Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The Official State Greeting Finally Rings True: It’s a great day in South Carolina

July 9, 2015

Like the old song says, “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Here in Columbia, SC, despite expected high temperatures of 100 degrees, there seems to be a welcoming breeze in the air. People are walking around with shoulders thrown back and heads held high, proud to no longer be the laughing stock of the nation, nay the world. They’re smiling and nodding at people they meet on the sidewalks as if to say, “we did it!” People are pulling out the South Carolina t-shirts and bumper stickers, and once again displaying a sense of pride in this great state. Why the sudden change in attitude? Well at the heart of the matter was a taunting banner that mocked passersby daily. You can read all about it for yourselves right here.

 
Sadly it took the evil massacre of nine people as they worshiped in church to once again thrust the matter into the limelight. And thankfully the deaths of those precious souls were not in vain. Their deaths were the catalyst for something that thousands marching over the years could not accomplish. The South Carolina Senate as a whole is to be commended. They immediately got to the crux of the matter and surprised everyone with the quickness of their decision to have the offending banner removed from the state house grounds. The members of the House of Representatives battled it out, and after over 13 hours of merry-go-round tit-for-tat antics, they finally cast their collective vote to remove that banner. There were several standouts in the House debates, and I would daresay they were a big part of getting the matter resolved:

Best “Had it up to Here” Speech Ever!

Representative Jenny Anderson Horne
In the true rebel spirit, tempered with compassion, Horne broke it down to where
It was cystal clear. She challenged her colleagues to either put up or shut up with the war cry,
“You either care, or you don’t care!”
(Video Credit: YouTube)

Best “I Withdraw my Amendment Speech”

rick quinn
Representative Rick Quinn
His recalling of his own amendment opened the
door to the first glimpse of hope in the
13-hour debate.
(Photo Credit: Quinn’s Twitter Page)

Best “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” Spirit

Gilda Cobb HunterRepresentative Gilda Cobb-Hunter

In the face of ridiculous and pointless objections,
she refused to give up hope. She kept the group focused,
took every opportunity to call for a vote for a bill
to be passed removing that banner from the
state house grounds.
(photo credit: Cobb-Hunter’s Twitter Page)

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Man ordered to take down U.S. flag because it makes Muslims feel threatened

June 20, 2014
Should Muslims be threatened by this flag?   (photo credit:  Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Should Muslims be threatened by this flag? (photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Our great nation is often referred to as a melting pot.  Everyone is invited to enjoy the opportunities America offers.  But when does the hand held high in welcome become bruised from being ungratefully trampled on once more and again?  Well Headline News reported yesterday that Duy Tran, of Texas, was ordered by his apartment complex to remove the U.S. flag from his balcony because it is a “threat to the Muslim community.”

Tran said that he moved into the Lodge on El Dorado Apartments just a couple of days ago.  As he was getting settled in and putting things away, he decided to put up his U.S. flag.  He didn’t fly it on the carefully manicured apartment lawns, or near the centralized pool area.  He draped this flag from his very own personal and private balcony.  (Continue reading full story here.)

Girl to First Lady Obama: my dad’s been out of work three years

April 24, 2014
First Lady Michelle Obama embraces Charlotte Bell after the girl handed Obama her unemployed dad's resume.   (photo credit:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

First Lady Michelle Obama embraces Charlotte Bell after the girl handed Obama her unemployed dad’s resume. (photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Usually it’s the parents who take care of the children, or provide for their needs.  But one spunky little girl may have just gotten her father’s foot in the door somewhere.  Forget LinkedIn, CareerBuilders and all the others.  Charlotte Bell, 10, went straight to one of the highest sources of influence in the land.  Today, a young girl put her out-of-work dad’s resume right smack into the hands of First Lady Michelle Obama.

The surprising, but loving gesture took place earlier this morning in the East Room of the White House.  As a part of Take Our Sons and Daughters To Work Day, executive staffers were allowed to bring their children along to get a glimpse into what their parents do in the normal course of a day’s work at the most well-known employer address on Pennsylvania Avenue.

As part of the program a question-and-answer session was scheduled with First Lady Obama.  It is highly likely that Bell’s mother or some extremely close relative is one of the White House staffers in order for her to have been among the group of children granted exclusive access to this event.

If it is true that opportunity only knocks once, Bell did not hesitate to open the door.  During the meet and greet session, she got up from her seat and handed First Lady Obama her dad’s resume.  She explained that her daddy had been out of work for three years.  According to ABC News, the “first lady seemed taken aback,” and it was a rather “somber” moment.  For her courage, Bell received a gentle embrace from the first lady.

The other kids noticed the quiet exchange and started asking questions about what was going on.  However First Lady Obama told them that it was a private matter and managed to steer the discussion back to less personal issues.  Witnesses reported that at the end of the session First Lady Obama turned back and quickly grabbed the resume off of the table and took it with her.  No promises he will get a job, but if she writes the dad a letter of reference, odds are he is almost guaranteed to get at least get one interview, maybe two or three.

The Locals Count Too!

November 4, 2013

Mayoral CandidatesPhoto on the left courtesy of Sean Raygood and Photo on the right courtesy of Jonathan Sharpe

We all flood out to the national elections and this is a good thing. We have a right to want to participate in electing the person that will serve as the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world. We know that our country will be led by this person for the next four, and possibly eight, years and we want to take a part.

Today I want to remind you to make sure you take that same fervent urgency to the polls tomorrow. Most states will be having some sort of local elections on November 5, 2013. Granted, these are not the big sexy, flashy elections that make the media swoon. Normally you only know about it from short blurbs on the evening news or from those “to the current occupant” letters that a lot of the candidates themselves send out.

But a statement that a candidate made on a radio talk show the other day really gave me pause. He said that while the President does many great things for our country, it is the local politicians that more so affect our day-to-day lives. They are the ones who make the decisions that will affect our water, sewage, trash collection regulations, and many other things. So it is really important for us all to get out and vote in our local city and county elections.

Please go out and vote for your candidates of choice. With that being said I wanted to share this map I found. It’s really neat. You just click on the link here, put in your address and it will give you the district you are in, as well as who your representatives currently are for the South Carolina House, South Carolina Senate, and the Columbia Councilmembers. The elections tomorrow, according to the City of Columbia website are to elect a mayor and three councilmembers.

Let’s make sure all of our friends have this information. And be sure to let us know your experience at the new and improved polls. It promises to be a much more organized affair. Exercise your right to vote because you deserve it. Thank you.

Time To Do Right By Our Military

October 9, 2013

Our Soilders Coming HomePhoto credit:  Courtesy of Defense One

America, to me and the majority of its citizens, will always be the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. A place that is home and stirs the embers of our hearts. Oh of course like any other country we have had and continue to have our ups and downs. Like any family we squabble with our brothers and sisters. I have been angry with, happy for, and sometimes nonchalant about the everyday goings on of this great country. But rarely have I literally hung my head in shame, that is until yesterday.

The details are in this article courtesy of Defense One Newsletter. The first line “Call it a promise placed on hold.” immediately gripped my heart with a what now feeling. The government is already partial shutdown while our two Houses of Congress play tug of war with our livelihoods. All manner of thoughts having to do with the economy, politics, and even scandals ran through my mind. But never in my wildest dreams, or in this case nightmares, did I ever think I would read something as dastardly as this.

I am a product of, and pretty familiar with military life. My father proudly retired from the Army and served two tours in Vietnam. My sister and brother are both Army veterans. And I have many family members and friends in all branches of the military. So from time to time I would hear complaints of some benefit or other that the person who was serving was promised when they enlisted, that over time changed, even though the person serving had completely fulfilled their part of the bargain. Usually it was something like a certain medical procedure, or dental procedure that was no longer covered.

Just as recently as earlier this week I shared a conversation with a retired veteran who is now paying for parts of Tricare that were promised free when she enlisted. I want to go on record as saying that these veterans can’t go back and renegotiate their actions on the field, so neither should their care now be renegotiated after the fact. If financial challenges require cutting back benefits, let those who served under past promises be grandfathered in and new recruits be signed up fully aware of what the terms are now.

As bad as these changes were, I never felt the disgrace slapped harder in the face of our military as when I read the story of these soldiers who gave their lives in service for this country. The soldiers who defend our freedom to even stupidly shut down the government with our partisan shenanigans; these same soldiers’ families were told that our country’s solemn word to care for their families would still hold, but would be delayed. Congress their blood is on your hands for every tear their spouses and children shed. And it will be on ours if we continue to elect such callous, stiff-necked representatives the next time we go to the polling booths.

Any Congressman or woman who is still okay with the shutdown and benefits being “delayed”, please put yourself in these soldiers’ shoes as they flew out of our homeland at peace because the government had their backs and their families would be taken care of. They did not hesitate. When they stepped onto the battlefield and into the line of fire for America, they did not falter, nor did they “delay”. In all good conscience, how can you “delay” their due and sleep well at night?

To the military that are in harm’s way daily, and the families of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, we honor you; our condolences and prayers are with you. We thank you for your services and our hearts are grateful. I hope you don’t even get to see stories like the one above. Just know that we support you and your services. And we will call, write, text, tweet and do everything we can to get Congress to no longer “delay” a key mission and that is “fulfilling President Lincoln’s promise ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan’ by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans”. And may God Bless and guide America.

Senators’ Hard Hearts: An American Farce

April 18, 2013
 Photo Credit:  Doug Mills/The New York Times

Photo Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Shame, Shame, Shame on the Senate of the United States of America. Against the hard brick wall of partisan blocking, President Obama brought out the big “guns” (so to speak) of almost the only thing sure to turn hearts of stone into human hearts: the eyes of those who had lost loved ones in the Newtown Massacre. And believe it or not, the Senate didn’t blink. They stood their ground against all reason. Read, and please remember come election time, how your Senator voted. Did he/she vote in a way that really represents what you believe in?

The Senate trampled through the salty puddles of tears from the combined families with weak excuses like: continue reading more

My Stomach Sank Just A Little

May 10, 2012

Update:  On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex unions are now to be recognized as legal marriages in all 50 states. This original blog below expressed my thoughts three years ago when it was up to individual states to decide the legality of it all. It even more so reflects my feelings now that it has become the law of the land, and I feel compelled to post it again. Thank you.

“My stomach sank just a little”. These were the words spoken by a pastor Wednesday evening after President Barack Obama infamously became the first sitting American President to support same-sex marriage. I have to admit that these words also come very close to describing the tightening feeling knotted in my own gut the moment I heard the President’s interview. I’ll tell you why. continue reading

July 4th Reflections on the Confederate Flag

July 4, 2011

July 4th stands for freedom and independence.  Upon reflection, those who favor the Confederate flag flying on the State Capitol grounds of Columbia, South Carolina, do have this right.  But why in the name of compassion and empathy would they want to?

The Confederate Flag is a banner that yet waves over the State Capitol grounds of Columbia, South Carolina.  It has been waving since 1962. It is time that the proud citizens of Columbia, South Carolina, take down the Confederate Flag.  Columbia’s city slogan is “Famously Hot”.  South Carolinians should be hot about this embarrassment hanging over our city.

Many people in favor of keeping this flag flying argue that it is a part of history, and as such, should not be forgotten, or removed.  This, however, is a part of history that is nothing to be proud of. Continue reading more

South Carolina….Not Again!!!

September 10, 2009

I am horrified and appalled by the fact that Congressman Wilson is following in the steps of Gov. Sanford and bringing shame upon our great State. No matter his feelings, there is a time and place for everything. He disrepected our State, the Congress, Continue reading more

What the 2009 Inaugaration Means to Me

January 4, 2009

To me, this inauguration means don’t give up.  It means for all of the outrageous taxes, seemingly insurmountable bills,  and dead-end jobs masquerading as careers that I / We endure, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading more