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Monthly Archives: September 2016


“Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare: “The evil that men do lives after them.The good is oft interred with their bones.”
The above quote sums up our Congress in part or totally. It is within our means to change the quality of our representatives. As citizens we have been victims (yes victims) of organized politics and the media with its many offshoots in the airwaves and in print. Without fully understanding it we have been advertised into voting for folks who we clearly see afterwards are not representing us as they said they would. This misrepresentation then leaves us jaded and unwilling to investigate any new aspirants yet we (some of us) do not vote out of frustration or confusion. How about a little clarity? First all politicians in and out of office are for themselves in one way or another! Some are in it for the money, some are in if for the prestige and some (too few) are actually in it to represent heir constituents. There is a saying that “you can tell when a politician is lying when you see their lips moving”. You can’t stop the lips moving but you limit the output by voting regularly and with knowledge. If an aspirant to an office understands that his tenure is dependent on a knowledgeable base perhaps we will get better representation. The power of the government is in the hands of knowledgeable voters.

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Again the untold or total truth goes unsaid or heard. Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem is big news (why?). Apparently any protest against what is considered an institution in America is news, even Donald Trump has leapt full force and uninformed on this issue. Reading all of several articles and looking at a 20 minute news conference  on this I fully get the reason for his protest. It is unfortunate that too many of us do not. The history of anthem is as interesting as the unspoken history of our country. To address some modern ideas: Donald trumps constituency is comprised of conservatives and many “fringe” followers, the fringe followers are the people who believe people of color are ruining the country even though the country was ruined (so to speak) by their ancestors. The native Americans were exploited, murdered and displaced  for the purpose and needs of  non native Americans whose sole purpose was to advance their own needs. When these needs were met then the Native Americans and the “imported” Americans  were placed in subservient positions. That lower tier status was maintained for years until the 60’s when the Civil rights movement evolved. Even then the movement was slow and the resentment about the aspirations of the minorities was looked upon as “uppity”. Human dignity was considered a privilege reserved for the upper class , translated as White (even though many  enjoying the privilege were in the same circumstances as the minority). Many history books do not detail all of the events of this country so too many of us have no idea of the ill-treatment conferred upon the lesser of ALL of us. The issue we all need to address is the half heard, half reported and uncovered history and information that runs so rampantly in our society. Think about how you would feel if the roles of white and people of color were reversed, if you believe  your situation would remain the same then you should be on the front lines of any movement for progress for us all. If you believe you situation would change then you definitely need to be in the fight. It is generally felt that we have 2 candidates that are less than ideal but what is ideal? We are at a time in world history that Jesus or Mohamed would have a hard time getting elected so we need to find out all we can about candidates on our own and  not from the news media. This requires reading and investigating other avenues of information. What we need to do is try another view or look at things through the eyes of others. Keep in mind that racism and bigotry are the children of ignorance.

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I’m that friend who calls you just to say hi.

I’m that friend who you thought about calling and didn’t think about it until I called you.

I’m that friend who you don’t think about calling until you needed something.

I’m that friend who will accept a call from you in spite of the above.

I’m that friend who has little time for BS but will understand that you give it out

I’m that friend who will do whatever I can to assist you when you need it

Yes I am that friend

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Non Voter and voters should pay attention, this Presidential race is so foul and divided that a Trump election  will devastate this country and take countless years to correct. MA

Keith Augustus Burton Director of the Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations at Oakwood University

The Huffington Post

Did I hear Jesse Jackson correctly? Did the Founder and President of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition really tell the hosts of “With All Due Respect” that Donald Trump needs to apologize for fueling the obviously racist “birther” movement against our President?

Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve heard this demand. The same proposal has been echoed by such prominent voices as Secretary Hillary Clinton, Congressman John Conyers, Governor John Kasich, and even Trump surrogate, Dr. Ben Carson!

“Low Bar” Definition

In light of the untold number of people who have been hurt by Mr. Trump’s words and actions, several questions flood my mind when I hear this flippant piece of advice. Really? Apologize? Do those who offer this easy off ramp really know the contextual meaning of ”apology” as it relates to Mr. Trump’s past [and present] behavior?

As they endorse this “low bar” definition of a potentially powerful term, do they realize that they are embracing the same attitude as the media soft-ballers who hold the presidential hopeful to an unbelievably low standard? Mr. Trump’s consistent transgressions do not call for a “late to a meeting” or “accidentally broke your vase” kind of “apology.”

If all apologies were this easy, we could drastically reduce our prison population overnight. We could mandate that juries double as parole boards and exonerate all violent offenders before sentencing if they simply mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” Child molesters would only have to utter those magic words and they will be free to frequent children play areas again. Spouse abusers will only have to say they won’t offend again and the restraining orders would be instantly nullified.

Beyond “Lip Service”

Surely this couldn’t be what these esteemed officials have in mind when they call for this renowned serial offender to “apologize.” Surely they realize that the type of “apology” required from Mr. Trump can only originate from an individual’s sincere “regret, remorse, or sorrow” for causing injury to others.

Surely they know that a genuine apology is a spoken utterance that derives from heartfelt pain and a desire to make restitution. Surely neither our politicians nor our society have evolved to such a state of flimsy pretense that the mere mouthing of choice words from a school yard dictionary is sufficient to absolve people from their transgressions.

The type of apology demanded from Mr. Trump cannot be restricted to mere words. A “lip service” type of apology that is only uttered to appease public sentiment is no different than the type of shallow promise that provides “comfort to a fool.” Those who assert that his media staged apologies will magically erase all of his past statements and actions only contribute to the shameful naïveté that has infected too many in our society.

The “oops” category of apology would be perfectly fine if a person did something accidentally, but if it is known that the damage was premeditated, the culprit cannot be let off lightly. He or she must take responsibility and be willing to live with the consequences.

A “Baby Christian”

With this in mind, I have some advice for Brother Trump, upon whom Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson conferred the “baby Christian“ mantle. Judging from his recent infomercial-like appearance before an African-American congregation at the Greater Faith Ministries Church in Detroit, he appears to be more biblically literate than he was when he first addressed an evangelical group at Liberty University (as is evidenced by his quoting a text from “First John” rather than “One John”).

If this “baby Christian” really wants to know the spiritual mechanics behind an apology from a biblical perspective, I would recommend that he read the story of Zaccheus in the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. For those who may not know the plot, Zaccheus was a wealthy socialite who upon being “born again” vowed to make restitution to everyone he had defrauded.

Steps to Repentance

After reading about Zaccheus, if Brother Trump is truly sorry for his words and actions, the first thing he should do is pull out of the presidential race. Genuine conviction will demand no less. Only then can he begin to practically demonstrate the substance behind his apologies, as—in the spirit of Zaccheus—he makes every effort to rectify past wrongs.

I am even willing to share ways in which his repentance can be tangibly demonstrated, This is where he can start:

If Mr. Trump is willing to start the path of repentance by addressing these past wrongs, I may just believe his apology. Unfortunately, his habitual actions indicate that he has little in common with Zaccheus and is much more akin to the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew’s gospel, who loved power and wealth more than people. If he proves me wrong, I will be the first to apologize—the “oops” type of apology, of course!

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There are many of us who do not vote, have never voted and who are electing not to vote. Voting is the only and best voice you have! That decision to abdicate your right to let you voice be heard is a great boon to the politicians that you so thoroughly dislike. These elected eels dismiss the non voters as unimportant and you feel that your vote does not matter. To explain: unfortunately our 2(?) party system is broken, while we do have a couple of fringe parties, it is not enough that they present different views on the state of the country and by extension the government. If some of us do not vote, their views and yours remain largely hidden and unrepresented. The act of voting has to do with understanding first how Government works (or not) and what effect the action or lack of has on all of us. Politicians who have been in office for a long time will and do say what is required to keep that office, gaining  all the perks they can (or feathering their own nests). Your vote can mean the difference between good government and poor government. You as non voters are relied upon being a constant number  of people whose influence is negligible except as a number  to be subtracted from the general count. In this case you do not exist as a citizen! Forget the electoral college as it has nothing to do with your personal vote YOUR VOTE COUNTS!- I repeat YOUR VOTE COUNTS!. No matter who you support in this Presidential race or any other political race, your voice is your vote and  you need to use it. Good government comes from informed voters.

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The recent Colin Kaepernick discussion has again brought the issue of Race to light. I have had several discussions with folks who have not looked at the whole issue. The acceptance of sound bites and headlines appears to be commonplace these days so the backstories (as it were) are lost . Mr. Kaepernick’s protest is legitimate and not well understood by anyone who has never recognized or experienced racial discrimination. This is not to say that Racial disparity  stops at color but it does allow for a discussion of the issue and how it affects everyone. To get to the back story: The writer of “the Star spangled Banner” was a slave  owner and was concerned over the slaves going over to the British as they were treated better than their owners treated them and they were free. The third Stanza which I have posted below tells a story in itself:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

The real issue is that America has still a long way to go as far as Race relations and we have allowed our leaders to continue the propagation of this divide. Mr. Trump has done a masterful job with his rhetoric and I believe does not realize what he is doing. Many Americans (all races) are dissatisfied with the Government but still vote along Racial lines in many cases because it’s easier to hate than to learn about the people they elect. Many of us have become addicted to “reality” shows that in truth are not everyone’s reality and feel that life is like that. If better government is what desired by Americans then reading up on what Congress, State and local elected officials are doing and pay little attention to what they say. Remember to examine the pieces rather than the whole if you want the truth! That’s just the way it is does not have to be.

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Lawmakers likely to do what they do best: the bare minimum

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers return to Washington this week for an abbreviated election-season session in which they will likely do what they do best: the bare minimum.

All Congress must do this month is keep the government from shutting down on Oct. 1 and, with any luck, finally provide money for the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Republicans controlling Congress promise they won’t stumble now, but the weeks ahead could prove tricky.

A chief motivation for the September session, especially for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is allowing lawmakers to return to campaigning as soon as possible. Republicans are scrambling to hold onto their Senate edge as GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump lags in the polls.

The short-term spending measure is sure to pass. The alternative is that Republicans would get the blame for a government shutdown, as they did in 2013.

But it’s a complicated path for the temporary spending bill. Some House conservatives say the measure should last into next year, when there is a new president and a new Congress, and that would block any chance for a session after the Nov. 8 election. Leaders in both parties feel otherwise — as does President Barack Obama — and a temporary measure until December seems to be the consensus.

“We are not doing anything into next year and every Republican should be aware of that right now,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Lawmakers left Washington seven weeks ago without resolving a dispute over money for Zika. The virus can cause severe birth defects and is linked to a host of other maladies. Obama asked Congress in February for $1.9 billion in emergency money, but legislation to partially pay for his proposal collapsed in July amid various fights. Among them was a Republican provision to deny money to Puerto Rican affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

Because the shutdown-prevention measure simply has to pass, it’s a tempting target for lawmakers seeking to use it as a vehicle for their preferences. For instance, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is pressing for emergency grants to help communities in his flood-ravaged state to recover.

“I hope we can accomplish that in September,” Cassidy said.

But GOP leaders probably will try to keep the spending bill as free of unrelated additions as possible, especially now. If GOP leaders were to grant Cassidy’s request, it would make it more difficult to say no to others, such as Democrats seeking money for fixing the lead-tainted water system of Flint, Michigan.

House conservatives are looking to press ahead with impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the destruction of agency emails and misleading testimony on whether the tax agency, before his arrival, improperly scrutinized conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. The impeachment drive is a headache for Republicans who believe that Koskinen’s conduct isn’t serious enough to warrant impeachment, but who may be reluctant to support the Democratic appointee in such a politically charged environment.

In a recent memo, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said lawmakers will take up legislation regarding the Obama administration’s $400 million payment to Iran in January, made immediately after four U.S. prisoners were released. The payment, for undelivered arms to the shah of Iran, was made on the same day of the prisoner release, and Republicans call it “ransom.” The as-yet-unreleased legislation is designed to prevent a repeat, but seems like an election-season messaging effort.

McConnell also wants to advance a popular water projects measure. But the priority is to simply adjourn the chamber to allow embattled incumbents such as Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., to get back home and campaign for re-election against the political headwinds created by Trump.

The abbreviated session should give GOP-run committees a final pre-election chance to hold hearings on the Obama administration and other targets such as EpiPen manufacturer Mylan, N.V. That company has come under withering criticism for steep price increases for its life-saving injector, which can stop potentially fatal allergic reactions to insect bites and stings, and foods such as peanuts and eggs.

House Republicans are promising hearings on Hillary Clinton’s emails. FBI Director James Comey criticized Clinton’s use of a homebrew email server to handle sensitive work-related emails as “extremely careless,” but said his agency’s yearlong investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Republicans now are demanding that the Justice Department open a new investigation into whether Clinton lied during testimony last year before the House Benghazi committee. They claim the FBI note may show Clinton provided inconsistent answers to questions about her handling of emails containing classified information.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Sen. Reid is D-Nev., not R-Nev.


This is a simple quote by Renee Zellweger and it says a lot. MA

“I’m an old-fashioned gal who doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to hang out your laundry on the lawn. I feel you devalue yourself as a human being when you share very personal things with a bajillion strangers who are making fun of you. I just don’t see that there’s any dignity in that.”

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I posted this blog a little while ago and still the nonsense goes on. Colin Kaepernick is being taken to task over  so called disrespect for the flag, the United States, and the Armed forces yet no one is being taken to task over the true issue of how people of color are and have been treated in the Land of the Free (as long as you are not “colored”). The issue is that too many Non colored Americans do not realize the impact of the third verse of the national anthem and it’s creator on the Non white Americans of this country. Of course you never had to! MA

Americans who are what I call regular people are the Americans who grew up white may or may not understand the following statement: “You never had to face discrimination due to skin color so you do not understand what it’s like”. The reason for this is that you as normal people are color blind and are reminded sometimes of color or ethnicity when it is put before you. This is not a failing  but more a lack of exposure to the issues  that face non white Americans. We all hear and see the same news and information from the same sources generally but there are pockets of information on both sides that would enlighten and unite us all as Americans. The title “American” should be worn with pride by all of us and unfortunately we have allowed our leaders to keep an implied or even specified difference between us aside from the natural differences inherent in all humans. These implications are what has allowed the rise of the Donald Trumps as viable candidates for the Presidency of the United States. Those of you old enough to look backwards a number of election cycles will understand that our two-party system is flawed and too often do produce the best leaders (not necessarily the President) via the Congress. The real problems in a Democracy is  weakest when  the people we elect to serve are allowed to remain too long in office and then cross over the private sector to further influence the lawmaking process. Our true power as voters is to forget the hot button issues and buzzwords such as Race, religion and citizenry but to look at the long serving legislators who so easily use “the American People” as a reason for not doing their job. If you were able to get a straight answer from any of them you would find that they have not asked too many of “the American people” for their opinion. This is a classic case of “when I want your opinion, I will give it to you”. Our focus as “Americans” is to begin the process of reasonable assessment of our legislative leaders at the State and Federal levels and ignore the reality show atmosphere of modern politics. Beware of the man behind the curtain


Previous post addressed this article and I must point out that even in the military retired and not, there are single issue voters who I would have hoped would be more broadly informed. MA 

Julia Boccagno

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Donald Trump won the support of nearly 90 retired military leaders in an open letter released by the campaign on Tuesday.

The letter, first reported by the New York Times, was organized by 40-year Army general and Holocaust survivor Major Gen. Sidney Shachnow (ret) and Rear Admiral Charles Williams (ret), laid out several national security threats and military challenges to the safety of Americans across the country —  from slashes in the defense budget to strife caused by Islamic radicalization.

“In our professional judgment, the combined effect is potentially extremely perilous,” the letter read. “We support Donald Trump and his commitment to rebuild our military, to secure our borders, to defeat our Islamic supremacist adversaries and restore law and order domestically.”

The letter surfaced during a week in which the GOP nominee is highlighting veterans’ issues and national security. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump, and Clinton will both participate in a NBC/MSNBC forum dedicated to the subject.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political aisle, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released a campaign advertisement that takes a slap at Trump’s shaky record with veterans.

“Sacrifice” features former Sen. Max Cleland and veterans–a few who bear the visible scars of war– who silently watch Trump deliver remarks that have been frequently described as “insensitive” and “offensive” by outspoken critics. The ad concludes with text that reads “our veterans deserve better.”

The ad is set to air on cable and in several battleground states– Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.

Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are also emphasizing national security this week. Kaine spoke on  national security at a speech in Wilmington, North Carolina, while Clinton will discuss national security at a rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, according to a statement released by the Clinton campaign.

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