My brother is in an Auto Insurance Commercial for 2 seconds…and they payed him over $3000 for it, God bless Unionized labor. :)

So, as some of you may know, my brother recently moved to the Los Angeles, California area.  Some of you may also know that my brother is an avid fan and player of “soccer” (football), by pressing play below you can see a local insurance ad that he and his teammates were asked to “stand in for.” (he is the dude in orange flipping the coin and the only guy form his team to actually be in the ad. (he was a very lucky man for this, as you will see.))

The crazy part is not that my bro was asked to be in a local commercial in L.A., but rather that the piece of paper he signed in compliance with California’s unionized laborforce of Actors ended up entitling him to over $3000.00 in “suprise” checks in his mailbox for his unexpected “role” as a “principle” for 2 seconds in the resulting local auto insurance company ad.  Amazing. (the ad IS slated to air over 2000 times on cable in California/WestCoast markets, but still seems like a nice chunk of change for 2 hours “work” 🙂 to me!)

While this is clearly an example of some rather unlikely “right place at the right time” luck and seemingly outrageous pay for 2 hours of “work”  :), I also see this as just one small example of how a nationwide/trade-wide return to the American tradition of Unionized Labor membership may soon help all working Americans regain fair value for their labors and hopefully a “LIVING WAGE” for anyone willing to work 40+ hours every week.  The point I want you all to see is that what happened to my brother here would never have been possible were it not for the long history of hard work, stubborn willpower, and years of sacrifice and organizing of thousands of people for many years.  People who had the courage, the optimism and the self-respect to fight for their own financial rights in the face of overwhelming structural/legal forces that have long been fostered to boost corporate profits at the expense of worker wage/living incomes.

The “Union-made” rule/regulation by which the corporation/production company/insurance company had to play by in California in this case is what allowed for my brother, the “worker” to be paid so handsomely for his “work.”

“sex without condoms,” “the new engagement,” idea spreads among US teens…God help us survive this ignorance and return our children’s intellects and souls. :(UNPROTECTED SEX KILLS; U.S. YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW AND ACT ACCORDINGLY!!)

WTH? Sex without Condoms is the new Engagement?? (click here to read original post at brownsugarpages.wordpress.com, will open in new window)

(Originally published by brownsugarpages.wordpress.com on July 25, 2008

So I was listening to the Freak Show on Wild 98.7 and I heard this soundbite from NPR’s Pendarvis Harshaw. . If you can’t hear the sound then here’s the basic summary of what was said:

the transition from condoms to no-condoms signifies a lasting commitment — more so even than walking down the aisle.

*DISCLAIMER*
THe ONLY safe sex is NO sex!! 

NEWSFLASH! in an “AIDS World,” UNSAFE SEX IS NEVER EVER EVER AN OPTION!  IT will KILL YOU!!! WAKE UP!!!!!

Please tell me this is a joke right?? This dude has the nerve to say; “Sex without protection is better than spending money on an expensive ring for a marriage that won’t last”! How stupid is that!? the risk you face of having unprotected sex with far greater then the cost of an engagement ring. Having a kid without the bonds of marriage is way more expensive than an engagement ring (child support for 18-22 years) getting an STD from someone who you “trust” is way more expensive in my opinion! Have we not learned anything about AIDS?? Just because you’re in a committed relationship does not mean you should have unprotected sex! How many times have we all heard of women (and men) that end up eith STD’s even though they were only active with one partner. This mess happens every day folks, it’s not a game and with the staggering rates they give about AIDS in the black community we need to stop playing! Stop using money as an excuse to substitute marriage with sex. If you can’t afford to marry then you can’t afford to have unprotected sex!

Maybe I’m just really old fashioned but there is no way in Satan’s home you should ever equate sex without a condom with marriage/engagement. Why? because we already have people (young girls in particular) equating love with sex, songs that switch the unedited “F***” to “love” on the radio versions making the terms dang near interchangeable when they are not. Sex does not equal love and unprotected sex does not equal commitment! This does not mean that the two of you will go marching down the isle. It means you need to drive down to the clinic!
Although I critized “Black in America” the woman with AIDS made a good point. She wasn’t loose, or fast or any of these things we associate with people who have STD’s. She’d been with this dude for a while and thought that when he wanted to have sex without a condom that he really was committing to her. She was actually ‘proud” but guess what. She got AIDS! This is why we have so many people with STD’s and the like. Everytime you have unprotected sex you put yourself at risk, I don’t care how much you love that person. AIDS will kill you, STD’s will kill your sexual health and babies will kill your social life.
Marriage is marriage and engagement is engagement. but unprotected sex is not either of those.
If the person you’re with (male or female) is not commited enough to give/wear the ring DO NOT have sex with them without a condom, and get tested often. Even if you are married get tested! Often!

Stephen Colbert on “psycho-pharma-parenting.”

Stephen Colbert Coins a new phrase for a recent and troubling trend in the raising of America’s youth, “psycho-pharma-parenting.”  Sad and True I think.  😦

Click here to see video. (link will open in a new window.)

‘Google’ the phrase “Cut Workforce,” and “Job loss” Scary results to behold for sure, pray for optimism, God Bless America.

Click here to see News Search results and a long list of recent US company announcements to “Cut Workforce.” SCARY. And SAD. 😦

Click here to ‘google’ job loss to see scary truths and ways of coping.  😐

Bill Moyers’ Democracy in the Balance.

please read this important excerpt from Bill Moyer’s “Democracy in the Balance”:

“…….The corporate conservatives and their allies in the political and Religious Right are achieving a vast transformation of American life that only they understand because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries. In creating the greatest economic inequality in the advanced world, they have saddled our nation, our states, and our cities and counties with structural deficits that will last until our children’s children are ready for retirement; and they are systematically stripping government of all its functions except rewarding the rich and waging war.

And, yes, they are proud of what they have done to our economy and our society. If instead of producing a news magazine I was writing for Saturday Night Live, I couldn’t have made up the things that this crew in Washington have been saying. The president’s chief economic adviser says shipping technical and professional jobs overseas is good for the economy. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers reports that hamburger chefs in fast food restaurants can be considered manufacturing workers. The president’s labor secretary says it doesn’t matter if job growth has stalled because “the stock market is the ultimate arbiter.” And the president’s Federal Reserve chair says that the tax cuts may force cutbacks in Social Security – but hey, we should make the tax cuts permanent anyway.

You just can’t make this stuff up. You have to hear it to believe it. This may be the first class war in history where the victims will die laughing.

But what they are doing to middle class and working Americans and the poor – and to the workings of American democracy – is no laughing matter. It calls for righteous indignation and action. Otherwise our democracy will degenerate into a shell of itself in which the privileged and the powerful sustain their own way of life at the expense of others and the United States becomes another Latin America with a small crust of the rich at the top governing a nation of serfs.

OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out.

And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, “The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.” The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don’t work, and punitive public policies.

Let’s get Jesus back. The Jesus who inspired a Methodist ship-caulker named Edward Rogers to crusade across New England for an eight-hour work day. Let’s get back the Jesus who caused Frances William to rise up against the sweatshop. The Jesus who called a young priest named John Ryan to champion child labor laws, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and decent housing for the poor – 10 years before the New Deal. The Jesus in whose name Dorothy Day challenged the church to march alongside auto workers in Michigan, fishermen and textile workers in Massachusetts, brewery workers in New York, and marble cutters in Vermont. The Jesus who led Martin Luther King to Memphis to join sanitation workers in their struggle for a decent wage.

That Jesus has been scourged by his own followers, dragged through the streets by pious crowds, and crucified on a cross of privilege. Mel Gibson missed that. He missed the resurrection – the spiritual awakening that followed the death of Jesus. He missed Pentecost.

Our times cry out for a new politics of justice. This is no partisan issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal or a conservative, Jesus is both and neither. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, Jesus is both and neither. We need a faith that takes on the corruption of both parties. We need a faith that challenges complacency of all power. If you’re a Democrat, shake them up. If you’re a Republican, shame them. Jesus drove the money changers from the temple. We must drive them from the temples of democracy. Let’s get Jesus back.

But let’s do it in love. I know it can sound banal and facile to say this. The word “love” gets thrown around too casually these days. And brute reality can mock the whole idea of loving one another. We’re still living in the shadow of Dachau and Buchenwald. The smoke still rises above Kosovo and Rwanda, Chechnya and East Timor. The walls of Abu Ghraib still shriek of pain. What has love done? Where is there any real milk of human kindness?

But the love I mean is the love described by Reinhold Niebuhr in his book of essays Justice and Mercy, where he writes: “When we talk about love we have to become mature or we will become sentimental. Basically love means…being responsible, responsibility to our family, toward our civilization, and now by the pressures of history, toward the universe of humankind.”

Bill Moyers on the shocking shift in US politics that has seen “the delusional” move from the marginal fringe to the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress

“One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.” Bill Moyers: Democracy in the Balance

“I’m afraid you have humans…”