Filed under: Black Blogger Postings, Blog Entries, Business, Community, Education, Entertainment & Sports, Family, General, Health, Laughable, Legal, Life, Monday Motivation, Music Reviews, My Thoughts, My Utterz, MyBlogLog, Obama, Our Rights, Personal Finance, Photo Phinish, Podcasts, Podcasts - Tha Brothas, Politics, Relationships, Society & Culture, Technology, Think Global, Twitter
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on theotalks.net and I’ve had it on my task list to do this for a while. I’ve been debating it for some time, but I really think it’s time to start fresh. I’ve mentioned in other posts that blogging is hard work. If you’re not dedicated to the cause, you can easily suffer burnout. I’ve seen it before from some of my favorite sites and if you look at the last date I posted, you’ll see it here.
But despite the lack of posts, I still get a decent amount of hits and readers are still leaving comments on some of my older posts. I’m not the most prolific writer and I don’t consider myself to be well-versed in a lot of the stuff I blog about. But there’s something about this blogging thing that keeps sucking me back into it. I’ve grown to love the black blogger community and it has allowed me to meet some amazing people. There are a lot of people out there with some strong opinions about society and the world as they see it. Those are the people who I like to showcase and support.
I’m making some changes to the blog and what I blog about. I love the current theme and focus of theotalks, but I want to remove the restraints and give myself the opportunity to be all over the place. The new theme of the site is “Random thoughts about everything and nothing”. While it may be a little vague, that’s how I want to run the site from now on. My current theme of focusing on the black community is great, but there are so many other great bloggers out there consistently doing it. It takes time to put those posts together and right now, I’m at a different place in life.
So from here on out, expect the unexpected. As I feel moved, I’ll post about whatever is on my heart at the moment. I’ll also be showcasing some of my favorite bloggers and will work to get some of the guest writers back (you know who you are) to help a brotha out.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to start the podcast back up, but I might try my hand at video blogging. Only time will tell. Thanks to everyone who supports and reads this blog. It definitely keeps me motivated to stay at it.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Community, Education, Family, Health, My Thoughts, Obama, Politics, Society & Culture, Technology, Think Global
Earlier this morning President Obama began filing papers to seek re-election for President in 2012. The first thought in my mind was “here we go again”. I was surprised the first time he sought election and shocked when he beat out the Clintons for the Democratic nominee. But watching him over the past couple of years has shown me Obama can handle the critics and is willing to complete the tasks he promises to those who elect him.
Sure we don’t have our American utopia critics felt he promised in 2008, but let’s remember the downward spiral our country was going in before he was elected. Money was being thrown all over the place to fund the Iraq war, the housing sector was trash and companies who were too big to fail were in the corporate welfare line waiting for their share of the taxpayers’ money. It wasn’t pretty and I til this day can’t understand why he wanted to run for office in the first place. But he won and the country has never been the same since.
Our previous president told us that holding the office of Commander in Chief is hard work and I agree. I couldn’t imagine having to be responsible for making decisions that affect millions of people, but I feel President Obama has done what he feels is best for America and deserves a second term. I feel confident that despite all the political bickering, he thoughtfully considers every decision and moves after he’s heard all the options. Yes, not every decision is effective. But what president, CEO or executive can make the claim that all of the decisions they’ve made have worked? In the end, he’s the one held responsible. So let’s give him four more years to see if the laws he’s implemented work.
Filed under: Community, Education, Family, Health, Politics, Society & Culture, Technology
I received this email from our PTA. Earlier this week during a youth Bible study class, one of the students asked us to pray for their teachers in Plano ISD. Over 400 of them were losing their jobs and 40 were just let go from her school that week.
This is sad and shows how much our representatives in Texas care about the future of our youth. While my kids might not personally benefit from all of these programs, there are a lot of kids who will. For those parents who might not have the money to send their kids to private school or get outside help for their kids, these programs and grants are needed. If you live in Texas, take a little time to call your representative and ask them to fund public education.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
ASK HIM/HER TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION
IN HB 1
THE BUDGET BILL FOR 2012-2013
What you need to know:
Friday, April 1, the Texas House of Representatives will vote on the budget for the next two years. The budget on which they will vote makes deep cuts to public education.
- HB 1 proposes giving $7.8 billion less to the Foundation School Program (FSP), the main source of funding for local school districts. This is 18% less than is required by current law.
- Depending upon how a local school district chooses to address this reduced funding from the state, Texas could expect layoffs of thousands of school employees.
- In addition to cuts to the FSP, HB 1 cuts or severely reduces funding for
- Reading, Math and Science Initiatives
- Pre-Kindergarten Early Start program
- Early Childhood School Readiness Grants
- Science Lab Grants
- Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program
- Virtual School Network
- Middle School Physical Education Grants
- Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program
- Extended Year Programs
- Limited English Proficiency Student Success Initiative
- Communities in Schools Programs
- Student Success Initiatives
- High School Completion and Success Initiative
What you can do:
CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
ASK HIM/HER TO SUPPORT AMENDMENTS TO HB 1
THAT INCREASE FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION
To find contact information for your state representative, visit http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us. Enter the requested information into the fields listed (this includes your street address and ZIP code) and then select “HOUSE” from the District Type pull-down field and click the submit button. You will be taken to a page that lists the name of your state representative as well as their Austin (512) phone number. This is the number you should dial to register your concerns about HB 1.
Partnership For A Healthy Texas Conquering Obesity
Members and Friends of the Partnership for a Healthy Texas -
Both the Steering and Legislative Committees have been quite busy of late reviewing legislation, serving as issue area experts and making sure the Partnership priorities are both promoted and reflected appropriately in the budget and in legislation. We appreciate your patience during our lack of communication.
We have developed two documents; one, outlining the bills that fall into the Partnership’s legislative priority areas and; another, outlining the bills related to obesity and nutrition that the Partnership is tracking (click on the links to download each in PDF format). Below, is a rough outline of the budget as it relates to our issues. As you are probably well aware, the Senate version of the budget is still being hammered out while the House will discuss HB 1 on the floor tomorrow.
We anticipate calling upon our membership more as the process moves along. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions.
TEA – HB 1
HB1 would cut $66 million from School Health and Safety, which includes implementation of coordinated school health, counseling and mental health, physical activity, nutrition, and health education, and health services. This is a 70% reduction in funding compared to the current budget.
In addition to the 70% reduction in School Health and Safety, HB1 would end the state’s investment in:
- Prekindergarten grants and Early Childhood School Readiness programs (down $223.3 million), meaning 144,000 fewer children would benefit from quality-assured public prekindergarten and school readiness programs each year
- Middle School Physical Education grants (down $20 million), resulting in 425,000 middle school students no longer having access to programs proven to increase performance on Fitnessgram physical fitness assessments and with demonstrated positive correlation with TAKS Reading and Math scores
- Life Skills Teen Parenting (down $19.7 million), meaning that 26,000 pregnant and parenting teens will have supportive services for graduating high school and learning healthy parenting skills
- School Bus Seat Belt grants, reduction of $10 million that would have gone to assist school districts acquire school buses with three-point seat belts
- Communities in Schools (though $9.7 million in federal TANF funds remain). 64,000 fewer students at risk of dropping out of school each year would no longer receive services that connect them to community resources that supports their success in school and beyond
The HB1 proposed cuts would be on top of reduction already made to the TEA budget in the current biennium:
- $2 million cut to the Education Service Centers that provide technical assistance for implementing coordinated school health
- $3.5 million cut to Communities in Schools
- $41,000 for School Lunch matching
- $850,000 for AVANCE family support
- Community-based obesity prevention (HB1: 53% cut equaling $15.6m to all chronic disease prevention, SB1: same)
- WIC Nutrition Supplements and Farmer’s Markets (HB1: $33.5m cut, which is 25,500 fewer recipients on monthly WIC Nutrition caseload, a 1% caseload cut, SB1: same)
TDAg budget recommendation:
There is a rider in the TDA component of the budget supporting the Texas Department of Agriculture’s capacity to coordinate existing farming resources and expand the Farm-to-School program by raising the Department’s full-time equivalent employee cap. This will allow the Department to create a Farm-to-School Coordinator position that will not require any appropriation of state funds. This coordinator position represents an opportunity to support the health of Texas children in a Legislative Session where cuts to children’s health services are endemic. A Texas Department of Agriculture Farm-to-School Coordinator position would additionally help support the growth of Texas farms, increase the availability of quality of food in Texas schools, and create valuable opportunities for nutrition education amid a costly obesity epidemic.
Partnership for a Healthy Texas Chair
Filed under: Blog Entries, Business, Obama, Personal Finance, Politics, Society & Culture
The President resolves to do all he can to get the economy growing and create jobs, and encourages Republicans to embrace their new responsibility to govern.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Business, Community, Education, Entertainment & Sports, Family, General, Politics, Relationships, Society & Culture, Technology, Think Global
When Google announced the release of Google Books, I rushed over and was pleased to see that they’d scanned in some of my favorite magazines. The best part was that I could view them all online for free.
In my searches I was able to find issues for Jet Magazine (1950-2005), Ebony Magazine (1950-2000) and Black Enterprise (1970-2000). While they don’t include the most current issues, it’s great that I can see what was going on before I was I born. If Google keeps this up, I can’t imagine the kind of information my kids will have access to.
This will give those in my generation and forward the ability to research our past and learn more than we’ve ever had about entertainment, politics and society, than we’ve ever had. The odds of me getting my hands on a volume 1 Jet Magazine is one to impossible. But thanks to Google, I have access to it.
We are in the Information Age and I hope everyone is ready to get on board. In 2011, I plan on increasing the number of black history books I read and I’m going to use Google Books to do this. There are a lot of good free books out there for us to read. I as I finish them I’ll blog about them here on the site.
Here’s to a New Year in books.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Community, Family, Obama, Personal Finance, Politics
The President strongly urges both parties in Congress to pass the compromise on tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and job creation. Not doing so would hurt the middle class, those struggling to find work, and the economy itself.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Community, Education, General, Our Rights, Politics, Society & Culture
I just thought I’d post a little reminder for everyone to get out and vote. The midterm elections are just as important as the the presidential elections. As Americans it’s our civil duty to vote in who we believe should run our government. But as a black person, I feel it’s a show of respect to those who placed their lives in harm’s way for me to vote and have the many civil liberties I take for granted. We haven’t had these rights for a long time, so let’s make sure we take care of business.
Early voting in Texas is open. For more information on voting in Texas, go to http://www.votexas.org.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Community, Entertainment & Sports, Laughable, Politics, Society & Culture
I just happened to be up late watching the Daily Show and Jon Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity. In a time when Americans have gone completely out of their minds (in regards to politics), this might be something needed to get us back on track.
According to their website, the rally is for “… people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles”.
I’m actually curious to see how many people will come out to an event advertised on Comedy Central. But Jon has the viewers and I’d include myself among those who’ve been discouraged by all the political craziness. But despite that, I think I’ll stay put and let others experience the rally as I follow first-hand accounts of it on Twitter.
Not to be outdone, Stephen Colbert is having his March to Keep Fear Alive. What is this world coming to?
And if you are thinking about going let me know. I might be willing to set up a live stream from the blog.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Rally to Restore Sanity|
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|March to Keep Fear Alive|
Filed under: Blog Entries, Community, Family, Health, Obama, Politics, Society & Culture
The President goes through the benefits in health insurance reform that are already kicking in for young adults, retirees, and families, and says more benefits are coming down the pike.
Filed under: Blog Entries, Business, Obama, Personal Finance, Politics, Technology
As the auto industry and financial markets begin to stabilize, the President says the government’s emergency interventions can now wind down. He pledges that real reform, particularly on Wall Street, must now begin.