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About Skin2Skin

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  • Birthday December 18

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  1. Dick Gregory dead at 84

    I wasn't raised that way, and while I have so many issues with my mom I could write a book, I'm so proud that she didn't teach racism with her words or her actions. I found out later that some of my friends and schoolmates weren't as lucky. I was born towards the tail end of the movement. But I remember when MLK, Jr. was killed. My mom was trying to explain it to me. I didn't know who MLK, Jr. was. I was in a very racially mixed school and it wasn't something I thought about very much. I've always judged people on the internals, as a child. I've never learned any other way. I liked some White kids and some Black kids. I disliked some White kids and some Black kids. It wasn't a thing. She told me about the marches and I said, "Why didn't you go on one?" I was perplexed. How could you not go on one? Wrong is wrong. Injustice is injustice. You protest injustice. You protest wrongs. (I always protested when I had to go to bed, or when my older brother got to go to bed later than I did (lol).) My mom looked at me, stunned. "I had children," she said, finally. "I couldn't go off and leave you." I didn't understand that excuse. ("We could have stayed with Aunt Sophia.") My mom and I are very different. Mostly I read a lot of books and that formed how I thought. And I may have mentioned driving through the south and seeing Lester Maddox's restaurant. A sign acknowledging that ownership. Proud of his stand on segregation. It blew my mind, having grown up in my family and growing up in mixed race schools and even dealing with Black militancy. It was the tail end of the movement, and Philadelphia had its share of anger--our Police Commissioner-cum- Mayor was an avatar of racial oppression. I just couldn't believe in 1970 that Lester Maddox thought he had anything to be proud about, or declare ownership of. But I didn't understand that a lot of people back then made that brag of ownership a selling point. I even got hurt at Masterman when we had a mini-race riot at the school. It only lasted for about five minutes, and I just walked around those engaged in battle, and got to class unharmed. After it settled, a Black male student I had known since second grade (I was then in 8th or 9th) pushed back in his seat hard as I walked behind him, crushing me in my private parts. It hurt badly. I remember the pain even now. Some Black girls who saw the whole thing remonstrated with him on my behalf. Despite the fact that righteous Black anger against Whites was the hip thing to display. How could I blame one group of people when I couldn't miss the fact that that group, just like every other group, is made up of individuals? Some will try to hurt you. Some will defend you. I was only a child, but I've never unlearned that knowledge. But other people process things through their experiences, their prisms, their role models. I was fortunate to have the ones I did. And one of them was Dick Gregory's book.
  2. The Lies of Trump

    So, Trump has been lying a lot, but for me to not trust him, I'm enveloped in a "red mist of hatred." And here I thought it meant I was discerning. Well, that's not true. Knowing what a liar Trump is doesn't demand discernment.
  3. Billy Joel Dresses the Part

    From the link: Also related to the Charlottesville controversy, 10 percent say they support the “alt-right” movement, while 50 percent oppose it; indicating wide unfamiliarity, four in 10 have no opinion. There’s far more agreement on whether it’s acceptable or unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. Across groups, 4 to 17 percent call this acceptable, with the largest numbers among men, Republicans and strong conservatives, all 13 percent; young adults, 14 percent; and those who strongly approve of the president’s work in office, 17 percent.
  4. No Kennedy Center Honors for Trump

    Is that necessarily a bad thing? It's bad for this particular piece of art, but it seems to me the PC police wear a very individual uniform--the one where they draw the line differently than the individual using the terminology. No one is suggesting Mel Brooks be stripped of any honors he's received--but there are no statues of him, either. Why can't we recognize that art is of its time? And not wring our hands about the PC police who care about things like modern symbolism. It would be interesting to ask Mel Brooks if he'd want to make that movie exactly like that today. Maybe he would. I've never seen Blazing Saddles. But I have seen The Producers and never understood why anyone would have a problem with Springtime for Hitler. Art is art, and humor is humor. Call it tasteless, but only a boob of the lowest order would say it was advancing a Nazi mentality or succoring Nazis.
  5. It also seems to me there's a reason that the President, and not (necessarily) a member of the military, is the Commander in Chief. One expects a President to have a different perspective than various generals. I'm old enough to remember the example of General MacArthur, even if a military expert like JimCT does not.
  6. Billy Joel Dresses the Part

    Billy Joel is one of the least temperate mainstream rock stars around. And he's a showman. Even with those facts, I drew in a breath when I saw that picture. Wearing an identifying symbol is not the next step in the logical progression, but it's not that many miles behind it when 10% of people polled think Nazi philosophy is acceptable. Ultimately, I'm glad he made this visual statement. He has the kind of fame that impresses things upon people. And this message can't be impressed enough, as far as I'm concerned. Others' mileage may vary.
  7. You are entitled to your opinion. Maya Angelou: When someone shows you who they are, believe them. It may serve you to "weigh each decision without penalty against any prior stance" -- but I have found that discernment is vital to existence. Otherwise, I'd give to every homeless person who harangued me on the street, and believe every propagandistic story that comes down the chute. We are flooded with information these days. At some point, you have to make decisions about credibility. If you still look for credibility from Trump, that is your affair. It's not a red mist for me. It's clarity. YMMV
  8. And Here I Thought It Was Just Civil War Statues.....

    I don't support responding to words, even the most disgusting words on earth, with violence. I do support responding to violence with self-protection. Using your words is always a good thing. Until you need a weapon.
  9. And Here I Thought It Was Just Civil War Statues.....

    Concise and I totally agree with every word, with things as they are today. If they became substantively different, I'd change my tune. And yes--I worry on a regular basis that things will become substantively different than they are today.
  10. I wonder what Eric, who also has first hand experience there, thinks. I think I know. I trust the professional military analysis when we're engaged in battle--but I also know that they have a self-evident agenda. And I also know the kinds of people Trump admires (as much as he can admire anyone but himself). Philosophers who see a bigger picture need not apply.
  11. We all know Trump crushes on the powerful people in the military. (Not so much the enlisted men and women.) Do you think this is a wise decision, Jim? Simple. If any President could be moved to "wag the dog," which candidate would you vote most likely to succeed? But the biggest point is this--he made this issue the star of every campaign speech and now he's doing the opposite. And if you say, "Well, he didn't realize what actually came with the job," then why was he running? Except for ego and gratification and those regularly scheduled rallies during his freaking presidency.
  12. If he did that, he wouldn't have made his transgender announcement. Everything he does puts America in danger in small and big ways. I've never known someone whose every word and act is a disaster before. I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
  13. Billy Joel Dresses the Part

  14. The immorality of this decision would be breathtaking if our collective breaths were still there for the taking. Every speech Trump gave when he ran for President was how he, and he alone of the Republican nominees, wouldn't send Americans into fighting unwindable wars. America first was his rallying cry. We all know he lies about everything and his only ideology is Trump. If nothing convinced you before, I would hope this would. He is doing this for political capital. He doesn't care about the men and women he puts in harm's way. But I have a "nephew" who just came back from three tours. I have to check if he will have to go back. So that's what I'll do now. And pray for all the ones I don't personally know and love. This is the kind of thing I wouldn't be surprised if Pence did. So it's not all that different, I suppose. Except that I think Pence understands to some degree that the people who make up our military are the President's responsibility. The role of the Commander-in-Chief. I really don't think Trump is capable of understanding that kind of responsibility. I loathed GWB, be I always knew he cared about those who he was sending to war. That weighs heavily on non-malignant narcissists.