July 22, 2013

Another Kickstarter Success Story...

In a matter of eight days, the Kickstarter project I blogged about last week has reached its goal of $80,000.  A job well done by Bay Area filmmaker, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.  Newsom has completed her newest film, and this one is going to be a flick that makes us all reconsider the way in which we raise and interact with our young men.  If you missed my blog last week, be sure to take a look at it and watch the trailer.

We go above and beyond to make sure our girls are feeling secure and confident about their place in this world.  Naturally encouraging our young women to remain competitive in all areas of the academic and professional arenas.  Are our boys being left behind, so to speak?  The Mask You Live In is set to be released in 2014, and will visit the issues that our young males are facing on a daily basis.

July 12, 2013

The Second Lady Of California Has Something To Say To Your Boys...

While Jennifer Siebel Newsom juggles the demands of mother of three and wife to California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, this extraordinary woman has some lofty goals of her own, and she doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  Jen attended Stanford, nabbing an under graduate and master's degree from the uber impressive West Coast university.  She entered the post-collegiate world as a budding actor, and found herself with a handful of roles in various flicks, as well as a smattering of television appearances.

After becoming somewhat disillusioned by the smoke and mirrors world of Hollywood and the limited choices that faced her as a woman, this gal has taken a proverbial bowl of lemons and made a gigantic pitcher of lemonade by seeking out a most courageous niche for herself.  Still with her hand in the world of entertainment, but more importantly taking a stand on the issues that continue to muddy the waters in America.

A few years ago she wrote, directed, and produced a documentary film called Miss Representation.  It found its way to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and Ms. Oprah Winfrey recognized its importance, wisely adding it to her collection of films that are frequently shown on the OWN Network.  It tells the story of girls and young women in America, and how they are being influenced by the visual images that inundate this country on a daily basis.  It is a smart and telling portrayal of our future women, and left me with more questions than answers as I continue to help my own daughter navigate her way through her formative years.

More recently, Jennifer was one of the executive producers on a film that has literally changed government policy.  If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, you will know of this film because I have talked about it on many occasions.  It is called The Invisible War and it should go down in history as one of the single most important films ever made.  It chronicles the rampant sexual abuse in our military system, and sheds light on the blatant failure to hold the perpetrators responsible for their crimes.  Since releasing the film, there has been an about-face by our government officials, implementing new procedures to protect the victims of sexual abuse within the military.  The film received the Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature, also enjoying an Oscar nod for is brave portrayal of the dirty little secrets that have gone unpunished for far too long.

In 2014, Jen has plans to release yet another film called The Mask You Live In, and this time she's focusing on the boys.  I have seen the trailer, and I am confident that this is going to be another home run for the smart Bay Area filmmaker.  Like Miss Representation, this film focuses on the intentional and unintentional influences that our boys are peppered with on a daily basis.  These influences, whether from mass media, social media, or the dinner table are shaping our children.  This film discusses the emotional toll that is being taken on our boys and young men.  The same young men who we will be looking to in the future to be among the leaders in this country, the husbands to our girls, and the fathers of tomorrow.

So, here's where you come in.  The film is currently in post-production, with plans to be released in 2014, and is utilizing the clever funding of the hip website Kickstarter.  (I also wrote a blog about this site if it sounds vaguely familiar to you)  Here's how it works.  Click on the link below and you will be able to glean from Jennifer herself an explanation of the film and its intent.  If the presentation is in any way inspiring, you can have the distinct privilege of owning a piece of the pie, so to speak.  By making a small (or HUGE) contribution, you can see to it that this film finds its way to completion.  In exchange for your donation, you will have the pride of knowing you had a small part in the release of a special and important project.  But there's more!  You also will receive certain benefits based on the amount you contribute.  The whole thing is on the link below and it will make better sense if you take a few minutes to check it out!


July 8, 2013

Does the USA Really Want To Be Known For Droning Others...

NYU grad student Josh Begley asks the question," How do you kill your way out of a complex problem?"  Turns out the United States began its first covert drone program in 2002.  Yemen was the recipient of the first series of drone attacks killing non-intended targets in its wake.  Since 2002 there have been nearly 500 strikes and approximately 5000 people impacted by our country's choice to scour out the bad guys while inadvertently eliminating the innocent.

While I intellectually understand that there is an argument to be made for drone missions, I continue to struggle with the concept.  The following video might make you think twice, too ...


July 1, 2013

Will There Be An About-Face From The Iowa Supreme Court...

Four months ago, I posted a blog about a dental assistant, who was suddenly fired after ten years.  If you missed it you can check it out in my February 23rd blog.  It is called Can You Be Fired If You Are Too Attractive...

It described a decision made by the Iowa Supreme Court last December upholding a verdict that came from the lower courts in Iowa, which allowed the termination of a female dental assistant simply because she was "an irresistible attraction."

Last week it was widely reported that the court is reconsidering the 7-0 decision. An unprecedented move that has left all eyes on the sudden about-face.  Is it one member of the panel or all seven?  I guess time will tell.

According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order for reconsideration by the court.  It appears from the order that there is no new evidence.  Only a change of heart from one or more members.

It will be interesting to follow, as there have only been five reconsiderations in the past ten years according to the spokesperson for the Iowa Supreme Court.

I'll keep you posted...