Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Meaning of Obama Election: “America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

November 20, 2008

“America suffered a cultural earthquake.” That’s the point of view of some leaders…. 

A leader in the pro-life and anti-abortion Catholic Church cautioned of a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Catholic News Agency

Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday saying that the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the student university paper The Tower reports. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, his words focused upon Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.

Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.

Cardinal James Stafford / President-elect Barack Obama

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year.

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”

The cardinal attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide.

“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” Cardinal Stafford commented, according to The Tower.

His theological remarks centered upon man’s relationship with God and man’s place in society.

“Man is a sacred element of secular life,” he said, arguing that therefore “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

Cardinal Stafford also touched on the state of the family, saying that the truest reflection of the relationship between the believer and God is the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit within that relationship.

Read the rest:
http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=14355

Economy: Americans Tightening Belts

October 10, 2008

By Ron Scherer
The Christian Sciences Monitor

New York – The dramatic changes in the US financial system – the debt write-downs and consolidation of corporate balance sheets – are now mirrored at kitchen tables around the United States.

Households are cutting spending, paying down debt, and rebuilding their personal balance sheets. The belt-tightening may have been spurred by two years of falling home values followed by surging energy and food prices, but the effect could be longer lasting.

Americans are now trying to live within their incomes. If they succeed, it would boost the anemic US savings rate and signal a shift in the way Americans view their finances.

A customer pushes her shopping cart past a display at a Wal-Mart ... 
A customer pushes her shopping cart past a display at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, June 5, 2008.(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

“As the US economy boomed, people thought of credit as savings,” says Dennis Jacobe, Washington-based chief economist at the Gallup Organization. “They saw it as something they could fall back on…. Now a lot of people are finding out they do not have the money they felt they had.”

One indication of this new world: On Tuesday, Federal Reserve data showed that consumer credit contracted 3.7 percent in August, the first drop in 10 years.

For many Americans, the belt-tightening began when the price of gasoline surged past $3 a gallon 1-1/2 years ago.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081010/ts_csm/
ameans;_ylt=AqY1PGkwyjlTd6KP1MikgnOs0NUE

Lunar (Chinese) New Year Begins

February 4, 2008

Chinese New Year focuses on the remembrance of ancestors, family unity, hospitality, honor, happiness, good luck and wealth in the New Year.

The New Year begins on Thursday, February 7, 2008. 

Peach blossom, as seen here in Hanoi, is a popular decorative ...
Peach blossom, as seen here in Hanoi, is a popular decorative item during the Lunar New Year festival. Luxury villas, flatscreen TVs and mobile phones will all go up in smoke this Tet lunar New Year as newly affluent Vietnamese burn paper models of the latest mod-cons for their dead relatives(AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam)

This year, 2008 marks the “Year of the Rat” on the Chinese calendar, one of 12 animal names recycled every 12 years. Legend has it that those born in each animal year have some of that animal’s personality. Rats are said to be the most industrious, hard working and successful, and are often leaders, pioneers and conquerors. Famous people born in the Year of the Rat include George Washington, Shakespeare, Mozart and actors Samuel Jackson and Scarlett Johansson.

Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days until the Lantern Festival, which falls on February 21 this year. This year is also known as “Wu Zhi,” its formal name in the Stem-Branch system; 2008 is year nine in the 60-year naming cycle. The current year is Year 4705 by the Chinese calendar.

Practices for the new year vary depending upon which part of China you are from. Northern China celebrates the New Year with families making boiled dumplings together, symbolic of staying together, warm and full in the New Year. Southern China feasts on sticky rice rolled in balls, with a special stuffing  inside.

“Both in the North and in the South, the theme is the same even though the food may vary,” says Lisa Fan, photographer for the Asian Community Service Center in Vienna, Virginia.

“Harmony and union is what the meal means. One thing you must have at the meal is a whole fish, and some of the fish must be left on the plate to represent savings and prosperity for next year.”

Traditions include wearing new clothes and shoes, hanging red lanterns and banners with words of good fortune around doors — to bring good blessings and ward off evil — and cleaning the house thoroughly before festivities. No cleaning is permitted during festivities as that may sweep away good luck.

Another tradition is using the lotus flower as decoration.

“The lotus flower represents high moral standards. It grows in dirty mud but symbolizes purity and high moral standards,” says Tiny Tang, vice-president of the Asian Community Service Center. “This is a time to fully respect our parents and remember our ancestors. We follow good values which are meaningful for people. It is a reminder of our tradition.”

Tran thi Bay, right, makes banh chung, traditional Vietnamese ...
Tran thi Bay, right, makes banh chung, traditional Vietnamese food for New Year, in her house in Hanoi, Vietnam, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008. Bay’s daughter Dinh Tran Bich Hop, left, and her grand children, back, help. Banh chung consists of three layers, sticky rice, green beans and pork, in a square shape wrapped in dong leaves. The Luna New Year of the Rat begins on Feb.7 (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Related:
The Tet New Year, Cuisine, China and Vietnam

Grill The Elephant! It’s Time for Tet!

How about a nice hot bowl of horse meat and noodle during the Super Bowl?

An Epicure’s Guide to the Tet New Year: Close Your Eyes, Dig in and Don’t Ask!

I Have Eaten A Pack of Dogs and a Flock of Crow but “Hold the Penis”

Taiwan smells a rat

Britney Spears: Decline Repeatedly Noted Before

February 2, 2008

By John E. Carey

A suburban housewife said to me yesterday, “What happened to Britney Spears, all of a sudden.”

The answer is: Nothing.

Like most drug and alcohol abusers, the decline for Britney was prolonged, obvious and intense.
Britney Spears is seen here in January 2008. A Los Angeles court ... 
Britney Spears is seen here in January 2008. A Los Angeles court on Friday awarded Spears’ father control of his daughter’s affairs following her admission to a hospital psychiatric unit for evaluation, officials said.
(AFP/File/Gabriel Bouys)

The real question that faces all of us when we see such a decline in our own midst is: what can we do to help?

The answer is: Intervention.

Intervention is the loving act of saying enough is enough.

Even in our society that promotes freedom above practically all else there are times to say “Stop.” 

“Enough already” may be the phrase that allows life to continue or, for some, return.

In this image from APTN video, Lynne Spears, center, Britney ...
In this image from APTN video, Lynne Spears, center, Britney Spears’ mother is shown leaving UCLA Medical Center with two unidentified people, early Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, in Los Angeles. Britney Spears was taken from her home by ambulance early Thursday and escorted to the hospital by more than a dozen police officers. A Los Angeles police officer, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the 26-year-old pop star was being taken to ‘get help.’
(AP Photo/APTN)

If you see wild and crazy abuse right before your nose, you are doing God’s work to help find solutions.

And intervention does not, to me, mean one visit to one doctor.  Taking a serious drug and alcohol abuser for a doctor’s “visit” is like taking your car with a steering problem to “Jiffy Lube.”  At both places you’ll leave in an hour with a fluid change.

Meaning the doctor will send the abuser/alcoholic to the pharmacy: which is often the wrong course of action.

And you won’t get your steering fixed.

A friend of mine who runs a treatment center called “The Manor House,” one Bill Alexander, said to me once, “Doctors are killing alcohol and drug users every day.”

One of the “treatment” drugs is often Xanax.

Xanax can kill an alcoholic.

Steve Hayes, the Director of Novus Detox said, “We see it every day.”

Steve had been speaking to a man with a problem similar to Brit’s.

“His life is falling apart,” Steve told me. “This is a guy that relied on medical doctors and trusted the drug companies.”

Intervention takes some work.  But it won’t take you as long as the serious drug or alcohol user has invested in ruination.

The article below appeared in 2006.  It is a reminder that everyone knew Britney was in trouble — even then and probably before.
******

Britney Spears: Pill-Popping Dope Fiend?

Semi-reliable news source In Touch Weekly is reporting that Britney Spears may have made the leap from a mere amateur crotch shot queen and raging booze hound to unabashed, pill-popping dope fiend.

Brit was recently spotted by fellow club-goers in a restaurant bathroom with a purse full of pills, including an anti-depressant, Paxil, and an anti-anxiety drug, Xanax. Britney is said to have been popping Xanax like it’s hot – right in front of everyone.

“It looked like a freaking pharmacy in there – I have never seen so many pills,” says a witness. “There was a bottle of Paxil, an antidepressant, and a bottle of Xanax, which treats anxiety, that she took out and put on the counter.”

You’re probably not supposed to mix those drugs, and you’re definitely not supposed to drink while using them.

While both drugs mentioned above are legal if you have a prescription, somehow T.H. Gossip doubts Brit got them from her primary care physician. It’s far more likely Paris Hilton’s pool guy smuggled them up from Tijuana.

This is only the latest event in the ever-evolving Britney Spears train wreck.

Links:

http://www.manorhouserehab.com/

http://www.novusdetox.com:80/

Related articles:
Teen Media Idols: Drunk, Naked, Pregnant, Unashamed (We Have Pictures!)

Britney Spears: “Dangerous to Herself”

Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”

Our Holiday Season: A Good Time To Discuss Drugs and Alcohol in America

Americans Go to Vietnam to Adopt

December 22, 2007

By Venus Lee
Nguoi Viet
December 22, 2007

For years, China has been the Asian superpower when it comes to adoptions, but Vietnam is becoming a viable option for Americans seeking to adopt a child. Nguoi Viet 2 has a four-part series looking at the history of Vietnamese adoptions, at the cost and the waiting time of the process, the experience of traveling to Vietnam to pick up a child, and then how the youngsters assimilate into American culture.

Earlier this year, Angelina Jolie’s adoption of a 3-year-old Vietnamese boy attracted mega media attention. While she was the most famous American engaging in a Vietnamese adoption at the time, she was not the only one.

With adoption regulations tightening in other countries and relations improving with Vietnam, more Americans are turning to the third-world country to add to their families.

”Adoptions from Vietnam are gaining popularity again because they are faster and easier,” said Hedy Lee, a coordinator for Dillon International, an adoption agency. ”In comparison to China, which primarily offers girls and has a wait time of nearly two years, Vietnamese adoptions offer boys and girls in about half the time.”

Meet the families

The process for adopting children from Vietnam was so appealing that Tim and Theresa Hack of Nebraska adopted all three of their children from there. Josh is 13, Emily is 10 and Nathan is 7.

Bob and Karen Calvert of Massachusetts also chose Vietnam to grow their brood.
”There are so many children already in the world, we thought we might as well give them a home,” Karen Calvert said. The couple welcomed two girls. Madison is 9 and Ally is 7.

Ally’s adoption took a mere six months from start to finish.

Vietnam’s adoption policies were especially attractive to Catherine Nelson of Chicago because officials there accepted single parents. Her dreams of becoming a mother came true in September 2001, when she brought home 4-month-old Grace.

Robert and Dorothea Kalatschan of California also selected Vietnam to expand their household. However, their hearts specifically looked at the country because they were searching for a sibling for their Vietnamese American son, Thomas.

In the summer of 2001, their trip to pick up Kristina changed their lives forever. Their experiences there inspired them to start a nonprofit organization called Giving It Back To Kids, which strives to provide the basic essentials to Vietnamese orphans.

”There was such a backlog of babies that there were two to three babies per crib,” Robert Kalats-chan remembered. ”I looked into the face of my own daughter and realized how lucky she was that we were rescuing her from a life of poverty and enormous need, unlike most of her orphan mates who may never have their basic medical, nutritional, educational and individualized attention needs met.”

Although adoptions from Vietnam trickled off since 2001, a new generation of families is renewing the movement. In 2006, Pete and Sunnie Frank of Indiana traveled halfway across the world to bring home two girls, Mikenzie and Mikayla.

The couple already had four biological children of their own — three boys and one girl — but was looking to balance the gender distribution in the family. The fact that the Franks already have a quartet of kids and a limited income disqualified them from adopting from many countries besides Vietnam.

The Franks adoption inspired Pete Frank’s sister, Paula Davis, who also lives in Indiana, to also adopt from Vietnam. She and her husband, Mark, are currently waiting for a travel date to pick up their two girls, Reagan and Riley, who were born three days apart.

Vietnam was an attractive option for her because the country accepts older couples. At ages 50 and 53 (with 50 being the usual maximum), they will become parents to two toddlers who will turn 1 in January.

”It is a little frustrating that others will criticize our age, but our attitude is who cares?” said Paula Davis, who has three biological children ages 22, 24 and 26. ”We’re going to make a difference for eternity.”

One of the most recently completed adoptions from Vietnam involved a couple from Arizona. Rick and Jules Nolte already had a diverse family with a son from India, a son from California and a daughter from China. After battling some legal issues with the U.S. government in Vietnam for more than a month, the pair finally was allowed to bring Matthew home last month.

Tracking the history

Although a Vietnamese adoption seems like a great option, Americans were not always eager to open their homes to these foreigners.

The first influx of Vietnamese children in the United States occurred in 1975, when President Ford initiated Operation Babylift to rescue thousands of orphans created by the Vietnam War. Thirty official flights were scheduled, but many smaller flights on chartered or borrowed planes assisted the evacuation. After the dust had settled, more than 2,000 youngsters were flown out of South Vietnam and resettled all across the United States.

More Vietnamese children were adopted by Americans during this short, dramatic interval than in the next 25 years. During the 15 years following war’s end in 1975, only 44 Vietnamese children were adopted by Americans.

Prior to 1993, fewer than 100 immigrant visas were issued each year.

Vietnamese adoptions picked up in the 1990s after President Clinton re-established relations between the two countries. Vietnam then emerged as one of the perennial powerhouses for international adoptions, and from 1994 to 2002, it was among the Top 10 countries sending children to the United States. Vietnamese adoptions peaked in 2002 with 766 immigrant visas issued that year, according to government statistics, right before the Vietnamese government suspended inter-country adoptions due to concerns of human trafficking and exploitation.

”Adoptions were held up because there were questions if the Vietnamese child was truly an orphan, or if the child had been taken from the birth parents’ home against their will to be sold on the black market,” said Lee, whose agency has a long history of working with Vietnam.

After 2003, pending adoptions were processed, but no new referrals were issued until the U.S. and Vietnamese government could reach an agreement on adoption policies.

In the summer of 2005, both governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding, which provided specific provisions safeguarding Vietnamese children: foreign adoption agencies must be licensed in the U.S. and Vietnam; adoption agencies must maintain offices in Vietnam supporting humanitarian projects; and a central authority, the Ministry of Justice, must process all international adoptions in Vietnam.

In the first half of 2007, Americans adopted more than 400 Vietnamese youngsters. Partial fiscal year statistics for this year indicate the number will at least double by the end of the year, with U.S. Embassy officials predicting as many as 1,000 American adoptions.

Making the choice

Deciding to adopt
-Balance the gender of children in the family
-Infertility-Love for children
-Love for humanitarian efforts

Deciding to adopt internationally
-Love for the country
-Humanitarian efforts
-Closed adoptions.

Deciding to adopt from Vietnam

Adoptions from Viet Nam offer the following advantages:
-The waiting time is significantly shorter than for other international adoption programs.
-Boys are available for adoption.
-Historically, children are usually in good health and medical records are available.
-Single mothers can adopt.
-Couples up to age 50 are eligible for adoption.

Estimated costs:

-$20,000 to $30,000 depending on the agency and number of people traveling to Viet Nam. Fees are staggered over the course of the adoption process and collected in increments, with the majority of the costs due at the time of child assignment. Many agencies accept credit-card payments and offer payment plans.

Timeline:

-Irregular; ranges on average from nine to 18 months.

Travel:

-One trip lasting on average two to three weeks, depending on the agency and time of year.

Qualifying to adopt:

-A candidate can be a single person or a married couple (at least three years).
-Married couples must have both candidates meet all of the requirements.
-Candidates must be at least 20 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
-Candidates in their late 40s and 50s may apply.
-Candidates must not have had their parental rights restricted by authorities.
-Candidates must be able to care for, support and educate the child.
-Number of other children — no restriction.
-Number of other marriages — no restriction, but agencies might require couples in their second or third marriage to demonstrate commitment to a longer relationship.
-Education level no restriction.
-At least one parent is willing to travel to Vietnam.

Profile of Vietnamese Children:

Children are in the custody and care of Vietnamese government orphanages. Most are abandoned by either unwed mothers or large families.

-Age: generally several months old to 4 years. However, children up to and including age 15 are available, but children above age 9 must consent to adoption in writing.

-Gender: in theory both girls and boys are available, but girls are in higher demand so the wait time for a boy is often shorter. But there are more boys awaiting homes than girls.

-Health: Historically, children are in good health and medical information is available. However, limited or no information about family medical history is available. There is little evidence of pervasive Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or attachment/bonding issues. However, children can have ailments such as malnutrition, scabies, mites, lice, diarrhea, parasites, colds, coughs, skin conditions, eye and ear infections and dental problems.

-Ethnicity: Children are usually full Vietnamese, however, occasionally AmerAsian (children of Vietnamese women and American men) are available.

-Multiple children: Adopting multiple unrelated children simultaneously is allowed, however, it requires additional training and paperwork.

Selecting an agency:

Vietnam’s Department of International Adoptions (DIA) advises parents to only deal with agencies licensed in the desired province to avoid complications with the process. This listing includes all American adoption agencies currently licensed by Vietnam’s DIA. Prospective parents should make sure the agency chosen is licensed in the province from which they desire to adopt. Recently, adoptions from the Phu Thoi and Thai Nguyen provinces have been under government inspection due an increase in irregularities appearing in orphan petitions and visa applications.

Sources: The U.S. Government, Joint Council on International Children’s Services, Hawaii International Child adoption agency and Dillon International adoption agency.
Part 2: To be continued on Dec. 27

When International Adoption Goes Wrong

December 21, 2007
By Pat Wingert | NEWSWEEK
Dec 17, 2007 Issue

Peggy Hilt wanted to be a good mother. But day after day, she got out of bed feeling like a failure. No matter what she tried, she couldn’t connect with Nina, the 2-year old girl she’d adopted from Russia as an infant. The preschooler pulled away whenever Hilt tried to hug or kiss her. Nina was physically aggressive with her 4-year-old sister, who had been adopted from Ukraine, and had violent tantrums. Whenever Hilt wasn’t watching, she destroyed the family’s furniture and possessions. “Every day with Nina had become a struggle,” she recalls now.

As the girl grew older, things got worse. Hilt fell into a deep depression. She started drinking heavily, something she’d never done before. Ashamed, she hid her problem from everyone, including her husband.

On the morning of July 1, 2005, Hilt was packing for a family vacation, all the while downing one beer after another and growing increasingly aggravated and impatient with Nina’s antics. “Everything she did just got to me,” Hilt said. When Hilt caught her reaching into her diaper and smearing feces on the walls and furniture, “a year and a half of frustration came to a head,” Hilt says. “I snapped. I felt this uncontrollable rage.”

Read the rest:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/74385?GT1=10645

 

The Great Pumpkin Pie Caper

November 16, 2007

By John E. Carey
Published in The Washington Post
November 22, 2006

I guess this story has to start with the fact that I am married into a very beautiful and loving Vietnamese family. East meets West is a daily occurrence for us. Most of our lives are blissfully happy but the cultural differences between us do sometimes make for awkward moments and strange situations.

Thanksgiving is a very special American holiday but you have to remember it is a distinctly American holiday. It is practically a holiday without reason to others.

Jesus Christ (can we still mention Him in the newspaper?) didn’t cause this holiday. In fact, if I remember correctly, Abraham Lincoln caused Thanksgiving. So just explaining Thanksgiving to my Vietnamese family takes a long time and too many words.

My sister in law once said, “And you eat a bird on this holiday? A big bird nobody wants? Why?”Don’t even try to explain cranberry sauce. “If it is so good, where is it the other 364 days?” I have no clue.

And also from my in-laws last year: “What the heck are yams and what do you do with them?”I, of course, knew the answer “Yams are tuber, like potatoes. They grow underground and you can make pie from them!”The response: “Not in this house.”

I have speechless moments in my family. American culture makes sense to us but to others it is sometimes mysterious.So, last year, I volunteered to prepare the entire Thanksgiving dinner. I had my bird, my stuffing, and all the trimmings. And I attempted pumpkin pie.

There is no way I am about to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. So I recalled how my Mom did it when she was running out of time. Canned pumpkin, pre-made crust, and Voila! Pie! Hot from the oven.

Except that there are two types of canned pumpkin: concentrate (which needs to be thinned with milk) and “ready to go” (which is, as it says, “ready to go.”)

I did not know this.

I bought the “ready to go” but I thought it was concentrate. I thinned it with milk.

My pies were runny.

Not just runny.

My pies were lakes of pumpkin soup.

My nephew “ate” his piece of pie by vacuuming off his plate with a straw.

Lien and John “enjoy” the “pie.”
*****************

The Vietnamese are very respectful and nobody laughed. But there was too much conversation in Vietnamese at pie time so I knew I was in trouble.

But good news: one of the lasting traditions of Vietnamese life is this. On holidays, everyone takes food to their neighbors. So I suggested to my wife we take a pie across the street and palm it off on the neighbors. In the process, I explained, we’d get credit in heaven or wherever they keep track of good works for giving food to the neighbors.

I could see in my wife’s face that she didn’t want to go on this dingbat mission to give lame pie to trusting neighbors, but she is Vietnamese. Vietnamese woman will support their man. NO MATTER WHAT!

So, pie in hand and smiling all the way, we started across the street. I rang the doorbell and explained that the pie was somewhat runny, so I had frozen it, and I though his kids would appreciate a little Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from his Vietnamese-American neighbors.

He accepted the pie graciously and I was delighted.

Then he ruined my day.

Before he closed the door he said: “I am especially happy because I am the pastry chef at the White House and I never get to taste other people’s pie!”

I was ashen faced. Holey Smokes!

Three hundred million Americans and when I try to rid the household of a questionable pie the recipient turns out to be THE pastry chef at the White House.

As we headed for home, my wife said all she needed to say. Two words: “Proud now?”

National Tragedy: Some Still Miss-Out on American Dream

October 24, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 24, 2007

Comedian, actor and “entertainer” Bill Cosby has again transformed himself. Now he is announcing a clarion call, a wake-up call, to his community to return to family values and seek better lives through teamwork, jobs, economic prosperity and social reform.

Cosby has been at this for more than a few years and he has been castigated by other “leaders” in the community.

On July 1, 2004, Cosby hurled himself into a maelstrom of criticism from his community by yet again openly criticizing the black community while alongside Jesse Jackson at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition annual conference. In response to the charge that he is airing African American’s dirty laundry out in the open, Cosby answered critics by saying, “Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it’s cursing and calling each other n**** as they’re walking up and down the street. They can’t read, they can’t write. They’re laughing and giggling, and they’re going no where.”

This encounter underscored an outraged Cosby’s earlier criticisms. On May 17, 2004, at a NAACP celebration that marked the 50th anniversary of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision that outlawed segregation in schools, 66-year-old Bill Cosby made pointed comments about the way black youth dress, citing their oversized clothes as “ridiculous.” He also attacked lower class blacks for not speaking proper English, not raising their kids properly — by instilling corrupt and materialist-based values — and naming them silly names.

Mr. Cosby has kept his criticism and his call for reforms alive. Along with Harvard Medical School professor and psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint, Bill Cosby has written a new book titled “Come On, People, on the Path from Victims to Victors.”

The two recently appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert and they eloquently spelled out their concerns during a riveting interview.

If people think that all is well in America’s Black community they should read “Come On People” and listen to the thoughts and facts presented by Mr. Cosby and Dr. Poussaint.

But don’t just listen to these two gentlemen. Read some facts of the statistics and facts from other sources.

Today, hidden in the Metro section of the Washington Post, a careful reader can find an article on the latest report from the Washington D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. The report’s intriguing title is: “D.C.’s Two Economies.” We’ll just list here some of the findings of fact and opinions found in the study and you decide if all is well in the Nation’s Capital City.

–The District’s poverty rate is the highest in nearly a decade, and the employment rate for African American adults is at a 20-year low.

–Although the District’s robust economy has spurred job growth, higher salaries, a construction boom and neighborhood revitalization, the city’s poorest and least-educated residents have been left behind — living “on the other side” of the city’s “gleaming economy.”

–The wage gap between high-wage and low-wage workers in Washington is at an all-time high. Salaries for the least-paid workers (adjusted for inflation) are virtually unchanged in three decades, while income for higher paid workers has soared overall. Only Atlanta and Tampa have a higher rate of income inequality.

According to the Washington Post, “The study’s author, Ed Lazere, called the findings not only ‘striking and depressing,’ but also a clarion call for the administration of Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) to find ways to reach out to city residents ‘who are not succeeding . . . and who are not connecting to the economy.’

We applaud and support people like Mr. Cosby, Dr. Poussaint, and Mr. Lazere who get to the truth, point it out and advocate for reform.  And we hope that other Black leaders can admit and address the problems of their community and stop yelling “Racism” or “Uncle Tom” every time someone confronts them with the facts.

Related:

As Economy Booms, Poverty Rate Grows
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/23/
AR2007102302230.html

Culture: Bill Cosby calls for men to be fathers

Cosby, Morehouse chief: Parenting is the answer

The Unspeakable Truth: Katrina, New Orleans and Culture

The Great Pumpkin Pie Caper

October 21, 2007

By John E. Carey
Published in The Washington Post
November 22, 2006

I guess this story has to start with the fact that I am married into a very beautiful and loving Vietnamese family. East meets West is a daily occurrence for us. Most of our lives are blissfully happy but the cultural differences between us do sometimes make for awkward moments and strange situations.

Thanksgiving is a very special American holiday but you have to remember it is a distinctly American holiday. It is practically a holiday without reason to others.

Jesus Christ (can we still mention Him in the newspaper?) didn’t cause this holiday. In fact, if I remember correctly, Abraham Lincoln caused Thanksgiving. So just explaining Thanksgiving to my Vietnamese family takes a long time and too many words.

My sister in law once said, “And you eat a bird on this holiday? A big bird nobody wants? Why?”Don’t even try to explain cranberry sauce. “If it is so good, where is it the other 364 days?” I have no clue.

And also from my in-laws last year: “What the heck are yams and what do you do with them?”I, of course, knew the answer “Yams are tuber, like potatoes. They grow underground and you can make pie from them!”The response: “Not in this house.”

I have speechless moments in my family. American culture makes sense to us but to others it is sometimes mysterious.So, last year, I volunteered to prepare the entire Thanksgiving dinner. I had my bird, my stuffing, and all the trimmings. And I attempted pumpkin pie.

There is no way I am about to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. So I recalled how my Mom did it when she was running out of time. Canned pumpkin, pre-made crust, and Voila! Pie! Hot from the oven.

Except that there are two types of canned pumpkin: concentrate (which needs to be thinned with milk) and “ready to go” (which is, as it says, “ready to go.”)

I did not know this.

I bought the “ready to go” but I thought it was concentrate. I thinned it with milk.

My pies were runny.

Not just runny.

My pies were lakes of pumpkin soup.

My nephew “ate” his piece of pie by vacuuming off his plate with a straw.

Lien and John “enjoy” the “pie.”
*****************

The Vietnamese are very respectful and nobody laughed. But there was too much conversation in Vietnamese at pie time so I knew I was in trouble.

But good news: one of the lasting traditions of Vietnamese life is this. On holidays, everyone takes food to their neighbors. So I suggested to my wife we take a pie across the street and palm it off on the neighbors. In the process, I explained, we’d get credit in heaven or wherever they keep track of good works for giving food to the neighbors.

I could see in my wife’s face that she didn’t want to go on this dingbat mission to give lame pie to trusting neighbors, but she is Vietnamese. Vietnamese woman will support their man. NO MATTER WHAT!

So, pie in hand and smiling all the way, we started across the street. I rang the doorbell and explained that the pie was somewhat runny, so I had frozen it, and I though his kids would appreciate a little Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from his Vietnamese-American neighbors.

He accepted the pie graciously and I was delighted.

Then he ruined my day.

Before he closed the door he said: “I am especially happy because I am the pastry chef at the White House and I never get to taste other people’s pie!”

I was ashen faced. Holey Smokes!

Three hundred million Americans and when I try to rid the household of a questionable pie the recipient turns out to be THE pastry chef at the White House.

As we headed for home, my wife said all she needed to say. Two words: “Proud now?”

Culture: Bill Cosby calls for men to be fathers

October 15, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Entertainer Bill Cosby Sunday said many ills in U.S. black families can be traced to children raised without fathers, many of whom are incarcerated.Cosby appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Alvin Poussaint — with whom he co-authored the new book “Come On, People, on the Path from Victims to Victors.” The Emmy-winning comedian said children in single-parent homes often don’t get the guidance they need.“If you have this as generational, fatherless situation — unwed father or whatever — but the male is not there, then it registers on another person — on the child — as abandonment,” Cosby said.

Bill Cosby

Read the rest:
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_
News/2007/10/14/bill_cosby_
calls_for_men_to_be_fathers/3688/

Watch the interview with Tim Russert of “Meet the Press.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/