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If you’re like me, you hate to see anyone being mistreated.  If you’re REALLY like me, you hate to see almost ANY living creature (with a special minus on a select few) being mistreated as well.

As such, I am as upset over the recent immigration scandal as anyone else.  However, what really makes me upset is when people become selectively distraught by the sufferings of some while willfully ignoring the sufferings of others.

What do I mean?

It is of a truth that Jewish communities are allowed and even encouraged to remember the misdeeds of one Adolf Hitler.  According to history, he targeted them for destruction over a period of approximately 5 years.  We can safely assume that he is hated by all Jewish persons and, furthermore, that others are taught to revile him as well.

To that end, the Holocaust is taught in detail at every learning institution; at least one film is produced every year recounting their mistreatment; and (and this is the best part) even though they have recovered (quite handsomely, I might add) in the form of a homeland (Israel) and the amassing of extreme wealth, and social and political influence, Hitler remains atop history’s most hated villains list.

Conversely, African Americans, who were kidnapped from their homeland, enslaved in a foreign land, raped, murdered, pillaged, bred like animals and violated in every aspect of their lives, are directed to do the opposite of what Jewish persons are allowed (and even instructed) to do.  Instead of being encouraged to remember (even though it’s impossible to forget an ongoing saga) their historical mistreatment at the hands of an entire race of people (not just one man), African Americans are instructed not to relive their obvious and no less disturbing suffering.  And they are admonished for doing otherwise.

In fact, African Americans, unlike any other group, have to feign adjustment and affection for a hostile political and social system or risk being accused of being hate-filled, unable to move on from the past, and/or of using their history as slaves as an excuse for any lack of success; all of this despite the fact that they continue to reside in the land of their former slavemasters and must continually battle for basic human rights (or even to be left alone to live and work in peace) even in 2018.

If African Americans even discuss (much less make a movie about) the Transatlantic Slave Trade or any of the vestiges of racism, they are shunned.  They are attacked by all sides, even some of their own who think only of their own finances and not the fate of their people.  And on that note, to date, this is the only group that has received no monetary reparations for either their suffering or, in many cases, their contributions to the American economy, history or society.  Never mind that other races of people have received monetary reparations and apologies for race-related misdeeds, if they argue for it, they are just lazy and want something for nothing.

Today, in the face of continued racism, African Americans are supposed to and expected to abandon their own fight for justice to champion the battle that Mexicans and other people of color are experiencing against the same regime that destroyed and oppressed them…in spite of the fact that many of these other people have been, for the most part, silent for the plight of black people.

African Americans are expected to do this even though these same groups of people did nothing to assist them at the height of their mistreatment and, even worse, spoke out against their attempts to redress the balance and pursue justice.

It must be asked: where was the outrage for black people being murdered in the streets, and thus separated from their families by a bit more than a cell wall?  Where was the understanding that the system was flawed and actively working against a group of people to protect the interests of white supremacy?  And where were the unity, calls to action and cries for accountability just a few months ago, when white America was openly complaining that their rights were infringed upon because black people finally understood that their lives mattered?

Do the people who have been calling for assistance and compassion this entire time look like the bad guys in this scenario?  Does it make other peoples of color who are experiencing race related mistreatment the bad guys?  God forbid.  Instead, it should shine an ugly, historical light on the peoples—the same peoples—who are once again destroying the lives of yet another group of people (and people of color I might add).

Can anybody hear me?

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For some reason, my emotions have been up and down all month long no matter how much I’ve attempted to concentrate.  It feels like I’ve spent more time focused on being unfocused than I have on refocusing.  Hopefully, that makes sense.

Unfortunately, this blog very much reflects my temporary struggle.  So, my blog for this month, is essentially a blog about a blog that almost didn’t happen.

You see, I didn’t want to write that I feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time, even though that is exactly how I’m feeling.  I didn’t want to write about feeling sad and happy at the same time, even though that would be accurate as well.  Finally, I didn’t want to write that I feel tired and anxious for fear that you probably would not understand, think I was whining or just plain not care.  It just didn’t seem right to blog about feeling like a ball of contradictions.  I mean, I’m aware that everybody feels one or the other of these emotions at any given moment.  But, right now, all of them seem to be competing for attention in the pit of my stomach.

You might be more than a little curious as to how I can feel what seems like conflicting emotions simultaneously?  Don’t worry, I am too.

Despite all that, I decided, at the last minute, to go against my original thoughts and write down every word…regardless of how whiny or confused it may have sounded.

And you know what?  It felt good.

It felt good to admit I was, to quote the song, a ball of confusion.  It was freeing, almost like a release.

However, with that release, I fully understood that I need to either explain myself at some point or be indefinitely relegated to the whiner’s hall of fame.

And since I didn’t want that dubious honor, that knowledge created more stress and an even bigger problem for me.  In fact, it took me right back to the beginning, when I almost didn’t write this blog in the first place.

The problem was simple.  I didn’t want to have to explain myself.  I didn’t want to feel obligated to explain how I can feel all of these emotions at the same time because, I didn’t know if I could.  I didn’t know if I could properly convey on paper what I felt in my head and in my heart.

So, not writing anything down at all seemed like a real solution.  If I didn’t write anything down, there wouldn’t be an issue.  Problem solved, right?

Wrong!

Wrong and more wrong!  You know why?  Because the issues would still be there regardless.

But like I said, after writing it all down, I felt a weight lifted from me almost immediately. It slowly dawned on me that, as crazy as all of this seems, that I’m not alone.  Sadly (or happily as the case may be), somebody out there knows exactly what I’m feeling/talking about.

Somebody out there feels overwhelmed and underwhelmed, happy and sad, tired and anxious, old and young, encouraged and discouraged, fearless and afraid, hot and cold, smart and dumb, loved and unloved, sure and unsure, all at the same time.

And, here’s the thing, that’s okay.  That’s perfectly okay!!  It’s just another aspect of life that people don’t talk about or don’t LIKE to talk about because they want to appear as always together, always sane, and always normal.  But the irony is, if we are honest with ourselves, we can all attest that ‘normal’ can be extremely overrated or underrated just the same…and at the same time.

Can anybody hear me?

When asked to define “home,” most people will agree that their home is where they are most comfortable and feel most relaxed.  In fact, they often volunteer unsolicited information about items within their home that maximize their comfort level.

From leather recliners to chaise loungers, everyone has that one piece of furniture that puts them most at ease.   Even with differing taste in furnishings, varying size of the homes etc., the dwellings still promote the same feelings of security and pleasure to the owner ​regardless of social standing.

Interestingly enough, during these discussions, most people never mention putting anything in their home that makes them feel uncomfortable or unappreciated.  In fact, even with limited funding, most people go out of their way to make their homes their sanctuaries.

That same need for security within your home is also needed when you exit said home for work or play and, when properly in place, promotes overall health/wellness.  And most people would acknowledge this.  After all, we have laws and rules on the books to protect people from “hostile working environments.”  However, this basic and often taken for granted level of comfort is routinely denied to black people in the United States everyday, resulting in a very different and difficult life for blacks compared to their white counterparts.

If it isn’t harrowing enough, not knowing if law enforcement will see you as a criminal today as a direct result of your skin color,  hairdo, or outfit, you have to contend with walking passed innumerable statues and shrines that pay homage to the slave masters (both past & present) of your people.

Blacks in the US have no choice but to attend institutions that bear the names of the same individuals who not only enslaved their people but who fought then and whose followers fight now to have them remain slaves in some fashion and listen to the cries and murmurings of those who wish to celebrate that legacy of barbarism under the guise of maintaining the integrity of history and tradition.

What’s even more amazing, if possible, is that this particular level of insensitivity has flown under the radar in a country such as the US, which claims religious, cultural and moral superiority over other countries with differing religions, gods, languages, etc. Yet, somehow, from members of Congress to ordinary individuals on the streets, so many people believe it’s okay for blacks to live with the reminders of these and other atrocities every single day.  Not only that, but if blacks bring these points up in any sort of conversation, those on the other side claim that THEY are the ones being persecuted for being who they are and that it is black people who are oppressing them because of their whiteness.

With all of that being the case, I don’t find it a quantum leap to conclude that black people are being told through situations—such as the excused, if not celebrated, murders of blacks by law enforcement officials, as well as the continued overlooked acts of daily cruelty, as discussed above—that the United States is not their home.  If it were, the individuals who run this country and who are in positions of authority in this country would own up to the truth about its history of flagrant mistreatment of black people.  They would make reparations to them, as other nations guilty of genocide and enslavement in the modern era have to their victims.  They would make every effort to ensure the comfort of ALL the nation’s inhabitants and not just a few.  In other words, they would do everything in their power to make sure blacks Americans would “feel” at home in America.

Not tolerated…and certainly not like they should feel grateful for the consequences of the enslavement that cut them off from their native lands and history.

But at HOME…right HERE.

The cultural differences of blacks would be nurtured and celebrated the same as other cultures of people within the US.  Perhaps there would even be areas of town set aside for the advancement and encouragement of black pride and business, which would be especially important for a group of people who arrived to the US on slave ships as opposed to other groups of people, such as the Chinese and Indians, who arrived in the US of their own volition and with their memories and histories intact.  To be clear, I’m not disparaging them.  I’m trying to make a point.

So, let’s think about it.

What is the underlying message to black people, who continue to be disrespected, murdered in the streets by law enforcement and forced to endure daily cruelty at work, rest or play?

What CAN it be?

America is making it loud and clear that this land is not your home.  If it were, at the very least, the same attention to detail currently in place to make other cultures feel at home when they choose America as their new home would be extended to black people who didn’t choose America in the first place, but had it forced upon them.

To recap, when you are at home, you feel welcomed…not alienated.  You feel at peace, not that little concern is being shown for the continued damage to your spiritual, emotional, physical, psychological and financial capability.

Can anybody hear me?

Alright, I have no choice.

I finally have to accept the fact that I have a problem.  Actually, if I’m being honest, I’ve had this problem as long as I can remember.  However, by now, I had hoped it would be solved or that I would have simply grown out of it.

You see, unlike some (read: most) of the people I grew up with who seemed to have everything figured out, I never did.  While they knew from approximately eight years of age that they wanted to become a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a preacher, a writer, an artist, a pecan tree, or whatever, I was struggling with . . . acne, knock knees, and everything else.

While they pretended to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, writers, artists, etc., even during times reserved for play such as recess, I was trying to figure out where I fit in in the scheme of things.

While they seemed to eat and drink what they expected and accepted to be their life’s work (and have a damn good time of it), I was wondering if I would ever be chosen as a teammate and not just relegated to the team that was unlucky enough to get stuck with me.

While some of my peers were planning what high school, college, fraternity, and sorority they would join, I was struggling to understand slang along with wondering if I would ever speak publicly without stuttering.

While they were planning when they would marry and how many children they would have, I was still wanting and playing with Teddy bears and dolls.

Basically, where they had certainty and callings, I had distraction and confusion.  Some refer to this clarity as knowledge of their assignment in life.  And as I looked at them go about their callings, my question always was, when would I discover my own assignment?

I was normal, I guess.  I played house.  I pretended to have a family with children.  I pretended to have a spouse.  I pretended to be a doctor, a lawyer, a preacher, a teacher, a writer, an artist, etc. Sometimes, I even had fun.

But, none of the careers stuck with me… or maybe, I didn’t stick with any of them.  It seems that as quickly as I became interested in any subject, I became equally and just as quickly disinterested.  Why?

Why did this keep happening?  And where was that blinding certainty of action?

Maybe, if I had struggled through school or a particular subject, something would have jumped out at me.  However, I seemed to do just well enough in each subject without any real commitment that nothing ever screamed at me “do this, dummy!”

So, day after day (or year after year, I guess you could say), I was waiting for something in my life to stand out.  But alas, nothing ever did.  Ever.  So, I’m left envying people who have a clear calling.  I’m left wondering why I never received such a calling myself.

Perhaps my head is too hard or my hearing too weak.  Perhaps, I am ignoring my calling because it isn’t fancy or lucrative.  Perhaps, I need to meditate or pray harder.  I don’t really know.

What I do know is that something odd is happening.

All my friends who grew up with clear purpose and who followed their respective dreams from childhood keep soliciting my opinions, input, and advice regarding their lives, their children, their spouses, etc.  And, if that isn’t crazy enough, they all seem to value my humble opinion.

While I’m walking around frustrated with no real focus and with no clear idea of what to do with myself, my friends, the doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, writers, artists, etc. are all asking me (and often, exhausting me) with the weight of their problems.  What does it all mean?  What could it possibly mean?  A clue?

Can anybody hear me?

To impeach or not to impeach Donald Trump, that is the question.  And, honestly, I hope the answer to this unfortunate but very real question comes a lot sooner than later.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not some ranting nut job.  I know that impeachment is a big deal.  It requires a lot of steps, meetings, testimonies, hearings and enough evidence to all but bury most legal departments in paperwork for years.  Impeaching the President of the United States just can’t happen in a day.  Simply stated, it’s a process.

Sadly, this isn’t my first experience with U.S. impeachment proceedings.  I am old enough to remember the impeachment of Richard Nixon/the Watergate scandal as well as the more recent impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Note to history buffs, while I am also fully aware that President Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached in U.S. history, I am, in fact, NOT old enough to have been around for that one.

Still, I must confess that seeing Nixon impeached and kicked out of office while Bill Clinton was also impeached but allowed to remain in office puzzled me a bit.  I know, I know, it’s two different proceedings but…still seemed a little weird to me.  Nevertheless, even though I disagreed with the process and the resulting outcome, I learned to deal with it and keep it moving.  But, I digress.

My point is that since Donald Trump is probably going to be impeached anyway, why not do it expeditiously?!  By expeditiously, I mean well before​ he does anymore damage, sends out anymore tweets, meets with additional heads of state or embarrasses the United States any more than he already has!

Think about it!  Starting the proceedings now would save so much trouble.  There would be no more outlandish and ghoulish facial expressions​ to scrutinize or poke fun at.  There would be no more threats of war due to the pushing and shoving of dignitaries that he feels are too unimportant to even be courteous to.  There would be no more embarrassment at having your president caught not wearing a headset for translation purposes during meetings with foreign dignitaries, despite the fact that he does not speak/read or understand their language.  There would be no more splitting Secret Service details between two states because he and his family expected special treatment.  There would be no extravagant weekend jaunts for the taxpayers to foot the bill for.  There would be no more hints of improprieties during FBI investigations or of collusion with foreign leaders.  All of that could stop right now.

Right??

Why wait?

Why wait until the poor are completely railroaded and totally without basic necessities such as insurance or much needed social programs?  Why wait until seniors return to eating cat food out of desperation and hunger?  Why wait​ until orphanages are overrun with Hispanic children because their parents have all been deported?  Why wait until missiles are fired as acts of war rather than “routine testing.”  By then, it will be too late.  The situation will be far too catastrophic for any incoming president to fix!

And truthfully, haven’t we already seen enough of Trump to know where he is going and in which direction he is taking this country?  Why wait until he totally destroys it?

I say, impeach him today!!  May as well get it over with.  After all, it is inevitable at this point.  Why prolong the agony?  Why allow him to waste more taxpayer money?  I say, save the time, the money and the headache.  Impeach Donald Trump today!  It’s the kinder, gentler thing to do.

Can anybody hear me?

Ok, I keep hearing over and over that the country is more divided than ever, usually in the context of blaming former President Obama for recognizing that he was black or Trump for attacking minorities.  But, let’s be honest here, the country has always been divided.  At no time in its relatively short history has it ever been a united nation where equality ruled.  Its very foundation is built on human suffering and taking advantage of others.  The truth is, Black, Negro, African-American peoples have been fighting for Human Rights in the United States since stepping off slave ships in the 1600s.

Amazingly, in 2017, Black, Negro, African-American peoples are still dealing with racial barriers in a country they have built and occupied since their enslavement.  Why on earth would anybody, from those individuals who are newly arriving in the US to others whose oppression wasn’t as visible or continuous, believe that their specific issues will be or should be dealt with first?

It is obvious that other races of people now experiencing unfair treatment as guests in the US are either convinced that Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are satisfied and lazy or else are totally unaware of 400 years of their own mistreatment.

And now, instead of assisting Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans with their obvious and continuous fight for basic human rights, these other, now targeted groups/races of people either jumped on the bandwagon with the oppressor of Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans or pretend that they don’t notice the racial disparities that exist in the country that they chose to inhabit.

Perhaps if they had joined the ongoing struggle of the Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans, when it was only against Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans, maybe they would have avoided their starring role as criminal targets today.

They never considered that Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans didn’t come here willingly like they did.  They never considered that the very structure of America demands that someone be a permanent servant class.  They never considered that, even if they came in search of a better life than what they received in their homelands, they at least knew where they came from.  They also decided where they were going.  Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are called African but, if they were dropped off in the continent of Africa, they wouldn’t know where to go.  Truth is, Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are more familiar with the US than they will ever be with the continent they are labeled by.  And even here, they have never been welcome outside of the plantation.

So now, Hispanics, Muslims, individuals of Middle Eastern descent now find themselves the target of unfair treatment.  Now they are the bad guys!  They are the immigrants being targeted.  According to white America, if a wall is built keeping them out, crime in the US will diminish.  Like never before, US citizens fear being injured if they are allowed to stay or even worse if they are deported.

And now that they are the targets, they expect Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans to come to their aid and speak out on their behalf?

Have you noticed that no one is discussing building a wall in order to block Italians from entering the US?  No one suggests that all the criminal behavior, murders, racketeering at the hand of known Mafioso’s might be impacted.  We will never know.  That’s because they are welcomed.  In fact, all white skinned immigrants are welcomed into the United States without restriction.

Did the new arrivals totally miss that the US refuses to even acknowledge that racism is still very much alive?  They didn’t see that the country would rather address Women’s issues and issues facing the LBGT community than deal with 400+ years of the dehumanization of Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans—gay, straight, male and female?  What, did they think hard work would put them in good graces?  Did they think that they, in the last few decades worked any harder than Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans who built this country?  What did they really expect?

So, my advice is to take a number!  They’ve already missed their chance to take a stand.

Can anyone hear me?

I don’t know about you but, I do the same thing at the end of every year!  Unfortunately, this includes waxing a little sad.  You see, it’s that time again.  It’s time for me to review the outgoing year, with as much honesty as I can muster!!  From the negative to the positive, I try to take an objective look in my mirror and assess what I have accomplished, who I have hurt, what I could have done better, etc!!

Yes, I said “try” because all you can do is try.  Mind you, I don’t beat up on myself or anything like that.  But, if I am minimally honest, I normally need to issue at least two to three apologies!

With any luck, the recipients will be unreachable!  LOL!

In the event that they are reachable, I contact them and just get it over with as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, apologies don’t come easy for me.  I guess if we are even remotely honest, not many people like to apologize.  We’d rather be the recipient of an apology.  However, I have found out it can be very medicinal, humbling and cleansing to your soul.

I try to tread lightly since I never know how the recipient of my apology is going to respond. Sometimes, the recipient didn’t even anticipate an apology from me at all.  Sometimes, I have to remind the individual of what happened and why I am apologizing—which somewhat diminishes either my remaining guilt or the impact of the groveling.  Other times, they are extremely grateful because I took the lead.  Occasionally, my apology is not accepted.

Sometimes, the individual I contact owes me an apology too.  Sometimes—if I’m very lucky—they reciprocate.  Sometimes—more often than not—they don’t.   Sometimes a friendship is saved.  Sometimes, a relationship is lost.  Whatever the outcome, I try to remember that I am only responsible for my half of any relationship.

So, I do it.  I apologize.  I do this not because I am a martyr, but because I just gotta be happy with myself.  I guess my reasons for apologizing are somewhat selfish.  You see, I gotta be able to respect who I am.  I gotta be able to close out yet another year without dragging the old year into the new one.  I gotta be able to close out the year without further ado and without regrets.

At the end of the day, I wanna be able to look in that mirror—gotta be able to look into that mirror—so, at the very least, I can review the coming year with less and less to apologize for.  Maybe next year, I’ll be calling just to say Hello!

Can anybody hear me?

Insurance, insurance, insurance.

These days, there are so many insurance choices available that they seem to cover EVERY possible issue that may arise in your life.  There’s Whole or Term Life Insurance, Death Insurance, Auto/Motorcycle/Boat Insurance, Home Owner’s Insurance, Mortgage Insurance, Renter’s Insurance and a host of others.  Even if you own a spaceship, there is undoubtedly a policy out there to insure it.  You may not be able to afford it, but it’s out there.

The trouble with having so many insurance options presented, however, is that the rules, as well as the differing levels of coverage that exist from state to state, are, for the most part, profoundly unclear.  And, if you aren’t up to date on the constantly changing procedures, you can quickly become overwhelmed and/or be cheated out of a lot of money due to unnecessary or overlapping coverage.

If that isn’t enough, even if you manage to pay the fees and avoid the pitfalls, the insurance companies have other ways to cheat you.  For instance, you can pay full monthly premiums for life insurance for 30+ years only to turn 74 or 75 years of age and have your insurance benefits suddenly cut in half.  That’s right.  Despite being up to date on your premiums, you are not safe!  Apparently, the reality of your possible death and/or associated withdrawal of monies from an insurance company is just too much for them to handle.

So, incredibly, insurance companies are legally able to cut your benefits without any explanation or legitimate reason!

Things like age and uncovered illnesses (the parameters of which are, of course, determined by the insurance company) can easily get you a fast trip to the poor house.    Even with some covered illnesses, the copays and deductibles can decide and/or limit care options.  On some level, simply not having any insurance at all does away with the stress of dealing with unexpected costs and forms.  But then, you have to bear the weight of the full costs of treatment, which—as has been seen with antibiotics for cancer patients and the Epi-Pen—are artificially high in the first place.  You lose one source of problems only to fall into an entirely different set.  You just can’t win.

And it’s not just health insurance either.  Likewise, you can pay for Auto Insurance only to be penalized or even dropped by the insurance company for using it.  They accept payments from you month after month, year after year but, once you call them with a problem in need of service, your coverage is in jeopardy.

Again, the law of the land dictates that the insurance company has all the power.  Thus, they are well within their rights to alter or cancel your contract!

So we, the consumer, are truly at the mercy of the insurance company.   We, the consumer, are tasked to pay for insurance but never use it or risk expulsion.

As such, those of us who actually have insurance do everything in our power to avoid using the service that we are paying for.  To dodge excessive fees or hassle, we find ways to ignore health problems or patch things up on our own, which is not only ridiculous, but the very opposite of why insurance exists.

Could you imagine the power company dropping your service because you demand electricity at night?  Or, the gas company cancelling your contract because you asked for too much heat during the winter?

We need to band together as a society to force our representatives/government to step in and regulate insurance companies.  As it stands, they are the only ones benefitting.  Can anybody hear me?

There are literally dozens of websites dedicated to finding one’s ancestors.  In fact, new sites are popping up every day.

This, of course, works out well for anyone wanting to find out about their lineage.  People can easily see if they really are the descendants of royalty and well-known explorers.

As an added bonus, long lost living relatives/friends can be located as well.

Here’s my problem:  It’s wonderful to see those people on TV who have tearful reunions with their loved ones, but what about the long lost relatives/friends who want to remain just that, long lost?  What about individuals in witness protection programs, or rape victims, etc., who purposely don’t want to be found?

What recourse do they have?

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.  You can certainly understand why SOME people may not want to be located.  However, there is probably a lot less understanding for individuals who never endured a particularly traumatic situation but still do not want to be located by family members/friends in search of them.

I am a firm believer that most people are in contact with the family members/friends that they actually want to be in contact with.  The ones that have dropped off are, most often, intentionally cast aside.  For example, we may have stopped answering their calls until they stopped calling, changed our phone numbers, moved without a forwarding address, or simply stopped opening the door.  It seems pretty obvious that the honeymoon is officially over.

Okay, okay…every now and then there is that someone who fell through the cracks.  Somehow, you lost contact with them and, consequently, you don’t mind being located/reunited with/by them.

But, for the most part, we all have relatives we deliberately avoid, like Uncle Bill and Aunt Sue.  Their publicly unhappy marriage being on display at every family function you can remember was only part of the impetus.  Their rowdy offspring, tendency to pilfer things out of your home when you aren’t looking, inability to repay loans and startling lack of accountability were also factors.

Ironically, or maybe just annoyingly, these are the family members that don’t allow you to get away.  They show up at every family reunion, so you end up not attending just so you can avoid them.  Unfortunately, some innocents get caught in the cross-hairs.  The alternative is that everyone goes from quiet avoidance to pistols at dawn.

So, for the sake of peace—your peace—it is what it is.

Can anybody hear me?

Donald Trump

Love him or hate him; call him a racist; call him rude and/or obnoxious!

But, before you call him anything else, know this:  There is a real possibility that, someday soon, you may indeed be calling him Mr. President.

What does that really say about this country?

If you were anything like me, you laughed your head off when Donald Trump announced that he was considering a run for the presidency.

Back then, you thought an ice cube had a better chance of surviving in Hell then Donald Trump had of winning a primary much less a possible nomination.

Fast forward to today and he is actually a serious contender!  Do you believe it?

Most of us who have lived with and through the painful history of this country never thought we would live long enough to see the United States go full circle and end up right back to where it started from 60 years ago, with boycotts, rioting in the street for human rights and unjustified police killings in 2015-16?

What happened?  Where did all the well-meaning and post-racial folks go?

Could it be that once the curtain is closed on the voting booth their true feelings are expressed, with both their friends and their politically correct selves that espouse love and freedom for all publicly none the wiser?

With all the talk about wanting to end racism, reverse racism, bigotry, discrimination, hatred, etc. that everyone from pastors to politicians’ talks about, how can someone like Donald Trump be the frontrunner for president?  I’m not saying that the other contenders are any better for the job or that their viewpoints are any different from Donald Trump’s but, at least they exercise some restraint.  They at least care enough to lie.

After all, who’s going to know?

One thing is for sure, Donald Trump cannot be voting for himself.  He cannot continuously maintain a commanding lead without the participation of a lot of individuals who have publicly displayed disdain for him while privately supporting his (and perhaps their own) agenda.  What, more than anything, does THAT say about the current state of America?

Can anybody hear me?