campus. She also had a boyfriend... and a very rocky relationship with him. "I had very low self-esteem. So I put up with- allowed many things to happen that I know now are just wrong."

A year into their romance, she was pregnant. She faced a range of emotions- fear, anger, shame, confusion- and turned to one of her group's faculty advisers for help. "My parents had already been through this with my older sister. She had three, all when she was young, and my mother pretty much stepped in to raise them. I felt like I was adding to their problems." Her adviser, always a second mom to her while she was away at college, quickly counseled her to terminate the pregnancy. "She told me I was young and dumb and a child would just hinder my college career, my relationship... my life. But I wanted my child." As she says this, she looks away, tears forming in her eyes.

"I knew my boyfriend was no good, but it wasn't the baby's fault. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew I could do it. I could have been a mom." But her adviser pressed her, telling her she's lose her financial grants, and finally, calling her mother to try to sway her. Janae recalls, "It worked. My mom took my adviser's side. She wanted me to abort, too. Only my dad was against it."

With no support from her boyfriend, Janae sat in her adviser's office and listened as she made the appointment for her at a clinic. "I went, thinking it would be no big deal, but God, it was. And the worse part was having to act like I hadn't gotten rid of my baby. I had to go back to school the next week, as if nothing happened." Determined to move forward, she jumped back in to her old routine, and wound up passed out in a ladies' room on campus, bleeding heavily. "I just started hemorrhaging. My roommate rushed me to the E.R., and they were able to stop the bleeding. The worse part was my adviser... my friend called her and told her and she was too busy to come see me. I felt so alone."

The physical pain caught Michelle* by surprise, too. Michelle, the second young woman I spoke with, was just 19 at the time she learned she was pregnant, and like Janae, was also in college. She was in a rough relationship, too, one that had taken her through most of high school and into her sophomore year. "He was my first love, my first everything," she said. Tall, pretty and athletic, Michelle has a "coke bottle shape" that catches many guys attention. Still, she felt the pain of low self-esteem, and believes it's what kept her going back to her now ex-boyfriend.

When she learned of her pregnancy, she initially decided to keep the baby. Raised in a Christian home, she didn't really believe abortion to be an option. But her man was dead-set against it, and spent weeks warning her of the detrimental effect a baby would be to them. Finally, he broke up with her, leaving her devastated. "I just didn't know what I would do. He was older than me, but he suddenly became childish. I knew I couldn't turn to my dad. He was not supportive of me when it came to college, so I knew a baby would cause him to flip."

So she reluctantly decided to abort. "I wanted my child. I was four and a half months along! I had gained all this weight, I wasn't a little pregnant." The first clinic she went to turned her away. "They did a sonogram, measured the baby, and said, 'We can't do this here.' They referred me to another place, an hour away, and I made the appointment. The day of the procedure, I was so scared. I went with my friend and she had to hold my hand. It wasn't until I got there I found out they would be dilating me. There were no pain meds during the first part. Just pain. I've never felt such pain in my life. I pretty much went through labor, but I knew there wouldn't be a baby at the end of it, which made it even harder."

She nervously played with her fingers as she retold the story, describing finally getting pain medication after hours, and after having cold metal forced inside her. "I'll never do it again, never. I don't care why or what the situation. It the worse thing I've been through in my life." She gazed up at a calendar hanging on the wall. "And you know, you don't forget. Every year, at my due date, I think about the baby, how he would be having a birthday. How they would be, playing and everything. I sometimes wonder, 'Will I always feel this hurt? Will I always remember?' It's a scar and it won't go away."

I feel deep sadness for these ladies. They made a choice, yet no one seems to really be there for them after it. Some pro-lifers view this women with an invisible "scarlet A" on them. Now some in the pro-choice camp would deny their feelings, emotions and deep regret after having had abortions. In this way, I can see why they feel alone. But as I told them both, they aren't. I'm here, and more importantly, God always will be.

*Not their real names. I have to protect their privacy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Head Coverings & Veils From the Middle East

Check out this cool set of photos over at HuffPo featuring a variety of scarves, veils and head coverings. Very interesting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Heartlessness of This Guy Never Ceases to Amaze Me

 Are you sure about that?

So on a few different blogs this weekend, I read about creepy Atheistic Evangelist Extraordinaire PZ Myers latest post on how seeing pictures of aborted fetuses does not bother him the least bit. In fact, he almost seems to glory in how unaffected he is by them. Or chopped up animals, for that matter:

"...the standard bullying tactics of waving bloody fetuses might cow the squeamish, but I'm a biologist. I've guillotined rats. I've held eyeballs in my hand and peeled them apart with a pair of scissors. I've used a wet-vac to clean up a lake of half-clotted blood from an exsanguinated dog. I've opened bodies and watched the intestines do their slow writhing dance, I've been elbow deep in blood, I've split open cats and stabbed them in the heart with a perfusion needle. I've extracted the brains of mice…with a pair of pliers. I've scooped brains out of buckets, I've counted dendrites in slices cut from the brains of dead babies.

You want to make me back down by trying to inspire revulsion with dead baby pictures? I look at them unflinchingly and see meat. And meat does not frighten me."

So at what point in gaining his degree did he lose his humanity? Once they bestowed the "PH.D" on him? I'm also wondering why more people in the comboxes were upset about the animals than the cavalier attitude towards the humans?

I know I have a couple of readers who are atheists or agnostics... I'm wondering how arguments like these make you feel? I know no group is a monolith, so how do you feel when well-known and even respected Atheistic leaders make cringe-worthy statements like this?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Babies as the New Birkins?

Over the past few weeks, as yet another Hollywood celeb announced their impending visit from the stork, I felt a nag inside me. While it's nice to have a break from 2010's Breakup Bonanza, something started bothering me. I wasn't sure if it was the way all the Mario Lopez's out there were reporting it, but it definitely bothered me.

Then I found this article, and I realized what it is- the commercialization of baby! From the Herald Sun:

When Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban announced the surprise birth of their new baby this week, they made special mention of "our gestational carrier". For many people there was a moment of confusion. Was this a disease? A new type of baby sling?

You have to wonder at the gross distortion of the euphemism the celebrity couple chose to describe the anonymous woman who had given birth to Faith Margaret Kidman Urban on December 28, in Nashville, USA.

The baby may have been created from the couple's own fertilised egg but it was nurtured in the womb of its birth mother, and probably loved a little by that woman during the pregnancy.
Even if she was paid, as most US surrogates are, what she did was an act of enormous personal generosity, and ought not be diminished by weasel words that seek to dehumanise the most intimate human relationship.
To have carried a baby in your womb, shared a blood supply, felt its little feet kick against your abdomen, heard its little heart beat, sensed it growing bigger and stronger, while it changes your metabolism, and the way you sleep, breathe and eat, and then to have given birth to a living, breathing human child you have been longing to cuddle is not a trivial act. So to have it described in such clinical, remote terms is insensitive and thoughtless, to say the least.

It is so much more than being "born through a gestational carrier", as if the woman was some sort of ceremonial archway through which the child was magically conveyed...

Of course, the world rejoices that the Kidman-Urbans have been blessed with a second daughter, a little sister to two-year-old Sunday Rose.

Kidman's past fertility problems are well known and at the age of 43, conception wasn't going to be any easier.

But it's hard to escape an icky feeling about the current fad for surrogate babies, of children as the latest fashion accessory - or, in the case of gay couples, political statement.

Accessory babies are cute, interesting, make you proud, alleviate the ennui of celebrity fortune, give you unconditional love, novel social projects, lots of new shopping opportunities, and can be receptacles of all your adult yearnings, but with all the annoying, messy, time-consuming, inconvenient and tedious bits of parenthood outsourced to egg donors, IVF clinics, rental wombs, nannies and childcare centres (for "socialising").

A few of the recent celebrity womb rentals have included Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick - twin girls; Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka - fraternal twins, a girl and boy; and Kelsey Grammer and estranged wife Camille - a boy and a girl...

But woe betide the child who cramps your lifestyle.
Some of the testimony to the sad inquest into the death of toddler Maia Comas on the northern beaches of Sydney captures this new commodified attitude to parenting.

THE deputy NSW Coroner Scott Mitchell was yesterday unable to determine whether or not Maia's drowning death in 2007 was accidental, but he said the two-year-old's access to a blow-up swimming pool in her back yard "suggests great irresponsibility" on her parents' part.

Maia's parents, Pablo Comas and Samantha Razniak, were devastated when told she had an incurable degenerative genetic disease which would leave her severely disabled.

But their response was chilling, the inquest has heard. They didn't want to look after a disabled child. They wanted to travel and have a life. Could she be euthanased?

"I can't cope with it," the father allegedly said, according to evidence at the inquest. "We are two hippies living in a house, playing guitar."...

The Wall Street Journal last month ran a story about the new global industry of baby manufacturing, with baby "concierges" co-ordinating the coming together of egg, sperm, womb and parents from all corners of the earth.

One of the most affordable packages featured was the "India bundle" from PlanetHospital, which gets you "one egg donor, four embryo transfers into four separate surrogate mothers, room and board for the surrogate, and a car and driver for the parents-to-be when they travel to India to pick up the baby."
Planet Hospital also specialises in "surrogaycy" for same-sex couples but doesn't really seem to care much who the parents are.

Chief executive Rudy Rupak told the Journal: "Our ethics are agnostic . . . How do you prevent a paedophile from having a baby? If they're a paedophile then I will leave that to the US Government to decide, not me."

That sounds more amoral - or downright evil - than agnostic..."

IT IS EVIL. May God help this world.

Twenty Questions: January 18th, 2011

Loyal reader Yazzy reminded me that I've been neglecting my "Twenty Questions" about pop culture and current events. So, just for her, I'm restarting it. Besides, there is much to question, lol!

1.) Okay, so it's great that Black folks banded together to revive "The Game", bringing it to BET from the CW. But wouldn't it be nice if we could throw our force behind something like education?

2.) If you watched the season premiere, isn't Melanie really starting to lose it?

3.) Yeah! Cabletown is going to buy NBC! Uh, I mean Comcast. Too much "30 Rock" for me. How will Tina Fey work this into the show?

4.) And speaking of "30 Rock", they've decided to NOT work star Jane Krakowski's pregnancy into the storyline. Think it'll be the same for "The Game"'s Tia Mowry?

5.) And what's up with the Hollywood `baby boom?

6.) Oh Iran... we thought things would be alright for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani after her sentence of stoning was suspended. Turns out, the world was wrong. She might just be hung. What is wrong with this nation?

7.) Isn't Jared Loughner's mugshot extremely disturbing?

8.) Can someone please tell Sarah Palin to hire a new PR team?

9.) Isn't it awesome how Representative Gabrielle Giffords will most likely be leaving the hospital soon?

10.) Do you think Gamestop is worried?

11.) Does anyone need THIS much coffee in one serving?

12.) Why is Facebook fast becoming Big Brother?

13.) But who actually lists their home addy on Facebook? And why did they ever do this?

14.) But we should never underestimate the power of Facebook. What are the limits people must reach to turn off the computer?

15.) Do you know certain pasta sauces contain a huge amount of sugar?

16.) Is "gestational carrier" going to become part of the American lexicon now that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have introduced the phrase while introducing their second daughter?

17.) While J. Lo's twins are absolutely adorable, is it kind of weird that she has them out modeling for Gucci... and they're not even 3?

18.) And who's buying that she did it for solely altruistic reasons? She and Marc can easily donate the money without use of photogs.

19.) So it's great the bartender wanted to protect the baby, but did he really have to kick this pregnant woman out of a bar while she sipped...water?

20.) What does it say about American men- and women- when the recession has done nothing to slow down the mail order bride business?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Houston Couple Stopped From Feeding Homeless

 Sometimes, the government just sucks. From MSNBC:

Monday, January 17, 2011

"...I Just Want to do God's Will..."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Be My Guest: The (Non) Social Network

Still looking for a New Year's Resolution? Get off Facebook. Seriously. Not convinced? Well then, check out this guest post from David Hubbard, writer, Iraq veteran, chess player and- most importantly- my friend Giddel's hubby. Okay, well, it's important to me, he he he.


I am contemplating a farewell to social networking.  Like all complex endings, the beginning was simple.  In my mind the arc went something like this: 

1)     1.)  I  join Facebook because my twin sister, who moved overseas, wants an easier way to stay in touch.  I trust in the “connect, share, and what not” benefits of this new technology.

2)      2.) I find friends, people I liked from school and work.  We banter back and forth about the past, school, sports, or memories.  We post photos of when we used to drink too much and other happy moments in our short lives.

3)      3.) Politicians discover social networking, leaving newspapers and magazines wondering what the heck just happened and why no one cares about what they are printing anymore.  They eventually figure out how to become relevant again in the new social landscape.

4)      4.) People start getting fired for what they post.

5)      5.) Our parents and friend’s parents show up touting web links to special interests as if they are admission tickets to the new social network event.

6)     6.)  I grow up and accept that the world is big and people are different.  I accept friend requests, some dubious, and make a few of my own.

7)      7.) My opinion of people slowly sours as I read their media links which insult or disparage people of different racial, religious, or sexual backgrounds. The balance tips when someone insinuates that I am going to hell because I am essentially different. As if I can help it. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)

8)      8.) Businesses figure out where we have all been hiding and create swell icons for us to paste on our profile page like Eagle Scout badges. Facebook offers us up for a small fee.

9)      9.) Personal beliefs –the final sacred holdout in modern society – become products to swap, critique, and evaluate with glancing Amazon book review-like attention.  My brain swims in conflicting fortune-cookie truisms and enlightened quotes of people who belong to a world that no longer exists.  I shamelessly include a few of my own.

10  10.) I discover one day that I miss the nervous energy of actually approaching a new person with the intent of finding out more about them.  I’ve grown lazy as the years passed.  When I wish to get to know someone just because, I throw up a friend request, maybe rummage about their photos, and that is as far as it goes.  I trade getting to know the people around me for a clandestine recon mission.  I feel like a creep. I used to be better than this.

11 11.) I miss the simple pleasure of enjoying simple pleasures without vexing over how to phrase my simple pleasure for others to read and comment.

12 12.) I find myself burdened by the complex responsibility of maintaining a virtual self. 

Guilty as charged?  You bet your Twitter password I am.  I have aided and abetted the very force that I now wish to disown. 

 Welcome to the post-modern age, boys and girls, where the comic and tragic rest in peace and pieces.  Step right up and watch as three friends deduce a truth, a half-truth, or a lie from one innocent post, (and still miss the point).  All is available for your viewing pleasure, ready to be celebrated, scorned, disregarded, mourned, and passed on with just the indiscriminate click of a mouse.  Should you find that sorting through canned worldviews is all too confusing, we also offer addicting games and social causes, in which one can invest many cheerful hours for no actual benefit.  

Whatever happened to “It’s just Facebook”?  You don’t know and neither do I.  

Now, if you feel the way I do, copy and post this to your friend’s pages.   You know you want to.


And while you're logged on and copying pasting this into a note, don't forget to "Like" FAR on Facebook.

   And if you've decided to steer clear of Mark Zuckerburg's brainchild for awhile, log on to Twitter to read more from David.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Is The Black Abortion Rate So High?

I guess with keeping with this week's "Topics that make people squirm" theme, I want to turn my focus on the extremely high rate of abortions within the African American community.

In the past few weeks, I've noticed quite a few stories popping up all over the Internet about abortion and Blacks. With a recent and controversial MTV special on "16 & Pregnant" alum Markai's decision to terminate her second pregnancy,  and the upcoming anniversary of the landmark "Roe vs. Wade" decision coming up, I guess it's fitting.

But the numbers are frightening. According to this Root story, "Overall, African-American women account for 36.4 percent of all pregnancy terminations in the United States, although blacks make up only 13 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."Confoundedly, despite the high numbers, "Nearly two-thirds of African Americans polled believe that abortion should never be legal or should be legal only in cases of rape or incest or when the woman's life is endangered, according to a 2004 poll by Zogby International."So we have a whole lot of people who think abortion is wrong except for special circumstances, yet are obviously doing it anyway.

It should also be noted a large number of those women having abortions aren't teens, but grown women in their twenties. "Those who are ages 20 to 24 obtain 33 percent of all abortions, and those who are 25 to 29 years old obtain 24 percent, according to the Guttmacher Institute." 

Margaret Sanger

So is it all economics? Not so, says many concerned Pro-lifers, who believe it's the poisonous fruit of the tree planted by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger, who believed in Eugenics, believed Blacks were "undesirables", and some feel PP still holds a very racist view today. Some Black Pro-Lifers "...accuse white abortionists of exhorting black women to obtain abortions as a form of genocide..." For their part, Planned Parenthood think their critics are "obstructionists who do not want to educate people about the importance of contraception." 

There's no denying the ugly reality that despite their claims of promoting contraception to the Black community, "Black children are more endangered by abortion than any other demographic in America, and three times more likely to die by abortion."

So what is your opinion on this? Why is the abortion rate so high for Blacks compared to Whites or Latinos?  Is abortion just another form of birth control? Do you feel there is hypocrisy amidst?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Submission= Slavery? Part 2

Yesterday I shared some wise words from Dr. Myles Munroe's "Understanding the Purpose & Power of Men" regarding the Biblical concept of submission. This topic has been hotly debated in and out of the church due to it's misapplication, which has resulted in sadness, depression, abuse, divorce, broken families and tragically, even death.

Dr. Munroe, however, takes a healthy, Biblical view of submission- which is the farthest thing from slavery:

"The Scripture says, "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22, emphasis added). As long as a man is acting like the Lord, a woman should be in submission to him. I've never seen Jesus slap one of His children. I've never seen Jesus scream or swear at His people. No matter what we do to Jesus, He is ready to forgive us. This is how husbands need to treat their wives.

However, probably half of us men do not deserve our wives' submission. [Hey, he said it, not me! j/k] Jesus said to His church-His bride- "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). And yet, some men stay out all night, then come home and want their wives to cook for them. They forsake their wives and their children spiritually and emotionally, even financially, and they still want submission. That's a sin, men. You don't deserve submission. Submission is not dependent on what you say. It is dependent on how you live.

... [Jesus] didn't force you to accept Him. He didn't break down your door. He is very polite. He very quietly convicts people. He doesn't pressure us. He just shows us His love.

So one day, you realized, "This love is overwhelming," and you accepted His love. You desired to follow Jesus. One of the things I love about Jesus is that He calls us to follow Him. He doesn't tie a rope around our necks and drag us. He leads and we follow. If we are willingly following somebody, we are not being forced against our wills.

... All He ever says to His disciples is, "Follow Me." This exactly what husbands are supposed to say to their wives: "Honey, follow me." That's what submission is really about.

...Some women allow their husbands to beat them half to death because they think that is being submissive. I have counseled many women who think this way. Th`ey come to my office badly battered, and ask, "What am I supposed to do?" I say, "Remove yourself from the premises." "But the Bible says to submit." "Yes, but not to a beating. You are to submit to the Lord. Until you see the Lord in the house, leave. You are not to be foolish enough just to sit there and let your life be put in jeopardy."

... "There is nothing in the Bible that says you just stand there and suffer abuse. First Peter 2:19-20 says that if you suffer for the sake of the Gospel, that is true suffering. But if you suffer for the sake of your own sin and folly, that is not to your credit. It's foolish for you to let somebody beat you black and blue , then turn around and say, 'It's all for Jesus.' That is not submission."

Men, we see clearly submission is earned by Christly love. Women, we see clearly that TAKING ABUSE IS NOT SUBMISSION.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


A few months ago, I posted parts of an article from Crosswalk on domestic abuse in the church.

One of the comments struck a chord with me. A woman who identified as "Anonymous" wrote: "The hardest thing about domestic violence is being controlled in the mind. My ex just convinced me that there was nothing abnormal, that I had to try harder, that it was my fault if things weren't OK. Then there was the constant teaching of the church to never contemplate separation, and that no matter what, the marriage had to come first, even if the kids were dying on the inside. Even now, after leaving, the abuse doesn't stop but it does get very covert and hard to prove to others..."

In my response, I wrote: "... many churches have improperly taught on what submission really means, twisting it to the point where some women resemble slaves. Other times, churches don't touch the subject at all, leaving couples to try to decipher such vital teachings on their own, with dire circumstances." I also wrote I would write on the subject "very soon"... and well, that was October. But just because it's not on my blog doesn't mean it's out of my mind. So here, with Anon still in my prayers, is that long awaited post.

In December 2009, my mother-in-law sent the hubby, straight from Trinidad, a box of gifts for his birthday. One of the items was a book called "Understanding the Purpose & Power of Men: by Dr. Myles Munroe. Being the book nerd that I am (what? You thought Cartoon Li's perch atop a bunch of books was accidental? Nope!), I quickly snatched up the book and began to read it. After all, it's subtitle is "a book for men AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM". So being a women very much in love with my man, I flipped it open and enjoyed what I read. I definitely recommend this one.

Dr. Munroe, from a Christian perspective, goes in-depth into what being a man, and ultimately, a husband, father and leader really means. He also takes the time to poignantly delve into the oh-to-sticky-submission issue. Yeah, SUBMISSION. I have yet to meet a Christian woman- no matter if she's fundie, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Holiness, Reformed, whatever- who has not heard of the famous "Wives SUBMIT to your husbands" verses and accompanying teaching. It's these verses, scattered throughout the New Testament, penned by Paul, that have resulted in many Feminists labeling Christianity "patriarchal" and "domineering". And quite frankly, many Christian women, like the loud-mouthed ghetto "Angie" in a scene from Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married Too", to, especially in this day, quickly dismiss it with a "Submit? Oh, I'm not doing that."

Unfortunately, other women, like Anonymous, suffer under the yoke of abuse because they are taught to "submit". Sadly, I heard some preach similar messages growing up. Basically, wives, deal with getting knocked up side the head... "so saith the Lord." Yeah, because using King James Version English some how makes battery authoritative.

Munroe, in a chapter titled "Dominion versus Domination", shares these words about submission:

"Many men's distorted understanding of strength can be seen in the way they view the concept of submission. Yet the passage in which this concept is found, Ephesians 5:22-23, contains something many people miss. It says, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church."

Let's first talk about the word submission. The definition of submit means to "willfully give your will to another." Submission has nothing to do with force or pressure. It's an act of the will. To submit is the choice of the person who is submitting, not the command of one who wants to be submitted to. Put another way, you cannot submit unless you want to, and no one can make you submit if you don't want to.

Any man who has to force a woman to submit does not deserve to be submitted to. He is no longer worthy of submission; he has become a slave driver. Do you know what makes a slave a slave? Force and fear. Those are the elements that are dominating too many homes. The Bible says, "Perfect love drives out fear" (I John 4:18). This means that if a man has to make a woman afraid of him in order to force her to do something he wants done, then he doesn't know what love is."

Tomorrow, I'll be back with more wise words from Dr. Munroe. But I want to 1.) get the conversation going and 2.) encourage my readers to share good books, websites and organizations that will be a help to all the women out there like Anonymous.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nine Months Old- and Relaxed?!?

 A scene from Chris Rock's "Good Hair" in which a little girl has her hair relaxed.

No, that isn't a trick headline. I saw this video on Black Girl Long Hair and was shocked... and appalled. In this YouTube post, a pretty little three year old is asked about her relaxed, badly damaged hair. According to her mom, she received her first relaxer at just nine months old! Here it is:

As I commented on BGLH, I think this is a form of child abuse. I don't believe her parents had bad intentions, but it's still horrifying they would subject their baby to chemicals that has now resulted in her having to take medication.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Be My Guest: All 'N' Together Now

Yes! My slacking can continue! This post comes courtesy of my talented cuz Carlos Colon, who penned this in response to a recent story about how a new edition of Mark Twain's classic "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is now "n*****" free. Is this a case of political correctness run amok?


It’s the middle of the day and I decided to take some time out to catch up on the news. As I perused the front page of something stood out to me. “New Huck Finn to lose the “N” word.” My mind immediately jumped to censorship. (the suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by government, media outlet, or other controlling body) I paused for a moment then tried to understand the reasoning behind this decision; but after reading the authors reasoning I was directed back to my original reaction. 

Alan Gribben stated that his version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather update it. “Race matters in these books.” “It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.” Unfortunately for Mr. Gribben, neuter he did and his 21st century version completely attenuates Mark Twain's representation of the time period the book is set in. Mr. Gribben thought it necessary to replace “Nigger” with “Slave”. Now that feeling of shock or disgust you felt when reading the last sentence is exactly why the two words are not interchangeable. “Slave” is a description of what a person is and the lifestyle they are subjected to, while “nigger” is a description of what one person thinks of the other; it is a word of hate. Try to read an excerpt from the book and insert slave; then reread the same excerpt in its original text and feel the difference in your emotion towards the two. This politically correct version may soothe the overprotective parent and the principal of your children’s over priced private school but it also expurgates the stories true meaning. 

Like what you read? Follow him @SmellofColon on Twitter.

Coming this May: the End of the World!

And here I thought 2012 would see the End of Days, lol. From Yahoo:

"If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran has less than six months left, which she'll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here. Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011.

To get the word out, they're using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling through Latin America and Africa to spread the news outside the U.S.
A lot of people might think, 'The end's coming, let's go party,'" said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. "But we're commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it's so much better to know that when the end comes, you'll be safe." In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

She is organizing traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city, a logistics challenge that her military experience has helped solve. The vehicles are scheduled to be in five North Carolina cities between now and the second week of January, but Exley will shortly be gone: overseas, where she hopes to eventually make it back to Iraq.

"I don't really have plans to come back," she said. "Time is short."

Not everyone who's heard Camping's message is taking such a dramatic step. They're remaining in their day-to-day lives, but helping publicize the prophecy in other ways. Allison Warden, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, post cards and other media in cities across the U.S. through a website, We Can Know."

 Yes, and we also know from Scripture that "no man knows the day or hour." But hey, why take Jesus' word when we can take Harold Camping's? For the rest of the wacky story, click here.

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