Tag Archives: Obama

The Suspense is Over for Dog Lovers The Obama’s New Pet Will Be a Portuguese Water Dog

This post may seem a bit atypical for W@C blog but under the “Just For Fun” category, I thought some of you dog lovers out there might be interested in the lastest “first family” news.  Hot off the presses,  according to the CNN Political Ticker

“First Lady Michelle Obama told People magazine that her family has decided to adopt a Portuguese Water Dog.” 

The First Lady pointed to the breed’s medium-size and good-natured reputation as the main reasons for the choice.  She also added that  the breed is also hypoallergenic — a must, given daughter Malia’s allergy to dogs.

The Baltimore Sun quoted an American Kennel Club representative Michelle Barlak in reference to inquiry about the breed.  Barlak stated, “The Portuguese Water Dog is a fun-loving dog with a lot of energy, it’s a great family dog, but they have to understand the dog will require quite a bit of exercise. … Two young girls who are very active are good companions for the dog.”

Many of you out there are dog lovers, what do you think about the Obama’s choice?  Do any of you have any experience with this breed? 

It seems like an unusual choice to me since the breed currently ranks 62nd in popularity amongst all dog breeds in the U.S., but then on the other hand IMHO anything Portuguese has got to be great!

Just for fun,

Maryellen Stipe

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Filed under Current Events and Editorials, Just For Fun

The First Lady’s Fight to Protect Her Girls from Exploitation Begins…

It has only been days since the inauguration and the media and marketing empires of the United States are already speeding to exploit the privacy of the newly installed “first family.”  The toy company responsible for the “beanie babies craze,” Ty, came out this week with a pair of dolls mimicking the two “first daughters.”


In reaction to the release of the dolls, (which are named: Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha), CNN reported that,


“The first lady’s office said Friday that Ty was out of line “We feel it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes,” said a spokesperson for Michelle Obama in a statement.”


In reply after questioning Ty the news agency reported that,


 “A Ty representative told CNN the company generally avoids naming dolls for “any particular living individual” because doing so might interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them.  But they wouldn’t reveal the source of their inspiration for the new figures, telling CNN that information relating to the development of the merchandise—including how it comes up with products, product names and trademarks—is proprietary.”


It has also come to light that the dolls by Ty are only the tip of the iceberg. 



It was similarly reported by Fox News that, J. Crew, who designed the two Obama daughter’s outfits for the inauguration are also well aware of the marketing potential of the Obama sisters. 


Fox News stated that, “J. Crew’s phones have been ringing off the hook as moms across the country try to get the colorful coats Malia and Sasha Obama wore to see their dad sworn in as president of the United States.”


What will the new President and his wife do to head off the media and marketing frenzy targeting their daughters?  The BBC taking an interest in our new first family pointed out that,


“Before the inauguration President Obama and self-declared mom-in-chief Michelle vowed to protect the children’s privacy while in the White House.” 


The English news service cannot help but draw comparisons between Michelle’s vehemence to protect her girls and Diana’s quest to protect her son’s during her tenure as Princess of Wales.

If you remember back before her death in September 1997, Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, following continuous media intrusion into her private life, confronted the British press in a vain plea for privacy for herself and her sons. 

Ironically, earlier in 1997, the British Government had passed a Protection from Harassment Act and the Princess of Wales had tried in vain to use it to protect herself. Many freelance paparazzi (professional photographers who specialize in taking photographs of famous people and selling them to the media) had refused to heed Diana’s pleas for privacy, believing that she was a fair target. 

It is common knowledge that this war with the unrelenting media was a point of constant aggravation for the “people’s princess” until the day she died.  In fact, many believe that it was the paparazzi gone wild who were the cause of Diana’s death. 

Looking into the Protection of Harassment Act of the British takes on special interest as we consider the plight of the Obama girls. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is a piece of United Kingdom law, which, among other things criminalizes, and creates a right to protection from, stalking, and persistent harassment and bullying. Under this act the definition of harassment is behavior which causes alarm or distress. The Act provides for a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine for damages awarded in civil court.”

The Protection from Harassment Act was the only recourse Princess Diana had against the stalking of world-wide media and even it failed to protect her.  What is equally suprising is that currently over ten years later there is still no explicit right to privacy law in either the U.S. Constitution or in British Law.

A survey of Privacy Laws throughout the world found online at, http://gilc.org/privacy/survey/surveylz.html reports that,

“The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy based on a number of provisions in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments. This includes most specifically a right to privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and also in matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing and education. However, records held by third parties such as financial records, telephone calling records (and even photos, my add) are generally not protected.  The U.S. has no general privacy protection law.”

With this in mind, Michelle Obama will have her work cut out for her as she seeks to protect her kids.  As it stands she can expect very little help from the legal system. The BBC in reporting Michelle’s dilemma, quoted Tarshia Stanley, associate professor at Spelman College a historically black college for women in Atlanta as she highlighted the media focus on the girls. 

“What we are seeing portrayed in the media” the professor stated, “are little black girls who are respected and cared for – it’s not an image we often see. Michelle Obama will need to be careful the girls are not seen as icons – particularly in an age where there is an obsession with visual representations of people. She will need to ensure the girls are not seen as some version of Disney stars.”

Well, considering such warnings on the part of this professor and others, as we reflect on the developments of the past week it seems that, that Michelle Obama’s job of protecting Malia and Sasha will be a chore that is much easier said than done.  Nonetheless the first Mom is reported to be quite an active, involved and devoted mother and it will be interesting to see how she fares against the various forces that are focused on exploiting her young girls. Hopefully, she will be more successful than Diana was!

What do you think the “First Mom” should do?  Any opinions on how the U.S. Laws should be changed to better protect its citizens from privacy infringements? Please take the time to comment below.  This fight against the media and marketing agencies world-wide is one that the Obama’s are just beginning and it will be interesting to see what evolves!


Filed under Current Events and Editorials

Pray for Our New President


Many Christians were inspired by Rick Warren’s inaugural invocation prayer. 


Pastor Warren was straight forward in his prayer and was in no way subtle or apologetic about his faith in Jesus Christ. 


In the New Testament we are advised by the Apostle Paul to pray for our leaders.


Let’s use Rick Warren’s prayer as inspiration for our own prayers offered for our new president and his family.  Here is the text of the prayer as it appears on the Associated Press website. 


Let us pray, Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone.  It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.  History is your story. 


The Scripture tells us, Hear, oh Israel, The Lord is Our God: The Lord is one.  And you are the compassionate and merciful one.  And you are loving to everyone you have made. 

Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time.  We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our fist African-American president of the United States.  We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. 

And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in Heaven.  Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.  Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and everyone of our freely elected leaders. 

Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.  When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.  When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us.  When we fail to treat our fellow human beings an all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. 

And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in out attitudes even when we differ.  Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. 

May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.  And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. 

We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Malia and Sasha into your loving care.  I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray,

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, they kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

For more excerpts of the inauguration and comments from a Christian perspective click on the following link and view the post entitled “A New Era Begins.”
What are your opinions about Rick Warren’s dynamic prayer at the inaugural, please take the time to comment!


Filed under Prayer