"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Family First”: Recognizing The Things In Life That Really Matter

Some of you may have noticed that I have been off the grid for the last several days. Unfortunately, my wife lost her mother and her last remaining paternal uncle, both in the same week and only 2 days apart. We are now in Nebraska to remember and celebrate their lives. Obviously, and I’m confident that you would agree, my first priority is to my wife and family. I will be back and posting as soon as I can. Thanks to all for your understanding.


By: raemd95

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays: The Snowdog – By Jacquie Lawson

Although we all have our different ideologies, preferences and opinions, we are all a part of “America The Beautiful”. There is no place like home. I wish you all the very best in the coming New Year.

The Snowdog – animated Flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson

In Memory of my brother and best friend, Anthony Evans, MD and to my good friend and colleague, John B. Makin, Jr., MD

By: raemd95, Originally Posted December 24, 2009, December 25, 2013; December 25, 2014, December 24, 2015

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December 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“My America, Our America”: Barack Hussein Obama Re-Elected President Of The United States

“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you…. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.”–Abraham Lincoln

On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of The United States of America. For me, this was the most historic event of my lifetime. I was so thrilled and excited to attend that ceremony with my wife and my daughter. The pride, the sense of progress, the sense that this America, my America, had finally ascended to the pinnacle of the American spirit…the spirit that says no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter the color of your skin, you too can achieve the American dream.

I watched…

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July 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Hostility Toward Immigrants In General”: Donald Trump Is On The Rise — And That’s Very Bad News For The GOP

Donald Trump is surging. In a field that has grown to 16 Republican presidential candidates (once Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich make their candidacies official), Trump is now in second place pretty much wherever you look. A new Quinnipiac poll of Iowa voters shows him tied for second with Ben Carson; they each have 10 percent to Walker’s 18. The latest CNN/WMUR poll in New Hampshire also puts Trump in second, with 11 percent, behind only Jeb Bush at 16 percent. And in the Huffington Post Pollster average of national polls, Trump comes in a mere 0.7 percent behind Bush.

While everyone has treated the Trump story as an amusing sideshow to the campaign (which it certainly is), there’s a genuine danger for the GOP in his presence that goes beyond the simple fact that he makes the party look silly (which he certainly does). More than any other candidate, Trump is telling Latinos that the Republican Party doesn’t like them.

Now let’s be clear: It isn’t as though Trump is going to be a serious contender for the nomination. But he could also go significantly higher than he is now. Just think about what happened in 2012, when one ridiculous candidate after another shot to the front of the Republican primary race. At one point, Rick Perry was in the lead with 32 percent support. Herman Cain once led with 26 percent. Newt Gingrich topped the field with 35 percent. Rick Santorum was No. 1 with 34 percent. The 2016 race may or may not be that volatile, but it will certainly have some ups and downs, as one candidate or another will stumble and another will rise. So it’s not inconceivable that at some point, for a moment anyway, Trump might actually be ahead in the polls.

When the primaries are over, repairing relations with Latinos will be one of the central challenges the Republican nominee faces. It’s one that both John McCain and Mitt Romney failed to accomplish — McCain lost among Latinos by a margin of 36 points, while Romney trailed by 44. And every time Trump opens his mouth, he makes that task more difficult.

Of course, Jeb Bush or Scott Walker or Marco Rubio don’t bear responsibility for the things Trump says. But Latinos are paying attention to what he’s saying, and it can’t help but taint his fellow Republicans. As you might recall, in his announcement speech, Trump basically called every Mexican immigrant in the United States a low-life. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” In response, Univision pulled out of broadcasting the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump co-owns, and NBC dropped him as well. In Mexico, people are making Trump piñatas.

Given the chance to clarify, Trump said in essence that there are perfectly fine people in Mexico, it’s just the ones who come to the United States who are so awful, and also that these dangerous criminals come from other countries, too. “I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they’re coming into this country,” he said. So it’s really all immigrants that he has a problem with. Good to have that cleared up.

That kind of rhetoric coming from a prominent Republican candidate (who will almost certainly be included in the upcoming debates, by the way) makes it all the more difficult for the party to strike the tricky balance it needs to on the issue of immigration. The nominee will have to make the case for the policies he and every other Republican favors — increased border security above all, and nothing more than the far-distant possibility of a path to some vaguely defined legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States — without communicating hostility toward immigrants in general, and through them to all Latinos (and to a lesser but still significant extent, to Asian Americans).

Even if all Republicans were acting welcoming and inclusive, it would be hard enough. Those voters are paying attention to the policy positions the candidates take, which means that any Republican, even one with Cuban parents (like Rubio) or one who speaks Spanish fluently and has a Mexican spouse (as Bush does), starts with two strikes against him. Trump may be a comical buffoon who stands almost no chance of getting the nomination, but by the time he’s done, the bile he spews could get his fellow Republicans dirty as well.


By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect; Contributor, The Plum Line Blog, The Washington Post, July 1, 2015

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“The Last Moments Michael Slager Looked Like A Good Cop”: Then He Revealed His True Self; Someone Who Never Should’ve Been A Cop

On the dash cam video, the commercial radio in the squad car can be heard playing the chorus of “What It’s Like” by Everlast as Officer Michael Slager pulls over the Mercedes driven by Walter Scott on the morning before Easter.

Then you really might know what it’s like

Then you really might know what it’s like

The line is repeated twice more, and this song by a white rapper serves as a soundtrack of eerie irony as the cop strides evenly up to the driver’s side.

Slager reaches the back of the Mercedes and gives it a tap with his right hand. That is a standard cop move to prompt a driver to look back through the rear windshield as you continue to approach on the blind side. You are suddenly there at the driver’s window as he turns back.

“Can I see your license, registration, and insurance card?” Slager can he heard asking.

The cop’s tone and bearing are professional. Scott says something about his neighbor.

“What’s that?” Slager asks.

Scott tells the cop that his neighbor has the insurance card.

“I got my license,” Scott says.

“OK, let’s start with your license,” Slager says.

Slager keeps with department policy for officers to explain to motorists why they have been stopped.

“The reason for the stop, sir, is your brake light’s out,” Slager says.

Scott seems to say something about the indicator on the instrument panel.

“Right there,” Scott says.

“OK,” Slager says.

The dash cam video shows that the right rear taillight is indeed out. The squad car’s blue roof lights reflect off the Mercedes’s trunk. The South Carolina flag is fluttering from a pole beyond the auto supply parking lot where the cars have stopped. A passenger sits silent beside Scott.

“I don’t have the insurance card,” Scott then says. “Like I say, I just bought the car from my…my neighbor. I was planning on doing all that on Monday. He still has the insurance on the car.”

“You have insurance on the car?” Slager asks.

“No, I don’t have insurance on the car,” Scott says.

“If you don’t have insurance on your car, since you bought it, you have to have insurance,” Slager says.

“I haven’t bought it yet,” Scott says. “Like I’m saying, I’m going to do that Monday.”

“But you bought it,” Slager says.

“He said I could drive the car, yeah,” Scott says.

“Oh, OK,” Slager says.

“Because my car is down,” Scott says. “I can call him.”

“Let me have your driver’s license,” Slager says.

Slager takes the license with his left hand.

“You don’t have any paperwork in the glove box?” Slager asks.

“No, sir,” Scott says.

“No registration in there? No insurance?” Slager asks.

“He has all that stuff,” Scott says.

“OK, but you bought this car?” Slager asks. “Did you already buy it?”

“Not yet,” Scott asks. “I’m about to buy it Monday.”

“A minute ago, you said you bought it, you’re changing it over on Monday,” Slager says.

“I’m sorry about that,” Scott says. “On Monday…”

Scott sounds no more flustered than everybody is when they get stopped. He is as pleasant as the cop remains.

“All right,” Slager says. “Be right back with you.”

Slager strides evenly back to the squad car, the license now in his right hand. The radio has continued to play “What It’s Like,” with a chorus about a girl who is dumped by her man after she becomes pregnant and has to go to an abortion clinic, where she is harried by protesters. Slager has a happily pregnant wife at home, due to deliver in May.

Slager climbs back into the car as the song comes to another stanza.

I’ve seen a rich man beg, I’ve seen a good man sin

I’ve seen a tough man cry, I’ve seen a loser win

And a sad man grin, I heard an honest man lie

I’ve seen the good side of bad and the downside of up

And everything between.

Slager begins to run a computer check on the license and the car.

I licked the silver spoon, drank from the golden cup

And smoked the finest green

I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times

Before I broke their heart

You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start.

The driver’s side door of the Mercedes swings open, and Scott begins to emerge, half waving to Slager as if he wants to try to explain something.

“Stay in the car,” Slager commands.

Scott immediately obeys, closing the door. The song keeps playing.

I knew this kid named Max

Who used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs

He liked to hang out late

He liked to get shit-faced and keep the pace with thugs

Until late one night, there was a big old fight and Max lost his head.

Scott is not likely listening to this same song. He must only happen to choose this moment to open the door suddenly and bolt from the car. He reflexively slams the door behind him and runs off for reasons we may never know. The passenger stays put.

Slager is out of the dash cam’s view as he gives chase. The song keeps playing.

He pulled out his chrome .45, talked some shit, and wound up dead

Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of this pain

You know it comes that way

At least that’s what they say when you play the game

God forbid, you ever had to wake up to hear the news

’Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose.

In the middle of it, Slager can be heard on the police radio.

“On foot, down Craig Street!” he reports. “Black male. Green shirt. Blue pants.”

Slager can then be heard crying out.

Taser! Taser! Taser!

Slager can then be heard commanding, “Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!”

The song on the commercial radio has come to its final chorus.

Then you really might know what it’s like

Then you really might know what it’s like

The dash cam recording does not pick up the gunshots as Slager fires bullet after bullet into the unarmed Scott’s back as he tries to flee.

Another video, made with a cellphone by a brave young man who had been on his way to work, captures the shooting that left Scott dead and Slager charged with murder.

But we should not forget to study closely the dash cam video—for the very reason that it seems to portend so little.

Slager looks and acts like the perfect cop. There is reason to think that nothing would have happened if Scott had not bolted.

But once Scott did, Slager suddenly made it horribly clear that under his professional exterior was someone who never should have been a cop in the first place.

If nothing else, the dash cam teaches us that we must learn to discern what lurks beneath.

Meanwhile, that eerie soundtrack ends as the song concludes and the DJ from Rock 98 Charleston comes on.

“Remember, the one station that plays it all.”


By: Michael Daly, The Daily Beast, April 10, 2015

April 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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