Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear America,

"I thought I had a handle on life...then it broke."

Blame it on a bumper sticker today.

In the process of recovering from the shock of having a root canal deteriorate into the full excavation of one of my molars, and while still highly medicated, I had to laugh when my eye caught sight of the open-air Jeep that looked like it just came back from a long distance trek through the Sierras, the Mojave Desert, and back again, a hundred times over.

But as you know, if you read G, I am currently enamoured (and subsequently further strengthened) by the new Jeep commercial, and the idea surrounding the thought that, "the things we make, make us."

I can't help but look to these times, and see that these days are splendid and engaging in the opportunity before us as a people, and as a nation -- that we are two hundred and thirty eight years into the lifespan of our republic, and finding ourselves in a whole new world of testing our faith and the spirit from which we came. 

Make no mistake, this land is your land is making it's way through a maze of multiple choice questions -- while our Creator watches free will dance and sing in faith and thanksgiving -- or protest and wage war in ignorance and fear. 

Many nations have faced the test -- many civilizations have failed; somehow our founders recognized certain truths that were not only inherent to every man, woman and child, but were able to excavate from the past principles sound enough to satisfy the creation of a new world, the new world, as long as we continued to act and grow in faith.

It isn't even just about the reverent revelations these men made -- far more in our nation's birth was recognizing our individual connectedness to this Divine Spirit that made everything we can see and touch and taste and hear and feel -- everything.  The founders were so married to the idea of Divine Providence, that we built a nation knowing we were made and destined to be a model nation to the world.

This was no accident.

A while back, I finished reading "God According to God" by Gerald Schroeder -- he is an MIT trained physicist and also author of The Science of God.  It is not too late to make this a summer read, the entire month of August awaits...

anyway, as a plethora of scientific support -- from all vantage points  -- fully recognizes the Big Bang Theory, we will not stop to discuss the minute details, justified by the chemical and mathematical formulas required.   The big bad scientists did the work and we can move on.

And just for the record, Schroeder has spent a lifetime doing just this one thing -- and he ties the studies and minds of physicists around the globe and over centuries rather completely -- not to mention, it turns into a rather easy read, as he spins tales surrounding the softer side of science, history of the world, and stories from the Old Testament for those of us with little patience to sift through 200 pages of E= mc² , just sayin'...

The thing is, the "Thing" that made us -- the world, this universe -- is decidedly the Mind, the Thought, back behind all of creation; that just dumb luck and chance did not an entire world -- along with the natural evolution which is constantly and tirelessly and free willy nilly at play -- make.

This book, which I highly recommend, spends a bit of time on a story of Stephen Hawking, recommending to the world the idea surrounding the random chance of monkeys typing something from Shakespeare, saying, "...most of what they write will be garbage, but very occasionally by pure chance they will type out one of Shakespeare's sonnets..." Just by him saying so convinced The New Yorker to use this idea as the centerpiece for the Christmas 2002 cover, monkeys hammering on typewriters...I somehow missed this entirely.

Most people simply believed the scientist without question; however, a study at Plymouth University in Britain put the theory to the test.

In a month, six monkeys in a room of typewriters failed to even type out a single word, let alone a full Shakespearean sonnet -- I mean, not even so much as the an "a" or an "I" -- for that would require a space surrounding both sides of the letter, wouldn't it.  As Schroeder spells it out for us, "That means typing : space, a, space.  If there are about a hundred keys on the computer keyboard, neglecting the fact that the space bar is somewhat larger that the letter keys, the probability of typing space, a, space is one chance in a 100 times 100 times 100, which comes out to be one chance in a million. Random guessing in a spelling bee is always a losing proposition. And that is for a single-letter word."

We are not some random universe living on planet earth; we were made with the same consciousness back of all living things, and even though by appearances, it seems a manifestation of evolution by chance -- truth and science tells us we are anything but.

This is what our founders recognized in us -- being a part of a much larger plan -- as divined by the same Intelligence and Providence that brought together the most magnificent minds of our time (or rather, their time). Our time, not so much. 

Today, our faith and connection to something far greater and all-knowing than ourselves, universally recognized as a merciful and wondrous God, from whom all blessings flow, from the simple farmer to the keepers of a nation, has been broken; much like being in a room full of monkeys randomly tapping on whatever sticks, we are lost in a sea of men making choices for us, leading us out of being a nation of faith and into the secular realm of some kind of black hole.

This is a test; let the siren ring; our faith is being tested on every level... 

...whether it is our faith in ourselves as we find our way to an economic recovery and keeper of our own families

...whether it is our faith in schools to lead our children down a path which fills them with intelligence and conscience

...whether it is our faith in our churches or synagogues or mosques to have the strength and fortitude to lead us out of the desert

...whether it is our faith in love and marriage to weather the storms and commit fully to another soul for life

...whether it is our faith in government to protect it's citizens, stand as a model for the whole, and lead in a community of law, order, respect and grace

...whether it is our faith in God, or not -- our faith lies in the hands of a community to live in peace together. 

All people have a faith in something, or in everything, even if it is only in themselves  -- it is merely a matter of scale and perspective that leaves this question open for personal attention to details.

This morning, as I struggle with getting a handle on life and the world in which we live, stopping to recognize my faith is what will fill me with hope that nothing is by chance, except what we make of it.  We can live a purpose driven life; we can embrace the hearts and minds of our forefathers  -- and the character from which Divine Providence birthed a nation like no other; we can be witness to the beauty of being co-creators of our world and it's future as we tap, tap, tap our days and nights ahead.

For without faith, we have nothing but the randomness and the soullessness of life made by the irreverence of others; the re-enchantment of everyday life, paying homage to another book I love, by Thomas Moore awaits us; the choice is up to each one of us to make...while the things we make, make us.

This is a test of faith.

Make it a Good Day, G

Final thought from Benjamin Franklin, while at the Constitutional Convention:

"In the beginning...we had daily prayer...our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered...To that kind of Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.  And now have we forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?  I have lived, sir, a long time [now 83] and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow can not fall to the ground without notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid?  We have been assured sir, int he sacred writings that, 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed, in this political building, no better that the builders of Babel."
Our nation was framed without a national religion to better protect the nation from itself -- strengthened by the framework of a reverent people not only already existing, but fully content, living in faith.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear America,

Congress has an 11% approval rating.  Lowest ever. Ever.

hummmm wonder what's going on here...

Oh but, as the President made very clear, in his taped appearance using his handy dandy teleprompter, addressing his flock at the Netroots Nation convention, basically a body of left wing journalists, media, and bloggers who met in Vegas last weekend, he said this to appease the crowd:

"[for many Americans] change hasn't come fast enough,
ahh, hasn't come fast enough for me either."

I guess, being under the impression that he was addressing the 11% who still approve of his policies, he needed to prove he was far from done; of course for the rest of us -- the 89% who despise everything this administration, via this congress with the honor of the lowest approval rating ever -- we are left with merely hope...that things will change soon.

And I'm disheartened really, for a president making such a statement addressing a fringe group -- who for all intents and purposes, was created only about five years ago in order to elevate the protest against the previous administration and help boot them out -- like, you know, sort of like coming together at the grassroots, to affect change on the political horizon, for the nation's future is at stake, sort of thing.  It would be almost as bad as a sitting president to lounge with the ladies of The View -- oh wait, that is happening tomorrow.

hmmm but this political activism, starting at the grassroots, makes me think of what else has spawned simply from the urge to change Washington across America?  Tea, anyone?

The Tea Party has thousands rally, millions actually, when you put us all together; and as grassroots (or astrotturf, according to nancy) that it may be, it doesn't matter if we gather together, or not.  For inside the typical tea party American, is a root belief -- one that doesn't sit on the fringe, but is fully and proudly embodied one and ALL.

Call the Tea Party whatever you want -- but most of us know who we are and what we are fighting for; it just so happens to be direct opposite of the liberal agenda.

There were 2100 people who attended the Netroots Nation convention -- to listen to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama -- with Van Jones  (who left the administration as the Green Czar in the dead of night, under controversy with his ties to the 9/11 Truthers and questionable connections to the Communist party) as the Key Note Speaker.

but here's a taste of what Harry had to say, "oh, we're going to have a public option, it's just a question as to when" -- with hopes to stir the base, even as he grapples with keeping his Senate seat.

and here's Nancy, "When you talk about reducing the deficit and Social Security, you're talking about apples and oranges"  -- added to the kool-aid, we would have a pretty good punch.

and here's Van, "I resigned. I did not want to be the banana peel that the president of the United States slipped on trying to win on health care"  -- what's with all the fruit?

The final speaker was Al Franken, but I will save us all from revisiting that frosting on the fruitcake convention, but it begs me to ask, if these are the best that the left has to offer, what does the right have to worry about?

Netroots is the fringe outlet.  They are the true extremists.

The Tea Party coalitions around the country simply exemplify the majority of Americans who just want our freedom back -- which 54% of all Americans lean, when asked if they are more aligned with Tea or the O, as in administration.

What is fascinating to note, given that this country is made up of 13% of African-Americans, six percent of the total Tea Party membership is black; that doesn't seem to fit in with the liberal narrative of blatant racism within the party.

Allen West, just one of 32 black republicans running for office -- and happily associated with the Tea Party -- makes the astounding observation that (Tea = racists) was all but made up by the media.

As the president himself pokes fun at the Tea Party, calling them "tea baggers" instead,  I would love to have the president meet an audience simply of black republicans.  What would he say?  What questions would they ask? Would they break bread together and drink tea, a beer, or coffee?  How would that go down?

Besides the NAACP conference of last month, we currently have the Urban League, having their annual conference in D.C.; I have long admired the Urban League, for a number of reasons.  Years ago, when I worked downtown, in San Diego, I became familiar with their activities and events in our area, especially in terms of fundraising and community outreach.

Most notably is the level of business acumen and innovation to enhance and grow their mission, beginning with changing the perception of failure in the black community -- always putting their best foot forward, working within the corporate circles, reaching into and finding resolution to local issues with both a heart, and a mind to move forward -- not keep looking back.

I am enlivened this morning, reading the thoughts and level-headedness of the current president, Marc Morial, given the last couple of weeks of racial dialogue, who knew where he would go with it:
"Race is still a challenge for us to talk about openly. It is still one of the most challenging issues that faces the nation, but the Urban League wants to focus on a productive discussion around issues like race and education and race and jobs. There's such a focus on talk, but we also need to focus on action."

"Sometimes people only see our advocacy voice, but they don't see the work we do in our offices around the country. We are not an inside-the-Beltway organization. We're an organization whose strength is outside in the communities around the nation."

(quotes taken from Urban League avoids turning up heat on race, by Krissah Thompson, a Washington Post Staff Writer)

The liberal media, and especially  fringe gatherings like netroots.nation, continually destroy opportunities to have open conversations about race, for they cling to the way we were.  They no more want the country to all get along than they want BP to fix the leak, for they would then no longer have an opportunity to throw the race card out when they need to drum up their base, or hit a nerve, or make the opposition out to be the evil villain.  The left can only thrive, and survive, by creating separation and division -- creating a case for why you need "them"... the government, I am here to help -- creating a case for building a bigger and better government (not).

The liberal media -- like netroots.nation, like journolists -- can be summed up as the new fringe group, with unfortunately the opportunity to affect millions, simply by running the same sad narrative over and over again with a host of networks at their beckon call.

I realize I am all over the place today...my mind is just trying to get around the last few days, weeks, months... between the story of Shirley Sherrod and Fox, between the NAACP and Breitbart, between this administration and the sound majority of 89% of us who no longer believe in Congress, between the mounds of sensationalism journalism pitting good, honest to goodness white people against good, honest to goodness black people, I am hoping that what happened in Vegas within the confines of netroots.nation simply stays in Vegas. 

But even if these "journalists" haven't a change of heart, 98 days from now, the real nation may have someone like Allen West in congress, and be in a position to change everything back to the way we were, but in a good way. 

For we know better.
For 'hear ye, hear ye, ' we are not fringe, we are not extremists, we are not even simply a movement -- we are simply the way, the truth, and the light, speaking on behalf of an American majority -- we know who we are.  We are Americans.  We come in all colors and sizes; and come as republicans, democrats, independents and libertarians. We are people gathered together, in union, who believe in the Republic, the rule of law, our Constitution, and the Golden Rule; print that.

We have better things to DO; and albeit sometimes wise, talking, in and of itself, doesn't get anything done.

Make it a GOOD Day, G

be good, do good, see good and good smiles back at you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear America,

My Dear Union Tribune,
"Newspapers...serve as chimneys to carry off noxious vapors and smoke."

Thomas Jefferson
(or stoke a bigger fire)
The letters to the editor Sunday, on Shirley Sherrod, prove -- besides the realization of not believing everything you read, or hear -- the issue is far from black and white; like our lingering coastal cloud cover, it is gray as ever.

A true listener of Fox News (not the blind followers or those who only "hear things" about Fox) would know that, and at the same time, would take great exception to the blatant line of bigotry and racial network profiling going on.

Fox simply reported the news -- and by the way, it was hours after the White House and Tom Vilsack hastily jumped to the pink slip. Fox -- simply made the mistake of entrusting those in high places to have done their due diligence, and as we all know now, that didn't happen.

Remember Shirley on Tuesday, anyone? She was loud and clear with her report to, "pull over, pull over...[resign] before you get on Glenn Beck tonight [per someone at the White House]." While Glenn didn't have enough information by 5:00 to say a word, by Tuesday, he was going to Shirley's rescue! Asking the right questions, saying this was an atrocious mistake...

...and Bill O'Reilly quickly apologized to Ms. Sherrod for jumping into the controversy too soon, as well.

If anyone -- those like Shirley, now making horrific blanketed dispersions of racial prejudice and bigotry, saying things like this,

"I am just a pawn. I was just here.
They [Fox News] are after a bigger thing,
they would love to take us back
to where we were many years ago.
Back to where black people were looking down,
not looking white folks in the face,
not being able to compete for a job out there
and not be a whole person."

this, context included, from MediaMatters.org

If these people actually watched Fox -- they would realize it is one of the last bastions of fair and balanced news and political commentary on the planet (and rated number one, most watched...but I digress). They pride themselves of showing both sides of the argument, having people of all backgrounds speak their peace, and aside from making an apology when apologies are due -- they make no apologies for the level of professionalism and fair mindedness that permeates from their programing.

It is a sad day for America anytime we get into extremism -- especially of this kind.

Shirley, and perhaps a few of your readers (like Peggy, who claims "Fox loves to go after successful, intelligent people of color who fight for the downtrodden), should be more ashamed of the amount of racial epithets coming out of their own mouths -- with context made fully aware and without care.

The initial viewing of the video on biggoverment.com was Brietbart's way to show the hypocrisy of the colorful commentary of the NAACP audience in front of Shirley on that fateful day in March -- the "ahuh's and the that's rights" coming from the embers still hot in the crowd; it was an effort -- and a poor one at that -- to point out the character of the organization back behind calling all Tea Party Patriots, racists. It wasn't about Shirley at all -- and Brietbart would be the first to tell you about it.

If anyone should be ashamed, it is the techno-savvy White House who caught wind of the story, and wanted to beat Beck to the punch. How messed up is that, that we have an administration jumping to conclusions, upending a woman's life, and making decisions based on WWFD? Are you kidding me?

Being judged for the content of our character begins at home -- the messages we are fed, the fair mindedness and tolerance of all people, is set in motion from our parents and those who raise us; continuing through our experiences in school and congregations and associations, all Americans must make a concerted effort to grow up embracing all colors of the rainbow, including blacks towards whites, or we may never truly overcome.

I believe we are a nation of good people -- most every single one of us; this is what has set us apart from the very beginning. The intentions passed down from the founders was for all of us to come together, melting into one -- not continually splintering by issue or race or agenda. Albeit far from perfect, WE the People do our best to overcome a history of other people making bad decisions of creating racial turmoil -- and in each new day, we become better and better for it.

My wish for this week -- we all stop for a moment, take a breath, and reach down deep to discover our own strength of good character, and act or speak accordingly -- for the rest should take care of itself. A sound racial dialogue, one that can carry us as a people to the next level, begins with fanning the flames of mutual respect and thoughtfulness -- from here, the sky's the limit.

-----------end of letter to the editor-----------------

What did you do today?

Make it a Good Day, G

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear America,

Happy Thursday x

And Happy Birthday to me, G.  It has been a full year of chiming in about America and all I have to add is WOW -- what a year it has been -- making overtures to a 1.4 trillion understatements indeed.

The irony that while catching up with Glenn Beck yesterday, he made reference to today being a big anniversary.  I thought to myself, as I began puffing out my chest only to be choked by my own arrogance, similar to the King I am I am in office, how could he know?  (i know, that really isn't funny, sounded better in my head)...ah yes, the anniversary of the first real blooper of our first black president, from which, little did he know came the first thought from G.

The opening line,
"where do we begin and how do we begin again, I ask myself."

Where I live, it is the Day After OPENING Day of the Races, in Del Mar. It is one of those local traditions that brings the seasonal influx of big hats and high balls, arriving as Bing Crosby sings by train or by car-- limo or beemer-- and away they go with a day of heavy drinking, gambling and the like. I really don't wanna sound cynical during these trying times, but it is a wonder when pondering the state of America and all of it's ills, worries and confusion how merriment still reigns a very high priority.

Of course, it is also the Day After the Presidential primetime address regarding the state of our healthcare system and his valiant push by our President Obama to "make it so", even if it rushes to harm us in the end. While just the idea of the Day After brings a sense of melancholy, as if to say that the party is over, time to heal the hangover, pop a pill and sleep it all off.
It is the day after something big, something planned, and that something is now over...it merely remains the Day After.
I have referenced the Day After scenario many times since then.  Today is going to be no exception; what with the mess created by this country's latest example of making a horrid rush to judgement -- individually, collectively, as grounds for removal from a job while the people watched in amazement; first and foremost, we entrust those in power to be mindful of the big picture, even if in tandem holding rather narrow pointed views, at all times. Having said that, this just in:

This little turnabout is fair play from www.mediamatters.org/strupp/201007210037
"When you look at their reporting, this is just another way of seeing that they are (racist)," Sherrod told me about Fox in a lengthy interview Tuesday night. "But I have seen that before now. I saw their reporting as biased during the Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration."

... "I am just a pawn. I was just here. They [Fox News] are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."
Thank you, Joe, as in  Joe Strupp, journalist; he used Shirley, like a pawn no less, via the constant liberal stream of media matters -- propaganda press has never been so good.

You know, if Shirley actually watched Fox yesterday, or the day before, not to be confused with the Day After, she would have heard Glenn Beck go to her rescue -- he was the only one it would appear to have done his homework, unlike the rush of judgement by other, otherwise considered, responsible organizations; oh like, the NAACP, who rushed in...after Vilsack rushed to the pink slip....after conversing with the White House who rushed to relay that he better get rid of the issue (Shirley, pawn in the hot seat) immediately... before Glenn Beck has his way with her later in the day.

Puuuuuuulease.  Who is pawning who and how many times over?

And now there goes good old Shirley, running away with the story -- even after G came to her rescue as well, like just yesterday (doink on the head to me) -- escalating the race card even more, bearing false witness against an organization like Fox News , and while doing so, twisting the whole darn mess into another black hole of media frenzy.  Are you kidding me, Shirley?

Have you listened to Glenn lately?  He's just some white media guy on Fox, who by the way, was considered black enough to be a good white pawn for second spot on the list of "the blackest white folks we know" -- this according to Professor Gates website,  www.theroot.com/ ...

Oh my, how funny -- somehow we have come full circle:

It was a year ago that Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times asked the best question of the night, following the Presidential primetime address on the state of our Health Care system -- as the president rushed in to make his final push (one of many final pushes, but who's counting) in order to get the health care legislation passed before summer break (little did we know then, of the flurry of town hall meetings yet to ensue). Everything was a rush back then.

But it was that question at the end, unscripted of course, you may recall, the President made it a point to get to her (for lord knows, right, he had no idea what she was gonna say...yeah right...and if you believe that...I have a peanut farm in Georgia that just became available). 

This is how it went down:

Okay? All right. I tried to make that short so that Lynn Sweet would get her -- the last question in.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you? And what does it say about race relations in America?
Excerpt of his answer:

...So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into -- well, I guess this is my house now, so -- (laughter) -- it probably wouldn't happen.
(Chuckling.) But let's say my old house in Chicago -- (laughter) -- here I'd get shot. (Laughter.) But so far, so good. They're -- they're -- they're reporting. The police are doing what they should. There's a call. They go investigate. What happens?
My understanding is, at that point, Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I'm sure there's some exchange of words. But my understanding is -- is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house, and at that point he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped.

Now, I've -- I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.
der it is.  A day that will live in infamy.

Now the entire transcript of the evening is worth another read; and funny thing, the one I found online is featured care of Lynn Sweet (ahh the synchronicity in that is simply beautiful).  Since we've come a long way baby since July 22, we all know that health care legistlation has passed, blah, blah, blah, but it is fascinating really, between what we know now, what he said then, and what lies ahead for us now, with regards to the days following Obama's latest addition to the team, mr. romantic of socialized medicine himself, Donald Berwick.  But I refuse to add misery to insult on this fine anniversary, so...
Let's see, let us try to regain a set of bearings here, maybe even, dare I say, come to a teachable moment or two --  Perhaps if the NAACP had not jumped to conclusions in the middle of the night, denouncing Shirley's speech as ferociously as the high speeding of it around the web (since, after all, THEY OWN the original taping of the Sherrod speech in question...perhaps taking a moment to review the full tape before jumping) might have been a wiser move;
and perhaps, if Tom Vilsack took a moment to review the entire situation, maybe even go so far as discuss the matter with Shirley, before making the call to call the White House;
and if perhaps, the White House, held back to allow for a full investigation (like they so often do, like at Fort Hood, perhaps, I don't know, just the first thing that came to mind) before conspiring to simply agree without more information;
then maybe, Fox News might have had half a chance to get it right, right from the start.  But, they reported the news that day -- and as it turns out -- Shirley Sherrod was asked to resign "before Glenn Beck" had a chance to say a word.  That is the truth.
To be fair and balanced, if Shirley watched Bill O'Reilly, he made a sincere apology to her out loud and often -- pending further review and more story to surface, of course...wonder what he will say about this tonight?
You know, Shirley, you were doing so well there for a moment; you had me at hello, with the sweetness of your voice, your retelling of the "pull over, pull over..." moment -- you had me. 
Then, overnight, you went there to the not so happy place and done der overreacted, using Fox News as a pawn, or would you rather call it your whipping boy?
Bravo, Shirley, Bravo; for by your own testimony, by holding to your roots so tightly, by being out of touch with what really goes on at Fox News -- and especially for commentary from people like Glenn Beck, who thoughtfully came to your rescue --  
for from this day forward, it will be your own words from JUST YESTERDAY that will stick with us, "they [Fox] would love to take us back...with black people looking down, not looking white folks in the face... and not be a whole person..." and to my dismay, the memory of an endearing black woman, who has witnessed atrocities of race relations that I could never imagine, who ultimately lived to tell a story about in front of the NAACP in March, and came out of it all,  how do you say, living in a new reality of "racial reconciliation" is lost from view. 
Did she overcome, really?  More than that, me thinks she owes Fox an apology.
This is a sad day.  Here we are -- a year into gthing -- an occasion that should be happy happy yeah me -- and all I can do is weep.  My heart is breaking for this land which we call home.  How in the world could I eat cake?
So let's try to bring this stupid day to a close.
Was Shirley thrown under the bus for a reason?  What means to an end is the result?  The memory of a book I once read, something about rules...radicals...riducule...the fundamental transformation of the three r's seems to be ringing in my ear.  Oh whatever. I'm sure it's just a mindless distraction, keeping me from the real truth.
Questions surround with regards to why Shirley didn't address the issue right away, given she was given a "heads up" days before it hit the mainstream. 
And just where is our leader in all of this?  If this doesn't call for a little presidential intervention -- perhaps a primetime address -- what will?  This is a time for cool heads to prevail -- and if we have learned anything in our teachable moments thus far, his is "cool as ever" (plugging Del Mar Race Track.  It's their slogan...kind of catchy isn't it... and what can I say, the occasion seemed to fit with the natural tie to my humble beginnings...)
But my guess, he won't be saying a word; I might even push the envelope and say he could very well be enjoying it (no, no, I got it, maybe he even helped orchestrate it, if only to drive the nail into Fox News at the tail end).

The White House has been on Fox News like white on rice since day one -- day after day after day.  And I just have to wonder, what do they care?  The umpteen other news organizations are in their corner, maybe even on their payroll, certainly are all round up nicely in a pretty little pack, called the  JOURNO-LIST. (that makes it easy for us, no?)
Why does Fox bother them so much?
Let's see, perhaps because it is the last bastion beholdened to the values of a fair and balanced press left (aside from a slew of conservative bloggers and news organizations on the world wide web, like me).
Media matters indeed. Good thing common sense still runs in the old blood stream.
Happy Thursday.
Did I mention it is my birthday? I am one.
I know, I know, just a babe in the woods,
 just a babe in the woods...crying again...just call me glenn.
Make it a Good Day, G
Dear America, above,  is a doozy of a song, don't miss it, click it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear America,

Pull Over!

Pull Over!

Said Cheryl Cook to Shirley Sherrod.

Pull over and resign your position immediately, per the White House.

And she did.

What began as a little twist of fate, a little media oneupsmanship through enlightening the public with the broadcasting of the everyday and inexplicable hypocrisy within the NAACP, has now turned into a full blown media circus, apology blitz, along with a rather large amount of egg on the face within the USDA and Obama Administration. 

You may recall, from about 24 hours ago, a single line at the end of my Obama bullet list in yesterday's blog linking you  to the beginning of the story.  At the time, not enough  information was out on the subject to add anything but "and then there is this."  And boy, am I glad I kept it to just that much.  Wow.

Oh my, for all the times they choose to jump in too fast (and for the times they don't when the should) they never cease to amaze me; and these are the guys in charge?

Now, Andrew Breitbart, of BIGgovernment.com knew exactly what he was doing; he was simply raising an eyebrow, with the help a few "that's right's" and "uhuh's" from the audience, to show the membership of the NAACP  as the bigoted, can't trust whitey, organization that it seems, startling enough, to be.

It wasn't about Shirley at all.

With the story of the NAACP churning through every media cycle promoting the pulling of the race card against the Tea Party People, Breitbart had about enough and was quick to step in; how could an organization such as the NAACP get away with trash talking this peaceful, patriotic, united front -- and people of all colors -- protesting the outrageous and arrogant and costly growth of the federal government.

The one who should be asked to resign is Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack; the people who should have a talkin' to should be the NAACP; and perhaps a little smackin' around of Cheryl Cook, who at the very least begged Sherrod to pull over before trying to text her resignation, and at best made the administration appear to have acted "stupidly."

The few minutes of tape highlighted on http://www.biggovernment.com/ showed Sherrod speaking before the NAACP in March -- just this last March.

Yes, she referenced a story for making the appropriate points of color in her speech that day -- yes, she cited a time, back 24 years ago, when she thought about it (you know, not giving the white farmer what he needed to survive...) but that wasn't the context, was it?

No, she used it as a way to reference how far she had come, what she has learned, and tried to use it -- with an audience like the NAACP, who, by their own demonstration, feed off of racial epithets from anyone who throws it  -- as a way to somewhat bond with the group.  But the reality is, after the whole speech is heard and done, it was twenty four years ago and part of a much larger picture painstakingly painted by Sherrod -- and now, as the story goes, she is good friends with this white farmer and his family, and iit is more a moment she used to express her own racial reconciliation -- and as the world turns, stands as an experience she is proud of, for reasons totally opposite of what the USDA, and this White House, gathered at the end of the day before researching the context themselves. For more details, go to this read,  "Racial Firestorm."

The thing is, Brietbart was merely pointing out how organizations like the NAACP are still attracting audiences who find themselves laughing and applauding when the black man is superior to the white man, end of story.  Making their own racial hypocrisies come full circle, and how.

So where do we stop in this merry go round?  Where can we get off and stop the spin, and get down to the real dialogue as to how we move forward from here?

Of course, another seedy part of the story was raised -- the administration wanted to beat Glenn Beck to the punch!  For essentially, Sherrod appeared to the media making claims that she was told, "ya gotta quit, Shirl, Glenn Beck is gonna eat you alive by 5 o'clock if you don't!" (or something like that)

Touche' my little chickadees, he (GB!) would have none of that!

Matter of fact, he made the immediate point to call out anyone who thought she should be fired, or "voluntarily resign",  as they should be the ones to have their own heads examined. (or something like that)

So, can we all get a big "u rah" for Glenn -- he was right and the left was wrong. 

I would be pretty happy about that normally; but honestly, these times are making me downright ill.

What's it going to take to bridge a brand new day of racial divide -- that seems to be growing faster than the deficit?

 I just remember singing, a little further back than 24 years mind you, "Jesus loves the little Children"...which goes something like...

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world; Red and yellow, black and white,

They are precious in his sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world...

Jesus wants the little children,

To be careful what they do; Honor father, mother dear

Keep their hearts so full of cheer; Then he'll take them home to glory by and by.
Famous for being Pollyanna I am, I am, on most occasions usually, I have to wonder -- just how does a nation once grounded in the ideals of treating each other as ourselves get to this point...over and over and over again.  In the matter of race, we have continually done better than the year before since birth.  What gives?  What has changed?  Is the black empowerment phase, with an African-American in office, coming into play?

But more importantly, just where is our spirit of reconciliation, as learned by Shirley Sherrod, in all of us?
I am at a loss for words, really.
Our world is so reactive by nature, and things get heard round the globe so fast, it is a wonder we haven't all gone mad by now. 
Where is the love, people?
Where is Bob Marley when we need him?
Where is Martin Luther King when we need him most?
Where is our president using this moment to teach everyone to settle down? 
This is an occasion made for him --
and yet he doesn't say a word.  What is that about? 
(and I can only hope, that as I tap out my final thoughts here, the man in charge takes to his teleprompter to prove me wrong!)
This is the time for someone to take charge and fundamentally transform the rhetoric, and speak peace; while for the rest of us, we must try to ignore the fact that we have a president well versed with twenty years in Black Liberation Theology, and pray.
Make it a Good Day, G
on a totally different tangent, turning to the local funnies, the City of Bell, CA, has been outed for giving ungodly amounts of money to it's city's keepers -- City Manager is raking in $800,000/year!  Perspective: the city is only 40,000 residents strong -- and boy, are we witnessing at least 39,000 coming unglued.  Moral of the story, just one of the many reasons California is going belly up.
and anyone know what tomorrow is?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear America,

Why can't we simply accentuate the positive?

Why can't we finally say, we've come a long way baby, and truly mean it?

Why can't we transcend the racial divide for forever and a day, and really live it?

For the most part, I think we do our best to treat our neighbors with respect, if that is truly what is in our heart. 

Is there a way to make up for wrongs of the past, or the ungodly acts of gross negligence, bad behavior, and lifetimes of depravity and racial separation -- travesties against any other human being just for the color of their skin?  After all, America wasn't the only place where slavery lived.

While to this day, it is solely upon the natural growth of our republic that created equality for all -- all be it over time and decades of pain; but it was the model the rest of the world copied -- or loathed -- over and over and over again.

Long before Disney had his way with us, America became renowned as THE destination to come for making all dreams come true.  We hear the trembling of gratitude in every voice who reaches our shore, belonging to each a story of their own making -- spinning tales in living color of how hard it was to get here, how proud they are to live here, and how great the gratitude for every opportunity that only living in America can bring.

We are a success story.

Are we perfect?  Heaven's no.  Does the world, America in particular, still make people where racism lives and ruins?  Unfortunately, yes.

What surprises me most (in this moment), is how we were blinded by the lightness of being, just  maybe, finally, over it [racism] when we elected our first African-American president.  That we could take that as one big shining example of "see, I told you"; we picked the best candidate for the country, and that candidate is our first black president ever.  "We aren't racist -- we are not like we used to be -- we have grown some, learned alot, and have moved beyond the color of one's skin and towards the character shining from within."

I've become a reader of the Obituaries strangely enough.

Some are short and sweet, stating the obvious and making a few comments on family and life's work.  Some people, if huge enough, get a rather long column -- perhaps even a spot in a nationally syndicated feature from the NY Times News Service -- such is the one I lingered over last Sunday morning.

This one entitled: "WWII's sole living black veteran to receive Medal of Honor," about Vernon Joseph Baker -- with a full color photo of him smack dab in the middle of the page.

Richard Goldstein weaved together the Army Lieutenant's life rather well, spending a fair share of time highlighting the moment on the day in the life of Lt. Baker back on April 5,1945; he was leading the way up an Italian  hillside, in the town of Viareggio.  As with most war stories of valor, Lt. Baker went above and beyond the call of duty, taking down German soldiers hidden in the camouflaged side of the hill at machine gun posts, covering for his men while the troops had to evacuate their location without reinforcements showing up on time, and basically doing whatever deemed necessary to save men.  That day, from the start of 25 troops, seventeen had given up their lives.

Having not done enough, the next night he volunteered to lead the team through heavy fire and enemy minefields, in order to advance the troops; and for this he received the Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest Army award for bravery).  It wouldn't be for another nearly fifty years before he would have the distinction of receiving the Medal of Honor -- which was given to him by President Clinton on  January 13, 1997.

Why did it take so long?  Chock it up to the times -- times that most Americans today are not proud of in the least bit (at least, in respect to the people I know).  It would take the request of black veterans, along with the lead of a white captain, to champion the cause in the early 1990's, to find resolve.  And it was left in the hands of, ironically, an historically black college of Raleigh, N.C., Shaw University, to do just that.

Lt. Baker was one of ten servicemen the study found to be worthy -- for added perspective, a total of 433 Medals of Honor were given out in WWII.  It should be also duly noted, that this was a time when the military was still segregated -- most black servicemen were only allowed to be in positions of manual labor or supply units, as combat orders were few and far between.  Even still, out of this list of possible considerations, only seven warranted "the Medal" -- four of these men were actually killed in action, two others had already passed on in the years following the war and were given posthumously, leaving Lt. Baker, finally, standing to receive the award.

With a family background shaping his childhood from an early age, his parents died when he was only four; with two older sisters to accompany him, little Vernon was taken in by his grandparents and was raised in Cheyenne, Wyo.  This was home until the day he boarded a bus for Texas -- destination, the U.S. Army.

With a rough start, meeting racism face to face even before reaching the ultimate battlefield, he was sent to "the back of the bus where you belong".  Oh my goodness, we have come so far...

Well, somebody saw something besides the color of his skin soon enough, as Baker was sent to Officer Candidate School, where he graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1942.  Grandpa must have done something right...

Anyway, the man in the picture looked really happy, complete; I don't know what it was, taking a pose with his hands on his hips, there was just something about his thumbs draping over his hammered leather belt, looking all cowboy and cool, as if somehow he didn't need anyone telling him he deserved the nation's highest honor for bravery.  He felt it and knew it through and through.  And if I might be so bold, he looked awfully proud to be an American.

It was the sort of picture that captured a natural satisfaction, radiating the fullness of a lifetime and days well served -- even if perhaps there were ugly bigoted days amongst them.  His smile made his eyes twinkle, and no question, it had nothing to do with the lighting in the room -- the rustic, comfortable, rural cabin in St.Maries, Idaho that it was.  What do you think, was fly fishing how he filled his retirement years?

Oh my goodness, did I spend a month of Sundays on Lt. Baker, or what?

But you get it now, my love for reading obituaries makes a little sense now, no?  We learn so much from the lives lived through other experiences from our own -- we gain a sense of gratitude for people we do not know for what they did for you and me, who live in the greatest nation on the planet.  This is just one man, named Vernon Joseph Baker -- a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who played a small part in saving Europe in WWII, who's actions were not only brave (as in every man or woman who serve) but deserving of receiving the Medal of Honor.  All this information gathered, from a man many of us would never have the pleasure of knowing otherwise -- until the day he died.

The thing is today, many of us sit knee deep in our own perspective, ranting about the ways America fails us, creating a wider gap between us over race relations, when in reality we can find all around us so many ways we can be joyful, recognizing how far we have come.

Of all times, you would think this would be it -- a time to lay down the anguish of times past, of the reprehensible behavior of generations of hatred and divide that has come before us  -- you would think with the first African-American president sitting in the highest office in the land that this reality would immediately change the conversation for the better, and create real avenues for dialogue between all people, of all race and ethnicity.  The irony, in that it seems to be getting worse...

President Obama -- our first Africa-American president -- is getting everything he ever wanted for America for he is in THE position to fundamentally transform her from the inside out.  Polls tell us that the people are not all together pleased with the direction, a majority do not like the policy, even though most of us would agree that we very much like the man himself.  Even so, this is what the man in charge has accomplished in his first 18 months:

  • creating the most aggressive national health care plan, in order to cover the 30 million uninsured, transforming every aspect of how we cure our ills forever
  • turning Wall Street upside down and inside out with a vengeance to set them straight -- and hardly correcting the root of the problem
  • allowing the federal government to take over private industry, like in GM and AIG
  • giving the EPA more control over carbon footprints and regulation than any time before, sidestepping Congress to create lawful legislation first.
  • promising in the stimulus package unemployment would not get over 8%...spending our good hard earned money in short term fixes that the fed can no longer afford
  • increasing budget deficits to 1.4 Trillion dollars -- to pay for the underprivileged, unemployed, uninsured, and any other entitlement deemed necessary...and growing by the nano-second.
  • placing a moratorium on oil drilling that experts say will do more economic damage than the spill itself -- losing 8,000 jobs in the Gulf, $500 Million in lost wages, and trickle down devastation in every little town along the gulf and beyond
  • having enough audacity left over to sue the State of Arizona, over a federal law that he has no intention of fully enforcing.
  • oh yeah, and organizing a Department of Justice with new rules and policy -- not to pursue any lawsuit mounting a complaint where "the white man is suing against the black man" -- don't take my word for it, it all started with a former DOJ attorney, Christian Adams, who stated just that
  • and remains a president still speechless after the NAACP labeled Tea Party Activists a nothing but a bunch of racists...
  • but never hesitated a moment, jumped rather quickly to making a conclusion, as a white police officer acted "stupidly" towards a black professor...but that was so long ago, and everybody had a good laugh and a beer over it in the end...all's well that ends well
  • and just today there was this.
If I didn't know any better, I would say we are in the age of an honest to goodness era of the pay back in every nook and cranny of this nation's founding principles -- not to mention, in the process of taking humongous steps backwards in what has taking years, make that centuries, to build upon in racial unity and higher consciousness. But no one would disagree, Obama is getting everything he wants.  This is the Obama nation, an America some of us (60%) do not recognize.

Racism is wrong no matter where the inception -- white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Indian -- all of us have a duty to treat all people fairly and with respect.

The most powerful black man in the world is in a position of advancing the troops, carving out new leaps and bounds in the well worn, chartered footprints upon the rugged hillside of race relations -- requiring actions of not the everyday brand of bravery, but that which may require going above and beyond the call of duty, and just maybe outside the comfort zone.  Perhaps, Obama wasn't the best choice for the task, and just maybe he is -- but time will tell us everything we need to know, won't it.  

Time is of the essence, we only have one life to live -- and collectively, historians will look back on these days, on the precipice of fundamentally transforming the racial divide with a brand new world within this presidency... 

Hopefully, they will see something really good come out of these  war weary days, while if we are anything like Lt. Baker, our response might be rather humble and endearing, for we would say all together in unison, "I never thought about getting it" -- for it was never about getting the award, it was always about doing the right thing - -and just about finding a way to live together in perfect harmony.  Isn't that what we all want?

Make it a Good Day, G

if you played your song of the day by clicking on Dear America,  you would be in the company of the many colors of our military blowing off some steam, dancing to Lady Gaga -- just singing and dancing, working it out, singing and dancing ...with acts of bravery falling in line somewhere, by someone, some who we do not know, but wish we could tell them thank you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear America,

This morning I'm thinking Spain might just come back, stronger than ever.  Yes, it has some economic challenges to hurdle over -- but hey, this is a home country whose national past time is running with the bulls.  If anyone can, Espana can.

They won yesterday; the world cup belongs to Spain today; and may they fill it with a brand new optimism for moving forward as a nation (that's really how all nations operate the best...surrounding themselves with happy thoughts and good vibrations...having a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves, collectively speaking...building upon each others successes and innovation and incite and ideas...spiraling upwards, not down...embodying the fullness of each individual, working together, to return to greatness and a growing economy...)

It's what we like to call, in America, exceptional-ism -- and every country carries it, from generation to generation, their own special way.  Who are we to second guess it, question it, make excuses for it, despise it or covet it.  There is plenty of it to go around.

Interesting that up until Sunday, a region of Spain -- Catalonia -- was apparently begging for it's independence.  Nearly 1.5 million Catalonia's finest gathered in the town square of Barcelona to protest the ruling by the nation's highest court, stating that they went "beyond the limits of Spain's system of granting various degrees of self-rule to its 17 regions," and cementing the rule of Spain, by it's constitution, "as the only nation"  and basically telling Catalonia to put up or shut up.

Side note to the case:  Catalonia's growing prosperity, as a region, is widely recognized as being the impetus for asking for sovereignty...not wanting to associate with the financial burdens and errors of other parts of the country perhaps is another.

I wonder, do you think they mind it today?  My bet is on those 1.5 million sticking around in that town square cheering on the home team for the last twenty four hours and counting...what do you think?  It's good being associated with a winner, isn't it.  That is enough to change everything.

Another thing that struck me yesterday, while watching the last two teams standing (besides the obvious stake of boredom thrust into my chest), was how many yellow cards were going up.  It was like, come on, guys, let the game just play, enough with the regulation and calling each other out, and fake injuries and  rollovers and all -- between the players and the referees, I'm not sure who was to blame more.

In my little head, I was thinking this is why regulation doesn't work in a free market...but let's keep on keeping on here.

It reminded me of a study, highlighted in my local Union-Tribune, by a staff writer, Mark Zeigler.  It was in the Sports section, so no wonder I even saw it at all...

but it caught my attention with the heading, "Player, civil violence linked?"

An Argentinian,  and Assistant Professor of Political Science, here at UC San Diego -- Sebastian Saiegh, is the co-author of the study.  While he specializes in Latin American affairs, he is also an avid follower of the World Cup and soccer, in and of itself.  The study links the finding of the appearance of red /yellow penalty cards with actual armed conflict within their native homeland.

What started this thought process, and in turn the development of violent link between the field and their nation of origin, was something of an observation that many of us might otherwise miss, unless we were looking for it.

It started -- like many things --  with a newspaper back home, and a Peruvian one to be exact -- brandishing a headline like "Matar o morir" alongside a picture of the star of the team, Nolberto Solano, pointing a "nine millimeter pistol at a light blue jersey of Uruguay's national team"...what did it say, pray tell?  "To kill or be killed."

As the article sets up the logic with a simple, "that's Peru."  Nothing more really needs to be said. (Peru being a country ripe for civil war/conflict for decades -- with Uruguay,  having none.)

So the Uruguayans thought oh my God, what kind of country is this? as the Peruvians were like, you got that right...and though no more of it.

As the study claims, the overall appearance of a yellow card per player, according to the usual season (excluding World Cup -- as it only happens every four years, and it askews the numbers...) was 2.43 cards per season, per player.  However, places like Israel and Columbia, where undoubtedly numerous conflicts have arisen over the years, can see as many as 4.80 and 4.79 yellow cards, respectfully.  And if you look at this year's World Cup, just for kicks and giggles, Algeria was found to have two reds in three games (Now that's some serious pent up aggression, isn't it?  But they seem to hardly be getting away with it either.)

The point Mr. Zeigler makes, along with the assist from Sebastion Saleigh, is simply "if the exposure to civil war means violent behavior becomes more socially acceptable, then why wouldn't that translate to a soccer field in crunching tackles or flagrant body blows, the primary reason referees issue yellow or red cards?" 


When the Peruvians say, what? you gotta problem with it? -- it is only mirroring a sentiment they relate to, and matter of fact, a propensity to relate to all things according to the only kind of character they know (or miss,  as the case may be, as in relation to be being raised by "wolves" -- okay, that might be going too far; let's rephrase, according to having the unfortunate set of circumstances of having been raised in a constant battle for everything).

Even chimps do it.  Another article through the NY Times, by Nicholas Wade, disseminates the findings of  "organized aggression" in a particular group of chimpanzees -- found deep in a Ugandan National Park, namely Ngogo.  This group of chimps learned how to expand their territory through waging war upon neighboring chimp groups -- the bigger the territory the chimps discovered (after decades of civil war no doubt),  the more fruit trees, the more babies, the better their chances of survival, etc. etc.

The study stops short of really saying that the chimps know what they are doing...which is kind of funny to me.  But they are quite forward in noting that they (the monkeys) learned the nuances of working as a group -- risking life and limb together -- taking over more and more of the neighboring fellow chimpanzee territories -- the more they value the whole over the individual, the more everyone benefits (even if it truly is at the expense of a few individuals being lost in the battle).

The chimps learned the value of working together to expand the whole in order to make their lives a little bit better, smarter, with plenty of bananas (and females...) going around for everyone. Do you think they spotted the headline of "Matar o mirir" ? somewhere in the camp of biologists watching their every move?

Of course, it brings us right around to singing on our vuvuzelas a chorus of "can't we all just get along", maybe sounding something like "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony..."

So anyway, Catalonia just might be happy finding themselves a working arm and nimble leg of Espana upon this new day; for all of it's blessings and curses are dwarfed in the shadow of a very big cup.  It is good to be Espana this morning -- last week, not so much.

Now from this day forward, we can watch, like with the sharp eyes of a referee, or like the curious minds of a camp of scientists determined to turn the whole world upside down discovering something new under the sun; we wait. 

We will wait to see just how much Spain can make out of this -- for America is in the neighborhood; and we are rooting for Democracy and the Rule of Law, absent of the over zealous government regulation and pompous referees,  in order to let the game's truly begin, again!  Championing free enterprise, expansion, growth, one for all and all for one, with high hopes for every country to stay true to themselves.

America knows deep in her heart what is at stake, we've been there before and accompany Spain now; thank goodness we have practiced; thank God we are endowed by the Spirit of  something greater than ourselves and that we are well aware of where our life and liberty lives and reigns; and thank our lucky stars that we have a chance to win our exceptional-ism back.

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed."
--author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Make it a Good Day, G

A nation's true prosperity (like ours) is not about greed at all  (or for narcissistically or savagely gain world dominance )-- it is about the benefits of the individual rising to the level of the whole, so that the whole may pour out it's bounty and blessings ten fold out unto the world, without any expectation of return...for it is just the way we are made.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear America,

“The worst possible outcome is not making a decision….
There’s a genuinely weird paralysis I would not have predicted,”
said Ben Wittes, a Brookings Institution scholar
who has urged Obama to announce that there will be no trials for the 9/11 suspects.
“It’s disgraceful and they should be embarrassed by it.
There are pros and cons of any approach you take,
 but there is no good argument to let this fester indefinitely.”

With thanks to an Act for America article,
highlighting a column from POLITICO,
from June 20, written by Josh Gerstein:
"Chances Dim for Swift 9/11 Decision"

But tonight,
we will get the news we have all been waiting for:
LeBron James will be announcing
his big decision.

Please, please,  may he not choose  The Bulls.

As if we don't have anything more important to talk about.

Okay, but the really good thing coming out of LeBron's really big show, is that he is donating all advertising dollars raised -- within the hour it takes for him to make his big announcement, while the rest of us sit at the edge of our easy chairs with a frosty cold Budweiser in our hand -- to the BOYS and GIRLS CLUBS of AMERICA!

He is using the full hour, leading us up to the where his basketball will bounce, using every advertising minute featuring each and every one of his corporate sponsors, and giving it all back to, did I mention, the BOYS and GIRLS CLUBS of AMERICA!

If only San Diego had a dog in the hunt; this is a stand up guy.  No wonder everybody wants you!

But that's all I got on LeBron.  For now, we wait.

In the meantime, how about our slap happy sue slippery administration?

Things we want them to take to the bench -- like a military tribunal for KSM -- they don't; while things we never thought possible would be slam dunked by  our very own Federal Department of Justice; ahh such is the sinking of evidentiary new lows.

WE WILL hesitate, and wait, as long as we have to (as if we can't see through what they are doing), maybe even until just after the November elections, before announcing where we will hold the KSM trials...

But, we will immediately act, throw out actually,  a suit already won based upon the abundance of evidence showing the clear and indisputable positioning of armed voter intimidation, by a person who is also known to be an active member of the New Black Panthers -- somehow his being there was sanctioned by somebody ?? one fine [election] evening in November of 2008.  But based upon the color of one's skin  (racial profiling anyone?), the justice department fails to follow suit.  (oh, did I mention that this guy is the same crackpot who is not shy about proclaiming his personal disgust for white folk...crackers as he calls us...expressly asking his followers to take action... to kill "white crackers" and our babies) NOTE to President:  You need to fix this, like yesterday -- even if it calls for you to jump to conclusions -- and we know how much you hate to do that... jump, like you've never jumped before, before real mayhem happens. 

We won't do that but WE WILL make the announcement, through a slip of the tongue of our very own Secretary of State, while having a lovely visit in Ecuador, that the Department of Justice will be suing the State of Arizona (even while, other states carry some of the same laws on their books...like our dear little Rhode Island...South Carolina...Oklahoma...)

Apparently, the new America will wage litigation and all out war on anything that even smells like old America --  threatening to use methods masquerading as the law under the so called statutes of the "living constitution" the progressives keep hailing...while somehow that looks like going against the people's right to bear arms, of all things. And what country is this?

This administration's loyalties choose the feelings of Mexico's President Calderon, and the "rights" of illegal aliens, over a state and American citizens, is something. While this administration expands NASA with blatant slaps in the face deterring any chance to further embrace space, by reducing it to the official website for creating feel good programs for the Muslim community, is another thing. 

This administration could not give the time of day to Netanyahu a couple of months ago...and now claims our bond with Israel "unbreakable."

Rift?  What rift? We were "flat wrong" on that assumption, a whole nother thing, not to worry about.

This administration sold us out on Health Care by pleading it's case  -- that nothing would really change with the quality of care we would receive, as per the system already in place, and ranking the best health care system in the world, and all the while attract hundreds of thousands of people from all over in search of ways to help make them feel better (even illegal people); things would only change if we wanted it to.

ObamaMD all but told us we were crazy if we thought rationing would have any place in his health care legislation...death panels, poppycock!...nothing will change, everything you will need and count on will be there, same as ever, only better, cheaper, more cost effective, without waste and fraud.  

And just who is the newly appointed director, placed into office only under the duck and cover of recess?  Donald Berwick?  The guy who liberally toots the magnificence of the British Health Care System...oh, how did he put it?  "I'm a romantic about [it]" or "It's not a question as to if we will ration, but if our eyes are open...".


In the last year we have sued, or have been sued, or in the process of suing, or thinking about suing, or make the apearance of suing the auto industry (especially Toyota), Wall Street (especially Goldman Sachs), Insurance (especially AIG), small business (especially that Chamber of Commerce), soldiers instead of terrorists, American citizens instead of illegals, capitalism instead government regulation, oil independence instead of dependence, one of our own states instead of encroaching, usurping countries...the list goes on and on.

You know what's gonna get us before we go belly up in deficits and debt?  The bill for this administration...for all of this litigation.

But what do we expect from a President who only knows how to deal with life from the mindset of an attorney; who would have thought his expert testimony, as Lawyer-in- Chief, along with his well teamed and educated CONSTITUTIONAL Law posse, would bring us here?

And given his formative years were in another world like Indonesia, with family roots to Kenya, with his adult life deeply embedded on the education and thugocracy of the streets of Chicago, is it really all that unlikely that this is the way his ideology is played out, full court and center?  He doesn't know any better.
Do you really want to leave a legacy of litigation behind you, along with a trail of corruption and mayhem, or does it even matter anymore? 

You can't even clean up the gulf without heading to the court first -- your environmental followers (with the company of the rest of us) must be fainting in the nosebleeds.  Eighty days and counting from day one -- is a long time to wait for results....oh and what's this new news...the press can no longer watch what your doing, take pictures and record...zoom cameras in or out...interview disgruntled residents and council members, fishermen and countrymen?  Where are we Venezuela?

Well, Mr. President, newsflash: this is not Indonesia, nor Ecuador, nor Mexico, nor Venezuela; we are not, and never have been considered, nor closely resembled, a second or third world country.

This is America. 

We have real borders, a constitution for upholding our Constitution, with lively citizens who speak up from time to time; and for right or wrong, as the case may be, we count on the end game being always the same -- for we believe in our heart of hearts that we belong to the same team --  and home to the greatest nation of people on the planet. 

We are all about our home team, come rain or shine, we are loyal, faithful and committed from season to season, good times and bad, day in and day out unwavering and proud.

You are an American president, standing up for American citizens, on American soil, for America's sake.

In spite of the occasional globe-trotting, you play for US in our house.

Your jersey:  red white and blue
(You may possibly need to humble down a bit to get it over that big, arrogant, immature and thin skinned head of yours, but with practice over the next couple of years, it can be done.)
For you wear it, of all things, while playing for the whole team, with a big fat #1 right in the middle of it.  Undivided, there is no "I" in team; we are all for one and one for all (if in fact, you are lucky enough to be a long lived, born and raised, season ticket holder and citizen). 

Oh my, and while on the subject, and for added whimsy, big guy, we don't sit in separate sections -- Hispanics in H, African-Americans in A, Vietnamese in V, "white crackers" in W ...and so on and so on...you get the picture. 

Truth is, we like sitting intermingled and all together, all wearing the same colors.  It has just taking some of us a little longer than others to figure this out (a wink to Robert Byrd, one of YOUR new favorite people in Washington, God rest his soul...you and ole Billy Bob did him up proud, now didn't ya).

 What a man won't do for a vote.  But the clock's ticking here...

You play for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and nobody else.

Try that on for size -- and just maybe, with a little effort and over time, you just might be able to fill it out properly; and just maybe, Americans may find it in their heart to rally behind you, maybe so much so, we may choose to keep you when your contract is up -- and if you are really, really fortunate, going by way of LeBron, we might just fight over you (in a good way).

Otherwise, do yourself and Americans a favor -- stop spending our tax dollars litigating AGAINST America  when you should be all for it; America's well being, her livelihood, and her children's future for goodness sake, depend upon it.

And if you can't lead this team to victory, or at the very least play like a winner in every way, shape and form as this team expects you to play, then step aside.

For as your contract with America reads, by failing to follow suit, according to every little living and breathing detail of an American President is expected to be, you do not deserve to be either captain, manager, or even the mascot.

Make it a Good Day America, G
be sure not to miss what LeBron does tonight...

An excellent additional perspective,
far better than mine, without fail,  please read this at the Patriot Post ...
you've got lots of time before the LeBron newshour.  Feed your inner patriot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear America,

I am surrounded in the realization that there really are no accidents.

Even though while tidying up on Saturday I zigged when my vacuum zagged and put me on the couch for nearly twenty four hours before I could move again, the time served me well.

I read the newspaper cover to cover, clipped coupons, cut out articles I wanted to keep my hands on, and managed to watch back to back (ba dump ba) John Wayne movies.

Inquiring minds wanna know, how many of you read the latest news out of the Library of Congress about a minor (major) detail of the Declaration of Independence? 

Anytime we get a feel for the mindset behind the man of one of our forefathers we must be grateful, but this little tidbit of admission is simply astounding.  The American public, at first glance, were considered to be merely subjects (reverting back to the days physically and emotionally captured under the spell of the King of England, no doubt, hard to escape olde allegiances like that -- bringing to mind the proverb "song a sparrow learns in youth is its song for life"...).

But upon serious second thought, Thomas Jefferson changed the defining text to say "citizens."

Just looking at the printed "digitally enhanced" rough draft, showing the manuscript itself, the actual penmanship of the man widely recognized as the father of our Declaration, gives me goosebumps.  I mean, the guy actually wrote on this historic document -- along with the reality of the many hands of Americans who somehow managed to keep it -- is still here in black and white (or green) is simply amazing. 

Normally, the document is kept under a "130-pound oxygen-free safe" -- outside of it's protective custody for the first time in fifteen years, this magical moment is only made possible through the latest hyperspectral imaging of digital technology.   Unbelieveable.

But oh what Thomas must be thinking nowadays, woe is me...

This morning's news brought immediate anguish as the Federal Government makes widely known of it's intention to sue Arizona for real, over the SB1070 Immigration legislation; all the while, illegals have resorted back to other methods of entry, as in coming by boat -- whereas one of San Diego's own beach cities, Encinitas (just a hop skip and a jump from my backyard) landed a boatload of fifteen illegals, washed up with the Coast Guard waiting for them.

Thank goodness our declaration made the change, no?

Another article in Saturday's Union-Tribune included a two page spread on the immigrants who join our armed forces legally, and await citizenship while serving our country.  Still having to wait years to be able to say the pledge of allegiance for the first time as a bonafide citizen, the military welcomes men and women of honor, and offers an opportunity to be all that they can be in more ways than one.

What a difference in stories.

These people not only wanted to come to America for a better life for themselves, and their families, but they did so by giving something of themselves to America first -- in strength of courage, commitment, and character, they asked what they could do for the country they wished to belong to before demanding anything else.

The thing is, an occasion like this one, here in San Diego harbour (aboard the USS Midway Museum -- note to Chris and remembering one of my best days ever!),  the celebration was ripe for a President to sail in on eagle's wings to lend his gracious thanks and praise for immigrants of this stature --raising awareness to an avenue of citizenship hardly ever mentioned, let alone gain the elevated attention of the Commander in Chief.  How easily a paradigm shift could have been made -- for those who come joyfully and honorably through proper channels such a this. (But that didn't happen, did it.)

Friday's Naturalization Ceremony was a dream come true for 300 people, birthed in nearly 50 different countries!  Maglan Laizer was one of them -- his hometown a village in Aruscha, Tanzania, and son of a Masai tribesman.  Before coming to America, he helped kill a lion as part of a "coming of age" process; I guess, after that, going through the rigorous routine of becoming a member of our fine military and venturing down the path of naturalization, is child's play.

Thank you, Maglan; I realize I don't know you, but in this moment I wish I did.

My brother, Chris, as briefly mentioned earlier, is the most patriotic kid in America --  I say kid, for with his downs syndrome he will remain a kid at heart forever; he's practiced being a kid for 49 years now, and counting.  Did I mention he is my big brother?  Always the older and the wiser; my mind keeps wandering back to him for he is really to blame for me watching the John Wayne marathon...

If it weren't for him, I never would have let the channel surfing hold up on Operation Pacific --  a movie he mentioned to me for the first time while visiting just two weeks ago.  No accidents there, no sir ree.

I teased him, thinking he had it confused with something else... all the while I had no idea John Wayne was even in a submarine movie -- and he teased me back like as if he knew I really was being the idiot -- and we moved on... 

Yes so cut to the chase...long story short... who is the idiot now...

And it was actually pretty good! Never would I have imagined myself getting sucked in, but Wayne, Submarines, and Hollywood oh my  -- did I.

Uncanny the similarities in the personal relationship between the Duke and his wife; with her going off and ranting in one scene... "[how you] don't need a girl, Duke, you don't need anyone" (and just picture Patricia Neal, in every bit of raspy-ness and divine upstaging you can muster) -- change a letter or two, and you've got me fussing and moaning like a conversation of recent days...but I digress.

The other movie I couldn't keep my eyes off of was "The Wings of Eagles" -- a classic tale of the life and times a real officer and a gentleman, Frank "Spig" Wead.  This was no accident either, for what happens to old Spig was a fall down the stairs, upending his naval career (for awhile, anyway) and he lands on a hospital bed for months -- having a slim chance to none for full recovery, unable to walk, and subject to neck and back surgery for decades. Half the movie, Spig is laying out flat on his stomach -- only able to move a pencil -- in which he begins to churn out books and movies made for Saturday afternoons...

This movie had everything you could ever want in a patriotic Fourth of July John Wayne weekend extravaganza -- roses and romance, coming back from paralysis to save the fleet in WWII, in the meantime plenty of wanton shots of scotch, with the bonus of a strong willed wife (played by Maureen O'Hara, whom I adore) moving on to have her own career in posh San Francisco (a picture worth a thousand words if you ask me ...long before feminists ruined it for women... just sayin'...but save for another day...)

Okay, so in between the movies we would get little soundbites of nostalgia.  The one that really brought the aha moment was when I realized John Wayne had never actually been in the military; and apparently, one of the Duke's life regrets.

But after watching his magnificence for a day, one would have thought he had never been anything else.

Today, days after celebrating our country's 234 years, I have surrounded myself with the thought that nothing is by chance, really; the serendipity of life bringing our attention to exactly what we need to hear, see and do in any given moment is around us at all times -- it speaks to us if we stop to listen long enough. While even those moments, with angels unaware, we are restricted from doing anything of importance at all, while laid up on our back perhaps, without direction or ability to move a thing, it remains true and constant. 

As I pour over the clippings and pictures of my mind over the last few days, I have a wish.

I am just hoping Maglan Laizer, with his wife and daughter by his side, not only celebrates his new beginnings here in America -- having proven to be of sound mind, firm footing and exemplary character (just what America needs and is looking for in a new citizen, never a subject) -- but that he uses his liberty wisely(referring obviously to his new-found American Liberty with a capital "L" -- as well as, his everyday "time off" in nav-speak); perhaps spending it watching the good stuff... like an entire afternoon of John Wayne...back to back to back to back...

It will lift him up when he is down, it will fill him up when he is empty, and it will stir deep inside the American Spirit he now recognizes to be his very own.

Make it a Good Day, G

funny side note...as the story goes round and round and the world gets smaller and smaller...one of Spig Wead's daughters, Doris, married a guy named Bill Copley.  For San Diegans, the Copley's are the founders of the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper -- a family of hometown legacy and pride.  She didn't marry the John Birch side (James); she married the other Copley's son, William -- an avantgarde artist, who hung out with actors and Hollywood elite while living in Santa Monica --  a man who, oddly enough,  was also a member of the Communist party.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dear America,

I'm not gonna lie.

I'm not gonna pretend I've been here since day one, when I have been clearly out of sight and out of mind.

I've been gone baby gone...for a couple of weeks now...

I can honestly say I haven't lifted a golf club, nor have I attended any concerts (unless of course you would like to count an 8th grade commencement ceremony jazz ensemble -- who were amazingly quite good -- Go, Earl Warren Middle School), but I have easily cheered on for America in the World Cup games, taken in a couple of my girl's Friday Night Lights Field Hockey games, watched a little Wimbledon -- while I even gathered the nerve to dust off the racket myself! 

We have slept in, we have stayed up late, we have read books, we have cooked, we have had family visit, we have had graduation, we have lived one day to the next on what appears to fall under one category, and one category alone -- SUMMER.  It is here.

Family vacations, taking a little time off, children running through sprinklers, fireworks, barbecues, lemonade, spending a long afternoon soaking up a good book on the beach, celebrating summer in each our own way begins to shape our days and nights, upturning the usual routine rather easily.

Of course, the world does not stop when the summer solstice hits, does it.  Just when you think you can slip into a sand dune and let the world go by... bam... Rolling Stone turns the tide faster than you can say Afghanistan in June.

Yet for me, I was still in the midst of reading my Newsweek from June 21st, surfing through it's usually cadre of left vs. right; never would have paid money for it if it weren't for the visit with the folks -- papa was drawn to "Saint Sarah" on the cover and that was all she wrote. Lucky for me, he left it for me to peruse.  But little did he know, it would be another article that would ultimately strike my inner fem fancy (not), simply titled "I DON'T THE CASE AGAINST MARRIAGE".  Oh joy.

Now that the worst parts over, and tying the serendipity of these two things together, I guess we can all be grateful that the Rolling Stone brought to light the irreconcilable differences -- and like any good divorce, it's all for the better.  And yeah, Petraeus!  Besides the obvious humor in the fact that our Commander in Chief returned to a general whom Bush handpicked to save the day in Iraq, watching the mercury rising in thin skinned Obama for a couple days could very well have been great entertainment -- if it weren't for the reality that we were still right smack in the middle of a war.

But that's just the way of the world these days, isn't it.  If things don't work out, walk away.  If you can't say something nice, say it anyway and carry on.  If the right thing for the whole is the wrong thing for a few, protest, light a car on fire, call each other names, ridicule and fall back on partisan politics. But in the end, oh we should be so proud, Rolling Stone, a magazine!, changed the tempo of a war! overnight!  Wow.  One might think there was a conspiracy involved, but that would be just juvenile, wouldn't it.

Things just weren't working out in dem dare hills of Afghanistan.  There were mounting frustrations, they were behind schedule, there were irreconcilable differences between civilian command and McCrystal, it was turning out to be the highest month of record in losing our troops, with a looming deadline only a year away;  a game-changer, an affair of the heart, a loss of loyalty's, a punch in commitment and faith, was just what we needed to turn things upside down and find a way out or a way back in.

Something had to give.  Something had to change.  Something had to bring new life into the arranged marriage that it is -- having nothing to do with McCrystal, but everything to do with the bigger picture, of America and Afghanistan; otherwise, we would lose all sense and sensibilities of the inherent relationship worthy of repair and the very reasons we were together in the first place.  The truth is, no relationship can successfully live on the brink for long -- for indifference kills whatever spark is left.

The "I Don't" article declares right up front,

"Once upon a time, marriage made sense.  It was how women ensured their financial security, got the fathers of their children to stick around, and gained access to a host of legal rights. But 40 years after the feminist movement established our rights in the workplace, a generation after the divorce rate peaked, and a decade after Sex and the City made singledom chic, marriage is -- from a legal and practical standpoint, at least -- no longer necessary."

Ah no need to read anymore.  It is done. Finished.  If you go on to read the arguments against marriage, it will not disappoint, surely, these two "educated, young, urban professionals, committed to our careers, friendships, and yes, relationships" have it all figured out.

Kind of like Afghanistan, America gets swooped off her feet, only to be left with still the majority of the house cleaning and chores, even if in fact bringing home substantially more bacon, shouldering way more than her fair share of the overhead -- and if that weren't enough, left alone to deal with the kids, or unscrupulous dictator, more often than not -- a raw deal, indeed. 

But with the high speed modern world, changing war tactics via the pages of a magazine, living in the new era of the "more educated and less religious" -- like Europe, as the case has us led to believe -- we can see right through the sanctity of marriage along with any other complicated commitments made around the world for what they truly are, as merely the outdated, war-torn, archaic symbols of domestic and foreign relations alike. 

We quickly deteriorate into a world where "egalitarian, independent couples" turn us into "egalitarian, global communities" intertwined not for tradition, culture and the strength of family, but for the social justice of a different kind; systematically and liberally tearing down the very institutions that have made us and have made us good.

The thing is, with the help of the due diligence made self evident in "I Don't", clearly feminists are to blame for society breaking down before our very eyes as we speak -- no it is not a mirage, it is true; bearing in mind that "41% of American births that occurred outside the marriage in 2008 -- the highest figure ever recorded", along with the 30-50% high school drop out rates from east to west, our children being raised in a sea of instability while under the spell of reality TV, scandal,  nonexistent parenting and liberal indoctrination, oh and let us not forget, the gluttony of the "less religious and more educated" re-framing and advocating less God and more Mao-ism mindset as the new way and the new truth and the new light....you're right, who needs the institution of marriage any longer, we are doing so much better the further we fall away from something so Betty Crocker like that.

I looked up on Yahoo Answers just how Atheists get married, just for kicks and giggles. It was the strangest thing.  Of course, there were the general responses, like "on the beach, at the park..."  Then a few others caught my eye, one telling of her own experience saying it was "outside in a garden.  The ceremony was done by a Christian Minister, but only because he is a friend of mine."  another one simply noted, "an Atheist Unitarian Minister" -- just how many oxymoron's do you get out of that?

Even when we crave to get so far away from tradition in this modern world, somehow we still cling to a courage of convictions of all that is real and true in the expression of our commitment; we cannot help ourselves, we still clamor to make wholly and right -- before friends,  family, the entire world, even if under our own terms and conditions.   It still has to feel like it means something.

"I Don't" gets one thing really right -- marriage is far more than economics today.  We are learning that perhaps the rush into marriage at a young age, for traditions sake, posed a few issues -- especially for women.  But has the adverse of the last 40 years served us -- women and children -- any better? 

Can we now wait to find our soul mate and tie the knot for all the right reasons, and grow families and have careers, without losing our ability to raise secure, thoughtful, compassionate, educated, spiritual creatures who grow up wise and wonderful, productive and happy, pillars of the community? 

Can we now settle down ...and figure out really, truly how to get it all?  Because if this is the new feminism idea of marriage being no longer necessary, this culture of what's the point,  commitment/contempt-ment , nothing really matters except my career right now, my kids are fine, doesn't matter what the Constitution says, the Declaration of Independence has nothing to do with Natural Law and unalienable rights endowed by our creator, it is just a piece of paper, I read it in a magazine, shall we continue?

As a culture, we will not survive.

While Afghanistan may be in better hands now -- with second chances coming by way of General Petraeus leading us into a renewal of our vows -- what about us? 

Borders mean something.  Boundaries mean something.  Commitments mean something.  Constitutions mean something.  Pieces of paper, embodying clear cut documentation of original intent,  all mean something.  And this world, our world, is testing this upon every level of society and living -- from the individual family, and extending far beyond, to the larger community we share.

What we have at stake in the age of enlightenment against the sanctity of marriage, as carefully laid out by Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison in a nutshell and in a magazine, is telling us far more than the life expectancy of the typical, and expendable, husband and wife scenario; but rather, the travesty of taking for granted that which we do not fully respect, j'adore, nor understand anymore as the "more educated and less religious" we become -- for it has ramifications.

Owning up to the ramifications will take more strength of character than every feminist put together; for it is not about you, your career, or who you hook up with, or for how long, is it. We do not do temporary living arrangements, short term commitments, multiple households, empty churches, broken children any better than long term soulless marriages from yesteryear.

As that reality sinks in, it should be mentioned that the secular custom of marriage, according to most every culture, was strengthened by religion as the modern world progressed; we, as a people, chose to bring in deity and ritual before God and family for a reason -- as we were made stronger, deeper and truer to each other in the process.  Not always; but contrary to one of the  "I Don't" boxes of note stating that "one in five U.S. marriages dissolves within five years" --  FOUR out of FIVE continue to proclaim I DO!

Oh it is good to be back.

Make it a Good Day, G