My humble thoughts as one guy with opinions about life, love, religion, society, politics, parenting... yada, yada, yada.

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  • Has Fatherhood Become the New Mercedes-Benz?

    It used to be that a tailor-made suit and a Mercedes-Benz were context clues signaling a man’s ability to “provide” and consequently, those were things made a man "sexy". But could it be that for today’s professional women, fatherhood is the modern-day equivalent of a Benz? ...

  • What Does This Election Tell Us About What A "Real American" Is?

    “What on earth is he talking about?”... to put it simply..what does a Real American look like, sound like, act like, eat, wear and drive? Where do Real Americans live? What religion do they belong to? The questions are endless, but as we put answers to the questions will you fit the mold of a “Real American”?

  • “Rope-a-Dope” or Political “SHAKE and BAKE?

    Here’s the deal… President Obama was eaten alive in the 1st debate... BUT could this have been a good thing? Regardless of whether he was off his game or engaging in the most daring “rope-a-dope” in the history of politics, that awful debate performance sets the Obama campaign up for a little "shake and bake." Here’s why.

  • Look Ma! I'm On Web TV!

    Here's Mr. Mansitioning himself (me..lol) talking about Presidential politics and the election on the HuffPost Live... I always appreciate the invite and love the discussion!

Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Okay... So it’s October and I’m sure you’re either wearing or surrounded by your fair share of pink; pink ribbons, pink bracelets, pink shirts, ties, shoes, and shoelaces… In fact, if you look overhead at planes passing by, you’ve probably noticed some of the airlines have painted them pink as well.   And of course we all know why, right? Well, for those of you who should be ashamed of yourselves for not knowing, the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is an extremely worthy cause.
For my part, I’m organizing a breast cancer walk for my son’s elementary school, here in Brooklyn NY. But as I spent last week decorating the hallway of P.S. 20 in pink, I was also overcome with an unshakable heaviness. The events of the week (personal interactions and observations) had left me overwhelmed by a sense that the world is becoming much more hardened and people becoming increasingly more unconcerned with one another. That feeling was compounded when I considered how much of that I was seeing within the Christian community and it got me to thinking that, as we Christians probably need to establish a Church Cancer Awareness Month.
  1. Cancer: 1) A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems…” (From the National Cancer Institute)
  2.  Any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively; blight.
In 1st Corinthians 12:12 the Apostle Paul describes early believers as “…the body of Christ,” literally likening each of us to eyes, ears and hands. And just like anybody’s body, the Body of Christ; the Church is susceptible to sickness and disease, but this being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the disease I’d like to focus on is cancer within The Church. The human body can suffer from various types of cancers that affect different parts of the body in different ways, and such is true for the body of Christ. The interesting thing about the kind of cancer that’s been most apparent to me is that it isn’t anything deep or nefarious or incredibly complex. In fact, it’s a rather simple human quality that’s growing among the saved and unsaved alike; “meanness”…
Yep! People are becoming downright mean and inconsiderate in ways that are as contagious as strep throat. It’s something that I know you feel when you look at our political discourse. You feel it when that person cuts you off during your morning commute, or when the guy on the cell phone shares a profanity filled laugh in public as little children stare. But it’s not just out in the world because you also notice it in church. You can feel it in the uncomfortable looks you get from some church folk as you walk around to drop your money in the offering basket. You notice it when someone gossips about what a person “ain’t got no business” doing, wearing, saying, etc. Yes, something is wrong in the world, but when the people who are charged to fix it are just as sick, then we’re all in trouble. “Mean cancer” within the church, unless checked will spread and can poison the body of Christ.
With cancer, it’s always best to find it before it shows you that it’s there, so when you see symptoms of cancer, then it often times means that the problem has grown to a seriousness that requires a more aggressive treatment to address. This is why it’s important to submit your self for screenings. The same is true for the church.  Unfortunately, the problem with the church is that we are too often concerned with defending ourselves against everything and everyone on the outside, while being extremely reluctant to look in the mirror. In other words, we rarely allow ourselves to be screened for cancers.
I’ve been on the HuffPost Live a number of times talking about the intersection of The Church and politics and my sense that we have become like hypochondriacs, paranoid that everything is out to get us. We tend to treat things like prayer in schools, gay marriage, and “war on Christmas” like terminal that will cause sickness in the Body of Christ, but truth is that they are diseases more akin to airborne viruses that we panic out about, while the cancer growing inside us. So we often end up overdosing on the flu-shots, when we really need chemotherapy.
Now the question becomes, how do we remedy this growing cancer? I think it has to begin with a realization and admission by The Church that says, “Yes. We are indeed battling cancer.” Then we have to be willing submit to the aggressive measures to remove the cancer, as well as the rigors of treatment. Depending on the stage of cancer, the next step might require removing parts of the body that are too heavily infected for non-surgical medicine alone to work. Equally, the Church may have to take measures to extricate ourselves from issues or people or places that are only feeding the cancer. Even Jesus says in Mark 9:47 that “…if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.”
Even after that Chemotherapy might be required, which is not easy- to put it mildly. Its a combination of drugs that aims toe accomplish a number of things at once, but it’s main job is to isolate and destroy the cancer cells to prevent them from spreading to and infecting other parts of the body. It comes with difficult side effects from hair loss, to severe fatigue and gastric sickness, among other things.
For the church, there will be a number of things that will have to happen on a number of levels to address our cancer. Pastors and church leaders will need to make it a point to be as attentive to the health of the flock as they are about the needs of the unsaved. Individual members of the body will have to do a better job of policing themselves and their emotions. We will have to be courageous enough to discourage gossip and discussion that does not build up members of the body. And last, but certainly not least, we will have to train ourselves to be a lot kinder, as tells us that“… as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10) ” and that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
The “Good News” (pun intended) for Christians is that we believe in miracle healings, so be encouraged.
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

ANOTHER REASON THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN SHOULD HIRE ME: 


If i'm advising the Obama campaign I would make it a point of focusing on Mitt Romney's mathematically challenged tax plan. The first thing I'd recommend they do is:

A) release a plan of their own deductions and loopholes they'd be wiling to cut if they have a 2nd term, focusing on deductions for things like corporate jets, yachts, and the $80,000 deduction that Mitt Romney gets for his horse... 

I'd also propose removing the provision that allows a company moving operations overseas to take advantage of the tax deductions for relocating, as well as those provision that allow U.S. companies with overseas operations to defer paying taxes on repatriated income...

Of course, you do this while challenging Mitt Romney to commit to all those deductions and loopholes that he's willing to close. Force him to say what's off the table; things like the mortgage deduction, education credits, child tax credits...

B) Then I'd run against the Paul Ryan plan that Mitt Romney endorsed, specifically stating that they are doing so in the absence of a Mitt Romney plan that describes how his tax cuts will be paid for... Part of this is to say to the voter "What does it say about Mitt Romney's leadership,  that his running mate is the only one on the ticket who has put forth a budget with actual numbers to support it's claims." 


I'd focus on aspects of the Paul Ryan plan that are most controversial; things like the medicare voucher, social security privatization and cuts to education and services for the poor - while cutting taxes on the wealthy....
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Once upon a time, a very wise and brilliant man (and I sure hope you’ll know who this man is) dreamed of a day in America when we will all be judged by the content of our character, and not the color of our skin. I, for one, am and have always been in complete agreement with this dream, so it struck me as odd when I found myself taking a slightly nuanced stance in opposition to it. 

Okay… So I was on Facebook (as I tend to be WAY too often), and I posted a comment about how glaring the difference in diversity was between the democratic and republican conventions. That sparked a discussion between my very conservative republican friends (most of whom are white) and my liberal friends (most of whom were black). One of my very good conservative Facebook friends (white) felt that it was very sad that my liberal friends (black) viewed so much through “the prism of race.”  I rebutted that it must be nice for my conservative friend to have the luxury of not having to view life through that same prism… And it was on after that…lol.

But in the fray of the back-and-forth about “racial vs. racist,” my conservative friends took an approach that most of you might think is odd, given our preconceived ideas about conservatives here in the U.S. In their view, all Americans should ignore race altogether, in consideration of any and all things, and simply judge by the content of our character—a view I’d like to refer to as the “I have a dream 2.0.” Now, “I have a dream 2.0” sounds good on the surface, but something about it feels wrong.

The “2.0” refers to the fact that this goes way beyond what Dr. King advocated, which never included a colorless or colorblind society where we magically perceive the content of each other’s character. For one, (as one of my liberal FB friends expressed) people don’t “walk around with text bubbles above their heads saying "I'm responsible," or "I feed the homeless."  Secondly, (and more important to me) I don’t want anyone to ignore the color of my skin, as if there’s something so inherently negative about it that someone else’s ability to disregard it somehow becomes a noble act.

Why is this a big deal?  Well, for many minority women in general and African-American women, in particular, face a constant struggle to be validated by a system that views their physical and cultural identities as less than or deficient - irrespective of the content of their character.  For example, we have a black First Lady, but even she is often the target of degrading comments about her hair, weight, hips, legs and other physical features.  Now if she can’t catch a break, how hard must it be for the average black woman who faces pressure to conform to “acceptable” (Eurocentric) standards of black beauty at work, school, church or anywhere else?

For me as a writer and you as a transitioning.com reader the importance of image and self-image is an important/recurring theme and so I really got to wondering, “what are the beauty implications of a ‘colorblind’ society?” What do we do in a society where race and culture have and continue to be so dominant in our daily interactions?  Well, the answer (in my humble opinion) to this social problem isn’t to take further steps to hide or reduce one’s own ethnicity or identity.  Quite the contrary, the answer is to embrace it, its history and its “otherness” and to wear it proudly. As Marianne Williamson so eloquently put it, “…Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”  Likewise, there’s nothing noble about disregarding ones skin color as a part of who they are.  And this is true, not only for black women but for all women who find themselves looked upon as “other” in their daily lives.

You see the problem isn’t seeing a person’s color.  The problem is seeing a person’s color as a problem and if that’s the case then the problem isn’t yours, but rather it’s the person’s doing the looking.  To see color is racial. To use it as an impediment to another is racist.   Seeing something through the prism of race or culture doesn’t have to be an inherent negative.

So the next time your white co-worker asks to touch your braids or ends a happy moment with a “Can I get a what what?!” don’t assume that she’s being racist or stereotyping you. She might be doing her very best to connect with you based on the bit of pop culture she consumes.  Hell yeah, she looks silly, but it’s at least a genuine attempt to value what’s different about you in an environment that’s teaching you to hid it.   I’d much rather engage that person, than the one who sees color and avoids speaking to or hiring you.

Thank you for checking out my column “Mansitioning.”  I hope you’ll leave feedback and follow me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/mansitioning and on twitter (https://twitter.com/mansitioning). Please share your thoughts, problems, inspirations, relationship questions, etc. and spread the word.
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

ANOTHER REASON WHY THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN SHOULD HIRE ME: 

It seems that a fair number of people watching the debate had a propblem with Joe Biden's smiling... So how would I have handled that? 

1) 1st I would acknowledge that before this Vice-Presidential debate, Joe Biden wasn't a factor as far as the media was concerned. All of the attention was on Obama, Romney and Ryan. NOW, after Biden trampled (Sarah Palin's description) Ryan in last night's debate, Biden is a hot media commodity.

2) I would've had Biden here in NYC first thing in the next morning to make the rounds on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk and maybe even Letterman, where they would definitely bring up the smiling and interrupting... His response? 

Biden: "Listen folks, some of the things coming out of their campaign... You have to laugh to keep from crying about because it's sad how that they are so committed to making life easier for the rich at the expense of the middle class.

And as far as
my smiling and jumping in - this is the way middle class people are talking about these issues all across the country. Lunch-bucket democrats, republicans and independents sit down over dinner, or over a beer and we're passionate and spirited whether we're talking about Monday night Football or politics...

But you know what? If you have more of a problem with me smiling than the fact that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney couldn't promise you that he would NOT touch the tax credit you get for your mortgage, or that they refuse to tell you a single deduction or tax loophole they'll close to pay for their 5 trilion dollar tax plan, or that Paul Ryan voted to cut $300 Million for embassy security and requested 23 Million dollars in stimulus money that he railed against... Well, God bless ya, because that's what I think more Americans were paying attention to in last nights debate"


3) Then I'd make sure that the talking point from the democratic side is "they're crying and whining about Joe smiling? This is Joe Biden... He's lucky he didn't curse up there... This is for the fate of the free world and it's not school yard stick ball... If you can't handle Joe interrupting and smiling, how can you square up against China or Iran? So they need to toughen up"

That's what I would've done...
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

ANOTHER REASON WHY THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN SHOULD HIRE ME:                                              I said after the last debate that the Obama campaign should've come to me and I' would've given them some pretty smart advice for spinning the President's super-sub-par debate performance. Now we're approaching this very important Vice-Presidential debate and I have some more free (but brilliant enough to pay for) advice for the Obama Campaign.

Of course the optics work in Joe Biden's favor. He looks like and talks like the crazy guy who works at the local plant and tosses beers with you or your dad. Ryan, on the other hand looks like that Ivy League kid who they tell you to train, so he can turn around and fire you after they promote him to the position of your supervisor. Beyond the optics, it's a given that "Average Joe" has to be the attack dog and call out all of Mitt Romney's lies, but that's not enough. He also has to beat Ryan over the head with "Moonwalkin' Mitt's" lies and flip-flops, while beating "Multiple-choice Mitt" over the head with Paul Ryan's congressional record as a supposed deficit hawk who voted for all of the Bush policies that blew up the deficit before 2009, as the social security privatizer, as the guy who railed against stimulus while requesting over $23 Million dollars of it... But i'm gonna trust that the Obama campaign knows this (I hope)

In the end, a Joe Biden victory in tomorrow's debate will come down to that closing statement, and I'll tell you exactly what that speech should do... It should PRAISE Paul Ryan as a man of character and principle and assail Romney as being the exact opposite... Here's how a Biden closing would look if Mr. Mansitioning was his debate coach or speech writer.

"Folks, I know the country is coming through some rough times and you have a major choice to make this election. Do we go back to the extreme policies that say "hey give the rich more money and it'll trickle down to the rest of us" or do we move forward with policies that revitalizes and grows the middle-class. Do we go back to the 1960's with women's rights or do we move forward with a country that respects a woman's right to make the difficult choices about her body and a country that believes that women deserve equal pay for equal work... 

Now I wanna say this, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Paul Ryan is a good man. Sure, i think his policies are bat-crap-crazy and will set this country back decades, but he's a good man and public servant. He's known in congress as a man of principle and honesty (beat) But folks, Paul Ryan isn't running for President. Mitt Romney is and I know you feel in your bones that Mitt Romney is no Paul Ryan.

(He turns to Paul Ryan with a sincere, wise look)

Son, no matter what happens in this campaign you commit to being that principled public servant, and don't let anyone tarnish that... And that's the same advice I'd give my own son who's entering politics after serving in Iraq... 

Thank you America and God speed"

I could tighten it up more, but since no one is paying me to do it, i'll leave it as is.... But IF the obama campaign is creative and daring enough to do this, it will force all of America to (accurately) question Romney's sincerity... After all, he succeeded in doing two things in the 1st debate; 1) evading the truth and 2) looking sincere as he did it....
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Here’s the deal… President Obama was eaten alive in the 1st debate... I mean, he looked like a dude attacked by a swarm of killer bees or one those guys who gets drunk and decides to pet the polar bears at the local zoo.  BUT could this have been a good thing?

A lot people thought POTUS was off his game.  Some believe that he's engaging in the most daring “rope-a-dope” in the history of politics.  Either way, I believe that his abysmal debate performance is a blessing in disguise because it sets the Obama campaign up for a little "shake and bake."  That is, of course if the Obama campaign has the skill to capitalize on it...  Here’s why.

1)
Leveling out of expectations:  Before the 1st Presidential debate the general consensus among media pundits (albeit liberal and mainstream) was that Mitt Romney was going to have his lunch handed to him by Barack Obama.  In many ways all Mitt Romney had to do was that night was show up and do almost as good a job as Obama for him to be the victor, so the burden of high expectations was working against President Obama in that first debate.  NOW, this burden isn’t only lifted. It’s reversed, putting the pressure on Mitt Romney to win the next debate and not have the pundits say “Not quite as good as his first performance.”

2) Raises the stakes of the Vice Presidential debate:  In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby (played by Will Ferrell) would trail behind his wing-man Cal Naughton (John C. Reilly) who sets him up to jump into the lead on the final lap of the race.  That's exactly the what I see as the function of this Vice Presidential debate.  Sure political pundits and junkies were jazzed up about seeing Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan, but to the majority of Americans? Not so much.  NOW, because of the sensationalism surrounding the first debate, this one and only VP debate becomes critical for both campaigns, but works very much in favor of the Obama campaign.  Look at the optics.  On one hand you have the older, “average Joe” guy who slips up and says crazy things.  The guy who’s image is immortalized by repeated Saturday Night Live spoofs that paint him as the zany guy, who’s more like the guy in the bar that you keep buying shots for (hoping he’ll say something hilarious), than the guy who’s 2nd in line as the leader of the free world.

On the other hand, you have the bright young Ivy League sounding policy wonk, who looks like the guy who got the job over you because you were too old and his dad has friends in high places; the guy they ask you to train, and then makes him your superior two days later. The guy with seemingly no history and seemingly little wisdom to make his policy choices seem like anything more than political theory he’s read for a college term paper he wrote a decade ago. 

If the VP debate were about policy, as opposed to destroying the guy at the top of the other teams ticket, then Paul Ryan might have the upper hand.  But it’s exactly the opposite and Paul Ryan’s “wonky” style has never suggested he’s an effective scrapper.  Joe Biden, on the other hand has and one of the unintended results of Mitt Romney’s performance is the first debate is that he’s given Joe Biden a considerable amount of ammo to use against him.  Joe Biden can say things about Mitt Romney that Barack Obama can’t say and in a way he could never say them.

3) Sets up a knock out punch opportunity on domestic policy debate:  Lastly, the first debate does for the 2nd the same thing it does for the VP debate – raises the stakes.  The 2nd match up between Obama and Romney will be a town-hall that undoubtedly revisit some of the key domestic issues that were in contention from the 1st debate.  This is the best opportunity for President Obama to attack Mitt Romney for his positions, changing positions and out right lies he told during the first debate. 

You see, had President Obama been victorious in the first debate… Had he heeded the advice of everyone of us screaming at our flat-screens for him to say this or call out Romney on that… Well if that  were the case the Romney campaign would’ve simply walked into the second debate with severly low expectations and a bunch of canned lines and defenses of his multiple positions, and you don’t want to conclude their debate on domestic policy with a Romney win. 
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