Fri04182014

Opinion

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables if you want to live

Chef Timothy Moore-160CHEF TIMOTHY Eating fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is key to long life. But longevity cannot be achieved unless there is a lifestyle change. Too many people are afraid of change. They're complacent and uninspired to do what is best for their overall health.

Most people in society are lazy when it comes to taking good care of their health. They don't eat the right foods and don't drink enough water to keep their bodies hydrated. Also – and this is just as important – they don't spend enough time exercising. Many don't exercise at all.

In some respects, we don't think about our health failing. Eating poorly, in addition to living a sedentary lifestyle, is what causes the body to break down and lose its vigor. Food labels are responsible, in most cases, for causing people to err when choosing what foods to purchase.

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Sacramento mayor warns of ‘crisis’ in education

kevinjohnson-500NASHVILLE – The education of African Americans has reached a state of crisis that demands a strong response from all African-Americans, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association at its annual convention here.

"We have a crisis when it comes to public education in this country," Johnson said at a luncheon on Friday. "Only 52 percent of our third- and fourth-graders are reading at grade level. If you're black, only 16 percent of our kids in the third and fourth grade are reading at grade level – only 16 percent. To make matters worse, if you're not reading at grade level by the time you leave the third grade, 75 percent of the kids never catch up"

Johnson continued, "So, essentially if you can't read by the time you leave the third grade, the chances of you ever reading is very slim. This should be enough to outrage every single person in this room when 84 percent of the kids who look like us cannot read."

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Supreme Court makes right call on affirmative action & voting

R Jackson-160Last week liberal blacks and whites went crazy after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on affirmative action and the voting rights cases. Well, I happen to agree with the court in both decisions. Now, before you start calling me a "sell-out, Uncle Tom," or Republican," turn off your emotions and listen to reason.

In the black community, the mere mention of revisiting any civil rights program automatically elicits cries of "Jim Crow," "racism," or "turning back the clock." Despite protestations to the contrary, in a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court actually upheld the use of affirmative action. They simply stated that institutions must prove that they have exhausted all other remedies before they resort to using race in their admission decisions. In light of the progress we have made in this country on the issue of race, I find the court's decision very reasonable.

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Why ‘cracker’ can’t compare to the n-word

george-zimmerman-600Discovering the bigger racist, Kathleen Parker writes at the Washington Post, seems to be the real goal at the heart of the George Zimmerman trial. When Rachel Jeantel, friend of the late Trayvon Martin, told the jury (last) week that Trayvon said a "creepy ass cracker" was following him, her words played into that very discussion.

But Parker writes that "cracker" and the n-word are not in similar territory.

"For those needing a refresher course, here are just a few reasons why cracker doesn't compare to the N-word. Cracker has never been used routinely to:

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What it means to be an American

R Jackson-160With the deepening polarization of our country, I have been reflecting on the cause of this polarization.

One of the major issues confronting the U.S. is what it means to be an American. This may sound a bit trite, but this is at the heart of a lot of the intractable problems we are facing as a country. Everyone wants to carve out their own identity, with individuality being the motivating force behind the move, not the betterment of America.

There was a time when we were simply all Americans. Then we became Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, Homosexual-Americans, Illegal-Americans, etc.

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‘Full plates’ and obesity overload African-American women

Chef Timothy Moore-160Four out of five African-American women have a problem with being obese and each year that number seems to increase. This is an epidemic that must be reversed.

I talked with a woman recently about her weight problem and her struggle to lose the pounds. She had tried every type of diet and weight loss program on the market, but none of them helped her lose the weight. So, instead, she decided to accept the fact that she would never return to her former self, when she was more than 50 pounds lighter.

An integral part of the household, too many African-American women busy themselves around the house and care for the children without regard for themselves. Sedentary lifestyles are associated with weight gain.

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George Zimmerman v.s. Trayvon Martin: Can College Grades Prove You're a Murderer ?

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 In exclusive coverage for the Tri-State Defender, Dr. Jason Johnson is reporting from the courthouse in Sanford, Fla., where George Zimmerman is on trial for teh shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Johnson will provide exclusive and intimate details of the trial through it's conclusion. Check back here for coverage you canonly get at the tristatedefender.com

Can a college transcript tell what type of person you turn out to be? Most Americans would say no. The vast majority of us don't believe that what we studied in college has much to do with where we've ended up in life (and the millions of psychology, sociology and biology majors out there working in insurance, human resources and marketing are all nodding their heads in agreement). The strongest connection that most people draw between their undergraduate degrees and real life occurs when they answer an obscure question on Jeopardy. However, in the case of the State of Florida v.s. George Zimmerman, college grades make a difference, and how those grades are viewed could be a matter of life and death.

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Bad news for affirmative action supporters

perry-bacon-160The Supreme Court's ruling Monday, while not the death blow to affirmative action that many of its supporters had feared, continues a push led by the Court's conservatives to impose very high standards on any consideration of race in public policy and will likely make it harder for universities and other institutions to defend racial preferences in future cases.

The Court's 7-1 ruling in practice does not affirm or reject the affirmative action programs at the University of Texas at Austin or any other school in the country, so its direct implications depend on how the Court and lower courts interpret the justices' words. But the ruling ensures affirmative action programs across the country will be continue to be challenged in court, and it weakens the defenders of affirmative action on two grounds.

First, the Court opted against affirming the University of Texas' admission program, which at first glance looks like a non-decision, but actually is a bold stance by the justices.

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From COINTELPRO to Prism, spying on communities of color

nsa-500WASHINGTON D.C. – Revelations of a massive cyber-surveillance program targeting American citizens holds particularly chilling consequences for immigrants and communities of color. Given the history of such programs, going back to the pre-digital age, these groups have reason to fear.

Who is mined, who is profiled, and who suffers at the hands of an extensive regime of corporate and government surveillance raises issues of social and racial justice.

PRISM, the National Security Agency's clandestine electronic surveillance program, builds on a history of similar efforts whose impacts have affected racial and ethnic minorities in disproportionate ways. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Counter Intelligence Program ("COINTELPRO"), established in 1956, represents one of the forbearers of PRISM. Created at a time when political decision makers worked to promote the idea of national security in the public consciousness, the program targeted first Communist sympathizers and later domestic dissenters under a broad remit which allowed COINTELPRO to monitor and interrogate groups that threatened social order at the time.

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Allen West: Women in combat are threat to ‘American warrior culture’

allen-west-400In a recent Facebook post, former Republican congressman Allen West explained why he believes women do not belong in military units.

West expressed his disapproval towards President Obama and the Defense Department for approving a policy allowing women to fill thousands of combat jobs in the military.

The news was announced on the heels of the Congressional hearings on the increasing number of sexual assault cases in the military.

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Juneteenth is worth celebrating

William Reed-160Did you know that the official African-American holidays are: Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth? What do you, and your family, do to celebrate Juneteenth? Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, the Juneteenth holiday is an abbreviated form of "June Nineteenth." It marks the day Blacks in Texas belatedly received word that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had freed the nation's slaves.

Black Americans should commemorate Juneteenth as the date in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with his troops at Galveston Island and read President Lincoln's proclamation freeing the state's 200,000 slaves. The proclamation had originally taken effect on Jan. 1, 1863, but word didn't reach Texas until two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and more than two years after the proclamation was issued. Explanations for the holdup vary. Depending on who's doing the explaining, the delay could have been attributed to anything from bureaucratic delays to a slow mule. Once freed, several self-sustaining Black farming communities grew up in Texas, and across the land, as freed men tilled their own soil.

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Obama rejects Bush comparison on NSA programs

ObamaBush-600President Barack Obama, in his first extended remarks since the disclosure of two National Security Agency programs that critics say invade the privacy of Americans, strongly defended his anti-terrorism policies and rejected comparisons to President George W. Bush.

"The whole point of my concern, before I was president — because some people say, "Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he's, you know, Dick Cheney." Dick Cheney sometimes says, "Yeah, you know? He took it all, lock, stock, and barrel," the president said in an interview with PBS.

"My concern has always been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program, you've got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program. And you've got Congress overseeing the program, not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last re-authorization exactly how this program works."

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Turning ‘baby daddies’ into fathers

babydaddy-400Last week, grateful sons and daughters were hitting retailers around the country in search of that perfect gift for dad – a tie, some socks, a Hallmark card, or maybe just a hug. But for a growing number of youth Father's Day can be tough, bringing up memories of hard times with dad, or other times when he just wasn't around at all.

The number of children in the U.S. living apart from their fathers has more than doubled over the last 50 years, from 11 percent to 27 percent, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

While there are certainly a number of reasons for the increase, it is also certain that when the pressures and responsibilities of fatherhood get to be too much, some men simply choose to leave, to dip in and out of their children's lives like a recurring dream or nightmare. We even have a special name for the guys who skip out on their fatherly duties – sometimes, "father" is just too personal a title.

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