Showing posts from May, 2011

Why is it 'Happy' Memorial Day?

I'm veteran. I served for nine years in the Army and still can't make sense of why we say "Happy" Memorial Day. What's up with the "happy" part??

Sometimes when I hear translations from other languages, I think we suffer from a word shortage in American English. The more words I have learned, the less I feel words achieve the complete sentiment. There really ought to be a more appropriate word or expression we could use to honor our country's men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Happy Memorial Day? YAY! Let's celebrate all those who died for our nation!! Ummm ... no. I'd rather not cheer for their death. I'd prefer honoring their lives and honoring the families whose lives were affected by their loss. I'm sure their communities, loved ones, friends and fellow troops didn't consider the death happy so why do we use that word for our holiday?

What could we turn the expression into? And, what's with our dependency on …

Turkish Women Advised to 'Stay Home' If They Don't Want To Be Sexually Harassed

By LANE MOORE — It's something I've thought about before, actually. This Turkish Mayor just had the nerve to say it aloud:
"Do not walk around, sit in your homes," 71-year-old Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Mayor Necmittin Dede recently told Muş representatives of the Women's Center, or KAMER, when they told authorities that high unemployment in the city had resulted in men spilling out of the overcrowded teahouses in the area to verbally harass female passersby.Well, that's a simple solution. So, as long as women stay locked inside their homes they won't be harassed — and more importantly, law enforcement won't have to hear them complain about it anymore. That sounds like a perfectly reasonable plan to me!
I can't even remember why we started letting women leave the house in the first place, but clearly nothing good has come of it!
PLUS, women like to clean and stuff and all of their cleaning supplies are typically indoors so they can be n…

Who to believe when the 'proof' isn't there

Two New York City police officers were found "not guilty" of raping a woman. However, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were terminated from the NYPD because the men violated the officer's oath of office. (That is, of course, after being suspended *with* pay.)

Rape is often the burden of the victim to prove. It's the victim's word against the world, right? So, take an already complex trial, add in two police officers who took an oath to serve and protect and add in a woman who had a whole lot of alcohol. What do you get? A mess of a trial! 

One officer admitted to using a condom and it was also discovered that the men lied about their location to go back into the woman's apartment throughout the night. I wonder how many other times situations like this happened at the hands those who are "protecting" us. 

A bar's surveillance camera caught the police officers entering the woman's building (numerous times), but what happened in the apartment wil…

It takes a village. Get out and volunteer!

This morning I had my orientation at Animal Care & Control so I could become an official volunteer at the shelter. It was time to get back into volunteering. I had volunteered at an animal shelter and Big Brothers, Big Sisters but that tapered off the last few years.  I had set aside my volunteering spirit and focused elsewhere, but is anything as rewarding as giving love, care and assistance to someone or something in need? I don't think so.

So, I showed up at 9:30 a.m. for the orientation. The class had less than 10 volunteers and I wonder what prompted their decision to sign up. For me, I wanted to something charitable that coincided with my career. Weeks ago I surfed the Web checking out local not-for-profit organizations and saw a few that could (maybe) benefit from a photographer. Turns out, I was right! In order to take great photos of animals in need of a loving home, I had to go to the orientation. Too easy!!

I knew that euthanizing happens but I didn't realize h…

Navy Seals don't wear bras ... yet?

Article on Should Women Serve In Special Forces?
May 20, 2011 2:35 PM

Irin Carmon — Should qualified women be able to enter special ops units like the SEALs who killed Osama Bin Laden? That's what Jezebel founding editor Anna Holmes argues in The Washington Post today. Maybe the question, suggested by a recent study on PTSD and women in the military, is whether the military is ready for them. "The justifications used to keep women out of combat and special ops units are the same paternalistic, discriminatory excuses used in favor of upholding racial segregation in the military and, more recently, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians," Holmes writes. "In short, they have little to do with individual capability and reveal far more about ingrained ideas and misconceptions regarding psychology, sexuality and physiology." She speaks to experts and veterans who note the challenges and risks, including physical requ…

Do you remember to smile?


Dana Gluckstein's Book
Dignity: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Photographers. World culture lovers. Writers. Explorers. Travelers. Have you checked out Dana Gluckstein's latest masterpiece released in 2010? 

Her book Dignity: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is available for sale. To provide you more insight, you can view a short (beautiful) video by clicking the link below or reading about it here on Amnesty International.

Summary as provided on Amazon:
DIGNITY, a collection of iconic photographs by Dana Gluckstein, honors Indigenous Peoples worldwide and celebrates the 50th Anniversary in 2011 of Amnesty International, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organization. With over ninety exquisite black-and-white portraits spanning three decades, this richly printed coffee table gift book succeeds in distilling the universality of experience that links us all yet never sacrifices the dignity of the individual. Whether photographing a Haitian healer or a San Bushmen chief, Gluckstein infuses each portrait with an essential hu…

As if marriage wasn't hard enough ... you had to go and father a child with some chick?

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are in the lime light for a terrible reason. Their break up was announced last week, and as someone who isn't familiar with their lives, I didn't know why they were parting ways ... I just figured it was for a good reason.

The reason for the announcement? OMG. Mr. Schwarzenegger fathered an illegitimate child with a member of their household staff more than 10 years ago! This staffer put in 20 years of work for them?! Hmmm. I doubt she'll add that kind of "committed" behavior on her resume.

How will Ms. Shriver handle this news?

The Boston Herald reported today (headline: Schwarzenegger’s 10-year secret: Has child with household staffer) that Mr. Shriver moved out after he acknowledged the paternity. I wonder what that conversation looked like. How did it come about? Where were they when he told her? Why after all this time did he finally come clean? Did she secretly know? Did someone else tell her and…

Movie worth seeing: Shades of Ray

Netflix has made it easy for me to wander the seemingly endless online world of movies. I saw Shades of Ray was among those recommended to me but wasn't sure about it. The other day, I succumbed tot he recommendation, and I'm glad I did!

I loved Shades of Ray! There is something so endearing about the struggles of this American-Pakistani and the life he hopes to create for himself by following his own heart and also pleasing his parents.

I liked the way the characters developed, especially Ray Rehman (played by Zachary Levi). The movie challenged cultural stereotypes and the fact that he played a struggling actor in the movie made it even better. He was often times working against being typecast for a role that wasn't his niche.

Honestly, the film's trailer doesn't do the movie justice. It's no wonder I kept overlooking the movie. However, know that I gave it a shot and know the quality move that it is ... if you are looking for evening entertainment in the for…

From Ar Ramadi to South Florida