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Showing posts from 2017

Life in Venezuela is Terrible Right Now!

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Under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, it seems like the citizens of Venezuela were living a pretty good life.  Mr. Chavez was the President of Venezuela from 1999 until 2013 when he died.  He was also the leader of the Fifth Republican Movement.  This party merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.  He was the beneficiary of high oil revenues in the mid 2000's and focused on poverty, literacy and income inequality.  He was an outspoken leader and made alliances with Fidel and Raul Castro and other strong man leaders.  He symbolized a proud leader for his people and has many followers today.


I was interested in Venezuela because it seemed like this leader had utilized the oil revenue to help his citizens.  He was an enemy of the United States because he leaned more towards a Marxist philosophy.  He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and that was good for this area of islands that depend so much on tourism.  He died of cancer.…

Charlottesville, VA is a Stain on Race Relations

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Many of us are trying to make sense of the events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA on Friday and Saturday.  It seems like the alt-right, neo-nazi, Ku Klux Klan supporters were upset that a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a Confederate hero, was to be removed from this area.  I guess it was one statue too many for these individuals.  The Confederates lost the civil war and should not have been able to continually erect statues to maintain slavery as a right and a way of life.  Dylan Roof's cold blooded murder nine church members at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

At the time of this heinous crime, Mr. Roof wanted to incite a race riot.  I am so happy that people who think like him did not take the bait and cause more bloodshed.  This event was one of many acts of violence against people of color in this country.  African American males were being murdered by police officers and these murders led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter mov…

The Affordable Care Act Survives a Seven Year Onslaught

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Senator Mitch McConnell has to be feeling pretty peeved today.  He had selected a small group of Senators to prepare a revision to the Affordable Care Act.  He did it secretly with 13 men, no women, and a veil of secrecy that he railed against when the Republicans were the minority party.  Here is a quote from Mitch McConnell when he was in Crying Game mode "Major legislation is now routinely drafted not in committee, but in the majority leader's conference room.  Bills should go through committee. He also stated that if Republicans were "fortunate enough to gain the majority, they would"

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival was Awesome

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Shawn and I just returned from the 29th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.  It was a quick two day vacation to Wilmington, DE.  I know Wilmington might not be the destination of choice for many, but it was been decent respite for us the last few years.  Donnell and Mona stayed also.  We hooked up with them for breakfast on Saturday and this morning.  We then had a couple of mimosas before heading back to the regular routine.  I bought Mom Bell some chicken for dinner and picked up a few prescriptions.  I am settling in for Power as I blog.

On Friday we caught the last few sets of the High and Mighty Jazz Band.  They were pretty good.  We then were treated to the first Harmonica playing headliner that I had ever witnessed.  Frederic Yonnet was a great performer.  He got into the music and had the audience swaying along.  He is originally from France and you could tell from his accent.  He communicated very well in English though.  The headliner of Friday night was Marcia Ambrosius. …

Helen V. Boggs: Rest In Peace

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Helen V. Boggs transitioned to be with the Lord on May 22nd, 2017.  It was a Monday morning early.  Her two precious daughters, Kia and Leah, were by her side.  They had the closest bond ever.  Mom Helen had fought a good fight against a terrible illness.  Kia moved her in about a year ago.  She sacrificed time at work to provide the type of care that people pay thousands for.  She has joined Bubbie in heaven and they are probably praying for us now.

I first met Mom Helen when I was 15 years old.  I am now 53 years old.  I had known her almost 40 years.  I loved hanging around Bubbie's.  It was a house full of beautiful women who all had immense talent.  Bubbie was my idol in terms of community development.  She wasn't taking no for an answer when it came to how African Americans should be perceived in our community.  She blazed a path for her children.  I am so glad that she adopted me into the Family.

Mom Helen was an awesome cook.  Her mussels were to die for.  She also ap…

100 Days In the Reign of Trump: Frenetic Falsehoods Abound

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President Trump celebrated 100 days in office yesterday in Harrisburg, PA.  The Commonwealth of PA was key to his victory in the 2016 Presidential election.  He deserved to bask in the glow of his flurry of Executive Orders and measly legislative achievements.  He has signed over 30 Executive Orders.  He was able to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed as a Supreme Court justice after the nuclear option was utilized by the Republican controlled Senate to lower the threshold for a Justice to be nominated to 51 votes from the former 60.  After Gorsuch, it has been mostly tough going for the President.

He has falsely claimed that massive voter fraud kept him from winning the popular vote against Hillary Clinton.  He also falsely claimed that he actually had the largest electoral college margin in recent history. In fact, Donald Trump lost the popular vote in November's presidential election by a larger margin than any other president in U.S. history.  Imagine that.  He also falsely claimed th…

In Search of Jesus Created Many Questions

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I had some hesitancy when it came to watchin 'In Search of Jesus' on CNN.  Sometimes, historical dramas leave out the true representation of the participants of the actual stories being portrayed.  One of my all time favorite Easter movies, the Ten Commandments, had very few people of color that played important roles.  Even Yul Brynner, who played Pharoah, was really a Russian born actor.  Charlton Heston, who portrayed Moses, was an American born actor who was playing a sun burnt Israeli slave. 

It is important for me to understand that the Passover which occurred when the Angel of Death spared the Israelites who placed the Blood of the Lamb over their doorways was a direct foreshadowing of the Life and Death of Jesus Christ.  As we have just finished the Easter Weekend, according to Biblical tradition, Jesus still appeared intermittently to his follower for forty days before ascending permanently into heaven.  We as Christians await his triumphant return one day.  We just…

Happy 75th Birthday William Holmes

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On Sunday I was blessed to be able to attend two events that added to the quality of my life.  I started off the day with Shawn at a 480 East concert.  It was one of the last events of the 2017 Berks Jazz Festival.  It was a beautiful day in Reading, PA.  The day before I had participated in the Philly Spring Clean Up for the 7th time.  Steve Ferguson and I helped to pick up 25 bags of trash just from the intersection of 15th Street between Washington Avenue and Alter Street.  It was an area that had been long neglected.  That Saturday night, Shawn and I went to Appleby's and enjoyed a leisurely dinner together.  Thank God for the Blessing in my life.

We had missed the Berks Jazz Festival for about three years.  Financially tough times dictated a belt tightening that precluded many events that we were used to.  This made me appreciate my life long friendships even more.  William Holmes counts among those Friends.  When I worked at the Redevelopment Authority, some of the Homeys w…

Tragedies in Peru and Colombia are Overshadowed by Trump News

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I read with pain that over 250 people have been killed by mudslides in Colombia over this past weekend.  I was reading with some ambivalence about the growth of the legal marijuana industry in Colombia recently.  This country had scene a brutal drug war take place for years.  Between 1993 and 1999 Colombia became the main producer of coca in the world along with cocaine and one of the major exporters of heroin.  Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel were world renowned he he was considered the richest drug lord in the world.  At the height of its power, the cartel bought in more than $60 million a day.  I am still astounded as to what fueled this industry and its devastating effects.

Both of these countries are struggling to bury dead bodies and to house the homeless.  I have not heard a response from Donald Trump.  I read recently that our one time strong ally, Mexico, is looking for new trade partners because of the rhetoric of our bombastic President.  What do you do when the hous…