Debate Night 2/2016

I woke up feeling out of sorts. Sad really, and uncertain. This is what our political system has devolved into? What just happened here? Debate number two. Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. The two most unlikeable candidates in the history of the country the pundits said. One was a woman with an imperfect political background, the other a man whose leaked audio tape was released two days before. It was shockingly laced with vulgarities, assault threats and that sense of entitlement that comes with being star in the age of Reality Television.  Make no mistake, this was fight night and the two people on the stage at the town hall in St Louis, were vying for the presidency of the United States of America. This is what it had come down to. It was a sorry visual of a tall, bloated, tinted  man, interrupting a determined yet laid back woman who seemed not to understand the bully force hurricane that was drowning her out and blowing away her nonchalant attitude away. Not the sight of an audience, the sound of interrupting moderators, the sniffs, the claps, the former lovers of her husband Bill, all sitting in the same room, none of it could have been better scripted for a night of 'live' in your face, gutter politics. That's what this season of political perversity has brought us. There were no winners. This is NOT making America Great Again and this is not making us Stronger Together. It is frisking the American psyche. It was and is political terrorism.  It is destroying us as a nation.  In less than a month from now one of these two combatants will become our next president. This is the highest pubic office in the land and the person who wins that seat is going to have to deal with a smoldering field of emotions that this year and a half's journey has perpetrated on the voting public.  People are scared, some of what they saw last night made them angry.  Twenty four seven we are bombarded with TV ads that are supposed to make us choose a candidate. They are mostly turning us off to the process. Where are the good candidates?  The people who turn us on because they have innovative ideas, because they make us proud, because they show us how and why they can lead.  Where are the candidates who have manners and dignity and insight into what the voters needs really are.  Where are the contenders who represent "WE THE PEOPLE! Those people were not on that stage last night. If they are on the political landscape now, let them get out their managers and pr people so that we can know them.  This division will continue to kill us and with it our democracy. Four years till the next election. In the land of Facebook and twitter that will come quickly.  What happened over 90 minutes last night is really just the beginning because when one of these lightening rod candidates loses and the other takes office, the online and television war of words will surely escalate.  How do you tamp down this defining volume of hate? How do you put that genie back into the bottle of human decency. Where are the men and women running for the highest office in the land, who can unite, not divide and make us want to vote for someone we all believe in. If you are out there, America needs you. 

MR. MITZY

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He Came into my life two months after my marriage ended. I called him Mitzvah my good deed dog. Yesterday after 17 years of life I had to put my beautiful boy down. I remember him playing catch the ball on the beach in Sagaponack. Will never forget his puppy yelp when a tick bit him in the ear. He taught me the meaning of love that is unconditional at a time when the love in my heart had grown stale. Mr Mitzy as we would call him, went blind at a time when I couldn't see what was next in my life or career. He lost a sister at 7, he was forced to move 5 times in his life span. Each time his sustained love made the traumatic changes easier to endure. He was the real puppy love of my life, the man of my life, the boy child I couldn't conceive. When he died in my arms yesterday morning, after the needle was injected, his sister of 10 years and I mourned for the loss of our joy. Thanks for the journey Mr Mitzy and the courageous gift of your love. God speed little man. God's love!
Lynne

WHAT THE UK RIOTS TEACH US

They came from no where. In four days the civil calm of London life was turned upside down. Flash crowds, ugly looting, deaths, beatings, fire and fear came a calling. A war zone came to Tottenham and soon spread to other neighborhoods. In its aftermath people were left stunned. Amid the chaos, days later, most everyone is still searching for answers. While taking the train from London down the English countryside this last weekend I heard the conversations. All polite British talk with not much tolerance for the stain that had befallen this elegant landscape. What you heard mostly was ‘why didn’t the police do more to subvert the feral teenagers?’ Much was made of their face covering hoodies and their thirst for all things material that their money in their lifetimes’ might never buy. When I reached my destination, a wedding in West Sussex, there was more talk and so many more questions. People were shocked by the now overcrowded courthouses filled with young men of different backgrounds. One wedding guest had a friend who was bloodied and beaten by rioters. The friend he said went to the police in this bloodied state to be told ‘he was alive’ and was therefore ‘not their priority.’ They were clearly not prepared for this. No one was expecting that crowds could converge so quickly and destroy their surroundings and civility. People died there. Five bodies by last count. No one wanted this repeated. So the questions about single parent homes with teens out of control continued. Excuses like not enough help from the government were bandied about but what you really heard surmised by those still haunted by the week’s shocker were feelings that angry young people who had no stake in their neighborhoods and no hope for improvement went on a wilding spree. They were empowered now by their physical threat to their institutions and their rules and yes their government. I was asked what the police would have done in America? I said “in our country they carry guns and if threatened they are not afraid to point them.” No one disagreed that their country could use some Yankee intervention. Enter Bill Bratton the latest British import. He is a man who knows a thing or two about crowd control and all things law enforcement. A new sheriff has come to town. He is one of our own so what do we really learn from it? America is still looked up to. Here much of the western world still believes we have answers. We have not lived through world war II on our mainland as much of Europe has but we survived 911. We also had our ‘race’ riots in the 60‘s. We got past that. We have high unemployment and poverty problems both ingredients to incite uprisings. So far nothing like has happened. Why? In some communities there is some sense of pride in the role model we have in the White house. Don’t choke. Some may hate him but to many out of work and disenchanted Obama is still a symbol of hope. He is for many, what is right with this country. He is not perfect and the country is in deep trouble but only here could we have elected a man to power with the name Barack Obama. That is why when I came home to hear the usual political rhetoric from the candidates it somehow sounded outdated, not in touch and just a wrong track narrative. Rick Perry’s declaration about our first black president that “There is a ‘Black Cloud’ hanging over the US.” Did he really say that? Doesn’t he get it? Over there in Britain they remember when our president went before their parliament. They loved him. Conservative or liberal in England you never would have heard such a declaration. A “black cloud?” The people I talked to had a deep respect for Obama and for the US in having elected him. It is only here in the US that we somehow have gotten away from respecting the office of the Presidency. I could say thank you Nixon, thank you Bill Clinton, thank you George W but this guy Obama has only been in power for two and a half years. In that time it has been mostly about putting out huge fires of the past still burning at the core of our nation. He is still swatting away racial insults and nasty innuendoes that seem to be so 60’s. I don’t see where he has embarrassed us. What’s embarrassing is the way we conduct our political business. A non functioning congress and people running for office who can’t get their facts right. People who love to attack him on a very personal level. Like the latest gaff by candidate Michelle Bachmann when she yelled to a crowd of her supporters that “on this day, Elvis Presley’s birthday, we should celebrate because I am going to start my campaign to ‘Take Back America.’” Take it back from what? And oh by the way this was NOT Elvis Presley’s birthday it was the day he was buried. It’s the day that we as American’s need to understand we have bury stupidity. Over there in England they get that. So should we, before we too have to ask questions after a flash riot like “how did we get here?”

WAITING FOR THE STORM

When you live in Manhattan you get used to waiting. You wait in a line to get your morning coffee. You wait in the subway to get a train to work. You wait for the right job to come along or to get the big interview. You wait for the stock market to go up while watching your pay check and retirement funds go down. But waiting for a killer storm to hit the center of your city is like no other wait before. The air is thick and the sky is a dull grey. The humidity level makes you feel like you are on a tropical Isle. On this Island of Manhattan the food lines in stores are long while the shelves are barren. Don’t try to find a “D” battery or mobile phone booster. The last ones were sold three days before Irene was due. People are walking their dogs like little Rover may never see the pavement again. You wonder what the big dogs will do in Manhattan when it’s unsafe for them to be walked. When they can’t romp in the rain in the park on Sunday afternoon. No need to wait for a bus on this day. No public transportation is running. The politicians are on TV once an hour. No one wants to appear to be George Bush with his or her pants down when this big one comes. Yes we New Yorkers know a thing or two about waiting but in the moments and hours waiting for Irene to blow through it feels like the strangest wait of all. It’s almost surreal. Most of us have lived through 911. We suffered an earthquake just a few days ago and now in just a few hours a seven hundred mile wide storm will hit. What’s a type A personality with the need to control his or her environment to do? Are we getting used to circumstances that make us throw away what we once took for granted? Is real security a thing of the past? Maybe we just need to understand that life is change and change is upon us. Oops here comes the rain. Time to hunker down. This is change I believe in and it sure doesn’t feel good.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE REVEREND AL SHARPTON

In the 1980’s I was a street reporter for a local TV station in Manhattan.  The Reverend Al Sharpton was a man of some notoriety having formed his National Youth Movement he made his way onto the scene of every head line grabbing, race related story the city had to offer.   From Bernhard Goetz, the subway vigilante, to the Howard Beach racial assault, the Reverend Al was always there front and center. He had the loudest voice of protest and the biggest army of outraged supporters. He never met a tv camera he didn’t like.  Then came Tawana Brawley.  She was the fifteen year old African American girl found in Wappinger, New York in a plastic bag covered with feces. She had racial slurs scrawled on her body written in charcoal. She claimed she had been assaulted and raped by six white men who were members of law enforcement.  It was a story and a media journey that Sharpton and Brawley’s two attorneys led New York reporters and authorities on for eight tortuous months. A story that eyewitness accounts proved was a lie and a hoax conjured up by a frightened girl afraid of a step father’s beating.  Sharpton and Brawley’s lawyers were sued for defamation. Sharpton’s street  cred was shattered.  Worse more stories came out like the coke sting in which he claimed he was set up by the feds. Then the self admitted revelation that he wore a wire for the FBI to trap other civil rights leaders. His income tax problems and the failed bid for the presidency with questionable matching funds put the nail in Sharpton’s media coffin. Then as only the mighty master of media manipulation could do he came back and this time he got the highest paid job offer of his lifetime.

In 2006 Radio One offered Al a talk show with a reported seven hundred thousand dollar yearly salary.  He had to have felt the “on air” power of reaching many at once with a new and steady on air presence. Like him or hate him a star was born and the Reverends’ life once again took a turn in another direction.

He was there for the usual underdog v.s. the establishment cases like Sean Bell and at the end of the  90‘s Amadou Diallo.  If you were black and in trouble over a civil rights injustice it seemed Al Sharpton was still the man you wanted behind you. He was back and in the black community bigger than ever.  Except his weight.  He shed the pounds and some of his hard core image. He was now a man with a voice a platform and mega following.  With his National Action Network last spring he honored the president of MSNBC and lobbied for Comcast in the NBC takeover.

Enter Al the TV anchor. When Ed Shultz took off, it was the Rev Al who filled in.
Anyone who watches the network regularly will know he didn’t suck. In fact there is something about his edginess and personality that makes you want to listen. He is compelling.

In the last few weeks Al has been sitting in the coveted six pm MSNBC anchor position. The usual chatter is ongoing, “will he or won’t he” get that job as a permanent position?
As a newscaster for over thirty years I can tell you, he is a man with a plan and so watchable in that MSNBC time slot that at the end of the day you can’t wait to see him.  He is the counter punch to the Obama haters. He does his homework and he spars with the best of them.  You  look at him and know he is a person who’s voice needs and should be heard at this time in history. He can even get a respectful smile out of someone who is his polar opposite like ultra conservative Pat Buchanan. He has become destination TV with a unique perspective.  He is funny, never boring and though not perfect the ratings have held steady.  From his slimmed down body to his distinctive expressive eyebrows framing eyeballs that look straight through the camera at you, this guy has game.  I would say Al you  have found your niche and you have come a long way since those heated, packed, hostile press conferences you held in the days of Tawana Brawley.

Go Reverend we are watching and rooting for you because life is forgiving.

 

THE CHRISTIE DANCE

Yes he is loving it. Chris Christie loves to be wooed, loves to be loved and loves to be in the spotlight.  What politician doesn’t?  That’s the problem Christie is a typical bought and paid for politico with a year and a half’s experience as an elected official. How did he even get there?  In George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential election, Chris Christie was a huge fundraiser in the state of New Jersey for the president.  After Bush won, his resume ended up on Karl Rove’s desk and the rest as they say is history.  He was nominated by Bush to be the U.S. Attorney in the district of New Jersey. In 2002 he took on the role and ended up being one of seventeen US attorney’s on the US attorney general’s advisory committee.  That attorney general was Roberto Gonzalez.  He ended up quitting. Congress started to investigate him for the firing of eight U.S attorney’s who’s political leanings were other than the Bush administration’s.

In the late 90’s Christie was registered as a lobbyist.  He and his partner lobbied on behalf of an energy company for deregulation of the NJ electric and gas industry.  He then lobbied for the Securities Industry Association to block specific securities fraud legislation. Just what you want in office in a time of wall street casino gambling and a congress that seems to take orders from the special interests who pay them for their votes.
Lately you don’t hear much about Christie’s brother Todd except when he tells the media that he “really doesn’t think his brother is running for the presidency,” but Todd’s name is right there front and center in Chris Christie’s back story when as governor he awarded a multimillion dollar no-bid contract to another former US  attorney who was investigating Todd in a 2005 Fraud case brought before the SEC. Even though Todd was high up on the list of wall street traders suspected in the case, he was never prosecuted.  Funny how that happened.

The list of “in your pocket” allegations against the N.J. governor continues. When you hear talk of him though, those are the things that seem to be left out of the conversation. He is a wise cracking, New Jersey tough guy who jokes his way into the hearts of conservative voters wishing for the next incarnation of Ronald Reagan.  I think even their patron saint would have a thing or two to say about who this Chris Christie really is.

He is a guy who is tough on teachers, tough on unions  and against same sex marriage. He wants to raise the retirement age, possibly privatize social security and a dedicated Bush family Karl Rove loyalist. His ‘in your face’ “it’s my way or the highway” attitude is reminiscent of the tea party that brought us to the brink of financial disaster.  Is Chris Christie really the best hope for the republican party?

If you ask the Koch brothers, the Charles Schwab’s of the world or any number of conservative billionaires’ the answer is yes, maybe.  If you ask the people of America the people who are suffering from job losses, foreclosures, rising health care costs and poor education prospects the answer has to be ‘hell no, let’s end the madness’.  This country needs someone who has NO connection to special interest groups, who has had more than a year and a half in public office and who says over and over again “Yes I want this job, yes I AM READY to be the leader of the free world” not someone who soaks up the adulation and seduction of the dance like gravy on mashed potatoes.

I am not saying he is all bad he is for a ‘woman’s right to choose’ and he does not have the “crazy” attached to him.  Have to say, be careful of who you choose when you are desperate for a “normal candidate” republicans.

This guy has the stamp of approval because he represents who’s interests? Probably not yours or mine. That is what has to change in our great nation. In order for us to be a true democracy we have to understand that “bought and paid for” means you get what you purchase. Just cause a guy is mean and sarcastic doesn’t mean he is a winner.   “We the people” can’t afford to elect another candidate just because he or she tells the best joke in the room then ducks out on the real commitment.

We are living through serious times, we deserve serious candidates not cartoon characters. We did that for eight years with George W. and look where that got us.
Oh yea did someone say he is really running for vice president?
Really?  Now that’s an offer even the “I am not ready man” might have to consider.

THE WORLD ON FIRE

When things are broken we fix them. The world is out of balance and it is time we fixed it. We are watching Rome literally burning. Times Square is brimming with OWS protesters and the theme continues from city to city and continent to continent. The flame was started in disparity but will it end in clarity? When you have one class of people prospering and another class suffering, the only way out is through change and that is what we are seeing play out. Demonstrations, signs, and protests, both peaceful and violent, have no signs of slowing down -- to the contrary.
In this country it is almost as if the people and the politicians are speaking two different languages. Those on the Republican and Democratic sides look more like cartoon characters at a time when we need a Gandhi or a King to step up and claim his or her place in a world gone wrong. That world, this country, is looking for someone who knows how to heal a global disparity. Everyone everywhere wants the same thing -- the pursuit of happiness and the means to get there.

How could a Herman Cain or a Michele Bachmann, a Rick Perry or a Mitt Romney, fix a system that was designed to fail? How can any of those characters bring people together? How can a Romney turn around a banking and business culture that only works for those who run it? He was/is one of them. Where do his interests lie? Not with you or me surely. How can a Michele Bachmann help the middle class when she probably thinks the middle class is something you get when you board a plane and walk beyond first class? How would Herman Cain unify a nation when he can't even relate to people of his own race? Nine thousand bogus plans will not allow a man who does not even understand the black plight bring a world together at a time when both are blowing up? There are no answers, no quick fixes when three decades or more of decay have left us rotting and hungering to get it right and right now.

Who is the Democrat who will give us the change we really believe in? We have had one for a few years and his presidency has shown us that you can't have change when hate blocks you in the congressional halls -- especially if your name is Barack Hussein Obama. He was a symbol of hope and change, but a change merchant is something he still aspires to be and not something he has yet been able to create. The hope for some is that he gets it right before November of 2012. Not much time, Mr. President, and this is coming from one who supports you. One who wants to see your message manifest into jobs and good health care for all and a closing of the Wall Street casino and an opening of a Main Street prospering once again as a strong middle class.
When hope fails what have we? A world on fire crying for help.

GABBY

What Gabby Giffords Teaches On her final day in congress her fragile body, her wide brilliant smile and staccato wave told a remarkable American story. Gabbrielle Giffords who now symbolizes an unsuspecting citizen soldier has shown us all that love, determination and a spirit of goodness conquers all.

She is a woman who’s miraculous recovery from an unspeakable crime has brought a much divided nation to it’s knees and on it’s feet again with wild applause, praise and a look into the mirror of a culture gone awry.

It was the last presidential election that brought out a vice presidential candidate who dared to put another elected official in the cross hairs of her hate filled charted rifle. That act may not have intentionally resulted in the plight of Gabby Giffords, but it put into the public consciousness the knowledge that words have power and when you have a national public platform all words must be chosen carefully. A nation divided does not have to be a nation without moral judgment. A nation divided puts up walls that we as a free society have for generations tried to tear down.

As we watched her limp out of the congressional hall with her best friend Debbie Wasserman Shultz by her side, we are reminded why we can NOT go through life alone. When your life is threatened, it is always your friends and your family, that help bring you back from the brink of despair. We look at her husband Captain Mark Kelly and we see the spouse or the partner that we ALL wish we had. Is there any doubt that it is ‘his’ love that willed this once critically wounded earth angel back to life? Theirs’ is a love that seems to grow stronger with every obstacle and every hurdle of every day. Talk about family values, they practice what other people can only preach and run for an elected office on. Then there is the congress with an approval rating in single digits. Gabby’s leaving inspired unparalleled bi partisan agreement. Her cross boarder drug smuggling bill passed by a margin of over 400 to zero. Imagine if we could get a jobs bill passed, an energy policy agreed upon, a debt ceiling compromise reached in that spirit of cooperation? We might actually move forward as a country and function again as a stable super power in a world that grows more and more dangerous.

Gabby has taught us that a recovery does not come easily. You recover with baby steps. Everything in life worth having takes time. It is THIS time in all of our lives that the story of Gabby Giffords is the story of us all. We are one. We all struggle and we all try to prevail. It is not about Red State versus Blue State, it is about the survival instinct that makes us a group of fifty United States.


Thank you Gabby for all you have taught us. Thank you God for giving her another chance at this inspiring life.
Lynne White

WORDS TO LIVE BY MARCIA WHITE

Greetings All,
I am grateful for my life and all the experiences that have brought me to where I am.  When I think about what I want for my future, it simply comes down to more of Spirit in my life. For me this translates to a life full of love, peace, serenity, fun, loving and fulfilling relationships, vibrant health and prosperity, and a warm and comfortable home and living environment.
 
I also see myself changing negative habits and nurturing my body.  The body is the temple of the holy spirit and without it in maximum health I cannot do all I plan, desire and expect. There is so much more to give and to live. It is my birth right to live an abundant life. And a highly functioning and healthy body is part of the promise. This is an area I've been working on for a number of years now, and I will never give up on myself.  Failure isn't failure until it's the last time you try! If it is to be, its up to me!
 
I give my perfect body everything it needs to function and perform as it was designed.  My body is a divine gift from God, and I nurture and celebrate it every day.  And so it is!

 

SPIRIT FOOD

This is about how Divine Spirit shows up in our lives, and how these blessings are often nothing like we imagined. When we pray, say our affirmations, and image our goals and aspirations, we have some grandiose pictures in our minds, and we’re supposed to! We are urged by our Spirit Guides to dream big, really, really, big. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to achieving what you want from life, and the kind of legacy you want to leave behind.

Now, the real trick, again, is in the journey because it can really sometimes seem like you’re veering off the path. And when we’re forced to take that path, it can feel totally weird, crooked, bumpy and all wrong. But that’s where you/we come in. Our trust and faith must kick in and we have to believe in Spirit’s ability to get it right in spite of appearances. Just think about how many times--in the past--something so right turned out to be so wrong and vice versa. The other side of that coin--what ended up being so wrong was actually right, it just had a different purpose than what you thought it had. (laugh)

You enlightened ones know that this is just one of the mysteries of life. Those who refuse to learn and believe in this life mystery, struggle, stress, and make life transitions harder for themselves than they need to be. People often make life so difficult for themselves and those around them, that they develop illnesses, more problems, extreme unhappiness, and often death.
Life really isn’t all that difficult! It’s complicated because we are born with differing agendas and needs, but Spirit even helps us with figuring that out. We get lots of road signs along the way! And I’ll be the first to say that I/we sometimes read the signs all wrong. However, for simply trying to get it right, God gives us much in return. (An E for Effort) (smile)

I remind myself and you to be more in tune with your inside guidance. Be still and just listen sometimes. Turn off the radio. Turn off the TV and spend some quality time with your heart. You gotta have quiet time so you can hear that still small voice speak to you in a most subtle way.
Take your time and enjoy this ride called life! When things get too difficult, know when to walk away because most of life should happen effortlessly. Always pray that the truth be revealed to you lovingly and quietly. Be kind and gentle in all you do; and be particularly good to yourself! Have a grand weekend and I love you !

 

DEBT CRISIS

Do you ever wonder who's in charge in Washington? All negotiations are about give and take.  There is no give,  there is no take there is only government dysfunction. The United States credit rating is at stake and is about to be downgraded.  What part of rising interest rates and the devaluation of the dollar and eroding global confidence in the US economy don't you bickering congress people get.  This is not a poker game this is real life and real American livelihoods are at stake. The political posturing comes at  a time when "We the people" are worried about jobs, mortgages, feeding our families and achieving the American Dream.  In this climate it eludes the majority of us and you have to wonder who is really orchestrating all of this.  Let's look at the tea party.  Who funds it who started it who supports it?  This is not a grass roots organization, it is backed by the famous Koch brothers' who's interests are big oil. It's promoted by Rupert Murdoch and his gang of the dumb down wing nuts of America.  Over five per cent of Newscorps' public holdings are owned by the billionaire Saudi prince who happened to bankroll part of the terrorist organization we in this country have spent billions trying to stop. Al Qaeda. Prince  Al Waleed bin Talal let it be said is not only in business with Mr Murdoch he also has holdings in Disney and Time Warner.  Who is he and why  does he have so many tentacles in our American media? Just after 911 you might remember the Prince offered Rudy Giuliani a 10 million dollar check.  He reportedly wanted America to change its pro-Israel foreign policy with Rudy's help.
Back to Washington. The tea party freshmen is the faction of the republican party that is not only dividing the red state party it is also dividing the nation. They won't budge, they won't give, tea party darling Michelle Bachmann says let us default it matters not.  Huh?
Makes u wonder about the foreign interests and how they influence what happens here...Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, Koch oil business, Rupert Murdoch, all billionaires who back too many of our national legislators who are killing our country.  I guess there is more than one way to destroy America and with this debt ceiling stalemate the real war, the economic war has come to our shores to blow us away.  No way out of this one, not even another election.