Sunday, February 26, 2017

It only took fourteen years for the Oscars to catch up with reality.

Hear ye, hear ye: (click here) The Oscars are upon us once again. Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony, which airs Sunday, February 26, at 8:30 pm EST on ABC. The event will officially conclude a long awards season marked by repeat winners (we see you, La La Land) and increasingly incendiary acceptance speeches wrapping politics into the usual glitz and glamour (hello, Meryl Streep!).

In 2003 the USA crossed a line and everyone stood by and looked for favor to make films about war. In order for a female film director to win an Oscar the topic had to be war. Then the "Hurt Locker" went on to win Best Picture as well. I never saw that picture and won't. 

"Fences" is an incredible picture that won't win nearly as many awards as it should. Denzel Washington was every bit the man he had to be. Viola Davis was magnificent. 

"Fences" is not the usual gangsta picture affiliated with African American stereotypes. It is a respectful picture of real life. Viola Davis gave life to a strong woman with vulnerabilities she was not allowed to question. She only knew how to measure herself against reality after any dream proved unrealistic for an African American woman in the USA.

The flip side of Ms. Davis are the entire crew of African American actresses in "Hidden Figures." That picture was magnificently done, but, it infuriated me to realize where we are in race relations today. I have expect an executive order to arrive at NASA to change the name of the building graced with Katherine Johnson's name.

Hundreds of people turned out May 5 to attend the naming ceremony for the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Chief among those in attendance was Johnson herself. Now 97, Johnson was once a "human computer" at NASA Langley. Among many other impressive feats, she famously calculated the flight trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

All the films in every category were exceptional this year. It will be a difficult choice to the winners, but, I sincerely hope this is the year films with African American heritage win in large measure. 

Margot Lee Shetterly (click here) is the author of Hidden Figures and founder of The Human Computer Project, which seeks to uncover the history of the women who worked in the early days of the U.S. space program.

I thank Ms. Shetterly for bringing this book to a film. Regardless, of the building the sincere meaning was better felt when put on a movie screen. Thank you, it was very long overdue.

Until tomorrow...

Unlikely bedfellows, Planned Parenthood and Barbara Bush, or are they?

The first act of "W" after his inauguration was to cut international funding to women's health agencies that fund abortions.

Roe v. Wade was a Texas woman wanting an abortion. The idea Texas women see abortion differently than Texas politics is not so surprising.

Barbara Bush , CEO and Co-Founder (click here)

Barbara Bush is CEO & Co-founder of Global Health Corps (GHC), which mobilizes a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. GHC was founded in 2009 by six twenty-somethings who were challenged by Peter Piot at the aids2031 Young Leaders Summit to engage their generation in solving the world’s biggest health challenges. Barbara and her co-founders were united by the belief that health is a human right and that their generation must build the world where this is realized. Since that time, GHC has placed more than 700 young leaders on the front lines of health equity in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and the United States, developing a cadre of creative, effective, and compassionate changemakers.

February 26, 2017

(The Hill) Barbara Pierce Bush, (click here) the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will headline a Planned Parenthood fundraiser next week in Texas, according to a report from the Texas Tribune.

Bush is expected to be the keynote speaker at the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’s annual Fort Worth fundraising luncheon.

President Bush pushed for anti-abortion policies during his time in the White House, but his wife Laura Bush has supported legal abortion in the past.

Barbara Bush, left, (click here) and Cecile Richards sitting for lunch at Gotham Bar and Grill in the West Village.

Unwanted pregnancies happen, they are not planned. One of the reasons Planned Parenthood began their mission was to educate women about their choices in reproduction. 

Women want control of their future. They want control of how the family spins out and the success a parent has in promoting their children to a life of wholesomeness and happiness. Unplanned pregnancies can lead to job, but, sometimes leads to hardship. The word "unplanned or unwanted" are not the enemies.

Lack of knowledge about a woman's responsibility in giving birth leads to many venues of disadvantage in the USA. Planned Parenthood sought to provide insight to what can be a life of reproductive control to provide for that happiness.

...2011...Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. There are a range of factors associated with children’s experiences of economic insecurity, including race/ethnicity and parents’ education and employment....
There are more (click here) than 72 million children under 18 years old in the United States.
  • 45 percent – 32.4 million – live in low-income families.
  • 22 percent – 16.1 million – live in poor families.
These facts are real. These facts are American. These facts are a national shame and women such as Cecile Richards and Barbara Bush have the knowledge and power to move generations of women and children to health and better quality of life

SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT, the USA legislature is too inept to their own politics to find their way out of a paper bag.

California WAS the sixth largest economy in the world.

Taking care of the Undocumented is a public health interest. We are back to square one.

February 26, 2017
By Robert Samuels

Rumours about deportation raids (click here) started to circulate around the fields again, so Catalina Sanchez and her husband began to calculate the consequences of everything they did.

Cirilo Perez, 36, had to go to work because the tomato crop was getting low, and he needed to pick as much as he could as fast as he could. Sanchez's medical check up would have to wait - going to a clinic was too risky. What they fretted most about was what to do with their daughter Miriam - a natural-born citizen in the third grade - who they worried would come home one day to an empty trailer.

"When she leaves, I wonder if it will be the last time I see her," Sanchez, 26, said on a recent evening.

As President Donald Trump moves to turn the full force of the federal government toward deporting undocumented immigrants, a new found fear of the future has already cast a pall over the tomato farms and strawberry fields in the largely undocumented migrant communities east of Tampa....         

It is all carbon. And. It is still concrete.

February 26, 2017
By Matthew Theunissen

A New Zealand company (click here) is turning plastic waste into high-quality concrete.

Plazrok, the brainchild of south Auckland-based company Enviroplaz, is unique in that it can transform absolutely any type of plastic into a rock-like substance that forms the aggregate of concrete."We don't take the labels off, we don't have to disassemble it or take any of the other components off it, we can use it in its entirety," said Enviroplaz founding director Peter Barrow.

"We don't even need to clean it - the process we put it through does everything for us."

What's more, concrete companies would not have to change their processes at all in order to use the Plazrok in their product.

Yet they would end up with concrete that is 10 to 40 per cent lighter than usual....               

That is really wonderful that the AP and Time decided to side with the First Amendment.

It is only going to get worse from here so journalists should think outside the box to find ways to cover the White House.

This administration has control of the FCC as well. Licenses will be pulled and credentials removed. There will be nothing left but the FOX News propaganda network.

Legal measures need to begin now and continue during Trump's presidency. Anything that is litigate should be brought forward. FOIA requests reaching to the family quarters of the White House should begin now.

There will be a counter news culture that develops out of the void. That can either help, but, most likely hurt media networks. The truth has it's own power and the American people won't stand for lies and misrepresentations.

Counter news culture should begin now with plans to distribute real news and QUESTIONS about the reality of the attack against the First Amendment by Trump. There will be plenty of advertisers if there are readers. I know no better method to BUILD readership than with free newspapers that are quick to read on a daily commute. As soon as the American people realize the outreach of the media is to bring them the truth about their country, they will push back against the propaganda.

Americans aren't stupid. They reason issues out their own way, but, they aren't stupid. They can read, ask the National Inquirer. Product manufacturers should have plenty of ad monies for newsprint entitled, "Freedom of Press Chronicle" and "First Amendment News." They will come to love it. White House briefings will become funnier than the nighttime comedy hour.

Keep it honest and full of humor. The truth, but, easy to swallow.

Oh, let's not forget the cable news networks that DEVOTED their entire daily programming to covering the White House. STUPID. Really stupid. Where is the geography channel? We might even have a public that knows where Mexico is on a map.

February 24, 2017
By Paul Farhi

The White House (click here) blocked a number of news organizations from attending an informal briefing Friday, a rare and surprising move that came amid President Trump’s escalating war against the media.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer banned reporters from CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed from attending a “gaggle,” a non-televised briefing, but gave access to a number of other reporters, including those representing conservative outlets.

The White House said the decision was not made to exclude journalists from organizations that have been the most critical of Trump in their reporting in favor of those who are more favorable. Although the invited included Fox News, Breitbart and the Washington Times — all considered sympathetic to the administration — the approved list also included CBS, NBC, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Time and the Associated Press.

However, reporters from AP and Time decided against attending the briefing in protest of the exclusion of other news outlets....