Friday, March 21, 2014

International Day of Happiness

**Bring me down… can't nothing, Bring me Down!**
**Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth**
**Clap along if you know what happiness is to you!!**

Today was the International Day of Happiness. While I think that it is sad that we are all so preoccupied/depressed/needy/unhappy that an International Day of Happiness is necessary, I did take some time out of my day to think about what I am truly happy about. Other than the normal things that one would be happy about having, like a home, food and a place to go and be tortured daily job, there are just a few things that I am happy about… the constants in my life. I know I take to the blog and express my opinions about everything, without (generally) being very personal. This post is going to totally be the antithesis of that. Below I will show you what I am happy about (most days), my family, my pets and my very sweet husband who puts up with me on a daily basis with a grimace smile.

In the past year I have learned that friends (often) come and go, sometimes extended family is iffy and really what is necessary is that you cling to the people that have always been around, showing you love and support. I am lucky enough to have a large group of people who do that… and kinda look like me! :) Happy International Day of Happiness, y'all. Hug your loved ones. Hug 'em hard, hug 'em often… even if they hate it. Tell them every day that you love them. Let them know that they make YOU… happy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Foreign Policy and Isolationism

I was listening to NPR on my lunch break last week as they covered the unrest in Ukraine and the movement of Russian troops into Crimea. There was a caller that insisted that it is the duty of the United States of America to do something so that Russia does not take over Crimea. As you may know there was a referendum yesterday, where residents of Crimea voted to be a part of Russia. Today, the United States has decided to freeze the assets of some Russian dignitaries and their families.

My take on this whole thing? Dearest America, stay in your own lane.

Listen, I am all about the greater good and making people behave when they do something ridiculous, HOWEVER, I am not of the mindset that the United States of America is responsible to bring every asshole to justice. If someone directly assaults US, then WE should take care of them. All for it. If someone moves into some land and take it as their own… which does NOT directly affect us… *shrugs* I don't really care. We should leave the situation alone and let the (capable) countries that are directly affected and in close proximity take control. The European Union countries are the best to impose sanctions-- not the United States. The European Union countries are in the best position to implement punishments-- not the United States. What we need to do is figure out a way to provide the services that Russia provides the European Union and take steps towards financial happiness!!

People who think that we are Captain Save a Hoe to the world are mistaken. We have absolutely no business in this fight. The United States already picks and chooses which scuffles to get involved in. There have been whole civil wars that we have not participated in; we have watched on the sidelines while some countries were run into the ground by dictators; our news has been inundated with families and villages decimated in the fight for power-- and we have not done anything. Because getting involved would cost us more than it would help. Such is this new situation.

Let's not kid ourselves-- America is still fighting two wars. We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We still have members of our Armed Forces dying every day in a war that has cost us trillions of dollars and has lasted over a decade. We have a Congress that is unable to come to any agreements on how much our soldiers should be paid, or what their benefits should be. We have a struggling economy and thousands of people who are still unemployed and can NOT find work. We have an ineffective, fighting Congress and we do not need to take on anything else. The people of Crimea want to be a part of Russia… I say let the Brits do something. Make the French send troops. Let the Germans list their frustrations about it and do something. Any other country. We cannot afford to be Captain Save a Hoe right now. We have our own shit to deal with.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

BHM2014 - Charles Clinton Spaulding

Charles Clinton Spaulding, one of the most successful and influential African American business men of the 20th century, was born August 1, 1874 on a farm near Whiteville, North Carolina. His parents, Benjamin McIver and Margaret Moore Spaulding, were prosperous landowners and respected leaders in their community. As a young boy, Charles did attend school but the educational possibilities were very limited in his community, so when he was twenty years old he moved to Durham to join his uncle, Aaron Moore. There he enrolled at Whitted School and gained his high school diploma in 1898 at the age of 23. 

After graduation, Spaulding got a job as a manager of a grocery store. When it failed he began to explore the field of insurance, which was a new business emerging in the African American community. In 1899 Spaulding became the general manager of North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association, an organization founded by John Merrick and Spaulding’s uncle, Aaron Moore.  The Association eventually became North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, the largest black-owned insurance company in the nation. Spaulding immediately began to recruit agents, mostly among black schoolteachers and ministers, and rapidly expanded Mutual’s market.

In 1921 Charles Spaulding assumed leadership of Mechanics and Farmers Bank, which was an offshoot of North Carolina Mutual.  He also headed the Mutual Building and Loan Association and was vice president and chairman of the Bankers Fire Insurance Company and the Southern Fidelity Mutual Insurance Company, respectively.  Spaulding became president of North Carolina Mutual in 1923, after the death of his uncle. By the mid-1920s, Mutual and its various satellite enterprises led to Durham, North Carolina being designated the capital of the black middle class.  In 1926 Spaulding received the Harmon Foundation Award for Achievement in Business. 

Charles Spaulding was a strong supporter of Booker T. Washington and his philosophies. Like Washington, Spaulding believed in gaining equality through achievement and that only with African American business excellence would they achieve acceptance and citizenship. He worked hard in civic, educational and social organizations in hopes of offering opportunities to African Americans. He also served on a number of boards for African American colleges and universities as well as the national executive committees of the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America. Spaulding was also appointed national chairman of the Emergency Advisory Council of the Urban League, which sought to enlist support for the New Deal among African Americans. He used his influence to obtain jobs for blacks and to lobby against discrimination in New Deal programs. Charles Spaulding died on August 1, 1952 in Durham, North Carolina.

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