Friday, July 19, 2013

We Need Another Edward R Morrow Again

Even though his language was too sophisticated for a little New York/Puerto Rican girl, I grew up occasionally catching Morrow on TV. He was visible on CBS. Later, much later, a film was made about his public dispute with McCarthy. I like the movie as it shows what good investigative journalism can accomplish. Below is a story by Moyers and Light on a site called RePost. For a sample of journalism that matters, I think many of you will enjoy it. It seems that old things are new again.


Watch Edward R. Murrow’s ‘Harvest of Shame’ (via Moyers & Company)

The people who harvest our fruits and vegetables are, today, among the country’s most marginalized. They earn well below the poverty line and spend a substantial portion of the year unemployed. They do not have the right to overtime pay or to collective…

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gandolfino RIP

I've noticed a lot of people younger than myself are dying. Although I did not know about Gandolfino outside his role as Tony Soprano, I quickly learned of his activism for Veterans of the Wars our country engages in. In one scene from one of his documentaries, he says that there is something wrong with asking loyalty, duty, honor from our soldiers and other military personnel when the country does not respond with honor and loyalty to these soldiers.

Mr. Gandolfino died away from "home" and was not known as well in the land of his ancestors as much as here in the US. Because he did not advertise all of his activism, it took his death to inform readers of the press about him. However, those of us whose cultures are similar to Italian Culture and who share the religious teachings of Social Justice in the Catholic Church culture which is common to many of us identify with his impulses to do good. We also identify with any impulse to enjoy life and care for our families. Therefore, although I did not personally know Mr. Gandolfino, I feel he was a brother traveling in the same world during most of my life. He wasn't the leading type in his looks. Some of the characters he played were blue collar workers striving to make their way up the social ladder. From his work using his celebrity to help society, he has increased the worth of being human.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Catching up with Life--or Trying to Do So

I'm really not catching up with life as I've been living and making changes to my life seems like forever. I have buried my face in books and the nook. Loving so many genres I've read all 20 Kate Shugak mysteries by Dana Stabenow, re-read Katherine by Anya Seton, looked up the biography of John of Gaunt -- Katherine de Roet's love interest, poetry books, and I'm trying to get into a book by Richard Rorty titled: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. However I must get to writing my biography if not for the world to see but for my children.

I've started that project many times and now have many documents to prove my attempts. Someone in my circle of friends on Goodreads posted a title that should help me end my writer's block but before buying it I downloaded a free sample to my Nook. It does not contain anything I already do not know. I saved myself $10 plus tax. :)
Now it is up to me and my little grey cells to work at developing a writer's habit. We'll see if I get up and running with my work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sonia Soto Mayor

I want to mention the joy I felt when Vice-President Joseph Biden was sworn into office by my compatriot, the honorable Sonia Soto Mayor. Her presence on the podium, I am certain, lifted the pride, hearts, and minds of other Puerto Ricans whether on the mainland or on La Isla del Encanto--Puerto Rico.

Upon Obama's Second Inauguration

I am so accustomed to listening to MSNBC that I get shocked by the unkind things people on other news channels have to say about President Obama. Today, however, I'll not allow negativity enter my heart. I realize others are malicious only because they know how trivial their ideas are compared to the ideals which Our President Obama has developed. Joyfully I note that his ideals are really so much like mine and those of our country's past heroes like Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy's. I could be jealous of the height and glamour that this president and his lovely life's partner possess, but I choose not to be so because it is not Mr. and Mrs. Obama's fault that they are tall and I am short. I could be jealous of the chemistry that sizzles from their interactions on the dance floor.:) No I am thrilled that the person whose burden in running this country has a gorgeous and tall supportive spouse. I feel joy that his family supports him with love. These are the way people should be. I am sad by the fact that too many ignore the heavy lifting that it takes to keep the ship of state on its plotted course and safe from tyrannical hands.

I feel or rather have come to the conclusion that many of the problems people have with the Obama presidency lies in the fact that GREED has camouflaged as "success." As a result core American values have been hijacked and lost. Fortunately, our president has a strong sense of history and knowledge of the constitution upon which our government was founded. His heroes have been mine for a very long time. MLK, JFK, RFK, FDR, and all those in the arts who strove for peace over war these have been the heroes of my lifetime. So to are the sisters like Mother Theckla, my favorite and best remembered teacher from Sacred Heart Villa, where I learned the most important precepts of what it means to follow Christ without being sanctimonious about it. An old Jane Wyman movie's title names the characteristic I'm talking about. To give without asking for something in return, to help others without seeking praise,these are the morals in that old movie whose title fits the selflessness with which we should approach the doing our duty or doing good deeds--Magnificent Obsession. The movie itself is too melodramatic but its core lesson is a good one for our times as well as the 1950s when it came out.

I hope that I haven't been too selfish; although, I do have a penchant for loving my children too strongly. Perhaps that isn't too bad a quality in a mother. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Clearing the Past for the Future

Okay, it's just before New Year's Day and I want begin writing more consistently. I've been working at sorting out papers from many years ago. Before dumping them in the trash, I thought I'd look some over and I'm happily surprised to find foundations for future writings.

My degree from the University of Arizona was in Rhetoric and Composition. Since I'm addicted to historical biographies I am also happiest when studying the rhetoric used in the past and used by marginalized people.

One of Life's Changes

The Christmas season, which I used to enjoy and look forward to seemed different this year. My youngest daughter was not in town and it is she who makes Christmas happen as I did when all my children lived under one roof with me. My son has some of the same traditions but does not include new ones as easily as my youngest daughter would. Since he's the "adult child" closest to me I do spend time with him and the children. One of the best things about this years Christmas is my new grandson. He's 2 years old and came with his Mamma, Paloma, when James married her. This child is a delight who radiates the joys we might have had when we were young. To see this joyful glow in one so young truly touches my heart and gives me hope for the future.

I pray that as he grows, Kai will keep me feeling positive for our children and grandchildren's future. Also, I hope my heart keeps melting with love for him and all of my other grandchildren.

So I celebrated with my son and his family to come to an undecorated apartment. Perhaps next year I will do better about stirring the feeling of Christmas within me.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Comments On Huffington Post 1/5/2013

Elizabeth Berry's comments are on the point that media fell in love with old or traditional ways of analyzing polls and trends. For a long time most media has fallen back following the lies of people in public office. For this reason, I listen to those "pundits" who demonstrate the fact that they read widely and question what they read. When they find accurate sources they use them to inform those of us without "contacts" in DC or elsewhere.

I know we have smart people in broadcast news as well as here on the post, yet too often untruths are repeated without adequate follow up questions. A person who stuck with numbers and algorithms which yielded accurate results was Nate Silver. Imagine a country of over 250,000.000 people and one man got things right. I listened closely when he was interviewed--which was rarely to calm fears generated by other people in the news.