Project Runway: Season 9 – Episode 5 The Dreaded Sportswear Challenged...

So folks, I should start by saying I am not Zack Bunker. Zack is on vacation, chilling or doing what cool guys like Zack do, so this week you are stuck with me. I know, I know…but hey, this is not a picnic for me either. In order to write this recap, I had to get off the Reality TV Boycott I...

Political Physics: I Agree with Halle, the “One Drop Rule”...

I chose this article because even looking back on it I am surprised that is spawned such a heartfelt, deep and thought-provoking discussion on race and identity both here and on Facebook.   It also made me think further about how, if at all, parents should try to shape their child’s...

Women Don’t Ask, But They Should! [Political Physics]

I was recently offered a new job.  It is an amazing opportunity and I am honored to have been offered the position.  Plus I have been incredibly unhappy in my current position for some time.  So it took everything in my power not to just leap at the idea of taking the position when it was...

So You Wanna Cut Kindergarten? Huh? [Political Physics]

Kindergarten is a German word that literally means “children’s garden.”  According to Wikipedia, kindergarten “is a form of education for young children that serves as a transition from home to the commencement of more formal schooling.  Another definition, which...

The End Did Come for Some of the Camping Followers [Political Physics]

So Harold Camping was wrong…or partially wrong. Harold Camping is an American Christian radio broadcaster and he is president of Family Radio, a California-based, multi-million dollar radio station that spans more than 150 markets in the United States and boasts hundreds of thousands of...

Political Physics: Bin Laden’s Death and the Hydra Effect

A little over a year ago, I went to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.  The film, loosely based on the Lightning Thief a novel by Rick Riordan, is about a kid who discovers that he is a half-blood or a child of a human and a Greek god. After a summer training session...

Political Physics: To Spank or Not to Spank

When I was growing up I got spankings (or beatings as the older black women in my family called them).  I am not sure when I got my first spanking, but I know that spankings were regularly used as a form of punishment in our household.  My mom used a belt and my very southern Nana Mary...

Political Physics: Sign Me Up for A Little Nip & Tuck

So I am driving into work last week and I am listening to some pop station.  The disc jockey is going on and on about The Black Eyed Peas recent performance of their new single, “Just Can’t Get Enough” on American Idol. But it wasn’t the song that he was droning one about, it was Fergie. ...

Political Physics: The Importance of Being Prepared

My heart is heavy as I watch events unfold in Japan. According to the Los Angeles Times, “more than 1,000 bodies wash[ed] ashore in Miyagi prefecture, the northeastern area hardest hit by the magnitude 8.9 quake that struck offshore on Friday and the devastating tsunami it triggered. ...

Political Physics: On Today’s Lunch Menu…Public Employee U...

So since my last blogumn on racial identity seemed to strike some nerves on both sides of the issue, this week I decided to choose a less controversial topic – unions.  Yeah right! Back in February 2009 I wrote a blogumn for Fierce and Nerdy entitled, “Political Physics: The...

Political Physics: Rich People Have School Choice Why Shouldn’t Poor P...

When my brother was in the fourth grade his teacher told my mother that he had some type of learning disability and that she needed to think about putting him in a “special class.”  My mother was outraged!  It was not my brother’s fault that he had a learning disability, right?  And the...

Political Physics: Sarah Palin is NOT Smarter Than the Average Bear

Sarah Palin might not be smarter than the average bear, but she is definitely more dangerous.  And besides, ignorance does not necessarily equate to stupidity.  In fact, in all seriousness, I don’t think Sarah Palin is stupid at all.  Is she ignorant to world affairs?  Yes.  Is she lacking...

Political Physics: Was a Democratic Beat Down Just the Boost President...

I am what some political scientists would call a “leaning” or “weak” Democrat.  This means that although I typically vote along party lines, I do not always vote along party lines.  For me it is not so much about party affiliation as it is about the issues.  Generally I do not discuss my...

Political Physics: Prerequisites for Politicians, Especially Local One...

Everywhere you turn cities around the country are facing multimillion deficits.  Truthfully, nowadays it appears that no level of government is immune to financial instability.  But I would argue that financial crisis at the local level (e.g., municipal, borough, town, etc.) is often more...

Political Physics: How You Like Me Now? [FaN Favorites]

. a favorite blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Monique says: I chose that article for two reasons. One: with my mother’s recent hospitalizations and the death of my grandfather in the ER, as well as my own impending stay in the maternity ward right around the corner; health care reform...

Political Physics: From the Boardroom to the Statehouse…

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland As fiscal crisis becomes commonplace at every level of government and people become more and more dissatisfied with career politicians, alternative options to the everyday candidate are emerging in the political arena.  One such option is the former CEO. ...

Political Physics: The Tea Party Revisited Three Months Later…

About three months ago, I pondered the question of whether or not the Tea Party was just another organized hate group masked under the legitimate veil of a political party. Back then; I concluded that even though there were clearly racist actions taken by the party that did not mean that the...

Political Physics: Is America Too Fat for It’s Own Good? [BOOK W...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland If you have not missed Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I’d suggest catching the episodes as they are rerun or picking up the DVD when it is released.  And then pick up a copy of Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple,...

Political Physics – Is President Obama Channeling Bush in the Gulf?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A May 27th article in USA Today reads, “The hurricane that drowned New Orleans and cast George W. Bush as out-of-touch swept across the Gulf Coast nearly five years ago. Now, as oil laps ashore in the very same region, local officials are asking: Is there...

Political Physics – Even Food for Poor Kids Isn’t Off Limits

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland When I was a little girl we were working poor – meaning my mom worked one, two and sometimes three jobs to take care of my brother and me, but we still lived fairly below the poverty line for a family of three.  I remember going to school and everyday in...

Political Physics: Is It Time To Raise Taxes On Gas?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland All around the country – from California to New Jersey to North Carolina to Pennsylvania – public transportation is coming under attack.  As states seek to find ways to fill looming budget gaps, riders of public transportation are becoming victims. Facing...

Political Physics: Is the Tea Party Just Another Organized Hate Group?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, nonprofit civil rights organization that monitors hate groups and racial extremists, the number of organized hate groups in the United States is on the rise.  “Currently there are 932 known hate groups...

Political Physics: How You Like Me Now?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Last night as I watched the historic health care vote come to a triumphant end.  I thought to myself that the President and Vice President Biden should have played Kool Moe Dee’s “How You Like Me Now,” over the loud speaker as he walked into the press...

Political Physics – David Paterson: Wrong Guy, Wrong Place, Wrong Time...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland One of the continuous arguments that we heard against Sarah Palin during the recent presidential campaign was that she was not qualified to be Vice President let alone President.  The real fear being that if something happened to John McCain, Would Palin...

Political Physics – Has Obama Caused Black America to Lose Touch with ...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A friend of mine, Katrina, tagged me in a post on Facebook about a recent study entitled, “A Year After Obama’s Election Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects,” by the Pew Research Center.  Pew conducted a national survey of 2,884 adults, including...

Political Physics – There’s No Place in the Feminist Movement for Wome...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A colleague and I were having a discussion a few weeks ago about feminism.  The catalyst for the discussion was that I had called myself a feminist.  This prompted my colleague to ask if I considered myself a feminist.  Now, if she had asked me this...

Political Physics: Is Avatar the 21st Century Re-embodiment of Birth o...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland In the interest of full disclosure I should start by saying that I absolutely adored Avatar.  And when I say adored, I mean just that.  From the “loving couple,” to the beautiful cinematography, to the special effects and the story.  I love the movie. So...

Political Physics: From Sid to Kai-lan to Dora – Race in Pre-School Ne...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland As you may or may not know, I am the proud (and extremely tired) mother of a beautiful little boy named Sekou.  Sekou is almost 20 months old and is quite a handful.  You know people tell you lots of things before, during and after your pregnancy.  I...

Political Physics: Tyler Perry – Blaxploitation Artist or Blacktastic ...

a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Last week Tyler Perry made NAACP history when he donated $1 million to the organization – the largest gift to date by an individual in the history of the civil rights organization.  In a press release Tyler Perry said, “he made the gift to honor the group...

Political Physics – Are You Ready to Send a Dear John Letter to the Pr...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland The day before yesterday I was having a conversation with my mother about what I should write about this week for Political Physics.  I was contemplating complaining about how unfair it is that I may be in danger of losing my job because Governor Corzine...

Political Physics: Interracial Marriage = The Morning After Pill = Abo...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland The American Civil Liberties Union in Louisiana and the Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice are calling for the resignation of Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish in southeastern Louisiana.  Bardwell, who is Caucasian,...

Political Physics: Did Interracial Adoption Play a Role in the Return ...

So last week my mom called and she was pissed.  You know that kind of pissed where she starts talking as soon as you answer the phone as if you should just know what the heck she is talking about.  Here is a recap: My Mom:  I cannot believe that….how could she just give the baby back…..if it...

Political Physics: Will the Christian Right Be the Death of the Republ...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland As I mentioned two weeks ago in Political Physics: Is It Socialism to Care About “The Least of These?” I was talking to my friend Latoya last week about the challenge she is having with some of her Christian friends.  She is pro-health care and has found...

Political Physics: Is It Socialism to Care About “The Least of T...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A question has been plaguing me lately that I’d like to pose to the Fierce and Nerdy audience.  Why is it socialist to care about others?  Now this article may be a bit of a cross between Political Physics and Philosophical Physics, but this has really...

Political Physics: Ain’t I a Woman? – The Story of Sojourner Truth and...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Dear Mr. Diack – As President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), I appreciate your acknowledgement that the situation with South African runner Caster Semenya “could have been treated with more sensitivity.  I admit that we...

Political Physics: Is One Gun A Month Enough?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland In June 2009 Tamrah Leonard, a 13 year old girl, was killed by a stray bullet during a gang-related driveby shooting at a neighborhood block party in Trenton. At least twenty shots were fired from an automatic gun into the crowd of about 100 people,...

Political Physics: Dying for Reform While Democrats Kick their Own Ass

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Way back when, you know in January, I posed a question in Political Physics: The Unexpected Democratic Snag, “Is the Democratic Party the Biggest Threat to a Successful Obama Presidency?”  At the time I was discussing Obama’s economic stimulus proposal,...

Political Physics: Is Discrimination Okay If You Discriminate Privatel...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Photo Credit: Jason Rowland A controversy is swirling in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania due to the Valley Swim Club (a private swim club) which refused admittance to 65 black and Hispanic kids at the Creative Steps Day Camp, even though the camp had paid...

Political Physics: Skids, Mudflap and Race in Transformers ROTF

So last Wednesday, my husband and I went to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most people, but as relatively new parents (our son is 14 months old) getting out to see a summer blockbuster is definitely not as easy as it used to be. But seeing...

Political Physics: A Father’s Day Reality Check

Father’s Day is always a hard day for me. I guess you could say that I am “estranged” from my father. He and my mother separated when I was two years old. I cannot say that I don’t “know” him. I mean that while I have spent time with him over the years and I know where he lives, he has not...

Political Physics: Are Hate Crimes a Form of Domestic Terrorism?

  . a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland So over the weekend my BFF sent me a link to an op-ed piece in the NY Times entitled “Hate in a Cocoon of Silence” by Charles Blow.  In the piece, Blow references the hotly debated report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of...

Political Physics: I Told You President Obama Reads Political Physics!

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland In my May 5th Political Physics Blog entitled “Adding My Two Cents to the Supreme Court Fray,” I gave President Obama some advice on the selection of a candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter.  I believed then – as I do now – that the right...

Political Physics: Are We (Should We Be) Going to War with North Korea...

  Image Upload Credit: Kok Leng Yeo Last week I posed a not so simple question. In so many words, is war with North Korea inevitable? Tensions had come to a head last Monday when reports surfaced that North Korea had conducted another underground nuclear test that caused a seismic tremor in...

Political Physics: Are We (and should we be) Going To War With North K...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Image Upload Credit: Kok Leng Yeo In March 2009 in the midst of discussions about their planned launch of a long range missile, which they argued was carrying a satellite, North Korea issued a statement that read, “If the enemies recklessly opt for...

Political Physics: To Birth or Not to Birth – Vasectomies and the Biol...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Photo by Sarah Macmillan Recently I was corresponding with an old friend that I had not talked to in years and I was asking whether or not he had any children. He replied that he did indeed have children, but that he felt “guilty for bringing them in to...

Political Physics: Adding My Two Cents to the Supreme Court Fray

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Since last week’s announcement that Supreme Court Justice David Souter would be retiring, there has been rampant speculation about President Obama’s choice to replace him. The Wall Street Journal quoted the President as saying that he would seek a nominee...

Political Physics: Is Obama Making the Grade by FDR Standards?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Photo by Tony Case My first semester of college was my worst semester ever at Smith. I had the lowest grade point average of my entire collegiate career, I was so overwhelmed by my coursework that I barely left my room, I got into a physical altercation...

Political Physics: The “Malcolm X” Approach to the War on ...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland The United States has been waging a “war on drugs” for several decades, even before Nancy Reagan coined the term “Just Say No!”  The weapons of choice for this particular war were several pieces of legislation and policies aimed at reducing the illegal...

Political Physics: Where is My Bailout Plan?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland (Disclaimer: Today’s blogumn is a rant and will be the last time I mention bailout this century) When Ernessa asked to me write a blogumn for Fierce & Nerdy she was very clear that she wanted a blogumn that was thesis based with data as opposed to just...

Political Physics: Can the Obama Administration Afford Another Bail Ou...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Last week I posed a question, can the Obama Administration afford another bail out? This week I’m thinking that perhaps I asked the wrong question. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the steel industry in Pittsburgh collapsed – ripping the economic heart out of...

Political Physics: Can the Obama Administration Afford Another Bail Ou...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A few weeks ago I was pondering why in the hell American International Group (AIG) was allowed to give $165 million in bonuses given that they received $173 billion in bailout funds.  I argued that the response to the AIG bonus situation and how President...

Political Physics: The Cheesecakes and the Italians Have Left the City...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland I grew up in Trenton, NJ in a low-income, predominantly black neighborhood in the East Ward called Wilbur Section (affectionately referred to as “The Section”).  The far edge of the section was bordered by Hamilton Avenue.  On the other side of Hamilton...

Political Physics: Are You Kid-AIG-ing Me?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Are you kidding me?  How in the hell is it that American International Group (AIG) was allowed to give $165 million in bonuses! AIG has received $173 billion in U.S. bailout funds, making it the largest single recipient.  AIG reported this month that it...

Political Physics: Stop Grandstanding – That Includes You Jindal!

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland I watched Bobby Jindal on 60 Minutes late week and he seemed like a relatively intelligent guy.  So I was even more baffled by his recent remarks about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and his assertion that he would refuse to accept...

Political Physics: Accuse Me of Gentrification if You Like

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Last week I got into a heated debate with a colleague about whether or not the City of Trenton needed anymore affordable housing.  My colleague was arguing that given the high cost of housing in Mercer County (Trenton is located in Mercer County) and the...

Political Physics: The Jigsaw Approach to Dealing with the Economic Cr...

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Last week I wrote about the fact that we are facing significant financial troubles at every level of government – local, state and federal – in the US. I also said that I have grave concerns about the magnitude of that debt and the implications of who owns...

Political Physics: Mortgaged To The Hilt With No End In Sight

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Today President Obama is scheduled to sign into law the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Obama hopes that the $787 billion act would create or save as many as 3.5 million jobs in the next two years. As many as 3.6 million people have lost...

Political Physics: Is Obama Flunking Post-Partisanship 101?

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Over the last few weeks, I have found myself in several debates with friends and colleagues about what Obama means when he says that he is going to attempt to run his White House in a “post-partisan” fashion.   If you listen to some members of Congress,...

Political Physics: From the Huxtables to the Obamas

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Shortly before the Inauguration, Colin Powell was being interviewed about the Obamas arrival in Washington.  “I mean, the Huxtables have come to town,” he said just hours before the inauguration, referring to the beloved African-American family...

Political Physics: The Polamalu- Obama Game Theory

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland and Brian Viehland Polamalu & Obama – Two Men Who Can Turn the Game Around My husband and I woke up Monday morning, basking in the glory of our victorious Pittsburgh Steelers who clinched the AFC Championship last night and now have a shot at claiming...

Political Physics: The Unexpected Democrat Snag

. a blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Is the Democratic Party the Biggest Threat to a Successful Obama Presidency? A recently released government report found that unemployment in the US hit a 16-year high of 7.2 percent in December, an estimated 11 million Americans are out of work and the...

Political Physics: The Colin Powell Dynamic

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland In honor of the impending end of 2008, I thought it made sense to blog about some sort of “political year end review.”  But then I scanned the Internet and saw that several other people already had that covered.  There was the funniest political moments of...

Political Physics: The Rick Warren Conundrum

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Obama, Rick Warren & The Purpose Driven Inauguration I should start by saying that I have a copy of A Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren.  I think my mother gave it to me.   I did not like it, so I’d suggest taking whatever I say with a grain of salt....

Political Physics: Lisa Jackson – An Unusual Suspect

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Obama was being criticized because of his Cabinet picks.  In US News & World Report, Bonnie Erbe stated that women who voted for Obama were “destined for disappointment” the two female top choices for Obama...

Political Physics: The Post-Racial Hypothesis Pt. 2

A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A Post Racial America – Myth or Reality? Continued…. So last week we were discussing the term “post-racial,” and I posed a series of questions…does the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States mean that we are now in a “post-racial”...

Political Physics: The Post-Racial Hypothesis

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland A Post Racial America – Myth or Reality? Over the weekend I was surfing the Internet trying to decide what I would write about this week on Fierce & Nerdy.  I came across two things that got my attention.  The first was an article in our local...

Political Physics: The Obama-Clinton Flow Chart Conundrum

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland EVEN before a single candidate was selected (or the infamous “flow chart” was leaked), Obama was under fire for rumored candidates.  Women’s groups protested the possible appointment of Harvard University economist Lawrence Summers as Treasury secretary,...

Political Physics: The New Campaign Formula

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland It Wasn’t Just Because Obama is the Man Last Tuesday night at 11 pm EST I sat awestruck as I watched CNN declare Barack Obama President Elect of the United States.  I voted for Obama, I had faith, I watched the returns and still I was not prepared when...

Political Physics: The You Factor

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Just Vote! We’ve discussed a lot of different things over the past few weeks from Sarah Palin to the Gas Tax Plan to Michelle Obama to The Bailout Plan.  But you know what? None of that matters as much as what happens next Tuesday.  Whether you’re a...

Political Physics: The Bitter Bailout Quandry

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Bail Out Plan – Good, Bad or Ugly, Part II? As I mentioned last week, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (aka “the bailout bill”).  The 451-page law authorizes the United States Secretary of the Treasury to...

Political Physics: The Wisdom of the Crowd

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Bailout Plan – Good, Bad or Ugly? On Friday, October 3rd, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (aka “the bailout bill”).  The 451-page law authorizes the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to $700...

Political Physics: The Michelle Obama Transmutation

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Michelle Obama – Is she hurting Barack’s campaign? In June, Time magazine posed this question on its front cover: “Will Michelle Obama hurt Barack’s chances in November?” I’ve read a lot of articles these past nine months about Michelle...

Political Physics: The House Hypothesis

. A blogumn by Monique King-Viehland Chris Rock Says, “Vote for the guy with one house!” Chris Rock, an avid supporter of Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, spoke with CNN’s Larry King last Thursday.  He said that Obama was more grounded with your average American —...