NEW IPAD MINI: Coming Soon

Culture, News

The magicians at Apple have at least one last trick up their sleeve. This time, they will shrink their famed IPAD! The latest version of the IPAD will be an IPAD MINI, a seven inch variety of their original creation. How consumers will use the miniature version is debatable but there is no argument about the demand for such a product. Apple’s founder Steve Jobs, once derided the utility and appeal of 7 inch tablets. However. the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire have proven that consumers are indeed interested in 7 inch varieties. A great deal of their appeal is in their lower price point. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet retail for $199.00. The new Apple iPad Mini will maintain Apple’s premium status at a speculated price point below $300 (but certainly above the Amazon Kindle Fire). The new iPad will arrive in time to compete with similar, new products, arriving from Samsung and Microsoft, which will debut the highly anticipated Windows 8 tablets.

“VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT” IN DANGER: Republicans Poised To Block Law

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The Violence Against Women Act was passed for the first time, in 1994. Since its initial adoption, reporting of domestic violence has increased by 51%. The legislation, which must be periodically renewed improved the nation’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Advocates say that it has been pivotal in tamping down violence against women. Yet, despite it’s importance, this crucial piece of legislation is poised to fail in the U.S. Senate.

Republicans are threatening to refuse reauthorization because the new version of the Violence Against Women Act includes LGBT (Gay/Lesbian) Couples. The bill also includes a provision from the SAVE Native American Women Act, which allows tribes to prosecute Indian and Non-Indian offenders in domestic violence cases. Adding to the list of Republican complaints against the new Violence Against Women Act, are its extension of protection for female illegal aliens. The provision provides visas for undocumented victims of domestic violence to encourage them to come forward when they are abused by alleviating the fear of deportation.

The Republicans have faced an avalanche of recent criticism, for their policies effecting women. This latest maneuver is unlikely to curry favor with women. Critics have accused the Republicans of waging an all out WAR AGAINST WOMEN and they will likely use the Republican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, as more ammunition in their attacks on the GOP. The culmination of the GOP’s controversial policies have created a popular perception that threatens to permanently brand the party.

If the politics of the issue are not in the Republican Party’s favor, the facts of the issue are also working against the GOP. The GOP’s stated reasons for opposing the bill fail to stand up to inspection. The “controversial” provision covering illegal aliens was in previous versions of the bill. The only change in the new bill increases the number of visas available for abused women, from 10,000 (in the previous versions) to 15,000. It is unlikely that voters will accept the notion that the slight increase in visas, justifies blocking an otherwise worthwhile bill. The additional provisions protecting Native American Women were also once bi-partisan suggestions.

The final provision including Gay and Lesbian couples leaves the Republicans in the difficult position of arguing that Gays and Lesbians, shouldn’t be protected from the violence of spouses or intimates. Considering the dangers to women (should the Violence Against Women Act fail) the Republicans must ask themselves, if opposing the provision that protects LGBT individuals from violence, warrants lending credence to the mounting charges that the GOP is at War with Women.

SHOULD DRUGS BE LEGALIZED? President Obama Open To Debate (Editorial)

Editorial, Featured

Should drugs be legalized? President Obama waded into the controversial debate during his visit at the sixth Summit of The Americas in Cartegena, Columbia. The President, responded to a question about the potential for legalization, a policy favored by many in Latin America as a way of alleviating the pressures of the narco war on beleaguered latin american nations. President Obama stated plainly that while he was personally against the prospect of legalization, he would be open to the debate. 

The President has, on more than one occasion flirted with politically perilous topics. At times he has over-estimated the national appetite for (and discipline to sustain) the debates that are common-place in the halls of academia, from which he hales. I believe that this is yet another example of his professorial nature rearing its ugly, scholarly head. The President seems to believe that a fair discussion can be held in the open. He seems to believe that simply because he eschews cheap attacks and political opportunism that everyone else does as well. The President is wrong! Almost as soon as the President delivered his, off-hand, heavily conditional statement the internet came alive with declarations that the President is “OPEN TO LEGALIZING DRUGS”. In the truncated vernacular of the internet, nuance often goes unappreciated. If, then statements are also ignored. It was as if he never even said that he was opposed to drug legalization. Somehow we missed his argument, that legalizing drugs would make the drug problem worse. Such is our political discourse. Terse, unforgiving and sloppy!

I for one must agree with the President. Legalizing drugs would be a massive error, especially for many of the minority communities that often call for an end to the drug war. Its quite easy to understand the desire for such a policy. The number of minority men, taken into custody and remanded to absurdly long sentences for minor infractions of the law is upsetting and discouraging. We lose so many of our men and boys to incarceration that, like military families, eager to see an end to the war, we are tempted to leap toward any solution that might see our boys come home. The sad affair is blinding and the potential for it’s end is emotionally and intellectually confounding. But a clear mind would hesitate to embrace the solution of drug legalization. We do not need to debate the simple fact that crime, drug use, poverty and familial disintegration exist as a result of systemic cycles in all communities. Each of these, tends to feed the others. In order to understand why drugs should never be legalized, we simply need to understand that adding legal drugs to this cycle would only perpetuate it. Those of us that are active in our communities know how difficult it is to break these cycles. Why would anyone wish to strengthen them by creating, easily accessible and cheaper drugs.

In virtually every minority community, liquor stores occupy corners in near equal proportions with McDonalds. Despite the protests of residents, churches and activists, there is a constant, hovering temptation, capitalizing on folks that are down on their luck. As the financial pressures of depressed economies, and battered marriages conspire to culminate in life’s stress on the individual, the ever present reprieve is simply a corner away, in most minority communities. This has sunk the will power of many in our community. Now consider adding drugs to this. Consider how difficult it is to overcome alcoholism in communities with malt liquor billboards, and inescapable media campaigns. Advocates of drug legalization would have us impose these same temptations on populations that are most susceptible to their persuasion. Drugs may be common in many communities but legalization would herald a new level of availability. Of course advocates would argue that every person has to be responsible for themselves, but YOU have to live in a community with those that find themselves too weak to abstain. Its hard enough surviving in a difficult economy. Its hard enough to not perpetuate pathologies in our families. Let’s not add to that difficulty by legalizing drugs.

HARRY POTTER AUTHOR MOVES ON: The New Book Is Nothing Like Potter Series

News

Harry Potter author, JK Rowling warned fans that her next book would be nothing like Harry Potter and she wasn’t kidding. She emphasized that “although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series“. And now that details of her new book are trickling out, its clear that she needed to prepare her fan base. The new Book, is called “THE CASUAL VACANCY” and its set in the very mogul-surroundings of a small town in the UK. Instead of magic, The Casual Vacancy is centered around the equally mirky world of politics.The new book is described as a black comedy, set in a picturesque township. In the cobble stoned town of Pagford, a dark storyline is put into motion when a youthful  Parish Councilor (the equivalent of a city commissioner), Barry Fairweather, unexpectedly dies. The death sets off a local, political war the publisher describes as the “Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils”. It is the furthest storyline possible, from the Harry Potter series. It is also sure to be a best seller. JK Rowling will break new ground by charging a whopping $20 for the ebook version of her new book. In an ebook market poised to see a decline in prices, Rowling is making an audacious move, positioning her book as a premium purchase. However, if there is any author in the world that can command such an inflated price, it is certainly JK Rowling!

HISTORIC HOWARD THEATER RE-OPENS

Culture, News

The Howard Theater was once a crucial stop on (what was once termed) BLACK BROADWAY.  The famed theater was one of several venues on the royal, procession tours of elite black entertainers. Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, and Billie Holiday, all performed in the “largest colored theater in the world”.

The 102 year old venue, was once considered to be the one of the most exclusive  stages for America’s greatest black performers. It opened in 1910 and was often referred to as Washington’s Apollo. But while the Apollo wouldn’t become receptive to black performers until 1934 the Howard was constructed near the heart of Washington’s black community and as such, was a receptive venue for black performers. The Howard closed in 1980 and it’s structure quickly deteriorated. It’s roof fell through and water damage eroded the once beautiful site. It took 29 million dollars to restore the new theater. The new Howard is filled with HD video screens, and club-style seating. It’s Gourmet menu was designed by Top Chef, and ethiopian-born chef Marcus Samuelson. A veritable who’s who of African American entertainers have come together to celebrate the restoration of the new Howard Theater. Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Boyz II Men, Chaka Khan and Smokey Robinson are all involved in the re-opening.

Extended Facebook Status: Self-Doubt

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By: Morgan Collins

“Quiet the nausea of self-doubt, and take a Pepto Bismol.”

 

It’s half past midnight and I’m awake. No, I’m not out at a bar having a late night rendezvous with friends. I’m in bed staring at the dark shapes circling on my ceiling. I can feel my pulse pound and my temples throb. A cold sweat soaks my pajamas, and they cling to my clammy skin. My mind races as I try to convince myself that I am awake and not stuck in a nightmare where failure is the only option and the only road leads to nowhere. As the panic resides, I force myself out of bed and grab a glass of water. This is my body on self-doubt.

 

Self-doubt is sneaky. It pops up when I least expect it. Big test coming up, did I study? Doesn’t matter because self-doubt may show up in the essay portion. Did I really think I was going to finish that screenplay? It’s a waste of time because it wouldn’t be any good. Self-doubt creeps up on me like a chill through an open window. I pull up my collar, toss on a scarf, but it’s still there. It’s a master of disguise. I can never guess how self-doubt will appear next. A whisper from the unconscious beyond? A snide remark from an enemy? A piece of advice from a friend with good intentions but bad perspective? Who knows, but it will come.

 

I close my eyes, count to ten, and hope the fear resides. “Trust your instincts,” I tell myself. “This isn’t reality.” “Stop talking to your self,” says Self-Doubt. “Now people think you’re crazy.” I can’t escape it. Self-doubt is my shadow, and at night it camouflages itself in the corners of my room, waiting for the moment in between rest and sleep to hijack my brain. It hits me with a fury of pain and pity. I try to run, but I slip and fall down an endless tunnel and think that this is the end. Finally. But then my alarm rings, and the sun rises. I wipe the crust from my eyes and pick up the cover and sheets that ended up on the floor. It’s a new day, and I’m ready to face self-doubt in whatever form it chooses.

NENE IS SINGLE: Finalizes Divorce

News

Someone call Anderson Cooper, Nene Leaks (Anderson’s Housewife Crush) is single. She has just finalized her divorce. Atlanta’s hot new single lady is a constant source of tabloid fodder. She has an uncanny ability to maintain her place in the limelight. She was recently rumored to be behind the ousting of fellow Housewife Sheree. If we had to wager a guess, NeNe’s dating life will make an excellent reality series.

LANA DEL REY MULBERRY BAG ON SALE: Overwhelming Demand Forces Early Release

Fashion, News

Mulberry has released it’s Lana Del Rey Bag early, due to overwhelming demand. The Mulberry purse was planned for a Fall release but interest in the accessory has pressured the company into an early release. Limited quantities have already gone on sale in London and New York. A general release is planned on May 14. The Fashion Magazine “Elle”, recently took a swipe at the bag’s namesake, singer and songwriter, Lana Del Rey. They described her as the “least established star for which a luxury good had ever been named”. The relative newcomer to the pop world has released songs like “Born To Die” and “Video Games” and has found tremendous success in the UK and Australia. Her influences range from Brittany Spears to Kurt Cobain. However obscure “Elle” considers her music to be, Mulberry has struck fashion gold with her new handbag. The rumored retail price for Lana Del Rey’s Mulberry Bag, is $1000.

VOGUE PARIS: Debuts In English

Fashion, News

VOGUE is the undisputed standard of fashion magazines. The coveted fashion book is a global commodity, with unique, culturally centric versions in multiple countries. Vogue Italia has been available in english, for some time now but Vogue in Paris has only been available in it’s native tongue. The world is about to change for global lovers of Fashion. Vogue In Paris, will now be offered in English as well, on the world wide web. The site, Vogue.fr will mimic Vogue Italia (Vogue.it) and will have a small tab at the top, marked-ENG, for english. American readers will finally be able to enjoy the trends of the world’s fashion capital, by simply clicking on the ENG-tab. The debut of the bi-lingual Vogue In Paris option, will be on April 16, 2012. Vogue is apparently not content with it’s domination of the English speaking and European world. Vogue Thailand is also in the works and might be available as early as 2013.

SCANDAL: Recap of Episode

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The second episode of ABC’s hit show, Scandal was just as enthralling as the premiere. The show opened with a mysterious new client, an elderly woman sitting in in Olivia Pope’s Office. While she and Olivia calmly sit and banter, Olivia’s crackerjack staff quickly cleans out an office. They wiped the hard drives, boxed up the files and bolted, just as the police were pulling up. Olivia is percent and clairvoyant and in the next scene she is standing at the entrance of her office waiting for the Police, whom she greets with a smile. We learn that Olivia has just cleaned out the home office of her client, just before the Police gained a warrant. Ms. Pope’s latest client is Washington’s finest Madam!

The elderly Madam is being investigated for her “services” but the plot of this story, very neatly intersects with a simultaneously progressing plot that involves the President. President Grant has just nominated a Judge to the Supreme Court. His name and reputation are impeccable. No one anticipates a problem because the reserved judge is believed to be a boy-scout. While the President prepares his nominee, Olivia and her staff are searching, high and low for the madam’s client list. After hours of wasted effort, the Madam reveals that she has all of the names, handwritten on sheets of paper that she always carries with her. The list consists of phone numbers only. Soon the work of identifying all of the “Johns” is done. Olivia’s office walls are filled with the faces of D.C.’s most successful men. One of those men, is the President’s recent Supreme Court Nominee! Despite her disdain for the President, Olivia races to the White-House to warn the him.

Olivia and the President’s Chief of Staff confront Judge Keating, the nominee. He denies the charges and Olivia, the most perceptive person in Washington, can tell that he is telling the truth.Pope reluctantly agrees to help “fix” the problem. Through a series of twists and turns, Pope realizes that the Judge never actually visited the Madam, but she gets an idea about who may have. The Judges wife—– Olivia immediately tracks her down and gets a full confession.

The Wife, as it turns out, was a prostitute. She worked for the Madam. On her first night of “work” her “John” didn’t show up. Patrick Keating, then a young student, came into the bar and struck up a conversation. The two hit it off. She was immediately in love. The two began dating but she logged her time with Steven as if he were a “John”. Their relationship was picturesque and their love was pure. They didn’t even have sex until they were married. During their relationship she continued “working the night shift” with the Madam. She paid for his law school with the money she made “working”. Everything the straight laced judge has, he owed to his wife’s activities. If he knew, he would be distraught. Their whole life has been a lie. Olivia forces the wife to confess to her husband. He is crushed. They will lose everything now; their marriage is destroyed and he will never sit on the Supreme Court. But Olivia can’t simply leave it like that!

She assembles the prominent politicians on the Madam’s list and persuades them all that Patrick Keating is an excellent nominee and that he should sail through the nomination process, without much inspection. Even the politicians that were previously opposed to his nomination are persuaded to recant.Olivia Pope has saved the day!

A side plot also developed in which Olivia decided to represent the President’s mistress as a client. The poor woman tried to kill herself after Olivia threatened to destroy her life for “lying” about the President. After discovering that the girl’s story of an affair with the President was true, Olivia was compelled to make amends. A reporter is on the trail of the story and the young lady, will need protection.