Thursday, October 27, 2016

Say Something, Bill!


The accusations of Donald Trump's inappropriate contact with women, stemming from his recent revealed history of sexual "locker-room" repartee, had been mounting for some time now. He has still managed to continue his presidential campaign by insisting his innocence...or rather his innocuity. He has evaded any attempt by anyone - Republican, Democrat, etc. - to brand him as a misogynistic, borderline pedophilic, arguably incestual demagogue. He has even - in true-to-form, Trumpian fashion - played the "I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I" card by suggesting that former President Bill Clinton, who undoubtedly has had his own perils with the opposite sex prior to and during his White House terms, has disrespected women far worse than he hasn't and should be classified as a degenerate abuser.

So as I sit and watch this cavalcade of women open up after toting upwards of 30 years of emotional baggage due to The Donald's alleged creepin', there is this nagging thought in my mind. This thought is an appeal for one man who was once an undeniably powerful, magnetic, exemplary icon to show his face and re-emerge into the limelight. My words are simply this:

Say something, Bill!

Not Clinton, but Cosby.


There are many people who have already formed their impressions and conclusions about this current incarnation of Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr. There was a time when people couldn't wait for him to do something in the entertainment world...despite the fact that not everything he touched turned to gold (see Leonard Part 6...matter of fact, don't see it). To his credit, he has had more hits than misses. While growing up, Bill was someone that I admired, in part due to his ability to "crossover" without forgetting where he came from. When it seemed that he was blending in too much with non-Blacks (read: Caucasians), he was a singular force of a philanthropist for HBCUs. Although he was the first African-American to land a starring role in a popular prime-time show (I Spy), he helped raise a generation of Black kids (including myself) in the long-running, much-beloved cartoon, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and became an equally-beloved Blaxploitation star (Let's Do It Again, Uptown Saturday Night, A Piece of the Action). When it seemed that he was not doing enough to help address race relations and assist in showing African-American images in the media...The Cosby Show and A Different World laid a mushroom cloud in the social consciousness of all Americans.



Now he has become persona non grata at a time when the issues of sexual assault and rape culture are getting more publicity than they ever have, and for good reason. But in this election cycle, Bill has been posterized by Trump, who may have more to lose if the court of public opinion ever could scrape Teflon Don hard enough. How, you may ask, has Cos been posterized? This is what it has come to...

So one powerful entertainment mogul, who has allegedly done some heinous things to women and girls for decades, is now being "trumped" (pun intended) by an even more powerful entertainment (as well as real estate and financial) mogul who has allegedly done some heinous things to women and girls for decades. The former is Black; the latter is White. The former has been tried and convicted by the societal jury; the latter has yet to be pinned down.


Is there a double standard here?

I for one am not going to delve into whether I believe Mr. Cosby is innocent or guilty. He is probably still involved in the judicial system as I write. And seeing him acquitted or convicted will likely leave me a whit more ambivalent or indifferent than I already am. Having said that, there is something I would like to see, if nothing else. I might consider it a last hurrah since Bill is up in age and has reportedly lost his eyesight.

I'd like to see Angry Bill one last time.

You know Angry Bill. The Bill we saw in the mid-2000s when he snapped and went off on the African-American community for failing to do better at being the African-American community. The infamous "Pound Cake" speech was an unexpected, probably unintended tour de force. Along with its companion manifesto, Come On People, he took to task anyone Black who is not pulling their weight. What he said was harsh, blunt, raw, and void of nuance. And the majority of it was laced with undisputed truth.

Here is an excerpt:
50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them. All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child….and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents. And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid. $500 sneakers, for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics.

For those of us who are visually inclined...here is a video excerpt.

After this speech, he had many critics...even those in the Black community. He was taken to task by the media, even Black media (see Dyson, Michael Eric). Yet there were many who felt that a lot of it needed to be said. I mean, even Cornel West had his back.

This is the Bill Cosby who was willing and bold enough to say what he felt needed to be said at a time when it needed to be heard. And right now, Bill can say a lot to keep himself from being marginalized by the fallout from his apparent publicized sins.

Call out Donald Trump on the allegations against him.

 

If Trump is going to go as far as to use Bill for his specious political gain, then Bill should be in prime position to call Donald on the carpet on his alleged mistreatment of women. Of course, this presupposes a lot. It presupposes that Bill is actually angry enough at Donald for dropping his name as a machination of his campaign deflections. I believe he should be angry at that. It presupposes that Bill is disgusted by the fact that Trump gets THIS CLOSE to being elected the POTUS, while Bill languishes in a humiliating obscurity of his own making and lacking the venerable comedic status of his long-time friend, Dick Gregory. I believe he ought to be angry about that. It presupposes that Bill is beside himself in anger that his surname is being turned into a proverb yet not have any skin in the game in seeing the Black community (specifically Black women) showing in polls as high as 95% of them voting against Trump.

Of course this would mean that he might need to sacrifice his pride and innocence/guilt in order to help balance out the inequity of how he is viewed in juxtaposition to Trump. Or even Clinton. It might mean that he may need to tell what he knows about those reported extramarital encounters that Camille could already be privy to. But Angry Bill would blast through all that, despite the idea that, last time he went ballistic, it opened the door for all his recent legal and moral troubles. But in the words of Trump himself, "What do you have to lose?" For Bill, he has already lost more than he planned or anticipated. So going for broke now to save what is left of his erstwhile clout-carrying name would functionally be par for the course. To err is human, to forgive is an American cornerstone.

Donald might likely get his comeuppance on November 8, much to the chagrin of the "alt-right" and those clamoring for a return to "great" America...whatever that means. And a large segment of the American population may breathe slightly better knowing that he will not have access to the nuclear launch code. But Cosby going napalm on the Republican nominee would truly make for great theater.

I would rather see him speak his mind and darn the torpedoes than allow Trump, of all people, to play him like chocolate Jell-O pudding left out overnight.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stuck In The "National Anthem" Limbo

"That time during the national anthem isn’t about you, it’s not about me. It’s about the greatness of this country, paying our respects to it and all the opportunities that it offers.” -Tyler Eifert, tight end, Cincinnati Bengals
I just need to say this. Can we have someone of political importance, say like the President, define what the national anthem is all about? Because every hour there is someone who voices his/her stance on what he/she believes it means. And just like opinions...everybody has one. Wait a minute: those are exactly what these statements are...opinions. And opinions are not and never should be treated as fact.

In light of Colin Kaepernick's "stand" during the playing of the national anthem before game time, the issue of what true patriotism is returns to the front burner. But here is the rub: there simply is no agreement on what it looks like and how it should be demonstrated. Because of this dissonance, tempers are flaring. And they flared when Kap started his first game in over a year against the Buffalo Bills on October 16. And as Prince poetically chimed, "Let the rain come down/let the rain come down down..." And it did: chants of "USA, USA", plus some other choice comments that, depending on your perspective, have their own patriotic thrust. Just not a thrust that unifies the country.

So let me get this straight: people would rather get mad about their passion-fueled, perspective-skewed, narrative-led opinions...and ignore the facts. Or...they would treat any differing opinion with a subjective dismissiveness that would ridicule the very act of bringing awareness to the matter (see Ruth Bader Ginsburg) without even a cursory appreciation of the facts. One fact being, as Jackie Robinson poignantly stated in his autobiography, that African-Americans "never had it made".

Jackie Robinson and his son at the March on Washington, August 1963

From the time the first hijacked free African stepped off the Trans-Atlantic Triangle ship as a slave in chains to the current day, no one of African descent has had it 100% "made". Not one. All fame, fortune, adulation, achievement, perceived and temporal privilege, and heart-hardening myopia aside, American society has a way of letting a Black man, woman, or child know - whether in the right or not - that it can all go away at the proverbial snap of a finger. OJ taught us that. And Frederick Douglass' words in his Fourth of July speech in 1852 (you can read it here) appear cryptically proclamatory and prophetic.

Because we never had it endemically. It was all just on loan...until the societal roulette decides that the ball falls on black. And regardless of what Wesley Snipes said in Passenger 57, it's hard to believe someone undoubtedly showered in white privilege is willing to push all of his chips to go "all in" when that same someone fails or refuses to understand the plight of every African-American. (Those who are striving or willing to understand and empathize are exempt.)


This is exactly how the church has become one tactile symbol of "made-ness" for the African-American. You see, the church (to some degree) hath giveth what the prevalent powers of Americana hath taketh away.  The church was the environment in which an African-American learned how to read, learn, socialize (read: fellowship), escape, pray, sing, uplift, be uplifted, learn to lead, and, above all things, hope. Of course predominantly-Black congregations had to face, fight, and flee from their challenges while existing in a society that would rather see them pick cotton than preach Christ, receive Massah's whip than give the Messiah worship, and beg while bowing than self-actualize while standing. Even the prevailing American church environment was antithetical to Blacks serving the same God and worshiping the same Christ in a Plessy v. Ferguson sort of way: you can worship, just not with us...and not in a qualitative way either. (I plan to elaborate on this in a future blog.)

David Lipscomb, co-founder of Nashville Bible Institute (later known as Lipscomb University).  Although he personally opposed segregation, NBI was only open to White students.
So now we have this issue with the national anthem that has arisen again: with the infamous 3rd verse of the song juxtaposed with the waving of the Stars 'N' Stripes; the blatant demonstration of patriotism in public venues and sporting events that, for some reason, doesn't quite evoke enough lasting patriotism to carry on after the most trendworthy music artist manages to avoid a vocal gaffe when hitting the "free" in the "land of the free" lyric; and the mounting number of athletes, mostly African-American, who have decided to do something other than stand to raise awareness to a pervasive, undeniable issue (to most African-Americans and many others not of African descent) that is unfortunately embedded in the DNA of this great country. And it's sad to say that it is pervasive and undeniable to only a segment of the American population...what with more than a handful of individuals who are willing to publicize and suggest that racism is an entirely new concept and Blacks actually DID have it made at one point. Don't believe me? Someone actually had the nerve to say this...

So the ever-present tension for a person of color who happens to be Black second and a Christian first is this: how do you strike a balance between honoring the country in a patriotic way yet advocating for the end of an oppressive system that doesn't fully honor you?


Be you and do you. The real you.

See, the real you is not external.  I'm quite aware of the pro-Black cries from various philosophies... Garvey, Selassie, Elijah Mohammed, etc.  I'm fully aware of how the Word of God is somehow referenced in an eisegetical manner to support this advancement. (Song of Solomon 1.5 and Revelation 1.14-15 come to mind).  But there is a "you" that cannot be touched or seen. You are actually spirit. It is a "you" that came as a result of divine interaction with a dust-bound formation, producing a spiritual realization known as the soul.

You're probably wondering why I went down this path.

It's very easy for us as Christians to get caught up in rhetoric that sets us up to forget Philippians 3.20-21. And when that happens, the pull of the cultural vortex becomes more irresistible to act like we don't know that we are spirit FIRST. Yet when the flesh is exalted, the spirit will be brought low. We give up the desire to fight against getting sucked into the rhetoric because that's all we can see. Not realizing that we need to have the cataracts taken out of our spiritual eyes so we can clearly visualize the God who shows Himself in the midst of the vortex to remind us to do this:

Be you and do you. The real you.

"Doing us" as heavenly spirit-beings transformed by God's Spirit but clothed in flesh involves knowing the parameters within which we were given to operate by Jehovah-tsidkenu (the Lord is our righteousness). Social justice has a place if you are wisely educated in the parameters. So does dissent. You can add to that list the idea of being active in political circles. As long as the theology set forth is Scripture is correctly applied (Acts chapters 4-5 come to mind), there is latitude in "doing you".

Speaking up for God's righteousness may not be seen in many communities as being socially conscious, but it is a demonstration of social justice and dissent...in this day and time. 1 Peter 2.13-17 discusses how Christians should honor the "king", a reference to ruling authorities. However, when the same ruling authorities move to enact laws that militate against the righteousness of God, that would be the cue for the Kingdom to respond and be prepared to commit "civil disobedience" (Acts 5.29). It doesn't make you any less American, yet it certainly will make you more Christian.
 
John Carlos and Tommie Smith wore the gloves. Peter Norman wore the patch. They all took the heat. "(Carlos and Smith) asked Norman if he believed in human rights. He said he did. They asked him if he believed in God. Norman, who came from a Salvation Army background, said he believed strongly in God. We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat. He said, 'I'll stand with you.' " Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes. He didn't; "I saw love." - Martin Flanagan, theage.com.au (10/10/06)
And it also does not mean that it should prompt a protest of the national anthem, burning the American flag, etc. But it certainly should make a Christian pause when the thought of not voting runs freely across his/her mind. Or far worse...run blindly off the edge of a cliff with the rest of the herd under the influence of a collectively-shaped, subjectively-rooted patriotism.

So be you and do you. The real you. And authentically represent the One who allowed the imagination of Francis Scott Key to bring this song into existence, and allow this song to remain in the country's consciousness long enough to play a part in resuscitating this necessary conversation for all to discuss.

Including the remaining "terrestrial" heavenly citizens. Especially the Black ones.

Unity? Please...



Just a thought here...

No one has the capability to put the "i" in unity but God. It is He who unites and unifies. We only do what He prescribes for unity in order for Him to come in and bring together - in a pure and holy manner, by way of His Holy Spirit - those who are not unified or united. What we endeavor to unify through our own efforts alone, we will ultimately find a way to destroy or allow to disintegrate.


We have nothing in us either intrinsically or, dare I say, by way of "evolutionary progress" that will achieve permanent, everlasting unity independent of the Godhead...whether in secular, ecclesiastical, or spiritual circles or enclaves.

This is because we possess a level of self-righteousness that sells us the false idea that we know what unity is supposed to look like and how it can look. When we think that we can create unity from our own constructed ideal that is obviously flawed - because of our experiences, historical leanings, relationship patterns and "horizontal" allegiances, or authoritative influences - we further backdate the unity that God desires, and slowly doom our ability in and potential for seeing it come to pass.

Unity is God's to orchestrate and ours to facilitate. Unity is the Spirit's work and our yielding to Him to work. Unity is not about our ideal, but God's idea/ideal and our submission to it. Any version of unity we devise is, on our best day, illusory...and should embarrassingly and humbly beg God's forgiveness to think we - as finite, temporary, time-bound, "bottom-line" dependent beings - could ever deceive ourselves long, hard, and constant enough to the point that we believe we have the power to create "something out of nothing"...


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

That's All I Can Stands, And I Can't Stands No More...

Much has been said and made of Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem. It seemed like such a long time ago when the "old" Kaepernick was kissing his bicep after each of his rushing touchdowns...at a time when NFL defenses were still trying to crack the code of his athletic gifts.

Now this new version of "Kaepernicking" - which now takes place on the sidelines instead of the end zone, before the game rather than during, and despite him playing not one down of football as opposed to being the face of the San Francisco 49ers' offense - engenders more vitriol from mostly non-Blacks and decidedly more support from mostly Blacks.  (Update: He will be starting for the Niners this Sunday.)
 

And the ripple effect of his new symbolic posture is concurrent with the other event-based rocks thrown into the sea of Americana, creating a disturbing shimmer of concentric circles, all crashing into each other, as the perfect storm of events in the past 3+ years creates an even more tense racial atmosphere not witnessed by African-Americans since Jim Crow gave way to the Civil Rights movement of the '60s, which gave way to the pedestrian progress of the '70s, which gave way to the "drug wars" of the '80s, which gave way to the somewhat misguided affluence of the '90s...I think you get the picture.

So Kaepernick deciding not to stand for the national anthem now weighs heavy on the conscience of a nation - a nation still struggling in many ways to admit that racism is unfortunately embedded in its DNA. And the ones who bear the brunt of the deplorable "genetic mutations" are those in the African-American community, of whom Colin is set forth as one of a plethora of contemporary symbols of the struggle...including Trayvon Martin, who can easily come off as a neo-Emmett Till.



Many have joined Colin in his new "Kaepernicking" move. And it's particularly significant for Black folk. Not to discredit what other ethnicities have done in their invaluable support and advocacy for the rights, respect, and lives of African-Americans. God bless their lives. Yet no one besides African-Americans can fully appreciate the gravitas, courage, and righteous audacity of Kaepernick to not stand...as well as other African-Americans like him.

It's not that they won't stand. They just can't stand. There's too much on their shoulders to weigh them down.

African-Americans are expected to stand out of respect for the freedoms and opportunities allegedly endemic to American citizenry, as well as those who have fought for it. For those who expect Blacks to stand, it is a show of patriotism...and, for them, probably the ONLY show they require to disprove any lack of patriotism on the part of Blacks. Dissent doesn't count. But when a country fails to stand up for those who have fought on and off American terra firma for that which is supposed to be inalienably theirs, the weight becomes heavier. It makes standing for the anthem more burdensome than before.

And every time there is an incident such as Tulsa or Charlotte (for starters), the weight becomes even heavier. And with that comes this thought: Why should I push myself to stand for this? My legs are shaking too much from the weight. I paid money to see this sports team play...or I worked out all day/week/month to play...and these incidents remind me that, after the game, I just may be the next Philando who obeys the laws of the land yet become the next Philando who doesn't make it home. And in between, I struggle metaphorically to stand for the anthem that represents defensibly more than just the military and those that fought for our liberty. If I matter that much to all of you on the field/diamond/hoop court...or in the stands/arena/ballpark, then my feelings, worth, and very life should matter to you and this society. All lives matter...in theory only, not in reality. Because when it's Black folks turn to matter, the jury selected by the court of social opinion remains in perpetual deliberations. Put on hold. Be patient...wait your turn...the wheels of justice grind slowly...your time will come. But don't call us...we'll call you. 
 
Then there are the attempts to guilt-trip...armed with such comments such as, "You should be thankful" for what liberty you have. In the case of Colin, "shut up and play" to justify the millions of dollars we pay you you make. Be the millennial version of Bojangles. Dance I say...do Michael Jackson...

Jesse Owens and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson circa 1936. Both "danced" for a living. Bojangles was paid very well. Jesse? Not so much.

Then comes the age-old, "Go back to Africa" refrain. You can just leave if you don't like this country. The typical hair-trigger, tone-deaf, lack-of-context response from the societal jury. What these individuals invariably fail to understand is that the plight of Blacks in America is far too complicated to dismiss with a flippant retort void of any intellectual or thoughtful pause. 

For Blacks, it's not a matter of will or desire, but a matter of weight.

Go back to Africa? Get real. Our ancestors were intentionally interfered with on the African continent during the Transatlantic/triangular slave trade, and - just as the baby bison was unintentionally interfered with by humans in Yellowstone Park earlier this year - it is not guaranteed that the Motherland will warmly receive its long-lost progeny. Besides, to suggest that African-Americans should voluntarily leave when our ancestors did not voluntarily come here is completely irresponsible and dangerously obtuse. ("Sorry", Mike Ditka.) So we have no place to go. And...when have African-Americans en masse ever said we wanted to leave the country and society that we helped to build, died to protect, lived to hopefully transcend, and unfortunately were born to perennially endure in?  And endurance typically implies a weight or burden being carried (cf. Rom 5.3; Heb 12.1-3; James 1.2-3).

All we are expecting to do is stand just like most any other person not of African descent has the opportunity to do...weightless. Until that day comes, the symbolic "Kaepernicking" done by all Blacks for upwards of 400 years may end up looking like this: down on two knees instead of one. Which is not an unfamiliar position to us. Just one that we shouldn't have to assume any longer. But every current resetting of racially-biased verbiage founded on implicit bias with a view to oppress African-Americans increases the weight already borne. 

It's just immensely surprising that we yet have the ability to summon the collective spiritual and mental strength to still keep one knee from getting dirty...

The Floodgates Are Now Open...


Before I submitted my first post, I let my journalist friend read it. His response: "You gone get in trouble!"

Well...I'm used to it because, since my birth in 1968 (arguably the most tumultuous year in this nation's history), I've been looking at and in the midst of trouble. Not my own trouble...but trouble nonetheless. Racial. Socioeconomic. Sociopolitical. Religious/ecclesiological. Cultural. You name it, it happened in '68. The problem here is that trouble is getting way more real and occurring way more often in 2016. In some ways, I'm looking at a "chickens-coming-home-to-roost" situation. But I digress...

I've always been a renegade...a rebel of sorts, at times revolutionary in my thought. My "rebellious" nature is not one where I engage in unwise, unrestrained, or unholy dissent. My "rebellion" was one where I tried to see what, why, when, where, and how things are...and who is behind it all...then address and respond to it either through speech, written expression, proclamation of Gods' Word, exercise of talent or giftedness, social connection, interpersonal dialogue, or some other form of action. My principal sphere of operation was and is any circle within churches of Christ...wherever the Lord provided me an opportunity. Sometimes that meant going against the grain of well-established groups, authoritative figures, and institutions. Then and now, you would find me regularly situated in the midst of polar opposites: liberal and conservative, senior saints and youth/young adults, older preachers and younger preachers, progressive and legalistic, African-American and Caucasian, etc. I feel strongly and ardently that my viewpoint is unique and endemic to my own experiential existence.

I'm not a sit-on-the-sidelines type of person...never have been, never will be. And, despite some individuals who try to relegate me to the bench, the Lord usually opens a way for me to get in the game in ways they would never expect.

I'm no fire-starter. Fires have been burning for years, decades, centuries, millennia...  All I choose and desire to do is share with you what I see as a result of the fires - how high the fire is, why I believe it burns, who is getting burned/has been burnt/might or will get burned - and discuss how to address them - seeing the fire with a different mindset, facing the fires, figuring out possible ways they can be extinguished, suggesting preventive measures to keep fires from starting or burning higher than they are.

I'm praying about this endeavor. I'm praying that what I share will inform, proclaim, educate, minister, convict, celebrate, challenge, cause reflection, and incite change. I'm praying that God will direct my conscious thought to produce written words that will not get lost in translation. I'm praying that, through it all, God will get His just glory...and His kingdom, the society that surrounds us, the communities in which we live, the congregations in which we worship and serve, and the people in them will be better off. Sounds ambitious. To tweak the popular catchphrase, it's better for me to "go big, THEN go home."

So I'm going there. I'm not going to reveal in this post in which ways I am. I'd rather just encourage you to simply take it one post at a time.

I Will No Longer Be Silent



This is my official first post on this blog. I have largely been quiet for way too long in speaking on a lot of issues and topics, so now the floodgates are about to open.  That does not mean that I have not been thinking about the world in which we live, the church/Kingdom to which I am committed, and how they intersect in more ways than we may realize.  I've been doing a LOT of thinking over the past few years, but very few individuals have chosen to ask what goes on in the recesses of my mind.  This is what prompted me to start this blog.  In continuing to function as a thinker of a unique sort, I ask questions, challenge myself in answering questions, look in multiple directions for connections, ponder possible solutions, play the apologist/revolutionary, avail myself to dialogue whenever I am able, etc.

Since I'm starting this blog, I'm not saying that I will be a machine and churn out a post every other day.  But as my thoughts emerge, I will share my views, opinions, and convictions using this blog, which I hope will make you want to come back to read more.

For those that know me well, I'd like to say that I hope that this blog will challenge you to think differently about familiar or unfamiliar subject matter, possibly inspire you to have and use your voice for constructive transformation (whether personal or collective), and motivate you to tell others about it.  For those that don't know me well...or know me at all...what I hope to achieve is just to open your mind to a man striving to bring an authentic, honest, and organic thought process.  And with that process, my hope is for you to be moved in whatever way you choose to move...or BE MOVED.

I'd like to thank the Lord Jesus, Who is still and always will be God, for the gift of my wife for encouraging me to do this after reading some of my soon-to-be-published posts...as well as a well-known journalist friend who has my back in doing this.  (I'm not dropping names...need-to-know basis.)  For those I love and appreciate, I know that the support and honest, constructive criticism will be there too.

Just for the record, I tend to go anywhere on the language spectrum from the proverbial "twenty-dollar" words (I consider myself a wordsmith and etymologist) to slang (I feel I have enough cred in various circles to earn a genuine level of respect).  If you're reading this and don't understand some of the words that I use, just hang in there...you will get the point I'm making one way or the other.  (Plus there's always Dictionary.com.) 

I left the door open to the Comments section.  Feel free to comment, but be respectful as Blogger does give me the access to shut it down if things get out of hand.  Hopefully, we are all mature people and can respect each other in this endeavor of mine.

With those things in mind, click on a post.  Any post.  And keep on coming back...and spread the word/Word...


P.S.: Don't bother to click on the "About Me" section of my blog just yet.  I'll have it completed in "the fulness of time..."