Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama Denounces Pastor Wright's Recent Rantings...

Please listen to the announcement below and then read on...


Looks like Senator Obama finds Pastor Wright's most recent proclamations (the ones that took place after the Bill Moyers interview) as distressing as most others do (of all races). Although the Senator deferred throwing his pastor under the bus when he spoke out against him in Philadelphia a month or so ago in his longer address regarding race issues (being the gentleman he is), he has definitely come out in a forceful way today to reassure all of us that he does not agree with Pastor Wright's outrageous conspiracy theories (i.e., that HIV was an instigated attempt at genocide for people of color by the US government, etc); nor does he hold in high esteem other folks whom Pastor Wright listens to with what seems to be utmost respect.

I listened to all Pastor Wright had to say at all three events (primarily because I was reassured of his decency by the extended coverage of the sermons shown during the interview with Bill Moyers). I understand completely the theological points he was making. (Pastors answer to a higher authority than human authority and struggle to make all God's children inheritors of the benefits of being His.) Whenever he speaks of God's love, Wright seems to get it right.

It's when he speaks of "God's wrath and judgment" against many former, and some present, U.S. policies that causes others to tremble and fear his presumed influence on those in his congregation. (He cited American history against Native Americans, the history of African-American slavery, Irish and Chinese treatment in America in earlier times, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, sending soldiers of color to fight our wars while regarding them as second-class citizens and denying them the vote).

Pastor Wright didn't make up any of this part: these things happened. We are a nation of greatness and of pettiness; of compassion and brutality; of mercy and injustice. I love America -- but I cannot defend everything it has ever done, nor will I.

What the pastor seems to overlook is that we are living in days of grace (unmerited favor) since Jesus walked the earth in the flesh. As such, in God's eyes we're utterly forgiven in all the areas where we screwed up (and still screw up) as long as we recognize it, feel remorse over it, and repent of it. It is our responsibility as Christians (which is what Pastor Wright professes to be) to love the sinner and hate the sin.

I don't see a lot of forgiveness or love in Pastor Wright for American government. I don't understand where he got the notion that white America is the source of evil in this country -- but if I were born black in the era in which he was reared, I'm sure I, too, could create an extensive list of evils without much trouble. So could you, no doubt. It's amazing to me that more African-Americans aren't as riled as he is. I know I would be, had I been treated the way they have been until relatively recently. And they're still not home free in this regard. But thank God , the vast majority of African-Americans are, and have been, non-confrontational Christians... whose ancestors, including parents and grandparents, endured much worse than they have had to face... and as Americans, they recognize the progress that has been made, while Pastor Wright seems to be "a fly caught in amber" back in the 50's, when things were admittedly atrocious for the black members of our society.

But white America was never the source of the evil. ("We struggle against powers and principalities, not against flesh and blood.") Reverend Wright should know this, theologian that he is. Satan and his minions have been the source of all evil in the world; have been ever since they were cast out of heaven! Because Satan is the presiding prince here on earth until Jesus comes again, we're all fallen! And if not for the love and the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we would all stand condemned in our sins, major and minor --- Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, everyone!

I know that Barack Obama does not believe as Pastor Wright does in numerous areas. Just looking at and listening to him confirms that, and comforts me. Senator Obama couldn't conceal (beneath his surface) the vitriol that Wright displays in his bearing. It would show, as it surely shows in the Reverend.

Reverend Wright is an angry man with a chip on his shoulder, wanting someone to knock it off so he can be proven right and get into a fight for legitimacy again -- to keep the 50's as alive to us as they still are to him.

Barack Obama is not an angry man. He is a patient man whose time, in my opinion, has come. As the product of a bi-racial marriage, he "gets" both sides of the story and has a much clearer perspective. In Barack Obama is the DNA of a hope we all possess: that we can come together and live up to our nation's creed.

He hasn't given up. I pray he never will!

Barack Obama's voice remains one of measured hope and reassurance that we can, indeed, address the many perils and issues that we all face in this economy and around the world.

What scares me most is this thought: "If we don't honor rationality over emotional paybacks -- and soon! --we may not get another chance. Too many people have too many weapons of mass destruction, with too many ways to deliver them."

We need a leader who's mature enough to realize that unless we sow fruitful discussion, we court fearsome destruction.

Most of the world's people just want to live their lives, raise their familes, and get along. It's governments and terrorists that seem bent on playing the blame game and on "making things right" -- as they measure "right" ("My way or the highway").

"America, right or wrong?" Hmmm... With that attitude, we may end up being "dead right" ... along with everyone else who's cause seems "right" to them.. and along with all the innocents residing within their territories!

I still love America. I want to love her more. I want our nation's originators to be able to look down on us from heaven in the next ten or twenty years and smile and say, "Now, that's more like it!"

This surely ain't it -- people at each other's throats:

Red state, blue state
Black eyes, checkmate

Who won?
No one...

Let's get into the boat and row in the same direction -- and see what common courtesy and working in tandem can do.

We can do it, if it's deemed important enough.

And of course it is!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun !!!!

Today has been a whirlwind filled with fun, fun, fun -- and it isn't over yet!

Jackie and I started out the morning visiting with two old school chums of hers (Melody Griffin nee Ruhl and Lillian Rogalski nee ???) up near Seattle. After that two hour breakfast-time visit, Jackie and I loaded our bikes and went on a 15 mile bike ride on the Orting Trail (while Wendy and her mom Sue Rebar walked four miles along the same path). Now we're awaiting a call to head over to Sue and George Rebar's for an outdoor campfire that promises a lot more fun, including hot dogs and s'mores. So you might call this "Kid Day" at the Smiths -- we've behaved like kids all day land loved every blasted moment of it. That doesn't happen enough in middle age; or at least is hasn't for me. I can take life waaaayyy too seriously at times.

We need to be sure it happens more often. I feel ten years younger and a whole lot more chipper than I have in quite some time.

The call just came in -- it's time to go to the campfire! WHEEE!!!!!!!

Try it! You'll love it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Puhleeze People -- Check Out Snopes.com Re Barack Obama!

Some very intelligent, very wonderful people I know are utterly aghast because I am backing Obama for President (or Clinton, should she become the nominee of the party). They are sending me all kinds of rumors about the man: that he's secretly a Muslim, that he hates America, that he has renounced white America, etc. etc. etc. (He's half white, was raised by a white single mother and a white grandmother. Renouncing whites would be quite a slick trick!)

Puhleeze, all Americans (and anyone else following this blog or planning to vote in November for our next President): go to http://www.snopes.com/ right now and type Barack Obama into the search field. Every rumor and innuendo that is being expressed about him can be found there, and will be confirmed or debunked.

I believe this man is going to be our next Commander in Chief and I would hate to see anyone harboring any suspicions about him for which there is not one scintilla of evidence.

He's a good American. As is Senator Clinton. As is John McCain.

I implore you -- vote your conscience... vote your party... but please refrain from forwarding emails that cast aspersions on any of the candidates which have been debunked and shown to be urban legends at snopes.com. Forwarding lies is not a proper or intelligent way to influence people who are trying to make a good decision as to who should be our next President.

I am soooooooooo sick of the crap being spread about all three candidates. Get a newspaper. Watch different cable channels. Listen to the candidates. Then pray and make up your own mind.

Americans of all stripes need to stop slandering the patriots who step forward to lead this land.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ooh-Whee! I Came in 18th out of 560+ !!!

My test results from the City of Tacoma Office Assistant exams were in the mailbox this morning when I went by the condo. I came in #18 in a field of more than 500 people! This is significant because potential employees are hired in order, and according to the fellow who gave us the exam, every department in the City uses Office Assistants -- some use more than one -- and so the rosters for these positions are gone through pretty fast. So I think I'll be called in soon for follow-up inteviews and testing, unless someone else swoops in and snatches me up first.

That's great news. I need to get back to work full-time, for sure. It has been a very long three months!

I've also heard back from the first client I served via Elance.com. He wants to use me for another couple of reasons (proofreading, a press release and an article about the business) so I'll be working on those as soon as I get the gig officially and the talking points. I've also bid on several other possible projects at Elance, and it looks as though at least a couple of those will fall to me.

I'm very grateful for the opportunity to keep my hand in the writing field evenings and weekends. Eventually, if I build up a large clientele (which will likely take a few years), I may be able to "fly solo" and hire myself full-time as a copywriter. Now, that would be sweet! It pays a whole lot better than any other job I've done in the past, and I love every moment I'm doing it! So, we'll see what God has in mind for me.

At least I've taken the leap of faith that had to be taken. I'm so glad I spent a year as an in-the-trenches copywriter, writing for hundreds of different clients, so I could pole-vault over the "fear factor" wall that seemed to be emblazoned with the question, "CAN YOU DO IT?"

Yes, I Can -- to steal a well-known Obama (and Sammy Davis Jr) phrase!!! I can do it! WAHOO!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Watch This... Watch This... Watch This....

These may be the twelve of the most important minutes you spend all week long...

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Have a terrific weekend!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Legislative District Caucus Report...

Spent three and a half hours this morning and afternoon at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, where the 29th Legislative District Caucuses were held. As an alternate, not a delegate, I sat through a lot of preliminaries to find out whether any of the delegates from my legislative district (29-532) failed t0 show up for the caucus. Since they all came, there was nothing left for me to do, because as an "un-seated" alternate (with no one to substitute for), I couldn't vote on the people wanting to move forward as delegates to the next step, so I skipped their self-nominating speeches and came home. While I was there, though, I had a whee of a time chatting with fellow Obama supporters and a few Clinton supporters. I feel sure we'll all unite under whichever of the two candidates wins the Democratic nomination to become the Presidential candidate for the party.

In my legislative district, 120+ Obama supporters (out of approximately 237 total) wanted to move forward and become delegates to the upcoming state and national conventions, but there are only twenty spots for delegates and 10 for alternates... so I figured that many of those who didn't get voted in as continuing delegates would then like to become alternates. Since I didn't have any designs on going on to the state or national conventions, I decided to take myself out of contention even as an alternate and let those who are chomping at the bit (to go all the way to Denver) to have the opportunity they so desperately want.

It was an easy decision for me. I can support either of the two Democratic nominees. I prefer Obama -- I think he's much better at uniting people than Clinton; and, while 73% of those polled say they are ready for a black President, only 67% say they are ready for a woman President. For these reasons, and a lot more, I feel Obama has the best chance to beat McCain in November.

I like McCain as a person and certainly honor him as a war hero and statesman; I just don't think he knows enough about the economy (for starters), and I disagree with his stand on the most pressing issues of the day. I also want this to be the year that America goes beyond "only white men can become President." I want to see that "glass ceiling" broken for everyone in America -- and while Hillary can break it for women, Barack can break it for everyone else who has ever been marginalized because of the color of their skin or their name.

We've already seen female world leaders -- Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, etc. And America has a lot of women governors now. It's just a matter of time before we see a woman President -- I just have a hard time believing it will be Hillary. (Even though I think she's pretty terrific personally.) A third Clinton term (especially with Bill as First Spouse -- almost frightening to consider!) is not a whole lot more appealing (to a great many voters) as is a third "Bush" term (read "McCain"). Not that McCain is by any means a clone, as the Dem talking heads try to convince us he is, but he's close enough to keep me at a distance, for sure. And Bush has come out for him -- which makes me very wary! (But then, who else could he come out for?) Anyone Bush wants, I don't! (Yes, I'm bitter and resentful over the many ways in which President Bush has driven our country into the ditch.)

Anyway... didn't intend to get on my soapbox... Bush won't be our next President -- HALLELUJAH!!!! -- so it's water under the bridge...

Study the issues, watch the candidates being grilled, and make an informed choice in November. I think the survival of this planet depends on it this time. We have a very small window of opportunity to curb global warming, turn the economy around, save Medicare and Social Security, get the lower and middle classes out of the ditch and back on the road, embrace our planet -- in a phrase, we need to move forward AS SOON AS JANUARY 20, 2009 to redeem what we can from the fiasco of the last eight years (and more, going backward three and a half decades to Watergate, off and on).

It's time!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Things Are Looking Up!

This week I've contacted a number of ad agencies here in Tacoma via phone to see if they'd be interested in me as a copywriter or copy editor, now or in the future, part time or full-time, during busy seasons, or for one-shot gigs. I attached writing samples and two letters of recommendation from my most recent place of employment. I also let them know they can engage me "virtually" through Elance.com if they prefer to work that way. I knew it was a long shot, but worth a try.

Much to my surprise and utter delight, four of the five agencies have called or emailed already to say they're glad to know I'm in the area and available. They say they'll keep me on file for whenever they might need me! WAHOO!!!

Can't tell you how great that makes me feel. I'll do more research and see if I can find more ad agencies in this neck of the woods and in Seattle and Olympia. During busy seasons, when agencies get overwhelmed, perhaps they'll think of me and give me some of their overload. Or, who knows? If one of their employees quits or is let go, perhaps they'll consider me as a replacement.

I was really surprised at the warm welcome I received when I called. "Oh, that's great. Yes, I'd like to see your resume and writing samples. Send them along!" WHEEE!

I'm also listed with five temp agencies (for companies needing secretaries and/or administrative assistants), but haven't received a single assignment yet. This is par for the course so much of the time -- that's why I have to be listed with just about every agency that's worth its salt.

A temp in a new region has to build a client base before s/he can stay busy. I was busy as a bee in Hollywood as a temp after about a year, because clients I worked for would request me the next time they needed to fill a spot while a permanent employee took a vacation/had a baby/went for surgery/took a sabbatical or what-ever. "Build it (a good reputation) and they will come!"

This Saturday and next I will be at caucuses as an alternate delegate for Barack Obama. I wasn't able to make it to the training sessions so will have to rely on my ability as a "quick study"! I did fine as a precinct captain, even though I'd never attended a caucus before, so reckon I can catch on to the nitty-gritty of these upcoming events. I just hope I'm not shanghaied to attend the national convention in Denver when that comes around. I hope all the regular delegates can "do their thing" so I don't have to fly to Denver for four days (on my own dime) to help Barack win the nomination. (ATTENTION, MARGOT! PLAN FOR A GUEST IF I HAVE TO BE IN DENVER FOR THE CONVENTION! I can't afford plane fare, let alone a hotel room!)
[Donations accepted to get Kris to Denver... if that comes to pass!!! :) :) :) :) ] [Watch all my Republican friends send me tickets to Hawaii for the duration of the Democratic National Convention! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!]

On April 14th I will be taking the Office Assistant exam for the City of Tacoma. I have to buy a calculator for that. They're required. (Good thing. After I get past fingers and toes, I need a calculator!) (OK, that's a slight exaggeration, but only slight.)

Three weekends from now, I'll be attending Church For All Nations's women's conference, which takes place Friday night (the 18th) from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday (the 19th) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The women's ministry leader says I can have a vendor booth at the conference, so this afternoon I made some postcards. They look pretty cool, if I do say so myself. If you want a copy of the postcard, let me know and I'll email it to you. Then you can make copies and hand them out to business owners wherever you are if you have a friendly relationship with them and feel comfortable doing this. Since I'm listed with Elance, anyone in the whole world has access to my writing service -- so don't be shy about telling folks you know me and will vouch for me. That would be great! I need a handful of clients soon, so I can convince myself I can make a go of it as a freelance copywriter! Thanks!