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21 January 2017

The Obamas: Depth & Symbolism


2nd Inauguration Parade 2013
Inauguration Parade 2009


First State Dinner @ White House

Two of the many images of the Obamas that make you smile

At first, there was some worry about engaging in a Tavis Smiley "love letter" mode to former President Obama given that I was one who would from time to time express my concern and disappointments with some of his decisions and behavior especially as it pertains to black folks. Ta-Nehisi Coates did a splendid job on the latter in an essay he wrote, 'My President Was Black'  . I must say that I cared about his Presidency and was protective towards the family and truly loved what they stood for not to mention the impact on young people. Those who have chosen to live and prosper within mainstream America despite their concerns on certain issues remained loyal and were unforgiving in their attacks on those black folks who were critical of him at times.  I agree that the symbolism was incredible and it was wonderful listening to young boys deciding to wear ties to school and to take their studies seriously for they wanted to be like President Obama.  It goes without saying {but I'm saying it}that there will be a population of young people of color whom for the first 8 years of their lives reaped the benefits of a man of color occupying the most powerful office in the world.  Oh Lawd...the ancestors said in unison!  I will especially miss Michelle, Malia and Sasha and I eagerly await what great things they will do as citizens. Mrs. Obama cared and pushed programs on children's health  and for the families of those who served  in the Armed Services while first lady. We won't forget.

There was an article some time ago, listing all that the President had accomplished despite the egregious obstructionism by Congress. A post that I published 1/28/2011 titled "Mr. President: What's Goin On?" clearly exposed my inner turmoil  as I felt at that time that there was a 'bait and switch thing' going on. One of the respected bloggers that I follow coined him as the "changeling" which rings true for me.  I, then would consider those issues that we as Americans aren't privy to and what he had to reconcile with that were probably daunting at best with the worse  scenario as cataclysmic.  Then again, there were the social and cultural exchanges he and his family shared with the world while in the White House that left us smiling and at times uplifted.  What an emotional ride over the years and it culminated in tears as I watch the Obamas board the helicopter and what they left behind.  Harambee!

"Barack & Michelle Obama Wave Good-bye to Washington"


Multi-Ethnic Congresswomen at the March

As I reflect on the events simultaneously held during Trump's Inauguration ;ambivalency reigned. I was saddened by  the events of his election and confirmation, yet, experienced some hope after viewing the Women's March. There was a sense of optimism that the showing was just the beginning of securing our rights again. Images are powerful.

 I've provided links to the articles that thus far best describes not only those issues that unite women and progressive men but women of color and their issues within the feminist movement.

There was also an article written by Dave Zirin that gave a clear account of how things went on the far side of 'Trump's Day' which was greatly exaggerated by his press secretary, Sean Spicer and framed by Kellyanne Conway as "alternative facts". What was so disconcerting is that the aerial evidence was clear and seen by millions.  A well known previous quote by a deceased comic... "who are you going to trust, me or your lying eyes?" rings true in this situation as well as other incidents. 

02 January 2017

The Arrival of 2017 & Severe Challenges to a Happy New Year!

I was somewhat hesitant to post another New Year's message given my overall disappointment over the 2016 election results and the upcoming ascendance of Donald Trump to the White House on January 20, 2017. I use the word ascendance for he has conducted himself in a dictatorial manner as president-elect. He is interfering with  President Obama's administrative affairs, hobnobbing and actually supporting Russian leader Putin, distorting facts, and selecting a predominately male cabinet with dubious reputations and questionable ethics. The list goes on. 

As I reviewed the conclusions of my previous  2016, 2014, 2013 & 2012 messages; there was a common thread of hope and recognition that all is not lost despite chronic mayhem, injustice and all forms of global chaos. There was an acknowledgment of those issues and events in our lives that exemplify the best of our humanity, for we've certainly observed the worst.  However, I do not agree with all the media/pundits' passive reconciliation of the fate of America under a Trump presidency... I'm just not there.  The future is tenuous and hoping for the best without a more assertive and relentless check and balance approach to the incoming administration may be our undoing. I have considerable respect for the intelligence and due diligence of Joy Reid and some of the more courageous journalists when it comes to monitoring and speaking out on those issues that threaten security and freedom for all. Her assessment of  the results of a Trump Presidency is commendable. 

Joy Reid :  " What Trump Voters 'Won' "


25 November 2016

Calling for the Elimination of the Antiquated and Unfair Electoral College

THE DAILY KOS featured an article by Chris Bowers on the need to challenge those who want to adhere to a system that has cheated at least two contenders, in recent history from the white house.

The popular raw vote of the people dismissed and as a result a man who by far besmirches what the Presidency and America should be about gains power.  A new coinage of PTSD has emerged...Post Trump Stress Disorder for many especially those of color and immigrant groups.

May I suggest you read:

23 November 2016


 This is a re-posting of a compilation of former Thanksgiving messages .  Once again, we are at the crossroads of human suffering with a lot of recent trauma related to President elect Donald Trump, killings of unarmed black youth, pathological hatred,  justice denied, overall escalation of human misery, global wars, persecution, genocide and the unremitting and daunting effects of poverty. The latter is just to name a few.  In the midst of all this...we continue to  publicly celebrate the rite of Thanksgiving.  Acts of kindness still abound, many people are doing well despite the hardships expressed which is usually the case.  "Many things are true at once" , however, we must not forget or fail to continue to advocate and diligently work for changes that enhance humanity and lend to making subsequent Thanksgivings more meaningful.
"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.  Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~ Henry Van Dyke ~

'Together We Give Thanks' ~ Kathrerine Roundtree
It's that time of the year again and I find myself still trying to reconcile the concepts of being thankful or grateful for what we have and frankly what we hope that we'll keep and certainly relieved that things aren't as bad as they are for much of humanity. "Fearing to lose what you have is not the same as appreciation" ~ Terry Guillemets ~
I've written several posts on this holiday from different perspectives including that of some Native Americans.{ See link 'National Day of Mourning.'} There are the exasperated  sighs  from  folks who find some form of gratitude or thankfulness in the most dire circumstances when they encounter people like me. Their perceptions are that we are the ones hardwired to focus more on the maladies of humankind instead of being thankful for those blessings that others share or for those who are doing relatively well despite their problems.  The consideration of societal and individual limitations coupled with solution building can enhance one's ability to be truly grateful in the face of dreaded happenstances.  As a collective we should give thanks.  I do believe that.
There is, however, a passage from one of Dr. King's sermons that reinforces my perception that we should always shine a light on and work towards the resolution of the suffering and injustice that much of humanity endures on a daily basis. The celebrated day of Thanksgiving is no exception.  The passage reads: "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

With that said; I  enjoy reading articles and collecting quotes on thankfulness and gratitude. Many of them made a distinction between being thankful and having gratitude.

"Being thankful is to acknowledge the contributions of others. While, thankfulness represents an understanding of such contributions, it does not necessarily represent a deep, heartfelt embrace of the contributions."
"Having gratitude is to really feel and embrace the contributions of others and the power of the universe in your life.  Gratitude moves the intellectual acknowledgement of being thankful to a deep feeling representing the intersection of intellect and soul."  ~ Wecare ~

This policy for the uninsured under constant fire!

Gratitude is a real, palpable feeling, like pleasure or pain, and thankfulness is the most natural response to it. Two distinctly different things, joined at the hip." ~ Alan Roettinger ~

"It makes it difficult for many of us to find a reason to be thankful. Of course we have heard time and time again that there is always some one experiencing greater hardship than we are, and although true, it does not always make our personal hardships any less painful." 

14 November 2016

We've Lost Another Analytical Journalist of Integrity and Excellence

Noted Journalist, Television Newscaster & Author

SEPTEMBER 29, 1955 ~ NOVEMBER 14, 2016

We will miss you and your in-depth reporting and assessments on domestic and global issues.  Bountiful blessings to you, your family and friends.