Monthly Archives: April 2014

Unpatriotic or Unamerican

I recall years ago being told that when you have a ‘disagreement’ with a significant other you point out their actions that bothered you, not aspects of themselves that they cannot change. Though this link deals with money and the debt, we all recall then-Senator Obama calling then-President Bush unpatriotic.

Senator Obama calls President Bush unpatriotic

I am not a Lawyer, a legal scholar nor a Professor of Law. Still, I would have modified that statement a bit to read something along the lines of ‘President Bush’s actions are unpatriotic’. Criticize the ACT, not the person.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder each spoke at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s annual convention. Instead of a message of unity and justice, they once again not only cast aspersions on the character of the GOP but used their season pass on the Pity-train.

AG Holder goes off script and off the rails

I fully understand the watershed moment when OUR first Black President was elected and appointed our first Black Attorney General. Hopefully, the first of many more to come. Still, EVERY time they or their representatives play that hand it reminds me of the excuses the “corner-dwellers” (those that just hang out on the street corner, shooting the breeze and collecting benefits) would give for their inability to better their situation: “THEY won’t give me a job!”.

The reference really is to “They”. It is NEVER the fault of the speaker. That person is always a victim of circumstance. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” (Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar). If I fail to get something done, that is on ME. If I cannot meet my obligations, that is on ME. If I am representing something bigger than myself then I damn sure better be 100% on my game, or that is on ME.

No more excuses, Mr. President, Mr. Attorney General. You were elected and appointed to fulfill the duties of the highest public offices in the Land, yet when queried about matters of grave public import can only point at someone else (ALWAYS the whipping boys of the GOP) who you KNOW will not “fight back” out of fear of looking like they are doing exactly what you say they are.

Mr. Holder’s comments towards Rep Louis Gohmert (R-TX) regarding the Fast and Furious hearings was shameless.

AG Holder STILL contemptuous of Congress, or Louis Gohmert?

Congress’ actions had merit. Oh, and about Mr. Holder calling Rep Gohmert “buddy”, did not another Representative correct someone over the proper way to address a member of Congress?

Don’t call me ma’am…

And the General was being respectful and of proper tone.

Mr. Holder held in contempt of Congress over Fast and Furious

Mr. Holder, however, rather than speak to Congress decided to launch a proxy discussion in front of a crowd of sympathetic supporters. This is what he was SCRIPTED to say.

AG Holder’s SCRIPTED speech

The President’s comments had the finger-pointing built in.

Video of President’s address, ~24 minutes long

President Obama speaks at Rev. Sharpton convention

This cannot be just over wanting to have fairness, consistency and accountability in the Electoral process. It is always pointed out that proper ID is required for EVERY facet of life and our dealings with business and government. Been to the DMV to change your DL over to a new state? Old DL, birth certificate, 2nd form of ID, 2 utility bills to prove residency…

To board an airplane I have a paper boarding pass as backup, an e-boarding pass on my phone, my passport and DL. We went from “Election DAY” to election few weeks with absentee ballots for whomever wants one. My grandmother and her 4 sisters did not drive but made it to the polls on the regular. If it is worth doing it is worth putting yourself out to do.

So when all is said and done, the President chooses to emphasize his perception of an increased racial divide. And this being the day after acknowledging the tremendous advancement in racial equality afforded by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act 50 years earlier. With the 88th Congress (1963-1965) being almost entirely NON-ethnic, Mr. Obama heralds legislation conceived, crafted and passed to guarantee equality for people not actually ‘represented’ by the phenome of the crafters. How does THAT happen? I guess we were smarter then than we are now. Then again, is not the American of the Depression and World War 2 referred to as “The Greatest Generation”(Tom Brokaw)? Were THEY patriotic?

You damn skippy!

Heritage or Handicap

Though I have provided the references, for a moment forget about her immigration status or the less-than-usual method by which she was granted legal status. Here we are talking about Heritage…we are talking about FAMILY. Zeituni Onyango was acknowledged by The President to be his Aunt. She passed away this month in a Boston nursing home amidst local family members but not the President. He was occupied with a golfing date. Still, he finds time to make sushi on his Asia trip, make appearances on the late night variety shows and spend millions of tax-payer dollars (the only kind he has access to) planting the Democratic flag around the world….oh yes, and add his comments about a criminal case (Trayvon Martin). My sister and I were raised by family. Ma worked the night shift, Nana came over after work to sit with us overnight and alternatively, my Aunt Annette (hard to spell as a wee tyke) was our defacto “father”. I am talking in the sense of a co-parent ALL of them, helping to raise us right, instill a sense of duty, honor, virtue…essentially, what is RIGHT.

"Grandpa" and me
My Great-Grandfather, Mr. Louis Harris, and me preparing for Christmas at my Grandmother’s house

In 1976 my Great grandfather, Mr. Louis Harris, passed away. A longtime resident of New York ( I have copies of his selective service documents from World War 1 AND World War 2) his funeral was in Darlington, South Carolina. I was in my 2nd year in college and made a circuit from New York to Ithaca, NY, to Darlington SC, back to Ithaca all by bus to attend the funeral. This on a college-kid’s stipend. Still, I went because the women who raised me, learned what they taught me from the man who raised THEM.

NY Times synopsis Politifact synopsis

The President published his memoirs in ‘Dreams from my Father’. I think more importantly is the full title:  “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance ” (emphasis added).  You inherit your basic self  from those who have come before you.  It is THEIR tutelege, their guidance and their caring that assists you in becoming the person you will be.  To quote Mr. Obama and paraphrase his context, “you didn’t build that!” “Someone” helped you along the way.  It may have been subtle or it may have been a freight train but THEY shaped the mold of your existence.

President Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ speech

During Mr. Obama’s first campaign we heard much about his maternal family: his mother and his maternal grandmother. I laud him for that. That could not have been an easy choice to make considering some may have seen that as a disadvantage being a child of the turbulent 60’s when inter-ethnic couples were often looked down upon. We heard very little about his paternal side until news of his aunt, his brother living in squallor and the seeming rift between that part of the family and him. Sometimes I wonder if the President is ashamed of that side of the family. I watched The Ten Commandments on Easter Sunday (GREAT movie, y’all!). Something Moses said to Bithia (adopted mother) and Yochabel (birth mother) struck a cord: Moses: If there is no shame in me, how can I feel shame for the woman who bore me, or the race that bred me?

Sibling living in a hut

I titled this post “Heritage or Handicap”. Something a High School teacher once said came to mind in the middle of the night about the word “Religion” meaning “to bind”. My thought at the time (though you kept those thoughts to yourself in Catholic school) was the dual meaning of the word “bind”. Was it to HOLD a people together or RESTRAIN them from seeking an alternate truth? As I started the post I meant “HANDICAP” in the golfing sense but after my nocturnal “flashback” I began to think that “some” may see Mr. Obama’s more distant relations as a handicap in terms of an impediment to his Political success. What was it that then-Senator Biden said about THEN-Senator Obama?

Senator Obama as clean and articulate CNN’s review

So here we are, at the passing of a person mired in controversy whom the White House, like Peter, denied knowing any of the particulars of her extended stay in the U.S. What does the Chief Executive of the United States do? Sends a condolence card and works on his handicap. If they had served sushi or talked basketball I bet ya he would have gone.

A profile in courage

This post has absolutely nothing to do with Politics. This story got me teary-eyed at work and I am passing it off as my soup is too hot and I have allergies but the plain truth of it is some people face “the end” with a quiet dignity and valor hence the title “a profile in courage”.

A California man, end of life cancer patient, knows he will not live long enough to do the special father-daughter things dads secretly love, but are reluctant to admit. This father staged a “wedding” ceremony for his 11-year-old, knowing that they have precious few weeks left together. Numerous people stepped up to make this an occasion to remember. Here is the story.

A profile in courage

Video (apologies for the “ads”)

 

Why, amid all the other posts and links, does this one stand out so greatly for me? I have 4 daughters.