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Archive for May 26th, 2010

Can you say “Mama”? Apparently our President Can’t…

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OK, folks — pls. review the post about “copyediting” (why I don’t).  Fact is, I process information, read on topics (or, case in point, react to them) while out and about.  I have less than 2 hours a day to compress something into this spot — not my own PC — and then print out what I read.  Or sometimes even published. 

Last post, for example, had the usual word errors (some related to the topic, others to brain full of processing, not editing).  For example, a man was “reserved” a restraining order.

I referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and perhaps the woman not wanting to challenge them directly because “they’re armed…”  THAT statement refers to my own reticence about challenging armed law enforcement who refused to enforce the law (or court order) in a number of situations in my own case.  My mistake. 

The point I thought of, afterwards, was:  While Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, and Sotomayor protest a citizen in an “organized” state (say WHAT??) taking the criminal justice system into (her) own hands — and protest breaking that principle — How’s Come they didn’t “GET” that the crime of assault and battery IS a citizen (a male one) taking the law into his own hands, or rather, breaking it. 

And overall, I’d say that the concept of protecting women from getting KO’d by an ex hasn’t exactly worked yet, in this country. 


In Bulgaria, per NYT, women can be an asset.  Glad to hear it…..

Bulgaria News – Breaking World Bulgaria News – The New York Times

Women’s Influence Grows in Bulgarian Public Life. By DAN BILEFSKY. Prime Minister Boiko M. Borisov has in recent months promoted several women,
topics.nytimes.com › WorldCountries and TerritoriesCachedSimilar
On the other hand, can you find the word “mother” anywhere, or “women” in concert with “families” and “children” in this transcript at the prayer breakfast by our President (February 2010). 
This is reflected on the issues page (at least formerly) under “Families.”  The verbiage doesn’t include the word “mom.”  Probably because kids are supposed to be in early child care where they can be researched by Govt. Scholars….
In my next two minutes (and I’ll fix it later), here is a post of that transcript, and some more Obama favorites.  I’ll be back:

Feb. 4, 2010 – Washington, D.C.



[*] OBAMA: Thank you so much. Heads of state, cabinet members, my outstanding vice president, members of Congress, religious leaders, distinguished guests, Admiral Mullen, it’s good to see all of you. Now, let me begin by acknowledging the co-chairs of this breakfast, Senators Isakson and Klobuchar, who embody the sense of fellowship at the heart of this gathering, two of my favorite senators.

Let me also acknowledge the director of my faith-based office, Joshua DuBois, who is here. Where’s Joshua? He’s out there somewhere. He’s doing great work.


I want to commend Secretary Hillary Clinton on her outstanding remarks and her outstanding leadership at the State Department. She’s doing good every day.


I’m especially pleased to see my dear friend, Prime Minister Zapatero, and I want him to relay America’s greetings to the people of Spain.

OBAMA: And, Johnny, you are right: I am deeply blessed and I thank God every day for being married to Michelle Obama.


I’m privileged to join you once again, as my predecessors have for over half a century. And like them, I come here to speak about the ways my faith informs who I am as a president and as a person.

But I’m also here for the same reason that all of you are, for we all share a recognition, one as old as time, that a willingness to believe, an openness to grace, a commitment to prayer can bring sustenance to our lives.

There is, of course, a need for prayer even in times of joy and peace and prosperity, perhaps especially in such times prayer is needed to guard against pride and to guard against complacency.

But rightly or wrongly, most of us are inclined to seek out the divine, not in the moment when the Lord makes his face shine upon us, but in moments when God’s grace can seem farthest away.

Last month, God’s grace and God’s mercy seemed far away from our neighbors in Haiti, and yet I believe that grace was not absent in the midst of tragedy. It was heard in prayers and hymns that broke the silence of an earthquake’s wake. It was witnessed among parishioners of churches that stood no more, a roadside congregation holding Bibles in their laps. It was felt in the presence of relief workers and medics, translators, servicemen and women bringing food and water and aid to the injured.

One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world, Navy Corpsman Christian Bouchard (ph). And lying on a gurney aboard the USNS Comfort, a woman asked Christopher, “Where do you come from? What country? After my operation,” she said, “I will pray for that country.” And in Creole, Corpsman Bouchard (ph) responded, “Intanzini (ph),” the United States of America.

God’s grace and the compassion and decency of the American people is expressed through the men and women like Corpsman Bouchard (ph). It’s expressed through the efforts of our armed forces, through the efforts of our entire government, through similar efforts from Spain and other countries around the world. It’s also, as Secretary Clinton said, expressed through multiple faith-based efforts, by evangelicals at World Relief, by the American Jewish World Service, by Hindu temples and Mainline Protestants, Catholic Relief Services, African-American churches, the United Sikhs, by Americans of every faith and no faith, uniting around a common purpose, a higher purpose. It’s inspiring.

This is what we do as Americans in times of trouble. We unite, recognizing that such crises call on all of us to act, recognizing that there but for the grace of God go I, recognizing that life’s most sacred responsibility, one affirmed, as Hillary said, by all of the world’s great religions is to sacrifice something of ourselves for a person in need.

OBAMA: Sadly, though, that spirit is too often absent when tackling the long term, but no less profound issues facing our country and the world. Too often, that spirit is missing without the spectacular tragedy, the 9/11 or the Katrina, the earthquake or the tsunami, that can shake us out of complacency.

We become numb to the day-to-day crises, the slow-moving tragedies of children without food and men without shelter and families without health care.


We become absorbed with our abstract arguments, our ideological disputes, our contests for power. And in this Tower of Babel, we lose the sound of God’s voice.

Now, for those of us here in Washington, let’s acknowledge that democracy has always been messy. Let’s not be overly nostalgic. Divisions are hardly new in this country. Arguments about the proper role of government, the relationship between liberty and equality, our obligations to our fellow citizens, these things have been with us since our founding.

And I am profoundly mindful that a loyal opposition, a vigorous back-and-forth, a skepticism of power, all of that is what makes our democracy work. And we’ve seen actually some improvement in some circumstances. We haven’t seen any canings on the floor of the Senate anytime recently.


So we shouldn’t over-romanticize the past, but there is a sense that something is different now, that something’s broken, that those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should. At times it seems like we’re unable to listen to one another, to have at once a serious and civil debate.

And this erosion of civility in the public square sows division and distrust among our citizens. It poisons the well of public opinion. It leaves each side little room to negotiate with the other. It makes politics an all-or-nothing sport where one side is either always right or always wrong, when, in reality, neither side has a monopoly on truth.

And then we lose sight of the children without food and the men without shelter and the families without health care.

{{Did he read this, or had he practiced the phrase enough.}}

{{I know some homeless women.  Apparently President Obama, at least here, doesn’t.  There are also some families who became fatherless and motherless when a father, re-inspired perhaps by the fatherhood programs, asserted his rights to not be left by killing her.  Then himself…  THAT’ll show them who’s in charge…}}

Empowered by faith, consistently, prayerfully, we need to find our way back to civility, and that begins with stepping out of our comfort zones in an effort to bridge divisions. We see that in many conservative pastors who are helping lead the way to fix our broken immigration system. It’s not what would be expected from them, and yet they recognize in those immigrant families the face of God.

We see that in the evangelical leaders who are rallying their congregations to protect our planet.

We see it in the increasing recognition among progressives that government can’t solve all of our problems (inaudible) talking about values like responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage are integral to any anti-poverty agenda.

Stretching out of our dogmas, our prescribed roles along the political spectrum, that can help us regain a sense of civility.

Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable, understanding, as presidents said, that civility is not a sign of weakness.

Now, I am the first to confess I’m not always right — and Michelle will testify to that…


… but surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith or, for that matter, my citizenship.


Challenging each other’s ideas can renew our democracy, but when we challenge each other’s motives, it becomes harder to see what we hold in common. We forget that we share at some deep level the same dreams, even when we don’t share the same plans on how to fulfill them.

OBAMA: We may disagree about the best way to reform our health care system, but surely we can agree that no one ought to go broke when they get sick in the richest nation on Earth.

We can take different approaches to ending inequality, but surely we can agree on the need to lift our children out of ignorance, to — to lift our neighbors from poverty.

We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.

Surely we can agree to find common ground when possible, parting ways when necessary, but in doing so, let us be guided by our faith and by prayer, for while prayer can buck us up when we are down, keep us calm in a storm, while prayer can stiffen our spines to surmount an obstacle — and I assure you, I’m praying a lot these days — prayer can also do something else.

It can touch our hearts with humility. It can fill us with a spirit of brotherhood. It can remind us that each of us are children of an awesome and loving God.

Through faith, but not through faith alone, we can unite people to serve the common good. And that’s why my Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships have been working so hard since I announced it here last year. We’ve slashed red tape and built effective partnerships on a range of uses, from promoting fatherhood here at home to spearheading interfaith cooperation abroad.

And through that office, we’ve turned the faith-based initiative around to find common ground among people of all beliefs, allowing them to make an impact in a way that’s civil and respectful of difference and focused on what matters most.

It is this spirit of civility that we are called to take up when we leave here today. That’s what I’m praying for.

I know, in difficult times like these, when people are frustrated, when pundits start shouting and politicians start calling each other names, it can seem like a return to civility is not possible, like the very idea is a relic of some bygone era. The word itself seems quaint, “civility.” But let us remember those who came before, those who believed in the brotherhood of man even when such a faith was tested. Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, not — not long after an explosion ripped through his front porch, his wife and infant daughter inside, he rose to that pulpit in Montgomery and said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” In the eyes of those who denied his humanity, he saw the face of God.

Remember Abraham Lincoln, on the eve of the Civil War, with states seceding and forces gathering, with a nation divided half-slave and half-free, he rose to deliver his First Inaugural and said, “We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Even in the eyes of Confederate soldiers, he saw the face of God.

Remember William Wilberforce, whose Christian faith led him to seek slavery’s abolition in Britain. He was vilified, derided, attacked, but he called for lessening prejudices and conciliating goodwill, and thereby making way for the less obstructed progress of truth. In the eyes of those who sought to silence a nation’s conscience, he saw the face of God.

Yes, there are crimes of conscience that call us to action. Yes, there are causes that move our hearts and offenses that steer our souls, but progress doesn’t come when we demonize opponents. It’s not born in righteous spite.

Progress comes when we open our hearts, when we extend our hands, when we recognize our common humanity. Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God. That we might do so, that we will do so — all the time, not just some of the time — is my fervent prayer for our nation and the world.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.





Did Peter Orszag hear Obama’s speech on fatherhood?



The affairs of Peter Orszag appear to be quite a source of amusement for Washington’s political and intellectual elite. The town is abuzz with talk of Obama’s nerdy budget director, a divorced father of two, who, it turns out, is the father of another baby born to ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas in November and who recently announced his engagement to ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga.

As for the child born out of wedlock? “What’s the big deal?” seems to be the thinking. Orszag and Milonas released a statement this week saying, “we are both thrilled she is happy and healthy.”

Maybe I should leave this alone. Unfortunately, I have trouble squaring Orszag’s behavior with his boss’s views on family and fatherhood.

In a Father’s Day 2008 speech http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/06/15/obama_delivers_fathers_day_ser.html to the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told the congregation: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we… recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation.”

Obama didn’t mince words. “If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

He continued: “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.”

On that Father’s Day, president Obama was talking to and about men in the African American community.

Do those presidential views also apply to Peter Orszag?


AND, here we have a February 2008 commentary on Our Chief Executive/Big Brother as the nation’s Father-promoter.


Obama on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2006



From his issues page on poverty, he mentioned the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act that was introduced in 2006 he co-sponsored, but nothing ever happen to it. Here are just a few of the findings by Congress

(1) The most important factor in a child’s upbringing is whether the child is brought up in a loving, healthy, supportive environment.(2) Children who grow up with both parents are more likely to finish high school, be economically self-sufficient, and to have a healthier lifestyle than their peers who grow up in single-parent homes.(3) Father-child interaction has been shown to promote the positive physical, social, emotional, and mental development of children.



As of MARCH 2010, I hear, the “pretense” that healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood actually includes a resident mother (as opposed to putting single Dads back into kids’ lives, at whatever cost, and by whatever means, including sometimes unceremoniously tossing out the resident Mom – or forcing her back into poverty through repeated court hearings hoping to regain contact with her children, or protect them, or in short, function like a decent mother.  Like, say, President Obama’s …  I think she did all right, eh?










Contrast with the Picture on the ABA Family Law page in California:





Is the Obama administration trying to divorce the federal government from the marriage business? Yes, the White House is ditching the only real federal effort to strengthen the institution of marriage, say some marriage-movement activists, who are already lamenting the loss of the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grant program.

But others, including those involved in federal and local fatherhood programs, say not really – its replacement program is an important adjustment in family policy.

Still others say the marriage money may be gone, but people should save their tears – government funds have already done what they can to till the soil and it’s now time for private enterprise and religious groups to step up and revive America’s marriage culture.

The center of this debate is located in two lines of the Obama administration’s 2011 budget.

One zeroes out the $150 million Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants, and the other creates a $500 million Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund, aimed at issuing three-year competitive grants to states. The new fund absorbs the funding of the George W. Bush-era marriage and fatherhood grants.

{{TO make this more interesting, the average MOTHER “in a family [law] way” doesn’t even know these millions of grants exist – to help her lose custodial time with her kids.  Courtesy (in Calif. At least) a lot of tweaking by the county child support agency}}

The change perplexes Nisa Muhammad, founder of Wedded Bliss Foundation, which has celebrated the weddings of more than 100 low-income couples in recent months.

“Marriage” is in the title of the new innovation fund, she said, but “when you read deeper … where’d it go?”

The description of new fund’s purpose is even more discouraging for marriage watchers. Half the money is slated for state-initiated responsible fatherhood and employment programs, “including those with a marriage component,” budget language explains.

The other half will go to programs for “custodial parents,” i.e., single mothers.

{{“Lord almighty, we’re  helping single mothers again.  There goes the neighborhood…”}}

Fundable activities include job training, substance-abuse treatment, child-support enforcement and other anti-poverty activities that already receive funding from dozens – if not hundreds – of federal programs.

“Job-training programs have been going on for years and years, and now we want to revert back to that? We are in a different state and time,” Mrs. Muhammad said. “There’s really a disconnect” in Washington, she added. “They really don’t understand what the breakdown of the two-parent family means for children.”


 PS.  A woman got killed by her ex (who then killed himself) in San Jose last week.  What else is new.  Shon Box and Miriam Olivo….


Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

May 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

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