Monday, November 19, 2007

The Long, Long Silence

I haven't said a word in this blog since August. And although this is the case, my blog is not dead. I decided to take a long break in writing due to the fact that there has been too much on my plate this Fall. Unfortunately, that didn't mean that I had delusions of grandeur when it came to dealing with a hectic schedule. Always a hard worker, I thought I could multi-task everything when it came to dealing with my message board, blog and several other endeavors that I had my hands into.

The results of my hubris told me otherwise. Too much had been piled upon me. And if you added my recent dental drama (two root canals and one on the way), I have been swamped in terms of my personal life as well as my writing life.

It's not that I didn't think about world events. I still discuss politics with my father and mother on the phone. I still debate these issues with friends in real life as well as on other forums that have been much more pleasant than past experiences with the the forum that won't be named. And I was able to discuss these issues with a lot of people who have opened my eyes to new horizons.

I also quietly celebrated the fact that one of my dear friends, Niki Aguirre, has finally published a book of her stories and is finishing her novel. I am in awe to know someone who has made their mark in the literary world. And with this news, I send her continued wishes and blessings on her future progress.

But, now, I just have to get my mettle together and get back into the writing thing. There are a lot of things I would like to discuss politically and socially that have been at the top of my plate. Feminism, race, politics and other issues have been gnawing at me to get back to the written word. And after my dental woes are finally out of the way, I might just do that.

But right now, I consider myself in a holding period. I am reading, listening and discussing things with others at this point. And then, when I find something that sparks my passionate discourse, my words will grace this blog once again.

You can bet on it. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reflecting on Hurricane Katrina

Today is a bittersweet anniversary. Everytime this day rolls by, my mind harkens back to sitting with my family and watching in horror as people who looked like us begged into the camera for food, water and help. I still feel the anger as I remember how the government sat on its hands while people suffered immensely trying to escape the disaster. And still, my lip are pressed in quiet frustration as I remember the constant mentioning in the MSM about the "refugees" who "looted" and did not "find".

As I understand, New Orleans is fighting to survive, yet has a long way to go. While ninth ward continues to be left in the dust, the French Quarter is being rebuilt and tourists are coming back. While the survivors of this horrible occurrence continue to reside in formaldehyde-laced FEMA trailers, the city is becoming more "gentrified". A few has returned. But for the most part, the citizens of the wonderful city has scattered to different parts of the country in order to start their lives over.

When I think about the beauty of New Orleans, I ponder on my grandmother's friends who stayed across from her apartment in Texas. Every time myself and my family would visit, they would come out of their apartment. The wife would embrace me, my father, mother and sister and call us, Cher and Cherie and then proceed to tell us how they talk to my grandmother everyday and keep a watch on her (knowing that she is in her nineties). The wife and the husband would also wear the weariness of the last two years on their faces as they worry about their people back in Louisiana and what they went through on a daily basis since the levees broke.

Their resilience and strength continues to encourage me that despite the hardships that the survivors face in Louisiana, no one gives up. They struggle to continue their lives doing the best that they can. And in light of this, they still face the indignity of an imperial presidency who made fifteen "so-called" visits and have done nothing in terms of improving the condition of the people of the Gulf Coast. What is even worse, in the State of the Union Address, the "imperial" President, didn't even mention their plight or acknowledged them. The most consistent thing he did was do "fly overs" and "photo-ops" just to make people "forget" his quip about "Brownie doing a heckuva job".

Two years later has caused a lot of changes, nevertheless. Michael Chertoff (who was at a conference when the levees broke) is now being considered to replace exiting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. New Orleans has become the "murder capital" of America. FEMA has been absorbed into the Dept. of Homeland Security.

And then, again, a lot of things haven 't changed. Condoleeza Rice still hasn't shown up or spoken about how she felt about what happened in Louisiana. And of course, people are still fighting about what needs to be done to restore the luster back to the old grande dame of a city.

All that I know is that the American government turned its back on her and her citizens. They left her to wallow in her misery. And then, the government rebuked her and placed her people into "disposability" because in the aftermath of the floods, the chaos in front of the small screen revealed to the world how supposedly the "greatest" democracy actually treated its citizens who fell below the radar. In doing so, they not only offended the larger expanse of Americans across the states, they opened the eyes of the world.

I wish the survivors the best as they continue to make their lives better and more fulfilled in light of what happened. Hope lies with them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fear and Wisdom

This is dedicated to all my friends, including Gem, DC Fusion, Harlem Hottie, Duzey, truthseeka, NMaginate, Listener, Bripe, donwhite, Mr. Zedd, Majic, parrhesia, psyopswatcher, maria_stardust, Just Generic, SevenSeal17, and the very literate and witty Niki. :)

It's been quite a while since I've written. But, nevertheless, it has been a time of activity in my own personal life. I've been going through life changes challenging my sanity, let alone my will in order to make it in this world. And, for the countless people online whom I've exchanged insights with day after day, week after week, year after year, they know me as someone who is passionately writing my insights fearlessly throughout the ups and downs of my discursive efforts on the Web. However, what a lot of people don't know is that it takes courage and insight to keep on getting out there even after the pitfalls that have happened to me during my adventures as a blog writer, forum participant and now, an Admnistrator of my own message board.

It also takes the daily practice of working with fear. You see a lot of people online write a plethora of things that produce a variety of reactions to a whole lot of people. Some of us write and produce art that many others read and see because of that love of doing it. And for myself, who has had to deal with shyness, self-doubt and a sometimes wondering if I said the right thing, it takes a lot of work to pick myself up and get out there again. But the fear never leaves sometimes, because you never know how people might react to what you've written and shared. For myself, I've faced the best of times, but equally had some ugly moments in which contentious subjects have brought out the worst of human character.

Like anyone else who has read countless discussion threads on a daily basis, you'd be amazed with what people say--especially in the face of frustration and anger. As I've mentioned in other capacities, I've had people insult my writing, call me names, proclaim that I was "delusional", say that I "didn't have empathy" and much worse. I've also been singled out in many capacities as being "disruptive" and "standing on a soapbox" (of which came from the very big Cheeze Whiz from a forum long, long ago who petulantly challeneged me to go elsewhere to discuss my favorite subjects because it "wasn't what the community wanted".).

And there are some posters who don't hold anything back. They let it fly. And the darkest moments come when they intentionally hurt others just because they can. That has happened through the discourse of social and political discussion. When I've read their insights and comments in such a fashion (after such a barrage of degradation that comes from their words), I wonder how they were able to sleep at night, let alone wake up every morning and go on with their lives.

But, I've realized, that even the worst posters (and bloggers, too) who do share their anger and outrage in such blatant ways, have to deal with fear. That moment of clarity in realizing my own actions on-line, has produce a deeper epiphany with me. With that knowledge, I am able (in the words of Dr. Susan Jeffers), to "feel the fear and do it anyway". ;)

Fear is something that everyone has. But instead of letting it structure my writing and conversations on-line, I see it as a challenge. I took baby steps long ago in saying my take on the pointed subjects of the day. I said very little at first because my overwhelming shyness held limitations that prevented me from saying what I truly think. And then, in the midst of issues that I passionately cared about, I began to blossom. Suffice it to say, the fear was still there. But, I continued to talk and embarked on my oddessy online.

And so far, what a voyage it has been. I've talked with people in all sorts of capacities. People have shared things with me that have opened my mind to different possibilities. I've cried, commisserated, laughed and advised. I've faced down groups of posters, battled with mods, and gone forth to tell the tale. And I've received some very beautiful notes of support along the way in which I keep as a motivation to continue talking, writing and producing my insights for others to read; it is also for me to explore the current events of the day. Along the way, I've learned so many interesting truths about humanity, especially when it is at its darkest. I've also realized that people--no matter what happens--are very resilient. We continue to go on even when embarrassing things happen in the face of the on-line comunity. We continue to create, share our words, nurture friendships and even, impart wisdom from time to time.

So, fear, is a companion to me. It challenges me. It embraces me. It helps me to put myself in the shoes of other people. And, it instills me with the courage to go on even the face of trials that have rocked me. And, of course, it has allowed me to continue to keep on being heard despite the fact that sometimes, I've faced people who didn't like what I've had to say.

But most of all, my challenges have brought me the fruits of satisfaction and wonderful people into my circle of whom I cherish and admire profusely. I thank them for their gifts of friendship they have brought me. And I enjoy their words everyday because they add in my understanding of the world and everything that is in it. They help me continue on this road of writing and conversing about current events. And in my personal life, I'm able to see the world with new eyes.

Fear can be a crippling influence. But when you embrace it, it is a friend and a confidant that can help you do so much more. :)

More political insights coming soon!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Nary An Entry In the Last Two Weeks.....

I just wanted to let you know that the last few weeks in Real Life has been hectic. I have not abandoned my blog. Nor have I turned my back on politics. After I finish my off-line work, I will be back to fill this illustrious blog with entries once again.

I send my apologies to my new and old readers for the long pause in the face of several momentous events. There will be new material soon once things settle down for me to write like the Dickens. ;)

So hang in there. And I thank you very much for your patronage. :)

Take care,


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Some More Afterthoughts about Impeachment

As I was writing the previous entry, I looked up a good definition about impeachment. This comes from Alex Thompson's A Glossary of US Politics & Government(2007):

impeachment: The act of charging a public official with misconduct, and determining whether or not they should be removed from office. In the case of federal government employees, it is the US Congress that prosecutes the impeachment process. Proceedings are initiated in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. This body holds hearings on the allegations and then reports to the floor of the House on whether an individual should answer to charges of 'treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours' (Article Three of the US constitution). The House, after debating this report, collectively determines whether impeachment is appropriate with a simple majority vote. If it is deemed that charges are warranted, Articles of Impeachment are drawn up, and passed over to the US Senate.

Senators collectively act as a court to judge the charges brought by the House. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides. A guilty verdict requires a two-thirds majority vote. Conviction will result in this official being removed from post, and the Senate may also bar them from future public office. Congress has no power to invoke criminal penalties on those found guilty, although additional legal charges may follow from law enforcement agencies.


Most famously, President Richard Nixon avoided being impeached by resigning from office in 1974, over the Watergate affair. In Nixon's case, the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary recommended to the floor of the House that Articles of Impeachment be drawn up, but Nixon vacated the White House before a floor vote could confirm impeachment. Congress may not impeach an individual after they have left office.

--Thompson, Alex. A Glossary of US Politics & Government. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2007: 89-90.

These are some things to think about when the notion of impeachment is brought up during this time. After all, these ideas must be seriously contemplated and continued to be debated as we go through these drastic changes in society.


Powered by WebRing.