HUSTLER’S LARRY FLYNT’S QUID PRO QUO

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

S.E. Cupp is a Conservative pundit who has had a humdinger of a week, literally, thank you, Hustler magazine.  Flynt, by the way, is one hustler.

In what Flynt calls a satirical photo, the nubile Cupp who presents herself as the repressed, cultured, brainiac who beneath the façade of propriety is one sexy babe whose glasses men want to rip off before they throw her to the ground and have their way with her, is portrayed in Flynt’s raunchy girlie magazine as doing something conservative young women like the branded New York Daily news writer aren’t supposed to do, in yes, one humdinger of a photograph.

The photo appears next to the headline “Celebrity Fantasy” with the caption “What Would S.E. Cupp Look Like With A D— In Her Mouth?”

The blurb beneath this reads: “S.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator, who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.”

A disclaimer revealing the illegitimacy of the photo follows: “No such picture of S.E. Cupp actually exists. This composite fantasy is altered from the original for our imagination, does not depict reality, and is not to be taken seriously for any purpose.”

Conservative women and progressives alike are outraged by the photo-shopped image. The women on The View, mostly progressives, blew a gasket in defense of the maligned Cupp, coming together in a rare singular voice.

“This is really going to piss a lot of you women off and I hope you’re going to make your voices heard,” Whoopi Goldberg said when she introduced Cupp, who appeared on the program to discuss the controversy.”

No mention, by the way, that the feature, which Hustler runs every month, has previously depicted such male luminaries as Mario Cuomo, Dan Rather and, most recently, Bill Maher. How misogynistic or sexist is that?

The conservative single wing-nut engine of  The View, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, pointed out that the National Organization for Women (NOW) has remained silent on the issue, and called the group, “the National Organization for Some Women.”

Smarmy, disgusting, over-the-top, funny, dumb, outrageous–call Larry Flynt’s attack on conservatism what you will. Surely the attack bears discussion, and is, indeed, being discussed. The politically correct words for outraged women are being typically bandied about: misogynistic, well, we all know the, ah, drill.

But lost in the tenor of the discussion is first, the outrage in the conservative programmed response of Ms. Cupp. And warranted is a further conversation as to whether S.E. Cupp’s image, not just politics, didn’t loan itself to Larry Flynt’s purpose.

First, Cupp’s weird response. Of course there are PR folks who would have advised her not to respond at all, as to respond would lend credence to Flynt’s ploy. But after all, what self-respecting, self-promoter wouldn’t respond? Oh, so clever, the demure conservative media maven was when she praised the Hustler publisher. “I have to commend them for their honesty. They don’t like my Conservative voice.”

Commend them for their honesty?

How polite, and also an acknowledgement that this was a purely political attack.

Unwittingly or not, Larry Flynt played into the hands of the Republican War on Women and Cupp, who in the same interview said she is not a victim, then went on to portray her phony outrage, at the phony photo, in a decidedly phony manner, before she ejaculated her conservative talking points, attacking The National Organization of Women (NOW), and saying that Flynt would never try this on a progressive woman.

Flynt won’t, but The Penis Brigade of the Republican Party has, on the other hand, attacked both conservative and progressive women. And, by the way, not a word about it from the likes of GOP Babe S.E. Cupp planted in the audience on The View set, dressed like a 1950’s society wife, her pretty neck adorned with cultured pearls that only Barbara Bush would wear, her lips luscious with the appropriate gloss to catch the camera’s light, which might have been something that could have enhanced the poorly photo-shopped Hustler image of S.E. Cupp.

“By the end of the day [after the photo’s release]” Cupp said, her voice quivering, “I felt ashamed, as if I had…”

Had, what, Ms. Cupp? Debased yourself  as the photo suggests? Gimme a break! Do you really think so little of yourself? I think not. You didn’t get on the pages of Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine because you’re a weak, sniveling, insecure fool.

You got there in a quid pro quo: You got what you gave. You kept your mouth shut when members of your Conservative Movement, Rush Limbaugh for one, debased a fellow woman. In order to further your conservatism and your career, you sexualized your contrived image. You should not have done either.  And for that, I’m spitting mad.

THE RACE FOR AMERICA’S VAGINAS

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Here’s a shocker: in April, President Obama held a 49 percent to 43 percent lead over Republican presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney amongst women. That has now flipped to 46 percent backing Mr. Romney with 44 percent for Mr. Obama — an 8-point swap, according to the latest CBS-New York Times poll.

I feel raped, surely by the Republican Party and their vagina defiling antics, but moreover by those 46 percent of American women who are backing Romney and who clearly suffer from Stockholm syndrome.

Just in case you don’t know what Stockholm syndrome is, here is a definition from Wikipedia: “In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.”

Yes, the definition is applicable here and it appears, at least according to the CBS-New York Times poll, that fully 46 percent of women voters have bowed to their captors, the Republican Party, and are in need of some serious psychological help.

How is it that any self-respecting woman could align herself with a political party who is hell-bent on eroding women’s rights in every way possible? Even if for religious reasons a woman is anti-abortion, no woman who loves her vagina can love the current Republican Party.

Clearly, there are a number of women in the United States who don’t like their own vaginas, anatomy that they should solemnly swear (or affirm) that they will faithfully execute their rights over as women of the United States, and will within the best of their abilities preserve, protect and defend, as the president of the United States does the Constitution of the United States when he (so far no she!) affirms when taking the Oath of Office.

Instead, too many American women as seen in the CBS/New York Times poll continue to be submissive to the Testosterone Power of male lawmakers – and in a few cases such as that of estrogen deficient Arizona Governor Jan Brewster misaligned in a strange sisterhood.

Are these women misogynistettes who seek to disassociate themselves from their cruel and deceitful gender?  Are they religious zealots? Are they dumb? Are they ignorant? Are they mental cases? Do they, indeed suffer from Stockholm syndrome? Whichever, it is unfathomable that any woman worth her vagina agrees with a political party that is engaged in a four-point assault on women’s health that include prohibiting the right of a woman to choose abortion within the framework of Roe v. Wade  and actually go so far as to omit reasonable exceptions for a woman’s health or cases of rape, incest or grievous fetal impairment which would actually require that a woman be near death before she is allowed medical care, according to the New York Times.

Or that a women worth her weight and her vagina would demean herself by aligning herself with a political party that denies a sister access to affordable health care,  as recently occurred in Arizona as signed into law by the penis-envying  Gov. Jan Brewer.

Under The Republican Penis Brigade even equal pay for women is under attack. Consider Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin who signed the repeal of a 2009 law that allowed women to bring lawsuits in state courts against pay discrimination. When asked to defend his idiocy, Walker actually said that he didn’t want the courts clogged by lawsuits, apparently justified or not.

But the penis de resistance is the battering of the Senate approved reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act, legislation meant to protect victims of domestic and sexual abuse, and bring their abusers to justice by the House of Misogynists-representatives.  Just two GOP congresswomen voted against it: Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.). The House version rolls back critical provisions to help victims of abuse.

Yes, we are engaged in a great civil war, a war against women and the control of their vaginas. In this case we know the enemy. It is the Republican Party, and some vaginas themselves. As the great Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.”

I say that if you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always DIS-ENGENDER or is it DIS-MEMBER yourself.  Some women are their own worst enemies.

UPDATE:  A must read: Romney Puts Women’s Lives at Risk

WE’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY, NOT!

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation”…thus began another chapter in the history of the United States, a country conceived in testosterone and dedicated to the possibility that all boys are created equally (by their mommies).

In the last eight years, this country already suffering from male locker-room overload, has been turned into The Testosterone Nation. Tush and Cheney have so penis-lized this country that women have begun to click their Jimmy Choo high heels together in descent. And, as the world turns, The Pink Brigade is finally showing some eggs. Imagine, a woman is Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Hillary Clinton is running for president of  The Testosterone Nation. My eighty-five year old mothers eyes are wide in disbelief, having grown up in a time when men wore the pants in the American family.

Miss Tammy “I’m not” Whine-ette, vying to lead The Testosterone Nation back down its path to glory isn’t like other women, and most certainly never was. Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen was hardly a song she would sing as she politely peeled white potatoes. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,”  was more Hillary’s tune.

I’ve heard people say that Hillary hatched Chelsea rather than birthed her. And that she was probably standing up when she did on her way to another meeting. “A Mommy Warrior” may best describe this new breed of candidate. But since she voted for the war, but was really against the war, maybe the term Warrior doesn’t exactly SUIT her, anymore than mommy is a word that would be her optimal description. Nevertheless, I like Hillary in all her incarcerations or is it incarNATIONS? Still, I have to ask myself, is Hillary the right woman to be the MAN for the job?

Times are tough out there in The Testosterone Nation. Really, is anything right with America? Our kids are losing their life and limbs in a war that isn’t a war; the charge for a gallon of gasoline is a galling three dollars as the price of a barrel nears one hundred smackeroos; the cost of food is obscene; the crime rate is up; kids earning high school diplomas is down…blah…blah…blah…

What America needs now is a Mommy, a mother to comfort, to guide, nurture, bolster, encourage, and soothe our 9/11-seared nerves. We need someone to pat us on the head and tell us everything is going to be all right and “that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  What we need is a Franklin Roosevelt in a skirt, yet I fear that Hillary is more Eleanor in pants. But now that I think about it, maybe that isn’t so terrible…sort of a new, New Deal!  ~ November 11, 2007

From A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA , The Politics of Strange Bedfellows by Halli Casser-Jayne

CAN WE TALK VAGINAS?

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

That word: Vagina! Yes, that word. The word that has caused more than a stir, and which brings men to their knees – no pun intended — and copy editors to their hives. Vagina. Yes, I’m saying it, V-A-G-I-N-A and here we go: Giggles among young girls when they see the name in print, acne outbreaks among the Holden Caufield set, visions of sugar plums in male heads … scorn among Republican men and Republican VAGINAS alike.

The vagina is under attack and not just from the cigar-smoking crowd that sits in smoky, backrooms and conjures up ways to control women’s, yes, vaginas. But leave it to that Annie Oakley throwback with an apparently sun-scorched, Southwest Arizona, dried-up Vagina, Governor Jan K. Brewer, Republican*, that rootin’ tootin’ she-really-ain’t-no-Annie-Oakley-who-by-the-way-must-be-rollin’-in-her-grave, leader of the “God Enriches-Ditat Deus” State” (no kidding that is the state’s motto, and, yes some believe that Gd did, indeed, create the vagina!) to take her phallic pen to paper and sign a bill that vetoes all funding to the vagina incorporated and protector of all things women, most notably their vaginas, Planned Parenthood. Is Brewer out to prove that the pen-IS mightier than the vagina? Give me eggs to breath!

The bill known as the “Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act,” more than halves the availability for health care services for poor women.

“This is a common sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” Brewer said in a statement. “By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”

More like common sense-LESS law.

While the new law, signed last Friday excludes only those abortions that are “necessary to save the life of the mother or if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest,” because those circumstances are covered by Title 19 of the Social Security Act, being cut off from state funding would affect nearly 20,000 women in the state who turn to Planned Parenthood for preventative health care and family planning services.

“We are most concerned about the women and men who could be forced to go without health care as a result of this bill,” Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said in a statement.

Fewer than one in 10 of visits to Planned Parenthood are for abortions, the Arizona Republic reported.

“For many women, we are the only doctor’s visit they will have this year,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This ruling affirms what women have known all along: Politics simply doesn’t have a place in women’s health.”

And certainly not in women’s VAGINAS! It’s time we had not a Vagina Monologue, but rather a Vagina Dialog among America’s women, those with Vaginas and those without.

*Republicans, Get Into My Vagina

TO BE FEARLESS

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

On Wednesday’s The Halli Casser-Jayne Show I was joined by psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert to discuss his new book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. We had quite a discussion about fearlessness, a conversation I hope that you will listen to, if you haven’t already.  In talking to Jonathan, I learned quite a lot about being fearless as I’m sure you will. I hope that you get a kick out of  my turning the tables on the therapist, getting him to admit some of his own fears in front of all of  you. I gotta say, nothing turns me on more than taking my guests out of their comfort zone. Does that make me fearless? Listen in to The Halli Casser-Jayne Show with celebrity therapist Jonathan Alpert and you’ll hear what Jonathan had to say about me. Oy!

Below are tips from Jonathan on how you can become fearless in dealing with work-related issues. The three issues: 1. Fear of being unemployed forever, 2. Fear that gets between you and your dream job, and 3. Fear of the dreaded Monday morning return to work.

How to overcome the fear of being unemployed forever:

1. Avoid late nights and sleeping in.

2. Set your alarm and be ready to start your day by 9 a.m. This allows you to mirror that of the mainstream business world and stay connected.

3. Be a go-getter. Your new job is that of a marketing executive and you are the product.

4. Take an inventory of your strengths and list them on paper and make sure they are reflected in an updated resume and cover letter.

5. Compile a list of 10 or more contacts, compose an email and attach your resume. Ask them to keep you in mind for any job they might know of and also for them to pass your information on to their contacts.

6. Schedule your day. For instance, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., answer emails. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., look at job sites. From 11 a.m. to noon, send out resumes. From noon to 1 p.m., have lunch. You get the idea.

7. Consider volunteering and remember to relax.
How to overcome the fear getting between you and your dream job:

Define your dream job. Be specific. For example, what would it entail? Would you be working independently or as part of a team? Would you travel or be office-bound? Do you want something that’s analytical or creative? You get the idea. Really define all aspects of it and the qualities you seek in this dream job.
1. Surround yourself with people who can help you achieve your dream job. These should be people who inspire, support, and encourage you. Find someone who can offer guidance and mentor you.

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Ask other people how they got to where they are. Although your path won’t be entirely the same you might gain some valuable advice from knowing how others have done it.

3. Interview someone who has this dream job. Find out what the person did to land the job. Ask questions that will yield valuable information. Ask not only what they love about their job and what they do on a day-to-day basis, but also what they find most challenging, what they’d most like to change about it, and any regrets they might have.

4. Network, network, network. Each person you meet in the industry can potentially bring you closer to your dream job, making the impossible possible.

5. Do an internship or shadow someone at a company that you admire.

6. Apply! Even if a company doesn’t list openings, inquire about where and how they might use your skills.
How to overcome the fear of the dreaded Monday morning return to work:

  • Take a step back and look at the big picture. What makes you anxious about returning to work? Is it based on reality or on something you imagine?
  •  Decipher fact from imagination. Focus on what’s within your control, not what lies beyond it.
  • Prepare for Monday every Friday. At the end of each workweek, prepare for the next by straightening up your workspace, tying up loose ends, and making a to-do list.
  • Relax as much as you can. When planning your weekend, don’t over schedule and certainly don’t leave stressful activities for Sunday.
  • Plan your Sunday according to your mood. If you ordinarily feel depressed on Sundays, then plan a fun activity such as a special dinner out or hanging out with friends. If you typically find yourself edgy, then indulge in something relaxing such as a movie or reading.
  • Balance your sleep patterns. If you get up at 6 a.m. during the week but sleep in on the weekends, you may not be tired come bedtime on Sunday. Leave Saturday for sleeping in. On Sunday try not to deviate too far from your regular wake-up time.
  • Stop staring at the clock. Turn your alarm clock away from the bed so that you aren’t reminded of your approaching workday. Have confidence that it will wake you at the appropriate time.
  • Count your blessings. Before you go to sleep, identify three positive things about your job or day ahead. Drift off to sleep looking forward to what you like about your job rather than dreading what you don’t like. 

 

Reprinted with permission of  Huffington Post.

A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

The following was forwarded to me by a good friend and I thought that I would share it with you. It’s a review of my book A Year in My Pajamas with President Obama, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows by a librarian who I have never met. Here’s a quote, but I’ll link to the whole review. FYI, A Year in My Pajamas with President Obama is available on Amazon.com. In celebration of the unsolicited positive review, we’ve just lowered the price on the e-book. Grab a copy. I promise it’s, if nothing else, a fun read!

“While the tone of the essays conjures up a late night show monologue, the words present a certain insight and comprehension of the political situation that, in retrospect, is nearly uncanny. This is a lively and interesting read, hidden among the literary essays on the 808 shelves of the library. Check it out!” ~ Recommended by Paula at Main

http://raleighcountypl.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/staff-pick-6/

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=A+Year+in+My+Pajamas+with+President+Obama

Do let me know what you think!

~ Halli

“THAT’S POLITICS” IS NOT AN ANSWER

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

What does the expression bandied about so often these days, “That’s Politics” mean?

The phrase is tossed around like a kite in a vicious wind. When stated by politicos,  it is said with a shrug and infers that politics is a dirty business, politicians will be politicians and, well, that’s just politics…wink, wink.

And so said the besieged Hilary Rosen on yesterday’s Meet the Press when host David Gregory taunted Ms. Rosen on her first visit to MTM, following Rosen’s controversial remarks on Ann Romney that last week had caused such a stir. ” Ann Romney never worked a day in her life,” Rosen had said, although clearly what she meant to say is that the privileged Mrs. Romney was hardly the poster-girl for most American working women.  Rosen’s ill-chosen words – not her spot-on point- quickly became fodder for the Republicans to disguise their assault on women.

There is much I can say about Hilary Rosen and her pathetic retreat in response to the Republican assault, including saying:  that’s politics.  And there is even more that I can say — and have said — about Hilary Rosen;  the privileged Ann Romney; the misogynistic bent of the Republican Party; the Republican women who are allowing themselves to be used by the GOP’s right-wing coalition and more.

But today I am stuck on Ms. Rosen’s response to David Gregory when he justifiably pointed out that the Democratic Party, to which Ms. Rosen aligns herself, bailed on her at the first sign of trouble. “Everyone in the Democratic Party wasted no time running immediately in the other direction [in the face of Rosen’s remark on Ann Romney] including the president who called Ms. Rosen’s remark an “ill-advised” statement by someone on TV,” David Gregory said.

Ms. Rosen’s response: “That’s politics,” followed by a sigh, a shrug of  her shoulders, a smirk-filled smile.

I share Ms. Rosen’s sigh, feel my shoulders shrug, but you are not going to get a smirk-filled smile from me.  What you will get from me is disgust. Disgust because our politicians have become so immoral in their quest for power that to coin a phrase, they’d sell their own mother under the bus to get where they want to go.  And that goes for Ms. Rosen as well, who gave ground because, ugh, that’s politics. Was she told by the Party to relent because this was not  a battle to be picked? Was she protecting her position within the Party hierarchy?  Any way you look at,  Rosen’s retreat served the Republicans, who on this one came out ahead.  And while that’s politics might be a mantra that soothed the bruised flesh of  Ms. Rosen who willingly accepted the machinations of today’s politics, it did no such thing for me, and frankly, I hope  not for you, either.

Politicians were once our revered citizens, our noble brethren, our altruistic, our compassionate, those who served our nation. I imagine some still are. But narcissism has replaced selflessness and patriotism has been usurped by disloyalty. What’s good for the Party trumps what’s good for the people, the new rule the norm rather than the exception.

Catch phrases have become part of our lexicon. Think of the many and varied repeated ad nauseum. We use them and they fill a niche in our political discourse such as  damage control,  attack ads,  swift boat. But here’s one we should not use, a phrase we should  delete from all political conversation: That’s Politics. Because that’s politics isn’t a phrase at all but rather a sad commentary on the state of our nation’s
politics today.

 

KRISTIN HANNAH’S HOME FRONT

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Tomorrow at 3 pm ET and Thursday at 9 pm ET I will be talking with New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah. To prepare for my interview I just finished reading her newest book Home Front. I’m not going to review the book now but I am going to tell you that this was one moving, riveting story. This book explores the ravages of war on our soldiers and their families. Hannah, after extensive research, spares us not at all. She annihilates the VA for its lack of support for our returning vets. She explores Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and white washes nothing in her portrayal of its affects on those who served.

There’s a sad reality, as I will discuss on tomorrow’s show and that is that few of us ever encounter our defenders in our daily lives. This book gets in your face as to what our fellow Americans risk for our country. I will be honest. It left me ashamed that I call myself an American. They sacrifice so much; what do we give back to our warriors?

I encourage you all to read Home Front. I’m not going to tell you that it’s an easy read. But I am going to say that it is one helluva book that you won’t be able to put down. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be frightened, you’ll be shaken. And when you are, just remember, what you’ll feel reading this brilliantly carved story ain’t nothing compared to our fellow Americans who risk life and limb for the rest of us.

OK, maybe this is a review. We will discuss Home Front further with Kristin Hannah, tomorrow on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show. You can listen in right here on Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.

THE WORLD IS OUR VILLAGE

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

JoyOn yesterday’s The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, I talked with my guest Allison Samuels about many things including her wonderful book What Would Michelle Do? A Modern-Day Guide to Living with Substance and Style, the untimely death of Whitney Houston, the Trayvon Martin story and oh, so much more. You must listen. Allison is the real deal, genuine to her core, and her truth sizzles when she speaks.

What I learned during the interview is that Allison and I share something in common, and that is our love for Africa. Allison first traveled to Africa with her friend Oprah Winfrey. We talked about Oprah and her all-girls school and about the fact that even though Allison and Oprah are friends, in a piece that Allison wrote about her trip to South Africa with Winfrey, Allison questioned the massive amount of money Oprah had spent on her project. Subsequently, Allison herself spent several months in West Africa teaching math and English. 

I got my “calling” to travel to Uganda as both Oprah and Allison were called to Africa. Never one to pass up on opportunity, off I went. It was a vital trip, infusing, regenerating, heartwarming, difficult, fascinating, fabulous, heartening. There in that virtually untouched world where poverty and its ravages reign, you will never meet a more dynamic people. Untouched by the callousness and cynicism of Western life, the people are warm and sharing, even when there is so little to divide. It is cleansing to spend even a day in Uganda, fortifying, enriching, a natural multivitamin.

There in the land of Eden, much of my heart remains today. They call me Abwooli, my Empaco (nickname) that means little cat. The name was given to me by my very good friend, Amooti, Herbert Asiimwe, and his late mother who died of hypertension at 40 years of age — a death that would hardly occur in the Western world thanks to the availability of modern medicines, while, if available, unaffordable in rural Uganda.

It was with Amooti that I first traveled to the village of Nyamarwa to visit The Kibbuse Foundation, founded by a favorite person of mine, Rev. James Joloba Adyeri. Rev. James has more energy than the busy weaver birds who build thousands of nests in the upright trees of the gorgeous equatorial country.

I love a man of ideas and action; Rev. James is such a man. Out of the lessons of his own childhood, he conceived the notion and founded The Kibbuse Foundation based on the idea that if poverty is to be erased in Uganda, it will be because the nation has created industries that can make it an exporting rather than an importing nation. His goal was to build a school that educates students to become job creators rather than job seekers. In action, The Kibbuse Foundation offers unique opportunities for rural youth to join the 21st Century. He has achieved his goal.

At the St. James Kibbuse Foundation, young people are trained in the kind of skills that Uganda desperately needs. Carpentry, bricklaying, metalwork, auto mechanics, sewing and tailoring, catering, management skills, English are what are taught in the cool, dark, concrete-laden walls of the school.

There in a little oasis carved out of the African bush, children get a second chance at life. They are orphans, many of the AIDS epidemic, school drop outs, single mothers, or children whose parents simply could not afford to educate them beyond primary school. At Rev. James’ school, fees are set low so that even the poorest of the poor in Uganda have an opportunity to be trained to live a life of self sufficiency. Students grow their own food, and tend their own livestock. If necessary and it often is, school fees are paid in beans, or chickens.

So there in Nyamarwa I’ve given my time and money to what I consider a deeply, worthy cause. Many ask: Why Africa? Why give your time and money to a country so far away when poverty is a problem right here in America?

The answer: To those of us who have much, the world is our village. 

* Photos from the upcoming book OKUSOBOKA – POSSIBILITY  by Halli Casser-Jayne with a forward by His Royal Highness King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I.

 

 

MIKE WALLACE

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

I’ve been meaning to write about this and haven’t gotten around to it; I think I’ve been in mourning for one of  the great interviewers of our time, Mike Wallace. My goodness what an interviewer. Interviewing is what I do, and therefore I understand the complexities of cajoling a guest into aggreeing to sit down and share sometimes the intimate details of their lives. Recently, a listener asked me why I do what I do. I wanted to say, I just do it and that I fell into interviewing years ago, and that may be true. But it is only a part of the story. For me, in the beginning there was Mike Wallace.

Believe me when I say, I was a young kid the first time that I saw Mike Wallace on my TV set with the tiny screen. But I remember it like it was yesterday. It was on a New York channel and it was before we had a color TV. What I recall is a stark black and white  image: Wallace on a dark set, his coal-black hair shiny, his voice deep, deliberative, delectable, daunting. He held a cigarette in his working-class root hands.  When he spoke, I remember becoming mesmerized by the grey smoke that snaked around Mr. Wallace’s handsome head. There is no mystery that I can’t tell you who it was Wallace was interviewing that night. The oddest thing about Mike Wallace was that no matter who he interviewed, and he interviewed some of the greats, Wallace somehow managed, at least in my eyes, to be as much if not more a part of the interview, as the person he interviewed.

Now some might call that ego and assume that Wallace had a need to make his presence known. Maybe so, but I also think it was part of  the Mike Wallace magic. He mesmerized, captivated and  disarmed the people whose lives he  sometimes so willingly, like a surgeon, dissected. Wallace was your friend, sometimes your enemy, but with that resonant voice of  his, he could charm the pants off  of even an andric woman like Barbra Streisand.  He was fearless, he was frank, he was feisty, and, when he wanted to be, oh so fun… as  it is to remember the late, great Mike Wallace on the Kleig-light lit set of  The Mike Wallace Show. The time, the Fifties, when life wasn’t so confusing, when voices were clear, when broadcasters such as Mike Wallace mirrored the black and white of  those simpler times.

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