Trick or Treat Meet and Greet

Two events are close at hand: Halloween and Election Day. It is hard to decide which is the scariest.

One of the two is over quickly. Someone jumps out with a crazy made up face, devil horns and a long tail and shouts, “Boooooo!” Then you wait for the next reveler to knock on the door and yell, “Trick or Treat!”

Depending on who the winners are in the many elections across our great country, the outcome will delight us or scare us more than the Halloween guest at our front door. It is no secret our country and our President have been held hostage by negativism, disrespect, bigotry and all the NO, NO, NO of recent years.

If that behavior continues, it will be worse than devils with horns and long tails or ghosts with spiders crawling over them. Our country and our citizens deserve better.

I, for one, am sick and tired of millionaires buying the government they want while they fatten themselves at the trough, boosting themselves upward on the backs of the less fortunate.

May good government return.


Speak For Those Who Cannot Speak For Themselves

This is the second time I feel compelled to write my blog about the children who are coming to us for help and understanding from Central America.

Thank God we still have good people whose heart has not turned to stone. I know my list is incomplete but my information is only as good as the daily paper chooses to print. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “We are an empathetic people in this country and we don’t like seeing people suffer,” despite bashing our President in the process. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said her city “has a long history of welcoming immigrants” – from her grandparents to recent waves of refugees from Bhutan, Iraq and South Sudan. She suggested six buildings on the old campus of the former Maria Regina College be used to house and care for them.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said, “You have to take a step back and say, ‘We’re talking about kids as young as five’ – “What’s our role as human beings?” Barrett, Davenport, Iowa Mayor Bill Gluba, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland have said they would put together teams to look for suitable locations to help.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, each and every one. Great leaders rise to the top by not always looking for votes but for something like this – thinking outside the box to look out for these children; children not unlike your son or daughter.

In an article in the same paper there was a story about a very young boy in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras, who had two of his friends, eleven years old, snatched from their home. Their bodies were found chopped to pieces. That is how he lives each day – in fear of the same.

If each of our states would take 1000 of these children we would save 50,000 children. An example is my state of Kentucky; we have 122 counties. If each county took nine children, that would be 1098 children saved. Please use your creative ability and please do something to help these children. If we had not had some visionaries in our government in the sixties, it is possible we would still have our African-American brothers and sisters in the shackles of racism and a second class existence.

Please America – open your hearts. Ministers of all faiths, find in yourselves the voice of humanity. Let’s help these children of God. They need to be supported with the voices of caring people. Let the choir start by adding each of our voices.

A Lesson From Mandela

Once more I am compelled to write my blog about the loss of yet another world leader who struggled to right the wrongs of a nation. President Nelson Mandela of South Africa has passed away.

He fought with heart and soul to bring an end to the hideous years of apartheid his countrymen were living under.  He suffered a constant fear of reprisal for his devotion to set his people free of the bonds of white supremacy.

For this mighty and just cause he was harassed, vilified and ultimately confined to the harsh Robben Island prison near Cape Town, sentenced to life at hard labor.  He spent twenty-seven years in prison before being released.

There are many quotes from Mandela that ring with profound meaning, but the one that I shall always remember is, when asked if he wanted revenge, his answer was, “If I seek revenge then I will still be in prison.”

In our lifetime, small words or deeds can hurt us but only forgiveness can free us. As long as we hold grudges we are not free.  We are prisoners of our making.

Remembering MLK

From the Lodge at Oxmoor…….

Dr. Martin Luther King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”

I am aware that I am seven days early for Dr. King’s day but I have a reason. I would like to ask my readers who have children or grandchildren to take some time and sit down with them or encourage them to use their computer or other electronic devices to look up the life, accomplishments, and work of Dr. King.

It is important that our young people know about the work of Dr. M.L. King. Through his strong faith and love of God, he believed that our great country could not survive unless all men enjoyed freedom, and the right to peruse their dreams and ambitions. “Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” (April 16th, 1963). Dr. King was never an advocate of violence. He had utter disdain for any form of hate or violence. He wanted a world where peace and love could bring men together as brothers, saying “We must learn to live together as brothers or die together as fools.”

Dr. Martin Luther King was born at the King family home in Atlanta, Georgia. He was well-educated and entered college at age fifteen, having skipped two grades in school. He graduated from Morehouse College and from Cozer Seminary with a Bachelor’s Degree of Divinity. He became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. During his short lifetime he was honored with some fifty honorary degrees.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter presented Dr. King a posthumous Presidential Medal of Honor. President Carter said “he made the nation stronger, because he made it better.”

On April 3rd, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke these words: ” I just want to do God’s work; he has allowed me to see the promised land. I may not get there with you. Tonight I am a happy man. . .I fear no man.”  These are words he spoke on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, at 6:01 p.m. as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel. He was 39 years old.

I do believe Dr. King took us all, every man and woman, to that promised land where love well always defeat hate. He took us all to the top of the mountain to witness the love of all mankind. The work of good men will always be threatened by those who allow themselves to become intolerant, and void of acceptance and love for anyone of a different color, different manner of dress, language, religion, politics, or lifestyle.

Be a Good American or Get Out

From the Lodge at Oxmoor—it is a beautiful morning in Louisville, Kentucky. The air is a little brisk, the bushes and trees are still green with just a leaf here and there to let us know Fall is just around the next bend in the road. The greens will turn to other pretty Fall hues and join the squirrels and other little creatures in their hiatus until we are awakened to the renewal of life that spring always brings. May we all survive the challenges of winters, cold temperatures, icy walks and snowy blasts.

In a very short time, we will be electing a President to lead our great country. It is my heartfelt wish that during and after the process we find the pride and respect to support our selection, whoever that will be. The past four years should be a perfect lesson, showing that rancor, disrespect and downright nastiness has done our country no good except to show how mean-spirited so many have become. It is my wish that if you really care about the future of our land and can’t be a team player, get out of the political arena.

I would like to remind you, if you have not read recent articles in our papers, of a little history that brought us to this point in the wonderful free country we live in.

Susan B. Anthony, the suffragist, fought for half a century for the right of women to vote. At age 86, in 1906, one month before she died, she traveled from New York to Baltimore to tell women one more time, and her last time, that “failure is impossible” in their struggle to win the right to vote. It was fourteen years later, long after her death, that women throughout America won that battle and the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified.

In 1964 the nation ratified the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution to outlaw the “poll taxes” that many southern states had enacted. This meant you had to pay a tax in order to vote. Such laws were meant to disenfranchise the poor and minorities and deny them the right to vote. President Lyndon Johnson noted as he signed the Twenty-fourth amendment into law that “there can be no one too poor to vote.”

However, today there are those who would turn back the clock and revive barriers to our basic right to vote via early voting changes and ID laws–specifically a threat to the elderly, the poor, minorities and students–and, in the process, undo almost a century of progress. Various lawsuits are before the courts in areas to stop this infringement upon our rights, but the time is short. Please use your voice to stop this outright crime from being perpetrated upon our fellow human beings. If we don’t stop this injustice the next injustice may well be one you will want us to fight for regarding you.

God bless our Government and God bless the United States of America.

Another Cycle

I am sitting in my room 131 waiting for the next speaker at the Democratic Convention and I’m reflecting on the men who have been President in my lifetime. I started going back through the names and, ye gods, when I got to the President who was in office when I was born I felt much older than 88.

Why, you ask? Because Calvin Coolidge was president!

Next came ‘the chicken in every pot” and president Herbert Hoover, who my grandmother referred to as the chicken man. She said “I hope we survive until a good man is elected.” She passed away in 1930 and did not get to see the election of one of the greatest Presidents of my lifetime, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

My mom and I sat by the radio and listened to every Fireside Chat. She said he would take us to the promised land. I remember that confusing me, having heard about the church’s promised land, and it made me wonder where his promised land was. Regardless, he seemed to give my mom hope of good things to come. He made good on just about every promise.

President Roosevelt was followed by Harry S. Truman, who made some tough decisions. I have to admit I got a little tired of Bess and also of daughter Margaret hitting the high note, trying to be an opera singer, but Harry S. was just a proud daddy. Dwight D. Eisenhower (forgot to take his boots off) followed President Truman, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (so easy to love, gave us the Peace Corps), then Lyndon Baines Johnson (a gruffly bear, tamed by a Lady Bird–under his watch the School Lunch Program was started), Richard Nixon (he did Crook, real well–he did improve relations with China; he probably should have moved there…), Gerald Ford (a kind and REAL person), Jimmy Carter (he was too nice for Washington-a man of Peace), Ronald Reagan (once a ham actor, always _____), and George Bush (fathered “little” George, put up with Barbara).

Next was one of my all time favorites, William Jefferson Clinton. George W. Bush (War-War. Let’s go to war!), of course, followed and now, our current President Barack Obama, who embodies the American Dream and, I hope, will be our President for four more years.

When you go back as far as Calvin Coolidge and you still have faith in our system of government, you must have a firm grip on trust. There is no place for cynicism in our great country. There is no place for disrespecting our leadership in Washington. It has and will continue to serve us well. For what may go wrong is always corrected with that which is right. Just have and keep the faith.

Ugly Beauty

From the Oxmoor Lodge….what a wonderful opening to the Olympics 2012.  I had not given serious thought to doing a Blog about the Opening Ceremonies until I heard some criticism in the dinning room at lunch.

Remarks like “Oh it was ugly, it wasn’t colorful like last time.” “The colors were dull…” and so on. The entire significance of Mr. Boyle’s presentation was lost to these people. If it was color, glitz, and bling you were looking for, maybe you were disappointed. But the portrayal of the significance of the Industrial Revolution in England and the British Isles was a miracle to behold.

It was a movement that changed the world of work and survival for the citizens of the entire country. It also served other countries to show them what hard work, and people’s dreams can accomplish. From the miners in the Welsh valleys to the industrialists in the motherland, their vision of independence has served them well.

Britain was a country struggling with religious strife between Catholicism and the Church of England that caused serious splits between reigning families and was a time of violence to their families. In time the rancor was settled and the future of the British Isles and their proud people moved forward to establish a country that would be a world power to be reckoned with and a model for young countries to utilize. The Industrial Revolution was the king pin for that survival in a new world.

What his opening ceremony portrayed in part wasn’t pretty, it was steel, it was coal, it was smokestacks, it was masonry: it was the world of self reliance and it was beautiful.

Britain provides it’s families with Health Care; it is a country who takes care of its people – not just the richest but also the poorest. That comes with sacrifices, but the people are willing to do what it takes for every one to be respected.

I, as one American, salute you Mr. Boyle – you gave us much to remember and England and its Isles a great tribute.