“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So what I know is, God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers. … It’s subtle, those whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It’s like getting thumped upside the head, like my grandmother used to do. … You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that, the whole brick wall falls down.”—Oprah Winfrey (via jancynicolas)
“Not like your daughter or mine”: An Egyptian general, speaking on condition of anonymity, has alleged a heinous violation of the women of Egypt, though he doesn’t see it that way. The general admitted that during protests on March 9th, the military performed “virginity checks” on women. The…
Put an End to Negativity by Jane Powell on May 31, 2011
“Awareness is the power you need to take control.”
Throughout each day you’re constantly talking to yourself. It’s completely normal. We all do it. In fact we do it so much that our subconscious mind accepts what we say as truth. This acceptance forms the beliefs that we have of ourselves, and how we perceive that others see us.
If your self-talk is negative, your beliefs about yourself will be also. On the flip side, if your self-talk is positive and self-empowering, so is the image and the beliefs you have of yourself.
Take time today and tune in to how you’re speaking to yourself. Identify precisely what beliefs you’re forming based on your self-talk and bring them to your conscious mind. Question them, scrutinize them, and become familiar with what are they telling you.
The awareness gained by doing this is the first major step toward an empowerment that will affect everything in your life!
“Usually when a black woman is attacked we find some way of making it her fault. We ask questions like what was she wearing? What does she do for a living? How many sexual partners has she had in the past? You know, the typical stuff that removes accountability from her attacker. But in this case, where a black woman minding her damn business awoke to an attacker in her second story apartment, normal victim-blaming would not work. So now what do we do, because we obviously can’t take a black woman’s story of violence seriously? Well, that’s simple. We marginalize the attack and focus the story on her brother, whose anger we can exploit because it fits into stereotypes of queer masculinity that provide comic relief. The producers used the footage to lock Antoine in a frame, to capture him in place, in order to tell a story that fits their truths—black women’s confrontations with sexual violence are either not real or unimportant. Framed under the guise of “news” this masquerades as a story about a woman awaking to an intruder in her bed but is really a story about a funny black man, hilarious in his anger. It was never about her… When you are made invisible through processes of erasure, people don’t even acknowledge that you’re gone.”—
She also made a slight dig at President Obama for saying Monday at Arlington National Cemetery that his “most solemn responsibility as president [is] to serve as commander in chief of one of the finest fighting forces in the world.” Answering a question about Memorial Day, Palin said, “This is the greatest fighting force in the world, the U.S. military. It’s not just one of the greatest fighting forces. And I sure hope our president recognizes that. We’re not just one of many. We are the best.”
I swear she’s just a middle-schooler playing dress-up as an adult.
On behalf of all middle-schoolers nationwide, I take offense at the slur made against us!!! She’s PRE-K AT BEST!!!!
Standing atop the parapet of the new 26-foot-high surge barrier overlooking Lake Borgne, it’s easy to understand the record-shattering accomplishments of the Army Corps of Engineers that will provide “100-year” protection to New Orleans area parishes on the southern side of Lake…
Gil Scott-Heron was regarded as one of the forefathers of hip-hop. Following his death last week, some of the genre’s biggest names including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Talib Kweli have spoken out about the influence of the revolutionary poet and musician. Lupe Fiasco took to his blog to…
NORTH LOUISIANA has been described as “the buckle on the Bible Belt” – and not without good reason, as high school student Damon Fowler at Bastrop High School has discovered to his cost.
On the eve of his graduation, the atheist student contacted the school superintendent…
Yet another wonderful example set by those claiming to follow Christ. Makes me sad not only, of course, for the poor child being harassed, but for the state of Christianity in our country that has little to do with sharing Christ’s love and everything to do with being right and hating those deemed wrong.
It saddens me as well, although I’m not sure I’d agree that it has “everything to do with being right and hating those deemed wrong.”, but rather with the mistaken presumption that what they deem as right and proper is indeed the only right, the only possible way for the universe, which revolves around them and their beliefs, to be. So, consequently they then have the ‘mandated from on high’ duty to change/suppress or even kill those who disagree with them. Then, they tag this as ‘Christ-like’ or Christian and march onward as if they are indeed Christian soldiers as to war.
Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if this were the exception to the rule of US Christianity, instead of the norm?
By NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg
Here come the Republicans … a 10-month reality show – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger … The changing Republican Party … On TODAY, Romney repeats defense of Massachusetts health care, says he listens to the Beatles and read Twilight series book. … the Palins’ summer vacation … the Summer of GOP speculation … Bachmann, Santorum, Pawlenty hit the trail.
*** Here come the Republicans: For the past two-and-a-half years, if not longer, Barack Obama has been the central actor in American politics. Almost every crisis, poll, or political event has involved him or revolved AROUND him in some form or fashion. But in the next several days — with Mitt Romney’s formal announcement on Thursday, Rick Santorum’s on Monday, and the next GOP presidential debate on June 13 — that will begin to change. Over the next 10 months, the race for the Republican nomination will become the chief political story in America, and that will affect the contours of the general election. We even started seeing it yesterday, with Palin, Pawlenty, and Bachmann taking center stage. “The Democratic ‘race’ is more akin to watching a single athlete run a marathon,” says Democratic strategist Jano Cabrera, who was a spokesman for Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign in 2004, the last time a group of candidates from the other party were vying to take on an incumbent president who wasn’t facing a primary challenge.
*** Sharing the stage: This isn’t to say President Obama won’t be a main character in the story, it just means he’ll be sharing the stage. And that has its pluses and minuses for him. On the plus side, it’s the beginning of turning the election away from SOLELY being a referendum. The minus: the sheer volume of attacks from the GOP field could take a toll on him. Just ask former President George W. Bush. The 2004 Democratic primary campaign brought the president down to their level. He still won, though…
*** The GOP’s 10-month reality show: “On the Republican side, we’ll have reality television at its finest. A small group of strangers will be thrown together into a series of increasingly intense, high-stake challenges and somehow, out of that circular firing squad, a nominee will emerge,” Cabrera adds. And that impacts the general election. “If history is any guide, the nominee will come with the scars of the process … as the negative narratives that emerge in the primaries often return for a retelling in the general.” In other words, it won’t just be Obama taking the slings and arrows of Republicans anymore. That said, Obama actually emerged stronger through the long 2007-‘08 primary fight with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. The same could be true for someone like Mitt Romney — if he can satisfy his party on health care. About the only potential nominee that does not NEED a long campaign but could survive one is Romney; the rest of the challengers need a long campaign in order to find time to both define themselves and create contrasts with their fellow challengers.
*** Ch-ch-changes: Speaking of health care and negative narratives, the main takeaway from Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker piece on Mitt Romney’s health-care law is similar to a point we made earlier this month: The GOP opposition to the individual mandate is more a story about the changing Republican Party. Back in 2006, Romney, the Heritage Foundation, and the Bush administration all supported the mandate. Now? It’s anathema to Republicans and conservatives. “If it were not for Mitt Romney, with assistance from the Heritage Foundation and George W. Bush, it is extremely unlikely that Obama would have passed his universal health-care law last year,” Lizza writes.
*** Romney: “If I become president, I will repeal Obamacare: In his interview with NBC’s Jamie Gangel, which aired on “TODAY” this morning, Romney defends his Massachusetts health-care law. “I understand that there are a lot of people who would just like me to get up and say, ‘Oh, it was a terrible idea. A boneheaded idea. It was just a terrible mistake.’ There’s only one problem with that: It wouldn’t be honest. What we did was to solve a very serious need that existed in our state.” When Gangel mentions the charge that “Romneycare” helped inspire “Obamacare,” Romney responds, “If I become president, I will repeal Obamacare on the first day I’m in office. My bill was 70 pages. His bill is 2,700 pages. In those extra 2,630 pages he’s doing a lot of stuff that is just devastating to the healthcare system in this country… He’s wrong.” (He also said his iPad has mostly 60s and 70s music on it, especially The Beatles; and he read The Rule of Nine, a thriller about the death of a congressional gofer and a terrorist plotting an attack on the U.S.; former President George W. Bush’s “Decision Points;” and one of the books in the vampire Twilight series.)
*** The Palins meet the Griswolds: As others have noted, Sarah Palin’s East Coast bus tour — of which she hasn’t divulged the actual schedule to reporters — seems more like a family summer vacation than any kind of presidential campaign rollout. The Palin family has visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Fort McHenry in Baltimore. And the next stop appears to be Gettysburg. Writes Politico: “For supporters and reporters looking for more details, Palin isn’t providing them. Palin’s staff has been unresponsive to reporters’ requests or told them to check the SarahPAC website, which updates with information only after she’s stopped somewhere.” The New York Times added yesterday, “Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, has made it quite clear that she just wants to be left alone. She doesn’t want to accommodate members of the news media (except, perhaps, Fox)” — except for the fact that Palin announced this trip to the media.” Of course, for someone who wants to be left alone, she certainly has quite the attention-seeking bus. The last thing she wants is to be ignored, and she picked her spot — a slow news hole known as Memorial Day weekend.
*** Hey, look kids, there’s Big Ben and there’s Parliament: Or in this case, there’s Fort McHenry, Gettysburg, and the Liberty Bell… Per NBC’s Shawna Thomas, the Palins plan on visiting the Gettysburg battlefield today, based on what Palin told media yesterday as she walked out of the hotel. Every time Thomas and other reporters following Palin ask one of the media wranglers where they are going next, they say either to watch the Web site or that Sarah’s in charge, and they don’t know what the next stop is. Trying to read into anything Palin does is futile. She’s unconventional and her fans love that she keeps the media off balance. Her tour doesn’t mean she’s running, or not running. It’s par for the course. One Republican noted to First Read that this tour is just a “head fake.” Any good defender knows that when someone head fakes, you should keep your feet on the ground.
*** On the 2012 trail: Elsewhere today, candidates, who are actually putting together campaigns and should be taken more seriously than the bus sideshow, hit the trail: Bachmann remains in New Hampshire… Pawlenty is in Iowa, making stops in Sioux Center and Le Mars… And Santorum spends his day in the Granite State.
*** “Summer of Speculation” watch: In New Jersey today, Iowa Republican donors meet with Gov. Chris Christie and his top political adviser, Mike DuHaime. Also this week, Rudy Giuliani has a couple of high-profile events. And Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he’s now “thinking about” a run for president.
Countdown to Iowa GOP straw poll: 74 days Countdown to NV-2 special election: 105 days Countdown to Election Day 2011: 161 days Countdown to the Iowa caucuses: 251 days * Note: When the IA caucuses take place depends on whether other states move up
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea — While the United States has turned its back on some authoritarian rulers in North Africa and the Middle East, its attitude toward strategically placed autocrats in less restive corners of Africa is more ambiguous, and perhaps nowhere more so than in this oil-rich speck of a nation in the Gulf of Guinea.
Officially and unofficially, Americans do business with one of the undisputed human rights global bad boys, Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s fourth biggest oil exporter. Its widely criticized record on basic freedoms has offered little barrier to broad engagement by the United States, commercially or diplomatically.
American oil companies have billions of dollars invested here. One American diplomat, using language that makes human rights advocates fume, praised the “mellowing, benign leadership” of the dictator in power for more than 30 years, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in 2009 cables released by WikiLeaks. And a leading American military contractor with strong Pentagon ties has a multimillion-dollar contract to protect his shores and help train his forces.
The contractor, Military Professional Resources Inc., or M.P.R.I., led by a top aide to former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, works on maritime security and human rights training for Mr. Obiang’s police forces. But even with the training, the United Nations, human rights groups and local dissidents say torture by the nation’s authorities remains systematic. And maritime security touches on the most sensitive aspects of personal defense for Mr. Obiang, especially in an island capital where coup attempts have come from the sea.
Until March, President Bill Clinton’s former special counsel, Lanny J. Davis, had a million-dollar-a-year contract to help Mr. Obiang with an image makeover. “He feels very vulnerable, without any friends,” Mr. Davis said in an interview late last year.
Mr. Obiang’s government could be considered a tough sell. Freedom House, the watchdog group, has ranked Equatorial Guinea among the nine most repressive “Worst of the Worst” nations in the world, along with Libya, Turkmenistan and Myanmar. It called the country’s government “a highly corrupt regime with one of the worst human rights records in Africa.”