Category Archives: News

Friday Links 2012: Week 4

Hello Readers,

So sorry I didn’t post my Friday Links yesterday. This week has been pretty crazy. I haven’t really had time to relax, take a breath, or even think. I don’t want to tell you about it because I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m crossing my fingers that some things come through for me.

Anyway, here are my favorite Tweets of this past week. Hope you enjoy them. You can see photos and different links on my other blog here 🙂

What stuck out about this week for you? Did anything exciting happen? Any big news?


Friday Links 2012: Week 3

If you spent any amount of time online this week, you noticed that the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA as we all begrudgingly know it) pretty much took over all aspects of the Interweb. Just about every website, blog, and Twitter feed was inundated with information about SOPA, and mine wasn’t any different. Although I did spare you all from seeing yet another blog post talking about what SOPA is and the implications the bill would have on our freedom of speech if passed, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t Tweet about it as obnoxiously as the next person. For this, I apologize.

Originally, most of this week’s links were going to be about SOPA and understanding what, exactly, the bill says. Even though I took a couple law classes in my undergrad career, the legal jargon of bills is still confusing. If you are anything like me and can’t comprehend what the bill is saying but still want to know what the heck is going on, some of my links might help you.

Ironically, my first link will explain to you why the rest of my SOPA links aren’t all that important anymore, and therefore, aren’t posted here. Hooray! (Plus, I wan’ted to keep you from going insane.)

Have a fantastic weekend.

Want more of me because you are just so intrigued by my thrilling life? Don’t worry, you can always see my favorite personal Tweets and photos of the day at Rachel Discovers Happiness.


Friday Links 2012: Week 2

Hope you had a fantastic week!

Click here to see more friday links (the non-professional ones… the “fun” ones if you will) and my photos of the week.

And just because this is so incredibly important, I have included it on both my blogs.


Friday Links 2012: Week 1

Welcome to the first Friday Links of 2012! I have just started using BufferApp which helps me schedule Tweets throughout the day, even if I’m not signed on to Twitter. That way, my Tweets aren’t all posted at the same time – in the morning when I do my big daily news binge.

Because I am now posting on Twitter a lot more, I will try to limit myself to 10-15 of my favorite links for the week, that way my readers aren’t inundated with every single post I put on Twitter. That would defeat the purpose, now wouldn’t it? Plus, if you want to see all of my Twitter posts, you can just follow me 🙂

P.S. If you like my Friday Links posts on this blog, you might want to check out my Picture-A-Day posts on my other blog: Rachel Discovers Happiness.


A Lowe(‘s) Blow

As a PR professional, I know that it is not necessarily a good idea to speak out about things that could later get you in trouble. PR is all about image and following the mission of the organization/person being represented. Maintaining the image of a company is a tricky thing – you don’t want to upset your consumers, investors, or the general image of your company because that may affect sales/perception. On that note, I think it is important for people to remember that their actions do affect others.

That’s why I am (sort) shedding my PR role right now in order to give you my opinion on a big PR issue going on at the moment. What happened is this:

The TV channel TLC, known for it’s controversial shows such as 19 Kids and Counting, Sister Wives, Toddlers & Tiaras, and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, came up with an all new show this season – All American Muslim. The creation of this show caused a major advertiser – Lowe’s – to pull its advertising from the program. Needless to say, this caused an uproar from liberals, conservatives, progressives, Christians, Muslims, Lowe’s shoppers, TLC watchers, and many more. Many comments, letters (and here), and opinions have chastised Lowe’s for its discrimination of Muslims and their heritage; however many have also come out in support of Lowe’s decision to remove advertising from the show. Since the announcement of the removal of its advertising, Lowe’s has posted an apology on Facebook which was subsequently taken down due to disrespectful and harshly worded comments. Lowe’s then posted a follow-up comment that can be seen below:

self-taken screen shot from Lowe's Facebook page

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not to chastise Lowe’s for making a (what I believe to be poor) business decision. This post was sparked by an article I read earlier today (or yesterday?) about the 25 Dumbest Comments on Lowe’s Facebook Page and was infuriated by what people said and how ignorant they are, the purpose is to call out the people who are supporting Lowe’s decision with the argument that it is in “America’s best interest” and that Muslims are not “true Americans.” My questions for them is: what, exactly, is a “true American”? Is it somebody who is born in the United States? Does it depend on the color of your skin? Your religion? How long your family has been in the States? The amount of education you have? I’m serious, what exactly is a “true American”?! Would you consider me a true American? I am white, Christian, and pay American taxes. What if I told you that I was second generation American? That my grandparents came from Germany and England – one leaving Germany out of fear for his family with Jewish roots. Am I still a true American in your eyes?

I know we have all heard this before but I will say it again: this country was founded, amongst other things, on the freedom of religion. In case you forgot, here are the words written on the Declaration of Independence – a document written by our Founding Fathers after white christians left Europe and fought against the British for their freedom of religion and independence from prejudice. They wanted to create a country where people could practice the religion they wanted – without being persecuted. Just to refresh your memory, here are the first words written on the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Now, I’m not going to give you a lecture (anymore than I have) on what the Constitution and Declaration of Independence have to say about the American people’s right to freedom. What I am going to say is that sometimes I am sorely disappointed by the people I call neighbors and fellow Americans. All of us came here from somewhere, at some point. Just because you have lived in the United States longer than others does not make you any more or less patriotic than somebody who moved here ten or twenty years ago.

Perhaps I will be labeled as the “classic liberal,” but I think that there is something to be said about being open minded and listening to other people’s opinions. Before you argue with me, I do realize that being open minded also includes understanding that not everybody is as open minded as me and that other people will have different opinions, but that doesn’t mean that those people have to impart their opinions on me and others. Just because you think you are right, doesn’t mean you are. Yes, I know, that means that I could be wrong. I am willing to risk it.

Here is a little insight on the roots of my beliefs:

The other day I got into a conversation with my dad about what I was like when I was little. The first thing he said was that I was sensitive (surprise, surprise – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). The second thing he said was that I didn’t see color, religion, or sexual orientation. I didn’t care whether someone was black, white, green, Christian, Jewish, atheist, straight, or gay. As long as they treated others well, everybody was the same to me. In fact, when I was 3 and attending preschool in El Cerrito, CA, I was exposed to a lot of ethnicity: the main preschool teacher was Sikh, another teacher was white, and another was black. My dad said I didn’t pay attention to their skin color – instead of saying “my white teacher” or “my black teacher,” I said “the teacher with the light hair” (meaning my white teacher) and “the teacher with the dark hair” (meaning my black teacher).

As I thought about that story, I got wistful for those days of innocence, for the days when no prejudice based on color or religion clouded my opinions of people. I try to keep myself from pre-judging people, but sometimes it is hard. Sometimes I find myself thinking about other races and applying stereotypes to them, or looking at other Christians and judging them for their extremist views, or vegetarians for their judgmental comments. At those times I have to step back and remind myself that everybody has a right to be who they are and believe what they think is true. It is not my right to get in their way.

I suppose the best I can hope for is that, by the time I have grandchildren, they will live in a world (or at least an America) where people aren’t persecuted for their beliefs. An America where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are actually followed.

Finally, I will leave you with a quotation from Nazi opposer Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

And now that I’m done with my (not-so) mini rant, have a wonderful night.


Friday Links

I have recently gotten back into the Twittersphere (follow me: @rockegan) and am updating Twitter throughout the day. I post so many links on my account that I don’t want to post blogs about each of those links – that would be blog overload, don’t cha think? Because of this, I will be trying to do a link overview at the end of each week on this blog. That means that I will be posting links to stories that I found interesting and relevant this week (and sometimes I will just post some of my favorite Tweets). Some will be about public relations, some will be about social media, others will be about world news or humanity, yet others will simply be fun. It just depends on what I found that week.

Now that I have finished this little introduction, without further delay, here are your first Friday links:

What were your favorite/interesting news stories this week? Where do you get your news? Do you get daily news e-mailed to you?


Powerful Images Of 2011

As part of my morning news ritual, I always go on my phone first and look at the articles that are listed as the morning’s top stories. I then bookmark them, move to my computer, and read the news stories that get sent to my e-mail account. One of the stories I saw this morning caught my eye, but then I got distracted and didn’t have a chance to read it.

When I got home from dinner with my step mom, a friend had posted the link to that exact story on my Facebook wall. I’m so glad that she did. Not only did I get the chance to read the article: The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011 published by BuzzFeed, but I was blown away by the impact each of the images made on me.

Now, you probably don’t know this about me because, well, this is only the fourth (?) post on my blog, but I really like to take pictures. I believe that pictures can convey emotion and say so much that an article or even a video can’t. It’s so powerful to look at a photograph and feel the strength of whatever emotion floods you when your eyes first scan the image.

As I was scrolling through this photo article, I was flooded with so much raw emotion as I reflected on the biggest news stories and events that occurred during the past year. Not only is it dumbfounding how cruel human beings can be to each other (terrorist attacks, pepper spraying protesters, etc.), it is also amazing how much love pours out for that same exact race (gay marriage laws being overturned, the dedication of a dog to his fallen owner, etc.) I also find it fascinating, that amidst all that hate, love, and destruction, something always comes along to make us feel small again, unify us in the human race, and put everything into perspective… and no, I’m not talking about Harold Camping’s predictions about the Rapture. I’m talking about the earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, and malnourishment that touches the lives of so many around the world.

My heart sincerely goes out to all the people pictured in the photographs (with the exception, maybe, of Harold Camping… I kid, I kid).

I strongly encourage you to take a bit of time out of your day to look at these pictures. You will not be disappointed. Here is the link again, just in case you missed it before: The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011


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