Among the many items on Gov. Bill Haslam's plate is an opportunity to demonstrate his political acumen and savvy relative to an appointee to serve out the remaining term of the late Shelby County Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs Jr.
Higgs died unexpectedly on Feb. 15, leaving a tremendous legacy of service on the bench and to the City of Memphis and Shelby County.
This is an important appointment for many reasons.
Slamming the NRA's racial doublespeak
The NRA pushes inaccurate and harmful messages about the black men and boys who are disproportionately impacted by gun violence, using race-baiting language that plays to deep-seated stereotypes of black males as criminals. By continually repeating the mantra of "drug dealers, gang members, felons," the NRA hopes we won't ask questions about how crime guns get into the wrong hands in the first place.
It's through relentless, profit-driven arm-twisting of state and federal elected officials – resulting in both the no-paperwork-required private seller loophole and toothless interstate trafficking provisions – that the NRA ensures communities struggling to reduce high levels of gun violence remain awash in guns.
If you're suffering from insomnia, or just can't get enough rest, you should avoid getting behind the steering wheel. Your instincts may not be as sharp as you think they are. And then, too, there may be other drivers on the road who're just as drowsy, or even asleep, behind the wheel. Either way, a collision is waiting to happen.
We spend a third of our lives asleep, which our body needs in order to function properly. Imagine how long you would be able to survive without the right amount of oxygen. If oxygen is essential for survival, then a lack of sleep can be just as deadly.
Robert Huber recently penned a piece for Philadelphia Magazine with this memorable headline: "Being White in Philadelphia."
He covers many streets on the complex map that is race relations, yet this particular graph summed it up best for me:
"I've shared my view of North Broad Street with people – white friends and colleagues – who see something else there: New buildings. Progress. Gentrification. They're sunny about the area around Temple. I think they're blind, that they've stopped looking. Indeed, I've begun to think that most white people stopped looking around at large segments of our city, at our poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods, a long time ago. One of the reasons, plainly put, is queasiness over race. Many of those neighborhoods are predominantly African-American. And if you're white, you don't merely avoid them – you do your best to erase them from your thoughts."
Every now and then someone says something so colossally stupid and offensive that the offended party ends up thanking him. The reason? Because the offending remark ends up costing the offender what remaining credibility he or she had, and ultimately ends up benefiting the offended party.
One of the most famous examples of such foot-in-mouth disease was when Houston City Councilman Jim Westmoreland, who is white, made a joke about naming an airport in honor of deceased African-American Rep. Mickey Leland "N--ger International." The incumbent shortly thereafter lost his seat to an African-American candidate.
Over a 43-year career in journalism, I have been blessed with some memorable experiences: I have covered presidential and vice presidential campaigns, I have flown on Air Force One, I have gone to parties at the White House, met Pope John Paul II, spent two weeks in Egypt, visited former slave dungeons in Dakar and Accra and have traveled around the world, including Rome, Paris, London, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Havana, Vienna and recently Beijing and Shanghai.
Of the thousands of stories I covered since I began my career in 1970 – primarily for Sports Illustrated, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Chicago Tribune, Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service – one has affected me more than any other. It was the violent death of 23-year-old Mark Essex on Jan. 7,1973.
No matter what plan you've tried, losing weight is not all that easy. A smoothie – if it's prepared the right way – can be a big boost.
This week, I'm going to share with you some of my world-famous smoothie recipes that have helped many in their quests to feel better and return to that youthful look.
These smoothies are fruit rich and blended with water instead of yogurt and milk. Convenient, ultra-fast and energizing, they can be used as a meal replacement. Choose your fruits carefully, because our bodies are made differently.