Let me start by saying I’m not entirely sure how I ended up here. My life has been needlessly complicated and full of drama, half of which I caused myself. No, I’m not going to step up to this mike and try and get over by saying this was destiny or all according to some master plan or any of that garbage. Instead, I’ll tell it to you like this; life is not a highway; it’s a catapult. You wake up inside the basket, and before you know it, you’re getting launched over the horizon with no parachute. That’s the only way I can explain how I went from being a shy 12-year-old kid watching the warm rain fall over New Orleans to a jaded 20-something watching the Portland Skyline as it gets drenched. That’s Portland, Oregon, for the record. How in the hell did I end up here? Well, we’ll get to that later.
My name is Jordan Rock, and in my short time on planet Earth, I’ve been a lot of things. Stage performer, fiction writer, public speaker, sketch artist, food service worker, film scholar, and most recently; animation student. More than any of those things, what I’ve always been, and commit to being is a Storyteller. Mostly, I prefer to write pieces of fiction, none of which is currently published. Don’t bother looking for my work, because, frankly, you won’t find it. To you, I’m a nobody, and for the moment, I’m fine with that assessment. It means that when I speak to you about matters that are important to me, you just have to take my word that I’m being serious and honest with you. Telling stories is my passion, and that’s what I intend to do over the course of this article and others. I want to tell you, in neat little pieces all about New Orleans, how I was taken away from it, and why I’m not there presently.
Actually, let me ask; who are You? If you’re reading this, I assume you’re a New Orleans native like me. And you like to read, probably half out of spite because folks don’t like to read any more. Probably you live in the city, or someone who does told you to take a look at this. That’s my best guess, anyway. I could be wrong; you could be someone that has no idea what I’m talking about. Either way, thanks for coming.
For the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina came barreling up the Gulf Coast and hit New Orleans head on. People were expecting a big blowout. Every once in a while, a major tropical storm hits New Orleans, it’s just a matter of course. The wind and the rain will come, and some trees will get blown down, maybe a window will get cracked, so tape ‘em up. You know the drill, storms come, and they go, and you just pick up the pieces and get back to your life. Nothing special.
That’s the sentiment I remember hearing from the grown-ups around me. I was 12 years old at the time, and I was full of anxiety about the storm. It was one of the few times that I paid attention to the news as a kid, trying to guess at how bad things would get. It wasn’t until two days before the hurricane hit landfall that my family made a decision about what to do. All of the news reports prophesized a calamity, and to me, at the time, seeing that massive swirling cloud on the weather report was like looking straight down the barrel of a gun. I don’t think anyone could have imagined how heavy the blow would be.
Let me take a second to talk to you about my city. Your city. Do you remember New Orleans? That’s a trick question; everybody knows the city a little bit differently. To me, New Orleans is good music and good food and art, some kind of art everywhere you look. I remember walking under the ancient oaks that lined the path to the New Orleans Museum of Art. I remember going to the sandwich shop on Magazine Street. Hummingbirds and owls and rats and roaches. The smell of hot sausage cooking and the sound of buck jumpers shuffling their way down cracked pavement. All sorts of music and stories, stories, stories.
I remember the warm rains in the summertime, the kind you could set your watch by. Bad streets and good people. The kindest, most jocular people on the planet Earth. That’s New Orleans. And now? Last time I came home, here’s what I saw; New Orleans is like a stained-glass window that got broken in a storm. It’s beautiful; you can see the light change color as it passes through the glass that’s still there, but you know the pieces are everywhere and nowhere, and what it was is beyond repair. I wouldn’t return to New Orleans properly until I was 15 years old. Exploring the devastated remains of my city then, as an angsty, cynical teenager hurt me in ways I have a hard time describing even now. Now, I know how cynical and tired that sounds, but I promise; I’m going somewhere with this. This piece is Part One of Two, after all, so tune in next time to hear the rest of my immediate thoughts on the matter.
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
Updated February 25, 2020
CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
Source and Spread of the Virus
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Early on, many of the patients in the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread has been reported outside China, including in the United States and other locations. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. In addition, other destinations have apparent community spread, meaning some people have been infected who are not sure how or where they became infected. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
On This Page
Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.
Both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. Learn more about the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications). The fact that this disease has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. As community spread is detected in more and more countries, the world moves closer toward meeting the third criteria, worldwide spread of the new virus.
The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States.
But individual risk is dependent on exposure.
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
Under current circumstances, certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19. CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.
However, it’s important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. In that case, the risk assessment would be different.
What May Happen
More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States. Widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy.
Global efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing spread of this virus and mitigating the impact of this virus. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. The public health response is multi-layered, with the goal of detecting and minimizing introductions of this virus in the United States so as to reduce the spread and the impact of this virus. CDC is operationalizing all of its pandemic preparedness and response plans, working on multiple fronts to meet these goals, including specific measures to prepare communities to respond local transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. There is an abundance of pandemic guidance developed in anticipation of an influenza pandemic that is being repurposed and adapted for a COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights of CDC’s Response
CDC established a COVID-19 Incident Management System on January 7, 2020. On January 21, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the COVID-19 response.
The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus:
Effective February 2, at 5pm, the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days.
U.S. citizens, residents, and their immediate family members who have been in Hubei province and other parts of mainland China are allowed to enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
CDC has issued the following travel guidance related to COVID-19:
CDC has deployed multidisciplinary teams to support state health departments with clinical management, contact tracing, and communications.
CDC has worked with the Department of State, supporting the safe return of Americans who have been stranded as a result of the ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and related travel restrictions. CDC has worked to assess the health of passengers as they return to the United States and provided continued daily monitoring of people who are quarantined.
This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). CDC is shipping the test kits to laboratories CDC has designated as qualified, including U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. The test kits are bolstering global laboratory capacity for detecting SARS-CoV-2.resize iconView Larger
CDC laboratories have supported the COVID-19 response, including:
CDC has developed a real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose COVID-19 in respiratory samples from clinical specimens. On January 24, CDC publicly posted the assay protocol for this test.
CDC has been uploading the entire genome of the viruses from reported cases in the United States to GenBank as sequencing was completed.
While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from China and have fever and respiratory symptoms.
If you are a healthcare provider caring for a COVID-19 patient or a public health responder, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
If you have been in China or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel or exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
In a world of bushfires, Coronavirus, and next-level air pollution, is this pricey device worth the splurge?
By Ashley Davis
Travel on an airplane lately, or even walk down a busy city street, and chances are you’ve encountered some fellow commuters donning face masks.
In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic in China, personal protective gear use has skyrocketed worldwide, even leading to deficiencies for people who need them most, like healthcare workers and people who are actually sick, according to the World Health Organization.
It’s been a hot topic of debate how effective it is for members of the general population to wear protective equipment like surgical masks, but one company claims they’ve created a personal air filtration system that really works.The only catch is, you might have to shed your dignity and a field a lot of weird looks if you choose to sport it in public (and that’s kinda when you should be wearing it).
For one, it doesn’t seal around the face. AO Air argues that the traditional method of face protection leaves the wearer breathing in their regurgitated CO2 filled breaths, instead of new, fresh oxygen. The Atmos, however, relies on fans to provide a constant one-way air flow. The fans route oxygen through an impressive filtration system that traps larger particles as well as fines ones like dust, pollen, and ash. It connects to an app through Bluetooth to give information on the quality of air you’re breathing, plus the status of your filters and batteries, which need to be replaced fairly regularly. AO Air also claims that the Atmos can even keep up with situations when you’re using a lot of oxygen, like sprinting or any type of workout performed at peak level.
The scientific claims are backed up by an independent study from the Auckland University of Technology, which found the Atmos provides up to 50 times more protection that other leading air filtration masks.
But how does it hold up to the first date test? It’s clear, rather than covered, so people can actually see your face (a bonus). The design of the protective shield itself is sleek and futuristic, almost like a version of X-Men’s Cyclops, though, no, it doesn’t shoot out lasers (a negative). We can imagine the fan background noise being a little disruptive to first-date conversation (that could be a positive or negative depending on how the date’s going).
Ultimately we would recommend pre-ordering the Atmos, which will be available this summer, for a few specific types of people:
A) The total germaphobe who doesn’t mind being noticed.
B) The athlete who struggles with poor air quality where they live and is open to trying something new.
C) The fashion thirst trap who’s looking for the best way to get some street style photographer attention during Fashion Week.
For the rest of us, we’ll stick to regularly washing our hands.
Be Safe and Have Fun
By New Orleans Peoples Assembly
On Sunday, March 8th 2020, the New Orleans Peoples
Assembly will host the 2nd Annual International Working Women’s Day
demonstration, rallying at Congo Square at 1:00pm, followed by a march to the
steps of City Hall. The purpose of the demonstration is to build local and
international solidarity of working class women in our movement to end what
causes us harm, while building toward the new society that we so urgently need
This year’s theme is anchored in a demand for higher wages. The
minimum wage in New Orleans, and the entire state of Louisiana, remains
unchanged since 2008 at $7.25, with no current signs of an upcoming increase.
This is despite the constant surge in the cost of living: housing, healthcare,
childcare, food, water, etc.!!!
New Orleans blames Baton Rouge, and says that it cannot raise
all wages without the state’s cooperation, despite having a democrat for Governor.
The state of Louisiana, primarily run by white conservative republican men, caters
to the greed of this rich ruling class of Louisiana, and refuses to acknowledge
the needs of the people. Furthermore, the city administration (currently led by
Democrats) is NOT actively fighting for the ability to raise wages. Ever wonder
All of this is a problem. However, WE ARE the SOLUTION! Our
revolutionary sister, Assata Shakur said, “People get used to anything. The
less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows.
After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But
to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.” Now, in 2020
nobody wants to think of ourselves as enslaved. Yet, if the material conditions
demonstrate that forces are placed upon our people that are oppressive, we need
to work actively to change those conditions.
Though, we are no longer facing literal chattel enslavement, we
face enslavement by new names and in new ways, from mass incarceration to the
reformed exploitation of labor called “wage enslavement”.
Just as our ancestors who resisted chattel enslavement fought back, and won to move the needle forward, we must continue to the struggle toward complete liberation.
When WE FIGHT, we win!
Join us in the streets on Sunday, March 8th at 1:00pm.
Sex and The City of New Orleans
Dr. Lisa Moreno-Walton, MD, MS, MSCR
Emergency Medicine Physician at University Medical Center
Director of Research, Diversity, Latino Health Scholars Program
Valentine’s Day makes us think about love, and although
there are many kinds of love, certainly sexual love is one of the most
important. We know from experience that
great sex can hold a relationship together for just so long if sex is the only
thing the couple has in common. A great
relationship needs love, respect and good sex if it is going to endure.
As a physician and a mother, I feel very strongly that
discussions of sex with our children need to include the concepts of love and
respect. We should begin early to teach
respect for our bodies and the bodies of others. Children need to understand from a very early
age that their body belongs to them and that NO ONE should touch their body
unless they want that person to touch them and NO ONE should touch their body
in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
They should also understand that they need to show the same respect for
If we teach this concept very early to toddlers as they
learn to play with others without hitting, pushing or biting, we can carry this
lesson over when they begin to show curiosity about sex. Children need to have an open dialog with
their parents. They need to know that
they can talk to us about ANYTHING, and that we want them to tell us if someone
makes them uncomfortable, and that we will believe them and protect them.
This is especially true for people of color, whose
history includes the indignities of slavery, of being fondled and raped without
regard to our personal wishes because we were considered the property of
others. Women of color tend to be more
comfortable in our bodies and more comfortable with our sexuality. This sometimes leads others to think that
they can get comfortable with us as well and touch us as they see fit, even
when it is not what we desire or they are not who we desire. We must insure that our children understand
that their body is their own property, to give or not give, to share or not
share, as they decide.
Being touched when and by whom we want to be touched
feels good, and these feelings start in infancy, when we convey to our babies
that they are lovable, and that it is a pleasure to be close to them. This builds self-esteem and the kind of
self-respect that eventually leads to healthy relationships in adolescence and
adulthood. Little ones are curious about
the world around them and begin to ask questions as soon as they can talk.
The key to questions about sex is that CHILDREN ASK
EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO KNOW AND WE SHOULD ANSWER ONLY WHAT THEY ASK. So, a question about “Where do babies come
from?” should not lead to a 10 minute explanation of sexual intercourse. The answer is: “From a special place inside
the mother’s body that is called the uterus.”
(I am a firm believer in using anatomically correct language, even with
children. Babies do not grow in the
stomach. That explanation has led to
many girls thinking they can get pregnant from accidentally swallowing a fruit
When the child wants more information, they will ask “How
does the baby get in there?” or “How does the baby get out?” Again, simple answers would be “The father
puts a seed into the mother’s body” and “The baby gets out through a special
opening between the mother’s legs called the vagina.” When the child is ready to know more, her
curiosity will lead her to ask you more.
She will eventually ask you how the father puts the seed inside, and a
simple anatomical explanation, accompanied by love and respect are the way to
go. “When a man and a woman love each
other, they want to be as close as they can be, and the man puts his penis into
the woman’s vagina, and a seed called sperm comes out and causes a baby to grow
in her uterus.”
Talking to kids
about sex makes some parents uncomfortable but giving a simple answer to just
what the child asks makes it easier for parent and child. Children really don’t want to know more than
they are asking, and they ask what they are ready to know. Your children’s pediatrician or a mother’s
gynecologist can help parents with these discussions. If the doctor is uncomfortable with these
topics, well, you need to find a doctor who is not! And I will be talking more to you about
discussing sex with your child in upcoming columns.
Why You Won’t Talk About Sexual Issues With Your Partner
by David Ludden Ph.D.
Finding the courage to push your relationship forward.
Conflict is inevitable in relationships. You’d like to save more money for the future, but your partner would like the two of you to get more enjoyment out of life now. You think your partner is too strict with the kids, but your partner thinks you’re too lenient. You think you already do more than your fair share of the work around the house, but your partner thinks you don’t do enough. Or else, they’d rather you did different chores from the ones you’re used to doing.
Couples frequently have fights about issues like these, and often they can find solutions to these disagreements. At the very least, when they talk their problems out, they have a better understanding of their partner’s preferences. But there’s one area of conflict that too many couples avoid discussing at all costs, namely differences in sexual desire.
Plenty of research shows that couples who have open conversations about sexual issues are also more satisfied with their relationships. However, too many people would rather put up with an unhappy sex life than have that dreaded conversation. Why are so many people afraid to communicate their sexual needs to their partner? This is the question that Canadian psychologist Uzma Rehman and her colleagues explored in a recent study of conflict communication in couples.
Conflict communication is always difficult, largely because we’re motivated to avoid negative emotions. Tempers get raised, and feelings get hurt. Just as we avoid going to the dentist despite a toothache, we avoid talking with our partner about sensitive issues. So we let problems fester.
With non-sexual problems in the relationship, we tend to reach a tipping point after which we let it all come out. Arguments can be healthy for a relationship, especially when the discussion remains focused on the issue at hand and doesn’t devolve into slinging insults and pushing each other’s buttons.
But even couples who are reasonably good at resolving other types of conflict get stuck when it comes to discussing sexual problems in the relationship. Instead of communicating our preferences and inquiring about our partner’s, we rely on cultural scripts that tell us how the sex act is supposed to play out. Despite our urge for a break from the routine, we keep our fantasies to ourselves. No wonder our sex lives get stale after years of marriage.
Past research has shown that couples avoid conflict communication, because they perceive it as threatening in three different ways:
Threat to relationship. People fear the conflict discussion will irreparably damage the relationship. In other words, they value their relationships even when they’re not happy ones. So they’d rather say nothing than risk a conflict that might improve it, but might also tear it apart.
Threat to partner. People fear the conflict discussion will hurt their partner’s feelings. That is to say, they care about their partner’s welfare even when they’re not happy with the way their relationship with them is going. Again, they’d rather muddle through than make their partner feel uncomfortable, even at a chance of making things better.
Threat to self. People fear the conflict discussion will make them vulnerable. If they reveal too much about themselves, they worry that their partner will disapprove of them or try to make them feel shame. We need our partner’s approval, and the fear of losing it is a major reason why people avoid talking about sensitive issues in the first place.
In their study, Rehman and colleagues asked people in committed relationships to imagine themselves in a conflict situation with their partner. The scenario involved either a non-sexual issue about sharing housework or a sexual issue about the frequency of intimacy. Afterward, the partners responded to a questionnaire that measured sense of threat to relationship, partner, and self. On the one hand, the results showed that sexual conflicts are similar to non-sexual conflicts, in that all three types of perceived threat were high. On the other hand, sexual arguments resulted in even higher levels of perceived threat to self than did non-sexual confrontations. article continues after advertisement
In short, this study showed that the main reason why people avoid talking with their partners about sexual issues is because they view such a discussion as threatening to themselves. Based on responses in this study and others, we can point to some reasons why couples stay away from discussions about intimacy issues.
First, in North American culture, sex is viewed as an embarrassing topic of conversation, so we avoid talking about it altogether. Or else we relieve the uneasiness by turning sexual discussions into jokes. Even within committed relationships, we tend to view sex as naughty and not to be talked about.
Second, sexual education is woefully inadequate in the United States. Many Americans are simply ignorant about sexual anatomy — both their own and their partner’s. Although we have cultural scripts about how the sexual act is supposed to work, few of us understand the full breadth of sexual activities that humans engage in. So we have neither the concepts to understand our sexual urges nor the vocabulary to communicate them to our partner.
Because of our embarrassment and ignorance when it comes to sexual matters, we feel especially vulnerable revealing our secret fantasies to our partners. Since we think our desires are weird, we assume our partner will feel the same about them. Furthermore, our urges seem to arise from our innermost core, and we feel we have no control over them. When we dare to reveal secret fantasies only to have them rebuked, we feel that our partner has rejected us as we truly are. So we’d rather keep up the pretense instead. article continues after advertisement
People who have the courage to discuss intimacy issues with their partners are generally happier in their relationships. But learning to overcome a lifetime of embarrassment about sex and developing a proper sexual vocabulary takes effort. There’s plenty of self-help here on the pages ofPsychology Today and elsewhere on the internet or in your local bookstore. Couples therapy can also be effective at resolving intimacy issues.
Conflict is inevitable in relationships, and issues of intimacy are among the hardest of all to confront. And yet, conflict itself isn’t a sign that the relationship is in trouble. On the contrary, if both partners approach the discussion with a desire to resolve the issue, the relationship will be strengthened as a result.
Democrats search while Trump Triumphs
By Kenneth Cooper
On Biden without Barack:
So, you’re in Gotham, and word on the street is that The Joker is on the loose, tearing up the town. You run to the roof and throw up the bat signal. But Alfred calls. “I’m sorry,” he says, “Batman is out of town, but I can send over Robin instead.” You look up at the signal, shining bright in the sky, calling for what was once illustrious. “Nah, that’s okay,” you say, and hang up the phone. “I’ll just lock my doors instead.”
In a presidential election, to beat a star, you have to be a
star or become one of equal or greater magnitude. Trump is a star, and the
Democrats have done a great job of fielding a group of would-be VPs and cabinet
members, but they have yet to field or develop a star.
On the one-dimensionality of Warren and Sanders:
In particular, it’s the corners of the mouths and cheekbones. They seem incapable of an upward turn, slouching always towards the chin and ground- subjected to a gravitational tug of perpetual proportions. Here Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders speak, and the effect is a guttural monotone. In other words, put them in front of a camera or a microphone, and they can project an endless number of frowns, but not one smile. “Hey, Bernie, why you screaming at me?” – Michael J. Fox last week at a campaign rally.
Uncle Joe and Da Billionaire
Apparently, Joe Biden’s campaign strategy is to bomb interviews, tank the early caucus and primary, then wait for black people to bail him out, starting in South Carolina. Possibly, former Mayor Bloomberg will eventually stop frisking around and unveil the reparational ramifications of his would-be presidency: On day one of my presidency, I’ll free all those black people I once helped throw in jail.
In politics, you can’t win on
How low Trump will go to defeat Pete Buttigieg?
Fall 2020, campaign rally, Trump at the podium railing, crowd
in full swoon: Believe me, he looks them over and says, “Nobody’s a bigger fan of
Mayor Pete’s marriage than me. But many people are saying that’s not milk on
his chin and mustache.”
A word from Rush Limbaugh
“They’re sitting there and they’re looking at Mayor Pete
— a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the
debate stage. And they’re saying, okay, how’s this going to look, a 37-year-old
gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s going
to happen there?” – Trump allies take aim at Buttigieg’s sexuality, a
possible sign of things to come – Washington Post 2/13/2020
Meanwhile Trump takes a vindication lap.
In one month he was acquitted, gave the Medal of Freedom to
Rush Limbaugh, drove Nancy Pelosi to rip up the State of The Union speech, got
to point his finger at two of his accusers and say, “You’re fired,” got Roger
Stone’s sentence recommendation reduced, and declared the Coronavirus dead come
April. The Darkside hasn’t rolled that hard since Darth Vader chopped Luke
Skywalker’s arm off in The Empire Strikes Back.
Yes, we’re “stuck in Trumpland watching subtlety decayin’” – “Veins”
by Earl Sweatshirt
So, to be clear, Michael Bloomberg is a Republican turned
Democrat, Bernie Sanders is an Independent turned Democratic Socialist,
Elizabeth Warren is a Cherokee turned white woman, and Joe Biden can’t eloquently
turn a phrase? No wonder the DNC is still holding debates on Friday nights. Last
election, you could say it was to hide Hillary’s less than charming personality.
This election though, it’s to hide the whole field apparently, and prove that
it’s not a losing strategy unless it fails twice.
After the Iowa caucus counting debacle, it’s the party
responsible for the broken app versus the party responsible for the broken
presidency. One can’t guarantee a fair
counting of democracy and the other can’t guarantee a president that will be
accountable to it. And on that note, that’s all folks, as the great Bugs
Bunny would say.
You have a
happy time of celebrating this day we honor the presidency.
You Can Eat Healthy Delicious Meals
by Kara Johnson
one month into 2020. How are you doing with your goal to eat healthier? It’s
ok. I’d like to share a few tips to help you stay on
track. Can you say meal prepping? Well today, I have full proof advice from
two, top personal chefs. A large part of your success is about developing new
habits. Habit is the key word when it comes to maintaining the consistency that
leads to success. Instead of falling into habits, now it’s
time to create good habits on purpose. We have fun and easy ways to make these
guidelines part of your new, healthier lifestyle!
There are 3 KEY components to meal prepping:
Devise a menu conducive to your dietary needs
and preferences. This component requires a written menu, menu ingredients and
places to purchase food items. Food containers that separate menu items into
proportions for your diet are also important. Make sure you have everything you
need in advance. If you are anything like most people these days, life is crazy
busy. Planning ahead to order online for curb-side grocery pick up at local
stores or delivery to your doorstep will make the planning part of the process
.Now that all ingredients, seasonings and
containers are on deck, the prep can begin. This component includes chopping
all vegetables, poultry, marinating meat/seafood and cleaning all cooking tools
and pots to prepare for cooking. Prepping one day prior helps to keep the
process organized and consistent.
With adequate planning and prepping complete,
the final component is to cook and separate portions for daily meals for the
week in meal prep containers. To maintain the quality of your meals, store in a
refrigerator and consume cooked food within 7 days. After a week, discard food
that is left, wash containers and repeat all components for the following week.
planning meals for health-conscious clients, I keep it fun by making sure the
meals are seasonal, farm to table, and locally purchased. Keep the sodium
content to a minimum, and use the ingredients that have the least cholesterol.
I often overlap light ingredients like seafood which can be used in more than
one dish that week. For example, crabs and shrimp are used in salads and
seafood boils in the summer and in gumbo and stuffing in the winter. A sexy
plate presentation is also important and can make a dish more appealing to a
There you have it. This is everything you need to know to organize your meals for the week. Get into the habit of planning ahead. Not only will your meals be good for you, but with a few extra steps, you can turn any meal into a memorable dining experience.
I know you hear it all the time from the old folks; New Orleans ain’t what it
was. The soul is there, but the body is broken. The city doesn’t take care of
itself, and a sure ain’t taking care of its people. Sure, the city government maintains
of all the main streets. Every thoroughfare that tourists might ride down, the
French Quarter, the Garden District, all of that has been spit shined to a
mirror sheen. But the second you step off the beaten path, and go to the places
where People Actually Live, you can still see the same devastation from some
fourteen years ago. A gilded city, with all the water damage beneath the
surface appeal, just out of sight of the rest of the world. Pisses me off every
time I come back.
If you take a little wiki walk, you’ll find that New Orleans, as
of the moment I’m writing this, has a population of something like 391,006.
That’s a dramatic drop from the estimated population when Katrina hit, which
was in the neighborhood of 484,674 people. And that’s after 14 years of
survivors deciding whether or not they wanted to come back at all. But it’s not
about the numbers, not really. I can look at the city with my eyes and see
what’s happening. The lifeblood of New Orleans lies in the hearts and minds of
its natives, and when people decide to leave, it’s tempting to say that they
take part of the city’s soul with them.
The older folks call it the Brain Drain of New Orleans. Folks that
were blown away not coming back. Folks born in the city leaving for good. And
as time goes on, more and more great minds and great hands are trickling out of
the city, like rain in a storm drain. And, you know, for a long time, I thought
the same way.
But I’ve had years to think about this and through frequent
revisits to the city, while wandering the streets I have changed my perspective.
Nowadays, I see New Orleans as a tree that got blown down in a storm. When it
fell, it scattered its seeds all over the place. I’m one of those seeds. Many
seeds like me have had to make this choice since we got scattered across the
country by hurricane winds. Do we set down roots where we land, or do we pick
ourselves up and head home to salvage what’s left? It’s a hard choice to make;
many of us are still trying to decide, even after all this time.
It’s going to be hard to hear this, but I keep on coming back. And then I have
to leave. Because every day I spend at home, I feel myself getting angry.
There’s a fight in me, a fight for the city itself, a fire that lights up
whenever I step off a plane and step into that familiar southern heat. I never
have anywhere to put that fire, so it just burns me out, exhausts me. For the
longest time, I didn’t understand it. It went beyond just the desire to bring
the New Orleans of my childhood back, or the need to go down to City Hall and
scream at the people that get rich by mismanaging the city that is here in the
present. That fire in me, it’s hope; the need to push forward. New Orleans: The
City seems broken, yes, but the soul of the city is simply fractured. And
fractures can be repaired. Every single of one of us New Orleans Natives is a
representative of New Orleans itself. An avatar; a little piece of the soul of
the city. We can’t remove this part of ourselves; we’re all those seeds from
that same tree. We carry the slang, the culture, the sensibilities of the city,
wherever we go. None of us struggle the same, but we all struggle. We’ve all
got our stories, right? Mine is just another one of those, and I’d like to tell
it to you. So, if you’ve drifted far like me, or you’ve put down your roots
right in the same spot that you came from, we’re far from different.
Me and you, we ARE New Orleans.
As long as we live, and continue to grow, New Orleans will do the
That idea, that’s where I’d like to start this whole thing, whatever it is. My
name is Jordan Rock, and at the age of 12, Hurricane Katrina came and blew my
life apart. I am a seed on the wind, searching for a place to put down roots. In
my heart and in my mind, I carry the soul of New Orleans, no matter where I go.
And, with any luck, you’ll hear from me again.
See you soon.
Empathy’s most ardent promoters have most keenly felt its absence.
Kenneth Bancroft Clark, 1914-2005
Source: Chicago Urban League Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Senator Amy Klobuchar’s pitch for empathy in her closing remarks in the New Hampshire debate may have helped catapult her into third place in that state’s primary. She said that she can supply the empathy absent in the White House: “If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you, and I will fight for you.”
Klobuchar’s promise of empathy is not surprising coming from the first female senator from Minnesota. In recent years, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and President Barack Obama repeatedly invoked the importance of empathy. Advocating for empathy is indeed not limited to any one demographic, but there is a rich history of black intellectuals and civil rights leaders doing so. Some of empathy’s fiercest promoters are those who have keenly felt its absence.
In 1964, James Baldwin bemoaned the fact that most whites failed to achieve the most basic form of empathy for blacks: to grasp their humanity. Basic empathy entailed the recognition that “in talking to a black man, he is talking to another man like himself.” Martin Luther King Jr., grieved the lack of empathy of white moderates while sitting in a Birmingham jail: “I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race.”
Social psychologist and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark championed empathy over the span of decades. Clark was the first African-American psychologist to graduate from Columbia University in 1940, and two years later he began teaching at The City College of New York. He helped write the social science statement documenting the psychological damage of segregation appended to the 1954 Supreme Court decision to desegregate schools. He and his wife, psychologist Mamie Clark, conducted a series of studies that found that black children in segregated schools preferred playing with white rather than black dolls. The Clarks founded the Northside Treatment Center and Harlem Youth Opportunities to provide psychological and educational services for Harlem youth, in addition to the Metropolitan Applied Research Center to study school desegregation and civil rights.
Clark first called for empathy in a 1965 New York Times opinion piece, “Delusions of the White Liberal.” He explained that liberals were often harder to deal with than bigots, due to their guilt, conflicting loyalties, and acquiescence in the flagrant system of racial injustice. What they lacked, Clark declared, was empathy. Empathy was neither sentimentality nor pity, both of which emanated from a superior position. Empathy instead constituted the basis for mutual understanding that crossed racial lines, rooted in the underlying similarity of the human condition.
But how could this type of empathy be achieved? As a psychologist, Clark was attuned to the mechanisms of defense, repression, and inner resistance that made it difficult for a white person to move beyond their racial bias. Whites, he declared, had to dispense with “the fantasy of aristocracy or superiority,” and the white liberal in particular with “the fantasy of purity,” or the idea of being free of prejudice. In short, the white liberal had to “reconcile his affirmation of racial justice with his visceral racism.” article continues after advertisement
Whites therefore had to work to “transcend the barriers of their own minds” and to listen with their hearts. Only then would it be possible, Clark imagined, to “respond insofar as he is able with a pure kind of empathy that is raceless, that accepts and understands the frailties and anxieties and weaknesses that all men share, the common predicament of mankind.”
Clark’s calls for empathy became more insistent as American politics shifted toward conservatism. In 1979 he scribbled in a lecture draft, “The only thing that will save us is a universal increase in empathy.”  He thought that those with political power lacked empathy, evidenced by their support of the brutal inequalities in American society. Clark even suggested that world leaders might be given a psychoactive pill to enhance their empathic qualities and inspire them to just political action. He believed that competitive, anxiety-prone American culture rewarded the rampant pursuit of one’s own interest. It was therefore imperative for educators to strengthen “man’s empathic capacity.”
Clark placed his hope in the unique human capacity to respond to suffering with intelligence, social sensitivity, and the recognition that despite cultural and racial differences, something was shared. He called this psycho-political foundation for equal rights ”empathic reason.” Empathic reason is the anti-racist (and, I would add, anti-sexist) capacity to feel and to recognize the principle of the equality of all.
Today we are witnessing the unbearable cost of empathy’s absence in national politics. Klobuchar’s statement on empathy promises that her knowledge and recognition of the daily struggles of Americans will shape her policies. To restore empathy to our political discourse is our first challenge, but then we must translate empathy’s moral vision into a workable political agenda.