Posted in @Cultural

*CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH* FEBRUARY 2014

I’m presently wrapping up an outstanding book @The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson..Winner of The Pulitzer Prize & voted 10 Best Books in 2010 by The New York Times..If there is any book , I feel, Americans should read to learn more about the migration of Blacks in America; it is this one..Early kick-off on this end for Black History month simply because it is one of my favorite months of the year. And I make NO apology nor explanation as to why..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves because I’m just getting started!

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

POLITICS 4 Dummies**How Ready Are You For 2016s Presidential Election???

The 2016 Presidential Election will be upon us before we know it..Are you ready? I admit I’m not! But I’m doing my homework early…Got me to wondering how many people out there, that vote, read/research/partake in due diligence prior to voting..Did y’all know that the electoral college was, in part, created (yep, by our Founding Fathers) on the premise that Americans would NOT make INTELLIGENT decisions..How’s many shades of dumb does that make you feel??? Didn’t make me feel dumb when I learned that; made me spitting MAD..As IF..For that simple reason and a slew of others I believe that the Electoral College is VERY outdated and no longer needed. Period..Mayhaps in an age where communication cross-country was by pony express, just maybe, it was necessary way back when..But these days with the ever-growing technology and the internet? NO WAY do we need the Electoral College; and that is just a tiny bit of things I think need to CHANGE to bring American politics from the 18th century to the 21st century. Certainly, what made sense back then is no longer true for the here and now>>

Yet my mind can’t help but trip over thoughts on this truly relevant topic..How MANY Americans even know what the Founding Fathers adopted? (or the whys..) How many Americans KNOW what the Electoral College IS? How many Americans know what the Constitution consists of? How many Americans know there are many national political parties other than Democratic & Republican? Like the American Beer Drinker’s Party/The Being Human Party/The Pot Party/The Party X/The Thermodynamic Law Party..& the list goes on..As I looked over the entire list I had thoughts of wtF! and OMG..All this splintering off, of viable votes, just because folks have become SO disenchanted with the current 2 party system..Not to mention those who don’t vote at all! >>

I refuse to NOT vote..Far too many of my ancestors(and yours..) have died for OUR right to vote..Double as much for me as a Black American Woman..Likewise though I also refuse to not make an educated vote..Or least as educated as I possibly can. With all my might I’m praying a lot more of my fellow Americans will do the same. There IS no excuse with the wealth of information at our fingertips and within library/bookstore walls..Still time to get onto the task of getting educated..I’m going to drop a link for any/all to peruse..And I welcome others to use this post to do the same. Let’s get ready for 2016 before we enter the voting booth! Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)

http://votesmart.org/political-parties

Direct link to The Constitution via our White House website..A good place to begin for those that seek to learn more about our political system>>

http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/the-constitution

Posted in Positive Movement Topic

*OMG WHO Still Has a Library Card These Days???*

I never thought back-in-the-day that a day would come I’d hear the words @ OMG who has a library card these days?? The comment was made in reference to an experience I’d just had..Did I tell y’all about it yet? Well it happened a couple of months back>>

Few months back on my lunch I went to pick up an online order from a popular eatery..This is a TRUE story folks I could never make this ‘ish UP..So anyways ran up to the front of the line(yay! there are advantages to pre-ordering..) past a long line of folks waiting to get in..Was HOT as heck outside & I was flustered from the heat & rushing cause I was starved! Wound up chatting with the clerk serving me & quickly handed her my card for payment..Said a few parting words & laughter/grabbed my receipt from here /and off I went back to the office..Soon as I got there one of my co-workers was cracking up as she said , “Did you LOOK at your receipt?” I had to admit that I hadn’t..So I dug down into the bag of food & looked at it. To my surprise & shock it said DECLINED..Wth?!? Next my co-worker said the eatery had just called to say I needed to come back to pay for the food..Ouch!, how embarassing..BUT there is NO way my card should’ve declined..Then I reached into the front of my wallet where I had quickly put the card I’d paid for the food with..It wasn’t a debit or credit card..IT WAS MY LIBRARY CARD I’d whipped out by accident. Jeeeez who does this kind of stuff by accident? And how is it possible the clerk had run the card & hadn’t noticed it? And how is it possible she just handed me my receipt & bid me good-bye??? Guess this sort of stuff can(and it DID) happen when in a very , crowded eatery & rushing..The extra shock the comments I got from co-workers..Oh, of course it was the LAUGH of the week for everyone..Yet, the one comment that stuck in my mind was ” OMG, who still has a library card these days??” Well I’ve got MY hand raised up high & waving..As hip as I think I am I’m proud to say I’m a library-card-carrying-& USING-chick!>>

Last night I was ordering a couple of books online from the LIBRARY & it brought this topic to mind..Could it ever be possible for public libraries to become a thing of the PAST? Oh, the horror! I can’t speak for anyone else but there is a feeling I get when I’m in the library..Just makes me FEEL smarter around all those books..I even love the smell & feel of books..Honestly? I study my best when I’m sitting in a quiet library..Its almost as IF the words leap off the page into my mind. >>

I think of all the things this generation & the ones behind it won’t have that I was able to partake in..Things that have become extinct..For instance the experience of family outings to the drive-in movie..WOW..Anyone remember those times? Good times for real..BUT is the public library soon going to be added to that list @things nevermore? Proof positive of things NOT used; you lose IT..Slowly but surely library hours are being shortened & library personnel laid off..Isn’t knowledge & education STILL a priceless thing in our country? Long ago my Daddy taught me to READ; before I could even speak properly..I followed by doing the same with my sons..It was a treasured outing! Heck, I thought I was raising scholars! (come to find out I was…) Money wasn’t something I had alot of during my short stints of single Mom/divorced Mom; but I could provide them with a place to READ. So glad I was taught that what I put into MY head; could never be taken away..Oh, the places I’ve gone by reading books! Places I’ve added onto my must-go-one-day-list. Oh, the things I’ve self-taught myself by reading books! >>

Bottom line IS if WE don’t use public libraries they’ll close one by one..Funds will simply be diverted to other things; perhaps things we can’t benefit from. I sure hope that day NEVER comes..So hopeful I am that people reading this will venture out & take their children to the library. Teach! them to use it to their advantage..It is FREE. A wealth of information..One can’t google up something they can’t SEE. Or least that is the way I see it. Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed, 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)

Posted in Health Matters*

**MYTHS De-Bunked @ OBAMACARE

Do YOU really know what Obamacare means for YOU? Believe it or not; even though it’s a TON of pages long Obamacare really isn’t difficult to grasp..One of my biggest pet peeves? People making a definitive opinion about something without doing the research..It is as simple as READING and there are a cazillion ways to get insight these days. Simply said? It can take time to sift through the rumors & myths..Here are a few you shouldn’t be so quick to believe>>

QUICK STAT=In every State and for the FIRST time ever, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more and more states have the authority to reject unreasonable premium increases.>>

Obamacare is causing workers’ spouses to lose their health coverage.FACT..Now that the myth about companies being forced to slash workers’ hours has been solidified, Obamacare opponents are onto a slightly modified version of the doomsday predictions about the health law’s impact on the business sector. After shipping company UPS announced that it would drop its employees’ spouses from its insurance coverage — specifically citing the health law — critics jumped on the news as evidence that Obamacare will be catastrophic for workers.

UPS cited increased costs under the health law to justify the move, but health insurance experts are skeptical that’s really the primary reason that the company decided to save money by eliminating spousal benefits. Instead, as an editorial from Bloomberg suggested, UPS is likely “using the health-care law as a smokescreen for cutting costs it wanted to cut anyway.”

It makes sense that companies would be looking to trim their health costs, and shifting spousal coverage is one way to do it. But the media coverage of UPS’ move has largely left out the fact that Obamacare actually makes it much easier for the company to consider the move in the first place. Thanks to the health reform law, the spouses of UPS employees won’t be left out in the cold without any options to get insurance. They’ll be able to get it through their own employers — who will now be required to provide it — or through Obamacare’s new state-level insurance marketplaces.

Health reform will NOT lead to a government takeover of health care
Fact
One independent group actually called this myth the “LIE of the year.” The Affordable Care Act puts people, not health insurance companies or government, in charge of health care. The new law strengthens the existing employer-based health insurance market while making the market fair for consumers by implementing landmark consumer protections. Families and individuals that don’t have access to affordable coverage can receive tax credits to help them purchase coverage in the private health insurance market. There is no government-sponsored, public, or “single payer” plan in the law.

Employers will not stop offering insurance to their workers when the law is implemented...
Fact
Independent analyses conducted by the RAND Corporation, Urban Institute, the Congressional Budget Office and Mercer, have found that employers will continue to offer health coverage to their workers. Economists agree that employers offer health insurance to help attract and retain the most talented employees and employers will continue to seek out top talent. Further, when health reform was enacted in Massachusetts more than five years ago, the percent of businesses offering insurance in Massachusetts increased.

QUICK STAT..Thanks in part to new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act, health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered nearly $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and $10.7 billion over the last three years.

Health insurance reform will NOT use your tax dollars to fund abortions.
Fact
The health insurance reform legislation maintains the status quo of no federal funding for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered. A federal judge recently wrote “the express language of the [Affordable Care Act] does not provide for taxpayer funded abortion. That is a fact and it is clear on its face.

Businesses will NOT suffer under health reform..
Fact
Health insurance reform lowers costs for American businesses – especially small businesses – who are struggling to remain profitable and competitive under the status quo. The independent Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the bill would lower health insurance premiums for the same insurance plan by up to 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for large businesses, and estimates indicate that reform could save businesses $2,000 per person in health costs.

QUICK STAT. MORE Americans have access to free preventive services:

In 2011, approximately 54 million Americans had their prevention coverage improve in their private health insurance plans. And an estimated 32.5 million people with Medicare have received one or more free preventive service.

NEW progressive benefits for WOMEN..Preventive Benefits: All new health plans must now cover preventive services ranging from mammograms to FDA-approved birth control to vaccinations for your child, WITHOUT making you pay a copay or deductible.

5 Important Numbers on Health Reform..

54 million Americans have coverage for preventive services free of cost.

Insurers are now required to cover a number of recommended preventive services, such as cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, without additional cost sharing such as copays or deductibles.

34.1 million people with Medicare who used a free preventive service.

The new health reform law eliminated any deductible or copay for many preventive services or for a new Annual Wellness Visit. In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million seniors received one or more free preventive services.

6.3 million seniors have saved $6.1 billion on their prescription drugs.

Senior who hit the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, often called the ‘donut hole’ now receive 50 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs. The new health reform law will provide additional savings each year until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.

3.1 million more young adults have health insurance through their parent’s plan.

Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.

12,800,000 consumers received $1.1 billion in rebates

Insurance companies that don’t spend at least 80 percent of its customers’ premium dollars on health care are required to provide rebates to policy holders. In 2012, the first year this rule was implemented, 12.8 million consumers received $1.1 billion in rebates.

** I can’t find not one of the new benefits of OBAMACARE that won’t impact me or someone in my family immediately..I’ve done my homework and due diligence..Have you read UP on how health care reform will impact your family?

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

*****READ*****

..There ARE too many distractions now-a-days; not enough reading. Biggest culprit? In my humblest of opinion; it’s the ‘digital age’. Now onto why I feel this is unprogressive & problematic..>>

*****WE live in a very, VERY literage age..Yet…Only only 18 to 21% of the population qualifies as being highly literate.(According to the 5 yr study by the NAAL )*****

Mayhaps I should’ve begun this post with the story-behind-the-post..Very recently while attending a meeting; an attendee announced that in his opinion “people” just aren’t READING as much as they used to..And that different approaches to “reach” them needed to be set into action. Example he gave was ask any group of people WHAT exactly was posted on a billboard sign they drove by; and they simply wouldn’t know what it said…Well to that I say WHOA & WOW..You mean if that big arse billboard said ” DO NOT DRIVE ANY FURTHER OR YOU’LL DRIVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE PLANET AND PLUMMET HORRIBLY TO YOUR DEATH” Majority of folks wouldn’t “READ” that message? After having my socks blown off in disbelief at that statement though? I decided to google up the real stats on literacy in America..Personally I feel reading is SO important that I began reading to 2 of my 3 sons from the womb..In retrospect, and with what I know now? I wish I’d begun reading to my 3rd son just as soon. There WILL be a test at the end of this post so hopefully y’all are reading THIS..<>

2 B CONTINUED SOON>>

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

EDUCATE~ENLIGHTEN~EMPOWER~DPCHALLENGE*PostADay*MLK,Jr. Tribute

**In observance of this FABULOUS holiday@ Martin Luther King, Jr day..lays ripe the opportunity to speak on a couple topics I adore. Education. Youth. Love. Before I dig in …I hope any/all out there that have this day off from work give a bit of today to say, THANK YOU, Martin Luther King, Jr. for giving US all you had(including your life..) unselfishly so that we might have the freedoms we have today. I/WE appreciate YOU. …

**The above quote @”I have decided to stick with LOVE..Hate is too great a burden to bear”..is in my belief the BEST quote I’ve ever been blessed enough to read. And with all of my BEing I’m also trying to live that out loud as well. There is a beauty in those words and in that sentiment and IF only that message can truly spread like FIRE..what a different country, world even!, this would be. Can’t WE all muster UP the love within US and share it?!? I’ve got my hand held UP high. I think WE can. YES we can!

>>Last night I happened to be in attendance at a event hosted NationWide (in 400 locations…) by a predominantly Black sorority (*round of applause for the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr..Called a day of service for MLK,Jr. The overall message was CLEAR..Service WE must & should all be doing to educate, enlighten, and EMPOWER the youth(our future!) There was a panel(which consisted of rising Black leaders & predominant business owners/young Black CEO of a major local bank!/even a newly appointed Assistant City Manager; highly impressive panel regardless of color. Progress! There was a moderator present asking each panelist what “their” advice/suggestions/expertise based on experience was for the YOUTH and for progression for US as a community. In the audience was a group of promising youth already marked as UP and rising..I personally felt, and wished, more youth had been present. But it was a great jump start, I hope!, for the adults in the audience to GO forth and spread the message to others to reach OUT and educate, enlighten, and empower! the youth.  The fact that this exact premise was also being held concurrently(same day… ) in 400 other locations across our great Nation warmed MY heart and encouraged me to continue hoping, praying! , that WE shall overcome and continue to progress for I also(like MLK, Jr.) have a dream…

**I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when my 3 beautiful, intelligent, personable, loving , educated, artistic, athletic  BLACK sons(my Black princes!) will one day be judged based NOT on the color of their skin…but judged based on who they ARE.  Not asking for 2 much; just asking for what ANY other mother longs for her sons. I long for a day when folks don’t fear when walking past my 3 Black sons; for they’re armed with NO weapon other than their COLLEGE DEGREE‘s.  Bred & raised with nonviolence and wishing for nothing more than to aspire to their dreams!/their aspirations/their GOALS. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space in which my future grandbabies won’t be LABELED as Black, as Negro, as African-American nor have to fill out that slot on ANY form. I would love for that day to come when people are just labeled as..PEOPLE. Yes, I have a dream! On this day that just happens to also be the day when for the 2nd time in HISTORY; a Black brother is being publically sworn in as President of the United States of America..I dream that ONE day that fact won’t BE so remarkable. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when to describe people NONE of us label each other as ..The White woman that was there OR! The Black man that was there. WE are all just people…And WE all have alot more in common than different. How beautiful it IS when we just sit and chat/or vibe over the Net/or rap face 2 face and share of ourselves…I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when WOMEN of any color are compensated at the same level as MEN. (based on what they earn & rightfully deserve) I have a dream! When love brings people 2gether. And keeeeeps people 2gether. For LOVE can over-ride any division that lays between US. LOVE can conquer even what seems impossible. I believe. I believe! And I have a dream…As always folks stay UPlifted & blessed. Remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday.  4ever Sincere, Berna (the 1 n only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

The NEW Norm? What is IT? ^DP CHALLENGE*PostADay*Berna’s Way..

**”People walk into the BookStore and say ‘Ah, the smell of BOOKS!’, I completely underestimated that element of print books”  Quote from Jamie Fiocco

>>Is the new NORM for society going to be to give IN to things that seem to be more convenient? Anything goes; as long as it is quick!, disposable and easily done in whatever location one might be? On the GO we all go and we have GOT to be able 2 do as much as possible while we’re on the move..Hmmmm lets see if I can present my viewpoint of this with logic and finesse. Topic? Print Books vs E-Books.  Can print and ebooks coexist? Will print books survive the growing popularity of the ebook? WHY  this an important topic or should BE.  Here is the way I see IT…

Yep, I’m old skool in many ways, still! N I make no apologies for it…OLDer isn’t always OLD just simply; BETTER. And I’ll explain why..Ya’ll ready for this?

*I can’t cuddle UP with an Ebook curled UP and fall soundly to sleep. After a day full of  peering into my monitor screen I do NOT want 2 have to do that anymore when finally! I can read whatever I “chose” 2 read(don’t ya’ll eyes get tired by the end of the day after monitor reading ALL day long???? If not, then just call me lazy..but I want to relax all parts of my body at days end..including my eyes!) There is a certain delicious pleasure I get when wandering around Barnes N Noble  for hours.(just did this a couple weekends ago and loved IT) I am one of the many who LOVE the smell and feeeeeel of books; even flipping the pages. (can ya’ll do that with an Ereader?) I dig having a bookshelf or library of old classic books; I’ve even thought about getting an OLD set of encyclopedias before they’re extinct..I like the fact that my BOOKS can’t be instantly poof! gone in the event of a power outage or etc..(can stilll read them in the sunshine/daylight) I can have many different books open at one time and flip back N forth between them(and I’ve done this..) I can pen/pencil/or highlight areas I want to in a BOOK. I can easily jump between sections in a print book. The tranquility of reading a book on a sunny day laying in a hammock in a pair of shorts N tank can’t be replaced by reading on an Ereader(ya’ll ereader lovers ever try that?) If I drop one of my books it won’t break or crack; and I can still read it without having to fix/replace it.  N last but not least I’ve got alot of CUTE personalized bookmarks I can’t use with an Ereader lol! 

**Check out this 2nd opinion I lucked up and found..and I can’t say I disagree with it>

“Call me paranoid, but it strikes me quite forcibly that in “1984” George Orwell went to some lengths to describe frankly quite implausible futuristic technology which made it possible to alter history by altering the records of history. People and events that were seen as politically undesirable could be erased from the records. This was what underpinned the tyranny of Big Brother. With cloud technology, and all our written records increasingly in digital format how long before Orwell’s future dystopia becomes the present for us? I’m keeping my print books! Of course the other development that made tyranny possible was a radical simplification of language to the extent that it became impossible to give expression to ideas of political dissent – of course that will never happen in reality..”

 

*Since the 4th Millennium BC  with the invention of writing printed word has been in existence..Can something that has survived that amount of time truly be a bad thing?!? Page sandwich/Poor man’s booster seat/bathroom t.v./newspapers’ father…call it by any name a BOOK is worth its weight in GOLD.  I’m personally pleased to see the parking lot packed when I frequent the public library..IF we don’t use them they’ll become extinct. There is something to be said about a quiet environment built just to study and learn. READING is truly fundamental..I first learned to read at the age of 3. Or so my Daddy says and I believe him..consequently I passed that love of reading onto my sons. (read to them from the womb and on..) Can an Ereader be passed down to following generations like a good book? Nope! Are we willing to sacrifice ALL of the old traditions we’ve got just for the sake of convenience? How many times recently have we heard or said! that the new norm has no boundaries or limits. WE have a choice and decision in what is proclaimed the new norm..and we can start by keeping some of the old school practices in place. Newspapers are quickly becoming extinct due to online reading…Libraries hours have been reduced due to people buying ebooks..Book prices are soaring to try to make up for the lost profit..(buy a college textbook lately? SKY high) I’ve heard plenty of good arguements to support ebooks over books…But none good enough to break off my love affair with printed books. Since I was a very little girl my Mom told me I could GO anywhere I wanted to by reading a book..N I’ve so enjoyed the many beautiful places books have taken me. Stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)