Zombie Beavers Wreck College Kids Vacation in High Attrition-Rate, Horror Comedy



Film Review by Kam Williams

Zombie Beavers Wreck College Kids Vacation in High Attrition-Rate, Horror Comedy



If you like your horror fare with generous helpings of humor and titillation mixed in, ala the Scream and Scary Movie franchises, have I got a film for you. Zombeavers is a campy comedy relying on a combination of low production values and eroticized violence to generate laughs.


129724_oriThe movie marks the feature film directorial debut of Jordan Rubin, who is best known as a scriptwriter for late night talk show hosts like Craig Kilborn, Carson Daly and Larry Wilmore.  He also collaborated on Zombeavers‘ screenplay with first-timers Al and John Kaplan.


The high attrition rate adventure unfolds ominously enough, when a 55 gallon drum of toxic waste tumbles into a lake in the wake of a collision between a deer and a pickup truck caused by a pair of local yokels (Bill Burr and John Mayer) recklessly driving while texting. It’s not hard to imagine that a frightening chemical reaction might soon ensue, especially given the movie’s title.


But blissfully oblivious of this development are Mary (Rachel Melvin), Jenn (Lexi Atkins) and Zoe (Cortney Palm), sorority sisters looking forward to unwinding over the course of a college break they’ve decided to take without boyfriends. Their point-of-call is a cozy lakefront cottage belonging to one of their relatives.

Upon arrival, the trio discover that there’s no cell service in the remote locale, which might very well complicate matters should an emergency arise. It doesn’t help that the only folks around for miles are a couple of creepy neighbors (Brent Briscoe and Phyllis Katz) who look129723_ori like they step off the set of Deliverance.

Nevertheless, the clueless coeds decide to don bikinis and take a dip in the pond where something evil is a brewing in the swamp where the contaminated water is slowly turning beavers into bloodthirsty zombies. Also unbeknownst to the bathing beauties, their three beaus are en route, which only serves to complicate matters, since a photo of Mary kissing Jenn’s boyfriend Sam (Hutch Dano) was recently posted on Facebook.

So, after Jenn slaps Sam, Zoe sneaks off into a bedroom with Tommy (Jake Weary), while Mary tries to mend fences with her man, Buck (Peter Gilroy). But before you have a chance to take any of that soap opera drama too seriously, the real fun begins when a rabid beaver surfaces in the bathroom.

What ensues is a relentlessly-cheesy B-flick far funnier than it is frightening.


Very Good (2.5 stars)

Rated R for gory violence, crude humor, graphic sexuality, gratuitous nudity and pervasive profanity

Running time: 76 minutes

Distributor: Freestyle Releasing


Top Ten DVD List for March 31, 2015

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for March 31, 2015


The Imitation Game



Case Histories: Complete Collection



Island of Lemurs: Madagascar



The Rewrite



The Circle



Veep: The Complete Third Season



Frontline: Putin’s Way



3 Nights in the Desert






Nova: Building Wonders




Honorable Mention


Lovejoy: Series Five



Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season



Language Matters with Bob Hollman



Harlock: Space Pirate






Nature: Owl Power



Monster High: Haunted



Chugginton: Fire Patrol Rescue



Three in a Bed



Bite Size


Tactacam Optimized for Low-Light


Tactacam Optimized for Low-Light

Designed to handle the low-light situations where hunters shine

by Capt. Ted Lund


imagejpeg_0-2One of the biggest problems facing hunters who like to video and share hunts is the low-light capability of modern point-of-view video cameras. Most are designed for use in high-action, high-visibility action sports like kite surfing and sky diving. But for those of us in the field, most successes come during low-light periods, just after sunrise and prior to sunset.

Trying to record those memories to share with friends and family was tough — until now — thanks to leading outdoor POV manufacturer Tactacam. Company founder Ben Stern realized there were a number of problems with products from other manufacturers.

“This (Tactacam) all started just from the frustration of not being able to film off a bow,” says Stern. “Using other cameras and equipment it was always a struggle. My background is photography and video and I was working on developing cameras for something a little bit different. I started dealing with this technology on that project, and thanks to that, Tactacam was founded out of necessity.”

During the testing and development process, Stern looked at and considered a number of existing lens and sensor combinations.

“I couldn’t find anything that would do what I wanted,” says Stern. “So we started from the ground up. During that TA-FB-GUN-Website-picpart of the process we developed a lens that would gather a tremendous amount of light, very similar to the human eye.”

Once Stern had a lens that was optimized for light-gathering, he had to start developing software that would control the sensor.

“Coupling the right sensor with the right software results in the optimum exposure for every shot,” says Stern. “Our proprietary software actually takes what the sensor is reading and looks at the darks, lights and midtones then adjusts the sensor to optimize footage for the available light.”

The results can be breathtaking, as seen in some of the awesome hunting footage that has been captured to date.

Stern says one of the most important attributes that helped fine-tune the Tacatcam during development was a cradle-to-grave knowledge of not only camera design, but hunting.

“When testing all of these, we were actually out in the woods and getting the results. When we saw something we didn’t like, we’d tweek it,” says Stern. “That’s why we say Tactcam is designed and built by hunters — we’re actually out there testing it and making sure the camera works in whatever conditions we throw at them.”

Each Tactacam is built around state-of-the-art components, including a 12mp sensor that records true full HD 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60fps. The camera also features best-in-class low-light recording — fantastic for hunters since most of our success comes during low-light periods. Footage is captured on MicroSD cards (not included) up to 64GB. Regardless of whether you use a MAC or PC computer, Tactacam is compatible and videos are downloaded via a standard USB 2.0 connection. Rechargeable Lithium-Polymer (Li-Po)  batteries provide up to 2 hours of recording time and additional batteries are available to provide for more recording time. Batteries may be recharged via the USB connection or with the included AC charger. Each Tactacam camera is covered by a 1-year Full warranty.

For more information on Tactacam’s unique line of outdoor-centric video products or to see footage shot with it, visit tactacam.com.


Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Crude Quartet Roams around Manhattan in Meanspirited Buddy Dramedy


Growing Up and Other Lies

Film Review by Kam Williams

Crude Quartet Roams around Manhattan in Meanspirited Buddy Dramedy



Jake (Josh Lawson) is finally fed up with New York after years of trying to make it as an artist in the city. So, right before he’s set to move back home to Ohio, he summons his three BFFS, Rocks (Adam Brody), Gunderson (Wyatt Cenac) and Billy (Danny Jacobs), to the northern tip of Manhattan for an impromptu gathering.


129823_oriThe plan is to spend the day reminiscing about their misspent twenties while traversing the entire 260 block-length of the island. The trip starts inauspiciously enough, with one of them vomiting on a train platform at 7 in the morning.


Next, another makes an offensive overture to an elderly woman sitting on a bench, asking whether she’d like to sit on his finger. Later, Gunderson goes out of his way to hurt the feelings (“I thought you’d be dead by now”) of a woman (Lucy Walters) he’d ostensibly seduced and unceremoniously dumped after a one-night stand.

The crude quartet also offers dubious, unsolicited dating advice to teenage girls attending an elite prep school, suggesting 129824_orithey avoid romance at all costs, since it invariably leads to having one’s heart broken. We also witness them dismantling a “Broadway” street sign, and giving a hard time (“How much for everything?”) to a working-class clerk at a farmer’s market. And Rocks (nicknamed for his huge gonads), whose fiancée (Lauren Miller) is nine-months pregnant, risks missing the birth of his baby in order to participate in the interminable, 13-mile trek down memory lane.


Co-written and co-directed by Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky, Growing Up and Other Lies is a meanspirited, misogynistic dramedy masquerading as a nostalgic male-bonding adventure. But this meeting of The He-Man Woman Haters Club (ala TV’s Little Rascals) merely takes delight in insulting females at every turn.

Its lame excuse for a plot presumes to thicken when Jake learns that Tabatha (Amber Tamblyn), the ex he still loves, has just broken up with her boyfriend and is suddenly on the market. Will he still pack up and leave, or will he postpone his plans to return to the Midwest in light of this development? Unfortunately, given how unlikable a protagonist we have here, you’re more inclined to root against than in favor of a romantic reunion.

Who wants to watch four, obnoxious, testosterone-fueled slackers vent their vile along a gauntlet of unsuspecting victims?


Poor (½ star)


Running time: 90 minutes

Distributor: E1 Entertainment


Source:  Baret News Wire

New offering from Steel Will at home in the town or the country


New offering from Steel Will at home in the town or the country

by Capt. Ted Lund


It’s tough to separate an outdoorsman from their favorite knife. That’s exactly what leading knifemaker Steel Will kept in mind when designing its new Gekko 1500 — a versatile folding pocket knife equally at home in the wild or the urban jungle.

Gekko 1500 by Steel Will

Gekko 1500
by Steel Will

A diminutive lock-back knife, the Gekko 1500 (MSRP $229.99) is a mere 4.89 inches in length when folded. Fully deployed, the knife stretches to 8.98 inches. It’s 3.94-inch blade is crafted from N690Co, an Austrian steel that is extremely effective at holding an edge and known for its wear resistance. The blade shape and high grinds gives this blade exceptional strength and cutting performance. Covered with small, unidirectional strokes in a uniform pattern, the Gekko blade is a perfect base for the Satin finish that gives it a matte surface rendering most minor wear and scratches unnoticeable.

The handle is stylishly crafted from Micarta — a phenolic resin popular with knifemakers due to its moisture resistance, dielectric properties and durability — providing a firm, stable grip, even in inclement weather.

Designed for ambidextrous use, the Gekko 1500 is equally controllable in the right or left hand, and the detachable

Folded Gekko 1500 by Steel Will

Folded Gekko 1500
by Steel Will

clip may be mounted in two positions for increased versatility. The blade can handle increased loads thanks to the tensile strength of its distinctive locking mechanism — which is easy to locate and operate with either hand. In addition to the clip, the knife can be stored in a nylon holster or via an integral lanyard hole that doubles as a glass breaker. The Gekko 1500 is a folding knife that handles and performs professionally and is equipped to go head-to-head with fixed-blade knives.

Steel Will creates the world’s best knives by seeking out and using the finest time-tested metals and materials from around the world including Japan, Austria and America. Each and every knife achieves the distinct properties for which it was designed and is produced with scrupulous attention to detail and design. All Steel Will knives are backed by a non-transferable life-time warranty.

Steel Will is constantly searching for new ideas to revolutionize its products. For more information, visit www.steelwillknives.com or follow them at facebook.com/steelwillknives.


Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Renewed Excitement for the Science Fair


Renewed Excitement for the Science Fair

 ~Samantha Lewis

Everyone speaks of ‘the good old days.’ Whether they are talking about better movies, easier times, a world where families once sat around the dinner table every night and spoke (without cell phones to stare at) – there are all kinds of conversations about what was good ‘then.’ But both good and bad come with the evolution of all things. And there is one event/practice out 350px-Science_fair_exhibit_butterfliesthere that is still a part of the “good, old days” but also has brought a whole lot of cool things to the table as time has moved forward.


The education system will always spark debates, but this event is one thing that I used to do in school, my mother and father before me, and something my daughter is still able to be a part of that is completely awesome. And even more so nowadays because of how many new concepts and discoveries have come to be. We are talking about the Science Fair.


The very first American National Science Fair was held back in 1950 in the state of Pennsylvania. It was there that an eighteen-year-old by the name of Alan J. Fletcher won first-place by offering up a demonstration of the laws of motion. Now over time, science fairs have become monumental, with award winners going on to become massive business and technology professionals. And discoveries just keep on coming; from cell changes to robotics, research projects that kids are taking on have grown to Einstein status.

There are also projects that should be looked upon that deal with the changes in our ‘green’ society; the protection of wildlife Motor_generator front viewand the revitalization of ecosystems are topics becoming more and more popular in the 21st Century. So if you decide to go in that direction to make your ultimate science fair project, it’s important to remember certain rules to follow when you’re out and about in the environment. Never leave trash behind; the location you study should look just as good when you leave as when you first discovered it. If looking for the animals to study, don’t try to pick them up or disturb their habitats. Look for tracks, nests, etc. and listen for howls or bird calls. And if you choose a larger animal, be sure that every safety precaution is used to guarantee that both you and the animal will be just fine.


Birds are a big subject when it comes to the science fair. There are millions of varieties and can be found extremely easily by the young explorer. There are also students who are still into the ‘insect’ world. Although, one thing that also still remains in 2015 is the fun that comes from dropping an insect down the back of your pal’s shirt. There are also projects to consider in the fields of air quality, new energy sources, water revitalization, and more – a ton of subjects that effect all our lives.


No matter what wildlife or ecosystem project you happen to choose, just remember what the bottom line is: there are six million of us who inhabit the earth right now, and we must do our very best to get along with our animal friends and keep the earth as healthy as possible for both of us to enjoy.


Never take that Science Fair for granted. Who knows? You may just be the next explorer to uncover a brand new species, or a never-before-thought-about idea that will clean the air, water, or even…save the world!


Source:  Baret News Wire

For movies opening March 27, 2015


Kam’s Kapsules:

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 27, 2015





Get Hard (R for graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity, sexuality and crude humor) Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart co-star in this class conscious comedy about a millionaire convicted of tax evasion who hires an ex-con to prepare him for life behind bars. With T.I., Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie and Edwina Findley Dickerson.


Home (PG for mild action and rude humor) Animated adventure about a huggable fugitive from a distant planet (Jim Parsons) who forges an unlikely friendship with an innocent, young Earthling (Rihanna) on a quest of her own. Voice cast includes Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Matt Jones.





Apartment Troubles (Unrated) American Dream dramedy about a couple of Bohemian artist roommates (Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger) on the verge of eviction who relocate from Greenwich Village to L.A. to take a shot at fame and fortune. With Megan Mullally, Will Forte, Jeffrey Tambor and Lance Bass.


The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (Unrated) Author Michel Houellebecq plays himself in this crime dramedy revolving around a writer abducted and held for ransom by a hapless gang of inept amateurs. Ensemble cast includes Mathieu Nicourt, Maxime Lefrancois and Francoise Lebrun. (In French and Polish with subtitles)


Man from Reno (Unrated) Neo-noir revolving around a Japanese crime writer (Ayako Fujitani) who becomes embroiled in a real-life murder mystery while vacationing in San Francisco when she impulsively embarks on a love affair with a stranger (Kazuki Kitamura). With Pepe Serna, Yasuyo Shiba and Hiroshi Watanabe. (In English and Japanese to subtitles)


Nightlight (R for violence, sexual references and pervasive profanity) Horror flick about five teens who, against their better judgment, decide to party in a mysterious forest notorious as a place where kids commit suicide. Co-starring Shelby Young, Chloe Bridges, Carter Jenkins, Mitch Hewer, Taylor Murphy and Kyle Fain.


The Riot Club (R for profanity, violence, disturbing behavior, sexuality, nudity and drug use) Screen adaptation of “Posh,” Laura Wade’s play chronicling the exploits of a couple of Oxford University freshmen (Sam Claflin and Max Irons) pledging a hedonistic eating club catering to party animals from privileged backgrounds. With Thomas Arnold, Harry Lloyd and Amber Anderson.


The Salt of the Earth (PG-13 for nudity, mature themes and disturbing images of violence and suffering) Oscar-nominated documentary featuring changes in people and the planet as captured over the past 40 years by peripatetic photographer Sebastiao Salgado. (In French, Portuguese and English with subtitles)


Serena (R for violence and sexuality) Jennifer Lawrence stars in the title role of this costume drama, set in the Twenties, as a Southern belle whose marriage to a North Carolina timber magnate (Bradley Cooper) unravels after she uncovers a big secret about her hubby’s hidden past. With Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans and David Dencik.


While We’re Young (R for profanity) Midlife crisis comedy about a childless married couple in their mid-forties (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) whose relationship ends up in crisis after they befriend a much younger couple (Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver).  Cast includes Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia and Dree Hemingway (Ernest’s great-granddaughter).


White God (R for violence, profanity and bloody images) Man’s best friend drama, set in Hungary, about a devastated 13 year-old’s (Zsofia Psotta) relentless search for her dog after her father (Sandor Zsoter) set the pet free on the streets of Budapest.  With Lili Horvath, Lili Monori and Tomas Polgar. (In Hungarian and English with subtitles)


Source:  Baret News Wire

Rising Up from the Blood


Rising Up from the Blood

A Legacy Reclaimed, a Bridge Forward

by Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush

Foreword by Tony Rose

Solid Rock Book Publishing

Paperback, $16.95

276 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-0-692-31274-2

Book Review by Kam Williams


“I am proud and honored to be the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington. The day I went to my first Washington family reunion, I had no idea how dramatically my reality was about to change…

When I first stepped foot on the campus of the renowned Tuskegee University, something magical happened… I had an 51wptM8WxYLepiphany and was immediately inspired to improve my life.

Prior to the reunion, I was going in the wrong direction… I didn’t realize from whence I came… By the time I was 16, I had become a lost soul, confused about life.

It wasn’t until I arrived in Tuskegee for the first time in my life that I would bear witness to my foundation—a foundation that was there all along. That’s when I began to live on purpose. It is also why I now feel a burning obligation to share my story…

It is my hope that this book will empower others to change unhealthy mindsets, increase levels of self-worth, and instill a healthy sense of self-love and self-respect within.”

–Excerpted from the Preface (pages 1-3)


Despite being a direct descendant of Booker T. Washington, Sarah Washington O’Neal wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Quite to the contrary, she and her big brother James were raised on a rough side of Oakland, California by a single-mother who never mentioned their famous forbear. Perhaps she was ashamed by her relatively-lowly station and having to hold two jobs just to keep a roof over their heads after being abandoned by her husband.

The absence of a father figure would have a profound effect on Sarah, who ended up involved with a series of inappropriate partners. This was reflected in her picking bad boys who abused, cheated on, exploited, beat and/or raped her. That futile

From left to right in posed photo are Booker T. Washington, and sons Booker T. Washington, II, and Ernest Davidson Washington

From left to right in posed photo are Booker T. Washington, and sons Booker T. Washington, II, and Ernest Davidson Washington

search for male validation started when she was molested at the age of 9, an event triggering a rapid descent leading to an unplanned pregnancy by the time she was 15.

Sarah’s baby-daddy neither stuck around to raise Mario, Jr., nor paid much in terms of child support, which meant the

financial burden of the baby first fell squarely on the shoulders of her already cash-strapped mom. And when that responsibility proved too much for the beleaguered grandmother, the troubled teen was forced to fend for herself and the infant on her own.

Consequently, she soon became dependent on government subsidies like welfare, food stamps, public housing and Social Security benefits (after her father turned 65). Meanwhile, between her substance abuse problems (alcohol, weed, coke) and poor choice of men, it was little wonder that she had another child out-of-wedlock just a half-dozen years later.

Author Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush

Author Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush

Sarah got her act together after attending a Booker T. Washington family reunion, but not before having been tested in more ways than the Biblical character Job. Thanks to a combination of Christianity and psychotherapy, she finally found a righteous path once and for all.

A faith-based resolve has served Sarah well ever since, and she and husband Anthony Rush are happily married and raising a beautiful blended family. Her triumph over the odds is recounted in revealing fashion in Rising Up from the Blood, a mesmerizing memoir that reads like the literary equivalent of a TV soap opera.

Besides Sarah’s personal story, this riveting autobiography includes a family photo album containing snapshots of Booker T. and the rest of her relatives, as well as snippets of sound advice for other lost souls looking to turn their lives around. An empowering opus by a thriving survivor who has ultimately proven herself deserving of her very impressive family pedigree.


To order a copy of Rising Up from the Blood, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0692312749/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

April Ryan, Political Lion


April Ryan

“The Presidency in Black and White” Interview

with Kam Williams

April Ryan, Political Lion


April D. Ryan is veteran journalist who has been a White House correspondent for the past 18 years. She also serves as the Washington bureau chief for the American Urban Radio Networks.

51Q6n0qLsoLBesides covering the Obama administration, April’s responsibilities include hosting “The White House Report,” a syndicated show airing on about 300 radio stations around the country. The Morgan State grad still lives in her native Baltimore which is where she is raising two daughters, aged 7 and 12.


Here, she talks about her new memoir, “The Presidency in Black and White.”


Kam Williams: Hi April, thanks for the interview.

April: Thank you, Kam.


KW: I believe we have a mutual friend in Jennifer Dargan.

AR:  Yes! I love her. She’s such a sweet person.


KW: I agree. She’s one of my favorite people. I have a lot of questions for you that were submitted to me by readers. Sangeetha Subramanian says: Hello Ms. Ryan. Congratulations on your book. I wish it lots of success and look forward to reading it. Advocacy seems like a constant tango between knowing which battles to choose and when. How do you find the balance between knowing when to pull back and when to go full steam ahead?

AR: Wow! That’s a good question. [Laughs] You’re right, Sangeetha, it’s kind of a dance we do that’s not scripted or choreographed. We just have to kinda feel our way through. For the most part, you ask questions about current events of the day or about what’s happening in the community. If you think you can get more of an answer, you follow up. But you do have to know when to pull back, otherwise you could make a fatal mistake, because that room is unforgiving. It’s just a dance that you have to learn how to do.


KW: What interested you in writing a memoir?

AR: A friend told me that I could not sit in that room and not write one. I basically started journaling from day one. I tried to
work out a book deal during the Clinton years, but it was too soon. During the Bush years we did get a bite, but the editor got fired. Then, when President Obama was elected, my agent and I looked at each other, and said, “This is it!” And it was time. [Chuckles]


KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: What would you describe as the high point of your years with the White House Press Corps?

AR: There have been a lot of high points, professionally. But, I’d say it was the 100th anniversary of the White House Correspondents’ Association. My proudest moment was to be the third African-American on the board in the history of the organization. That board was founded by all white men. So, as a black female I was very proud to be in that picture alongside the first black President and First Lady. Things have changed, and I’m very thankful to be in the history books.


KW: Editor Lisa Loving says: In the fascinating exchange between Nancy Giles and J Smooth about the strange Starbucks initiative that “gives Starbucks employees permission” to discuss race with customers, Giles made a swift reference to the racial blowback a black president has had on race relations across the board. What impact has Obama’s presidency had overall on how Americans deal or do not deal with racism?

AR: Well, what I would say is that Barack Obama will always have race and politics follow him, because of the historic nature of his presidency as the first black president. But he has made people talk about race, especially in his second term. He’s now more open and conversational about race than he has ever been. And this is a topic that we, as a people, are hypersensitive about no matter where you are on the spectrum. We have to understand that we are a nation that’s browning. I think this is an issue that’s bigger than just this president. It’s dated back to the inception of the enslavement of Africans in America. We haven’t been able to get it right yet. It’s both a heart issue and a legislative issue. I think we need to talk about it, but if anybody can effectuate a major change, it’s a president of the United States. Just look at history… LBJ and the Voting Rights Act… Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation… and also FDR.


KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden says: You are in a unique position as a White House correspondent. How much do you think the “troubles” between Congress and the President can be attributed to race and how much to differences in political philosophy?

AR: I believe “race” is that piece of this presidency that people don’t want to acknowledge, but it’s there. We know that there are those who don’t like Barack Obama just because he is African-American. For instance, look at how Loretta Lynch is having a hard time in her confirmation hearings as Attorney General. She is more than qualified, and has been confirmed before. On Chris Matthews’ show, I predicted that it would be difficult for her. And I was right. There are some things you know inherently as a person of color. So, what’s going on is not a surprise to me. Race does play a major factor with what’s going on between President Obama and Congress.


KW: Professor/Filmmaker/Editor Hisani DuBose says: Being on the inside, do you see a difference in the way fellow correspondents question and discuss President Obama as opposed to their treatment of previous presidents.

AR: For the most part, no. They’re very respectful.


KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: In your opinion, what are some things the president can do to improve race relations in this country?

AR: I think I’ve already answered that. The speech he delivered in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the march was very powerful. It tore me up when we went over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. However, the most poignant moment of the day was when Congressman John Lewis said, “If anybody had told me 50 years ago, that I would be back here introducing the first African-American President, I’d have said, ‘You’re crazy!’” I got goose bumps. It was moving, because John Lewis is not only a hero to me but to so many other African-Americans. If it were not for his getting clubbed over the head and knocked unconscious, along with others who were beaten with Billy clubs, bitten by dogs, and sprayed with fire hoses, we would not have the right to vote, and I would not be in the White House being called upon by name by the last three presidents. That experience touched every part of my being, because that history is a part of me.


KW: Irene asks: What do you envision for race relations with Hillary Clinton or a Republican as president?

AR: My hope is that whoever the next president is, as well as the president after that, they’re willing to deal with race, because, like I said, we are a country that is browning.


April Ryan meets Hillary

April Ryan meets Hillary

KW: Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?

AR: I just started reading “Believer” by David Axelrod. He gave me an autographed copy when we were on Meet the Press. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594205876/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20


KW:  Troy observes that Obama appears to have a very close relationship with Al Sharpton. How much of a positive impact has this had on the black community?

AR: I don’t know how much of a positive impact it has had on the black community, but he’s not only close to Reverend Sharpton, but there are many other black leaders the president’s working with. Obama wants to hear from the grassroots with connections to the community, and Al Sharpton definitely has his ear to the ground.


KW: Troy also says: Much of the media attention surrounding Cornel West’s disappointment with the lack of attention or focus by the Obama administration on poor and working-class black and brown people has died down. How many of Dr. West’s concerns were justified?

AR: I believe that Dr. West, Tavis and many of the others have some legitimate beefs, and that there’s a need for them because they’re applying pressure. But there’s also a need for a Donna Brazile. In response to one of my questions, President Obama said that African-Americans have been doing better since he became president, and that he’s still trying to bridge gaps. We have seen a lot of improvement, but more work still needs to be done. And I don’t think those communities would be served well if everyone were in agreement with him.


KW: Troy was wondering: What has been your biggest disappointment with the Obama administration?

AR: If I have a disappointment, it would be with the black unemployment numbers. He couldn’t be expected to make a drastic enough change in six years to get it on par with white America’s unemployment rate, but I would still like to see him focus on it more, because the figure is extremely high.


KW: Troy is curious about whether, six years into the Obama Presidency, you believe the Nobel Prize awarded him has proven to be warranted?

AR: I’m not a member of the Nobel committee, but I know that the wars were taking a big toll on the world, and especially this country, financially and in terms of the loss of life. People were so primed for peace that they were eager to give President Obama the Nobel Prize.


April Ryan with George Bush

April Ryan with George Bush

KW: Who is the most likeable of the presidents you covered, and who was the smartest?

AR: [LOL] I don’t want to answer that. [Laughs some more] Let me say this. All three are likable. One thing that many people forget is that they are human beings as well as presidents. When I had a soul food dinner with Bill Clinton and other black journalists, he said, “I came because you invited me and I like you, and I like the food.” He said it made him feel like he was back home again, and that you’d be surprised how, after becoming president, people only invite you out for a fundraiser or for this or that official function, but not for a simple dinner where you could just relax and be yourself. That was so telling. I actually felt sorry for him. President George W. Bush and I laughed so much, and President Clinton and I laughed a lot. They’re more gregarious than President Obama, but he’s funny, too. And he’s a nice guy. But he’s had to be more cautious about he’s perceived. All three of the presidents are very smart, although Bush played on the fact that people had low expectations of him. He looked more like the average person than Clinton or Obama.

Clinton Interview

Clinton Interview


KW: Which president aged the most in the job?

AR: All three aged a lot, but Obama has aged tremendously. That job will put a lot of stress on you. I understand why he golfs and plays basketball. He looked like a little boy when he first ran for president. Now, you look at him and go, “Who is that?”


KW: Which president cared the most for the poor and which did the most for the wealthy?

AR: I can’t say, but I believe the Democrats are always going to tow the line and try to lift people out of poverty into the middle-class.


KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

AR: One of my favorite dishes is jerk salmon steak. I also like to make crab bake from my mother’s old recipe. They’re delicious, and you can get each of them done in about a half-hour.


KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

AR: Being chased by my mother, when our family lived in an apartment in Northwest Baltimore. It was a big circle and you could go through all the rooms. I didn’t want to have my hair done. My mother was a natural person, and she used to put mayonnaise and eggs in my hair. I do remember that. I was about 3 or 4. Those were some of my fun days. [Chuckles]


KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

AR: I see a woman who’s trying to make it. I see someone who’s aging, who’s getting older. I see a single-mother with two girls whom I adore and who love me back. And I see someone who’s trying to contribute to society by raising two children to become wonderful women who can contribute to society themselves.


KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?

AR: Yes, most definitely. My family is very, very much into the Black Church. I grew up in church.Sunday was always a big day for us. I did Sunday School… Bible study… I was on the usher board… I sang in the choir… all that stuff. Like a lot of kids, I had a period where I rebelled and didn’t want to go to church, but God is a strength for me. And I became closer to God after my mother died 8 years ago. I think this has really been a spiritual journey because for all intents and purposes, I should not be in the White House. I did not have a traditional reporter’s job. I fell into this by accident.


KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

AR: To be able to talk to my mother one more time, to be able to hug her and let her know how much I love her. I just really wish that she were here.


KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

AR: Yeah, how are you feeling? How was your day? You never know what someone’s going through. I always make a point of asking my daughters that. Adult-to-adult, most people assume you’re strong when you want them to care about how you’re feeling, instead of always taking, taking, taking, or wanting, wanting, wanting. Sometimes, I’d like somebody to tuck me in.


KW: So, how’s your day been today?

AR: Why, thank you for asking. It’s been interesting, and it’s great to be talking to you.



KW: The Melissa Harris-Perry question: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person?

AR: I’m so happy my first big heartbreak didn’t pan out, although at first I was very, very upset. If it had, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.


KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

AR: This business has changed from when I started out in the Eighties. You don’t have to major in broadcasting anymore because anybody who has a personality and a big following on a blog or on Twitter, can basically get on the air, participate and say whatever you want. I wouldn’t study journalism. It could be a hobby along the way while you’re doing something else. So, the delivery system is changing, so I would really rethink the idea of entering this industry.


KW: What’s in your wallet?

AR: [LOL] Some torn up, old dollar bills my uncle asked me to take to the Engraving Office and exchange for new ones.


KW: Thanks again for the time, April, and best of luck with the book.

AR: Thank you, Kam, and have a great one.


To order a copy of The Presidency in Black and White, visit:  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1442238410/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News Wire

Eco Expose’ Examines Toll of H2O Misuse


Secret of Water

Film Review by Kam Williams

Eco Expose’ Examines Toll of H2O Misuse


Between climate change and contamination, potable water is becoming an increasingly-scarce commodity. For instance, you might have heard that California has recently announced consumption restrictions due to a severe drought already affecting most of the state way before the arrival of summer.

Screen-Shot-2015-02-25-at-10.42.13-AMIf you’re one of those skeptics who still thinks that all the dire warnings about the dangers of pollution and global warming are unfounded, you might want to check out Secret of Water, an eye-opening, cautionary tale illustrating the toll that humans’ misuse of H2O might be exacting on the precious natural resource.

Directed by Jirka Rysavy, this informative documentary takes an alternatively scientific and spiritual approach to the subject, delving into an analysis that is as logical as it is metaphysical. On the one hand, the picture plausibly asserts Screen-Shot-2015-02-25-at-10.55.59-AM-300x188that water is a living substance that can die if treated poorly. However, it also likens the substance to a malleable computer, going so far as to claim that it has memory and is capable of recording whatever it comes in contact with.

For this reason, it is further argued that water placed in plastic actually suffers, and that an animal will always rather drink
from a natural spring than a stagnant container. One expert weighing-in opines on the importance of ionization and Ph factors, while at the other extreme of the academic spectrum we have a religion-oriented figure citing as significant the fact that the Bible never makes reference in Genesis to God’s creating water.

A cautionary, eco-expose’ amounting to a persuasive case that clean, free-flowing H2O in abundance is critical to preservation of life on the planet.


Very Good (3 stars)


Running time: 76 minutes

Distributor: Quad Cinema


 Source:  Baret News Wire