Reflecting…..And Looking Forward…..

New Year 2010 - in Jewels Royalty Free Stock Photo

Okay, the year–make that the decade–is over, and a new one has started.

2009 was a remarkable year, indeed…

We witnessed the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, and we are hopeful that 2010 will show him to be just a bit more assertive in pursuing his and our goals…

We barely avoided a global economic collapse, by bailing out banks, Wall Street, the auto industry–but people are still suffering…

Another year went by, yet again, largely ignoring the human suffering of an entire continent—Africa…

We saw two parties in Washington…  One without a purpose—Republicans; one without a spine—Democrats… Doing what?  Nobody knows…

We witnessed a drawn out fight over health care reform legislation.  While not perfect, it is a great and historic achievement, nevertheless…and a basis to hopefully build and improve on in the future…

We saw ignorance on public display:  People disrupting health care town halls in August, others questioning President Obama’s birth certificate to this day…and most of all the instigators at  FOX  “NEWS”…a sad sight indeed.

We saw hate mongers like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh…whose sole purpose seems to be to make tons of money by spewing hatred…

…and  DICK Cheney…well, his first name says it all…

We saw a pilot landing a plane on the Hudson River, saving all passengers’ lives… and the balloon boy family keeping law enforcement and cable TV stations breathless for a day–in order to get a reality show…

We saw people too numerous to mention, trying to cash in on their three minutes of infamy, yet again…

We saw icons of their respective fields passing…Walter Cronkite, Ted Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett…and many others whose names we may or may not know, but whose lives were just as important…

So, as this new decade begins, I am thinking about this little Christmas story…

One of my massage clients has made it a tradition to give back to charities during the Christmas Season.  So, among others, he made out one of the checks to a national charity which had helped his family on occasion, when he was growing up.  On Christmas Eve, he took it to the local office, but it was closed.  As he walked back to his car, wondering what to do, he passed by a local homeless shelter.  He walked in and ended up endorsing the check to the very happy staff there.  As he walked back out, he saw a group of homeless people gathered in front of the building.  Without thinking twice, he took the $600 (all in $20 bills) he had previously gotten—as emergency money over the holidays—and handed it out to the people.  He ended up with $20 left in his pocket.  It was a very happy Christmas for him, indeed…

Now, not everybody is in the fortunate situation my client is in, but what I am trying to say is, if we would do whatever little things we can, to make somebody else’s life better, for a moment, a day, or a lifetime…this coming decade could be the best one, yet…for everybody…  🙂

Wishing You Happiness And Good Health
And A New Year Of Dreams Come True…

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An Act Of Kindness




by Lee Ryan Miller

He was driving home one evening, on a two-lane country road.  Work, in this small mid-western community, was almost as slow as his beat-up Pontiac.  But he never quit looking.  Ever since the Levis Factory closed, he’d been unemployed, and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.  It was a lonely road.  Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving.  Most of his friends had already left.  They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill.  But he stayed on.  After all, this was where he buried his mother and father.  He was born here and knew the country.

He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either side, and with his headlights not working, that came in handy.  It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down.  He’d better get a move on.  You know, he almost didn’t see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road.  But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help.  So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out.  His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried.  No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so.  Was he going to hurt her?  He didn’t look safe, he looked poor and hungry.  He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt.  It was that chill that only fear can put in you.  He said,  “I’m here to help you, Ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm.  By the way, my name is Joe.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough.  Joe crawled under the car, looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two.  Soon he was able to change the tire.  But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.  As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down her window and began to talk to him.  She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through.  She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid. Joe just smiled as he closed her trunk.

She asked him how much she owed him.  Any amount would have been alright with her.  She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.  Joe never thought twice about the money.  This was not a job to him.  This was helping someone in need, and God knows, there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.  He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.  He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Joe added,  “…and think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off.  It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.  A few miles down the road, the lady saw a small cafe.  She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.  It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps.  The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.  The cash register was like the telephone of an out-of-work actor–it didn’t ring much.

Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair.  She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase.  The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.  The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger.  Then she remembered Joe.

After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get her change from a hundred-dollar-bill, the lady slipped right out the door.  She was gone by the time the waitress came back.  She wondered where the lady could be.  Then she noticed something written on a napkin.  There were tears in her eyes, when she read what the lady had written.  It said, “You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there, too.  Someone once helped me out, the way I’m helping you.  If you really want to pay me back, here’s what you do.  Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.  That night, when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written.  How could she have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.  She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low,  “Everything’s gonna be alright.  I love you, Joe.”

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Fighting DICK Cheney’s War…..

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.’  —  President Dwight D. Eisenhower,  January 17, 1961

So, we’re sending another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan…

After much agonizing, President Obama picked what he perceives as the best of several bad options dealing with Afghanistan–one of many botched endeavors left for him to clean up–courtesy of the previous administration.

Is it the right decision to add more troops now, so we can pull out sooner?  We will find out in the next two years…  As the war in Afghanistan–in its eighth year–has shifted more and more to the border region between that country and Pakistan, and inside Pakistan itself, this troop increase sends a clear message to Pakistan, to crack down more seriously on the extremists who have found a new home there.

Unfortunately, poll after poll shows, that the Afghan people view us as occupiers, fighting against them.  Therefore, it is imperative, that with this troop increase, other measures are employed to change hearts and minds.  Something, the Obama administration is committed to do.

As for DICK Cheney…  He came out of his bunker on the eve of President Obama’s speech to attack him–in his very special way–basically accusing him, among other things, of treason…

Maybe it’s necessary to revisit recent history–about twenty years of it…

After supporting and supplying the Taliban and foreign fighters (Al-Qaeda), including Osama Bin Laden, with weapons in their decade-long fight against the Soviets, we made the decision to leave them to flourish in Afghanistan in 1991, under then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.  During the nineties, those same fighters turned their energy against the very people who supported them–us–leading to various attacks, culminating of course in 9/11.

After that attack, it was the right thing to do to go into Afghanistan, fighting the people who planned and executed it, and the people harboring them.  It was the wrong thing to do, to let Bin Laden escape when he was cornered in Tora Bora–intentionally–as a recently released report shows, in order to help justify the Iraq War.  It was also wrong to attack Iraq, a country that was not involved in 9/11.  So, we’re talking about three major decisions that were made for other than publicly stated reasons… and were fundamentally  WRONG.

The common denominator in all those decisions…  DICK Cheney

My suggestion is this…  Before opening your mouth again, and accusing a president, who is left with the daunting task of cleaning up your mess, with treason–why not revisiting the last twenty years that have led to this point?

You don’t have to look far… it’s right there… at your doorstep!!

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Joe ‘You Lie’ Wilson and ‘The Million MORON March’

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I don’t know what you did the weekend of September 12th–play ball with your kids in the park, went to a party, to church, or participated in  ‘The Million MORON March’  assembling in our nation’s Capitol.

Well–to be correct, it was more like a 50,000-70,000 march.  MORONS, nevertheless.

It was indeed a sight to see!  A collection of anything and everything, the nutjob wing of the Republican Party has to offer these days:

*Anti-Government Zealots
*Loony Teabaggers
*Nutty Birthers
*Anti-Health Care Reform Crazies
*General Racists and Nutjobs

Everybody should have been impressed by the diversity of the group.  It clearly represented a cross section of the big melting pot we call America.  There were three very distinct groups clearly visible:

White people
Whiter people
Old white people

As for the motivation?  We certainly can not look into somebody’s head and heart. A brief look at the signs at the rally, however, revealed a lot about people’s motives.

What kind of insensitive jerk do you have to be, to carry this sign, just weeks after Ted Kennedy’s death?

BURY
OBAMACARE
WITH KENNEDY

Among the many racist signs, targeting President Obama, here is a notable mention of a few:

He was compared to Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Satan, a Witch Doctor…

One sign especially drew attention:

WE  COME  UNARMED…
THIS  TIME…

Of course, that was not true for some previous events, when President Obama was welcomed by people walking around sporting their guns.

I’m waiting for responsible Republican leaders to speak out against this vitriol before some crazy follows up on these threats.  Then again…  There are no responsible Republican leaders right now.

Nothing could point out better the idiocy of some of the claims, than a complaint filed by rally organizers.  A complaint with the government-funded D.C. public transportation system, for not being able to more effectively handle the incoming protesters, while a lot of them were protesting government spending!  YOU  CAN’T MAKE  IT  UP !!!  One of the speakers at the rally, a Republican congressman, even voted against increasing funding for the public transportation system!  🙂

What was the word again?  Ah…  IDIOTS !!!

As for Joe  ‘You Lie’  Wilson…  What do you expect from somebody who led a fight less than ten years ago to fly the Confederate flag over South Carolina’s Capitol building, and held membership in a group called  ‘Sons of the Confederate Veterans?’

Bottom Line:  A certain segment of this society just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

All we can do–the vast, sane majority of this country–is walk right past them and their craziness, and move this country forward.  And we will !!!   🙂

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Senator Ted Kennedy — ‘The Liberal Lion’

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Senator Ted Kennedy —  A true champion of workers’ rights, civil rights, the poor and health care…  Thank You!  Job well done!

Every American alive today, and even people in other countries, has been touched by Ted Kennedy in more than one way, most likely without realizing it.

His more than four decades in the US Senate were consumed by tirelessly working on improving the lives of working people, the less fortunate, minorities, women, children–in good Kennedy tradition.  Everybody who couldn’t advocate for himself, found a friend in Teddy Kennedy.

AN  ADVOCATE  FOR  ALL !!!

From increasing the minimum wage, to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program  (SCHIP), the Family Leave Act, Anti-Apartheid legislation…  His legislative accomplishments are too numerous to mention.  His fingerprints are on every single bill aimed at making people’s lives better.  Because of his success and political skill, he often became the lightning rod for the ultra-conservatives. However, he was willing to work with conservative senators on bills aimed at the same goal, like Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on SCHIP.  Many of them count Teddy Kennedy as a great friend.  He was a big LIBERAL and proud of it!  But he didn’t let that get in the way of seeking common ground, even with people he vehemently disagreed with.

THE  GREATEST  LEGISLATOR  OF  OUR  TIME !!!

His most ambitious goal however, establishing Universal Health Care in America, has eluded him, since first introducing it about forty years ago.  With his passing at this critical juncture in history, just short of what hopefully will be meaningful health care reform, that goal becomes that much more important.

Here’s the battle cry going out to all Democrats:

1.  Go it alone on health care reform with the best bill possible.  NO RETREAT !!!  Republicans have proven themselves irrelevant and are not interested in reform.

2.  Make it count–It has to be MEANINGFUL reform, actually benefiting people and improving their current situation.

3.  Build on it in the future!

4.  Put Ted Kennedy’s name on the bill…  But ONLY if the final bill deserves it!

Do it for

THE  SOUL  OF  THE  DEMOCRATIC  PARTY !!!   DO  IT  FOR  TEDDY !!!

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FOX “NEWS” — Merchant of Hate

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We have one TV Network in America dedicated solely to spreading hatred, reinforcing people’s prejudices, and keeping them dumb and uninformed, hence, easier to misguide and mislead.

F O X   ” N E W S “

From crazy morning show hosts, to the hate mongers like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity at night, and everything in between, it is a sad picture, indeed.

Just for fun and entertainment purposes, I used to listen in for a few minutes from time to time–to get a good laugh, or shake my head in disbelief at such an onslaught of stupidity.  But I’ve reached a point now, where I can’t listen to those crazy rants at all anymore.  Not even for a few minutes.

I’m going out on a limb now, but if we would take a survey of the nutjob wing of the Republican party, assembling right now at health care town halls, or questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, or just spewing racist hatred in general, we would find out that their main “news” source  (maybe the only one)  is

F O X   ” N E W S “

A recent study showed that people who predominately watch  FOX  “NEWS”  are the least informed compared to all others, especially those who get their news from a variety of sources.  Heck, a large chunk of them still believes, we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  SCARY !!!

While we can blame people for their decision to remain uninformed and ignorant, we also have to realize that it’s the

“MERCHANTS  OF  HATE”

who are really at fault here.  They are the instigators.  They know darn well what they are doing.  Doing it for entertainment value, ratings, or for million dollar salaries–the bottom line is the same–you knowingly spread lies, misinformation and hatred, thereby inciting violence.  And you certainly can’t wash the blood off your hands when one of the crazies listening to your constant hateful diatribes, goes out and commits violent acts… as happened before…

Now my question is…

HOW  IN  THE  WORLD  CAN  YOU  SLEEP  AT  NIGHT ???

There’s a very special place reserved for people like you….

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Just because …..

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‘When I’m good, I’m very good.  But when I’m bad, I’m better.’ —
Mae West

In that spirit…  Be bad now and then…  Keeps life interesting !! …   🙂

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