~ Samantha Lewis
All Hallows Eve…
The night to scare and be scared by things that go bump in the night. Of course, on October 31st, we all want to have safety and fun for our kids and ourselves. This time around, however, we can also keep our thoughts on having a safe Halloween for the planet, itself. How, you ask? Well…it’s called imagination. Just as it is with the 40+ million kids’ plastic costumes that are bought in order for the spooks and ghouls to look their very best, there are also other things that negatively impact the world around us on Halloween. We can each do our part to stop that from happening, with everyone cutting the waste and working to make sure our homes and neighborhoods are not filled to the brim with plastic wrappers, old costumes, or non-recyclable decorations that truly do have frightening impacts on our environment.
So what would be the main idea for having a ‘green’ Halloween? Yup. It’s the costumes. Whether it be kids or adults, there are a gazillion of these prepackaged items in every store known to mankind at this time of year. Unfortunately, 95% of these costumes are made from non-recyclable plastic, as well as wrapped up in the same. BUT, you don’t have to be a magnificent seamstress in order to make a seriously killer costumer; make…not buy. In fact, you can most likely do it better than the costumers because you’ll be able to dress it up and reuse the items when Halloween says ‘so long’ until next year.
You can paint your own face with your regular make-up at home; you can use real gel and skip the toxic glitters and dyes and chemicals that could do harm to your skin and hair. If you don’t have them sitting on your countertop, look for the organic cosmetics, or head straight to the world of Google (something that used to be a scary proposition), and find all the recipes for healthy ways to dress up and accessorize.
Yes, true…zombies are ‘in’. A lot like it was with the blood-sucking vamps a few years back – ‘The Walking Dead’ has made sure that a ton of well…walking dead, will be around your neighborhood on Halloween this year. Let’s just hope they don’t stumble across your new flower beds, or scare the dog into having to go to therapy the next day. But you can make your own fake blood and gore, guys and gals. Use food colorings; use grape jelly (yuck), but don’t use all these products that have been shown to be harmful to your skin.
What to carry your goodies in? Well, no offense, but if you’re a zombie…why a Milky Way bar? (Not exactly your dietary favorite) Any who…the trick-or–treat packaging, from plastic pumpkins to plastic bags, end up clogging the alleys, the garbage cans, and cause a whole dump of waste on this planet every year. SO…make it yourself. You know very well there is a closet in your home that has canvas bags, shopping bags, even pillowcases that are not used anymore because Mom decided to change ‘colors’ in the bedroom and no longer wants the ‘old’ pillowcases. Take one and…imagination time! Decorate! If you want the gore, then the pillowcase can be decorated with a head. (Yuck). If you are going for sweet, take a pink pillowcase and draw the ultimate castle to go with your Cinderella scheme.
Candy, candy – that’s what it’s all about, right? The one night even the adults don’t have to feel guilty. But when it comes to individually-wrapped candies, try to make sure to buy in bulk. On the packaging you will note the bio-degradable methods used. And, I know this may cause a frown on some chocolate-lovers’ faces BUT, there are many out there who give out gifts that can actually be used. Fun toys, books, crayons – things that your kid will have fun with far longer than with a piece of candy.
Decorating the lawn is a whole lot of fun; I even used to have one woman in my town who made her own haunted house…from the zombie wreath on the door to the spider webs of fabric, panty hose and trash bags that, with the right lighting, looked very much like they were about to take a bite out of you. Again, imagination… Eco-friendly decorations are the way to go. Using arts and crafts, ‘green’ fabrics, glass ornaments – think BIG! THINK SCARY! and it will totally work. You’ll be the one house in the neighborhood that everyone wants to go to, (or everyone cowers with fear because of). Your choice, of course.
In the end, have fun. Have a scary, undead ball this year…and make sure you do your part to help out the world around you!
Original Source: Baret News Wire
DVD Review by Kam Williams
Sometimes, a film unfolds so fast and furiously that it’s hard to keep score. Such is the case with Plastic, a high-octane, high body count affair following the antics of a stolen credit card ring run by a brilliant and brazen computer hacker named Sam (Ed Speelers).
The movie opens with one of those “Based on a True Story” (Google Saq Mumtaz) which might mean that what you’re about to see is the cinematic culmination of painstakingly-researched historical fact. However, it’s could just as easily be serving as a disclaimer designed to sucker you into believing a farfetched story since, well, somebody once said it happened.
I suspect that this tall tale belongs in the latter category. Regardless, I suppose all that matters in the end is whether the picture has any entertainment value. Plastic does throw a lot of testosterone-directed gore and sensuality at you, but not much for anyone outside of the eroticized violence demographic.
The fun starts when the gang of four steals the identity of Marcel (Thomas Kretschmann) to the tune of a couple hundred thousand pounds. Boy, does this sadistic gangster know how to hold a grudge. Soon enough, he turns the tables and has the college student punks promising to pay him back ten times the amount they stole, plus interest.
High-stylized piffle designed to titillate and satiate bloodlust while slowly turning your brain to mush!
Fair (1 star)
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, drug use, graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 102 minutes
Distributor: Arc Entertainment
To order a copy of Plastic on DVD, visit:
The bald eagle will never stop being our symbol of freedom. But to conform…to listen to that constant news on TV telling us about groups, panels, discussions, and all the evil in the world that is after America, wanting to strike at the very heart of us – is the wrong thing to do. No one can bring us down. We will never forget that we were, are, and will always remain, FREE. With each passing day, perhaps it feels as if that freedom is being lost ever so slightly. But then, you need to only look at this face to remember. THIS is the face of truth. THIS is the face that will remind one and all of the grace, speed, intelligence and power, of those doers and seekers who will not stop until they achieve the American Dream. The bald eagle never stops speaking. This is how our country started. THIS is the face that represents every man and woman who fight for us all. THIS is the face that stands for the country whose citizens stand up and…SOAR. THIS is the face of America! And for those out there who need a reminder…the face of the bald eagle may be elegant, but the talons on this bad boy will hurt ya!
,Original Source Sportsmans Lifestyle.com
Rewarding Land Ownership Stems from Spirit
When ‘Dallas’ is mentioned in conversation, most minds immediately think of either a magnificent city or, of course, the much-beloved NFL Cowboys. What many may not realize, however, is that Dallas, Texas is a lot like a compass when it comes to looking for the perfect ranch land purchase. It is here where a needle can point in any direction and lead a prospective client to the property that is exactly right for them. And that proverbial ‘needle’ that helps all buyers and sellers get what they need is in the hands of a company called, Republic Ranches.
Speaking with a client, understanding each and every factor the client is looking for when it comes to the property they wish to own, is the most important step in a system that has made Republic Ranches one of the most trusted ranch real estate firms in the business.
Bryan Pickens is one man in the team that shows people what buying property is all about. He is the ‘compass’, whether the destination be in Texas or Oklahoma, that leads a person or family to the property they have wanted and needed all along. Working in the Republic team, Bryan makes sure people understand that simply sending out a list of ‘properties to be sold/bought’ is not a part of the Republic Ranches state of mind. He believes that rewarding land ownership comes from spirit; the spirit and hard work of the owner, as well as the spirit of the land, itself. The land owner achieves a great deal from their property, and more families are feeling revitalized, as they discover the property they want future generations to enjoy.
Mr. Pickens, can you speak regarding what the majority of client’s want from a property in 2014? What are the motivating factors that are driving them to purchase land?
There are a variety of factors, but I would say the majority come from the recreational aspects of the land. The wish for hunting, fishing, being in the great outdoors – these are properties that prospective buyers are searching for; they want to find that perfect home-away-from-home place that they can enjoy for a good, long time to come.
Considering the massive ‘green’ movements, so to speak, do the areas of conservation or restoration play a part in many client’s wishes?
Conservation. The revitalizing of habitats – all land improvements made by the owner are certainly of interest. They want to make the property as healthy and productive as possible. After all, whether it be re-introducing a certain species of animal, adding water resources to the land, or making soil enhancements to better the ranch, every landscape improvement not only adds financial value for the owner, but also increases the everyday, emotional value. The family can enjoy it more, the recreational uses are increased, and the ranch/farm is provided with more benefits.
The main point is just to identify all of the client’s needs, and then match them with the right piece of property that covers everything they were originally looking for. After ownership, Republic Ranches has the wealth of contacts that can aid an owner in any ‘project’ they wish to then take on.
There must be a great variety of needs Republic Ranches must consider, being that each buyer/seller is so unique.
Absolutely. When looking into recreational use of a property, you will receive a certain list of requirements. But, when speaking about say, cattle ranching, there are much more detailed items that need to be considered; such as, finding good range quality and grasses to run enough cows to make the ranch profitable. This brings up requirements for ‘x’ number of head to accommodate, certain regions the owner wants to stay in, rainfall patterns, et cetera. So identifying the goals of the client is an absolute must in order to do the best job possible.
Speaking with some of your colleagues, it seems that the youth perspective is also a topic considered by prospective buyers?
I completely agree. Youth involvement is a must. “Nature Deficit Disorder” is quite prevalent, actually. There has been a complete disconnect between youth and the outdoors, as they choose to have more screen time and less time to actually interact with the outdoors. A lot of families and ranch buyers are searching for a property where they can not only sit on the front porch and have a cup of coffee, but also a place where the kids can camp, enjoy that perfect fishing spot, and make memories in the outdoors.
Are more purchases being made for the long-term family unit, or are there more vacation excursion spots being sold?
Both, actually. There are always families looking for that ranch, or wishing to build their own working ranch. There are also those clients who are looking for land that is purely a vacation spot.
In other words, having the rural realm to enjoy, but also making sure there’s a bit of the modern?
No matter how rural a client goes, there is always the need to know the nearest Walmart. (LOL) So, yes, the blending of rural and modern has to be taken into account for most everyone.
Dallas is always seen as the metropolis of Texas. How do you feel about the area?
I believe that Dallas is a great area, you can point your compass in any direction and you will find exactly what you want. Whether it be different species of game, or soil types for the farmer/rancher looking for something specific, or different landscapes and terrain – mountains, brush, hill country, bass lakes…you can find it all.
Have you always been in real estate?
Yes, it’s always been a passion of mine. I have always felt that land investments are extremely rewarding because they are two-fold: they are a tangible investment and an emotional one. Land ownership comes from having a great spirit. It is an emotional investment that literally ties someone to the land and environment around them. They have a home; most definitely something that can be handed down for many future generations to come, which gives it huge emotional value, thus increasing the owner’s spirit.
There are many examples when it comes to reintegrating wildlife into certain areas – the benefits and the problems that arise. (AKA wolves in Yellowstone). How do you feel about decisions being made in these areas?
Enhancing wildlife and habitat is a fantastic thing for both landowners and the state, itself. Of course Texas is not reintroducing creatures that can hunt and kill man. (LOL) But bringing back a native species, like turkey reintroduction or mule deer, is a must. And it increases recreational opportunities, like hunting. Back in the 1980s, reestablishing the redfish and trout along the Gulf Coast regions was a phenomenal decision, increasing fishing activities, and saving a few very important species of fish. But there is always a balance that must be made. Managing a fishery or lake, supporting the wildlife – any and all decisions like this need to be made by a landowner with best stewardship practices in mind.
Can you tell us what makes Republic Ranches so unique?
Actually, there are many things, but the primary is that we are ‘one team’. We work together to make sure each and every client gets exactly what they need, and is provided the best property to achieve their specific goals. We have multiple experts in multiple regions and contacts in all capital markets, so that everything is covered. Because we work as one unit, with the combined expertise between us, the client will get exactly what they are looking for.
And with the recent announcement that Republic and Fay Ranches are combining efforts, your reach will grow to even more regions very soon?
Yes. Republic Ranches and Fay Ranches have announced a new alliance. We are working to expand each other’s reach, and increase the wealth of contacts and services we can provide to the client. Fay is a firm in the Rocky Mountain West, and with our success in Texas and Oklahoma markets, we have expanded into New Mexico, and will work on other projects to make sure that the match-ups between client and property remain the very best.
It’s an exciting future, and our team is very much looking forward to the years ahead.
Land ownership is about spirit. It is about a state of mind. Land ownership is about the family, the business, or the enjoyment of being able to escape to that perfect spot. No matter what your focus happens to be, the knowledge and expertise that covers the 254 counties of the Lone Star State, as well as Oklahoma and beyond, make Bryan Pickens and the rest of the Republic Ranches team the one thing all prospective landowners need on their side. It is the Republic Ranches ‘spirit’ that makes land ownership the ultimate reward.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
Nightcrawler (R for violence, profanity and graphic images) Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the title role of this character-driven thriller as a freelance journalist caught in a cutthroat competition covering the crime beat in Los Angeles. With Rene Russo, Bill Paxton and Ann Cusack (Sister of John and Joan).
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
ABCs of Death 2 (Unrated) Horror sequel featuring another 26 short comedies by 26 different directors, each titled for a different letter of the alphabet, from A is for Amateur to Z is for Zygote. Cast includes Martina Garcia, Tristan Risk, Beatrice Dalle and Andy Nyman. (In English, Hebrew, Japanese, French and Portuguese)
All You Need Is Love (Unrated) Sigourney Weaver narrates this inspirational documentary chronicling the daily lives, dreams and plight of Burmese children attending the Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailand in defiance of the dictates of their own country’s repressive regime.
Before I Go to Sleep (R for profanity and graphic violence) Screen adaptation of the S.J. Watson best seller of the same name revolving around an amnesiac (Nicole Kidman) whose husband (Colin Firth) has to remind her every morning that her memory gets erased every time she falls asleep. With Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff and Adam Levy.
Bitter Honey (Unrated) Female empowerment documentary exposing the betrayal and violence visited upon abused Balinese women stuck in polygamous marriages. (In Indonesian with subtitles)
Braddock (Unrated) Cinematic tribute to a tiny town in Pennsylvania of historical significance as it tries to reinvent itself in order to remain relevant in the 21st Century.
God the Father (R for violence) Mafia documentary in which former Colombo crime family mobster Michael Franzese recounts finding his faith and being born again after learning that his own father had taken out a contract on him.
The Hazda: Last of the First (Unrated) Anthropological examination one of the world’s last remaining tribe of hunter-gatherers, the Hazda, who have lived in Africa’s Rift valley for the past 50,000 years. Narrated by Alfre Woodard, and featuring commentary by primatologist Jane Goodall and geneticist Spencer Wells.
Hit by Lightning (Unrated) Romantic comedy about an aspiring writer (Jon Cryer) who gets more than he bargained for when the passionate lover (Stephanie Szostak) he meets online suddenly announces she’s married and pressures him to murder her rabbi hubby (Jed Rees). With Will Sasso, Alexis Maitland and Sean Tucker.
Horns (R for sexuality, profanity, rape, disturbing violence, drug use and graphic nudity) Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe stars in this horror fantasy as the prime suspect in his girlfriend’s (Juno Temple) murder who wakes up with horns growing out of his head after a night of heavy drinking. Featuring Max Minghella, Joe Anderson and Kelli Garner.
Magical Universe (Unrated) Retrospective revisiting the final decade in the career of Al Carbee (1914-2005), an eccentric, Barbie-obsessed artist who worked with dolls as his medium.
Missionary (R for violence, profanity and sexuality) Romance drama about a struggling single-mom (Dawn Olivieri) who embarks on a passionate affair with a Mormon (Mitch Ryan) only to watch him go berserk when she reconciles with her estranged husband (Kip Pardue). Support cast includes Connor Christie, Randy Molnar and Dushawn Moses.
Plot for Peace (Unrated) Historical documentary chronicling the previously-unknown role played by mysterious, French businessman Jean-Yves Olivier in freeing Nelson Mandela and toppling South Africa’s Apartheid regime. (In English, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Spanish)
Private Peaceful (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Devon, England, and revolving around two brothers (Jack O’Connell and George MacKay) who fall in love with the same girl (Alexandra Roach) before enlisting in the army and being shipped off to fight in Flanders fields during World War I. With Maxine Peake, Frances de la Tour and the late Richard Griffiths.
Showrunners (Unrated) Behind-the-scenes documentary illustrating everything involved in the making of a TV series, from the creation of the concept, to the production, to the writing, to the casting, to the shooting, to the airing.
True Son (Unrated) Political documentary chronicling 22 year-old Stanford grad Michael Tubbs’ campaign for a seat on Stockton, California’s City Council.
Source: Baret News Wire
with Kam Williams
Haley Joel Osment skyrocketed to fame at the age of 11 with his unforgettable, Academy Award-nominated performance in M. Night Shyamalan’s ghost thriller, The Sixth Sense. His portrayal of Cole, the little boy who uttered the iconic line, “I see dead people,” left an indelible impact on audiences, as the picture grossed over $672 million worldwide.
In 2000, Osment went on to co-star alongside Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt in the Warner Brothers drama Pay It Forward. And a year later, he starred opposite Jude Law in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 sci-fi drama, A.I. which earned over $235 million worldwide.
Here, he talks about his life and career, and about his upcoming movie, a comedy called Sex Ed.
Kam Williams: Hi Haley, thanks for the interview.
Haley Joel Osment: Hey, how’s it going, Kam?
KW: Great! I really enjoyed Sex Ed. Before we start, I just wanted to say that I think you and my son have some mutual friends. He’s your age and went to Princeton. He said you were on a campus a lot when he was there.
HJO: Yeah, one of my closest friends went to Princeton, so I would come out to visit him occasionally, which was kinda nice because it was such a short train ride away from New York City. It was always great to get out to a non-urban environment.
KW: I’ll be mixing my own questions in with some from readers. Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks:How did attending the Tisch School at NYU help you prepare for your adult career in film and theater? Is going to college something you would recommend to other child stars?
HJO: I think college is a good idea for most everybody, but it depends on the person and on what you want to be doing when you turn 18, whether you want to go away to school or if acting’s something you want to jump on immediately.
KW: Harriet also asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?
HJO: No, I would like to see more original films than remakes at this time. [Laughs]
KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: What interested you in Sex Ed?
HJO: It’s a film that [director] Isaac [Feder] and [screenwriter] Bill [Kennedy] have been trying to make since about 2007. I loved the script when I first read it in 2010, a funny fish-out-of-water comedy. Over the next four years we had a couple of near misses trying to get it made. Then, out of the blue, we got some money to shoot the movie in Florida, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since the location added a lot of flavor to the film.
KW: Irene also asks: What do you want people to get from your performance? Are you trying with this comedic turn here to get out from under the shadow of your iconic performance in The Sixth Sense?
HJO: I’m always just interested in whatever the best scripts are. This was just a bit of fortunate, coincidental timing. I really enjoy doing comedies, although I didn’t get to do a lot of them as a kid. I was on some network sitcoms. But it’s a really fertile time for comedy right now on a variety of platforms.
KW: Did you base your character, Ed Cole, on anybody?
HJO: Not on anyone in particular. He was originally based on a friend of Isaac and Bill’s who had been teaching English in Korea. But I never met that person, and wanted to create Ed from the ground up as his own man.
KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?
HJO: Well, we didn’t set out to make a polemic. Where we sort of land is a mixture of respect for those parents who know what they want their children’s sex education to be like, and the reality that the information should be available for other kids whose parents are unable to inform them about the subject.
KW: Aaron Moyne asks: At what age will you tell your kids about the proverbial birds and the bees?
HJO: Oh gosh, I don’t know. Kids are, at the very least, a long way off for me. I don’t know that there’s a set age. I guess it depends on the maturity level.
KW: Sangeetha Subramanian asks: How do you cope with those hard days on the set?
HJO: It can be grueling, particularly with an independent film like Sex Ed, when you have really long work days because you’re shooting the whole film in a short amount of time. It can get a bit tiring when you’re in virtually every shot of every scene. But having done some theater in New York, where you have to keep yourself fresh for eight performance a week, helps with endurance and keeping your energy up.
KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: Aside from your own work, what are you enjoying watching nowadays?
HJO: Well it’s a great time for television, along with Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and other ways we catch our shows. ! I’m a big fan of Veep, Game of Thrones, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Breaking Bad, which ended last year. As far as movies, I’m excited about Inherent Vice which opens in December, and I’m also looking forward to seeing Birdman which is supposed to be pretty cool.
KW: Grace was also wondering whether there are any particular actors or directors you have not worked with yet but would like to?
HJO: Certainly, Paul Thomas Anderson, in terms of directors. I’m a big fan of all his films. When it comes to actors, it’s hard to pick just one.
KW: Finally, Grace says: Early acting success often leads to a distorted perception of what a good life is. Do you feel you learned any important life lessons in this regard from your own early success in movies and television?
HJO: I think one thing that was really important, particularly in this industry which is so unpredictable and changing in profound ways, and I guess is contracting on the film side, was never to expect that it would always be a boom time. I was really lucky to be in such high-profile movies early in my career. But part of the reason for going to college was to make sure that my motivation for being in the industry was to do quality work, and not to be counting on giant blockbusters. In that regard, I am prepared for whatever the future holds.
KW: What was it like to be nominated for an Oscar at 11 years of age?
HJO: The Academy Awards season was crazy! But what was kinda nice and reassuring was how Steven Spielberg warned me about two months before Oscar night that the best part of the experience would be how all these famous people would be nervously running around trying to meet each other during commercial breaks in the telecast. He was absolutely right about that. It was cool to see that everybody else was also in this excited place.
KW: Have you ever had a near-death experience?
HJO: No, and I hope that good fortune continues.
KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?
HJO: No, Kam, I’ve been doing press for so long that I’ve heard it all.
KW: Would you mind saying something controversial that would get this interview tweeted?
HJO: [LOL] No, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the subject-matter of Sex Ed hasn’t ruffled any feathers so far.
KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
HJO: I’m in the middle of “The Shadow of Great Rock” by Harold Bloom.http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0300166834/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20
And I just finished “The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus” by Richard Preston. Getting more information about Ebola did sort of help quell my panic.
KW: I know Richard. He lives nearby, and I interviewed him about “The Hot Zone” back then.
HJO: Oh, that’s right! He’s a Princeton guy. Well, it’s an interesting book to read now. All the science behind it is fascinating, from the standpoint of doctors who had no idea what it was they were dealing with during the initial outbreak.
KW: What’s was just as interesting as “The Hot Zone” was that at least five years before 9/11 he confided in me that the FBI was very worried about a possible terrorist attack by Islamic fundamentalists with a weapon of mass destruction.
The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?
HJO: I just got Ty Segall’s new CD, “Manipulator.” I’m a really big fan of that album.http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00KUIV2OK/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20
KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?
HJO: That’s a tough one. One of my closest friends has a big backyard in Brooklyn. We like to grill brisket for hours and hours on Sundays for the football games. I’ve also been trying to perfect a really simple marinara sauce with good quality tomatoes you can find in the city.
KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
HJO: I don’t know… I can’t think of a creative response to that one. [Chuckles]
KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
HJO: To put an end to the Ebola outbreak.
KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
HJO: My mom playing kids’ books on tapes for me as I was falling asleep in the crib.
KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
HJO: Part of the reason I enjoy doing press is because I don’t have to modulate my personality too much. I think I just speak louder on carpet, which is important when you’re doing interviews. [Laughs]
KW: The Judyth Piazza question: Is there a key quality you believe all successful people share?
HJO: I think curiosity and open-mindedness are important in our business. But success is a hard thing to predict or pin down.
KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
HJO: I’d say, just make sure that the work is your primary interest. It’s a really tough industry. I know a lot of really talented, good people who don’t succeed. So, I’d say find a way to do your craft in a way which satisfies you, and let the rest of the stuff, the success and recognition, come as a bonus.
KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?
HJO: For a wide variety of roles over a great many years.
KW: And finally, what’s in YOUR wallet?
HJO: [Laughs] A post-it note with my “To Do” list.
KW: Thanks again for the time, Haley, and best of luck with Sex Ed.
HJO: Thanks a lot, Kam. It was nice talking to you.
Source: Baret News Wire
Football and Academics?
~ Amy Lignor
You know what happens when you stand with or near a group of bullies…even when you do not do any bullying whatsoever? You are perceived as one. What happens when one school comes across as an institution of learning that lets people slide if they’re a member of the sports program? ALL schools are seen that way. Fair? Absolutely not.
Integrity is a word that used to mean something. Even in sports. ‘Teams’ were about courage, bravery, understanding, aide, etc. Now? They look basically like a bunch of drunken, drug abusing, wife abusing – you name it – people, whose indiscretions are covered up by an all-powerful head ‘guy’ so that the sport can continue unharmed. Unharmed? Come on!
It has been harmed. The headlines are hideous when it comes to the football world as of late. And you know you have serious problems when a man like Barry Switzer (who may be a legendary coach in Oklahoma, but was a ridiculous sot for the Cowboys that made Dallas absolutely embarrassed), comes out and comments about conduct. Switzer commenting about conduct is as ironic as Madonna talking about being ‘like a virgin’.
Switzer actually spoke a few months back regarding how, with some help from a ‘friendly’ sheriff in his town/city, he could take ridiculous actions by his players and cover them up with no publicity whatsoever.
“I’d have local county people call me and say, ‘One of your guys is drunk and got in a fight and is in jail down here’. And I’d go down and get him out. Or, I’d send an assistant coach down to get his a** out. The sheriff was a ‘friend’ of the program. He didn’t want the publicity. He himself knew this was something we didn’t need to deal with in the media…”
Perhaps the sheriff also had a son in the program, or wanted tickets. Who knows? Whatever the case may be, football issues in college and pro atmospheres could be swept under the table far more easily than they can be now. Is that a good thing? Absolutely not. If a moron in college, chances are you’ll be a moron in the pros, and not learn your lesson before it’s too late.
Now, instead of someone hitting their wife or girlfriend and being fired from a pro team, we have what some people (certainly parents) see as a deeper problem. A report commissioned by the University of North Carolina says school academic advisers ‘steered’ athletes into sham classes over an eighteen-year period. Was it for a good reason? Are you kidding?? It was so they could play football. In other words, learning and getting an education really meant nothing, as long as you could run or catch a ball. These ‘sham’ classes were used so that the student-athletes could boost their GPA in order to keep them eligible for sports.
We complain about government scholarships and the fact that nobody gets help anymore, whereas, apparently, if you can work a field you can get as much help as you want without actually learning anything at all in order to pass and grab a diploma.
People want to set this aside and say it’s no big deal; chalk it up as just another wayward piece of publicity for the world of football. However, this is academic learning. This is COLLEGE. Supposedly to grab that diploma you have to come out of college knowing more than when you went in – and that ‘more’ is not supposed to be how to cover-up, scam, or do something ridiculous in order to play ball.
From 1993 to 2011, Crowder, the longtime manager in the African and Afro-American Studies department (and then later by the department chairman) apparently allowed a student to write a paper of at least ten pages rather than attend lectures or meet with professors. The papers were graded by Crowder, who was NOT a professor, with the student typically earning an A or B+ grade. They could have written ‘Curious George’ and they would’ve gotten away with it. A student needed to maintain a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to play, which means ‘advisers that shall not be named’ pushed Crowder to make exceptions for athletes, including allowing them to enroll in classes after the registration period had ended.
Upon Crowder’s retirement in 2009, Julius Nyang’oro (the former chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies department), was pushed to maintain the program. His career came to a close when he was forced into retirement in 2012, charged with fraud for holding summer classes that didn’t even exist. (His charges were dropped when he agreed to cooperate with the investigation).
“The Crowder/Nyang’oro fraud marked a horrible chapter in the history of this great university,” said North Carolina president Thomas W. Ross on Wednesday. It sounded as if he had no knowledge whatsoever of what actually went on in his own hallways.
And… “Coaches knew there were easy classes,” but there is no evidence to suggest that coaches or administrators, other than those in APSPA, knew Crowder was grading the course rather than a professor.
Are the coaches in trouble? Not yet. Only four individuals who were implicated in the report were fired, with others under disciplinary review.
“When we find people who are accountable, we will take decisive action.” Bull!
Are you truly saying that the people in ‘charge’ of a university have/had no idea whatsoever that this was going on? That’s even scarier when you think about it. These are our kids – this is our money. And, frankly, football comes to a close quite quickly for many who try to take it on as a career. Only a select few become the superstars of the gridiron. So what happens if the football world doesn’t work out for you? Well…not a whole heck of a lot if the diploma you acquired means nothing more than a piece of scrap paper.
This is only one college; one academic program; one report. Yet, much like the example of the bullies up above, it will not take long for a whole lot of people to question the role of all university’s when it comes to providing real education to the students who just so happen to do well when wearing a helmet.
Source: Baret News Wire
Defending a Homeland
The Lone Star State was home to hundreds of Native American Indians. The Apache dominated most of West Texas, and there were two groups among them – the Lipan and the Mescalero – that were hugely important to the growth of Texas.
Apaches were among the first to learn to ride horses, and their lifestyle was shaped around the hunting and following of buffalo. Farming was begun, as Apache chose to grow crops that included everything, from maize and beans, to pumpkins and watermelons. In the 1700’s…the Native Americans worked to make sure that Texas land would remain under their care.
When the Spanish were in charge, the first raids began. The Apache actually staged many raids against the Spanish missions, attempting to stop them from invading and colonizing the Texas territory. But the Apache rule was cut short. The raids against neighboring tribes created enemies and soon a new powerhorse, the Comanche, entered the scene from the north and gained in strength as the Apaches became less and less a force. The Comanche was the all-powerful enemy of the Spanish, as well as other tribes, and their goal was to win.
Comanche aggression will always be part of the history books. When a treaty was signed and promises were made, Comanche raids grew far stronger when Spain reneged on their vows – starting wars that were both harsh and bloody. Soon the win of the Texas Revolution brought white settlers into the mix; a new ‘visitor’ that would end up to be just as strong of a defender of Texas as the tribes had been before them. Great warriors, the Comanche were renowned as being masters of battle: from riding to the bow to single-shot firearms, they continued to prove their point that they would defend or die. One of the most historical incidents came in the form of the “Great Raid of 1840”, where the Comanche took the towns of Victoria and Linnville. Unfortunately for them, they also alerted President Sam Houston of the havoc being raged.
Captain John Coffee Hays was hired to recruit…recruit the team who would, from then on out, be the strength, pride, courage, and all out defenders of the Lone Star State. As the old saying goes: “One Riot – One Ranger,” The rest is history!
Original Source: Republic Ranches.com
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well…Behold THIS Sweetheart!
You stare into this sheen of glass and your breath catches. There you are, a god or goddess standing atop Mount Olympus enjoying your ultimate power. Of course, you aren’t actually up on that mountaintop looming behind you because it’s way too far to climb, and messing up your hair or having your face turn red with sweat is not the image you want. But it’s all about imagination, people! Minus the toga and oak leaves you are still the god and/or goddess surrounded by this incredible backdrop that only Mother Nature could create. Happily, it’s also the 21st century, and you can catch everything on that new iPhone of yours that you waited seven hundred hours in line to buy. (Sure, you can do that, but you won’t climb a mountain!?) But…there’s no guilt here. In fact, that’s the beauty of the great outdoors meeting up with technology: you always have that perfect pic to share with friends on Facebook, and message: Damn I look good! (And if there’s a hot chick out there, you can lie and say you actually did climb that sucker! She’ll never know. J)
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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com