Video

Video Message: Girls Gone Wild For A Cause

I’ve written about this topic before, but I think this video is a fantastic piece of statement-art-meets-PSA.  I originally viewed this video from an Upworthy link on my facebook feed, but I thought it would be poignant to share on my blog.

 

 

 

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Politics of Food — Hungry Enough to Care?

*** This post appears on a blog that I am required to write for a class that at this point in the semester I only marginally tolerate.  However — I thought it was a good post.  That and it took me long enough to write I thought I should get a few more miles out of it.  We are required to write in a “What; So What; Now What” format — which you will see below.  However — the point is that we have a major policy issue on our hands.  Food insecurity.  What in the hell we do with it — I don’t know.  As you can see from the end, I’m mad as hell and I don’t have an answer. This problem is not as simplistic as organizational change.  It won’t be solved by taking a personality inventory on how you solve problems.  This is a real issue — where real people in this nation are hungry, sometimes hungry, or are unhealthy due to their ability to purchase foods [that is not just obesity, but also developmentally challenged due to malnutrition].  So what do we do — and is the nation hungry enough to care about this issue? ****

 

What?:

For most Americans — the idea of hunger conjures up a photo of a modern day Christian missionary in sub-sahara Africa.  The man or woman is pleading with you to open your purse and sponsor a child for a few cents a day.  Then they pan to a small child who looks completely emaciated and devastated. Videos like the one above are truly heartbreaking. However, is this the only face of hunger?  Is this the only face of people who are searching for their next meal?  No.

“I have enough to pay my rent, but not enough for food.” –“Who’s Hungry in America” Second Harvest

There are people right here in the greatest Nation, who are hungry and/or food insecure.  As of 2006, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has introduced language to describe various ranges of food security and insecurity.  The USDA now defines food insecurity as: “the condition assessed in the food security survey and represented in USDA food security reports–is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”  Hunger is defined by the USDA as: “an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.” (Source: USDA Economic Research Service, “Definition of Food Security“)   The ranges the USDA has adopted are as follows:

Food Security: High food security (old label=Food security): no reported indications of food-access problems or limitations; Marginal food security (old label=Food security): one or two reported indications–typically of anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food in the house. Little or no indication of changes in diets or food intake. Food Insecurity: Low food security (old label=Food insecurity without hunger): reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.  Very low food security (old label=Food insecurity with hunger): Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake. [SOURCE]

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Politics: Gun Rights, Gun Owners, and Politics

Soon on the blog we will be welcoming our first guest blogger.  A former college of mine will be providing post weighing in on tough political issues of the day, from a conservative perspective.  Although he and I usually are polar opposites, we do sometimes see eye-to-eye but always respect each other.  I’m proud to have graduated with him.   By way of a preview to our post/counter post blogs that will be forthcoming.  Here is some of the testimony that occurred on January 30th by Mark Kelly.  Kelly is the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — who was shot during an open air town hall.

The issue of gun control is a fascinating one, filled with lots of twists and turns.  More so it is a polarizing issue — that can pit friends and family against each other.  I found part of Kelly’s testimony fascinating because he is part of the new generation of pro-gun regulation advocates.  Kelly, and Giffords BOTH own firearms, and have no plans on relinquishing them.  I think this is a movement for the regulation side that will be more prevalent.  I plan to explore that dichotomy in my counter post to Jonathan’s — as I am pro-regulation but a gun owner myself — marrying a Libertarian leaning NRA member (odd I know).

“Rights demand responsibility, and this right does not extend to terrorists, it does not extend to criminals and it does not extend to the mentally ill,” he said. “When dangerous people get guns, we are all vulnerable, at the movies, at church, conducting our everyday business, meeting with a government official, and time after time after time, at school, on our campuses and in our children’s classrooms.” – Mark Kelly [Jan 30, 2013]

What do you think about Kelly’s testimony?

Political Memorandum: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.”

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In remembrance of today’s Federal Holiday:  Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the United States (January 21, 2013)– I want to simply publish one of his speeches that does not talk about having a dream (source HERE).  Dr. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” sermon was given on February 4, 1968.  According to the text “A Knock at Midnight”, this speak was an adaptation of J. Wallace Hamilton’s (a liberal, white Methodist preacher) 1952 “Drum-Major Instincts” homily.  This sermon is quite powerful, and made me pause to consider what my goals are in this world after I read it again– and what legacy I would like to leave.  However, the sermon was also eerily timely when it was given — as towards the end of the sermon Dr. King discusses his own funeral and what he would want said.    Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 — two months after this sermon was given.  It is published in full below the jump, but here are some of my favorite portions of the sermon that Dr. King gave before his untimely death.

“But very seriously, it goes through life; the drum major instinct is real. (Yes) And you know what else it causes to happen? It often causes us to live above our means. (Make it plain) It’s nothing but the drum major instinct. Do you ever see people buy cars that they can’t even begin to buy in terms of their income? (Amen) [laughter] You’ve seen people riding around in Cadillacs and Chryslers who don’t earn enough to have a good T-Model Ford. (Make it plain) But it feeds a repressed ego.”

“The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I’m in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, “Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You’re just as poor as Negroes.” And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.”

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that’s all I want to say.

If I can help somebody as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,

If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,

Then my living will not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,

If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,

If I can spread the message as the master taught,

Then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes) not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.”

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