Caitlyn Jenner and the Celebration of Mediocrity: Let’s Change the Channel

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Caitlyn Jenner

(Photo Credit: Vulture)

Bruce Jenner has decided to become Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, and too many people across the country are foolishly viewing Jenner as a hero—please stop the madness! Before many of you begin to see this transgender woman as a hero, it’s important to allow serious investigation to take place about her potentially being a murderer. In America, we’re becoming so fascinated with the uncanny or spectacle that a celebration of mediocrity is taking root across the nation. While I’m not discriminating against anyone, including Bruce Jenner, for becoming transgender, I am criticizing how many view the transition to transgender as heroic—it’s not; it’s a calculated choice. Don’t be fooled by media’s attempt to depict Caitlyn Jenner as a hero and courageous. Jenner and her family have a history of loving the limelight and money. Are we approaching a historical and cultural epoch in America where making a transition to transgender is a solemn human accomplishment? If so, America is certainly headed for decline.

At the 2015 ESPYS, ESPN gave Caitlyn Jenner the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. ESPN’s standards for courage have now become conspicuously low. Bob Costas, NBC News journalist and sports analyst and someone who certainly isn’t a right-wing Republican by any stretch of the imagination, posits that Jenner was given the award as “a crass exploitation play” and “tabloid play.” I couldn’t agree more with Costas. When one considers that Caitlyn Jenner could make $500 million in the coming years for simply being transgender, it’s obvious that ESPN exploited the news surrounding Jenner, and we see what could be the true reason why Bruce Jenner decided to transition into Caitlyn Jenner: money. No matter how much money Jenner makes it doesn’t make becoming a transgender woman an accomplishment.

Although much of American popular culture offers great value, some dimensions of it has caused us to lower our standards about what authentic achievement really means. When Beyoncé’s recent “big announcement” can lead numerous people to take off of their jobs to watch and hear it, this signals we need to return to celebrating genuine accomplishments. We have become too fascinated with inane phenomena. It’s time for more Americans to commit to true achievement. Instead of focusing on Caitlyn Jenner, more Americans need to concern themselves with high academic achievement. Across the nation, countless students and teachers are achieving extraordinary feats truly deserving of even greater attention than Jenner has received. Also, American small business entrepreneurs across the nation are accomplishing amazing phenomena each day. Unfortunately, too many would rather celebrate a man’s simple transition to a transgender woman than a young black man’s journey to being accepted into every Ivy League institution.

Political correctness attempts to compel people to support inconsequential phenomena as if they’re significant. If individuals are unwilling to give praise to Caitlyn Jenner, then they will be attacked as “transphobic,” “bigots” and “discriminatory.” Although none of the aforementioned labels accurately describe me, if you desire to label me in such a way for not believing becoming transgender is heroic, courageous and an accomplishment, then I will proudly where your disparaging labels as badges of honor.

America is the nation that produced such greatness as George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Toni Morrison, Bill Gates, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jordan, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Carter G. Woodson, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Sheryl Sandberg, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, and Oprah Winfrey. All of the aforementioned truly accomplished individuals have been and are celebrated. Now, many are celebrating Caitlyn Jenner—something is wrong with this picture. Let’s change the channel.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Freddie Gray and Eric Garner Didn’t Have to Die: Open Season on Black Males in America

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Freddie Gray

(Photo Credit: The Grio)

Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Eric Garner in New York didn’t have to die. Before some of you begin to respond with “they shouldn’t have gotten arrested,” being arrested has never meant an automatic termination of life. Okay, Gray and Garner both engaged in activities that violated the criminal law. Is there a new standard in America now that says a violation of the criminal law automatically results in the dissolution of an individual’s life? Well, in the cases of Gray and Garner, the police officers involved in their murders acted as if the answer is yes.

Are the murders of Gray and Garner all about race? No. Race did play an important factor but what happened to them is just as much about class and gender. First, let me disabuse some of the false notion that just because there were a few black cops involved in Freddie Gray’s murder this effaces any connections between race and his death. Black people are just as much capable of internalizing and employing racist ideology as anyone else. Too often, when many blacks ascend to positions of power, they allow power to cause them to willing abandon their relation to the history and cultural experience of black people in America. Historical and cultural amnesia can result in a black person becoming just as racist, discriminatory and dangerous as any white supremacist. Therefore, miss me with the faulty argument that race cannot be substantively involved in Gray’s murder.

In both cases, a racial and racist discourse informed the police officers involved. Most police officers across the country are doing a great job protecting and serving Americans. A small, yet significant percentage of police officers have declared open season on black males. The majority of these black males being murdered by unscrupulous white police officers come from low-income backgrounds. For these white officers, they see this intersection of race, gender and class in the context of poor black males as dangerous. Poor black males are disposable and burdens to society in their eyes.

All black boys and men’s lives matter. Yes, all lives matter. Right now, too many police officers fail to see the value of the lives of black males, which is why serious social, political, and civil and human rights activists should continue to emphasize that black lives matter. Unfortunately, the “all lives matter” campaign incongruously leads to black lives, especially black male lives, getting lost in the “all” of the “all lives matter” campaign.

Eric Garner

(Photo Credit: Gawker)

If you don’t want to see anymore Ferguson and Baltimore riots in any other areas across the nation, then it’s imperative for a small percentage of corrupt and racist police officers across the nation to discontinue unjustly murdering unarmed black males who don’t pose an imminent threat to them. Both black-led peaceful protests and riots in areas affected by unmerited killings of black males is increasingly engendering new black resistance movements. Although peace is a significant dimension of these new black resistance movements, retaliatory violence and vandalism are painful and costly aspects of these movements.

No longer are numerous black people across the nation succumbing to docile acceptance of unwarranted killings of their black boys and men. Many are communicating that they will meet unwarranted police murders of black lives with collective outrage and vandalism, and some are expressing that they will take the lives of white officers as a form of recompense for killing unarmed black males. These new black resistance movements are best encapsulated and delineated by Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die.” In the poem, McKay posits that if black people are going to die at the hands of their white oppressors, then they will die fighting back zealously and aggressively. Black people have never been weak—don’t expect this to ever change! If necessary, many blacks will continue to take justice into their own hands until their collective lives are valued much more.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Celebrate Parents of Military Men and Women: The Forgotten Heroes

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Military Appreciation

Sgt. Nick Daniels and Ginnie Ann Daniels (mom) immediately before his wedding. 12/31/1999
Photo Courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

The parents of the brave men and women in uniform who defend our nation deserve to be honored for their great sacrifices and all they do to support those who have and are serving our country. One of the most powerful ways to show appreciation to our servicemen and servicewomen is to honor their parents. Without question, we have the best military in the world. What makes our military the best in the world is the quality people who constitute it. Unfortunately, we often fail to pay homage to their parents—the individuals who produce these quality men and women.

Ginnie Ann Daniels, an Arkansas mom with a son in the military, has committed herself to passionate support of active duty military men and women and veterans. Mrs. Daniels has engaged in numerous efforts to evince her gratitude to those who have and are serving in our military. For example, she partnered with the Wounded Warriors Project to have parking lot signs posted in prominent places, including Walmart and the South Arkansas Art Center (SAAC) in El Dorado, Arkansas, that acknowledge the immense sacrifices veterans injured in combat have made. Ginnie understands that we should never forget to honor and care for our nation’s veterans.

Military Appreciation

Ginnie Ann Daniels posing for a picture at South Arkansas Art Center for a sign honoring wounded combat servicemen and servicewomen.
Photo courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

Sergeant Nick Daniels, Ginnie Ann Daniels’ son, has and is serving tours of duty in some of the most dangerous regions in the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq. On yesterday, Ginnie and her husband celebrated their 42th wedding anniversary. Imagine how difficult it is for this loving couple to be separated from their son who is bravely serving our nation. Yes, they are proud of their son and the hero he is. This, however, does not make it any easier for them emotionally as they acknowledge the dangers Sergeant Nick Daniels faces in regions like Afghanistan and Iraq. His parents have to employ just as much faith as he does to maintain hope and courage while he serves.

Parents of military men and women are heroes too. The economic, emotional and physical sacrifices they have to make are highly commendable and not many would welcome those sacrifices. Although these parents are not physically on the battlefield with their son, they certainly are in spirit—not a moment goes by where they are not thinking about him, supporting him and praying for him.

Take a moment to contemplate about how difficult it is for Sargent Nick Daniels—a parent himself—to be separated from his young son while he’s serving. As a loving father, you know it’s a tremendous sacrifice to miss so many important moments with him. Also, consider the tremendous sacrifices his wife is making.

Military Appreciation

Sgt. Nick Daniels makes a surprise visit home to his wife and son in Houston, Texas.
Photo Courtesy of Ginnie Ann Daniels

While Mrs. Ginnie Daniels has been successful in numerous efforts to express meaningful appreciation to our servicemen, servicewomen and veterans, she has met some opposition and lack of support for her commendable work. For people who are devoted to the type of patriotic work she is involved in, we should do all possible to help her succeed.

Let’s keep Ginnie, her husband, Sergeant Nick Daniels, his wife and their entire family in our prayers. Today, we salute this wonderful family!

If you would like to make financial contributions to the family of Sergeant Nick Daniels, please feel free to contact me at antoniomdaniels@gmail.com, and my staff and I will provide you with the information necessary to submit your contributions directly to his family. Money is one gift we can give to the family to show our tangible gratitude and support for their noteworthy sacrifices.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Happy 35th Birthday to Dr. Santresa L. Glass

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Santresa L. Glass

Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

I want to take this opportunity to wish Dr. Santresa L. Glass, my best friend, a Happy Birthday! San, as she’s affectionately known, is such a loving, caring and thoughtful person. She’s passionate about friendship and love. Whenever I have good news to share, Dr. Glass is always more excited about the news than I am. In a world saturated with jealousy and envy, one must truly treasure that aforementioned aspect of a person. We have a friendship like none other. It’s a joy to wake up each day and know that you have someone in your corner with the love and support that Santresa extends. Yes, my life is great because of Jesus dwelling on the inside of me, and Dr. Glass is one of those precious treasures He’s given to me that makes life even more special.

Although we disagree 99% of the time, our ardent discourses always add to our friendship rather than take away from it. Too many people are looking for “yes men” and “yes women,” but San and I seek authenticity, and that’s exactly what we receive from one another 100% of the time. We always honor each other’s authenticity because it comes from a genuine place of love. Dr. Glass and I embrace each other’s differences and those differences help us to learn so much from one another.

One of the dimensions of our friendship I appreciate the most is how she’s able to give me valuable insights from a woman’s perspective and I’m able to offer her meaningful insights from a man’s perspective. You would be really surprised how we’ve used this “insider knowledge” to our advantage.

While many still believe we have a sexually intimate relationship, our friendship is not based on sexual relations at all. We share an intimacy that is much deeper and rewarding than what people experience in relationships involving sexual intercourse. The essence of our intimacy and love is best encapsulated and delineated by William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. Our love and intimacy cannot even be eradicated by the ravages of time.

San, I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. Whatever you set your mind to do, you conquer—no matter what challenges and problems you encounter. As you know, I’m only a call, text, tweet or Facebook message away. It’s my prayer that God’s Grace will manifest into your life on this day an abundance of spiritual elevation, divine health, love, peace, joy, happiness, wealth, faith, favor and miracles.

I love you and want you to have the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Santresa L. Glass!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Qualified Nurse?

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Black Female Nurse

(Photo Credit: Black Enterprise)

The need for qualified nurses in Australia has been steadily on the rise. As a result, many young men and women in Australia are being encouraged to consider a career in the nursing/medical industries. Could you be considered a good candidate to embark on the fulfilling and stimulating world of nursing?

Nursing can be a tremendously rewarding career for many different people, but it is not for everyone. Becoming a great nurse requires more than just not getting squeamish at the sight of blood. Read on to see what to consider before you decide that a nursing career is right for you.

Should you consider a career in nursing?

The first and most important thing anyone considering being a nurse should possess is an outgoing personality. The majority of a nurse’s time is spent interacting with the patients, so if you don’t consider yourself a people’s person then nursing will likely prove to be a quite trying career choice for you.

Nursing is also a physically demanding job that requires a high level of energy. Most nursing shifts are 10-12 hours in length and are primarily spent on your feet. If you have back or leg problems, or if you are just not an energetic person, then nursing may not be the best career option for you.

Nursing is not only physically demanding but can also be really emotionally demanding. Being a nurse involves (among numerous other things) comforting patients and their families during some of the hardest times of their lives, which can certainly take an emotional toll. A good nurse needs to have the ability to leave the job behind when he or she finishes for the day. What happens on the nursing floor stays on the nursing floor.

Another personality trait that you may want to have (or acquire) is the ability to allow less than appealing situations to roll off of your back. Remember you will be dealing with all manner of patient issues—most of which are either painful or unusually uncomfortable.  In other words, you’re often dealing with people who aren’t in the best of moods. Therefore, you shouldn’t be easy to offend and cannot take things personally.

Becoming a Qualified Nurse

To be a qualified nurse, you will need to attend a nationally-accredited nursing program. There are some great options for nursing courses in Melbourne. The majority of these initial nursing courses can be completed in 18 months, and these courses will place you on a wonderful path to becoming a certified nurse.

Earning your degree in nursing will open the door to a myriad of exciting and deeply fulfilling opportunities in the healthcare industry. A degree in nursing will enable you to work in not only a hospital setting but also in nursing homes, sports and rehabilitation clinics and even mental health facilities.

Any well-established nursing school will have the means to give you a sneak peek at the variety of nursing career options available. A good nursing course should offer a wide array of hands-on labs as well as solid clinical experience through placement rotations. Such opportunities will give you a firsthand look at the various areas of practice that coincide with your medical qualifications, which will help you to choose a setting that you can thrive in as a qualified nurse.

Best of luck in your new nursing career!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Working Around a Family? Why Bookkeeping Might Be Right For You!

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Bookkeeper

(Photo Credit: The Win A News)

With the cost of childcare so high, more people are finding ways to have a home-based career, allowing them to provide for their families while still being home and available to them. If you have an affinity for mathematics and numbers and you’re organized and self-motivated, bookkeeping might be the perfect solution for you. It can be a career that ensures you can put food on the table while still being there to meet the needs of your family.

Why Bookkeeping is an Excellent Home Business

Starting a bookkeeping business from home is ideal, as it requires very little space and few overheads, so working from home is no challenge at all. Using your residence to run your business will ensure overhead costs remain minimal. More of your income will go into your wallet rather than being spent on business expenses.

To set up shop, all that is needed is a small amount of desk space, a computer, internet access, a telephone (either mobile or landline) and a handful of clients. Once you have the basics sorted, you’re up and running and the possibilities are limitless. Although it is a good idea, a home-based bookkeeping business does not even require space in the home for meeting clients, as that can be done away from the home at a public place or the client’s location.

Being a self-employed bookkeeper can offer ideal flexible work hours, making it easy to work around your family obligations and commitments.

Required Education and Certification

If you’re not already involved in bookkeeping as a career, it might be necessary to update or acquire the necessary qualifications. You must also decide if you will be doing BAS (Business Activity Statements) because, if so, you’ll have to complete specific qualifications for this as well. Certificate Level IV in bookkeeping is required as well as 1,400 work hours.

People looking to become a certified bookkeeper from home may want to consider getting their credentials from home. They can do this by completing a reputable online bookkeeping course. This can help to keep the costs to a minimum and you can work at your own pace. Completing the courses online will keep you home with your family, which was the original goal in the first place.

Business Activity Statements Agent

An excellent way to expand upon your business idea, increase your fees and generate more income with the same amount of work is to consider becoming a BAS agent. Any bookkeeper that wishes to handle Business Activity Statements has to meet specific requirements that include a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or accounting and a minimum of 1,400 hours experience.

Consider all available qualifications as goals, as they will make you a knowledgeable, reliable and reputable bookkeeper.

Tips to Ensure Home Business Success

To ensure your business will be a success, and you will be able to remain at home with your loved ones, be sure to stay abreast of new software and training. It’s vital that you’re knowledgeable about the latest innovations to offer the best possible service to your customers. Your clients will expect you to have provide them with the best service and this comes through ensuring you’re employing the most sophisticated and current resources and practices. Clients are only likely to place their trust willingly in somebody who is as knowledgeable as possible about their trade, so make sure you fit this criteria for the greatest chance of success.

Before beginning, be sure to develop a strong business plan that will outline the expenses of running the business so you will be aware of how many clients you will need to earn your desired income. This should include the costs of certifications, training and software.

A good bookkeeper has a sound knowledge of tax laws as they pertain directly to the profession.

If you need help a business plan developed for an economic price, or you need help with improving your business, contact Paideia Realized, Inc. at paideiarealized@gmail.com.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

False Prophecy and Abusive Preaching: Weapons of Mass Destruction

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False Prophecy

(Photo Credit: Dispatch)

Unfortunately, too many preachers are using “prophecy” as a vehicle for their personal agendas. False prophecy is one of the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction employed in the Church today. Pulpits and altars should never be used as platforms for establishing and executing one’s personal agenda. Although people, even those who have no religious affiliations, are aware of false prophecies about the apocalypse and money, significantly less critical attention has been devoted to preachers who use false prophecy as a medium to make personal statements to one person or a small group of individuals.

Bishop Noel Jones posits that the pulpit shouldn’t be used to address one person out of all the people in the congregation simply because you’re angry with the person. Jones contends that what you say will only be understood by you and possibly the person you’re referring to, but the time of the rest of the congregation will be wasted. Bishop Jones also asserts that preachers should never try to interpret Scripture in a way that speaks solely to the particular person he or she is angry with, considering no one will even understand how he or she arrived at the interpretation and all will be confused about the meaning of the discussed Scripture. He’s correct—prophecy, pulpits and altars are not weapons for achieving one’s personal agenda.

“Prophlying” is serious issue church leaders need to confront. What do I mean by “prophlying”? Prophlying is intentionally disguising prophecy or divine revelation as authentic words from God, or an unhealthy and unscriptural focus on someone and/or something to the point of where one’s mind becomes so consumed by the person and/or phenomenon that he or she is unable to distinguish between one’s personal thoughts and divine revelation. Colossians 3:2 instructs Believers to “set their mind” on what is important to God. Believers, therefore, have to make an intentional effort to “set their mind” on matters of the Kingdom of Heaven. Failing to set one’s mind on what’s valuable to God makes Believers vulnerable to receiving the thoughts of Satan.

When you’re constantly beholding and contemplating people and phenomena you credit your anger to, you give your thought-life to Satan. Your thought-life should be Jesus-centered.

It doesn’t matter that you speak in tongues and close your eyes when you engage in prophlying—you’re still giving false prophecy. Authentic prophecy isn’t about what you want to say and what you see but what God sees and desires to communicate through you. II Peter 1:21 states, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This aforementioned verse makes it clear that genuine prophecy comes from God—not from one’s own observations and desires, and this verse informs you to be “moved by the Holy Ghost” and not your emotions. When preachers become dominated by their emotions and not the Holy Spirit, people begin to lose trust in them—no matter how effective men and women of God they’ve been in the past.

Preachers, share what God has told you to reveal and sit down. Don’t use your position as a platform and weapon to attack those you’re angry with and with whom you disagree.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison