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Flanagan House B & B

So, Baby its cold outside gets a liberal makeover, yet rap music, which has set the social platform for generations, is okay! So, a guy trying to sweet talk a lady is wrong, yet lyrics and lifestyle depicting women as hos, and murder as a natural response is good to go? So, black colored pumpkins is horribly disrespectful, but a president who used an artist, known for painting black women in African wardrobe cutting off the heads of white women for his presidential portrait gets a pass? Companies are changing for the worse by bowing to the few and ignoring the many.  Bruno Mars can call Michelle Pfeiffer “white gold”! Could I get away with calling Beyoncé black gold or Lucy Lui yellow gold? When in truth a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, no matter what color she is! Oh, is that a sexist remark, or is it one of the wonderful differences that add that rare spice in life that I am commenting about?

I see men yelling, cursing and screaming that something is offensive to women, while the women just scratch theirs heads and wonder what he is talking about! Do women need a man to speak for them? I can’t speak for you, but in my experience with the women connected to my life, they do not need a man to defend them! A smile at church, and then a whisper of a lie right after. The color of religion is not black or white! It is transparent, because most Christians that I know are hypocrites with acceptance. The knowledge that you really do not need to adhere to the bible’s principals, because most others don’t. Human rationalization! However, if you believe in Christianity, then it is God who will judge you, and not the cast of humanity when it comes to the play’s final curtain!

Is it freedom of speech when you show up to protest someone else’s freedom of speech? After years of accepting people for whoever they are, I now have to choose and label! Hypocrisy is pretending to be a Democrat to be elected! Why is it you have to be any party to run for public office? Who made those rules? How about, pretending to be a liberal just so you do not lose friends and family? How sad it is that actually happens. There is another choice other than left and right! The middle, the independent, the unaffiliated and the forgotten! Where does balance exist between to ends of the same line? The middle! Conservatives describe themselves as everyday people who just want to work, spend time with family and be happy. Then repeat! Naïve much? Balance lies in the hearts and minds of the good people! Hypocrisy! Hey you better not smoke! Even though I do. Everyone has something that they hate above all other things! For this writer, it is hypocrisy. Funny as a human it can not be escaped, for even as these words were written, I know I am just as guilty as some in hypocrisy, but a lot less than others as well. Even in our grand design, we are physical hypocrisy! We live to die. We hope to live, but swear upon a wish to die, which itself is a lie!

People are attacked for wearing a MAGA hat, yet if it is an Obama or Clinton hat it would not invoke the same anger! Or does it? Maybe it is a stronger tolerance and the ability to empathize that lies within some people that makes it seem that way. Hypocrisy is looking the other way, or not looking at all! If you pretend the world is fine it will be. Hypocrisy can also be spelled Government! They say they are for us, yet we see they are not. They say anything to get elected, and then it all sweep under the rug. They promise the moon Alice, but can only deliver a star. A movie star who thinks through their movies and scripts they  know about the working class. The same people they ridicule in their paparazzi rants, are the same people who still buy their movie tickets and DVDs. Do we not have more pride than that? American pride was one of our country’s strengths! Now it is trending to disrespect the country that you call home! The hypocrisy of it all is capped with a final thought. It is hypocritical of me to write this, considering what I really wanted to write would have been much harsher and to the point, alas, I succumb to my own hypocrisy!

Hypocrisy is life’s bumper sticker!

By Columnist: Tim Flanagan

Freedom of speech for some

By Columnist: Alice Walker

Only some people are allowed to speak freely about their opinion. Others fear for their safety or even their lives.  People only accept opinions that reflect their own and lash out at those who are different.

 Being a straight, white female, I am often looked at as having a privileged life but, I fear for my safety when it comes to voicing my opinion. I often do not feel comfortable voicing my political, religious, or societal view in person or online. So many people are quick to anger and self preservation which makes conversations turn violent. October 24th, 2019, two men got into a fist fight at an anti- Trump rally. The two men were discussing differing political views which escalated into screaming and fist fighting. The man who started throwing punches first was arrested.

Society has not learned how to speak with one another especially online where you can hide behind anonymity. People have started attacking the person with threats or even physical violence for simply voicing an opposing opinion. August 19, 2019 two women were stabbed in Philadelphia following an argument that occurred on social media. The two women were tracked down and one of the women died as a result of her injuries. If conversations don’t turn deadly they are usually reduced to a slew of verbal attacks such as “you’re stupid”, “go kill yourself”, “you’re racist/sexist/homophobic/ xenophobic/ect.”

In order to rectify this situation we need to get back to open debates that are based on facts. If you are debating online throw in a link to back up your opinion or share a personal story that explains your opinion. We have to stop attacking people when we cannot express ourselves rationally. We are not always right. Conversations are not about winning it’s about education. One should not have their rights taken away because of fear. One person’s rights are not more important than someone else’s rights.  That is the true definition of equality.

Life Banks

By Columnist: Victor Chilaka

When I log into my online banking account, an alert message reads, “We’re here to help customers experiencing hardship resulting from the federal government shutdown.” I imagine that hardship, a federal employee and victim affected by the shutdown and seeking help. Running a household, the only one working, married with a child or two, maybe even a disabled parent-our mother in law-lives with us. My wife took off from work perhaps a year or two to stay home and be a full-time caregiver. We take out bank loans, ask old college friends for help, and get extensions on car payments, heating, and electric bills…

I recall a family hardship, when I was a teen. I think about the night my family and I spent in our beat up 1994 Park Avenue Buick, fresh off an eviction finalized in Winton, NC court house. On a church parking lot, my grandma begs the preacher to let us sleep in our car for the night. Never seen the righteous forsaken nor seed begging bread, but he tells us to leave and be blessed in the NAME of Jesus. 3 years of running around asking friends, family, and church family for help.

I recall a lesson learned my senior year in college, on my own renting, working 3 work study jobs 40+ hours a week to finish off strong, pay for my books, and begging the finance office to let me breach the $2,000 limit per semester. My teen experience taught me to never expect support, even when you have nothing, and thus I made myself learn to keep a $10-$15 electric/heating bill a month, and eat off $20 a month.

Finally I think on my post-college life, where it’s no longer about self-achievement or independence, but about being able to provide for my family. It’s taking out several emergency credit cards to keep my parents’ car in the yard, gas for work, house repairs, kerosene heaters running, pampers for my baby brother, and the utility bills paid. It’s about projecting into the future, visiting my grandmother more often and readying myself in the event that she needs to come home, taking care of my disabled uncle and still being able to treat him out here and there, because despite times of crisis, assuring he experiences life is just as important as making sure his basic needs are met. 2019’s kick off with a government shutdown speaks volumes on a fiscal level, but so much more on a spiritual one.


My experiences have taught me not to ask anything of, or to expect anything from the “banks” in my life. To start ignoring the "banks" who are merely watching me build a kingdom, offering linear advice and asking aimlessly from time to time “How’s the kingdom building coming along?” Instead I am grateful for the heaven-sent, the ones who notice and say, “I see what you’re doing there, allow me to help too!” 

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