I got into this blogging thing around 2005, so I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years. In the early days, I struggled to get an audience. I remember getting very happy when I got 5 to 10 comments. Over the years, the wild, wild blogosphere has consolidated into a few, very popular political blogs. Most of us independent bloggers have decided to do other things – Facebook, Twitter, etc. Anyway, it was fairly common back in 2007, 2008 to get a random comment from a troll. No big deal. You can ignore it. You can delete it or you choose to comment on it. If you comment, you have to understand the risks and benefits. This brings me to a comment from Constructive Feedback who in his first real sentence states that j he’s a “Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chasers.” It is nice to get an honest opinion from someone who has no idea who I am. 😉
NPR has a GREAT series on nursing injuries. The latest installment was about a nurse at my former hospital, Mission Hospital. This simply needs to be read or listened to. In my opinion, there is no better group of people on this planet than nurses. They need to be protected (and paid).
Obama had a GREAT interview on Vox, an on-line magazine/newspaper. Check it out. It is really, really good. Ezra Klein and several others got together to form Vox. They were going to better job at covering the news and explaining the news. There are some great graphs which accompany this interview. They actually explain what Obama is talking about. Think of them as reinforcing the facts.
Hey, did you know that Jeb Bush was interested in running for president? Damn! Who knew? Well, he gave a foreign policy speech which said…nothing. Are you surprised? If he would have given a bold speech, then he would have been attacked by everyone else who is running for president. So, he gave a luke-warm piece of Republican spin that really has no substance. BTW, did you know that ISIS was Obama’s fault and Bush supports the US spreading liberty in the world? Where have we heard that phrase – spreading liberty….
Not long ago, I was sitting with a friend of mine, surrounded by her husband and two daughters. Her father was in the center of the room, in a hospital bed, on oxygen. He looked ashen… He was dying.
It is times like these when I flash back to my own father’s life and death.
My father was a remarkable man. He was born in Georgetown, Guyana in the late 1920s, the youngest of 13 children. He immigrated to the United States in the mid-1950s, believing he had a track scholarship to Morgan State College.
Somehow, by the time he arrived, there were no more track scholarships. He slept on the floor of a friend’s dorm room and worked in a Tootsie Roll factory by day.
Dad taught himself to play tennis by swinging a used wooden tennis racket, hour after hour, hitting ball after ball against a brick wall—and earned himself a tennis scholarship. That’s how he went to college, and after he graduated he went on to medical school in Kansas City.
As I stand next to my friend’s daughter and we watch her grandfather breathe in … out … in … out, I continue to think back to my own father. He was up by 5 or 5:30 every morning and was showered, dressed (in a perfect-fitting suit), and had downed his two cups of coffee before 6:15—guaranteeing that he would be at the hospital by 7 a.m. He would do hospital rounds, then go open his office by nine, where he would see 30, 40, even 50 patients a day.
My father liked to “work hard, play hard” long before that became a bumper sticker. He wanted to expose my siblings and me to as much of life as possible. We traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even took a vacation to Mexico in 1973.
He was quick to laugh—and also a strict disciplinarian. When he knitted his eyebrows and told you to do something, he wanted it done.
He was also a man of wisdom, who told me on more than one occasion, “It’s okay to be right, but you don’t want to be dead right.” At first, I didn’t understand; with time, as with most of his sayings, it became crystal clear.
In Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown stood his ground. He wasn’t going to be hassled. He was going to be right. Perhaps if Michael Brown had had a father who had told him that being alive was more important than being right, he would be alive today.
In many ways Dad was the proverbial riddle, wrapped in an enigma, inside a mystery. Like many people of intelligence and character, he was a paradox. He loved being around people; yet he also needed time to keep to himself, and he loved being surrounded by family.
Holidays were always family time. Dad would cook something in a smoker, usually overnight. Those slow-cooked meats were always spectacular, and the following day aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews would descend on the house for a feast. We would do it three or four times a year, as predictably as the sun rising in the east. Of course, as I became a teenager, I wanted to be with my friends instead of family, but that was nonnegotiable. Family time was family time. I think what my dad was telling me was that when times get tough, friends can come and friends can go, but family will stay by your side.
My dad also believed in education, personal growth, expansion. He was all about doing more, doing better; he was all about the next thing. A couple of weeks ago, I took my 11-year-old grandson to see the Dallas Cowboys play the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium. We had great seats, and the Cowboys played what was probably their best game in the past five to eight years. We both had a blast. Yet … throughout the excursion, I could feel my father with us. He was smiling down upon us, but I could hear his advice: This is good, but expose your grandson to more.
My father was not a revolutionary. He was a hard-working man who was dedicated to his family and friends. Hard-working, dedicated, and determined. That last word’s probably the best description of him—determined.
Dad also had a gift for finding the right tone, the right story, the right witticism, to comfort or help or support a friend or family member in need. He was a doctor, and one of his gifts was knowing the right words to help others heal. In that hospital room a while back, after sitting with my friend and her family for a time, I turned to leave. I had a very strange feeling that Dad would have done a better job than I did at comforting them.
Mark Cuban did not become a billionaire based on policing the thoughts from his brain that come out of his mouth. Mark Cuban became a billionaire because he was in the right place at the right time with the right technology. During the Donald Sterling blowup, Mark Cuban made some comments which were almost ignored. He basically stated that we shouldn’t be so harsh on Donald Sterling. Less than an hour later he backed away from those comments, but here he is again, stumbling and bumbling his way through a discussion on prejudice and race. First of all, I believe that Mark Cuban is right. We all have prejudices. Yet, he should understand that this is not a subject about which you can simply speak off-the-cuff. Instead, if you truly want to talk about race, sit down, collect your thoughts, figure out how you want to present the subject and then talk about it. The fact that he used, as an example, a black man wearing a hoodie – not only is that insensitive (clearly reflects Trayvon Martin) it’s stupid. Continue reading New Roundup – Substitute Teacher, Reparations, Mark Cuban→