Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Poem about the "N" Word

What's in a Name
by Victoria Rowles

What’s in a name? The young student asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “N”,
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?

The teacher looked perplexed and didn’t know where to begin,
To explain that word that starts with a “N”.
The dictionary seemed like a good place to start,
But it didn’t even touch upon the most important part.

How can a volume designed to define,
Words and phrases formed in the mind,
Give meaning to and take apart,
A concept of hate formed in the heart:

Of men who deny the humanity,
Of darker hued people who look like me.

Of men who believe that their lack of melanin,
Makes them pure and incapable of sin.

Of men who prayed and held Bibles in their hand,
While they raped and pillaged humanity’s motherland.

Of men who built empires, fortunes and fame,
By promoting a concept we mistakenly call: “a name”.

What’s in a name? The teacher asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “ N”.
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?

The student tried to answer but he was a little confused.
So he stopped in mid-sentence and asked to be excused.
The teacher asked the student why he suddenly had to go.
At first the student looked down and said: “I don’t know”.
Then the student decided to reveal his newly made plans,
To go and study the history of all hue-mans.

What’s in a name?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy." - George Washington

I strongly believe in separation of church and state but forces of propaganda are requiring the president to weigh in.
Per the article link below two religious studies professors at the University of Virginia say the president needs to talk more about his religious beliefs, not less.


If President Obama did decide to address the propaganda head on, would he be empowering the propaganda or diffusing it? And if he did speak what should he say?
Well President Obama need look no further than Michael Lockhart from Marysville, Wash. for a cogent, honest, right to the point response. As our guest essayist, Michael provides us with the following fantasy speech:

What President Obama could say:

"If I have not been clear enough this far, I'll say it again: I am a Christian. I love Jesus with all my heart, and I believe that when he said to love your enemy, he meant it. While we may have no choice but to defend ourselves at times, and this is something theologians and leaders have wrestled with for centuries, we must not regard all members of a particular faith as enemies by association. To do so is to directly contradict the teachings of the Bible. Thousands of American Muslims lost loved ones on 911. We must not use their flesh and blood to deny them equal religious rights.

When opponents of the Islamic center invoke the memory of 911 to promote outrage against a Muslim prayer space, they might consider that many of those victims were Muslim themselves. Demanding sensitivity while erasing the identity of one group of Americans does not express the true spirit of America and the Constitution. Respecting the feelings and religious rights of ALL the 911 families does.

As a Christian it is not my place to tell Muslims whether it's a good idea or not to build a mosque at a particular place or time. As President I must uphold the Constitution, both in letter and in spirit. Therefore, it is an easy choice, and one that satisfies both the law and my personal conscience. There is no doubt that Muslims in this country have a legal guarantee of equal religious and property rights, and my oath of office requires me to uphold those rights. To do anything less would be irresponsible and an affront to the principles on which this nation was founded, both legal and spiritual. I ask my fellow Americans to follow both their inner conscience against the irrational emotion of uninformed and angry crowds, and the Constitution which keeps this country free. Thank you, and good night."

Michael Lockhart

The DAVISReport

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill

In 1988 I was in Saudi Arabia after a tanker sunk in the Strait of Hormuz. I saw first hand what oil in the water and on the beach looked like. It's mollasses meets gorilla glue that looks like cow droppings and smells like gasoline. Stepping on one hidden under the sand is particularily unpleasant and yes its near impossible to wipe off.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Navy Man's thought on Health Insurance Reform

I am pleased to present this opinion piece on HRC from Richmond's own Scott Wichman. A Naval Logistics Specialist, he and his wife Jennie are also one of Richmond's most well known couples, both mainstays of the Theatre.

I don't see where there is a 'Takeover' of the healthcare industry. There is no public option. No single payer. There are, however, mandates in this bill that--- in my opinion-- should have been put in place long ago, namely that if you pay your premiums, you should not be denied care and your insurance company should not be able to drop you once you get sick. Furthermore, the recent arbitrary rate hikes in insurance premiums are completely driven by the profit motive. In many cases to the exclusion of paying for actual care.

These 'abuses,' far from being isolated incidents, have become standard operating procedure in the health insurance industry. I firmly believe that in certain instances when the public welfare is at stake, such as now, Government has a responsibility to step in and make sure that Insurance companies are holding up their end of the bargain.

The same industries that play fast and loose with the rules, (Banking, Healthcare) receive generous subsidies, handouts, bailouts, and Corporate Welfare grants each year and rake in money hand over fist from the Government for the privilege of doing almost whatever they want. The moment someone dares to tighten the chain on big business because of their chicanery, he is accused of being a tyrant.

Furthermore, the disingenuous way in which concerned republicans have suddenly had a rash of 'ideas' is particularly galling to me because they had eight years to put them into place. Not one of them materialized. Yet, Tort reform is addressed in the bill to a certain extent. Caps on damages is something republicans have asked for and gotten. Those are great ideas, but Republicans cannot simultaneously be considered 'Responsible Leaders' when they allow utter falsehoods like 'Death Panels' to be repeated over and over again to scare people away from knowing what is in the actual bill. That is shallow and opportunistic-- Not that they have cornered the market on shallow opportunism. Democrats have shown they are adept at that as well.

One would also think that a Gov't mandate that 'all Americans purchase private insurance' would be a boon to an industry already smimming in record profits. Here come a ton of new customers who will actually be able to afford a service that they will actually receive! And doesn't a fully-insured populace reduce healthcare costs? No more ER bills written off or absorbed by taxpayers, no more bankruptcies due to medical bills.

Yet here is where the insurance industry is freaking out-- they will actually have to deliver on their promises, instead of being able to slip out of their responsibilities so callously. If folks on the right are freaking out over the gov't mandate to buy health insurance, why don't they protest Car insurance mandates as 'Tyranny'?

The Obama plan has targeted costs by making medical records computerized and accessible to physicians (Something the Military is already doing in order to cut costs), not to mention that they are doing it while enacting the largest Middle class tax cut in history. Furthermore, the CBO says that the deficit could be cut in half in ten years through cost savings in the President's proposal.

I'm one of the people on the left who feel that the bill should go further by allowing for a robust public option. If I were President, I would pay for this Public Option by eliminating the use of Private Military Contractors overseas (Companies like Blackwater, etc, who charge the Gov't an arm and a leg and don't play by our Rules of Engagement.) and transferring that money to offer healthcare to people who need it.

It makes no sense to me that when we send food, supplies, and medical care to a country halfway around the world, we are seen in this country as noble and heroic. If the government offers to do the same thing stateside, is is Tyrranical/Socialist/Fascist and people protest it.
Scott Wichman
Richmond, Virginia


Monday, November 16, 2009

A Reposting of Dick Cheney with Lipstick

One of the perks of long living is the ability to pick out toxic people pretty quickly. An acquired skill it serves me well and I am rarely wrong. I penned this post as I watched the Republican National convention 18 mos ago. This woman, who has perfected sanctimonious self absorption has turned out to far more toxic than I could have imagined!
Dick Cheney with Lipstick
There is something very unseemly about this self described pit bull mom, but I have to give Sarah Palin props, she has redefined chutzpah! As the mother of three daughters and the aunt of a special needs child this woman is really making me angry. Will this woman stop at nothing,accusing her opponents of playing the gender card and and drawing her children into the campaign and then she turns and does it at every turn? You can't exhaust the gender/ mom card and than cry foul when your opponent brings it up. Is nothing off limits?
In her convention speech she referred to herself as a mother at least 5 times. She then opened with "As a mother of a special needs child you'll have an advocate in the White House". Well my sister, who has fought for 30 yrs to get her son the services and education he needed to become a functional adult, was not impressed, and in fact, thought her shout out was just the beginning of the evening's overall exploitation of her children to "excite the base" and found it disingenuous.
Next came her foreign policy position pitch which began and ended with, "I'm a Mom with a son in the national guard who leaves next week for Iraq...(cut away to camera closeup on the kid). Again the Mommy card played face up,her son used as a deflection, why? Because a month ago when asked to discuss foreign policy, she stated, "I really haven't focused much on the war in Iraq"-ouch! It should be noted here that Biden and McCain also have sons who have, are currently, or soon will be deployed to Iraq, and they have had the class to leave their son's out of the fray. In fact, taking his cue from Va. Sen. D. Jim Webb, John McCain when pressed on the subject in an interview recently stated "Id rather not discuss my sons military service if you don't mind". (Perhaps McCain and Palin need a sidebar)
But the coup de grace of the evening was yet to come. Talk about Brass Ovaries! All while demanding her daughter be left out of the campaign rhetoric, she flew the baby's daddy of her 17 yr old pregnant daughter in from Alaska, to the convention, and then pranced the gum chewing man child around on stage with the moose in the headlights suddenly very pregnant daughter! As a mother of three daughters ( I've got a mommy card of my own to play) I found this disturbing on so many levels it hurt my heart and my head.
The Inmates have taken over the Asylum!
Ms Palin, as I try to process what I saw and heard I have questions:

1.In light of recent events, do you revisit your decision to cut funding 20 percent earlier this year to Passages, a teenage crisis pregnancy center in Anchorage? According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "teen mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."

2. You oppose all funding to prevent teen pregnancies, "sex-ed programs will not find my support," you wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates but you cut funding for the teenage mothers who do not have the family or socioeconomic support your own daughter will have the privilege of- please explain how this connects you to the needs of everyday small town people?

3. Will this time missed out of high school classes qualify baby's daddy an excused absence? cool!

4. Social Conservatives decried the movie Juno,complaining it glorified teenage pregnancy (teen gives baby up for adoption),and indeed a spike in teenage pregnancy was dubbed the Juno effect. So I ask, with all this prancing about, can we expect a Bristol effect and what are you going to do about it if your the VP?

5. You decreased teen pregnancy services, but increased funds for aerial wolf shooting, please explain?

One more thing, being pro choice is not pro abortion, what part of that is hard to understand?
The DAVISReport
for an update on Palin's egregious self promotion go to tinyurl.com/yjo77a8
for fact check information to help you survive Thanksgiving with a teabagger relative by stuffing them with fact.
The DAVISReport

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Spontaneous thread Reviewing Obama's first year

Below is a real time,real people Facebook posting series prompted by the Question-
" A Facebooker friend believes our Republic is "burning away" with Obama & wants to know 5 good things Obama's done for Main Street or even for us as a nation. Any thoughts?"
The following is wonderfully in depth noise free information!

John L-What's he done for us? He's replaced a past president who embodied the fears of your Facebook friend..!
6 hours ago
Abdul J-Equal pay for equal work. Ending the Iraq war
6 hours ago
Marina G-I will add the passing of the Lily Ledbetter Act here.
6 hours ago
Sanjay U-Signed on October 30, 2009
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009
Signed on October 28, 2009
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
Signed on October 22, 2009
Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
Signed on August 06, 2009
Cash For Clunkers Extension
Signed on June 22, 2009
Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
Signed on May 22, 2009
Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009
Signed on May 22, 2009
Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act
Signed on May 20, 2009
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act
Signed on May 20, 2009
Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
Signed on April 21, 2009
Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
Signed on March 30, 2009
Omnibus Public Lands Management Act
Signed on March 20, 2009
Small Business Act Temporary Extension
Signed on February 17, 2009
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Signed on February 04, 2009
Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
Signed on January 29, 2009
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
6 hours ago
Bryan W-Expanded S-CHIP
6 hours ago
Denis H-, how about repairing the bush-broke economy, fixing the bush-broke warS, restoring the bush-broke national image, restoring the bush-broke sense of national honor and the nation's adherence to its liberties ...
6 hours ago
John L...moving us in the direction of peace and reconciliation, instead of in the direction of intransigence and more war.
6 hours ago
Alice O-. He has returned us to a nation that values dialog diplomacy.
2. He has held the politicians in DC accountable for getting a national health care bill through one house of congress after a national discussion of said bill that has lasted for over 100 years, this is a historic first.
3. He has shifted America's focus to renewable energy ending the policies of the Bush years that sold our national treasures away to the oil companies who were his closest Texas friends.
4. He has changed forever the simple belief that America is a nation of racists who could never elect a black man to the whitehouse.
5. He has presided over the distribution of the stimulus package and has with it turned the economy around.
& 6, in case you don't count his getting elected, because we did that. He has changed federal policy so that all federal government employees, regardless of sexual identity, receive the same family benefits, setting the stage for states and more private corporations to do the same.
I too would like more. I too would like to see more of the changes he promised, and, I am overjoyed with what he has done, I feel more championed, and I live on Main Street...
5 hours ago
John L- Cash for Clunkers - now people in the red states can see their front lawn..!:)
5 hours ago
Manny M- He has restored TRUST in America for the rest of the world.
5 hours ago
Dick Y- If the Republic is burning it's because of the napalm attacks that were done for the 8 years by dubya and his criminal administration. Bush did tings that make 9/11 pale in comparison. Blaming President Obama would be like blaming the first responders at ground-zero for the mess they found.
5 hours ago
L.S-I love all your comments, especially Sanjay, Annie and John L's. Thank you! : o)
5 hours ago
T/A- Much of what you are going to tell your friend if she/he is conservative will not be satifactory. This is their classic set up. Give me 5 things blah blah blah and then when you do those things are "bad things" Sonjay gave a great list.
5 hours ago
W/S- Did they return their small but more than they had stimulous money?
4 hours ago
D/B- This thread should be made into a book. When asks what Obama has done...simply hand them the book. Delightfully informative! Rejoice! For we have survived BushWorld!
4 hours ago
WaltS- Jr- He has maintained an excellent Father/Daughter relationship! Seems personal but it really is a great example for all young men!
4 hours ago
P/D-. As part of stimulus put more $ in American's pockets (reduced tax tables were issued Feb 09). Most taxpayers -- not the upper 1% of the wealthiest -- will see a reduction in their tax liability on thei 09 returns.
2. Restored digntity to the White House -- an intelligent, thoughtful person is now the president and, more, is one that is not surrounded by goons and crooks posing as advisors.
3. He has improved what became terrible relations with Russia by scrapping Bush's Poland missile plan, and has saved billions, as well, on the massive DoD budget by scrapping the F22.
4. The first time home buyer credit is helping to improve the terrible real estate market -- ask any realtor -- and if we could get Dodd's bill throught and get the still-frozen credit going by the banks that took so much money last fall before President Obama took office, it could improve that much more.
5. He has brought honor and dignity to fallen military service people through his attendance at the Honorable Transfer at Dover -- Bush did not do it, he was always taking time off in Crawford (check his records) -- and walking among the buried military personnel at Arlington....
Should I go on???
International diplomacy and statesmanship = improved status for US aboard?
An end to the crime of torture -- something that this country never did until the bushcrymefamily?
4 hours ago
4 hours ago
W,J-Raised pay for all military personel, if that counts
4 hours ago
W J-Decisively stomps foot on would be pirates of American ship. Hostages home safe and unharmed!
4 hours ago
Patty D-Increased Pell Grants.
3 hours ago
Walt S-Impeach him!!! He has done too much good in less than a year in office. Impeach him!!! America has never known so much positivity. Impeach him!!! America didn't vote for such a radically positive change. Impeach him!!! say the republicans.
3 hours ago
Tina B-Increased Pell Grants will do no good if there are no jobs waiting for the graduating students.
3 hours ago
Walt S- It is a lot easier to become entrepreneurish with a good education. If you doubt your leadership skills, choose another major. It is foolish to defer an education because the job you seek is currently unavailable.
3 hours ago
Walt S-President Obama also increased the dated ceiling amount the Small Business Association could lend as seed money.
3 hours ago
Anita G-I like David's idea; let's consolidate this and I will post as a note. Any other ideas?
3 hours ago
David M- Wow, thats a tough one. My life has gotten worse, not better. Im losing my faith, as many others are, in Obama. He better get jobs back to this country but forcing the corporations to comply to new rules. If they want to manufacture their goods abroad, they must move their ENTIRE operations there. Then, the CEO's U.S. citizenship should be revolved, their bank accounts and personal property seized. Their company HQ's and what remains of their manufacturing in the U.S. will be confiscated by the gov't and turned over to Americans willing to rebuild the company and pay decent wages and give healthcare benefits, etc., to their loyal workers. Thats how you get America back to work. Nothing else will suffice.
2 hours ago
Walt S- David, If your life has gotten so much worse, reprimand the man in the mirror! All that other stuff you just shared is completely fabricated and is only believed by the mindless tea baggin' lambs who are led insipidly by the rhetorical bullshit heard on AM radio and FOX prevaricating News. Is this what the man in the mirror has been doing with his opportunity to grow himself time?
about an hour ago
Annie O- David. I feel your pain my friend, but the economy and the unemployment are NOT President Obama's fault. Those are things that have been brewing since the Clintons left office and have come now to roost. The conservatives have convinced America's working class that they are on their side when they do nothing to help the people. Obama has been in office less than one year and had to squeeze everything he's done through the tight fist of the republican party. I hope the Congress will let him help you David. I hope they'll let them help us all....
Walt. I want to say I am with you as far as Obama's family is concerned. I think that it means a lot to this country, it means a lot to me, to see a strong family in the White House. Barack and Michelle Obama (and there's a special place in whatever heaven may be for grandmas who take care of the children) are setting an example for black families, for working families, for all families. The tender closeness I see when they are together, as a couple, as a family, is good for us as a nation. It's good for the world....
about an hour ago
Peter G- By most counts, there are 195 countries in the world.. there. There you have 195 good reasons. ;)
about an hour ago
Annie O- Oh right, I forgot $4.3 BILLION (!!) for the Race to the Top fund, discretionary funding to help school districts thrive when they REALLY produce forward motion for American kids, arguably the worst educated youth in the developed world....
58 minutes ago

Your Thoughts?
The DAVISReport