Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Call for Bloggers!

Sharing this so that interested bloggers may participate.

Dear blogger friends,

You’re invited to take part in a Planned Parenthood Blogger Bee!

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Planned Parenthood will be holding a National Day of Action to lobby the Senate for health care reform that ensures women’s access to reproductive health care. In order to get the word out as quickly and widely as possible, Planned Parenthood is asking bloggers to write about the National Day of Action and the negative impact that the Stupak amendment would have on health care reform if it is included in the final legislation.

Under the Stupak amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today. It is imperative that women and their allies make their voices heard, so that they do not become second-class citizens in a newly reformed health care system in the United States. The first step will be to make sure everyone has the tools they need to inform themselves and others about the new health care system under the House-passed bill and the Stupak amendment.

We ask that on Wednesday, Dec. 2, you use the key points (after the jump) to inform your readers and spread the message that we will not accept health care reform that leaves women worse off than before.  To participate, send the name and url of your blog and your Twitter name if you have one, to Constance DeCherney at constance.decherney@ppfa.org by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. If you sign up, your blog will be listed and linked on Planned Parenthood’s Action Center and included in a special Planned Parenthood (@PPact) Twitter List.

For more information on health care reform and the Stupak amendment, visit us at http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/healthreform.

We need to hear from you! Help us protect women’s access to reproductive health care!

Best,

Christie Petrone
Senior Press Officer – Health Care
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Click here for some Key Points to include in your post

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, Pay Attention!

health hop music

I believe the children are our future. I believe that it’s important to meet people where they are when trying to reach them. I believe we should educate young people about real topics like sex, economics, politics, race and health. So it follows that I should like Dr. Clarke’s “Health Hop Music.” Uh, no.

Dr. John D. Clarke has a series of albums he’s written, produced and performed focusing on educating young people about their health. Relying on studies with conclusions like “the average teen listens to 40 hours of music per week and 10,500 hours of music between the 7th and 12th grade,” and “today, Hip-Hop is the music of choice for many teens and is the ideal genre for capturing their attention,” Dr. Clarke hopes to use hip hop to break through to kids and get them to listen up.

While the doctor’s motives are admirable and his attempt to make good songs not too shabby, I have to say that this is a fail. Take a break from reading right now and head over to the Health Hop page on CD Baby and listen to some clips. See what I mean? No? Read on.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Music & More, Routine Ramblings, What kind of fuckery?

hoodwinked

I’m pretty disgusted right about now. I was asleep, knocked out due to my sickness and woke up at midnight to find that the House had passed a health care reform bill (HR 3962). Sounds good at first, especially since we have been trying to get SOME form of legislation moving through the process. Unfortunately, this is not what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that most people had/have no idea that today, in what felt like a backdoor sneak move, Representative Bart Stupak put forth an amendment on a Saturday morning to the proposed health care bill. Oh, it got passed, by the way. What is this bill that you probably didn’t know was even being discussed?

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment would purportedly allow women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion.  But such abortion riders do not exist because women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or medically complicated pregnancies that require ending the pregnancy.  These so-called ‘abortion riders,’ which would be the only insurance policy through which abortion care could be covered in the ‘exchange,’ are discriminatory and illogical.  Proposing a separate ‘abortion rider’ or ‘single-service plan’ is tantamount to banning abortion coverage since no insurance company would offer such a policy.*

Take some time. Read that again. How ridiculous is that? While folks were on Twitter talking about brunch, football and #threewordsaftersex, anti-choicers were hijacking health care reform and using this opportunity to revolutionize American health care as a stage for their anti-abortion agenda. Dude… not here. Not this fight. SMH. Don’t be mistaken, taking away abortion coverage (in both private insurance plans and the public option) will not deter people from having unprotected sex. It will not result in a significant decline in abortions sought or performed. It will not only hurt the people you think it might hurt.

Abortion is legal. Until Congress passes a law otherwise (that passes Constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court), it is legal. I can’t get hype about HCR, and trust me I WANT to be so hype about HCR, when people are trying to use the backdoor to chisel away at my rights. It’s sneaky and I don’t want my government to work that way. Please believe that the NRA folks would not be down for this. You see how they get when someone even breathes gun control. The Second Amendment gets trotted out like it was the 11th Commandment.

I took a Legislation & Public Policy course in law school. I’m currently taking Politics & Policy in my MPA program. Even without those classes, I know some BS okey doke when I see it. Game recognize game, right? This is a CLASSIC example of how you get a piece of legislation to FAIL. Instead of coming out and saying no to HCR (which will make you look bad, for sure), you say yes but also get on board with an amendment that will alienate so many people that it’s sure to bring down the whole house. This is some back to the drawing board shit if I’ve ever seen it, yet so many folks are just happy to have something, I bet they won’t raise a fuss. You are so used to accepting crumbs from the gov’t that you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in. Meanwhile, those that are AGAINST what you believe in are up ALL night, working hard. No, really. They’re up ALL night. Crazy does not sleep. But listen yall, don’t drink the kool aid. This is not the HCR we want. It’s the HCR we’re settling for.

Find out how your representative voted on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment. If they were on board with the amendment and you are not, please call your rep and let them know how poorly they’ve represented you this weekend.

Definitely hit up your Senators. Ball’s in their court now.

*Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Read the whole statement here.

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Now I'm pissed, Pay Attention!, Politics, Swiped, What kind of fuckery?

when choosing a doctor…

I’m not a racist, I let white folks use my bathroom! I do, however, have a preference for people of color in certain situations, specifically Black folks. There are limits, of course. When given a choice on nearly everything, I don’t care who does it if it’s done well. I don’t go to Starbucks and wait for the Black barista to make my latte over anyone else who is equally qualified at foaming milk and stuff. I do like to have Black doctors, though. Maybe because I haven’t been exposed to many over the years. Perhaps it was too much Cliff Huxtable. Could be now that my friends are dentists, ophthalmologists, anesthesiologist and such, I like the idea even more. I don’t know. Moving to a new city, I’m having to re-up on my roster of health care providers. I’ll probably just break down and ask my friends or coworkers who they see and roll with their recommendations (an excellent way to find a provider, actually) but at present I’m asking around to see who knows a Black dentist, primary care physician and a gyn.

Wait… that last one, gynecologist… that’s a special category. While I wouldn’t mind having a Black FEMALE gyn, I cannot have a Black male. I said as much on Twitter a couple of days ago and I wasn’t able to fully articulate why I felt that way when asked. I don’t even know if I can get my feelings about it across right now but I’ll try (and fail). Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, My Life, Routine Ramblings

is spanking okay?

A new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University found that children who are spanked as 1-year-olds are more likely to behave aggressively and did worse on cognitive tests as toddlers than children who were not spanked. The study focused on low-income families and found that African-American children are spanked more than their white and Mexican counterparts. I have no love for Duke but I guess they have some pretty decent researchers there. Still, I don’t think, from personal experience, that children who are spanked are more aggressive BECAUSE of the spanking and not the other factors in their lives. Even if the toddlers are performing below their un-spanked peers, I wonder how they compare when they’re teens and adults. The latter part, Black kids being spanked more, is not surprising to me at all. Many a comedian has based their routine on spanking Black children. We get together and laugh about this shared experience. We see kids acting up in school or in the store and shake our heads thinking he or she needs their butt whooped. Not all Black folks spank their kids but there is definitely cultural acceptance and encouragement of the practice within the community.

There was spanking in my family. Physical discipline was definitely on the menu but it wasn’t the main course. I’m definitely against violence in most forms. It’s criminal and inhumane to abuse a child, a spouse, a friend, a stranger… It’s not the way I want to live my life, being violent toward others. I don’t know if this makes me a hypocrite but I don’t consider spanking to be “violence” in the same way. Truthfully, I have more of an issue with some of the verbal punishment I hear hurled at children than the physical. I feel there is a certain way to use physical discipline for punishment or correction with children. That being said, I don’t see myself using spanking as a disciplinary method very often when I do have children of my own. Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Routine Ramblings

Guest Post: Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter

I’m late getting this post up due to my long Labor Day weekend without computer access but last week, actress Maia Campbell’s name lit up the Twitterverse. Where the majority of people were quick to barbecue Campbell and speculate on her behavior (drugs, mental illness, etc) I tried to stay on the periphery and avoid making light of what could be a serious situation. Additionally, I find little comedy in actual drug addiction. Therefore, I was glad that my good friend D.L. Chandler (twitter: @dlc123) was able to put into words what I couldn’t/wouldn’t express. I considered not posting this because the buzz around Campbell has died down but whatever she’s dealing with is not over and the message in D.L.’s post remains relevant.

Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter – D.L. Chandler

Like many young men in the 1990s, I found actress Maia Campbell to be one of the more attractive young black starlets on television. Early on, I discovered that she hailed from the Greater Washington Metropolitan area just as I did and that factoid endeared me to her as well. Of late Maia Campbell has fallen out of the public eye, and has been unfairly ridiculed by her poor life choices fueled by her bout with Schizophrenia. The daughter of late bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell, Maia found fame on the LL Cool J vehicle In The House. For 3 seasons, the show enjoyed some mild success and Maia Campbell was a prominent fixture of the sitcom. Once the show ended, Maia worked bit parts in television and small movies, but nothing more.

I am not going to play reporter here and try to guess what happened beyond that point. What I do know is that in the last three years, nude photos of an obviously inebriated Campbell and a very recent video of the actress has appeared on the Internet. The gossip blogs, Twitter, message boards and news outlets (such as The Examiner) have all had their say to the inner workings of Ms. Campbell’s fall. We don’t know what’s leading her down this path nor do we know if she’s ever had adequate help – at least as far as what’s been released publicly. However, what is quite telling is how much of my Twitter feed was filled with hurtful jokes about her condition. The blogs and their comment fields were also filled with the same insensitive and lame commentary found in the linked Examiner piece above. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrities, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Pay Attention!, Spotlights

half-truth: crack kills

It’s not totally untrue. If you’re anything like me, you grew up in the midst of America’s ‘War on Drugs’ and you probably wore a D.A.R.E. t-shirt or the family car sported a bumper sticker. We all saw the commercials, “this is your brain on drugs,” and many of us came closer to crack than we should have as young people. So it has been drilled into our heads that crack kills. Use drugs, you’ll die. Hell, if smoking weed can cause you to run over a pre-teen out for a bike ride, smoking crack has got to be the end of it all, right? Kinda.

I’m no fan of crack cocaine, yall. I know it’s hella bad. As if we needed proof, the Office of National Drug Control Policy lists the health effects from crack use:

Physical effects of cocaine use, including crack use, include constricted blood vessels and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Users may also experience feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.

In addition to the usual risks associated with cocaine use, crack users may experience acute respiratory problems, including coughing, shortness of breath, lung trauma, and bleeding. Crack cocaine smoking also can cause aggressive and paranoid behavior.

Of an estimated 113 million emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. during 2006, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimates that 1,742,887 were drug-related. DAWN data indicate that marijuana was involved in 290,563 ED visits.

According to the National Institutes of Health,

Regardless of how or how frequently cocaine is used, a user can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which may cause sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.

So yeah, there you have it. Crack cocaine can kill. Still, it doesn’t really kill people like they made/make it out to do. How do I know this? Why am I even bringing this up? Well, as you can tell from some of my last posts, I’m back in my hometown. Since I don’t have shit else to do, I spend a lot of time running errands for my fam or going to see my grandfather. I also take a moment to ride around some. As I’m passing through, I keep noticing people who I know for a fact were heavy crack addicts. I’ve seen some of them buy and smoke it with my own eyes, so no speculation is necessary. What bugged me out as I was driving earlier today was that these motherfuckers are STILL around. They ain’t EVEN dead.

Not that I wish they were dead. I’m just kind of surprised. We’re talking 10 years at least that these people have been on that shit. From what I can tell, they’re still on it (that right there is speculation as to one woman, I’d bet the farm on the other). The one I’m speculating to, she just kinda pissed me off cuz I saw her on the same corner I remember seeing her on when I was a kid. Not like a teenager, a kid. Damn… go elsewhere!

When I drove past one chick and saw that she still looked pretty out there, I said to myself damn, I guess crack don’t kill after all. True, it kills your mind, your appearance, your life, your family, your community. It’s one of the most devastating things to happen to our country. But after all that crack kills scare shit they fed us, I really thought that people I knew were going to die in a short matter of time. I had even made my peace with it. Turns out, you can suffer a LONG time with someone who is on that shit. That’s what they need to tell people – – “Crack is highly addictive and bad for you. It’ll destroy your life and you’ll have to live suffer with it for a very looonnnnngggg time.”

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Routine Ramblings