Archive for Melissa Harris Perry

Young Master Chef Lost to Guns and Mental Illness, Melissa Harris-Perry Notes

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pliviapope

Master Chef finalist, fan favorite and troubled Chicago student Josh Marks lost his life and dreams to suicide, in the tragic intersection of mental illness and the shockingly normal high availability of guns.

It's probably more difficult to get good weed in Chicago than a firearm, if anything in that cute Ted movie can be believed.

MasterChef Finale Image Courtesy ClickClaque.com

MasterChef Finale Image Courtesy ClickClaque.com

Melissa Harris-Perry did an amazing piece on Josh Marks … the charismatic African American contestant from Chicago that won American hearts with his chaffy chops and fighting spirit. The hubs and I watched, and rooted for him. [We're oddly Gordon Ramsey fans but it Twas before Chef Graham lost like half of himself if you've caught Master Chef.]

The easy access to guns in the street … Chicago has so much gun violence … there are so many gun loopholes that the supply is always there … or they can go over the [state] border."

Tragically, this gun availability here led to suicide. CNN highlights from reporting on Marks (last and successful try) late 2013 suicide.

It is overwhelming to think that with proper, intensive treatment, Joshua may still be with us," his lawyer, Lisa Butler, said Sunday. "He was a jewel with so much talent to offer this world. But, in his state of mind, he turned to the streets for a gun and easily got it."

Marks, 26, died from a gunshot wound to his head. His death has been ruled a suicide, a spokesman for the Cook County, Illinois, medical examiner said Sunday.

The NRA has framed the question as one about 'strangers' said expert Eugene O'Donnell, and he showed why that gun-fondling fantasy is balderdash.

"Do we not care about suicide?," pled Melissa.

Bryan Smith who wrote a great piece on the story for Chicago Magazine, was there to discuss, below, as was 'Law and Order of the Mind' segment expert Eugene O'Donnell joined the discussion following revelations that Marks had both prior attempts at suicide and time at Cook's County Jail - from his nearby troubled term at college. And guns were no problem at all to obtain.

The 'vacuum of fear' theme was spot on, especially when this discussion is framed in politics, social stigma and racism.

Ironically, the writers of Law and Order and House of Cards add more to the human dignity questions at the heart of this conversation than the Know Nothing Do Nothing Congress and gridlocked D.C. with SCROTUS and Open Carry gun nuts running amok.

Maybe 'Scandal' can take a stab in Season 4. No doubt Ms. Shonda Rhimes would give the pitiable Congress a hand in common sense, reality and dignity of purpose. Calling Olivia Pope!

scandal-memes-olivia-pope-6In the meantime we have Melissa Harris-Perry's coverage to the sad story of one more life lost too young to mental illness, and over-availabilty of guns for either homicide or suicide tragedies … and where those volatile and violent issues intersect.

 

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Four Star Female Admiral Michelle Howard: GO Navy!

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Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Admiral Michelle Howard was given the status of First Female Four Star Admiralty member this summer, a national first on two fronts: gender and ethnicity.

Those are some mightily impressive Firsts. The 239-year United States Navy had never before given four stars to a female. She is also the highest-ranking African-American woman in a male-dominated military that did not even allow the promotion of women to general or admiral (of any number of stars) until 1967.

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

As she told the New York Times, speaking of her early attendance of the newly-Co-Ed Naval Academy,

“There were angry men at Annapolis, but we got through it,” she said. “And there were issues on the first few ships because it was all brand new. Change is hard in society.”

femfist

Melissa Harris-Perry was among the first to congratulate the Admiral, on her weekend MSNBC program recently.

The New York Times ran an evocative piece on Admiral Howard's epic move, excerpted below.

WASHINGTON — Adm. Michelle J. Howard was looking for new insignia for her white Navy dress uniform when she ran into an unusual problem.

“I said, ‘I need to order a four-star women’s shoulder board,’ and there’s this silence,” Admiral Howard recalled. “Then the lady goes, ‘Um, I’m not seeing any in the system.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I thought that might be the case.’

“I didn’t know it was possible to grow up to be anything more than a one-star,” Admiral Howard, 54, said in a recent interview, referring to the rank of rear admiral. She said today’s sailors “have never known a life when there hasn’t been a woman admiral, women three-stars, women in command of ships, women in command of destroyers.”

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The Political Wealth Gaffe … Not That There's ANYthing Wrong With That

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trickle-down

Totally stole the headline from a couple of Melissa Harris-Perry's beautifully written and delivered opening block quips - and all roads do lead to Seinfeld. 


Seinfeld YouTubes composite extraordinare courtesy of our GottaLaff.

We, as a country,  don't seem to know how to talk about wealth any better than we can articulate adult thoughts on sex … or even get on the right side of science as a Nation.

We'd better learn, and fast. Minding the wealth gap, and avoiding the perilous wealth gaffes that politicians of both parties seem to leap into feet first, is a fascinating topic. Apparently there is 'acceptably wealthy' and 'filthy rich', and it's a third rail that needs nimble feet.

One Arugula moment can really pinch.

qE2

This Sunday one could flip from the media wealth of David Gregory and a panel of Right Wing Stars slumming on the Clinton Global Initiative and Meet the Press world stage to the sanity of Melissa Harris-Perry. (First footage is worth viewing, so have a gander below when time allows, Carly Demon Sheep Fiorina and Bubba are amusing sparring partners).


Does anyone remember which decade turned us from a nation of folks that just knew presidents and notables were going to be from the more rarified monied population, to people that mind the Wealth Gap and eagerly pile on any candidate who isn't visibly living from paycheck to paycheck?

Cory Booker attended Stanford, he isn't doing too badly … does he fall out of the 98%er Defense League in future when his age and talent bring the inevitable wealth he will accrue from political celebrity? If he falls, it should be for reasons more to do with the content of his character, rather than the size of his possible maybe future  offshore accounts wallet.

notsure

Are these wealthy, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That, wannabe public servants, fighting for the regular folk they expect to vote for them? THAT is the question I want answered.

Understanding of a culture you either came from or can relate to is critical, and Americans can smell non-authenticity a mile away. Kennedy's wealth was never a deal breaker … is it Tea Party Tomfoolery or something more?

Melissa Harris-Perry even had the balls to note that liberally beloved Elizabeth Warren was rocking a high six-figure salary at Harvard, so it really truly is a sliding scale of relativity.

Mitt Romney, with the massive wealth of the Mormon Church, his aristocratic family and those pesky details like car elevators to haunt him, didn't offer much in the "I want to knock back a Budweiser with 'ya." category of the Pageant.

The 1975 Rockefeller Dole Bird. Common license.

The 1976 Rockefeller-Dole Bird. Common license.

Here are the Meet the Press vids, mentioned above.

 

Robert Todd Lincoln's Vermont estate, Hildene, is just a few miles down the road from our humble home … and his Dad didn't exactly start out with the sterling silver collection that the Hildene docents show off in Manchester today. Just sayin'.

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Kate Kelly: She actually is history!

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kate kellyImage via

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When the June 2014 story broke of Kate Kelly, I immediately thought of Anne Hutchinson.  Kelly, is a long-time Morman and human rights lawyer.  She is fighting for equality in the Church (what a concept!) and the founder of Ordained Woman which is a group of gals who want to preach in their own (Mormon) church. Kelly was convicted of apostasy (the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief), and ex-communicated.

anne hutchinson pic

Anne Hutchinson was convicted of heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teachings) and sedition (actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority) and was banished!  And she, like Kate Kelly, was ex-communicated from her Church. But this was back in 1634.  HER crime?  Preaching to women and challenging "church doctrines".

Twilight Zone music here…

Ms. Hutchinson, nurse, bible teacher, midwife and all around multi-tasking Mama, was not your average, quiet, submissive housewife and mother of the Colonial period. No.  She was the Mother of The First Amendment.  Via Cornell:

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  

Pregnant with her fifteenth child and forty-six years old, Anne Hutchinson STOOD before a panel of male judges who said to her:

"Mrs Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; you are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are the cause of this trouble."

Kate Kelly was told - also by a panel of male judges- the following (via NBC):

"The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others.  In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood."

Kate Kelly heard this from her church the same week the Supreme Court struck down the McCullen v. Coakley law that created a buffer zone around abortion clinics. SCOTUS said the "pro-life" peeps' First Amendment rights were being violated. Free speech, right to protest, oy veh. I wonder if any of Supreme Court judges have seen the documentary "After Tiller".

How could SCOTUS mistake free speech for harassment?  And of course, THEY are enjoying THEIR buffer zone around THEIR building. Via the NY Times:

“Many women have abortions because they feel they have no other option or because they are pressured by a boyfriend or parent,” said Eleanor McCullen, a plaintiff in the case, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168. “Today’s ruling means I can offer loving help to a woman who wants it, and neither of us will go to jail for the discussion.”

LOVING HELP! DISCUSSION?

So Kate Kelly was ex-communicated for basically "trying to persuade other church members..."  and Anne Hutchinson was banished for having a "belief different from the establishment" but the "pro-lifers" are allowed to"persuade - HARASS -  women who have a belief DIFFERENT than theirs??

As  Radio Or Not's Nicole Sandler says all too regularly: "It's Opposite World".

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Dr. Marguerite 'Maya' Johnson Angelou's Epic Courage WAS #YesAllWomen

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Maya Angelou

Image: BestLife Quotes

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:
Weaponry as penile enhancement is a timeless male tradition. Cave men absolutely took breaks from brutalizing Og-Ella to take crude yardsticks to their clubs, spears and their poles.

Is it any wonder that 55% of all women have been sexually assaulted or raped by now? "Men’s greatest fear is that women will laugh at them, while women’s greatest fear is that men will kill them", said Margaret Atwood, in one #YesAllWomen tweet.

The epic Melissa Harris-Perry took Elliot Rodger's entitled rampage on women to a critical place in the #YesAllWomen wave on Saturday. She firmly put systemic misogyny On Notice. Catch the illuminating conversation for yourself at MSNBC, first block of the show.

She gets it.

The Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen was tagged by 61,500 tweets per hour at its height. It was one of the most beautifully yet startlingly overwhelming experiences that I can recall as a card-carrying, first gen. feminist - and an utterly astonishing wave of strength, shared courage and love that is SO desperately needed right now.

Women are at war in far more than one theatre. The GOP Regressives have had their crosshairs trained on dames since we got the damned Vote. Hillary Reactionary Rage - 2008 round - escalated the Neanderthals and soon gave 'Rosemary style' birth to the bastard Lipton Brigade.

The medieval mentality of 'legitimate or God Given rape' and trans-vaginal wands is sweeping from old white guys to young entitled white bucks, apparently. The response of #YesAllWomen, was about as Everything as it gets on The Tweeter. It was empowering, devastating, unifying and a balm we sorely needed after the UCSB attack.

When the poet of America's soul, Maya Angelou, walked on in its ebb and flow … it was a mystical moment as simply profound as she was.

A woman who muted herself, silenced that extraordinary voice, for five years of post-rape trauma at the unthinkable age of 8. Melissa brought this story full circle as she described her personal history with Maya, who mentored her in college and beyond, and even hosted her wedding reception. Their last taped interview together is revelatory. Enjoy at footer.

We must have the courage to be courageous. Especially when poised to witness a fond dream of Dr. Angelou's: to see a woman take that seat in the Oval Office that our first black president has filled with honor and integrity ... and nary a lick of misogyny will have to be dusted off his chair.

 


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Teen on hunger strike: "My mom [was] handcuffed, pushed into van" by 10 I.C.E. officers

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hunger strike immigration Cynthia Diaz teen

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Melissa Harris Perry interviewed hunger strike activist Cynthia Diaz, 18, who spoke out on the detention of undocumented immigrants, one of whom is her own mother. The hunger strike is taking place outside of the White House.

Her words and actions affected me deeply, as did Melissa Harris-Perry's:

DiazI am doing this hunger strike for my mom. She was unfairly deported in May, 2011. When I.C.E. raided our home, it was a Saturday morning, I was 15 at the time, and I have a younger brother who was 13. ...My dad's screaming out, "Cynthia, they're taking your mom!" I was confused because I didn't know what that meant and so I went to my front yard and there I saw ten I.C.E. officers all over my front yard and I saw my mom being handcuffed and pushed into a van.

And then the door shut and we were really confused.

My brother heard everything but he didn't leave his room because he didn't want to see what was happening.

That was really traumatizing for me because, like I said before, I was only 15 at the time...

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona... I have a brother and my dad who are U.S. residents, but I didn't know until they took my mom that, you know, she was undocumented.

MHP: So you're an american citizen. You have U.S. permanent residents in your family, and you have not eaten in days because you are trying to get your president and your government to let your mom out of detention. ...

Diaz: I talked to her last night. right now she's in San Luis, Arizona in, a private detention center. She does tell me that it's really cold there, the beds are really uncomfortable, the food is not pleasant at all.

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The meaning of the name Kieran Romney

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name tag

While I was away on my teensy weensy little San Francisco holiday vacay, a few stories broke that I'm only just now catching up on.

One that apparently got a lot of buzz ended with MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry tearfully apologizing for a "Year in Review" segment on her weekend show. It featured panelists offering "off the cuff" verbal captions to newsworthy photos, including quips about a Romney family portrait showing Mitt holding his adopted black grandson, Kieran Romney.

Here is video of Nerdland playing "Caption That":

And here is Melissa Harris-Perry's heartfelt apology:

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Here is what a top Romney adviser had to say:

tweet romney adviser on Kieran Melissa Harris-Perry apologyLink

While I was reading up on this story, I noticed a comment on one site that referred to the meaning of the name "Kieran." The commenter wondered, during all the uproar, why nobody had bothered to look it up:

Kieran Romney name meaningLink

Were the Romneys aware of the meaning of the name Kieran? Should the MHP Show have been? Is it relevant? Your thoughts?

UPDATE: I'm told by one of my Twitter followers that the MHP show discussed (and marveled at) the name and its meaning months ago.

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