Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Again, Baffled.
America, we really need to take a look at what’s currently going on in our society and just plain ol' get it together! We have work to do in improving our schools, social service programs, and particularly, our community safety.

Late last week, 16-year old Derrion Albert of Chicago's south side was beaten to death on his way home from school. This high school honor student was the unfortunate victim of an all out street fight, where students, and apparently some adults even took part in simply beating the mess out of each other. According to his family, school and friends, Derrion was not involved in a gang; he had unlimited potential, drive and intelligence, which he used daily. On the sad day of his death, bystanders said he had no idea what he was walking into.

Even worse, a number of these fighters have not been caught, despite the ammeter video circulating and the wide news coverage. Of course it’s hard to count on people to turn in the culprits, likely for their own fear, but we must take a stand against such violence. There is no excuse for what happened to such an innocent young man and no further excuse for anyone with information to keep it to themselves.

We must stop this type of behavior and the best way is to work together. We cannot fear gang members and other riff-raff, when we are bonded stronger than they could ever be, to disband them. Please Chicago, Illinois, Midwest, and America: if you have any information on this unfortunate situation, call the Chicago Police. Let’s stop letting the wrong people control our communities.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. For Ladies

Go for yours, Girl!

It’s no secret, women have long made less than men in many industries, if not all of them. Even with more women gaining higher education than men these days, there is still a great divide in the salaries women make for doing the exact same thing; maybe more! Recent statistics show women making 80 cents on the dollar, in comparison to their male counterparts; an improvement from years past, but still a concern. This discrepancy has been chronicled over the years and the reasonings are obvious, yet shocking.

Women often find themselves making less than men because of their frequency in leaving the job market. They have children, stay home for years to raise them and miss professional development time while away from the office. More shockingly, women simply don’t negotiate as men do. Authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever noted this matter in their book, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. The ladies note the many reasons for women banking less than their male counter parts. Included are also tips for equalling the playing field as well as the direct deposits.

Many industries and corporations have tried to remedy this matter. A number of corporations now have work-from-home/telework opportunities, where employees can work away from the office a number of days per week, use satellite meeting capabilities and other nontraditional work environments to get the job done. These solutions have not only helped women remain competitive in the workforce, but save corporate money as well.

Although there are many pluses to the nontraditional work styles and women have benefitted from them greatly, the problem still stands. Women are still finding themselves making less than men, and the reason is somewhat in their hands. Babcock and Laschever were right on point when stating the source of the issue being negotiation. In most cases, gentlemen are more apt to negotiate the salary presented to them when taking a job or promotion. Women, on the other hand, graciously take what is presented to them, despite their overwhelming qualifications and worth. This, too saves companies money, but is nowhere near as fair as working from home. Younger women are finding it easier to negotiate and are taking the needed steps in closing the gap. This is certainly something Generation Y ladies have been great models for and we can share the trait with our Baby Boomer and Generation X counterparts. See, there is some good in that “entitlement generation” label!

So ladies, let’s turn things around. We’ve all heard the song “This is a man’s world”, but we further know it is nothing without a woman! Go for what you know you’re worth in every way. Ask, negotiate, and get yours!

Sources: Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever; Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/business/1792044,CST-NWS-women27.article

Sunday, September 13, 2009

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Entertainment

Amazing....in so many ways!
Tonight MTV aired their 2009 Video Music Awards. The show began with a heartwarming speech from Madonna about fellow music mogul and our beloved King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Her words were followed by some of the best dancing since MJ, himself - a rendition of Thriller (the King of videos), Bad, Smooth Criminal and finally Scream, his duet with lil sister Janet. Miss Jackson blazed the stage with her presence to honor her brother and remind us of the hit they made hot. MTV did an amazing job of recreating their dance together and even brought in choreography-heavyweights, Laurie Ann Gibson (Making the Band) and Chris Judd.

It was truly a great tribute; well put together and a perfect honor to the King.

BUT, the show was quickly tainted, when Mr. Crybaby himself, Kanye West did his best to embarras Taylor Swift, as well as himself! As Taylor accepted her award for Best Female Video, beating out Beyonce, Kanye took the stage, grabbed the mic, and said "Beyonce had the greatest video of all time!" [See Thriller comment above]. The crowd was stunned, including Beyonce, and poor Taylor was frozen on stage. So much for making her first award a memorable moment!

Once again we've seen Kanye behave as a child. Maybe we'll see him being banned from award shows in the future; it seems to be the only way to keep him under control.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Patriot Day!

Today, we remember some of the most important heroes in American history; those who gave their lives in the tragic events of 9/11/01. We recognize these individuals for their courage, sacrifice, unity, and help for one another whether they made it out alive or not. They showed us what an "American" should really be, and we are forever indebted to them.

Remember 911
What's the big deal?!
On September 8, 2009, many public school children returned to school, starting their new year. This was also the day our President thought it would be a good idea to wish them well in their new grades and encourage them to do their best.

Many students felt inspired by the Boss's message and appreciated watching the telecast during the school day. He told motivating stories and assured them education was the key to their success. Now why would anyone have a problem with this?

Clearly, some did. A number of schools chose not to tune in to the broadcast, finding it unnecessary for the children to see. Some school districts even claimed "technical difficulties". Really? Hearing the president encourage the youth about education is unnecessary? You can't get your television to work on regular network TV? Is this better than allowing them to tune in to watch 911 footage; a tragedy in our history? Some schools don't even have the funding to provide TVs for their students, yet schools with the choice chose against it. This unfortunately says something about the respect we have for our leader, republican, democrat, or otherwise, as well as our nation's views on education. Since when does the President speak to people under 18 about policy?

Maybe he should have spoken to those with their priorities and facts mixed up. But then again, they might have missed that point, too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now that’s a Wonder Woman!

Just yesterday, September 8, 2009, Ms. Oprah Winfrey threw her own Block Party on the lovely streets of Chicago to kick off her 24th season. She blocked off a major part of Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” to host an early evening concert starring the Black Eyed Peas, hometown songstress Jennifer Hudson, and illusionist Chriss Angel. Fans stood in line to see the Queen of Talk and even participated in a choreographed dance with the Black Eyed Peas.

Word in Chicago is O will have a great hand in potentially getting the 2016 Olympics in the Windy City. Now, that’s power, right there!

Be sure to tune in next Monday, 9/14 when she interviews Whitney Houston! I cannot WAIT to see the answers she’s gonna be giving! Oprah stays on her A-game, I tell ya!

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

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