Running Scared

So let me start by asking each of you a question.  Remember when you started a new job? Maybe you remember getting laid off from a job and having to start over?  Maybe you just made a choice to start over in a brand new field, doing something you have never done before?  If you can remember any one of those scenarios, you will understand my reaction to the Senate hearings for the chosen candidates in the President-elect’s cabinet.  You know what I hear listening to the politicians questioning the non-polictical candidates?  Condescending attitudes screaming at me from their benches.  For me all they care about is keeping the status quo.  Sure they know all the rules and regulations that have been put into place on the Federal level.  Sure they have read everything about those rules, but they also haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping the country in check and balances.  Most of them have been doing the same job for years.  Many have no idea what their latest constituents think or feel.  Everything is beaucratic and red tape for every little dollar spent by the states.  The current political system of representatives just keep pushing the paper and expecting the entire nation to follow the rules according to what is already written.  Well I think Mr. Trump was elected because he listened to many Americans who are screaming for years that the rules that are written aren’t working!

And so the trouble begins.  The current politicians are giving such a hard time to the newcomers.  They are putting them on the hot seat during these sessions expecting these entry level candidates to be as well read into the book of rules as they are.  Why?  Isn’t an entry level position in an Administration just like any other entry level position?  With the chosen candidates comes a chance for new ideas, new visions, new revisions.  With their entry level positions on the Federal Administration level comes a chance for true change of the current political system and the rule books.  With it comes an opportunity for the country to change the status quo and the chance to fix what has been broken in the beaucratic burdens placed on states and institutions for decades.  This is the revolution of America and it is being led by  a person without a political apron string attached.  It is a chance to give people who are innovative, strong and patriotic the opportunity to take on a position, unfamiliar to them and change the way the Federal government has done things.

The current politicians know this very well.  They are running scared that perhaps after years of complacency and reading from their rule books they may need to get up and out and fix what they have broken with their “rules set in stone”.   I hear it in their voices when they question the candidates, I see it in their faces when they smirk.  Should ALL the rules and regulations be changed..HELL NO. There are some great laws in place today that give people the power to choose, the power to be who they are and not be discriminated against.  I think that Mr. Trump and the chosen candidates understand that and wouldn’t want to inflict any harm by undoing those great rules.  However, there are so many other rules and regulations that have to do with spending, taxes, Education of the masses, and even health that need to be revised.  There are rules in place right now about much of what makes it easy for the systems to be cheated and fraudelent.  Mr. Trump himself should know that because he was a entrepreneur in business who used many of them, like other folks too, because they were allowed to use them.  Morally, he should not have, but legistically they have all done it including those sitting on that bench during the confirmation hearings.

Perhaps these new entry level folks know it, too and that is the very reason they accepted the candidacy from Mr. Trump because they want those rules to change.  They want to start over.  They want to revise, fix, and inject new ideas and visions into the current rule books.  Just like a person either starting out on a new job or perhaps starting over a career in a new job they need to have time to learn what the rules are, what they actually mean and what can be done to them to make them better and perhaps different so they benefit every American from every walk of life in every field.  Sitting on a hot seat in a hearing room with condescending attitudes will not make me judge them on their merits or on their knowledge.  All it does is infuse my need for revolutionary changes that will make this country better, stronger and prouder.   I am banking on the newcomers to do just that.  I am hoping they learn, they fix, they revolutionize the way politics work on the Federal level. My hope is on a future for America set into motion by the election of Donald J. Trump and the people he has chosen to help him do just that.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning has broken

Author: Eleanor Farjeon Sung by: Cat Stevens

(Although the hymn is akin with religious beliefs,  I see its implication being applied to all those with hope).

And that is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn.

K

Merry Christmas Happy New Year!

 

Here it is 2016 and another holiday is upon us.  The years seem to fly by so quickly now.  I can remember when it seemed eons before Christmas came around again.  The anticipation of the aroma in the air, the gifts under the tree, the pilgrimage to Church and the family gatherings around delicious food and desserts.  The feeling of belonging to a community whether you had family or not was so pronounced at Christmas.  It was as if the world stood still while we celebrated.  The culmination of it all would happen on New Year’s Eve when everyone celebrated just being alive for at least one more year.

Many people, myself included at times, can become very blue during this season, and I wish that wasn’t so because it is a happy time.  A time to celebrate peace, love and joy that is all around us if we just look for it.  Just being a part of this great world of ours is a reason to pause and say thank you.  Christians, like myself, are happy because of the birth of Jesus Christ.  He is our Saviour and our Lord.  Many people of other religions celebrate something similar on their Holy Days and that tells me that we are in one way and another all connected.  Not only do we share our human similarities, but we also share our faiths, we just acknowledge and practice them in different ways.  Even atheists celebrate something probably nature itself if not a God.

So my fervent wish during this holiday season is that every person follow a dream, stop and realize what they do have and not what they don’t.  Be glad that they are alive.  Be happy that hope is always around the corner and we just have to look there to find it.  My wish includes a hope that everyone celebrates and partys with joy in their hearts. Living for the moments we have and sharing that joy with others in anyway possible for them.  My wish is that everyone have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

And that is the way I see it here in Brooklyn.

VOTE!

american-flag-summary Whatever way you see it!  Whatever political party you associate with.  Whatever candidate you relate to.  Wherever you have to go….just go and VOTE!  It is a right that no one should ever let get away from them.  It was a struggle for many to gain this privilege and to have a say, even if only a small one, in who represents our values best!  Who do we want to be the Leader of our country, our face in the world, and our representative to the rest of government on our behalves?  Whatever your answers are they won’t have a chance unless you go to your designated voting area and VOTE.

ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 8, 2016.  VOTE your conscious, vote your convictions, vote your decision..just vote!

And that is the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.

K

I won’t apologize

It is the weekend of September 11, 2016.  Fifteen years since America’s last major attack on one of its’ major cities.  So many innocent people died that day.  So many innocent people were injured that day.  So many innocent people remain ill and many are dying because of that day.  Our President elect during that time has been accused of mishandling the action taken to combat the evil that exists in the part of the world that attacked us. I am not among those who would know the truth about the reason he chose the action he did and I try not to judge others, instead choosing to believe in the good of all mankind.  Don’t get me wrong, I also see evil in the world and the people who are the epitamy of that evil.

Many people have chosen to see the attack and its aftermath as a devious plot on the American side.  They have chosen to blame America for its own attack. Some of these people are my friends, some are strangers to me. Well I don’t believe that conspiracy.  In my heart I know it was evil that attacked America that day.  I know that they chose the World Trade Center because it was the financial hub of the entire country.  We are a capitalist country and those who are evil, the ones who hate our way of life, chose that target with one idea to ruin our country economically.  They hoped to destroy us from within by destroying our financial pulse.  They knocked us down for a little bit as the following years showed, but they didn’t destroy us nor did they win in any sense of the word.  They didn’t think we had the committment to keep our country strong, but they were wrong.

Now I am surround by people who are hurting America from within.  They have been blinded either by fear and/or frustration. Once more, they blame America for their personal problems.  People are people and given the freedoms they have here to keep their own languages, to keep their own cultures, to keep their own religions they are managing to cause more problems instead of solving the ones we face everyday.  The fear and stubborness of so many Americans and the immigrants that live here are at the core of our current issues.  We are forgetting that we are ONE COUNTRY, ONE NATION.  If one part of us gets hurt we all get hurt, but if we don’t fix those hurts we will destroy the entire body.  There is so much more good than bad in America.  We are losing sight of that fact.  Everyone seems to have gotten the idea that one race is better than the other.  That one class of people is better than the other class of people.  That isn’t why America was founded.  That is so far from what America truly is.  Are we fallible? Yes! But only from our own citizens.  It is time to put away the hate.  It is time to get out of our own selfishness and realize that only UNITED we will face future attacks from evil beings.  That all the people who sacrificed in the past for us to have our freedoms believed it was to keep us UNITED.  “Biting the hand that feeds you” is detrimental to your own survival.   Americans should know this.
Too many since the beginning of our birth have sacrificed to get us through some of the worst times in history.  The point is we did get through.  The point is we should want to be better by now.  I believe with all my being that people who hate America and live in America should leave America.  Many of those whom shout the loudest about how awful we are as a country are the ones who have benefitted most from what this wonderful country has offered them.  They should really find somewhere else better suited to their ideals because if they all left we would probably have lots more room for the refugees who need a new country, who want a new country, who will become citizens who appreciate their new country as our ancestors did before us.

We are currently in the middle of a Presidential election year.  Before us are two people with very different ideas about the direction our country should take.  We have to elect one of them to be the face of us, to show their leadership of the greatest country in the world.  For me neither one has the qualifications to do this.  One is corrupt, the other acts like an idiot.  However, no matter what I personally think, one of them is definetely going to be elected.  All I can do is pray that the right one gets into office and proves their worth.  All I can do is hope they realize what a great country America truly is and how her people, her ideals, her future is worth every effort on their part to protect her.  These issues that are within our own borders  in today’s world are solvable issues.  The issues that face us outside our borders are far less likely to be solved.  Whatever the future holds, whatever fate has in store for us, we need to face it together united in the respect of our country, united in the responsibility we each have to make us worthy of being the beacon of light to all those who are persecuted throughout the world.  This can only be accomplished if we are united as Americans.  The families of the innocent people who died and were injured on September 11, 2001 deserve to know that they didn’t sacrifice for nothing.  We owe it to all those from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq War who fought for America that we can keep their legacy alive and keep America beautiful. With this comes the responsibility to keep the evil and the haters out of American borders whether they come from the North, South, East or West.  Makes no difference if they hate America they shouldn’t live here.  We can only survive as a nation if we have pride in our country.  We can only survive as a people if we learn to live together as one people..American people.

So no I won’t apologize for loving this country.  I won’t apologize for loving all people of every race and every class.  I won’t apologize for loving the animals that roam the earth and the lands that provide us with beauty and survival.  I won’t apologize for believing as I do and for stating it for the world to see.  I won’t apologize because I have nothing to apologize for being an American.  If I have one thing to leave to my chldren and grandchildren I hope I leave them the pride I have in America and the belief that we are privileged to live here.

And that is the way I see it, here in Brooklyn.

K

A father for Father’s Day

Maybe I am just one of those unexplained mysteries in life. Maybe because I always wondered about my biological father. Maybe that is why I have been so lucky in my life having two “fathers”.

My sons’ father is the best father and grandfather I have ever seen.  His unconditional love, his self-sacrificing dedication and his ability to keep giving and giving can not be denied.  I believe that the word, “no” is just not a word to him.  He has always said “yes” to the needs of his children, and for that matter to me as well.  Fathers like Rocco are rare, but I know there are a few out there. For instance, my son, Rocky is a dad like his father.  He has the same inner ability to love his daughter so completely and unconditionally. As she grows, I hope she realizes more and more how very wonderful he is and how dedicated he is to her.

My “dad”and my “brother” raised me to be a person who is true to herself, kind to others, and to care about the world around me. My “dad” passed when I was sixteen years old.  My brother is still the one I look to for answers.  Whether or not he reaizes it, he is still the one I depend on.

Today I want to tell you about my brother, Tommy.

If one could picture the life of a person when they were a child and to realize that what they have been through is no life for any child, then they would know that the man I know as Tommy, who came out of that life better and stronger, is in itself miraculous.  They would know that this wonderful man is the most selfless, loving, hard-working man that was ever born.

It was a tough life when my brother was a small child.   His father was an alcholic and the venom from this sickness took its ugly poison out on my brother and his siblings.  Without going into too much detail, let me suffice to say Tommy took the brunt of that venom.  It became so bad that for a time his mom sent him to live for awhile to her sister so he could escape the onslaught. When I was born Tommy was ten years old.

I turned seven when I first started to notice who it was that was nurturing me and making sure I had everything I needed, like food, clothing and shelter. Tommy was now seventeen and graduated High School.  He was also the protector for my “mom” and me.  Ever since he was able to work he made sure our mom and me were taken care of.

Life wasn’t all bad. He was also a prankster and a loyal friend.  Some of the funniest episodes I ever heard were about the pranks my brother would pull on his family, friends and co-workers.  When our sister, Joanie passed away at the age of twenty-nine from complications after brain surgery to remove a tumor, she left two small babies behind.  One was two years old and the other was six months.  While their dad had to keep working, my mom took them in to live with us in our six room tenement apartment in Park Slope.  They spent Monday through Friday with us and their dad took them on the weekends.  Tommy immediately took on the role of dad to them during those days and had always taken that role on for me.  Yes, our siblings helped as well.  There was after all, eight of us altogether. I was the youngest.  I recall Tommy taking us to the World’s Fair in Flushing, Delancy Street in Manhattan for clothes, and to the local theatre for movies, etc. If we had any treats or toys it was Tommy who bought them. When the boys turned seven and five, their dad remarried a wonderful woman named Eileen. Together they brought the boys to live with them, of course, leaving us left us with  heavy hearts because they were more like brothers and sons to us.  Years later we now know that it was best for them to leave and have a life with their own dad and stepmom.  However, I was still there and Tommy became more like a dad to me than ever and when “daddy” died, it was Tommy who pulled me through just as he did when we lost “mommy” and then did the same when we lost two more of our sisters and our niece. He pulled me out of so many childhood and young adulthood mistakes. He helped me when sickness befell my baby boy, he helped me when I thought I would sink from financial disaster. I cannot recall one time in life good or bad when Tommy wasn’t right there, or just a phone call away.  He is the one constant in my life.  The person to whom I owe everything.

By now you must have surmised why I chose to write this Father’s Day tribute to my wonderful brother Tommy.  There just isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or even talk to him.  He has always been my confidant, my advisor, my father in every sense of the word.  Even though I am a grown woman, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend..none of those titles would have been possible without Tommy in my life.  He is officially “my brother” but everything he has ever done for me is something a great dad would do.  So I want to tell him Happy Father’s Day and that even though he chose not to have children of his own, he has helped raise and has given to all his sisters, nieces and nephews so very much that the title Father belongs to him.

He never truly gets the recognition and appreciation for everything he has always done from his heart, so this small tribute is my way of saying thank you with all my heart for being the best real Dad I never really had.

Happy Father’s Day, Tommy.

And that’s the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.

K

 

 

 

 

FLAG DAY 2016

american-flag-summary

Awaking on Sunday morning June 12, 2016 I turned on the television as a I normally do to watch Charles Osgood, Early Morning Sunday News on CBS Channel 2 in NYC.  Instead there was a special report about a mass shooting that took place in Orlando FL during the hours of my sleep.  By the time the day was done I learned that 50 people were dead and 54 were seriously injured by an unbalanced individual who held a rapid repeating gun and shot innocent human beings who had gathered to celebrate in a nightclub called PULSE.  Most of the patrons were of the LGBT community.  All the gunman’s insane thoughts were to kill as many gay people as he could in the name of his chosen ideology of radical Islam.  He lost his own life this day as well, being shot by the brave people of law enforcement, who responded to the call of help from all those who managed to escape the onslaught.

There are thousands of opinions flowing out there over this horrific event, personal, political, religious, et al and we can’t ignore them all, but we can perhaps learn something from each of them.  Hopefully, there will be an idea out there that will enact a change in all of us.  I feel as if I have been sitting by complacently since the horrific attack on America on September 11, 2001. Just watching my beloved country defending itself against those who wished to harm her and her people.  It seems there have been horrific attacks worldwide for many different reasons  since that horrible day, but this horrible day has woken me up.

We don’t want this to be a war of religions because that would mean its World War 3 and that is something none of us want to happen nor even fathom. The thought brings with it a meaning that it’s the end of civilization as we have come to know it.  Personally, I don’t want there to be war anywhere.  I am a peaceful human being who loves all human beings who are not evil.  Oh yes, I said that.  Evil is out there although I am not a fanatic about it –I know it exists.  It exists in everyone who puts their own will above everyone else’s and in order to achieve their own self satisfaction they need to harm or kill others to express that evil of hate and/or violence.  Those acts of violence are the epitome of evil to me.

I have heard and listened to the thoughts of well known people such as: celebrities, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert; Internet personality, Tomi Lauren; Muslim leaders, Imam Anjem Choudhry, and CAIR Executive Director, Mihad Awad; world leader, President Obama; political leaders, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders; recognized and respected Professor and Author, Dr. George Rodman.  I have even listened to one of the Christian leadership ‘s most bigoted personalities (also a Reverend and author) , Pastor Robert Jeffress and the attorney, Eliot Spitzer.  I have listened to my family and friends.

All their messages were different, but all told me the same thing.  It is time for change in America.  It is time that we get out of the problems in the Middle East once and for all. Is it a time when we wake up to realize that money is the reason behind all the arguments. Progress for future generations should be the only motive.  It is those who control the events around the world whose only thought is to make a profit off the hardships of others, it is time for that to stop.

We have been trying since the 1960s to make peace the theme of the world. After the postwar of September 11th we are far overdue for this to become a reality.  No arguments over guns, politics, religion or greed will ever be solved.  Those things are only battles in this current climate.  We need to be victorious in bringing about a peaceful and tolerable world and the only way to do that is to live in each country as we did in the past and no longer be involved in trying to bring democracy to any other nation.  We have to live by example there is no other solution to end these awful violent acts worldwide.  We start here in America with our flag flying high.  We start here in America where we all assimilate.  We start here in America where the world knows just by our united stance that we will defend our country with all our might just as the other countries will do the same for their own.  We will welcome new people to our shores legally all those who wish to come here because they are willing to become Americans and practice their individual languages, cultures and religion in their own homes, mosques, temples, and churches , just as our ancestors have done.  Only as a united America renewed in her peaceful meaning and tolerant nature will we accomplish the theme of peace worldwide.

No, I don’t mean that we need to tolerate the acts of the imbalanced individual whose disturbed persona allows the integrated ideology of extremists to penetrate their psyche, no, those who do this, naturally must be punished either through death or incarceration or perhaps reached in time to be helped.  Yes, we have to enact new laws that include controlling what guns are permitted to be owned by our citizens.  Not banish the 2nd Amendment just tweak it so it truly means what it was supposed to mean before the age of the automatic rifles, grenades, etc.  A handgun for personal defense of home and family, a hunting rifle for those who wish to practice this barbaric sport, that should be enough to cover the rights in the 2nd amendment.  The NRA only seeks to make a profit, so allow their profits to be made through the military and law enforcement for those are the only avenues that I see a need for automatic weapons.  Of course, I don’t believe I need a gun and that is also my right under the Constitution and Declaration of Independence or what I know of them.  Help the mentally ill wherever and whenever you encounter these individuals.  I believe that intervention for the sole purpose of protecting the mentally disturbed individual so that they do not harm themselves or others has to be a center of study in America today.  You cannot get a handle on one without the other.

Take a good hard look at America today and realize that we need to stop, think, and listen.  We need to put a serious movement forward which promotes all of the things I mentioned today, but most of all we must see our flag and know the meaning of her is to defend our very own country because we all made her exist.  No matter what creed, no matter what race, no matter what color, all of us as human beings seeking to practice our faiths and our beliefs (whatever they may be) in one land have created the America I know and love to this day.  To stand strong, proud and tolerant under one flag is the greatest example for anyone who is oppressed and in need to see.  We can always be the hope of the world if we want to be, we can always find a way to do exactly what our founding fathers intended us to know and to do, we can change ourselves around by looking back, looking straight ahead and looking forward.  Accepting that this is every single American’s responsibility, purpose and belief will lead that theme of peace and it will spread, as surely as I am typing this blog today, it will.  It doesn’t much matter who leads the country in today’s world.  What matters is its’ people and their desire to change and show their leader how they want their country lead and that the intolerance that has labeled us since September 11th will stop because the event of June 12th was the wake up call that resounded around the globe reminding us all who are privileged to live in this country that peace and tolerance is the only weapon anyone will ever need.

May her glory forever wave.

And that is the way I See It, here in Brooklyn.

K

 

 

 

It Takes A “Special” Man To Be A Dad!

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Special is defined in the English dictionary in this way: unusual or better; held in esteem; reserved; made for specific purpose; arranged for specific purpose, etc. In accordance with that definition, my dad was a very “special” person. Today May 4, 2016 is the 47th Anniversary of his death.  I was sixteen years old.

Complex; complicated; misunderstood; unstable; loving; self-educated. My dad had a disease known as alcoholism. As mean as he could be when he drank he could be just as kind and nurturing when he didn’t.  I often thought of him as two people in one. His need for alcohol was always present, although it lessened in his later years. I came into his life when he was forty-three years old. I like to believe that I made a difference in his life at that point. Members of my family have told me that he was crazy about me at the instant of my birth. My memories begin when I was a small child. Naturally, some of those memories are not good. I would rather focus today on the memories of Dad that have stayed with me my entire life.

The most poignant memories begin with Dad and me watching television in our tenement living room. I would sit on the floor, he in his favorite chair. On the screen before me was always a movie starring either John Wayne, James Cagney, Busby Berkley Musicals or Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers. My Dad would tell me all about the stars in those movies and we would often sing along if it was a musical. When we weren’t watching television, he would work with me on my homework assignments and every day he would “assign” me the jumble puzzle printed in the Daily News. I was always praised and rewarded if I got the jumble words correct. In those days, many students went home at lunchtime. I was one of them and for lunch my dad would prepare grilled cheese sandwiches cooked in the waffle iron, or heat up Franco American spaghetti for me. On Fridays he would add a fish cake or fist sticks with the Franco American spaghetti as the side. He always tried to make lunchtime fun for me. After school, I would often sit at his feet as he told me stories about his adventures in the military or advised me about the importance of education and the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. I always thought he was truly a smart man. Even when he wasn’t sober, there were things that he said that remain with me. When I first heard the words he said, my thought was that he was a very selfish person, but as I got older I realized the words he used were quite filled with real wisdom. He would always say whether drunk or sober, “Me, Myself and I , first comes me then comes you, capital R capital O capital N.” Today I realize that he was saying a person needs to care first for themselves before they can take care of others. It wasn’t a selfish statement at all,  instead it was the most sage advice I ever received.

My Dad as complicated as he was, was truly a special man and if he were here today, I would thank him for all those times he was there for me and for all the times that he made me feel like the “special” one. My hope is that after all this time his spirit is at peace now.

That is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn!

 

K