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I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Public Schools Need Improvement Part 2

Some public school are not very good in the United States. The quality depends partly, on the location/ neighborhood where the school is located.  The neighborhoods have varying property tax assessments and property values.  So, areas where the property taxes are higher, will most likely have better funded schools, with more educational tools and resources for the students and teachers.
I was fortunate enough to get enrolled in the Head Start program when I was a little kid.  This was prior to attending elementary school. From the time that I attended elementary school up until high school, I attended some really good schools. I think this is because the schools were located in predominately White neighborhoods.  Black students were bussed in from their neighborhoods.
During my junior year of high school I transferred over from a good school, where I learned a lot.  This school was located in an upper middle class school district.   The student body at this school was mostly White and Hispanic. The “bad” high school was located in a low-income, high-crime, drug infested, and urban neighborhood in the same county as the “good” school. The student body at this school was predominantly Black.  Many (not all) of the students were socially maladjusted and some came from broken homes and dysfunctional families. The difference between my former high school and the later one, was like the contrast between night and day. 
My last year and a half of high school was almost a complete waste of time and like a formality.   I don't feel like a learned much during that time frame.  Many of my teachers sucked at their jobs and lacked a passion and motivation for teaching.  Out of the few good teachers employed there, had a difficult time actually teaching, since some students wouldn't allow them to teach the class.  The high school administrators found a still born baby, placed in the trash inside the girls’ restroom. There were also many fights with blades and violence among the student body at that high school.
Other teachers didn't spend enough time teaching.  They would spend the class hour talking about topics which weren't related in any way to the subject matter.  One of my Economics teachers spent most of the time talking about his personal life (his family vacations, how he and his wife get refunds at stores by “raising Hell”, etc.).  I could tell that he was a perv because he was always looking the girls up and down, trying to get an eyeful of the young women in class (But, I guess that’s another blog post). 
A Chemistry teacher spent most of the class time talking to football players, who walked in and out of her class.  Her lecturers were all of ten or fifteen minutes long.  The rest of the class hours consisted of the students looking up vocabulary words from the textbook.  Her tests were almost always multiple choice and open book.  This was supposed to be a Chemistry class, yet we rarely did any laboratory experiments.  Years later, when I enrolled in General Chemistry at the university level, I was ill prepared.
I remember a Spanish teacher at this high school who was constantly mocked, taunted and disrespected by some of her students. She crumbled under the pressure and finally broke down and cried in front of the class. It was very clear that some of these students had no interest in getting their lesson. The ring leader of them, told the Spanish teacher to "shut up" and threatened to go to the front of the classroom and snatch the Spanish teacher's wig off.  That student was removed from the classroom by school administrators. I never saw him again at that school.  A few days afterwards, the teacher didn't teach there anymore.  I am not sure what happened to either of them.  I felt really sorry for the teacher after the incident I didn't see her anymore.
I was so fed up that the environment at that school was not conducive to learning, that I took to skipping class. I spent many days taking bus rides all over town.  During the bus rides I did my homework and self-study.  Sometimes, I would study at the mall or go to the county public library.  I felt that I could learn more from my own self-study than I would by attending classes.  School seemed more like a distraction than anything else.
Even though, I didn't get much out of the class sessions, I still managed to earn the credits required to graduate high school.  At that time, the "No Child Left Behind" standard of education did not exist.  We were required to take the CAT (California Achievement Test) and remedial courses in the event of failing parts of the CAT test. After remediation, students were granted the chance to re-take the failed portion.  I passed my CAT tests and got most of my high school credits required for graduation. 
Guess what?  I didn't go to my high school graduation because I felt so alienated from the other students at that school.  I chose to go to work instead. I was so mistrustful of the other students that I didn't develop many friendships there.  My best friends attended my former high school.  So, I missed out on a lot of social activities, like prom and grad night.  I didn't date high school boys:  The guy I was dating was in his early twenties and taking college courses.  I just wanted to get through that whole experience unscathed, without any physical fights and altercations. 
A few of the classes that I got the most benefit from, in those last two years of high school were English and composition.  I did have one Algebra teacher who was very good. The teachers in those classes were hard-nosed, disciplined and meant business. Those teachers really took their job seriously.  If you weren't there to learn, then you were dismissed. 
I have mixed feelings about my public high school education.  On the one hand, I got an opportunity that many people are not fortunate to ever get in their lifetime. My parents could not offer much help with my studies, since neither of them graduated from high school.  As low quality as my education was, it did offer minor preparation for college level studies.  I am the first person in my immediate family to get a post-secondary education. 
On the other hand, I feel like I was shafted by the public school system.  I didn't do too well in math.  My learning and grades in science were pretty marginal.  The highest level math course that I enrolled in during high school was Algebra II, which I barely passed after two tries.  My saving grace was that I got a firm grasp on language, writing, and reading.  Unfortunately, I ended up taking remedial math during my first two semesters at the community college.   I probably would've completed college quicker, had it not been for some of my deficiencies in math and sciences.
So many students slip through the cracks.  They graduate from high school without ever learning to read, write, and count.  I've seen with my own eyes, adults with a high school diploma, who don't know how to read.  How is this even possible?  It makes me wonder if the student was just passed to get them out of the school. 
Whose fault is it when the student does not get a good public education? The blame lies with the system, the teachers, the parents and the students.  Students in low-income areas may have trouble learning because they are hungry or worried about where they will sleep.  Some don't have stable home lives, so they can't focus on learning.  Some of the teachers have lowered expectations of students in certain neighborhoods.  Some of the parents don't take an interest in their child's education.  They are too busy trying to sort out their own life's problems or working long hours to support their families. They can’t afford to pay a tutor and many don’t have the skills to help their children with homework and studies. I guess everyone shares a small portion of the blame.

Dead snake in this grass

Dead Hacked up snake in the grass


My mom and I spent most of the day running some errands.  When we returned to a relative’s home, my mother noticed that there was a dead snake in the grass. We didn’t see it when we were leaving for some reason.  It had been hacked up pretty bad and there was no head.   The snake looked young.  I am a bit concerned that the mother or other youngsters could be somewhere lurking.


I forget which type of snake it is, but my mom feels certain that the snake is poisonous.  There is a canal and a huge open field near the home.  In the tropics there are dense grass and canals, which tend to attract lots of pests like rodents, lizards, spiders and bugs.  Even though the large lot next door does not belong to my relative, he and the city tend to it and cut the grass to keep the pests from becoming a total nuisance. 

We went inside and told the others about our interesting discovery.  They weren’t surprised by the news.  That morning, my relative killed the snake with a machete, because it chased a screaming woman walking through the huge lot.  He didn’t want to risk having a dangerous, potentially poisonous snake on the loose. 

My relative says that the snake’s tail continued to sliver, even after he hacked it in half.   It did not stop slivering after him until he chopped it a few more times.

The next day, the snake remnants were gone.  I suppose a hungry bird or raccoon ate the remains for dinner. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Public Schools Need Improvement

For the first 2 years of high school, I attended a high school with a predominately White student body, located in a middle class area.   During my junior year of high school, my family moved to a different city due to a change of circumstances.  I was transferred over to a high school where the student body was predominately Black, located in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood.  The two schools are located within the same county, but are in different cities. The differences in quality between the two schools was like night and day.  There are huge disparities in the quality of education that students would receive going to those schools.

I am sure there are people who went through the public education system during the same times that I did, had similar experiences.  There are probably others who would say they don't know what I am talking about.  I can only speak to my experience.

Most of the teachers employed at the predominately White high school, were competent and really serious and committed to their jobs.  The faculty and administration seemed to take a real interest in the students, no matter what race or ethnicity the student was. In fact, I credit my high school Spanish teacher (who happened to be White) for recognizing that I was "college material".  She wanted to get me into college prep school.  Unfortunately, that wasn't possible for my circumstances at the time.  If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have given much thought or planning to attending college.

In contrast, many of the teachers employed at the predominately Black high school were substandard in their teaching.  I can only speak to the quality of teachers that I was assigned to, and most of them were not good teachers.  Out of 7, only 2 were good at what they did, and 1 was mediocre.  Out of the remaining 4 teachers, I could tell that 2 of them at least tried but the students were so disruptive, that they would not allow these teachers to do their job. 

I can say with confidence that I didn't learn nearly as much as I should have during my last two years of high school. Some of the information that I learned, was self-taught from reading textbooks.  It’s a wonder that I even graduated from high school because I sometimes skipped school to go to the library to study. 

When I went to school, neither the FCAT nor “No Child Left Behind” existed.  Students in my school district took the California Achievement Test.  I always did very good in reading and comprehension but my math skills were lacking.  So, I had to take remedial tutoring to get myself up to par to pass the math part of the CAT test.  I never did fully grasp some mathematics concepts and it spilled over into my college years.  I had to take nearly an entire academic year of remedial math courses just to get to college level algebra.  So, I was taking middle and high school level math during my first two semesters in community college. 

I blame the fact that I was behind on the school system, the teachers, my parents, and myself. Even though I know that my parents did the best that they know how and I did the best that I knew how, I think that we all share some of the blame in the public school system's failure to so many people.  I now realize why so many people slip through the cracks and can’t read, write and count as adults. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

What is ghetto?

You can easily pick a ghetto person from a crowd.  It is usually very obvious from the way that some of them dress and their mannerisms.  Many of them are rude, unkempt, gaudy, obnoxious, loud and sloppy.  They leave a trail of trash and filth everywhere they go.  The clean people in a neighborhood have a difficult time keeping the area tidy, for all of the mess that the ghetto folks create in their wake.  City workers have their hands full with maintaining and cleaning the inner cities because people don’t know how to use a trash can.

Most of the time ghetto people are ignorant.  There is no reasoning with ghetto persons.  They can do no wrong and they usually aren’t very open minded people.  It makes no sense to argue with them, because you will subject yourself to abusive language and obscenities.  If you do get into a confrontation with one, be prepared to hurt them, get hurt or go to jail.

A lot of uninformed people automatically assume that all Blacks and Latinos are ghetto.  I disagree, and have seen ghetto attributes in almost every race and ethnicity of American (not naturalized citizens). Ghetto has more to do with a person’s attitudes and the way they carry themselves, than it has to do with a person’s race, or economic status. 

In former places of employment, I frequently encountered wealthy White people who exhibited some very low class behaviors.  On another occasion, I saw a group of young White people dump a box of fried chicken bones and disposable cups in a condo parking lot.  And, that was in an upscale, suburban retirement community. 

I am not sure whether these people were nouveau riche or old money rich, but they behaved like they were bottom feeders, with little home training.  On the flip side, I know many people who live in poverty, yet they carry themselves with manners, sophistication, and grace.  I guess it depends more on the individual and their upbringing.

For some reason, ghetto people seem to gravitate towards certain places.  Some can be found in laundry facilities located in low to middle income neighborhoods.  I am not saying that all people who use laundry facilities are ghetto.  What I am saying is that if you aren’t too careful, there is a high probability that you will bump heads with them there.   In the South, we call laundry facilities “wash houses”, so don’t be confused if I use the term interchangeably. 

Case in point: I was once at a wash house with a friend and we were doing our laundry.   There were three little boys, running amuck at the wash house, unattended.  They were there with a woman, who I assume was their mother.  I did hear her tell them a few times to take a seat and be quiet.  However, her orders were largely ignored. 

They would sit for a few minutes and then get up and start running all over the place, playing with the equipment.  The little boys were jumping up on the tables meant for patrons to fold their clothes.  They were slamming the washing machine doors and behaving like straight Bebe’s kids.  When we were coming up as children, there was no way we could get away with that.  These children of today are a different breed.

Well, my friend and I were seated, waiting for our clothes to complete a wash cycle.  My friend had advised the little boys to stop playing in the laundry mat.  He noticed that they played with a large oscillating fan.  He was worried that they would either damage the fan or that the fan would topple over on them.  So, he told them to stop messing with it.  The little boys walked away and got their mother. 

She came over to where we were seated and asked my friend if he told her son to leave the fan alone.  He said that he did.  The lady was ready for an argument, but I told my friend not to say anything to her, for I knew where it was going.  Her children were angels in her eyes and could do no wrong.  People like that don’t appreciate it when other adults correct their children. The woman sternly told my friend not to say anything to her children and walked away cursing under her breath.  Never mind the fact that her children were out of control. Ghetto!

Here’s what makes the woman’s behavior so asinine:  If those children were to damage any of the business owner’s property, I doubt that their mother would have a dime to pay for the damage.  If the children were to fall and hurt themselves on the property, she might have used it as an opportunity to sue the business owner.   She’s not setting a good example for her children or teaching them to respect other people’s property or authority.

I am not wishing her a bad omen or anything but she might have her hands full with legal problems later on.   Other people won’t be so forgiving about her children’s bad behavior.  They may take the attitude that if their parents didn’t teach them anything, then they are just shit out of luck in life. 

Certain people should not even be allowed to procreate.  Take for instance this other woman who was doing her laundry on another day. She was busy running her mouth on the phone as her two little girls played unattended.  The little girls weren’t older than 3 or 4 years old.  They were pushing each other around inside of the laundry carts.  Their mother was on the phone cursing loud enough for everyone in the wash house to hear her conversation.  At one point I heard her say to the other person on the phone, “My name can’t be out there like hers, because my p***y is clean”.  And seconds later she said, “Bitch, I’ll mud stomp that ho!” 

Now, after she ended her conversation, Rhianna’s stripper song “Pour it Up”, was playing over the wash house radio system.  Ms. Thang was singing it to her little girls and having them to repeat the lyrics to the song.  WTF?  I can’t believe these people are raising children.  Society is royally fucked.


© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why I Decided to Transition to Natural Hair- Go Natural

My hair has been in its natural, unprocessed state, since the late 1990s.  This means that I have not put any harsh chemicals in my hair since that time.  I am an African-American with a very thick and kinky hair texture. 

I decided to transition from relaxed hair to natural for several reasons. Chemical relaxers like sodium hydroxide (lye), calcium hydroxide (no lye) and ammonium thioglycolate (jheri curl juice) are very damaging to the hair shaft.  They straighten the hair, giving it a softer texture and make it look aesthetically pleasing (at least by Western cultural standards).  However, after processing, the hair is left in a weakened and often damaged condition.  This makes most textures of African-American hair very prone to breakage. 

I got my first relaxer when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  My mom used one of those kiddie type perms, which are supposedly weaker versions of lye relaxers. I continued to use relaxers until well into my twenties.  I did all of the things that most women with relaxed hair do:  Get hair styles, deep conditioning treatments, roller sets, flat ironing, blow styles, wraps, etc.  I even experimented with dyes and rinses a few times. All of these styling techniques and treatments only caused more strain and damage on my already weakened hair.

I can’t say that my hair ever grew beyond shoulder length, while in the relaxed state.  No matter what I did, my hair would break off shortly after it grew to shoulder length.  It made no difference whether I tended to my hair for myself or went to a professional stylist for regular maintenance.  The results were still the same. My hair would go through cycles of looking vibrant, bouncy and healthy to dry and brittle.

On several occasions, I suffered painful burns to my scalp from the chemical processing of my hair.  The healing process was not pleasant at all, leaving behind painful, pus-filled sores and scabs.  I was fortunate enough to never suffer permanent hair-loss and scalp damage.  All this in the name of “beauty”.  In retrospect, I can’t believe that I did that to myself.


There is a lot of talk about the dangers of chemical processing to the hair, scalp and health in general.  Not only is there a risk of permanent damage and severe burns to the hair, skin and scalp, but there may be potential health risks.  It has been hypothesized that relaxers may increase the risks of developing certain cancers and uterine fibroids. I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence to support these claims. All I know for sure is that it does not take rocket science to know that those harsh chemicals can’t be good for you.


One day I had an epiphany and a moment of clarity.  I remembered thinking, “What am I doing?”  and decided that enough was enough. Many times I looked in the mirror and cried out of self-pity over having hair that looked fried, with split ends and breakage.  I grew tired of spending thousands of dollars to maintain relaxed hair, only for it to eventually break off. 


I told my stylist that I wanted her to help me transition to natural.  So, she cut my hair down to about 2 inches long.  There was just a tiny bit of new growth, with a little relaxed hair on the ends.  It felt weird in those first few weeks and took some getting used to.  I think I looked like a dude.  The strange thing is that my family, friends and co-workers liked my new look much more than I did in the beginning.

I wore it as a raggedly looking Afro for a few weeks and then, returned to my stylist.  She trimmed off the remaining relaxed hair and then evened up my Afro.  I experimented with some Afrocentric hairstyles, like single and double twist outs, braids, and cornrows.  Sta-Sof-Fro and WildGrowth Hair Oil were pivotal to the transition.  After a few months, I experienced the joy of going natural. It felt so liberating and I loved it.  My hair began to look healthier and it cost much less to maintain it.

These days, my hair is still natural but I also wear wigs.  Sometimes I get bored with my hair.  In my opinion, there is not as much styling versatility when it comes to natural hair. When I flat iron or press my hair, it reverts back to the natural state in a day or so.  That’s usually out of the question for me.  So, I wear wigs to break the monotony and change things up a bit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Unpaid Traffic Tickets and Vicarious Liability: Why You Shouldn't Let People Drive Your Vehicle

Someone who I know complains continually about his adult daughter.  He bought a car for his daughter, in order for her to have transportation to work and college.  He wants her to have a way to get around without asking him for rides all the time.
Well this man has found himself in a bit of a quagmire: His daughter is not a responsible driver.  She has been involved in a couple of minor car accidents (where she was at fault) and has accumulated several unpaid traffic tickets. To make matters worse, her driver's license is now suspended because of the unpaid tickets and failure to appear in court. In the state of Florida, failure to appear and driving with a suspended license, are both arrestable offenses.  So, it would not shock me to learn that she has a warrant out for her arrest.
This doesn't deter her from continuing to drive the car, which is in her father's name, I must add.  It is really his daughter's car but technically he still owns it, since he holds the title.  He says that the reason that he agreed to hold title to the car has to do with the high cost of automobile insurance for people with poor driving records.  He pays her insurance because it is cheaper for him to do it. The insurance premiums aren't affordable for his daughter, due to her age and her train wreck of a driving record.
Quite a few times, in the past his own driver's license was put in jeopardy, due to his daughter's poor driving habits.  In Florida, several cities implement traffic cameras at busy intersections.  The cameras snap photos of cars, when the drivers have broken a law.  So, he was issued many traffic tickets for running red lights.  Only, he wasn't driving the car at the time of the traffic infractions; His daughter was the culprit. The worst part of all, is that he suspects that his daughter abuses drugs. 
I don't normally give advice to people, especially when it comes to their children.  In this case, I suggested that he give her some tough love.  I suggested that he was spoiling his daughter and not allowing her to grow into a responsible adult. Every time she falls, he is there to rescue her instead of allowing her to learn from her mistakes. She doesn't contribute anything towards the auto insurance premiums. Perhaps, she would learn her lesson if he transferred the car title over to her and made her pay for her own insurance.  He patiently listened to my suggestions.  However, I seriously doubt that he will implement any of them.
People will dog your vehicle out, because it is not theirs. 
I was at a local mechanic shop, getting some new tires installed on my car.  While I sat in the waiting room I overheard a conversation between a mechanic and another customer.  The mechanic told the customer that her car’s muffler and some other parts underneath the car were damaged and in need of repair.  The repair costs were very expensive and the woman let out some unsavory words in anger.  She surmised that her son must have driven into some pot holes.  She was certain that he damaged her car, since he was the only other person that drove her car. 
Vicarious Liability: Is it worth the risk?
A county court judge once told a group of us in the court room that we should never let anyone drive our car.  This includes your mother, your father, and even your spouse.  He says the only exception is if you have a 1 million dollar or more umbrella insurance policy.  The judge was a former civil litigation attorney, who cautioned us with good reason.
There is a legal doctrine under the common law, called "vicarious liability".  It simply means liability, with or without fault.  It holds that the owner of an automobile can be held responsible for anything that is done behind the wheel of the automobile.  The owner is liable for any traffic tickets, personal injuries, or property damage caused by the driver of the vehicle regardless of fault.  Therefore, if you allow someone to drive your car, and they cause an accident or incur traffic infractions, both you and the driver can be held responsible or sued. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dead Beat Daddy Cat

I once went over to a friend’s house for a visit.  He had not arrived home, so I sat outside chatting with my friend’s next door neighbor.  This guy is around my age and very jovial. 

There are many stray cats, ranging in age in that roam the neighborhood.  Sometimes, the cats enter and exit my friend’s home when he opens his front door to air his home out.  The stray cats love to rub against people’s legs, when they sit or stand on their porches.  You can’t sit outside and eat snacks without the kitties begging for some of the food.

An adult male cat kept strolling back and forth on the lawn, as we sat outside chatting.  My friend’s neighbor exclaimed, “I don’t like him!”  While motioning towards the cat. “He doesn’t take care of his kids.” 

Then, all of a sudden the guy shouted out to the male cat, “Hey, you friggin’ dead beat!  Get back here and take care of your responsibilities!”  The cat was startled by the shouting and he stopped in his tracks and quickly turned his head to look at us.  The crazy neighbor kept yelling at the cat.  So, the cat broke out running away and didn‘t return.


Me and the neighbor starting laughing.  That guy has a strange, wry sense of humor.  Dude is always smoking some Blacks and turning everything into a joke.  He belongs on a Def Comedy Jams disc set or Comic View.  He is probably loose a few screws in his brain.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Child abuse: Why Are People So Mean to Their Children?

I was waiting in my car at the supermarket for my friend to finish his grocery shopping.  This lady pulled up in a passenger van and 3 children got out with her.  She was yelling at the children while she pushed a shopping cart and they followed her into the supermarket. 

I was still sitting in the car and waiting when she came out of the supermarket with the children.  The woman was still yelling at the children, but was cursing at them more.  She scolded one of the little boys for opening a van door when she didn’t ask him to. 

From my perspective, what the child did wasn’t a big deal. He was just doing the things that a normal child can be expected to do. Children make messes and they make minor mistakes. However, the woman acted as if he had committed some sort of atrocity.   She looked really stressed out and miserable.  She is young, so she might not be mature enough to handle the responsibilities of parenthood. Maybe she was going through some personal problems that people don’t understand.  It is still no reason for her to take her anger and frustrations out on those poor children. 

I don’t understand why people act that way towards their children.  Child abuse and mistreatment are recipes for disaster. Children are such a blessing, even when they misbehave. Adults can learn so much from observing children.

It is a parent's job to nurture their children, prepare them for the world, encourage them, and cultivate their mind for success.  Tearing the child down, especially in pubic is really humiliating and damaging to the self-confidence and self-image.  Abused children are less likely to take healthy risks in their lives or to pursue a goal or dream because of low-self-esteem. 

I didn’t say nothing to her, although I sat just a few feet away.  I feel like it is not my business to intervene unless, she were physically abusing those children.  Some people consider yelling and swearing at children to be emotional or psychological abuse.  There wasn’t any outright name calling or belittling from her toward them.  But, the yelling and swearing may have some negative effects on those children.

In my opinion, people who mistreat and abuse their children don’t deserve to have them. I read a news report about a monster mommy, who allegedly abused her own 2-year-old son and tried to cover it up. It is an old story but still very sickening. 


The way that I see it is that people like this should not have had children, if they knew deep down inside that that they weren’t cut out for it.  I mean, hello? There is such a thing as contraception or even giving the child up for adoption.  It’s a pity because there are so many special and loving people in this world who want to be parents, but they aren’t physically capable of having children. 

Iyanla Vanzant Goes to Ferguson, MO

Iyanla Vanzant is the star of the OWN Network show, “Iyanla Fix My Life”.  She is a well-known motivational speaker, minister, and bestselling author.  I love her energy and I try and catch her show every chance that I can.  I saw the new episode about Ferguson, MO on Labor Day.

Well, Ms. Vanzant traveled to Ferguson to address the community and help them to deal with the anger and issues facing them so that the people can begin the healing process.  Most of the residents want to see sweeping changes for the better. One of the residents of Ferguson says that he wants respect.  I infer that he means that he wants more respect as a resident and Black person from the police.  But, how can the residents expect more respect when some people are not worthy of respect?

All of the rioting and looting is not doing any good, but rather is exacerbating the situation. They are tearing down the very community that they live in.  Businesses are losing money due to the theft and vandalism.  They owners might consider closing their doors.  This will take more resources, jobs, and revenue out of the local community.  What does rioting accomplish other than making people look like fools before the world?

Iyanla brought up many points that were true that some of the people in the community didn’t appear to be examining.  What about Black on Black crime?  Why is it that people protest when a White police officer kills a Black person?  But, you don’t see the same level of outrage or protesting when a person loses their life to gang violence.   The end result is still the same in both situations:  Someone lost their life.

The community must deal with the many root causes of their problems before any real healing begins.  Black communities across the country face the same issues.  Crime, drugs, high unemployment, subpar education systems. Racism and corruption are still nefarious serious issues to contend with.  I think that ignorance and fear are at the core of the problems.

Peaceful protests and community meetings with local politicians and law enforcement are more effective than  violence.  The criminals are opportunists and they overshadow the image of the law-abiding and peaceful people (in the media).  When those bad activities are shown in the media it reflects so negatively on the community as a whole.  The crime and riots are used as reasons for the police to kill and violate the rights of more people.   

At this point, will still don’t have all the facts.  There are two sides to every story.  The truth will come out in time.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review of So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened

Coconut milk is the white liquid, extracted from the processed meat of coconuts.

By itself, So Delicious “Unsweetened” coconut milk has a bland taste.  The sweetened version of So Delicious coconut milk tastes nasty to me.  I prefer the unsweetened variety over the sweetened.  Coconut milk is not as rich tasting as cow or goat milk.  I decided to use this product, because I was looking for some healthier alternatives to cow’s milk and soy milk.

So Delicious coconut milk is really thin in its consistency, which lends rather well to soup preparation.  It is much thinner than some of the canned coconut milk preparations.


There are many different varieties of So Delicious dairy-free coconut milk:
  • Chocolate
  • Original 
  • Unsweetened
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Original


So Delicious has many products available beside coconut milk.  This company has broadened their product offering to include almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk frozen desserts, dairy-free cultured products, coconut milk coffee creamers and other products.  I have yet to try any of these other products, but thought they were worth mentioning.

Benefits of using So Delicious Coconut Milk:



  • Made with organic ingredients, including coconuts and certified UDSA Organic product. 
  • Is vegan, meaning that it does not contain any animal products.  The product is not tested on animals. 
  • So Delicious coconut milk does not contain any GMO coconuts.
  • Gluten-free and certified Kosher


Now for the cons. Any time that you buy a product off the shelf, it is processed.   No matter how “natural” the manufacturer says the product is, it is still processed.  As stated earlier, So Delicious coconut milk is very thin compared to canned coconut milk.  It doesn’t separate as much as canned coconut milk.  So, the product is really dilute.

It is also fortified with vitamins- another clue.  Fortifying a product with man-made vitamins, doesn’t necessarily make the product healthier for you.  It increases the price of the food, if anything.  I would much rather get the vitamins and minerals directly from the food itself. Some So Delicious products have added sugar, too.

In some ways, So Delicious coconut milk in the carton is a little better than the traditional canned coconut milk.  Canned acidic foods have a reputation for BPA (Bisphenol-A) contamination.  There are a few brands of canned organic coconut milk out on the market, which don’t contain BPA.  They aren’t widely available and it is something to be aware of.

So Delicious is also expensive when you compare it to other brands of coconut milk.  The $2-$3 cost really adds up if consuming the product on a daily basis.  Considering that it is diluted with water, you’re not getting as much bang for your buck as a consumer.

I still see it as an option for people who don’t want to go through the trouble of selecting organic coconuts and preparing the coconut milk themselves. I know that the average American will not go through the trouble to do this, since we lead fast paced lives and some of us are lax and nonchalant when it comes to attending to proper health and nutrition.

My feelings about So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened are mixed:  On the one hand, I don’t think that this is a bad product. It is better than gulping down, hormone and antibiotic laden cow’s milk.   On the other, I don’t think that it is the best coconut milk product on the market.

In life, there are pros and cons to just about everything. So Delicious coconut milk unsweetened is a product that I use due to lactose intolerance, uterine fibroids and because convenience factor of using packaged coconut milk.  I recommend it to people over choosing soy milk or cow’s milk.


© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt

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