Category Archives: America The Beautiful

Disrespect To The Highest Levels

Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden were booed at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale in Miami. They were there presented as grand marshals and were there to show support for military families.

Much speculation has gone into why they were booed, and there have been many valid points given. Deep down, however, everyone knows the real reason why they, no scratch that, Mrs. Obama, was booed. Thankfully, Rush Limbaugh has finally led that humongous elephant out of the room.

Those darn Obamas are a group of uppity blacks. Hey, black people are OK to dance and sing and play sports, but they have no business in politics. That’s just crossing the line. And that fact that we, the American people, have to refer to them as “Mr. President” and “First Lady” is just disgraceful. The reality of a black family living in the personal quarters of the White House is unconscionable. Who do they think they are?

If my tone seems sarcastic, it’s because it is. How much disrespect does one family have to endure? It was a shameful showing for NASCAR and the country for the crowd in Miami to boo the First Lady and Dr. Biden. I have one question, though. If both women were booed, why is the focus on Michelle Obama? Because everyone knows she was the true target of the crowd’s disdain, as much for her husband’s controversial politics as for the color of her skin. Yes, I went there. Limbaugh noted Mrs. Obama’s fiscally irresponsible spending in his polarizing support of the crowd. I can remember former First Lady Nancy Reagan – wife of President Ronald Reagan who the current crop of Republican contenders cite as the greatest president – was also criticized for her spending and redecorating while her husband was in office. His administration championed budget cuts while his wife spent millions received through “donations”. She was known to favor glamorous gowns and expensive china and did not appear to have any regrets even though the country was in a recession during that time as well. Despite all of this, I don’t think one person in that NASCAR crowd would have booed her had she been presented as grand marshal. You want to know why? They know it would have been disrespectful to her as a former First Lady and as a person, just as it was disrespectful to Mrs. Obama.

Oh, Rush. You’re very critical given your own past indiscretions with painkillers. One would think your criminal investigation and subsequent redemption would give you a little more compassion and understanding. But then, compassion and understanding don’t pull in the big ratings, do they?

I won’t even delve too deeply into Newt Gingrich’s plan to have children in disadvantaged neighborhoods work as janitors in their schools to reinstitute the value of work. The value of work and a hard-earned dollar should be instituted across the board so that things like this don’t happen to the privileged.

America has become a divisive, greedy, rude and disrespectful nation where not even the office of the presidency is shown respect. This is a very sad commentary of our times.

The Breakfast Klub’s Wings and Waffles

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/NNMvUp-r7sQt7Q2l-kO9wA?select=K_HOJ5_y8MCBACkoDLS4aQ

The Breakfast Klub is a Zagat-rated casual dining restaurant located in midtown Houston, TX that has been lauded by Good Morning America as one of the “best breakfast restaurants in the nation”. The man who established this nationally-recognized treasure, Marcus Davis, recently visited the local Fox news affiliate, Fox26, to prepare one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, Wings and Waffles. Click the following link to see Mr. Davis prepare this scrumptious breakfast:

Wings & Waffle from The Breakfast Klub: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

Do you want to give it try? The actual recipe can be found here.

Time Out for the N-Word

Nigger, Nigga or however you want to pronounce is, unfortunately, a part of America’s – no the world’s – lexicon. It isn’t going away anytime soon no matter how much I wish it would.

By now, you may have seen the clip of Sherri Shepherd taking Barbara Walters to task for using the word “nigger” when reporting on the name of Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s family’s hunting ranch. At first, Sherri stated she didn’t like the way Barbara pronounced it. Then, she admitted she didn’t like hearing the word come from white people.

Neither do I.

But the one thing I’m not is a hypocrite. Not only do I not like hearing the word uttered by whites I absolutely loathe hearing it come from the mouths of black people, especially young black people. The popularity of rap music, particularly gangster – excuse me, gangsta – rap has made it hard to escape the word. Our young people – black, white, Hispanic and Asian – think nothing of saying this word openly in mixed company. True story: It was pointed out to one young, black woman who repeatedly said the word at her place of employment that it was rude. She was dumbfounded. “But everybody says nigger,” was her defense. This scene didn’t play out this year; it happened over ten years ago.

If Barbara Walters can’t say “nigger”, then Lil’ Wayne and other rappers shouldn’t be given a pass, either. My deepest concern for black youths is not having an understanding or appreciation of their race’s history with all its injustices, struggles and accomplishments. No other race has taken such a mean-spirited, painful and derogatory term for their culture and turned it into an acceptable mainstream expression. I have never heard a Jewish person greet another with “Hey, kike!” I have never heard a Jewish comic joke about life in a concentration camp, either. And because they don’t make light of their culture’s dark moments, it is not acceptable to disrespect them. I can’t say the same for my race and culture.

And to those who say there is a difference between “nigger” and “nigga”, I say there isn’t. You do yourselves and others a serious disservice by promoting the use of this word in whatever variation as a means of empowerment. It may be empowering if you are a millionaire rapper who travels with an entourage that includes bodyguards. It is hurtful and humiliating to the man sitting at the bus stop being attacked by racist skinheads and the man tied to the back of a truck and dragged until dismemberment.

We as a race have come too far to cling to this disparaging reminder of the past. Let’s do away with this word. Let’s make it unacceptable for anyone to say “nigger”, regardless of race, color or socioeconomic background. We can do it. I know this thought makes me a somewhat of a Pollyanna, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Thought For The Day

“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” Proverbs 2:12-15

Keep the Lord’s commands on your heart and be on guard at all times. In all things, employ wisdom over emotion. It doesn’t make you weak to resist the temptation to react. Think it through and ask yourself, “How will this affect my future?” If you can’t think of anything positive stemming from your actions, then don’t do it. Don’t let your friends, acquaintances, or socio-economic condition force you into doing something you know is wrong. We are losing too many of our young men and women to split-second decisions that have tragic consequences. The Troy Davis execution and countless others where the condemned’s guilt is questionable are sad reminders. Remove yourself from situations that lead to moral and physical death.

May God continue to bless you and your family. Make it a good day.

September 11, 2001

I was home. I had the day off from work to assist my mother who was convalescing from foot surgery. I was puttering around her house when I noticed the usually chipper banter between Matt Lauer and Katie Couric on the Today morning show had turned very serious. I looked at the television screen to see thick, black smoke billowing from one of the Twin Towers. I, like many others around the country and perhaps around the world, sat frozen as the horrible sequence of events played out on live television.

Although the scenes of that day are forever emblazoned in my memory, I had begun to forget how I felt that day. The confusion, fear, anger that dissolved into incredible sadness and then hope. I had forgotten how, for one moment, our country was united in its shock, grief and then resolve. I had forgotten how I felt as I watched for the first time a plane fly the day commercial services re-instituted services. I was reminded of those feelings, however, as I watched this morning’s 9/11 memorial services. I found my heart still heavy for those who experienced such an incredible loss. It was evident the weight of their losses will forever burden their hearts. Having a heart is our common denominator. Our hearts betray our words and guide our actions. Our hearts are where our truths lie.

That is why it is unconscionable to me that hearts so identifiable with love can also harbor extreme hate. A hate so permeating that it decides the last day one will see their loved ones; decides the day of their last, “I love you”, their last hug, and their last kiss.

May God continue to bless the souls of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2011. May He also bless their families and friends. I pray that we allow Him to guide us in our actions to prevent this type of loss from ever happening again, not just on American soil but throughout the world. This wasn’t just a crime against America. This was a crime against humanity.

America’s Debt-Ceiling Crisis – To Some It’s Just A Game

Real estate mogul Donald Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

I used to like Donald Trump. Before Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

Before then, Trump was a pretty cool dude in my eyes. Of course, I only know his public persona, but there was something about his arrogance and unapologetic boasting of wealth that was strangely appealing. Although I was concerned when he re-opened the ridiculous “Birther” notion that Obama wasn’t a natural born U.S. citizen, I still held him with certain measure of respect.

No more.

Donald Trump. Multi-millionaire Donald Trump is advising Republicans to force a default so America can lose its AAA credit rating. Why? To ensure Obama isn’t re-elected.

What world does he live in?

Oh, that’s right. He lives in a world of privilege that his children and grandchildren also inhabit. Well, for those of us who live in the real world, a default could mean higher interest rates. It could mean watching our 401Ks dwindle. It could mean having to tighten an already tight belt.

For the Donald Trumps, John Boehners and Barack Obamas out there, this is not a game. There will be NO winners in a default. We already live in a society where the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the Middle Class is disappearing. Yet, you men of privilege take to the airwaves and act like victims when you know a default would have less a financial affect on you than it would the average American family.

Again, I implore our elected officials to get back to the business of doing what is best for America instead calculating personal gains. Donald Trump proves wealth isn’t an accurate measure of intelligence or common sense. He does prove that the rich only care about winning and being rich. He doesn’t give two hoots about America. Or, maybe he doesn’t give two hoots about an America that is led by a Black man.

Both groups, Democrat and Republican need to compromise on this issue in order to regain the trust of the American public. Don’t be misled by a pretentious, media-savvy usurper with a personal ax to grind.

Is This Behavior Befitting Elected Officials?

AP

I’ve never hidden the fact that I am a supporter of President Barack Obama. I like his vision for the country and his ability to stay focused on his goals in spite of heavy, soul-wrenching opposition. Whatever your take on the president, you have to admit no other Commander-In-Chief has faced such an uphill battle with regards to his birthplace (yes, Hawaii is a vacation spot AND a US state), respect (what other president has had a member of Congress call him a liar during a State of the Union address?) and roadblocks when it comes to his vision for America (only doctors, independently wealthy and relatively healthy individuals could view universal healthcare as an affront to personal liberties.)

With that said, I am more than disappointed in Obama’s and Speaker of the House John Boehner’s inability to compromise on a resolution for America’s debit-ceiling crisis. These are intelligent men that are coming across as both stubborn and arrogant. It’s very easy to cross your arms and draw a line in the sand on the “principle” of this issue if you are a millionaire. A government shutdown is not going to adversely affect them on a personal level. Their children will still attend private schools. Their mortgages will be paid. They will not have to choose between paying a bill, buying groceries are refilling their maintenance medications. However, the vast majority of their constituents are not as privileged.

This is not a game; this is life. In a culture where workers are expected to do the jobs they are hired to do, it is sad to see these two engage in such childish antics as walking away from negotiations then holding press conferences to try to outdo the other. Shameful.

My message to Obama, Boehner and all the members of Congress and the Senate: Please grow up. Buckle down and do what is best for all Americans instead of pandering to people who would least be affected by a government shutdown. Enough is enough. Elections are right around the corner. If you can’t do it, I will make sure to vote for someone who can.

The Casey Anthony Jury – What Were They Thinking?

The “not guilty” verdict handed down in the Casey Anthony decision shocked many. It appeared to be an open and shut case. This young woman failed to report her missing child, partied hard during the child’s disappearance, and told repeated lies when questioned about the circumstances leading up to her daughter’s horrific death. What in the world was going on in those juror’s minds?

Some years back, I was selected to be a juror on a child molestation case. It, too, appeared to be open and shut. Without going into specific details, a young boy accused a man, an old family friend, of sexually molesting him over the course of several years. When first approached with these allegations, the friend fled to his native country for a while before returning to the United States. The boy, now a young man, contacted the authorities when he learned of the man’s return to the States. The authorities felt there was enough evidence to arrest the family friend and subsequently bring him to trial.

From the outside looking in, those facts alone seemed to indicate guilt on the man’s part. Why else would he run when approached with the boy’s allegations? The prosecution began strongly with a searing opening statement. While the defense gave off an eccentric air coupled with a condescending tone. The prosecution presented its witnesses, including the plaintiff. The defense presented its witnesses, including the defendant. Both sides cross-examined the witnesses. The closing statements were again more of the same – a strong showing by the prosecution and a strange showing by the defense. We deliberated several hours before returning a not guilty verdict.

What happened? Three things: One, while the young man (who was now living as a transgendered woman) gave a powerful and graphic testimony, the other witnesses for the prosecution were weak to say the least. As horrible as the defense attorney was, he was able to poke holes in their recollections of events. The witnesses for the prosecution even contradicted themselves several times while being questioned by the prosecutor. Two, the defendant gave a valid reason why he retuned to his native country. According to him he didn’t run; the allegations were so ridiculous, he thought the matter was resolved when he denied them and felt free to visit his home country to take care of family business. He had made the same trip several times before, so there was nothing unusual about him leaving. Three, the judge felt her instructions to the jury were so clear that when we asked for clarification, her response was to “follow the instructions you were given.”

Left on our own to decide this man’s fate, we had two questions: do we ruin a person’s life based on gut feelings? Or do we base our decision strictly on the evidence presented during the trial? While we were moved by the accuser’s testimony, there were too many doubts presented not just by the defense, but also by the prosecution. I’m not sure if the prosecutor thought it was such an open and shut case that the corroborating witnesses would not be a major factor but, if she did, she was sadly mistaken. Because of the doubt, we were unable to render a guilty verdict.

After the decision was read, we went back to the jurors’ room, where the defense attorney thanked us and the prosecutor looked at us like we were the dumbest people she had ever seen. Even the judge scolded us, saying she couldn’t believe we didn’t hand down a guilty verdict.

The entire experience left me with such a bitter feeling towards the American judicial system that I rarely follow trials. I didn’t follow the Casey Anthony trial, except for the news coverage. I don’t know the evidence presented, the instructions handed down to the jury or the strength or weakness of the witnesses. I can tell you, however, that being charged with the responsibility of deciding someone’s fate is not as easy or simple as it appears. It is a decision you, as the juror, also have to live with. You not only have your opinion to consider but also instructions from the judge. I’m sure the jurors in the Anthony trial were faced with these challenges and then some. Although it may not make sense and we may not agree, “not guilty” may have been the only verdict they could give.

George Stephanopoulos vs. Michele Bachmann – The GMA Interview

Still from Good Morning America

At home today convalescing a bad back so I played Eenie Meenie to determine which morning news show I would watch. Good Morning America won. The first interview was conducted by George Stephanopoulos. His subject was Tea Party presidential front-runner Michele Bachmann. First, let me note that I like Stephanopoulos and, to date, dislike the Tea Party. I anticipated watching him throw out the hardball questions and listening to Bachmann’s response. Instead of an insightful interview, I was treated to an American History pop quiz.

Everyone who has graduated elementary school should know John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. Unfortunately, Bachmann did not know this when she made a recent comment the Founding Fathers working tirelessly to end slavery and identified J.Q.A. as a Founding Father. Stephanopoulos, citing an article that listed Bachmann as one of the worst offenders when it comes to perpetuating inaccurate comments, asked her if she were willing to admit she made a mistake. Rather than answer the question, Bachmann responded with a prepared speech about how wonderful America is. So, Stephanopoulos asked the question again and Bachmann, again, dodged. At this point, it was obvious this woman was either totally clueless or completely unwilling to accept she was wrong. Either quality should make one question her ability to lead the free world, but I digress. Instead of accepting Bachmann’s reluctance to provide an unscripted response, Stephanopoulos seemed to take pleasure in spotlighting her ignorance. He asked yet again if she really thought Adams was a Founding Father and smirked when she, yet again, provided a ridiculous answer.

Although I am not a Bachmann fan, I was disappointed in Stephanopoulos’ tone. It wasn’t professional and lends credence to the long-held notion that the news media are partisan and elitist. Of course, Bachmann played her part in the exchange. It doesn’t make one weak to admit a mistake. She could have even imported her “I Love America” standby into the admission, something along the lines of, “You know, my love for this country is so strong that I misspoke during the heat of the moment. Of course I know John Quincy Adams was far too young to be a Founding Father. Most Americans understand my intent. I’d much rather focus on my platform.” She only compounded the issue by trying to rationalize her mistake. Not a good look. Certainly didn’t endear her to me.

I, for one, would have appreciated hearing how she plans to get the country back on track instead of being subjected to a verbal sparring match about our country’s history then the somewhat sexist question of if she has prepared her family for the rigors of campaign life. Is Mitt Romney being asked that question? How about Ron Paul? The interview ended with me knowing as much about Michele Bachmann as I did before the interview, which is very little. Then, again, maybe that was the intent.

See the interview here.