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.

FOR THE HOUR: NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST JOURNALIST ALLISON SAMUELS

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

On The Halli Casser-Jayne Show this Wednesday, April 18 from 3:00-4:00pm EST, we’re talking with Newsweek/Daily Beast writer Allison Samuels about her new book What Would Michelle DO?: A Modern-Day Guide to Living with Substance and Style.

Ms. Samuels has interviewed such notable names as President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, The Dali Lama, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Denzel Washington. Her first cover for Newsweek was an interview with the iconic NBA legend Magic Johnson. Recently she’s written extensively on Whitney Houston and traveled to Sanford, FL to cover the Trayvon Martin story.

What Would Michelle Do? combines inspiring insights and solid advice in a fun package that will appeal to style mavens, soccer moms, and career women alike.

If you are interested in submitting questions for Allison Samuels, send them via Twitter @HalliCJ or to HalliCasserJayne’s  Facebook page.  Listen live online or by phone at (714) 202-9929.

WHY DEMOCRATS FAIL…

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

I will never understand why Democrats are so quick to fold in their battle with their Republican foes. But they do. And what may appear to be a short-term gain, too often results in a long-term loss. While Hilary Rosen might have chosen the wrong words to make her point that Ann Romney is not and can never be the poster woman for all working woman, her point is correct. But under the gunfire, Hilary folded, just as President Obama folds under the Republican gun. It’s shameful. I begged Hilary to stick to her eggs, but she didn’t. And once again the Republicans gain the upper-hand in this smarmy battle for the women’s vote. Democrats…you’re embarrassing.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/04/hilary-rosen-apologizes-to-ann-romney-120353.html

UPDATE: I think that this defense of  Hilary Rosen by Greta Van Susteren is a rubber stamp to my point.

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2012/04/12/my-friend-hilary-rosen/

ELECTION 2012 and WOMEN

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

Here we go…Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen posted a great piece on HuffPost today, after taking a lot of heat for daring to say on CNN’s Anderson Coopers AC360 last night that she thought it was wrong for Mitt Romney to be using his wife as his guide to women’s economic struggles when she “had never worked a day in her life.” I hope that Ms. Rosen will stick to her eggs and not retreat in the wake of the Republican’s gamesmanship.  Yesterday on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show I talked with Congresswoman Betty Sutton about this very issue. It was a riveting conversation in which Congresswoman Sutton revealed some of her own personal struggle to get where she is today, how she turned adversity into power. I hope you all will listen to the show. As to Governor Romney, for politicians to be using women as a pawn in their political game, as Governor Romney and the Republicans have been doing this political season is simply unacceptable. It seems to me that women on both sides of the aisle ought to be incensed by these political shenanigans and raising their voices in protest. I also discussed the concept of sisterhood with Congresswoman Sutton, and she had much to say on this issue as well. I hope you’ll listen in. I know that you’ll enjoy my interview with journalist Matthew Cooper as well. He is smart and was a delight to talk with.

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