Thursday, December 29, 2011

Legacy – A New Season is coming!!!

It's been several years since "Just a Season" and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.

It's been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! "Legacy - A New Season" is the perfect complement to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of "Just a Season" and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel "Just a Season" will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.

Please follow me there!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Meaning of Christmas

I read a very interesting article the other day that asked, in so many words, if we know what we believe, which caused me to think about that as we approach the Holiday Season. I’ll say from the on-set that regardless of your religious beliefs you’re probably familiar with the Christmas story; whether you’re a devout Christian, doubtful, unsure or an atheist. You know the story of what is said to be the greatest story ever told. Or do you? This story with its significance and traditions are sometimes misunderstood.

This day has been turned into a massive commercial holiday. If you count all the Nativity scenes displayed you would think Christmas is the most important date on the Christian calendar. I don’t believe that it is. Easter is the day on which Christians believe Christ rose from the dead, which has more religious significance than does Dec. 25. In fact, science would have us believe that the savior was actually born in the spring. Whereas Easter, the day of Christ’s resurrection means not just that one man conquered death, nor was it simply proof of Jesus’ divinity to his followers; it holds out the promise of eternal life for all who believe in him.

The Christmas season lasts 12 days ending with the Epiphany, a feast day in early January commemorating the Wise Men’s visit to the infant Jesus. The Easter season, on the other hand, lasts 50 days. On Sundays during Easter, Christians hear dramatic stories of the post-resurrection appearances of Christ to his astonished followers. The overriding importance of Easter is simple: Anyone can be born, but not everyone can rise from the dead.

Let’s me talk about the written knowledge from a Christian source; the Bible, more particularly, the four Gospels. We believe that the journey of Mary on a donkey accompanied by Joseph, the child’s birth in a manger surrounded by animals, shepherds and angels, with the Wise Men appearing shortly afterward. But two of the Gospels say nothing about Jesus’ birth.

The Gospel of Mark the earliest of the Gospels, written roughly 30 years after Jesus’ crucifixion does not have a word about the Nativity. Instead, it begins with the story of John the Baptist, who announces the impending arrival of the adult Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel of John is similarly silent about Jesus’ birth. The two Gospels that do mention what theologians call the “infancy narratives” differ on some significant details.

Matthew seems to describe Mary and Joseph as living in Bethlehem, fleeing to Egypt and then moving to Nazareth. The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, has the two originally living in Nazareth, traveling to Bethlehem in time for the birth, and then returning home. Both Gospels do however place Jesus’ birthplace in Bethlehem. This much they all agree.

Then there is the idea that Jesus was an only child. Catholics, for example, believe Mary’s pregnancy came about miraculously as a “virgin birth.” They also believe that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, although many Protestants do not. For the purposes of this writing I will not expand on the thinking of the thousands of religious philosophies.

Nonetheless, there are Gospel passages that speak of Jesus’ brothers and sisters which seem to confuse many. For example, in the Gospel of Luke, someone tells Jesus: “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” And in Mark’s Gospel, people from Nazareth exclaim: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?” Saint Paul even calls James “the Lord’s brother.” Therefore, I agree with many scholars who maintain that Jesus indeed had brothers and sisters which might be explained perhaps through an earlier marriage of Joseph. Or not!

Dr. Ben, the noted African historian, points to a story thousands of years before Christ that is very similar that occurred in Upper Africa to Isis, the mother of Horace. If this is true, then the greatest story ever told is a recent phenomenon. For sure, the way it’s practiced today is a phenomenon that is not consistent with the true meaning of Christmas. However, worries about diluting Christmas’s meaning go much further back than recent memory.

Gift-giving, for example, was seen as problematic as early as the Middle Ages, when the church frowned on the practice for its supposed pagan origins. The holiday season has become so distorted that our children now think that Jesus was born at Wal-Mart.

This recounting of these few recorded facts is in no way intended to steal your joy or deter your faith. As we all know, faith is, believing to be true that which is unseen. No one really knows the truth of this miraculous event that resulted in a poor peasant boy changing the lives of mankind since his birth two thousand years ago. The point is this: in the mist of our joy and celebration lest not forget the true meaning of Jesus’ birth which is to love one another and humanity. After all, the purpose of our existence is to continue the species – mankind – which is what Jesus preached!

I am looking forward to the blessings and opportunities that the New Year can bring us all and wish you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, Abundance, Prosperity and an Extraordinary 2012! Therefore, I give the gift of love and empowerment. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Remember - Legacy - A New Season is Coming Soon!!!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Losing Faith

The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has done it again. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us on the fastest growing political talk show on the air where we talk about the political news of the day. Oh, and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!

Losing Faith

The Republican Party claims that the act of raising taxes is in direct violation of their solemn pledge to Grover Norquist, a man most recently described as “some random person” by speaker of the house John Boehner. They also tell us that raising taxes is a direct violation of their most sacred article of faith.

Their devotion to this belief is the reason that we can’t seem to make any headway in reducing the national debt or passing a modest bill to aid in job creation.

The Republican Party has told us for the last 10+ years that tax cuts are magical. They don’t need any budgetary off-sets because they pay for themselves. And while it would seem to any rational person that the huge tax cuts put in place during the Bush administration aided in exploding the national debt and hurling the nation into a cycle of deficit spending; Republican representatives assure us that that isn’t the case at all. We must have faith.

Given the manner in which the modern Republican Party has vociferously defended this article of faith, why have they failed to extend a payroll tax cut that will save 160 million Americans an average of $1,000 per year? Why does this particular tax-cut need a budgetary off-set so as not to add to the deficit? I mean, aren’t tax cuts magical? Have Republicans lost their faith?

Written by, Jackie Morganfield-Lambert my friend and that’s a Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis' the Season

This is the season we rejoice with great celebration for Christmas is the day Christ our savior was born. Rarely do I share much of my personal being but in this post I want to pour my heart out because this is neither my favorite season nor one that I look forward to anymore. It is not due to a lack of faith or my strong conviction and belief in someone greater than I; who I call chose to call God. Rather, it is due to an event that will forever pain my heart.

Every year as the holiday season comes upon us I have to relive a dreadful horror. So I ask that you please forgive any tears that may stain the pages as I write. If you have experienced the greatest love of all and lost it. I know you feel my pain. Therefore, I will use this writing to express my feelings and pay homage to my late son - who I miss very much. I am blessed in that he left me a wonderful grandson who I cherish with more love than I can explain.

It’s been sometime since God called my only son home to be with him and the pain of his absence does not go away. No parent should have to bury a child, let alone the only child they’ve been blessed to have. It just doesn’t seem right for a child to go before a parent but this is not something that is unique to me. I know from scripture that others have endured such pain since time began. Able died before Adam and Eve and John the Baptist died preceding his parents. We also know for certain that Jesus died before Mary because she witnessed his crucifixion, and how painful that must have been.

It was a dreadful dreary cold day about ten years ago, early in the morning, when I lost my Rashad due to a tragic automobile accident. It was without question the worst thing imaginable and most certainly my darkest hour. This pain never seems to subside and I will tell you during this season it is more painful. Adding to the sadness of this situation his death occurred on New Year’s Eve and on the morning of his son’s first birthday as we were preparing a birthday party for my grandson.

This brings to mind words from scripture. Rather, a question I was asked a long time ago. “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. I wrote a few books which might very well explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story within the pages of “Just a Season” that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.

From this nightmare I have come to understand that adversity can either destroy or develop you. Unless and until you have suffered enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny. Now having said that my salvation was to take this lemon (for lack of a better word) and make lemonade. What I have learned from this tragedy is that there is a definition of service that is not written in Webster’s Dictionary that says “I can heal by giving of myself to the benefit of others.”

In spite of this never before known pain that resides permanently within my soul I am very grateful that God saw fit to bless me with a wonderful grandson whose name is Elijah. So as each year passes and Elijah resembles my son more and more. The pain eases and the season becomes more bearable. With that said, I have a new novel coming soon dedicated to my son called “Legacy – A New Season”. Therefore, it’s time to move on as generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.
I pray that my son is rejoicing in the bosom of our Lord knowing that I am here for his son in his stead. I am looking forward to the day when I see him again so we can walk around haven all day reveling in wonders of God’s kingdom.

The tears are flowing uncontrollably now. So I will close by saying to anyone experiencing adversity whether it is from health, financial issues or the pain of missing a loved one. I offer my deepest sympathy to you, particularly those who have joined this unwelcomed fraternity of losing a child. The Christmas holiday season and welcoming the New Year will never be the same.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever… believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

1981 – 2001

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Middle-Class Tax

The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has once again offered another empowering and insightful gift of wisdom. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!

The Middle-Class Tax
(Or, How Financial Markets Affect You)

My favorite coffee shop is a small business locally owned by “Mom & Pop”. Today, while getting my morning pick-me-up, “Pop” and I began to discuss the high cost of living. He told me that the cost of coffee beans had gone up more than 300% this year. Was there a particularly bad harvest in coffee producing nations around the world? No, the spike in prices, he said, was caused primarily by rampant speculation in the commodities market. And, since he could not raise his prices by 300% and expect to keep many customers, he and his lovely wife decided to do their best to absorb the higher costs and hope they can hang on to their business until their costs go down.

Now, the folks who are bidding up the price of coffee beans could care less about the problems of a small, but very popular, business in a little California town. They are just out to make a fast buck. The buck that they are making, however, does not employ a single American. This buck doesn’t build anything or make anything. This buck simply goes into the pocket of some hot-shot, Wall Street financier who will pay less of his income in taxes than you will for going to work every day.

Now, let’s apply the coffee bean principle to the price of gas, groceries, electricity and the like. We certainly can’t expect a large oil company to do what “pop” did, especially since big oil is helping to bid up the price of gasoline.

As the Republicans continue to defend tax cuts for the richest among us, just remember that you, and I, and every working person in this great nation are subsidizing the rich not only through the tax code but through the prices we pay.

Friday, December 9, 2011

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Oh, don't forget to tune in every Tuesday night for "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM on SPREAKER.COM.

Study War No More

It seems like I can remember so many things since I have, as I call it, mentally matured with what I perceive as real. Some call it thought-provoking. This post is intended to be thought-provoking because I want to capture words once spoken by a King. They were said almost a half century ago and they resonate as clearly today as when they were spoken. Now, let me make it clear from the beginning - if you have heard them before great! If you have not; pay close attention because they speak truth to morality. Let me also add that the words are captured and inspired from a speech by the immortal Martin Luther “the King”.

I see war as an unjust, evil, and futile. The time has come for America to hear the truth about the tragic wars in which they are now engaged. The day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

Even when pressed by the demands of our inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing government policies, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own soul and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of these dreadful conflicts, we're always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.

Millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Now, one of the difficulties in speaking out grows from the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It's a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent, i.e. the 99’ers. The truth must be told. It appears that anyone who opposes war is a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers. Understand that war does not always mean military conflict.

There is an obvious and almost facile connection between any war and the struggle many have been waging in America. Once there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through Poverty Programs. I watched these programs broken as if they were idle political playthings of a society gone mad. America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as these insane adventures continue to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube.

You may not know it but, it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we do not spend a hundred dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that goes for salaries of people hired to, supposedly, help the poor. Therefore, I am increasingly compelled to see war as an enemy of the poor. Do not consider just the wars in the Middle East but look at the war being waged against you and your community. They continue to tell us that this nation is the greatest nation in the world. I say that measure should be judged by how the nation treats her old, young, and poor.

This great country takes our young men, and women, sending them thousands of miles away under the guise of guaranteeing liberty others. Who've been crippled by society because there are no jobs; before or after the conflict. Yet, they have not found peace or given liberty to citizens in Mississippi, Georgia and New York or, in the slums of Washington, DC. Frankly, this is a cruel manipulation of freedom and justice while, in the meantime, the political arena has become a disgrace.

The only change that came from America were increased troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without the popular support of their own people. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace, democracy and land reform. Now, they languish under our bombs and consider us the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into jails and camps, where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs.

So they go, primarily women, and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their land and weep as the bulldozers roar through the areas where they live. They wander into the towns and see thousands of children, homeless - without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers and soliciting for their mothers. We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. Please remember this: “You cannot free anyone if they do not want to be free”. Yet, our government tells us we would be treated as liberators.

This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible while refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we, as a nation, must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit-motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation cannot be conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called upon to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that is only the first step. One day, we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be beaten constantly and, then robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.

The Bible says, “You shall reap what you sow”. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together and, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and, none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. And nations will not rise up against nations; neither shall they study war anymore. And, I don't know about you, but I don’t want to study war no more.

This article was captured and inspired by “A King” and that’s my THOUGHT PERVOKING PERSPECTIVE…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Something To Think About

Words that ring true - "injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dangers of Reality TV – Part Deux

The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has once again offered another empowering and insightful gift of wisdom. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!

The Dangers of Reality TV – Part Deux

In last week’s commentary, I poked fun at the Republican Presidential Debates – comparing them to a tacky reality show. It is horrifying to think that my snarky comments of last week have now found expression in the person of Donald Trump.

On December 27th, Donald Trump will moderate his own Presidential Debate - one week before the Iowa Caucuses. He staged an announcement with none other than Republican front-runner, Newt Gingrich, standing at his side. He and Newt apparently had a wonderful meeting. They found a way to help Donald sell his new book and promote his reality show, while helping Newt to hawk his books and DVD’s. I mean, that’s what the 2012 Presidential contest is for, right?

This stunt demonstrates a total lack of respect for both the political process and the American electorate. How can the voters take any of these people seriously? When did the political process become so incredibly ridiculous? How can we save ourselves from this foolishness?

It has been said that you can fool some of the people all of the time and, all of the people some of the time but, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Let us hope that this time, NONE of the people will be fooled. Let us hope that informed voters will reject these cynical ploys.

Yes, last week I compared the Republican Presidential Debates to a reality show. And, this week, I am reminded that God truly does have a wicked sense of humor.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Whose With You Now - Mr. Cain

For all that I know about faith I have come to understand that we all have a cross to bear and I mean that in terms of the burden race. Let me make that statement more direct – being black. From the first day we were dragged upon the shores of this land people of African decent have had an intense desire that we mind our manners and avoid personal acts and activity that would make the entire race look bad. Of course, or should I say, there were those images we did allow to represent us as buffoons to entertain those of the other hue, which left an impression of our worthlessness.

You know what I mean like the bad hair thing, chitterlings, water mellows, and such! Even when we were made out to be fools on television and in the movies most of us abided by the unwritten rules of deportment. I did say most of us! Well until this year’s human, and I use that loosely, a guy who will inevitably become known as a disgrace to our community and beyond. Let me put it differently; we have progressed to the point where, in my opinion, the buffoonery of a Herman Cain will make us shudder and shrink into the shadows to hide our faces.

For him to suggest that blacks should have gone to the back of the bus and not caused no trouble. Or, to say that African Americans were brainwashed is an unforgiveable insult that has frankly relegated this guy to a place far outside of the antics comparable to Amos 'n' Andy or even a Stepin Fetchit character. He so far as to tell the world that the ultraconservative billionaires the Koch brothers were his "brothers from another mother" and describing himself as "black-walnut ice cream" only drew disdain from our community.

Then came his ignorance, and I meant to use that word, of foreign affairs. Like the most talked about event this year - the war in Libya or the fact that China has had a nuclear bomb for years and lest not forget his long pauses and poor answers to questions about policy issues that presidents confront daily which reflected solely on him and all he could say was 9-9-9! Shocking!!! Calling him an embarrassment is too kind.

And his 999 tax plan is simple-sounding enough that Mr. John Q. Average can feel secure in it because he doesn't think he needs to do the math and not realizing that he would potentially pay more than he does now. Cain sees water-boarding as an "enhanced interrogation technique" and homosexuality as a "choice". Of course he has flip-flopped on abortion depending on the day of the week he is asked the question. Frankly, he was a good ol’ uncle who did what he was told and the ideological Tea Party-esque Republican wanted to hear. He was just a man with a black face belittling President Obama.

I've found no one who pays much serious attention to his comments and behavior, certainly no one in the African American community. Maybe I should digress because “they” seems to always find someone like him who reminds me of my uncle whose name is Thomas but we call him Tom for short. Then came the “jump-offs”, which made his sorry character seem as if it came straight out of central casting for black exploitation. Negro please!!! Did you not know they would dig up all of these white women?

"He's just stupid," a black, politically savvy grandfather in Chattanooga was reported as saying. "He knew he had all that baggage in his background before he ran. He is not qualified to be president." I could not have said it better. So I guess the million dollar question is what does Herman Cain get out of it?

A lot of attention to grease his outsize ego, a lot of money from speaking engagements and book sales, and bragging rights to say that not only did he run for president, but for a brief moment, he was actually the leader in his race. But now he'll have to assess, with his family and us, whether the ride was worth it.

This clown who really had no chance for the Citizen Council to make him their candidate even though he thinks that the unemployed are in their situations because they just don't try hard enough and that blacks are "brainwashed into not being open-minded" about conservative positions; according to him racism doesn't hold blacks back. He believes that God told him to run for president, sort of like the way God told Moses to lead the Hebrews.

Being what Malcolm described as a House Negro allowed him to use his populist charisma, managed to get conservatives to anoint him the Apostle of the Negro Right. One popular conservative said, he’s one of our blacks and he is better than there blacks. I am still trying to figure that one out but where I come from that is code for uncle.

So with Election Day less than a year away the Citizen Council has thrown their boy under the bus and we are left with the prospect of the likes of Michele Bachmann, the flip flopper Mitt Romney who they call “him”, Ron Paul who would rather revisit Jim Crow, Rick Perry whose family owns a ranch called “Nigger Head” and the serial fibber Newt Gingrich. Maybe with a cast of characters like that Uncle Herman should have remained. Wouldn’t that have been a good thing? Not really. One thing history has taught us is that people who can appeal to masses but who avoid the scrutiny of individuals are dangerous. Hitler comes to mind.

There was a line in the movie Men in Black, and I’ll paraphrase, individuals are smart because they are discerning, but people - meaning groups - are fearful, nervous and easily manipulated. That, to me, explains why Cain was doing so well in the polls.

I guess that’s why I have such distain for black conservatives such as Cain. They can hold high the ideals of what America should be. But then they've got to deal with the next cringe-worthy thing they are told to say and there is no place for them when they are abandoned by those who run the plantation. Cain and all his foibles deserve to be in the place he’s in and may he find peace in knowing that he is all alone.

I seem to recall Jesus said in the synoptic gospels that “tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. …it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…