Pro-Golfer's Short-Shorts, LeBron James Free Agent, Read to Your Babies, After The Fall Documentary & Unexpected Guests Tax-Payers' Expense

Sometimes one week's news topics look a whole lot like the previous one; just seven days blending into another week worth of same-old-same-old. It is true. Americans have short attention spans. If it is something that stirs their opinion, it becomes a hot topic. If it is above their ability to “solve” it takes a back-burner to much lighter conversations. It is true for me, for this week is about LeBron James, Michelle Wie, reading to infants, documentaries , and lastly, political grand-standing meets border crisis.

Women Should Dress For Success, Even If They Play For A Living

Let's start with golf. I love to tune in on weekends to watch a few rounds of golf. I am fascinated at the 99% Divine Favor, and 1% skill most sports-champions possess. As not to digress, this past weekend I was glad to see that women golfers were getting center stage on a non-cable network. I thought, this should be fun to watch, the men on one station, women on another. However, within minutes of watching the women's event, I realized that the unprofessional attire, especially of one, Michelle Wie, would make watching her “show what she's got: (pun intended) in mixed company for a very uncomfortable afternoon. I am not a prude, by a long stretch of the imagination. The short-shorts were not the problem as much as showing up to her professional gig in them. Before we get into a discussion about what she was wearing not having anything to do with her talents, I will hope that we can just politely agree to disagree. As I stated, I love to watch a good game of golf. As I deflected my attention from the women's competition because I saw women doing what the media uses them for, exploitation for sales, I compared how fully clad the male golfers were. Occasionally, some men wear too-tight pants; but, primarily you have men who clearly are not afraid that a bottom-cheek will be exposed because they're showing too much skin. By the way, there are a lot of fashion statements on the men's course as well. Okay, it's not about the men. It is about the women, and the one mentioned in particular. Her caddy had a bird's-eye view all afternoon of her straight back-bent posture in the, did I mention, too-short-for-work shorts. Grant it, if she was practicing, or just enjoying her day off, so be it. As mentioned, the problem was not the shorts per se; but, the fact that she was on national television, showing young aspiring women that to be a professional golfer you might just have to take on the look of a professional of a whole other kind. I am just saying. She is not the only one by any means. But, I think it is time women start thinking about how so many young girls are trafficked for sex; and consider putting the brakes on sex-y in sports. If you are skilled, you do not have to bimbo your way to the top. The Wie I saw Sunday, was light years from the 10-year-old who entered the golf stage a few years ago. Enough said. I watched her final rounds, realizing the stance was not the problem. The scanty shorts were. Her walk was not so much that of a confident young woman; but, instead, a woman who had defiance written on her spirit. As stated, enough said.

Lebron James Has A Bounty of Blessings: Family Man & Free-Agent

I have to say, for several reasons, I was not surprised that Lebron James chose to become a free-agent. I am glad he made the decision. After all, it really was a no-brainer. My son is a big fan of James', and showed a photo-enhanced version of James in a Rocket's jersey (LOL!) I am not a betting person, but I assured him James has no more flavor for Houston, than he had for Miami. He says it is all business. I believe, in this case, it is far more than that. From where I stand, James is at the peak of not only his career; but, personal life as well. I learned from my daughter that he is expecting his first daughter soon; and, thankfully, he did the right and noble thing by marrying the love of his life, mother of his children. So, the fact that he knows what winning a championship feels like, leads me to believe that his next move will be somewhere that feels like home, either for him or his wife. I was told she misses the West Coast. But, be that as it may, truth is, I make one prediction. If he had his druthers, he would sign with a northern east-coast team so fast, and never look back. My son laughed boisterously when I said he would sign with New York. He started naming players. I had no clue who he was talking about. James needs the feel of the people he identifies with most, fire in the belly. He needs the vibe of the urban city flowing through his veins. That one-man show against San-Antonio a few weeks ago was a disgrace; not to him, but to everything NBA FINALS. As I was preparing this I learned Wade has also decided to take the free-agent route. The upcoming season should be interesting; very interesting.

Reading to Your Babies, Good for Them

Mothers read to your babies in the womb. I heard a report this week that a cure for illiteracy is reading to infants. It may not be a cure, but it is a start. I believe in the research that says children benefit from hearing music, and being read to while in-uterus. As a parent, and former elementary-ed teacher, I am a firm believer that phonetic literacy eradicates illiteracy. If a child can sound a word, the vocabulary and comprehension skills will develop in time. Teaching reading without a focus on phonics with early-ed children is a disservice. So mamas, read to your babies. The sooner you start reading to them, the sooner they will be able to read to you. Sound out the sounds letters make, demonstrating how they come together to form words. Conquering illiteracy starts at home, long before Pre-K begins. School-readiness begins with the parent. Btw, may I recommend Val Arie's book: "Birds, Birds, Everywhere...Fly Away, Fly Away, Fly Away Home." It will make a very good 1st read for new arrivals.  

Documentary After the Fall Worth the Look

I love documentaries, and short films. I watched a very good documentary this week, in fact I watched it twice. It was on PBS, and is called “AFTER THE FALL.” Every young adult thinking they have forever to do what they are purposed on earth to do should take the time to watch this. Life is not promised. And when life gives you lemons, it may take a while, but you can make some flavorful lemonade with the right mix of people in your life, and a belief that everything is with purpose, even those things we cannot explain. I was reminded of a dear friend who has MS. Her kids are adults now, but, I remembered she called me one day, after work in overwhelming tears. She was a newlywed and had learned that she was with child; only to be told by her doctors that she should abort. Well, after a conversation with “Ms. Positive” and a reminder to her that God does not make mistakes, and whatever the outcome, He planted the seed. We agreed that He would decide the embryo's fate, and hers. Years later, she has given birth to two beautiful daughters, with the help of her very supportive and faith-filled husband. This documentary is worth the watch, especially if you are a young 20-something, or any age for that matter, dragging your feet.

Government Seeking Funds Upfront to Pay Tab For 'Unexpected Guests'
And now, to the last topic for the week simply because I am still unable to stop shaking my head every time I see young children strolling onto U.S. soil like, I don't even know what like. It is an exodus of sorts. Wow, I always imagined getting into America was a rummage through your suitcase, check your papers at the borders type nation. Obviously not. What makes matters even more eye-rolling, and head shaking are the politicians who all of a sudden have something to say about a decades' old matter, whose escalating numbers are clearly out of control. It is noble that the Arizona governor is continuing her fight; but, sadly, I am not encouraged that tax-paying people of the U.S. will be able to avoid the bill on this one. Not-for-profits, and 503-C churches and organizations are seeing a way to make a profit by sheltering-in. It is clear, that we have to take care of the children once they enter in; but, wow, this is one I simply do not get. On behalf of all the innocent people who have been violated in the boarding line while being checked for terroristic weaponry, tsk! Clearly, the frisks are not about America, but safeguarding the property of airlines. If it was really about America and Americans, the U.S.-Mexico border would be sealed securely.

Well, that's it. Another week.


Unwinnable Wars, Unsecure Borders, Presidential Prospects, Student-Loan Debt & Juneteenth

Turmoil in Iraq Reminds Me of America's Own Internal Battles, Past & Present 

It is amazing how fast time flies. Already another week in the history books; and decades from now, if the story is told accurately it will be filled with opportunities for lessons learned. At the time of this writing Iraq is on the brink of total government collapse with ISIL/ISIS seizing territory on all sides, making a strong case for why politicians should think long and hard before starting 'unwinnable wars.' It is a bit late, and probably will never happen let the yarners spin it; but, Rand Paul suggests that the people should vote for whether they want to invest in a war that requires U.S. Troops. Unwinnable wars simply help fuel the fires of far too many conspiracy theorists on the airwaves and in the local pubs across America. My prayers are for the people of Iraq, who as most people in the universe, simply want to live peaceably with their fellow man. As I listened to the news, I could not help but ponder U.S. history and how hundreds of years ago, our beautiful nation, too, had internal fighting because one group of people wanted to enslave another. And, I thought of the Civil Rights marches, rallies, and killings of the 60s which reminded me of a non-militia-type war of the races, and power of the people. And, as I listened with relief as President Obama assured U.S. citizens that our war-weary nation and military will not be returning to this battlefield, with a reminder that our offer to keep reinforcement troops in Iraq was declined, I could not help but think about the fact that our own nation is under siege by immigrants illegally flooding the U.S. border. 
Border Crossings A Modern-Day Version of Mexican-American War of 1800s
I was both amazed and dismally shaken at the sight of undocumented people rising up from the Rio Grande River onto U.S. soil by the thousands, and even more coming in by plane from countries that extend far beyond Mexico. I was bewildered at what I was seeing, and could not help but wonder if this crisis would be perceived as more dire if the invaders were people of Haitian or African roots. Would people coming in with wooly hair and dark as night skin be received with far less patience than those currently coming in? I was taken back to 9-11 and the trillions spent on two didn't-take-a- rocket-scientist-to-know unwinnable wars; not to mention millions of innocent lives lost of those in bombs' way, and soldiers in the battle, both foreign and domestic. And, I thought of how we fight for the welfare of other oil-rich countries, while our own country is under an attack of its own. I am reminded of the Mexican-American War of the 1800s; and, the undercurrent of people whose goal is to bring America to her knees by having children that our government (taxpayers) will have to provide for. Tsk! And, somehow I can not help but wonder if this will be America's next war, Act Two. I can imagine how quickly things will unravel should we start instant deportation; once caught, a one-way ticket back home at the receiving country's expense. Of course, something that decisive will never happen because well,...I will leave the reasoning to the paid mike-jocks and conspiracy theorists.

Unfinished Border-Fence A Clear Welcome Sign to All Who Boldly Enter In

Third on the list of attention-getters for me this week, and linked indirectly to the border issue, was seeing with most sincere embarrassment that ginormous, incomplete, well-constructed fence that was supposed to keep non-citizens out of the U.S. and serve as a dividing line with Mexico. I am certain millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on some grand idea the previous administration started and well...tsk! There is a saying where we live: Git 'er done. And, I ask myself how someone who can not finish a fence, and secure with great penalty who gets in and out of this country, really expect my vote at the polls? It is clear that politicians are not really worried about terrorists by the looks of the bold entrance into our country via footpaths. I am flabbergasted! I genuinely do not know who I will vote for in 2016. I thought I had a clue; but, of late, it is clear, I do not. I only know that no one on the radar screen is a genuine attention getter. Did I hear that Romney may run again? As of today, I hope he does; possibly Rand Paul as V-P. Sadly, Perry's gaffe on homosexuality and that embarrassingly, incomplete border fence has me realizing it will take more than he is representing to get the GOP nod. All things are possible; but, in this case, not probable considering he will have to explain the border issue in debates. Enough said; I will move on.

Best Hope For Self & Future Offspring: Just Say No to STUDENT LOANS!

Monday's quiet announcement that the President's plan to help people drowning in student-loan debt (SLD) was squashed comes as no real surprise. I have to agree with the conspiracy theorists on this one. The dirty little secret about SLD is for poor people to stay in debt, and become increasingly poorer. Why else would tens of thousands of dollars be given to young and old people with no credit, bad credit, and zero collateral and zero job, all under the guise of attaining a better life? It is head-shaking and disgusting. Let's face it: The gig is up on the student-loan scheme and yet people, in a desperate attempt to earn a decent education, to even get in the running for the handful of jobs, are jumping into this cesspool abyss with nothing more to show than a lifetime of misery attached to the goose that offered a golden egg. I will advise anyone who is not in this pot to get a no-degree-required job for five years, stay home til you are 23, save money like nobody's business, and decide at that time if you really need college. Go on a part-time, pay as-you-go basis. Too many people, self included, are walking around with a financial noose around their neck, and no job prospects. Let me shout it from the rooftops: CHANGE starts with JUST Saying NO to STUDENT LOANS!!! 

Juneteenth Worth Remembering; But U.S. Citizens In More Bondage than Ever 
And lastly, this week African Americans celebrated Juneteenth; freedom from slavery. And I could not help but observe how in so many ways, not just blacks, but the American people in general are more in bondage today than ever. They are as mentioned, trillions in student-loan debt, and relying on the too-many people not working, unemployment dime, unlike the '50s buy a home, car in driveway, chicken in pot. I know that is over-glamorizing; but, I can honestly say that when my parents were in their 20s they were married, my dad bought a house with a zero down-payment on the GI bill, we had a new car, and yes, the chicken was always in the pot. Today, I see 20-something males and older PLAYING video games with no hard-work ethics, no children, no desire for the responsibility of a wife and family, and 20-something women realizing pickings are very slim. A landowner made an offhand remark about blacks being better off as slaves and got in a heap of trouble with people. No one wants to be a slave. No one wants to be owned by another person, wealthier than themselves; but, people want to eat. People want to make a living, and at the end of the day be able to see what they have labored hard for. That is not happening to the degree that it should be today. The rich are clearly richer, contrary to the fact that they boast of leaving the White House 'broke.' And the poor are clearly poorer, or as poor as they were decades ago. Freedom does not come without a fight to say no to things that can keep you in bondage for life. For decades America has been fighting wars on drugs, AIDS, No Child Left Behind, poverty, crime. Today, freedom is wearing the mask of dom-free; receiving a whole lot of pseudo-free at a back-end price. Poverty stories are not new. Capitalism still lives. Ingenuity is key. A friend recently wrote a children's book. The link is listed below if you want to take a look. Will it make her rich? I don't know; but, what I do know is she made the effort to rise from the ash heap, and not wait for another job rejection email to arrive in her inbox. Best wishes Val Arie!

That's it! Another week.


POW Release, School Menus, Gun Sense, Privacy in the Home, & Remembering Maya Angelou

Five for One or One for Five 

     The first topic that had me ‘scratching my head’ a bit was the release of FIVE Guantanamo POW’s in exchange for one of our military guys; who to some is a deserter, and others a soldier to be celebrated. I have heard enough to agree with the President on one matter. If we have a soldier that we can bring back ‘home,’ then let’s do it. There is a whole lot of behind-the-scenes murmuring about the role his parents played in getting him special attention to be released. I would expect that of any parent wanting to free a child from harm’s way; however, ultimately, I hope that a court martial will determine his guilt or innocence. If he is guilty of desertion, and innocent countrymen died trying to save him, then, I would hope the penalty will reflect his guilt. Now that he is back on U.S. soil, clearly not ready for his family, only time will tell how this plays out. My question remains…why five of theirs for one of ours? Perhaps the goal is to shut down Guantanamo, which may help explain the numbers.

Schools May Be Culpable for Obese Children

     Another discussion worth noting is the continued conversations about what school children are eating on the lunch menu. Let me say, I believe the First Lady’s effort to have learners eat healthier is a noble cause. As I walk through the grocery store it saddens me to see the obese population of all ages, but more so that of children and young adults. My generation grew up on rice and beans, greens and cornbread, and meat as a side, not a main course. How simple it would be to take the fake chicken nuggets off the menu and replace it with food for the soul. How simple it would be if each classroom had a garden plot and students, teachers, and parent-volunteers to raise the vegetables they ate for lunch. Unlike today, I grew up in a time when breakfast and dinner were eaten at home. Lunch was brought from home, and usually a bologna sandwich, with chips, a pickle, a piece of fruit, and milk in a thermos. My parents prepared breakfast every morning. Even though I have rarely tolerated food before the brunch hour, and avoided breakfast on school days; I would enjoy a dozen biscuits in one sitting on weekends, if allowed. Weight was not a factor for us as children, because we were not allowed to stay inside if the weather was good to play in. The occasional overweight child stood out as to be pitied, because southern heat is brutal, even for the leanest. Some research proves out that people who have overweight children usually link some cultural attachment to extra pounds symbolizing a well-fed and cared for child; which is far from the truth in modern times. Fat children and people in general, is a symbol of too much fat food, usually obtained in the FAsT-food lane. Because I am proof that children do just fine with cut up fruit and a glass of orange juice til lunchtime, I believe the government should stop with the breakfast line in the mornings. Fruit should be made available for children as they desire, even during class hours for first-grade on, and the children should get a healthy, hot meal, primarily of grains and vegetables for lunch. I worked as a teacher decades ago, and gained significant weight my first year in the classroom. Veteran teachers warned me that eating in the cafeteria would wreak havoc on your waistline. So, hmm…might it be schools making our kids fat? 

Gun Owners Must Possess Sense

     The third bit of news that seems to be amping up relates to gun rights. I believe our constitution states that U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms. That can be a good thing if you are hunting, traveling alone, or to have as protection from intruders entering your home. For most Americans, sensible reasons to carry concealed makes sense. But, that’s where the line gets murky: sensible. It makes zero sense to walk into a major burger joint, or cramped convenience store, or big-box store with a huge rifle (or whatever) strapped across your chest. Nor, does it make sense to walk around in public, unless your job requires you to do so, with a firearm holstered onto your hip. In most cases, people using poor judgment on when and where to pack in public, makes it difficult for people who simply want a little extra protection or to use guns for sport. If you’re of  ‘sound mind’ and packing heat in the grocery store, great!; but, I don’t need to know it for general purposes. I am glad to know a person trained in firearms, has my back if I find myself in some unforeseen war zone. More than a background check, I believe anyone wanting to purchase a weapon must pass a 21-count test of emotional stability. I know it is not fool-proof; but, psychological imbalance seems to be a recurring root for the growing gun-violence in public settings. Descriptors as “quiet” and “never-seemed threatening” simply doesn’t make you okay to buy such an item that requires such grave responsibility. What does? I will leave that to a consensus team of experts. Btw, I made up the 21-count test. It doesn’t exist, yet; but, let’s say one objective for every year required to purchase.

When You Lose Right to Speak Mind in Own Home: BEWARE

     Next on the list of current events that furrowed my brow dealt with another freedom under threat. It is a civil rights of sorts. No, not the most obvious of civil rights; but one born from violating the rights of what one is allowed to say in the privacy of his or her, own home. This involves a very wealthy business owner, of a very public basketball franchise, and what he said “in the heat of the moment” inside his should-be very private home, by someone of very questionable integrity. For a few words, displaying insecurity in relationship, common to most couples when feeling demeaned, he is under threat of losing his business. Say what? It really matters little what he said. I have a little idea; but, truth is what he said had absolutely nothing to do with his integrity as the owner of the team. Presumably, as with most bosses, he had the final say on who was hired, and who was fired, blah, blah. He was responsible for how much they were paid, and that they got paid. Seriously, do you really believe the players cared what he said? Standing in solidarity, while getting paid, and still working, does not equate to walking off the team, with picket signs, boycotting their boss, with loss of income. No, you know what that would have gotten them? Fired, and replaced; not to mention, for most, banned from ever working in the NBA again. I am reminded of the words of Jesus: “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” From the least offense you said in the privacy of your home, to the greatest, you would feel very violated and insecure if you knew it was under scrutiny to your livelihood. This is a clear case of entrapment, and everyone needs to do the opposite of what the team owner should do: Let it go!

Maya Angelou: A Montage of Womanhood

     And lastly, though far from least, is the celebration of the life of one of my most favorite people on the planet: Maya Angelou. I was an instant fan of hers after buying “The Heart of a Woman” in my 30s. I smile whenever I hear in my mind’s ear her recitation of "Phenomenal Woman" and "I Rise". She lived what one could call a “full life.” Most people die with their seeds in their hand, never planting the talents given them at birth. She will be always fondly remembered in my spirit. I have asked my talented artist-daughter to paint a portrait of her for my upcoming birthday to hang as a reminder of her encouraging vibrancy; when the people in my life seem to frown on my effort to be a free-spirit. As a writer, I will glean from her smile the hope one needs to stay true to God and self; not always an easy task. When I receive the gift, I will place a link to share. I know there are many portraits of her in circulation; but, for such a special person, I want my own original; as a reminder that somewhere in the universe, closer than most believe, she lives on.

That’s it; week one completed. With consistency, I will have at least 52 entries per year. Admittedly, my blogging consistency has been on the back-burner for a while. Real life, under the category of needing and desiring a real-paying job has hindered time spent offering the unsolicited opinions of Mytu Sense. But, of late, in spite of the need to conquer student-loan debt (a conversation upcoming); my yen to share my voice has been rising to the top. Starting today, my goal is to post a weekly blog highlighting my thoughts on five current events, with a deadline of 5 a.m. Monday.