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Showing posts from 2009

COP15 Copenhagen Summit has finally arrived: Are we still going to play ball?

In my past blog on August 29, 2009 on the current Copenhagen summit, I asked two poignant questions: Is America ready to play ball? Can we afford to continue to ignore the problem of climate change and global warming? Answers to these two questions would probably come to the surface in the current 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15), holding in the city center of Bella, Copenhagen, Denmark.

As we speak, delegates from 193 countries are talking over cups of coffee on the issue of carbon emission, rising sea levels in Island states and many parts of the poorest areas of the world. The concern in the following two weeks, December 6 -18th, was summarized in the opening speech of the United Nation’s Climate Chief, Yvo de Boer, that global warming does not discriminate against any nation, and it affects all of us. In his humble opinion, it is important that advanced countries and societies like United States establish emissions reduction targets and have a financial commitment to help many …

A DAY OF THANKS

HEAP HIGH THE BOARD WITH PLENTEOUS CHEER AND GATHER TO THE FEAST,
AND TOAST THE STURDY PILGRIM BAND WHOSE COURAGE NEVER CEASED.
GIVE PRIASE TO THAT ALL-GRACIOUS ONE BY WHOM THEIR STEPS WERE LED,
AND THANKS UNTO THE HARVEST’S LORD WHO SEND OUR “DAILY BREAD”.

------ Alice Williams Brotherton, The First Thanksgiving Day.

PRAYER OF GRATITUDE FOR OUR VETERANS

God the Father,
Have Mercy upon your Soldiers;
God the Son,
Have Mercy upon your Soldiers;
God the Holy Spirit,
Have Mercy upon your Soldiers.

For Soldiers who have served for our Freedom,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For your Soldiers who served in the course of your people,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For your Soldiers who have fallen in the heat of war,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For Soldiers you have called home,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For family members they left behind,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For Soldiers who have felt no gratitude from your children,
Have compassion on their Sins;
For the living who have benefitted from the sacrifice of life by your Soldiers,
Have compassion on their Sins.

For our political leaders who make decisions that take our children to war,
Look kindly upon their Sins;
For our youth who are about to be sent to war,
Look kindly upon their Sins;
For our middle-age who are about to be shipped to war,
Look kindly upon their Sins;
For…

A NOBLE TO THE CHIEF: Humility at it’s best!

For full-disclosure purposes, everyone who know me can attest to my unflinching loyalty to the success of Obama’s Presidency. Next to my marriage and children, my dedication to the Presidency of Obama is probably the only other thing that has taken the better part of my life since January 8, 2009. It is not just a question of voting for him last November, it is even more of a ritual of all the wrongs that I have heard all my life about black men not amounting to nothing. For me, Obama is a gem of a man and President. I intend to call him out if he is wrong, but I am as loyal to him as one can get to another human being. He is not only our President, he is that type of leader that I believe this country deserves and any well meaning and reflective leader will appreciate.

Today, the Noble Peace Prize Committee saw the same qualities in this Black man and awarded him the 2009 Noble Peace Prize. The committee not only appreciated this man, they saw the hope and aspiration that his Preside…

Hysteria over the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

We live in a winner-take-all society, where the object of aspiration of everyone, is how to make extra money, grab more power and prestige, and stay close to an exit strategy with a golden parachute if the bottom falls out of the cash cows. The news that companies as Nike, Pacific Gas and Electric and others are resigning from the US Chamber of Commerce because of their opposition to the Clean Energy Jobs and America Power Act, introduced by Senator Kerry and Boxer today, should not come as a surprise to anyone. These companies depend on the burning of coal and carbon to oil the engine of their money maker.To introduce a bill in Congress that will restrict this opportunity, in any form or shape, or curtail the ability of these companies to continue to reap the benefit of burning more carbon, is obviously an affront. These companies will not sit back and watch their cash cows brutalized by mere men in Congress. They have taken their stand, with respect to the burning of carbon, whether…

TED KENNEDY REMEMBERED IN A POEM

Ted lived and enjoyed earthly happiness;
Ted loved so much to be our Senator from Massachusetts.

Ted Lived and loved;
Ted woke and slept;
Ted sung and danced;
Ted smiled, roared in the senate and wept;
Ted had lived, run the course fortune allotted him.

Ted was prayed for today;
Ted was eulogized by the President today;
Ted was blessed by the Catholic Church and his final service was gracious;
May for him, damned to poesy.

Ted says the work must go on, we believe;
Ted says the course must endure, we believe;
Ted says the hope still lives, we believe.
Ted says the dream shall never die, we believe.

To those saints that live in the hearts of many;
May our gracious God forgive them their sins and accept them to eternal glory.

Amen

The Mountain that was God: - Romanticizing about the Clean Air Act (Waxman-Markey)

The Mountain that was God, that is how the Indians describe the majesty of the Rainier Mountain in Washington State. The awesomeness of the glacier part of the mountain during the summer months of July through October makes you marvel about the beauty of nature; and, challenges you to ask everyone: why we don’t want to preserve our environment the way nature has offered it to us? Walking through the glacier view trail of the mountain gives you a feeling of grace and beauty. My children refer the feeling simply as “paradise”. Not only do you experience some serenity about the environment, you can literally feel the melting snow down the slopes turning to effortless clean water for you to drink.

I imagine if we all can work hard, to keep our water, air and environment clean, maybe we will not have to suffer too hard to the extent that some of us have to see our doctors often. And if you are contemplating where I am taking the blog to this night, I’ll say save your breath, it is not about…

TRIBUTE TO A FINE POLITICIAN: EDWARD MOORE KENNEDY

It is written that a man dies only once and then it's judgment. In the annals of Ted Kennedy’s life are stories of courage, defeat, triumph, despondence, grief, exhilaration, faith and endurance. And when he died two days ago, no word could be enough to describe his contribution to life. Yes, life. Many of his colleagues in the Senate, even those who held a different political conviction, shared of his grief by writing gracious statements about this fiery lion of a liberal leaning. Some expressed the pain of his brother’s death, others mentioned his memorable public service, others yet talked about his family life, and a few about Chappaquiddick. Like the man in life, many were able to compartmentalize their views between his private and his public life. So, you could have read an array of opinions, but what is very important in all these semi-eulogies, is the respect and honor that every persons gave to this man. American Vice President Joseph Biden adduced this respect and honor…

SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY, THANK YOU, GOOD NIGHT AND GOD’S SPEED

I hate writing obituaries, but I humbly write this one for the greatest of all men, at a moment of grief. Until his dying day, Ted Kennedy was at the fore front of some of the amazing moments in the history of American Politics. Ted did not win the Presidency for himself when he tried in 1980, but he stood firm legendarily behind Barack Obama, when he chose to run, even when the high and mighty in the Democratic Party were seating out on the fence. Edward M. Kennedy, the brother of the best known icons of American politics, Jack and Bobby, was a remarkable public figure who stood for justice, kindness and compassion. Who can ever forget the fight for the Medicare Prescription Drug benefits for seniors, as Ted led the fight dedicatedly. He fought for the elderly, the young and the disenfranchised not only as a politician, but as a dedicated brother, our friend and our better senator from Massachusetts and the Kennedy clan.

The greatest ally of President Obama in the fight for a reform…

Climate Conference in Copenhagen: Is America Ready to Play Ball?

In the world of climate change gurus, the up coming Copenhagen summit is probably going to be a turning point. If the conference goes on as scheduled and if members at the conference representing a mired of governments all over the world agree on some critical issues on the protocol, it may be possible to resuscitate this document or commitment by countries to help halt the problem of climate change and global warming. The protocol which is scheduled to expire if nothing is done by 2012, calls the attention of governments to the problem of climate change and global warming, and seeks commitment from signatories to the protocol to help advance the objectives of the protocol.

Since the USA was not a signatory to the protocol, you may ask why we should bother. Well, two major developments: 1) there is a new body of knowledge in America that somewhat recognizes the existence of the problem of climate change and global warming. I use the word somewhat here, because there are still some ragg…

National Politics: Solving Unemployment Problem in America.

Unemployment is naturally not a subject that this blog is known for. It is also not one area that I would like to spend much of my time. The only reason it got on this blog today is the alarming rate of house foreclosures in my State. National Foreclosure Listing informs me that Washington State is ranked 16th in the rate of foreclosures among the fifty states of the Federation. Most recent foreclosures I understand are as a result of people loosing their jobs not the dubious adjusted rate mortgage debacle that banks like Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and other banks are accused of. Incidentally, many of these banks have been found in the throes of willing and dealing which are hardly acceptable in good bank and financial institutions management. The unusual nature of mortgage loans that were underwritten and the frantic pace at which many of these loans were closed or wrapped up, make one wonder?

Further, I hate to discuss unemployment, because it was one area of…

Washington State Politics: Candidate Susan Hutchinson for the King County Executive Position

As I promised my readers a month ago, I will be bringing you my humble assessment of candidates for the King County Executive Position vacated by Rom Sims. If political polls are anything to base one’s judgment, then it seems that the likely successor to the Former King County Executive will be Susan Hutchinson. Or, maybe not! Well, King 5 News upfront Survey USA reported her as leading in the polls for the position at 39%. Others are Constantine (12%); Phillip (8%); Jarret (7%); Hunter (6%); Lobdell (2%); Goodspaceguy (2%); Lippmann (1%); and 22%, remain undecided. For many of us who appreciate what a month or week can do in the life of a politician, that is obviously a rather slim lead. However, you never call tell.

So who is Susan Hutchinson? According to reports from her campaign, she was formerly a KIRO Television News anchor woman with a BS from University of Florida. She has some great fortunes working for her, the first being that she is the only woman in the pack of eight can…

Reflecting on the past : A credit to ACHSA School Song

If you read my profile, you'll probably miss the name of my high school. I ran into my high school yearbook yesterday and found this school song; the wordings still resonate with me today just as it did thirty-nine year's ago:

1. Land of our birth, we pledge to thee

our love and toil in the years to be,

when we are grown and take our place

as men and women with our race.

2. Father in heaven, who lovest all,

O help thy children when they call,

that they may build from age to age

an undefiled heritage.

3. Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,

with steadfastness and careful truth,

that, in our time, thy grace may give

the truth whereby the nations live.

4. Teach us to rule ourselves always,

controlled and cleanly night and day,

that we may bring, if need arise,

no maimed or worthless sacrifice.

5. Teach us to look in all our ends,

on thee for Judge, and not our friends,

that we, with thee, may walk uncowed

by fear or favor of the crowd.

6. Land of our birth, our faith, our pride,

for whose dear sake our…

A TRIBUTE TO ALL AMERICANS ON THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY

Today we will remember our independence with excerpts of a letter from President John Adams to his wife, a day before our independence in the year of the Lord, 1776:

• Yesterday, the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.

• The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generation as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other from the time forward forevermore.

If I understand very well the two excerpts from Presid…

Washington State Politics: What did we get for the outdoor burning provisions of the Clean Air Act?

Two interesting voting events happened in Washington State Legislature on April 7, 2009 and March 3, 2009. Both Washington Senate (48 yea, 0 Nay) and House of Representative (98 yea, 0 Nay) voted unanimously, to support and pass the nonsubstantive changes clarifying outdoor burning provisions of the Washington Clean Air Act. The Law which will take effect on July 26th, twenty-three days from today, clarified some difficult issues regarding outdoor burning and the clean air act.

The bill initiated as Senate bill 5767, was signed into Law on April 16, 2009 by Governor Gregoire. As signed, the Law says no person shall engage in any outdoor burning, including the combustion of material of any type in an open fire or in an outdoor container, without providing for emissions control from combustion. In other words, those of us heading for the mountains hide away, recluses or wherever you go to kill time during the summer months, must now be careful as we attempt to combust our lunch leftover…

Washington Politics: Who is the greenest Candidate for King County Executive?

You have heard this before: there are no victimless crimes in politics. That is of course, if you have been listening to Bill Moyers on PBS radio or television. This is once again true if you have been inquisitive and talking to people in the know, regarding who is likely to replace Ron Sims as the King County Executive. For those of us who are not familiar with Washington State politics, let me bring you up to speed: The biggest county in terms of population and commerce in Washington State lost its county executive to the Obama’s administration. Rom Sims, the former chief executive of the county is now an Obama’s executive. His temporary replacement, who had worked in close proximity with Mr. Sims, is Ballard resident Kurt Triplett, who had worked with the county for 17 years. Immediately Mr. Triplett indicated in his acceptance of his interim position with the words: “The reason why I was chosen was I’ve been with King County in various levels of senior management,” the politics of…

The challenge ahead: Passing the Waxman-Markey Bill in the U.S. Senate

Passing the Clean Energy and Security legislation of 2009, the Waxman-Markey bill, may be a major turn around when it comes up for voting before U.S. Senate. If the closeness of the voting result in the U.S. House on the bill is any indication, one can safely assume that we have a clear challenge ahead of us. For those of us who are perturbed by the marginal result in the house, 219-212 vote, I’ll say, hold your breath, we have not lost it yet. We have tried to convince the world that we need this bill, it is important that we remain optimistic as the debate begins in the senate. We should never lose faith in our level of support; neither should we take anything for granted. We need 60 votes in the senate and we will fight for every one of them. We need support for a bill that will set our nation and people apart for the better, and this bill is the most likely candidate to change the way we treat our environment and ourselves. Waxman-Markey is set to change federal laws on energy, po…

Seeking Congressional Support for Clean Energy Legislation: Waxman-Markey

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Congressman:

As you debate the climate change initiative and vote on the Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey) today in that hallowed building of all, I, like most Americans will want you to consider the following 10 observations by experts, federal agencies, politicians and ordinary people:
• The energy efficiency provision of Waxman-Markey could save households approximately $1050 by 2020 and $4400 by 2030, according to an updated analysis by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE);
• The legislation is expected to create 305,000 jobs and through the energy efficiency that could occur will help generate 770,000 jobs by the year 2030;
• The legislation will help cut down on green-house emissions, by gradually capping its emission level at seventeen percent below the 2005 level by 2020;
• The nonpartisan Congressional Budget office estimated that households may save $175 annually by 2020 and government sales of auction permits will help offset c…

Assessing Washington State legislative debates: A look at the Climate Change leadership debate

Connecting to the House of Representative debates on Climate change leadership in Olympia, Washington State, during the wee hours of the night, could be very fascinating. While the average citizen attempts to connect to the legislators by watching their debates on TVW, more ardent believers call for transcripts on debate(s) before the house. Which ever way you get your legislative deliberations or fix, you are not very far from the reality of what goes on in the halls of power. Some of the debates you hear are so flabbergasting that you wonder why on earth a legislator advances a bill or proposed an amendment that seems very far in content and spirit of the actual bill. One of such experience was my incursion into listening to debates on several amendments to ESSB 5560, Clean Energy Initiative as late as 11:06 (Pacific Standard Time - PST), on April 16, 2009.

During the debates that led to the full house consideration of the bill, amendments were raised by legislators that seem, at bes…

Somewhere in the horizon is a health care system of the people, by the people and for the People.

An annonymous writer once said: “If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” In the spirit of this annonymous saying the greatest American President ever known, whom our current President touts as a role model, invested huge govenment expenditure to improve bridges, railroads, canals, college education and the lots of ordinary workers. I believe that President Lincoln, if confronted with the current Health Care System in his time, would have done the same, invested the state’s money, time and wisdom in seeing that ordinary Americans get a shot at the type of health care system that does not bankrupt them or their enterprises. Like a resourceful leader, Lincoln kept his eyes on the sparrow believing in a conviction that a good government must be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, including my friends of the skid rows in Los Angeles.

The answer to the question of whether President Obama should spend some o…

Clarion Call to the faithfuls in support of reform in American Healthcare System

Public health insurance options that saves citizens money is what the Obama administration is shooting for, so goes the advert to drum up support for the health care reform initiative before lawmakers. Whether the Republican Party will allow him to do just that, is still subject to debate in light of the growing budget deficit. Many congressmen, who have waited several years to see reform in the health care system, are complaining that the brutal tactics being employed by opponents of the bill may still allow some citizens to remain uninsured, despite an extension of some reform in current healthcare packages that may make the complete overhaul, a little less challenging.

Opponents are already indicating that Obama has chosen the ‘borrow and spend’ strategy to advance the national health care reform. The probable One trillion dollars price tag associated with the reform by the Congressional Budget Office has not helped either. The nonperforming economy helps complicate issues further.…

Wither to: An Inclusive National Comprehensive Health Reform?

The intense level of debate in the congress with respect to a national comprehensive health reform was made possible by some elements of our democracy that make it imperative that issues are given first, second, third and probably many more looks before we reach a consensus. By the beginning of the century, congress had invented and perfected legislative processes, which projected a bill from the committee level deliberations, to first, second and probably third readings in the house; to fevering debates on house and senate floors; to the merging of preferences between voted agreement from the floor of the house to that of the consensus in senate; before a final accord is reached on a bill that is forwarded to the desk of the President to be signed into the law of the land. This arduous process looks like a long, challenging and sometimes frustrating approach to making a law. It is even more crushing or breathtaking, when the bill is a comprehensive health reform in the age of underpe…

Delivering Voting Success for the Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009: the way forward.

Going forward, supporters of Waxman-Markey bill must learn to manage both the transactions (operational influence in peddling a bill through the committee deliberations stages to the House and Senate debate floors) with transformation (changing the way opponents perceive the goal of the bill), for there to be widespread support for the bill at the stage of final voting. In getting the bill passed, there is a need for operational influence that is dynamic, not changing the content of the message but addressing the concerns of potential critics and making sure that concerns are immediately and effectively countered: point for point. This proactive approach requires constant reflection(s) as we debate the merits of the bill. The approach to the debates on the floors of both houses must be peppered with communication effectiveness and efficiency, while staying grounded with the spirit of the content of the bill and the ethos of democratic values. We must understand that nothing can be ach…

Redeeming the promise of America through Universal Health Care

People of Federal Way, People of King County, People of Washington State, People of America, there is no more important thing on my mind than the health care initiative being debated in the corridors of our government nowadays. I am pausing today to talk about an issue that is as important as the environment: health care for the millions of Americans who are either under insured or uninsured. Finding the solution to the thorny issue of cost, if we ever get to the stratosphere of providing universal health care for all God’s children, Jews and Gentile, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Baha’i, Unorthodox and Orthodox (my apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), will be a minor issue. Whenever there is a will there is a way, so goes the saying.

Listening to Governor Gregoire talk to KUOW/NPR yesterday in their ‘meet personalities in government’ program, gave me an eye opener: It will take us everything to get the universal health care initiative through the congress this seco…

Connect the Dots: National Health Care Insurance and Limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Efforts to introduce a National Health Care Insurance Policy for Americans has received criticism from opponents in the past on the basis of who was behind the first initiative at the executive wing; costs of such initiative; and, the fear that an initiative of this nature can only be construed as Health Socialism, since it will not allow for complete freedom of choice, including the: 1) freedom to pick one's doctor and treatment source; 2) freedom to move care to a provider of choice when there is an unsatisfactory performance in the care of loved ones by medical personnel; 3) freedom to allow pharmaceutical companies to conduct basic research that may dramatically improve production of revolutionary drugs and vaccines that will solve the challenge of cancer or similar ailment.

Here are a couple of reasons why the Clinton Administration’s stab at the first National Health Insurance initiative failed: 1) It’s goal of designing a comprehensive universal health care for all Americans…

American hotels effort to Conserve Water and Energy

I have been away for a week at University of California, Los Angeles. One of my good friends invited me to the graduation ceremony of her daughter in Films and Television at that California premier flagship college in Films, Television and Theater. It was a good time to visit with some of my classmates at Oklahoma State University some of whom I saw last thirty years ago. I stayed for three days at Piccadilly Inn Hotels in Fresno, California, where I was treated to some decency in hospitality. That was however, half of the fun, the other, was seeing in the market place, what American hotels were doing in conserving water and energy. The hotel in collaboration with the Project Planet program ran campaign around their hotel rooms with fliers saying: We invite you to join with us to conserve water by using your linens and towels more than once. In addition to decreasing water and energy consumption, you help us use fewer environmentally harmful chemicals and reduce the amount of detergen…