Royal Wedding and the Media Overload

>> Saturday, April 30, 2011

It was once said that the Sun never sets on the British Empire. Well, despite rarely watching tele-lie-vision, it appeared that many channels were set on the so-called Royal Wedding of [insert whatever they names is].

I heard of the wedding a few days ago. An NPR reported said CNN was sending 125 journalists to England to cover the wedding. That's a lot of attention for what was a big spectacle. Watching the news in the Free Speech Movement cafe, I saw some parade with streets blocked off and throngs of people waving UK flags. Proud prols.

On one hand, love is a beautiful thing. It should be honored, cherished and celebrated. A glimpse at the royal family culture and tradition, as one woman told me. But it was an inundation. Another example of what is termed, "Global White Supremacy." That same culture and tradition got me stuck in the US speaking nothing but English.

What about the Royal Swazi Family? The last royal wedding of Swaziland wasn't prime time, front page, etc.. Major media is more interest in "disaster porn" and showing colored people in despair.

It's not just about the socially constructed idea of race. It's about class. And the masses of people were in the street. I know there's a magic connected with royalty and princes and princesses, but the masses of people will never be royalty in the man's kingdom.

The wedding is a great distraction for two wars, extreme poverty and the recent tragedy in the American southeast, but there's more vital events taking place. May God bless US all and keep us focused on solutions to Earth's ills.


A Bear and a Rabbit in Berkeley

>> Sunday, April 24, 2011

One day, a California Black Bear was walked to Strawberry Canyon in Berkeley. There, he met a Snow Bunny named Becky.

They both some ways off the main streets down the trail. Both needed to take a load off, and walked off the trail.

While they were taking a shit in the forest like park, the bear asks the rabbit, "Do you have a problem with shit sticking to your fur?"

Puzzled, Becky says, "No, I've never had a problem with shit sticking to my fur."

"That's good to know," said the Bear. Jamal then got up, walked over to Becky, and wiped his ass with the rabbit."

Here's the Eddie Murphy version:

Here's the cartoon version:

"Does a bear take a shit in the forest and wipe is ass with a fluffy white rabbit?" Yes. But rabbits don't lay eggs.


Lessons learned from a dead possum

On my way home yesterday, I came across I sad sight: a dead possum in the street. At first, it looked like a big ass cat or a fox. But when I looked again, I could tell it was a West Alameda possum.

I've gotten use to all sorts of critters in our neighborhood. I even have a truce with the Alameda Raccoons (don't F– with me and I won't F– with you).

Dead possum in the street

This possum is just laying in the middle of the street between Longfellow Park and Longfellow (NEA) School. He can't be "playing possum," I think to myself. With cars constantly going by, I'm going to get him out the street before somebody (else) hits him.

I find a discarded bag from a donut on the ground. I fold it up and use it as a glove. I grab the possum by its tail and carry it onto the sidewalk. I place him on the ground in front of the park.

Now, leaving a dead animal in front of a park frequented by children is not the business. "What should I do for the dead possum?" I figure there are two options, (a) bury him; (b) call animal control.

Alameda is known for its wildlife. Last fall, there were a series of highly publicized incidents with gangs of raccoons. When I was in high school, dozens of cats on Navy property were executed by the government.

But a lesser known group of critters are possums. The first possum I ever saw was on Third Street in West Alameda. I was walking to Encinal High and I saw a wet possum in the rain, just chilling on someone's lawn. It was cute in a very rabid way.
On my way home, I see two young men walking. One used come to the after-school program I used to run in the Esperanzas. I greet them both and keep heading home. My plan: get the shovel.

I turn around as I pass Lowe's Market on 5th, and they're taking pictures of the raccoon. I knew that would happen.

I ask my Mom for the number for Animal Control. When I tell her my plans to bury the possum, she says, "Boy, are you crazy? Those things will give you rabies." Y'all know a thing like rabies don't scare Reg.

Grabbing the shovel, I walk back and the two boys are still taking pictures. "Hey," I yell, "don't be messing with that possum."

Meanwhile, I had called the number to Alameda Animal Control my mom had given me. It forwarded me to Alameda Police. The woman on the line asked where I was at, my name, etc, and said she'd "send and officer when she could."

As approach, I see they've taken woodchips and scattered them on the possum's body. "Come here right now," I say to them, like a big brother or uncle might. "Why y'all do that?" I ask.

Of course they snitching on each other and "don't know." He continued, "I was trying to bury him." Riiiiight. The other explained how his older brother and his friends attacked a possum in front of him before.

Now, I wasn't going to do a Janazah for the possum, but I felt he deserved something better than to just laying on the ground while people threw shit on him. And I wasn't waiting for Alameda Police to come. They were likely too busy pulling over motorist to be worried about a possum. Besides, we know Alameda Police have serious training issues when it comes to dealing with other living creatures.

"Throwing wood chips on the possum is not the proper way to bury anything," I said. "You wouldn't want someone doing that to your cat or dog, or even to you, right? I'm going to show y'all how to properly bury a possum."

Taking the shovel, I dug a whole. One of the boys (there are four watching now, by the way) says, "We need a flower." He runs to a nearby yard and grabs one.

One of them starts talking about ghosts. I say that the possum has a spirit too, and that, in order to get forgiveness, he has to help dig the hole. Otherwise, I say, the Spirit of the Possum won't rest. "I hope his ghost comes back and gets whoever got him," the boy says, after both he and his friend dig up dirt.

After we dig the hole, I put the possum's body inside. "Do any of you want to say a few words about Mr. Possum before I begin?" I ask.

"I'm sorry for throwing wood chips on you." "Yeah, me too." "RIP Mr. Possum."
Here lies Mr. Possum

The third boy, probably 3 years old at most, just watches, eating his candy bar. I begin the funeral service:

"In the name of the Creator of all life, we are gathered here today in the memory of Mr. Possum. Paul the Possum. He was a good possum. He ain't ever hurt no body. He was our brother. Just like we like to play in the park, we liked to play in the park. Mr. Possum lived off the land. The same planet that feeds us gave life to Mr. Possum. From the earth we come, and to the earth we return. We pray for his family and hope they can cope with their loss, because possums need love too. All life is valuable. We must respect all life. Mr. Possum, may you rest peacefully.

I cover the hole with dirt. After I pack down the dirt, one boy puts the flower over the grave site. Next, everyone leaves and goes on about their day, but not after first paying respect to one of God's many creations. At the corner of Linden St and Lincoln Ave in West Alameda, Here lies Mr. Possum. Happy Easter.


King would be fighting for workers rights, justice for Oscar Grant, end to U.S. Imperialism

>> Sunday, April 3, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

King was in Memphis, named after the Ancient Egyptian city (true name: Menefer) with striking sanitation workers demanding environmental justice, dignity and respect as working class people.

Declaring, "I AM A MAN," these men--whose fathers and grandfathers lived under the Jim Crow conditions that led to the lynching of Thomas Moss, friend of Ida B. Wells that led her on her anti-lynching crusade, and whose great-grand parents were likely enslaved--stood firmly for justice.

The night before, King gave the famous "I've Been to the Mountain Top" speech.
King's involvement in the 1968 strike, after coming out against America's imperialist Vietnam War, and his speech, are examples of a King that was growing more radical. In fact, at the time of his death, he was sounding more like Malcolm than Malcolm.

In light of this -- and the constant co-opting of King's memory by the same murderous Amerikkkan regime that martyred him -- here are my thoughts on the 43rd anniversary of King's assassination in light of recent events.

Africa Rising: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya
As we see the oppressed people's of the world rising up across the world, we remember King's words: " the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed."

The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, both bolstered by youth and mass labor organizing effectively got ride of the heads of U.S.-backed puppet regimes. But the organizing must continue, otherwise, this unjust society will perpetuate itself in a new face.

Libya is more complex. Due to Ghadafy's past support of African revolutionaries, the recent Racism in Europe Conference held weeks before the C.I.A., AFRICOM and France-backed "rebellion", many are reluctant to support the "rebels" who seemed to be immediately armed. Not to mention the racist attacks against migrant African workers. Conversely, many have not forgotten that Ghadafy is an Arab nationalist and atrocities committed against the original people's before the Arab occupation of North Africa.

Oscar Grant, "Oakland Riots" and Sporadic Union Busting in the Bay Area
King continued his speech with his continued commitment to non-violence. The previous demonstration in Memphis had ended violently and the press focused solely on that aspect of the demonstration, in an attempt to discredit laborers and King, the perpetual "outside agitator."

"Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers were on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor..."

If you have been in Oakland since 2009, that scenario may sound familiar. After BART Police thug Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART Station on January 1, 2009, and the BART cover-up began, justice-loving people took to the streets. Media reports called property vandalism "violence" and parroted Oakland Police's line about "outside agitators" destroying Oakland. Media reports exaggerated property damages and regularly sensationalized these events. Whether it was January 7, 2009 (first protest) or January 14 (second major protest), or the July 8 (verdict protest) or November 5 (sentencing protest), major media focused on these acts they called "violence." With one exception -- besides police terrorism on protesters -- I never saw any protesters violently attacking another human being.

In addition to Oscar Grant's murder and the demonization of protesters, the same thing has happened to Bay Area workers. Since 2009, BART workers were under attack. BART and corporate media attacked workers, portraying them as overpaid and ungrateful admist a poor economy. Of course, neither BART of corporate media focused on the grave injustice of the Oakland Airport Connector that would put us young people on the line to pay for their expensive "Star Wars Ski lift."

Then in 2010, after already raising fares and cutting service, AC Transit attacked its largest union. After a bargaining period that was set up to fail (two months for negotiations, really?), AC Transit blamed bus drivers for proposed cuts that would have further crippled the system that was driving towards "bankcruptcy." Hired guns help drive a further wedge amongst any class solidarity between drivers and riders.

The media went along. Election editorials by the Bay Area News Group supported candidates who supported taking gains from unions. Instead of focusing on dumb ass deals like BART's OAC project or AC Transit's Vanhool "relationship," or even the Peralta College's risky bond for health care or failed financial oversight, workers in each of these institutions -- as well as Oakland Unified Teachers, UC Workers, State workers, and others took the brunt.

Just as people are rising up in Wisconsin, people have been rising up -- although in isolation -- in the Bay.

Collective Economic Action
It's also fascinating that most have not heard this King before. He talked about economic cooperatives and boycotting banks and financial institutions. In this era when banks are bailed out while teachers still have ridiculous student loans, a look at the philosophies that brought King to this point is important. Notwithstanding the Montgomery Bus Boycott, it's important to remember the old, "Don't Shop Where You Can't Work" campaigns and such, and need to make similar demands, but on a larger scale -- in particular, I refer to people who bank with institutions who are taking people's land and wealth through foreclosures and predatory practices.

"It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence," King said. It's now either action or extinction.

Actions in support of the working class are taking place April 4, in Oakland at City Hall from noon to 3, and there are plans for work stoppages elsewhere, with the goal of the 2011 General Strike.

People love to speculate what Dr. King would be doing, or what he would say, if he were alive today.

He surely would be organizing for justice.


Leggings linked to yeast infections, decreased estrogen levels

>> Friday, April 1, 2011

LAS VEGAS.-Leggings have become a fashionable way for women to show off their curves. But the display of the feminine form is coming at the expense of womens reproductive health, experts say.

Leggings are a type of fitted clothing that covers the legs. Worn by both women and men, leggings range in fabric types from nylon, latex and spandex, to polyester, cotton and silk.

According to a recent report commissioned by the San Francisco, Calif. based Niagra Institute, leggings can cause a decrease in women's estrogen levels and reduce vaginal moistness. Both of which can lead to reproductive damage and other unintended health and hygiene consequences.

"Our research indicates that prolonged usage of leggings is detrimental to the reproductive capabilities of women," said Dr. Sandeep Vajayjay. "We are very concerned about the long-term affects this fashion trend will exact on teenagers."

In laboratory tests, two different groups with women of similar fitness levels engaged in physical fitness activities in different athletic apparel. A control group wearing shorts was three times more likely to maintain their estrogen levels compared to women of similar physical statures wearing leggings.

The study also founded that women's vaginal moisture was reduced by the popular pants. The tight pants apparently restrict the amount of air flow to the vagina, resulting in a sort of "Green House Gas" effect. That increased heat dries womens natural moisture.

Vaginal dryness is sometimes a result of deficiency estrogen, the female hormone, while other times it may be the result of skin conditions.

Tea Party backed freshman congressman Dan Benignsnatch of Michigan disagreed, calling the research "flawed." Adding, "In my experience, plenty of women in the Tea Party wear leggings and have not had those problems."

Activists with the one-year old Militant Obstetrics League for Lovely Youth (MOLLY) support the study's findings and have called for Congressional action, and more.

"It is past time that women end this trend of trading our health for the aesthetic tastes of others," said Alison Walker. "We urge everyone disgusted with this dysfunctional and patriarchal clothing style to fight against those who wish to imprison us in plastic pants."

Walker accused Benighsnatch of profiting from leggings. Campaign finance reports reveal that the congressman received major funding from nylon and polyester manufacturers last fall in his electoral insurgency. Wisconsin's Governor is also linked to the leggings manufacturing syndicate as a quarter shareholder.

A previous study, coinciding with another initiative investigating leggings potential to reduce cellulite, found that wearing leggings daily for eight weeks is likely to cause yeast infections.

"If you wear them once in a while and the genital area has time to dry, then I think you might be okay," said OG-GYN Dr. Betsy Evans. She added that these fungal infections ofter lead to itching and vaginal pain. "Who would wear those every day, anyway?"

Writer Lucinda Gunnin advises women who want to where the pants but avoid yeast infections to
"look for a cotton crotch to help prevent excess moisture buildup." She was concerned that too much emphasis is being placed on having overly moist vaginas. "Sure, we expect to be warm and moist at the right times but all day, every day is a recipe for discomfort and itch."

The revelation comes just days before an explosive study linking sagging pants to erectile dysfunction is to be released. Urban magazines that receive major advertising funding from legging retailers and Hip Hop inspired fashion lines are very concerned.

"If our clothes making pussies dry and dick malfunctions, it's gone be detrimental to our bottom line [sic]" according to Jimmy Johnson, founder of Dookie Bottoms clothing line principal and Publisher of Black Back magazine.


About This Blog

Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

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