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24 June 2017 @ 10:51 am
An interesting little article written last October:


I wondered why I occasionally kept getting likes on that old tweet.
18 June 2017 @ 01:09 pm
Hi. I know I should be posting something inspirational about dads today, but I've kind of gotten out of the LJ habit--I mostly live on Twitter these days. I know there aren't many who check in here anymore, and anyway, I'm just not feeling it.

My Dad is of course still around and my Mom too, and they're together and still able to live in their own house for the time being. My Dad has been an immense help to her with her recent several months between hospital and therapy. He's almost never left her side. And now they're both back home in a place where the world seems more familiar, regardless if it's the best place for either of them. But who's to decide, as long as they're happy?

I think of how my own body seems to be failing over one issue or another, and have come to realize that I probably didn't get very many longevity genes from either one of them. Time will tell.

I just wish we hadn't grown so far apart in ideologies--political differences that I would be glad to just leave out of our conversations forever, but that Mom especially in her increased stubbornness wants to revisit and clash over, in infinitum. Thankfully they at least have the presence of mind to not delve into such things during our Friday phone calls.

I wish I could have the depth of feeling for my parents that I know many others have, or say they have. If it was just ideological differences, that would be easy to overlook. But it's more about them not wanting to take an interest in much of anything that is important to me or my wife, it's them tainting an otherwise amicable visit over Mom preaching to me about Trump and how much of God's messenger he is, then before I can open my mouth stating that they don't want to hear anything from me about how I might disagree. Gawd, when I think back of how much they hated Obama then accused us of liking him in spite of how supposedly evil he was. She will never realize how much she has permanently poisoned our relationship in their twilight years, and it's difficult to forgive Dad for letting her rant on about things, doing nothing to stop her or to try to interject any form of moderation which might not let a visit end on such an incredibly sour note.

Then I remember how old they both are, that Mom especially has been through so much, that they didn't used to be this way, and that Dad by himself can be a pretty sweet person although increasingly vulnerable and prone to despair. I still love them too much to ever tell them that I've become an atheist. It would absolutely devastate them. I know that honesty is the best policy, but there is also something to be said for being merciful and saving them the pain of knowing something that they simply don't have the capacity to understand, something that would kill them from the inside.

In my own complicated way I still love them. I'm still thankful for my Mom and my Dad, for raising me right, for being there in every stage of my life. My streak of individuality and not being afraid to follow my dreams and work toward them--that came from them. They were always there to encourage me in whatever I wanted to try, even when I was still so unsure of what I wanted to pursue.

There is no perfect Dad. But there are the ones in our lives, our parents, our friends, our loves, who having been there have helped to shape our lives and our memories and have made us the people we are.
by Pastor John Pavlovitz

I remember the day after the Election, a friend of mine who happens to be white, remarked on social media that he “finally wasn’t embarrassed of America and our President.”

I sprained my eyes rolling them and they have never fully recovered.

Since then I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by more white folks than I can count, especially in recent months; supposed relief at once again having a leader who instills pride.

Since I don’t have the time to ask each of the[m] individually, I’ll ask here:

So, you were embarrassed for the past 8 years, huh?


What exactly were you embarrassed by?

Were you embarrassed by his lone and enduring twenty-five year marriage to a strong woman he’s never ceased to publicly praise, respect, or cherish?

Were you embarrassed by the way he lovingly and sweetly parented and protected his daughters?

Were you embarrassed by his Columbia University degree in Political Science or his graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School?

Maybe you were embarrassed by his white American and Black Kenyan parents, or the diversity he was raised in as normal?

Were you embarrassed by his eloquence, his quick wit, his easy humor, his seeming comfort meeting with both world leaders and street cleaners; by his bright smile or his sense of empathy or his steadiness—perhaps by his lack of personal scandals or verbal gaffes or impulsive tirades?

No. Of course you weren’t.

Honestly, I don’t believe you were ever embarrassed. That word implies an association that brings ridicule, one that makes you ashamed by association, and if that’s something you claim to have experienced over the past eight years by having Barack Obama representing you in the world—I’m going to suggest you rethink your word choice.

You weren’t “embarrassed” by Barack Obama.
You were threatened by him.
You were offended by him.
You were challenged by him.
You were enraged by him.

But I don’t believe it had anything to do with his resume or his experience or his character or his conduct in office—because you seem fully proud right now to be associated with a three-time married, serial adulterer and confessed predator; a man whose election and business dealings and relationships are riddled with controversy and malfeasance. You’re perfectly fine being represented by a bullying, obnoxious, genitalia-grabbing, Tweet-ranting, Prime Minister-shoving charlatan who’s managed to offended [sp] all our allies in a few short months. And you’re okay with him putting on religious faith like a rented, dusty, ill-fitting tuxedo and immediately tossing it in the garbage when he’s finished with it.

None of that you’re embarrassed of? I wonder how that works.

Actually, I’m afraid I have an idea. I hope I’m wrong.

Listen, you’re perfectly within your rights to have disagreed with Barack Obama’s policies or to have taken issue with his tactics. No one’s claiming he was a flawless politician or a perfect human being. But somehow I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here. I think the thing President Obama did that really upset you, white friend—was having a complexion that was far darker than you were ever comfortable with. I think the President we have now feels much better.

Because objectively speaking, if what’s happening in our country right now doesn’t cause you great shame and doesn’t induce the continual meeting of your palm to your face—I don’t believe embarrassment is ever something you struggle with.

No, if you claimed to be “embarrassed” by Barack Obama but you’re not embarrassed by Donald Trump—I’m going to strongly suggest it was largely a pigmentation issue.

And as an American and a Christian committed to diversity and equality and to the liberty at the heart of this nation—that, embarrasses me.
An article from "The Hill" The text below...

What does Memorial Day mean to you? Is it a day off work, time spent grilling with family and friends? A day to grab the hottest discounts on cars and electronics — perhaps a needed new mattress? Or maybe a day to catch a game and enjoy a cold one or two?

It seems over the years Memorial Day has come to represent the luxuries of western society, and the best sales since Presidents Day. Retailers are more than willing to give the American public just what they want — sales.

However, for those of us who have served, and the families of those who did not come home, it is anything but a retail holiday. Memorial Day to us is a somber day of remembrance. It is a day to honor the ultimate sacrifice so many of our brothers and sisters in arms have made for this exceptional nation. To remember this country was founded — and kept secure — by the blood of patriots. Men and women who’ve heeded the call to stand the ramparts and defend all that we hold dear: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The day was first observed after the Civil War and known as Decoration Day. Businesses closed and communities came together in a day of honor and remembrance. They decorated the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers. They set time aside, one and all, to honor those who fought for freedom. In 1971, this long-standing tradition was recognized as a federal holiday meant as a time for our nation to come together as one and recognize the cost of freedom.

To many, Memorial Day has come to signify the start of summer and a well-deserved three-day weekend. For the families who have lost a loved one, and those who've lost a comrade in arms to the ravages of war, it is a day of honor and reaffirming the promise to not let their sacrifice have been in vain.

It is a day in which we laugh at their antics, stand tall with honor for having them in our lives, and cry — for they are no longer with us. We are proud to carry on their memory and do so at one of the thousands of Memorial Day events around this great land, or at one of the thousands of cemeteries at which they now lay at rest.

Sure, we will enjoy a family cookout and a cold one, but we should also set time aside to honor our fallen. Memorial Day to us is a somber day, a happy and prideful day. These great warriors filled our lives and sacrificed everything to ensure we sleep peacefully at night under the protective blanket of freedom they helped provide.

So, on May 29th, take your loved ones to a Memorial Day event, or place the Stars and Stripes on the gravesite of an American military service member, or set time aside to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made to ensure we remain the land of the free.

Cliff Sosamon is a 2014 Congressional Commendation Award recipient and the executive director of Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. HCC empowers veterans to define their next mission through education, mentorship and community service.