“Watch Night Service” in the Black Church in America symbolizes the historical fact, that on the night of Dec. 31, 1862 during the Civil War, free and freed blacks living in the Union States gathered at churches and/or other safe spaces, while thousands of their enslaved black sisters and brothers stood, knelt and prayed on plantations and other slave holding sites in America — waiting for President Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation into law. The Emancipation Proclamation legally recognized that the Civil War was fought for slavery.
One hundred and fifty years later, African American Christians continued the faith tradition of their enslaved ancestors and gathered at a designated meeting space, the church, to celebrate; they are the survivors of a people who were defined in the U.S. Constitution as three-fifths human, shackled in chains and denied the right to vote.
One hundred and fifty years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, across denominational lines, African American Christians will join with family members and church members to pray and thank God for allowing them to survive the oppressive Voter Suppression ID laws that were created by states after President Barack Obama was elected the first African American President of the United States.
These Voter ID laws mirrored the unethical, racially discriminating poll taxes and voting tests which were enacted after the Civil War.
Like other black churches in America, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago offered two “Watch Night” worship services.
Thousands of children, women and men will united in the Spirit of the Lord in the Sanctuary, while other members and guests from as far away as New York, Oregon, Vietnam and Australia participated in Trinity’s “Watch Night” service at www.trinitychicago.org.
The Men’s Chorus and Sanctuary Choir led the intergenerational virtual congregation in “Look Where God Has Brought Us.”
It is a tradition in the Black Church in America that five minutes before midnight, men, women and children will kneel, hold hands and pray to God from the present year into the New Year.
One hundred and fifty years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law, on Dec. 31, 2012, African American Christians engaged in their prayer posture, and will reflect upon the fact that approximately 11 million Africans were enslaved during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, where 10-20 percent of them died on the slave ships, and the exact number of enslaved Black children, women and men killed or died during slavery will never be known.
And the choir sings:
Look where God has brought us,
look how far we’ve come,
we’re not what we ought to be,
we’re not what we used to be
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord,
for what You’ve done!”
Archives for January 2013
A program that provides free assistance with state and federal tax forms is preparing for a new tax season. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program of the Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition will begin filling out and filing taxes on Tuesday, January 22. This free service will be offered at locations across Milwaukee County including offices for the Social Development Commission and MATC’s Downtown Campus. For a complete list of sites, dates they are open and their hours, visit the SDC website at http://www.cr-sdc.org/Programs/VITA.htm.
U.S. light-vehicle sales probably rose in December to wrap up a three-year run unrivaled in almost four decades as consumers replaced cars and trucks that are, on average, the oldest ever on the nation’s roads.
Car and light truck sales in the U.S. probably rose 9.6 percent in December, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. That would cap a third-straight annual gain of at least 10 percent, the first such industry streak since 1973.
“It sure feels a lot better to be selling cars today than a few years ago,” Geoffrey Pohanka, president of the Pohanka Automotive Group, said in a telephone interview. “The age of the fleet and the attractiveness of a lot of cars that are being designed now are going to help sustain sales going forward.”
That confidence in continued demand has his Washington, D.C.-area dealer group expanding only a few years after retrenchment. Pohanka closed three Saturn stores and a Chrysler- Dodge outlet as part of the 2009 restructurings of the predecessors to General Motors and Chrysler. In 2013, he plans to build a second Honda store in as many years and also will add a new Volkswagen dealership.
U.S. light-vehicle sales in December likely climbed to 1.36 million, the average of estimates by nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would push deliveries for the full year to 14.5 million, the best annual total since 2007.–Article courtesy of Bloomberg
More and more people say they have a reason to swear on the job, but cursing can earn you a pink slip!
Word of potty mouths travel fast. Even if no one says anything at the time, you could be racking up a record. Employers cite swearing as one reason for firing 38 percent of the time.
“If you can’t speak without using inappropriate language, then how professional are you really?” said LaShaune Tisdale, owner of The Academy of Etiquette and Charm, CEO of Integra Staffing, Michelle Fish, says foul language can come across aggressive and create a hostile working environment.
“You’ve got to watch your e-mails, you’ve got to watch the way your speak to people… your co-workers, your bosses, and your clients,” said Fish.
Whether you’re meeting in the boardroom, chatting down the hallway or leaning over your cubicle – over 50 percent of people admit cursing in the office. But only half of them say they’ll do it in front of their boss.
For those that do, it doesn’t go unnoticed. 57 percent of employers say they would be less likely to promote potty mouths.
“A lot of times, we use inappropriate language to reinforce what we’re saying, but ideally, if we’re truly professional,we can find other appropriate words that we can use that are just as intense,” said Tisdale.
“There is no good time or place in a work environment to curse… ever,” said Fish.
CareerBuilder.com says men and employees in their mid 30’s to early forties are slightly more likely to swear at work. –FOX Charlotte
Folks who are just slightly overweight but have resolved to lose weight in the new year may give their plans second thoughts in the wake of a controversial new federal analysis
People who are overweight by up to 30 or so pounds have a slightly lower risk of early death than those at a normal weight, the government analysis finds.
The review of 97 studies showed that people who are extremely obese — roughly 60 or more pounds over a normal weight — have a greater risk of dying early than those who are at a normal weight.
About two-thirds of people in the USA are too heavy; a third are obese, which is roughly 35 or more pounds over a normal weight. Obesity is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer.
Katherine Flegal and colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reviewed the studies, which tracked 3 million adults from around the world. The research looked at deaths from all reasons and people’s body mass index (BMI), a number that considers weight and height.
The standard BMI categories included: normal weight (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9); overweight (BMI of 25 to 30); obese (a BMI of 30 or more); extremely obese (a BMI of 35 or more).
Findings, published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, show that relative to normal-weight people those who were:
Extremely obese had a 29% increased risk of early death.
Obese had an 18% increased risk of early death. Overweight had a 6% lower risk of early death. –USA TODAY
The top science reporter for NBC News raised questions Monday about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hospitalization, raising the possibility the blood clot causing isn’t linked to an earlier concussion.
“It’s not exactly clear what is happening with Secretary Clinton’s health,” NBC News chief science and health correspondent Robert Bazell said.
“All we have is a statement from her office. The hospital isn’t saying anything and the statement from her [office] says that she had this blood clot that stemmed from the concussion and she’s being treated with blood-thinning drugs,” Bazell continued
“The problem is that usually when blood clots come from concussions, they can’t be treated with blood [thinners.] So either it’s not really related to the concussion and she’s got a blood clot in her leg or something, or there’s something else going on that we’re not being told. And right now, we’re just sort of seeking that clarification and hoping for the best as she’s being observed.”
Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday night after a follow-up examination detected a blood clot caused by a concussion she suffered earlier this month. Before the fall that caused the concussion, Clinton had been battling a stomach virus.—Politico
by Troy Sparks
This is the end of the year that everything on local sports didn’t go as planned in 2012. It just didn’t. So what happened? I wished I knew. I was looking forward to going back to the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, but the team didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. It was fun going down to Arlington, TX to cover the Packers and watch them win in Super Bowl XLV.
Based on their 15-1 regular season record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs last season, which included a first round bye and second round home game, it looked like a slam dunk for the Pack to make the short trip to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.
It just wasn’t meant to be for the Packers. So maybe they will have a new sense of urgency and play with a chip on their shoulders in running the tables in the playoffs this time. According to NFL media, if the Packers make it to the Big Dance in New Orleans, then I go. If not, oh well.
When I saw what the Milwaukee Brewers did in 2011, it was special, especially when they made it to the National League Championship Series. I got to see three games at Miller Park and the playoff atmosphere it created.
With Major League Baseball adding an extra wild card team for the playoffs, it gave the Brewers a shot at grabbing one of two spots with their late surge. And they came awfully close, but they ran out of time.
If the Crew plays with confidence and with a modest team payroll, they can be special. The club realized that no matter how many high-paid players you have on your team, it doesn’t always translate into a postseason contender. Let’s hope that they can make progress with the players they have and acquired for less money.
Before passing judgment on the Milwaukee Bucks’ chance to make the playoffs this season, let’s go back to why they didn’t make it the last two years. Last season’s shortened schedule after the NBA lockout ended did no justice for them. The team completely fell apart in 2011 after setting a goal of winning 50 or more games. That momentum was supposed to carry over from their playoff appearance the year before.
So either the Bucks will make the playoffs or someone will get fired. That’s my wish for the team that they make the postseason. The time to make that push is now because half the team won’t be there next season.
The Marquette men’s basketball team won’t be in the Big East Conference in a couple of years. They recently agreed to form a new conference with other non-football schools. On top of that, don’t expect the Golden Eagles to play UWM, Wisconsin or UW-Green Bay in the future, which is a shame because all the state Div. I colleges should play non-conference games for bragging rights. I’m wishing for another Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
My wish is for the Commissioner of MPS athletics, Bill Molbeck, to do away with the strict rule of barring ticket sales at the door at MPS high school gyms for basketball games. I understand the no cell phone use in the gym, but come on. Working people can’t get off work around lunchtime to buy a ticket at an MPS school to watch that game later on. Why not start selling tickets at the door again? They sell tickets at the door if playoff games are at MPS gyms because the WIAA requires that they do.
You don’t have to deal with that kind of policy at suburban schools. Most people are well-behaved at high school athletic events. Not everybody who attend athletic events at MPS facilities are a threat. Milwaukee police are there at every basketball event in MPS, so what’s the issue?
Speaking of MPS athletics, this is addressed to the football programs in the City Conference. Aren’t you tired of the city schools beating up on each other then get the crappola beat out of them in the playoffs by the suburban teams?
When the 20 or so youth football programs choose to run independent operations instead of hooking up with the high schools to build a bond and maintain a steady flow of eager youths well-trained and well-skilled to contribute at the high school level, then we’ll see some progress and a city team play in the state title game in Madison.
Another thing that might be hurting football in the city is the talent that slips away to these suburban schools due to open enrollment and school choice. City Conference is losing out to good football talent and that’s a shame.
My wish is that somebody needs to talk about starting feeder programs with the MPS high schools that still have football programs. That could increase numbers on those teams. I have about 100 other wishes but not enough space to list them. Those were the main areas that stood out as the old year is ushered out to bring in the New Year. But the question that will stick to me is why the Bucks or the Brewers or the Golden Eagles can’t play in the championship game in their respective sport again? It’s been a long time since that happened.
All I can do is sit back and see what the 2013 will bring for our local sports teams. Maybe some luck will fall our way for a change. Then we can claim a championship for our city and state.
Simple steps to help you focus for the new year.
by C. Daniel Baker, Black Enterprise
As the calendar turns from 2012 to 2013, small business owners often find themselves finishing up projects, closing deals and reviewing the past year. Between following the outcome of the fiscal cliff crisis, balancing holiday time with running your business, and other last minute issues, most owners are exhausted. The clean slate of a new year brings the chance to restart, rejuvenate and reinvigorate ourselves and our small businesses.
First, small business owners should take time to reflect on 2012. What were some of your businesses’ biggest accomplishments? What were some of your biggest mistakes? Owners would do well to celebrate their successes as well as figure out what went wrong, before rushing into the new year.
Entrepreneurs should use January as a chance to review their clients, customers and contacts. Make a list of persons and companies you’d like to partner with in the new year. Pinpoint the most important people you’ve worked with in the last year, whether they’re colleagues, interns or customers. Use this time to let them know just how much you appreciate them and what exactly they did for you. Good relationships are critical to future networking so time spent now can reward dividends.
American Express OPEN Forum listed several other ways entrepreneurs can recharge in the New Year.
For the entrepreneur, this time of year typically means a mad dash to wrap-up remaining projects, close deals, and squeeze in time for family and friends. With winter’s shortened days, it starts to feel like time accelerates faster than ever—leaving you less and less time to accomplish your year-end goals. However, amidst the holiday chaos, it is possible to stay grounded and set the foundation for a successful year to come. Here are six ways to help you recharge your business for the New Year.
1. Get your priorities in line. Time management is a year-round challenge for business owners, but schedules get even tighter during the holidays. That’s why it’s more important than ever to know your priorities. Set a stopwatch for 20 minutes and write down everything that needs to be done before the calendar turns to 2013. Then, give yourself another 10 minutes to assess which of those tasks are the most important to yourself, your business and your family. Keep that list in mind as you start each day—and make sure all your activities are centered around those core priorities.
2. Ditch the New Year’s resolutions. A FranklinCovey survey found that 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions will break them. And a third never make it to the end of January. If you’re one of the many people who have left a string of resolutions behind, it’s time for a new approach. Rather than creating your resolutions for 2013, use the end of the calendar year to reflect on your business and market. What were some of the best things that your business accomplished this year? What were some of the biggest mistakes? Don’t rush to begin planning the new year until you’ve celebrated your wins and acknowledged your mistakes.
3. Evaluate your year as a business leader. In addition to reflecting on your business, this is a good time to reflect on yourself. After all, as an entrepreneur, you don’t exactly get a yearly performance review. Being as objective as possible, write down your strongest characteristics as a leader—and your weakest. Then, think about how each of these characteristics impacted your business, team members and partners during the year. This type of objective self-assessment can help you pinpoint areas to improve in 2013.
4. Build important connections. As a good entrepreneur, you’re looking out for interesting opportunities around every corner. And the end of the year offers a bevy of parties and events. Make some time to take advantage of these networking events and meet new people. Sometimes a simple party is the key to a great new client, collaboration or partnership that will pay dividends in the new year.
5. Show the love. During this hectic time, it’s all too easy to become inwardly focused—where you’re thinking more about crossing things off your list than what (or who) really matters. Of course, holidays are the time for family and friends, but I’m also talking about the professional relationships that matter to you. Think about the most important people you’ve worked with throughout the year—whether it’s a devoted assistant or a colleague who keeps introducing you to great contacts. Then, let them know just how much you appreciate them.
6. Unplug and recharge your batteries. No matter how busy your schedule gets, every entrepreneur should take some much-needed time away from the office and digital devices. Take advantage, since this is often the one time of year when people expect you won’t be working (unless, of course, you’re involved in some kind of seasonal business). Downtime is the only real way to hit the reset button, both personally and professionally. And it will open the door to fresh perspectives and new inspiration.
Mauritania has banned the use of plastic bags to protect the environment and the lives of animals and fish.
More than 70% of cattle and sheep who die in the capital, Nouakchott, are killed by eating plastic bags, environment ministry official Mohamed Yahya told BBC Afrique.
Plastic bag manufacturers could be jailed for up to a year.
Plastic makes up a quarter of 56,000 tonnes of waste produced annually in Nouakchott, official statistics show.
Mauritania’s Organization of Consumer Protection head Moctar Ould Tauf said he welcomed the ban, Efe news agency reports.
It was of “particular importance” given the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment, animals and marine species, he said.
Environment Minister Amedi Camara said that nearly all of the plastic package waste is not “collected and is found in the natural environment – land and sea – where they are sometimes ingested by marine species and livestock, causing their death”.
The government, local non-governmental organizations and the UN Programme for Development (UNDP) have been promoting the use of new biodegradable bags, the Mauritanian Information Agency reports.
Anyone using, manufacturing or importing plastic bags could be fined or sentenced to a year in prison, Mr Camara said.
Several African countries, including Rwanda, have already banned the use of plastic bags.