There have been a few articles recently about the state of affairs in America in the NYTimes that have stuck with me...
The first is a Thomas Friedman (my favorite columnist ever) piece, "Obama in the Nile." Apparently, in the Middle Eastern region, people are amazed that a black man of Muslim heritage, especially one named Barack Hussein Obama, could be our next president. Reading the article made me swell with pride for our country: a country with an ugly, tarnished and unforgiveable past but one that has risen from the ashes many times before and is built on the idea of the "American Dream." Get it O-ba-ma (who recently became "the first major party candidate to reject public financing and its attendant spending limits")
In his history of 19th-century America, “What Hath God Wrought,” Daniel Walker Howe quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson as telling a meeting of the Mercantile Library Association in 1844 that “America is the country of the future. It is a country of beginnings, of projects, of vast designs and expectations.”That’s the America that got swallowed by the war on terrorism. And it’s the America that many people want back. I have no idea whether Obama will win in November. Whether he does or doesn’t, though, the mere fact of his nomination has done something very important. We’ve surprised ourselves and surprised the world and, in so doing, reminded everyone that we are still a country of new beginnings.The second is "The Great Seduction" from David Brooks and it basically touches on how Americans have lost their ever loving minds with credit cards and all around over-spending. I hate to say it but the sub prime housing crisis is not solely on the evil doers who scammed grandmas into fixed rate mortages -- why did that grandma think she could get the Beverly Hills house on a hillbilly salary?! No offense to hillbillies... But Americans have led the way in ridiculous spending habits -- you know if you can't pay your rent you should not be buying that new Fendi. It's a great article and a wake up call. Just educating yourself on the latest 401 (k) options (see article 3) isn't enough, we need to educate our peers. The class divisions are getting deeper and wider with every paycheck -- shouldn't we all be doing our part to bring up everybody? A chain is a strong as its weakest link?
The agents of destruction are many. State governments have played a role. They aggressively hawk their lottery products, which some people call a tax on stupidity. Twenty percent of Americans are frequent players, spending about $60 billion a year. The spending is starkly regressive. A household with income under $13,000 spends, on average, $645 a year on lottery tickets, about 9 percent of all income. Aside from the financial toll, the moral toll is comprehensive. Here is the government, the guardian of order, telling people that they don’t have to work to build for the future. They can strike it rich for nothing.
Finally is more of a super informative public service announcement: "A Primer for Young People Starting Their First Job." Educate your minds and then share the wealth.
I posted this a while ago but it's been getting more recognition lately and has grown on me like...mold on bread? HA, I got nothing. Anyway it's a FAB song, although when modifying it for singing in my car "21" has an extra syllable so it doesn't flow the same...
I can't get enough of 3000 these days. Have you ever been listening to music when you're sitting behind a lens that powerfully restricts what you want to listen to? More specifically what happens when you don't want to hear songs demoralizing sex and "love?" What happens when you don't want to hear songs idealizing relationships OR songs about breaking up (well....less often...)? I'll tell you what happens: you end up splitting your time between gospel, Outkast (with that I'll include Goodie Mob), and jazz. I don't want to hear Marvin just as much as I don't want to hear Whitney, Kelly, James, Donny, and Wayne. Sometimes my girls Carrie, Taylor, Mariah, and Bey might get me energized but ehhhh...still. The other night in the club I was so geeked when something came on besides all the bust-it-baby-esque songs, even if it was Jeezy. If only Houston clubs did the Houston throwback mixes like everybody else... I heard some old Z-Ro driving around Detroit and subsequently nearly killed myself and my coworker.
W_a_l_e - Hey Mr. Carter (remix)
*screams again* Mr. Carter is one of my favorite tracks off the not-the-greatest-ever Carter III ( which has sold well over a million -- I almost said a millie. Time for the remixes to cease and desist.) Wale is certainly included in my list of tolerable, listenable-despite-my-mindset artists (as is Blu, the Roots, etc -- I feel like that goes without saying though?) and his Mixtape About Nothing has been getting heavy play on Ipod Jr.
"The Seven Deadly Sins: Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle." -- Mahatma Ghandi
"Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is the right thing to do." - Justice Potter Stewart
"It is not an adequate ethical standard to aspire to get through the day without being indicted." - Richard Breeden
"It takes less time to do a thing right then to explain why you did it wrong." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
" A person of character takes as much trouble to discover what is right as the lesser men take to discover what will pay."-- Confucius
Accusing the times is but excusing ourselves.-- English Proverb
"Character is how you act when you think no one is watching, but conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be." -- Michael Josephson
"Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud." - Sophocles
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Ephesians 6:12
But Ephesians 6:12 said it wasn't flesh and blood that we wrestle against
Principalities, powers of this world
Rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness
In high places, so throw that whole armor of righteousness