Tag: Government

Ladies, Check Your Rubbers!


Today I woke up to find a nail embedded in one of my tires. Lord only knows how long it’s been there but luckily it was in the tread so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem having it removed. I drove down to my local tire center (I think it was American Tires, Tire Depot, Tires ‘R’ Us or something like that) and asked them if they could fix it. And in good salesman-fashion the tire guy looked at all my tires & promptly told me that I needed 4 new tires because my Michelin’s were starting to crack. The dollar signs just added up in my head as he continued to talk about further car repairs. I told him that “I would think about it” but for now I just wanted to have the nail removed from my tire. Well, he got to working on it & voila!, within one hour I was nail-free & ready to go.

Since I don’t have a boyfriend or a husband to handle these matters, I called up my dad. He told me that since I don’t drive very often I should be able to trade my tires in for their unused tread to go towards the purchase of some new tires. He also told me to look for tire recalls. That sounded like a great idea but unfortunately for me my Michelin’s didn’t have a recall. So, it looks like I’ll be buying 4 new tires in the very near future.

Amidst all of this, I thought I would inform everyone of good tire protectiveness. Below are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to take good care of your tires.

Ladies, if you’re like me & have to do this all on your own then please take heed:

Having old, cracked or well-worn tires can cause some serious damage to your car. Checking out your tires regularly can protect you from breakdowns, crashes and give your car better fuel economy & increased tire life. Simply checkout the handy checklist below –

Safety Checklist

  • Check tire pressure regularly (at least once a month), including the spare.
  • Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs of wear or trauma. Remove bits of glass and other foreign objects wedged in the tread.
  • Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
  • Check tire pressure before going on a long trip.
  • Do not overload your vehicle. Check the tire information placard or owner’s manual for the maximum recommended load for the vehicle.
  • If you are towing a trailer, remember that some of the weight of the loaded trailer is transferred to the towing vehicle.

Safety Tips

  • Slow down if you have to go over a pothole or other object in the road.
  • Do not run over curbs, and try not to strike the curb when parking.

There’s Safety In Numbers

You can find the numbers for recommended tire pressure and vehicle load limit on the tire information placard and in the vehicle owner’s manual. Tire placards are permanent labels attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove-box door, or inside of the trunk lid. Once you’ve located this information, use it to check your tire pressure and to make sure your vehicle is not overloaded—especially when you head out for vacation.

Checking Tire Pressure

Because tires may naturally lose air over time, it is important to check your tire pressure at least once a month. For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Gauges can be purchased at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets. Remember, the tire inflation number that vehicle manufacturers provide reflects the proper pounds per square inch (psi) when a tire is cold. To get an accurate tire pressure reading, measure tire pressure when the car has been unused for at least three hours.

Step 1: Locate the correct tire pressure on the tire information placard or in the owner’s manual.

Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires.

Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.

Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire pressure. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you will need to add.

Step 5: At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is underinflated.

Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).

Checking Tire Tread

Tires have built-in tread wear indicators that let you know when it is time to replace your tires. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear even with the outside of the tread, it is time to replace your tires. You can also test your tread with a Lincoln penny. Simply turn the penny so Lincoln’s head is pointing down and insert it into the tread. If the tread doesn’t cover Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.

Remember no matter what – check your tires once a month!

It’s also good to know when the tread is running low on your tires. Click on the image below to learn more about the “penny test”


Tires 3

Want to know if your tires have a recall? Find out by clicking on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

READERS: Black History Fact of the Day – Meet Deputy Secretary of State, Dr. Clifton R. Wharton!

In December 1992, Clifton R. Wharton added another item to his extensive list of accomplishments when he was named Deputy Secretary of state by President Clinton. Wharton, born in 1926, was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, the first to be president of a major university that was predominantly white, the first to serve as chancellor of the State University of New York, the first to chair the board of a major foundation (the Rockefeller Foundation), and the first to head a Fortune 100 company. In 1987, he became chairman and chief executive officer of the country’s largest private pension system, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). He kept that position until President Clinton appointed him deputy secretary of state.
Wharton, whose father, Clifton R. Wharton, Sr., was the country’s first African American career ambassador, earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a master’s from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He served as president of Michigan State from 1970-1978 and as chancellor of the State University of New York from 1978-1987.
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READERS: Black History Fact of the Day – The 15th Amendment Turns 145 Years Old TODAY!

The 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution on March 30, 1870 after the House of Representatives passed the 15th Amendment on February 25, 1869, by a vote of 144 to 44, and the Senate passed the 15th Amendment on February 26, 1869, by a vote of 39 to 13. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads: “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

President Ulysses S. Grant called the amendment “the most important event that has occurred since the nation came into life,” Grant urged whites not to interfere with the enforcement of the new provision, and reminded African Americans of their responsibilities as voters. News of the Fifteenth Amendment’s passage was greeted with jubilation in the African American communities. There were major parades in New York and Baltimore to mark the occasion, as well as commemorative events in subsequent years to mark the anniversary. The expansion of the franchise also had the immediate effect of increasing the number of African American men serving in public office. It is estimated that between the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment and the end of Congressional Reconstruction in 1877, about two thousand African Americans served in local and state government offices, including state legislatures, and as members of Congress.

These gains, however, proved difficult to maintain, especially in the face of increasing white hostility to progress made by African Americans. By late in the nineteenth and early in the twentieth centuries, as northern Republicans grew weary of interceding in the political and racial conflicts in the South, southern whites successful engineered, through the law and through force, a return to “home rule.” Legislatures throughout the South instituted provisions like literacy tests, poll taxes, and “grandfather clauses” in their constitutions, effectively limiting the eligibility of African American men, and scores of white men, to vote and hold elected office. What was not accomplished through the law was accomplished through threats, intimidation, and violence, mainly at the hands of groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Not until the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s—a period sometime referred to as American’s Second Reconstruction—were most African Americans able to regain this lost political ground. The ratification of the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1964 outlawing the poll tax in federal elections, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 (not to mention the earlier passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919 also giving black women the right to vote) were meaningful steps in restoring to America’s black citizens the protections necessary to secure their right to vote, and to participate effectively in America’s democratic process.

Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s, various discriminatory practices were used to prevent African Americans from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. After decades of discrimination, it would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.


READERS: Black History Fact of the Day – Shirley Chisholm is “UNBOUGHT & UNBOSSED”!

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was a woman who was known for her moral character and her relentless ability to stand up for her community and what she believed.  A child to immigrant parents, she learned from an early age the importance of an education and the value of hard work, both of which she applied to her political career and her accomplishments while serving as a Congresswoman.

Chisholm attended Brooklyn College where a blind political science professor, Louis Warsoff, encouraged Chisholm to consider politics based on her “quick mind and debating skills.”  She reminded him that she had a “double handicap” when it came to politics—she was black and a woman.  Chisholm joined the debate team and after African-American students were denied admittance to a social club at the college, she started her own club called Ipothia—In Pursuit of the Highest In All.

Shirley graduated with honors in 1946 and worked as a nursery school aide and teacher while she attended evening classes at Columbia University’s Teachers College.  She received her masters degree in early childhood education in 1951, and eventually became a consultant to the New York City Division of Day Care in 1960.

Chisholm joined a local Democratic club who worked to get rid of the white Democratic machine that held the power in her Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.  The group challenged the white leaders on why the black neighborhoods were being ignored.  The leaders tried to quiet Chisholm by placing her on the board of directors and when she continued to speak out, they removed her from the post.  This was an early lesson for Chisholm that people in political power did not like to be questioned!

The group managed to elect a black man, Thomas R. Jones, to state assembly in 1962 and, when in 1964 he decided to run for a judgeship, the community replaced him with Chisholm.  She served in the state legislature until 1968 when she decided to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress.  The 12th Congressional District was created after the Westberry v. Sanders decision stated that election districts must be roughly equal in population.  Chisholm won the seat with the use of her “independent spirit” and her campaign slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.”  Chisholm’s win made her the 1st African American woman in Congress. 

Like Margaret Chase Smith, who had served in the Congress almost 30 years before her, Chisholm learned the politics of committees.  She had asked to be on the Education and Labor Committee, a natural selection for someone with a strong teaching background.  She not only did not get placed on this committee, but did not get placed on any of the committees that she had requested.  Instead they placed her on the Agriculture Committee, which was a rather odd choice for a city woman.  Chisholm did not sit back and be quiet about it; instead, this strong-willed woman stated her case to the Democratic caucus.  This eventually worked and they removed her from the Agriculture Committee and placed her on Veterans’ Affairs. While this had not been one of her original choices, she responded by saying, “There are a lot more veterans in my district than trees.”

It was during her 2nd term in the House that Chisholm ran for the US Presidency.  She became the 1st black woman to run for president, but this is not what she wanted people to focus on during her campaign.  The fact that her campaign was seen primarily as “symbolic” by many really hurt her.  She did not run on the mere base of being a “first,” but because she wanted to be seen as “a real, viable candidate.”

Her bid for the presidency was referred to as the “Chisholm Trail,” and she won a lot of support from students, women and minority groups.  She entered 11 primaries and campaigned in several states, particularly Florida, but with little money she was challenged.  Her campaign was “under-organized, under-financed and unprepared.” It was calculated that she raised and spent only $300,000 between July 1971 when she first thought of running, and July of 1972.

Overall, people in 14 states voted for Shirley Chisholm for president, in some fashion or the other.  After six months of campaigning, she had 28 delegates committed to vote for her at the Democratic Convention.  The 1972 Democratic Convention was in July in Miami, and it was the first major convention in which an African American woman was considered for the presidential nomination.  Although she did not win the nomination, she received 151 of the delegates’ votes.

Chisholm served a total of 14 years in the Congress and made numerous contributions before she made the decision to retire in 1982.  During her time in office she was one of the four founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, was appointed to the “powerful” House Rules Committee in 1977 and introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation.  President William J. Clinton nominated Chisholm to be the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, but she declined due to ill health.

Chisholm went on to teach college and co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women, which represented black women’s concerns.  When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Chisholm said, “When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be a catalyst of change.  I don’t want to be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress.  And I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happened to be black to make the bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the 20th century.  That’s what I want.”


My Review Of Lee Daniels’ The Butler! (NO SPOILERS)

This weekend I saw The Butler, a film about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen. Eugene Allen (named Cecil Gaines in the film) played by Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker, was born during one of the worst times of segregation & grew up to be one of the most famed butlers that ever served in The White House. He & his wife Gloria (whose real name is Helene played by Oprah Winfrey) share their journey as a family over the course of several decades.

Without giving away any of the story (for those of you who haven’t seen it yet), it’s about a man who comes from very humble beginnings and works his way up to the highest possible position in his field – butlering at The White House. I found the film to be funny in some scenes and very touching in others. There was a little bit of a history lesson (it surprised me that I forgot which president came after President Truman) as well as a very valuable lesson on standing up for what you believe in.

To endure all of the insulting conversations, pejorative comments, not to mention lower wages, all while expecting to perform your job with nothing less than excellence took a tremendous amount of quiet strength. I know I couldn’t have done it, nor could anyone else I know. But he had a great family and represented African Americans very well during a time when we were thought of as less than others.

The Butler was #1 during opening weekend and I definitely recommend it. The cast includes some pretty big names, other than Oprah Winfrey & Forest Whitaker: Academy Award® winners Robin Williams, Jane Fonda & Cuba Gooding Jr.; multi-Grammy award winners Mariah Carey & Lenny Kravitz, and musician David Banner. This is a great film & definitely worth seeing!

*Please note that this movie is based on the life & story of Eugene Allen. In other words, some of the storylines are not entirely accurate; feel free to read more on his life by clicking here.

Will White People Ever Be Labeled As Terrorists?

In light of the bombings in Boston, an article was brought to my attention that talked about race & how that impacts the way Americans view terrorism. The article talks about how “White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.”

In other words, if you’re White you won’t be labeled as a terrorist. That title seems to only apply to people with Brown or Black skin. There have been many White men who have either blown up buildings or  responsible for mass murders – think Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber responsible for over 160 murders), Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber who killed 3 people), James Holmes (mass shooting at the Colorado movie theater last year killing 12 people), the 2 White students who killed 15 people at Columbine, and who could forget Jeffrey Dahmer who killed 17 people back in the 1980’s. Society seems to deem these “incidents” as exceptions and proof that our government would never racially profile White people. Even Ted Kazczynski was only thought of as “militant” but not a terrorist.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Boston bombing situation plays out.

Read the article below –

Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness by Tim Wise

As the nation weeps for the victims of the horrific bombing in Boston yesterday, one searches for lessons amid the carnage, and finds few. That violence is unacceptable stands out as one, sure. That hatred — for humanity, for life, or whatever else might have animated the bomber or bombers — is never the source of constructive human action seems like a reasonably close second.

But I dare say there is more; a much less obvious and far more uncomfortable lesson, which many are loathe to learn, but which an event such as this makes readily apparent, and which we must acknowledge, no matter how painful.

It is a lesson about race, about whiteness, and specifically, about white privilege.

I know you don’t want to hear it. But I don’t much care. So here goes.

White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.

White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for whites to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.

White privilege is knowing that if the bomber turns out to be white, he or she will be viewed as an exception to an otherwise non-white rule, an aberration, an anomaly, and that he or she will be able to join the ranks of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph and Joe Stack and George Metesky and Byron De La Beckwith and Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton and Herman Frank Cash and Robert Chambliss and James von Brunn and Robert Mathews and David Lane and Michael F. Griffin and Paul Hill and John Salvi and James Kopp and Luke Helder and James David Adkisson and Scott Roeder and Shelley Shannon and Dennis Mahon and Wade Michael Page and Byron Williams and Kevin Harpham and William Krar and Judith Bruey and Edward Feltus and Raymond Kirk Dillard and Adam Lynn Cunningham and Bonnell Hughes and Randall Garrett Cole and James Ray McElroy and Michael Gorbey and Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and Frederick Thomas and Paul Ross Evans and Matt Goldsby and Jimmy Simmons and Kathy Simmons and Kaye Wiggins and Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe and David McMenemy and Bobby Joe Rogers and Francis Grady and Demetrius Van Crocker and Floyd Raymond Looker and Derek Mathew Shrout, among the pantheon of white people who engage in (or have plotted) politically motivated violence meant to terrorize and kill, but whose actions result in the assumption of absolutely nothing about white people generally, or white Christians in particular.

And white privilege is being able to know nothing about the crimes committed by most of the terrorists listed above — indeed, never to have so much as heard most of their names — let alone to make assumptions about the role that their racial or ethnic identity may have played in their crimes.

White privilege is knowing that if the Boston bomber turns out to be white, we  will not be asked to denounce him or her, so as to prove our own loyalties to the common national good. It is knowing that the next time a cop sees one of us standing on the sidewalk cheering on runners in a marathon, that cop will say exactly nothing to us as a result.

White privilege is knowing that if you are a white student from Nebraska — as opposed to, say, a student from Saudi Arabia — that no one, and I mean no one would think it important to detain and question you in the wake of a bombing such as the one at the Boston Marathon.

And white privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Belfast. And if he’s an Italian American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.

In short, white privilege is the thing that allows you (if you’re white) — and me — to view tragic events like this as merely horrific, and from the perspective of pure and innocent victims, rather than having to wonder, and to look over one’s shoulder, and to ask even if only in hushed tones, whether those we pass on the street might think that somehow we were involved.

It is the source of our unearned innocence and the cause of others’ unjustified oppression.

That is all. And it matters.


The article can be found here: http://www.timwise.org