My humble thoughts as one guy with opinions about life, love, religion, society, politics, parenting... yada, yada, yada.

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  • Has Fatherhood Become the New Mercedes-Benz?

    It used to be that a tailor-made suit and a Mercedes-Benz were context clues signaling a man’s ability to “provide” and consequently, those were things made a man "sexy". But could it be that for today’s professional women, fatherhood is the modern-day equivalent of a Benz? ...

  • What Does This Election Tell Us About What A "Real American" Is?

    “What on earth is he talking about?”... to put it simply..what does a Real American look like, sound like, act like, eat, wear and drive? Where do Real Americans live? What religion do they belong to? The questions are endless, but as we put answers to the questions will you fit the mold of a “Real American”?

  • “Rope-a-Dope” or Political “SHAKE and BAKE?

    Here’s the deal… President Obama was eaten alive in the 1st debate... BUT could this have been a good thing? Regardless of whether he was off his game or engaging in the most daring “rope-a-dope” in the history of politics, that awful debate performance sets the Obama campaign up for a little "shake and bake." Here’s why.

  • Look Ma! I'm On Web TV!

    Here's Mr. Mansitioning himself ( talking about Presidential politics and the election on the HuffPost Live... I always appreciate the invite and love the discussion!

Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

What This Election Tells Us About What A "Real American" is Part III

...with eight days left until election day I find myself needing to address the way Muslim's have been disregarded and disparaged during the course of this campaign season, something only Gen. Colin Powell has done adequately to this point...How could it take so long for such a declaration as Powell's to be made? Why did it take a Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Former Secretary of State to make the point that should have been made as far back as the Iowa Caucuses? Well the answer, to me is simple. Muslims aren't "Real Americans" by conservative standards. Muslims are second class citizens, other... How else could we allow the undercurrent anti-Arab sentiment to exist unchallenged by those who most espouse a commitment to the cause of liberty and freedom? How else could the silence be deafening that a national conservative radio and television host could get away with asking the first Muslim American elected to congress to convince him that he's not a terrorist?... Read more.
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Obama's a socialist! The right-wing's been beating that drum for a while and now (like the sheople they are) all of Limabugh's and Hannity's listeners are jumping on the bandwagon. But before they get too carried away, I'd like them to consider this thought:

Socialism is Capitalism for everyday Americans and Capitalism is Socialism for rich people and wealthy corporations.

The criticism of Obama's tax plan is that it gives money to people that don't pay taxes, but according to the GAO (Government Accountabilty Office) 70% of corporations don't pay taxes... Don't take my word for it. Click on the link and read it for yourself.

Obama's plan is being called welfare because it proposes taking money from the pot and giving it to people who didn't pay into it, but wouldn't that make McCain's plan welfare as well since he's proposing giving tax breaks (rebates) to corporations that didn't pay into the pot either... I guess socialism and welfare are only a problems when you put the face of a "Cadillac-driving welfare queen" with "Obama foodstamps" on them... In other words a black face.
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A couple of weeks ago Cindy McCain said "I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day..." My logical reaction to her comment was "Which pair? The $600 ones you wore at the RNC convention?" (sometimes I wish Obama would hit those out the park, because they pitched that one right over the plate). Anyway, the expense report for the McCain campaign was released yesterday and it showed that the GOP spent $150,000 on wardrobe expenses for Sarah Palin and her family and Cindy McCain's statement flashed, again in my mind. But then other questions popped up in my mind... Who's the real McCoy in this election? Who's really the one who's like most of us in this country? The answer to me is the one with the shoes nobody wants to walk in... I mean literally.

...With this in mind, I can't understand how the elitists are the ones who wear the shoes with the holes at the bottom, just finished paying off student loans, and take the Amtrak back and forth from Delaware to DC. everyday, but the regular guys are the ones with seven or eight houses, wardrobes that cost enough to keep a few hundred families from getting foreclosed on this month, and an airplane that sits on the lake in their backyard (BTW: this last one is Sarah Palin)... Read more.
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"Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy"

The McCain campaign, the RNC, the right-wing talk radio personalities and pundits think they've struck gold with Sen. Biden's comments about Obama being tested with an international crisis within the first six months of his presidency. Likewise, we see a lot of people on the left pulling their hair out, aggravated by Biden's declaration. I say all of them are getting a little too caught up in the hyper-sensitivity of the homestretch of this election, but the republicans need to tread cautiously on this one... They may have struck fools gold!...

What we, the republicans, the media and we should be asking ourselves is, not why Joe Biden said what he said, but what has this election taught us about Barack Obama that might have lead to say it? What has Joe Biden learned about Barack Obama that would cause him make such a definitive assertion about hypothetical events that may, or may not occur?

The answer (on so many levels) is that Barack Obama tends to be right (if not spot-on) about the positions he takes on issues, and while conventional wisdom leads many to call him "naive" or "reckless", it never seems to take long for history to prove him correct... Read more.
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Listen, the Rodney King beating ushered in a new era of activism. Since that terrible incident, citizens across the country have utilized their video cameras to document civil wrong-doings in the hopes that hard evidence will compel lady justice to do her job; to blindly execute the rule of law rather than turn a blind eye to the abuses of those in power. Today, that effort is made immensely easier with the advancements in cell phone technology. If you see a situation occurring, you no longer have to run in your house, pull your camcorder from under the bed, charge a battery, screw on lens...etc, etc. Now you can simply whip out a cell phone and capture evidence in real-time. So with that in mind, why do we have to be victims on election day?

It's simple. I'm calling on all citizens with cell phones to document their occurrences at the polls. Whether you're in a state where early voting is permitted or you're venturing to the polls on Nov. 4th, you have to whip out your Treo, I-phone or Sidekick and record. I read a story today that talks about how voting machines in West Virgina are already flipping votes from the democratic candidates to republican candidates during early voting. When the voter goes to complain about it, they are told that they are the ones that made the mistake. Ironically, no one voting for McCain has reported this problem.... PLEASE READ MORE AND FORWARD.

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In these times of billion dollar bailouts for the haves, and increased belt tightening for the have-nots, most of us have had to make some tough decisions about what to cut out of our budgets. Before the failure of mortgage backed securities became the lead story on the national news, many of us were trading vacations for day trips, SUV's for economies, and anything else that we could think of to offset the doubling and sometimes tripling of gas prices, seen before Katrina. Some however, have also cut church out from the budget, and with what seems to be good reason.

Somewhere a single mother sits down on a pay Friday and sets aside money for the rent, the utilities, the car note, day care, groceries, and gas, only to notice she has less than $50 left for anything else. Two days later, on the way to church, the sole of her son's $20 Payless shoe comes off in a puddle. She makes a quick stop at Payless to pick up another $20 pair of shoes before heading to church. With less than $30 in her purse to get her through to the next pay day, she sits down to listen to the sermon... As usual, the basket sits at the front of the church for those with triple digit donations, while plates are passed for the rest of the congregation. Our single mother does the math in her head realizing that the $30 in her purse is all she has, yet it makes up less than 10% of her check. Guilted, she stuffs the money in an envelope, seals it, and quietly prays that there will be no more plates passed... Is that really how it's supposed to be?... Read more.
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Who is the real winner of this competition?? Was it Barack Obama? Was it John MCcain? Was it Sarah Palin's popularity and notoriety? Or was it the American people? In fact, wouldn't it be interesting if we could just vote by phoning in like they do on Dancing With The Stars?

It's all relative, I guess, but the bottom line is that the last debate wasn't about McCain, Obama, or even politics. It was about the millions of Americans out there without jobs, the millions of Americans without health care, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That's what the last debate was all about...and there was only one candidate actually willing to speak freely about those issues. I'm sure you all know who!... Read more.
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I don't know if any of you remember the cartoon Thundercats (not to be confused with Laser Cats, the hillrious SNL skit), but if you do then you'll recall that the Thunder cats' arch enemy was Mumm-Ra, "The Everliving". Mumm-Ra was as powerful as he was evil and I'm sure that your remember that the only way to defeat Mumm-Ra was to show him his own reflection.
"Yeah! Yeah! I remember that, Law!... What's your point?"
Well, last night I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC and she pointed out a couple of examples of how the GOP is trying to play to the racial hatred that is engrained in the fabric or foundations of this great country. Needless to say that what I saw was upsetting, but in the spirit of heeding the call to not "...just sit there!" I figured that the best way to not be a passive victim of this sort of despicable campaigning is to expose them and show the world (not that this blog has that kind of reach) what's going on... Yes, like Mumm-Ra I'm determined hold a mirror to the face of those who would employ such acts and those who would endorse them... So let's start with "Obama Bucks" the Obama food stamp, pictured below... Read more.

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"Death gotta be easy 'cause life is hard." This line was uttered by 50 cent in his song, "Many Men." There are a lot of people in the world who have never heard this song, but would whole hearterdly agree with 50's premise. Look no farther than the December issue of Men's Health magazine. With a collection of readers who wouldn't hesitate to drop Bobby McFarren's name in a "greatest rapper ever debate", it's safe to say that 50's line wasn't the influence in the December 2008's article on male suicide. Regardless of inspiration, some of the figures are no less than alarming. The fact that the Golden Gate Bridge averages a jumper every other week since its construction in 1937 speaks volumes to the fact that there are alot of us who aren't handling our stresses well. Factor in addictions to alcohol, sex, pain killers, illegal drugs, and various other vices, and it furthers the fact that many of us have problems dealing with adverse conditions.

Even as I type this, I'm not immune to life's stresses. Like most other people, I have my frustrations with work, home, and everything in between. Hardships are a part of life. Stresses have a way of creating anxiety and the bible acknowledges that anxiety leads to depression. So if life comes with stress, and stress comes with anxiety, and anxiety leads to depression, how do we avoid becoming one of the Golden Gate Bridge's bi-weekly statistics? How do we deal with an overbearing boss who is quick to scold, but slow to give instruction? How do we cope at the funeral of a family member; a parent; a spouse; a child? Is the answer in a concoction of "happy drugs" and drunken stupors? How about simply going numb to cope?

The Men's Health article lists 7 steps of male suicide. I think the answer to dealing with life's stresses is actually found in the 7th step. The article lists the last step before suicide as a positive attitude change. The reason behind this is that the person contemplating suicide has found peace in a decision to terminate his life. In his thinking, he has regained power over the situation by deciding that it will end. It's similar to when a person gets frustrated with a video game. While a person may get frustrated with an inability to "win", he can avoid the shame of losing because he controls the power switch. The essence of step 7 is finding comfort in turning weakness into strength.

The Bible has given us a way to do just that without pulling our own plug. In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul talks about a battle he has inside of himself due to attacks from the enemy. He is constantly wrestling with this "Thorn in the flesh", and pleads with God to remove this thorn from him. In another passage we see Paul describe the dichotomy in the pleasure of sin. He explains that he finds himself doing things that are not in his will to do, and not doing the things that are in his will to do. What we see is Paul painting a picture of himself trying but not achieving to live the life he wants for the Lord. In response to Paul's pleas to have the evil removed from his life that he feels is a hindrance to his mission to serve the Lord, the Lord says two things.

The first thing the Lord says is, "My grace is sufficient." This is very important to understand. The bible says that each one of us has been given a measure of Grace. What God is telling Paul is that we are prone to stumble even when we walk on the right path. As much as we may desire to be perfect, we can't. God understood that a long time ago, and gave each of us a measure of grace for those times that we fall short. Plainly put, God doesn't expect perfection from us. He's already measured out because we don't always measure up. Don't take this as permission to live buck wild, but understand that we are imperfect. We are corruptible. If God was angry enough at us to end our lives, then he would. At the same time, we have no reason not to work through our own errors. God has already assured us that his grace is sufficient for us to get through.

The second thing the Lord says is that His strength is made perfect in weakness. Think about that for a second. The more our weakness, the more God's strength will shine through. The bible tells us the weakness of God is stronger than the strength of man. This is saying that if there was any weakness to God, His weakness is stronger than the strength of mankind. Reading that passage makes me think of arm wrestling my children. I let them use both hands, and I use my left, but I beat them with no effort.

What God is telling us is that when we are weak, it is then that we are really at our strongest. When we reach the end of our own abilities and capabilities is when we become fueled with his divine strength. That's the strength to be victorious; the strength to be more than a conqueror, not just the ability to pull the plug. The irony in finding strength in suicide is that God still has the power over life and death. The Men's Health article starts off with the story of John Kevin Hines, one of the 28 people to survive a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge. He jumped to take power over his life. In the four seconds between jump and impact he changed his mind, but was powerless to back out of his decision. It was at that point where he finally found the true source of power requesting, "Oh God, Please save me." The Peace in the 7th step of suicide is an illusion. It makes the victim think he is back in control. True Peace can be obtained by understanding that God is in control. He is no less in control when we are being tested than he is when we are being blessed.

We can always find peace in the storm when we take the time to understand that God's in control. Sometimes the easiest task becomes the most difficult thing to do. In Psalms 46:10 God tells us to do two things in the midst of trouble. The first is simple, yet incredibly difficult. He tells us to be still. In the midst of storms, tests, trials, and misfortunes he tells us simply to be still. This is very much against our natural tendencies. Fidgeting when we are uncomfortable is so natural that we do it in our sleep. It's subconscious. Our body typically responds to stress in one of two ways. In school we learned about the fight or flight response. In this passage however, God doesn't tell us to fight or run, he simply says be still. Be still, and know He is God. Be still and let him handle it, because he will get the glory.

As Christians, we yearn to be with Lord in His glory. The bible speaks of our corruptible transforming to incorruptible. While we yearn for that day, we have work to do at the appointed time. We have to understand that we are ambassadors for Christ. God shows his power through us. He shows his strength through our weakness. He is our comfort in times of trouble. He is our guide when we are lost. He doesn't hurt us needlessly, but sets us up to be a spectacle of his power. When God shows his power to the world through us, he is using us to bring more people to him. He's collecting a return on his investment in us. Yes, God has invested enough in us to get us through the impossible. He will handle it all, because He is God. All we've got to do to get his power, is be still and know he is God.

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...So what's my point? My point is that we have to expand our idea of political action in today's environment of AM talk radio, web blogs and political personalities posing as journalist of integrity. On the trains in NYC they have posters that read "If you see something, say something" to urge New Yorkers to act to prevent or deter wrong doing in the subways. Likewise, I'm urging you to do the same. In fact, I called into Michael Baisden's radio show yesterday and made the same point. Many of your read blogs (obviously) and listen to talk radio. Many of you watch news shows like Hannity and Colmes and Lou Dobbs, not because you agree with them, but because you don't and you want to hear what sort of bull $#!t flies out their mouths. So when you do hear something that makes you mad, will you sit there huffing and puffing like a victim or will you take action? I say take action! For the good of the innocent people who might believe them... Read more
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I try to stay out of politics because it's not my arena. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I've never believed government to be of the people, for the people or by the people. This year however, politics and religion met like I've never seen before, and that intersection was often ugly. What bothers me however, has been the church's role in this ugliness.

All too often, it seemed that many Christians were willing to put aside their Christianity to defend their conservatism. Many preachers stood in their pulpits and preached lies and hate toward Obama as a man. I don't wish to relive those arguments, but it is interesting considering that the bible says that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If Obama's stand on abortion, or some democrat's stand on gay marriage led you to vote republican then say that. If you believe in John McCain's economic plan over Obama's then say that. 

But when a preacher stands in a pulpit and proclaims overtly or covertly that Obama is a Muslim terroist sympathizer for wanting to pursue diplomacy in the Middle East or  that support for him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evilbecause of his stance on abortion; those words are not spoken from an abundance of love and truth in the heart. The bible tells us to pray for those in authority over us. That command is no less enforceable when the guy in charge isn't the one you voted for.

Now that we are post election, many of the hate has become a root of bitterness. The bible cautions us when it comes to this root of bitterness and how it can cause us to fall. The latest story, which has inspired this blog posting is this, a priest denying church goers communion because they voted for Obama. The reasoning is Obama's stand on abortion.

I would feel remissed not to admit that I voted for Obama despite being 100% pro life. Yet, as a father who never missed a prenatal visit for either of my kids, and a believer that God knows us before we ever emerge from the womb, I myself don't and won't ever see abortion as justified. Yes I think rape and incest are awful occurrences, and the health of my wife was very important to me. At the same time, I think it is more than a coincidence that my 2 year old daughter, who get overly excited in the womb after my wife ate anything with chocolate in it, will dance every time she sees a candy bar.

But to deny communion to anyone who voted for Obama is not justified. From a political standpoint in regards to abortion, the only time it ever becomes an issue is during an election. President Bush served the majority of his time with a republican congress, and during his terms abortion was made no less legal or abundant than under a democratic regime. When voting between two imperfect men who represent two imperfect parties, there is debate as to which is truly the lesser of the two evils. The results of the election however is not justification for division in the body.

I have my political convictions, but it is from a spiritual standpoint that I fundamentally and vehemently disagree with this intrusion of politics on the pulpit. First I have to point out the fact that regardless of the popular vote, the electoral college, the senate, and the house of representatives; God is the only one who gives authority. God is the one who has given Barack Obama the authority to be president; the same way he gave George Bush the same authority. Because that authority has come from God, does that mean that God is not fit to take communion?

My second objection to withholding communion is that the bible tells us that a man is supposed to examine himself before communion. There are sins that need to be confessed before partaking of the elements, however not voting for your priest's candidate is not one of them. In church, communion is referred to as the Lord's supper. It is described as a ritual to proclaim what Jesus has done, and his imminent return. It is not a political privilege, it is a spiritual sacrament. 
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The problem is that not everyone believes that there is just one way to get to heaven. There are many different ideas and theories about heaven and hell. Many believe that heaven is the destination of many roads. So when one group of people comes out and says, "The only way there is, is the way we are going", it's seen as arrogant and snobby.

As a Christian I actually understand that sentiment. I understand how people can feel disrespected when I share what I believe from the bible. I understand how it can be seen as disrespectful. It presents a challenge for me as a Christian because I don't intend to disrespect anyone. It would be so much easier for all involved for me to keep my mouth shut, and let people believe what they already believe.... Read more

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Last week, a woman at a McCain rally received a lot of attention for calling Barack Obama an Arab. After the rally, reporters caught up with her and gave her the opportunity to explain her comment. The interview is telling (you can watch it by clicking on the "Read more" link). But it isn't her fault. She's ignorant to the fact that she's ignorant of the facts...

If you don't know what it is that you don't know, why would you think to go and learn it?... Run over that question a few more times. By that same token, if you believe that what you know is fact, then how many of us would take the time to refute that which we know to be true, especially when it validates what we want to believe?... Run over that question again as well... Read More.
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At, we've been talking a lot about the level of ignorance on display at the McCain/Palin (or Palin/McCain) rallies during the last couple of weeks. In one post, I explained how upset I was at the fact that these people get to vote without problems at the polls, without lost ballots or stolen votes, yet it wasn't too long ago that black people had to take literacy test in order to vote. But this also raises a question about how you reach any group of people who are fundamentally comfortable in their ignorance about issues of life and death or war and peace. Then the answer became really apparent... Comedy! From Saturday Night Live to Family Guy, one has to wonder: Has communication been "dumbed down" to the point that cartoons and comedy sketches have become the only way to reason with the American proletariat? For example, how glaring is this message from Family Guy: Read More
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In the book The Call of the Wild, a house trained dog returns to his primitive instincts after being thrust into the wilderness. In this election we see very much the same thing in some of the kinds of things that are becoming too common at the McCain/Palin or Palin/McCain rallies. In an act of desperation on McCain's part and blind ambition on Palin's, they have chosen to assert as the entire rationale for their candidacy, that Barack Obama is different, that he is a terrorist sympathizer, that he's a closeted American hater, and worst of all that he's a Muslim "Manchurian Candidate" here to destroy the country as evidenced by his name Barack HUSSEIN Obama!...
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...The thing that is just glaring to me is that in the video it is clear that these folks are so blinded by their "antipathy to people who aren't like them" that they will convince themselves that they know Sarah Palin, who NOBODY knew a month ago to Obama, who's been in the public eye since 2004 and media saturated for the last two year. They have convinced themselves that Sarah Palin, who's refused to do anymore interviews, except for Sean Hannity, has done more interviews than Barack Obama who has done countless. They are so logically crippled by their xenophobia that they have convinced themselves that they are Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin is them. It's true. In their eyes they all eat mooseburgers. They all hunt wolves from helicopters, they all ride snow mobiles. They all have five children, a handicapped child and pregnant teen. By that same token, they have all convinced themselves that Sarah Palin is a single mother; that she grew up in a trailer park, that isn't college educated (although I can't blame them for that, after her interviews), that she's divorced and receiving child support each month, that she makes $40,000 year instead of $120,000 as mayor plus and more that isn't being reported by her husband, and finally that she isn't work close to 1.3 million dollars... Read More
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If you have a pulse or a single "cool bone" in your body, then you're probably one of the millions of people who shelled out money to see the Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight." Now if your "cool-bone" is balanced by an equally as powerful "geek bone," then you might be able to recall and recite specific scenes and pieces of dialogue from the movie. Now, for any of you "cool -bone," "geek-boned" people who happen to have a "political bone" then I invite you to follow my train of thought on this.

There's a scene in the film where Bruce Wayne and Alfred have an exchange about how the mob brought about the Joker's rise as Gotham's psychopathic criminal-genius. They even made a trailer out of it.
Bruce Wayne: ...I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight, but this is different. They crossed the line.
Alfred Pennyworth: You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.
Bruce Wayne: Criminals aren't complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he's after.
Alfred Pennyworth: With respect, sir, perhaps this is a man that *you* don't fully understand.
So what does Sarah Palin have in common with Batman?... SARAH PALIN IS THE JOKER!... No, not a joke, but the Joker in the drama of this election. and it has nothing to do with the pit bull in makeup/"lipstick on a pig" rhetoric. It does have everything to do with how John McCain and the republican/evangelical alliance running his campaign came to a decision that she'd be his Vice-Presidential nominee... A MUST READ MORE!
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To my memory, there have been 4 occasions in my whole life where I was left completely speechless. Let's see, one of them was when the church doors opened and I saw my best friend walk through escorted by her dad to declare with me that our love would continue to eternity. Then, I'll never forget the first time I spread "I Can't Believe it's not Butter" on my toast because really, I couldn't believe it was not butter. Then, there was that day someone challenged me to name the three times I've been speechless in my life. And then there was last night.

Before plopping down on our couch to enjoy my Pad See Ew and Gyoza from Thai Boom (I love that name) and flipping through the cycle of NBC, MSNBC and CNN in the evening, I spent a day trying to pretend that this historic day was not a historic day at all. Understand that I was working from home on election day, and if I allowed myself to keep thinking about what was happening I would have been in front of the tv a lot sooner with two laptops beside me auto refreshing their browsers on CNN and Digg for the stories that were developing. Oddly enough, that technically is not what I get paid to do. So I put my head down, turned all media off in the house and went into a fantasy world that said that the most important thing happening was this status report and these changes that the client requested on the project. What didn't help my fantasy world was the frequent robocalls from Magic Johnson encouraging me to do my part and vote for the candidate he supports for Los Angeles county supervisor - Bernard Parks. After the 4th time in the day I started talking over the recording -

ME:   "Hello?"

HIM: "Hi, this is Magic Johnson and I want to enc -"

ME:   "Stop calling my house Magic Johnson"
HIM: "-age you to vote for Ber-"

ME:  "-nard Parks, I know Magic Johnson, you already called me. Leave my family alone Magic Johnson!"

HIM: "-ard Parks and help us make the positi-"

ME!: "Magic Johnson where is your wife Cookie and does she know you're playing on the phone all day? Don't you have any meetings at a Starbucks or T.G.I. Friday's or any of the movie theaters you own?"

So as much as I appreciate Magic Johnson's determination to speak to little ole' me, I gotta tell you he is a killer on work and he's not a good listener when he's a recording. Just a heads up.

But when the text messages from friends started coming more and more - "Dude, Indiana polls close at 4pm (PST), turn on the tv" - I allowed myself to get excited that the time was finally here after 21 LOOOONG months to end this. I moved to the living room with my laptop in hand and started cycling through the channels I would be fixated on for the rest of the night - NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and VH1 Soul (oh snap, Beyonce has a new video??)

The wife came home and we positioned ourselves in front of the tv with our Thai food delivery. We had a few invitations to results parties but after the long day she had editing stories swirling around the election and then being tapped to edit the main story that was going on the front page of the paper, I was more than happy to let my home body nature call the night laid back in favor of the family.

We watched and discussed, laughed and we cried (I was cutting onions and she stubbed her toe). We cheered for our home states "good job Connecticut" and "okay Virginia, don't let us down" and then at 7:59pm PST (10:59EST) I said "well, when California, Oregon and Washington start reporting at 8 this should be wrapped up soon". At exactly 8:00pm MSNBC announced Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States of America and I was speechless for that fourth time in my life. Well, technically I wasn't void of all words, but when the only thing you can manage to say is "wow" then I think that qualifies.

We believed this would happen. We've put our brain power to figure the calculations and the numbers. We listened for weeks about the record breaking number of new registered democrats. We were cautiously optimistic with the poll numbers that were coming in daily showing significant leads or close races where they weren't "supposed" to be. But when the announcement came and was confirmed on all the broadcast and cable news channels I sat back on the couch and was only able to muster a "wow".

Wow, it is possible. Wow, it did happen. Wow, he is... Almost 24 hours since history was officially made and I'm still saying "wow" but have added "what's next".
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Last night, just after 11pm Barack Obama became the next PRESIDENT of the United States and at around 1am I met Bobby... Now before you let your mind run, this isn't a gay love story, or some Brooklyn version of Brokeback Mountain. It is, however, a story about how this monumental moment in history can CHANGE us all.

As a political junkie, I wanted to be out at one of the many election parties around New York City. I wanted to be at one of the bars on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, where people packed in to watch the poll results and took turns buying rounds of beers for their friends and strangers alike. But as a working father with an active 17 month old boy, who gets to work at 5:30 am, I chose to sit at home with my lovely wife and watch this historic moment on my 52 inch...

WAIT!...52 inch? The biggest moment in history and I'm at home watching it transpire on my 52 inch instead of being in the thick of the excitement? You see, this is weird for me because people like me (political junkies, that is) don't get hyped for the world series; we don't care who wins the Superbowl, unless we happen to live in the state of one teams playing; and we stopped watching the NBA finals after Jordan retired...the second time. For people like me, those 20+ debates were our playoffs and last night was our Superbowl, and anyone who's not at somebody else's house party during the Superbowl is a looser (or at least feels that way).

Anyway, I turn off the TV at around 12:45 am and prepare to turn in for the night... the gravity of Baracks win not having hit me yet. I take off my pants and get ready to jump in the bed , but then I hear it... I hear car horns honking... I hear people screaming... I hear the infectious joy that of a group of people feel when they've just watched their team win the Superbowl and I had to be a part of it. I had to see it and touch it.

I slipped on my pants and told my wife, "I'll be right back". I dash out the house and, like magic, the significance of this moment in history energizes me. I'm excited, buzzing like a cat with cat-nip, so much so that I can't stand to wait for the elevator. I run down 12 flights of stairs and the screams and honks grow louder as I step outside the lobby. A couple of people are talking to the building security guards with subtle glows on their faces. I smile as I rush past them, and as I made my way toward Myrtle Ave. I felt like I was walking to the center of Times Square on New Year's Eve... So did Bobby.

Bobby was leaving my building around the same time as me. Bobby was walking toward Myrtle Ave. like me. Bobby had the same look of pride on his face that I wore on mine. He was black like me and even has dreads (dreadlocks) like me... Bobby and I had a kindred spirit, but like so many of us do each day, we walked in the same direction, wanting to spread this effervescent feeling of goodwill, yet didn't speak to one another. But there was something about this moment in history that mandated a CHANGE in our behaviors and our kindred spirits were forced together by the weight of history... history of days gone and days yet to come.

"Hey Brotha"

"Hey, hows it goin?"

It was like the mere act of speaking to one another didn't just break ice, it broke down a wall of cynicism that had slowly been erected in our minds. Like so many people, we wanted to reach out to one another but didn't because we were unsure that we were living in a world where we could trust enough to do so. How many of us are unable to speak to people we see in our elevators daily because our communal spirit has been dampened by a sense that things will go to "hell in a hand basket" as soon as we let our guard down... De La Soul's Posdnous said it best on the song Stakes Is High
Neighborhoods are now hoods, cause nobody's neighbors, just animals surviving with that animal behavior.

After a few exclamations about how big this election is, it happened. "Hey, my name's Bobby, by the way"... "Law" I replied. and just like that Bobby and I were now neighbors. Last night, I had only planned to walk a block, but as we talked and screamed and cheered with all of the other new neighbors, I ended up walking 3.

Article by: LAW
Nov. 5th 2008

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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

It was my first time voting, and I don't usually do artsy-fartsy stuff, but here you go...
Voter 200
by Stu

I filed into my local municipality this morning

At 7:30 am in the small town of Lindenwold, NJ I was already voter number 200.

I’d been in this court room before, but never like this

No requests for a lawyer

No silent sighs of traffic fines and

Fines from not being able to pay those fines.

No, something was different today.

A mother took her two daughters behind the curtain with her.

Who are you voting for Mommy?

Sound it out the teacher told her young Pupil.

Sound it out baby girl.

O-BAM-A she said.

I looked around at the people in line with me

Some dressed in house coats

Some covered in tattoos

Some hoping that hope floats

Some with the paper open reading the news

One lady quietly sat there

Humming we shall overcome

And the silence of my thoughts was broken

As the mother in the booth beckoned her younger daughter

Sound it out baby.


Another old lady sat waiting her turn

She announced her spot in line for all newcomers

“That’s where I am young man”

“I just can’t stand too long, especially after walking here.”

But I wasn’t going to miss this for the world

Sound it out baby


Can I give you a ride home Ma’am

A Young man asks the old lady as he exits the booth

I’ll wait for you, however long it takes.

I’m off today, so it don’t matter.

I just can’t let you walk back if it’s that hard for you to stand

Sound it out baby


Back in my hometown,

Baltimore, Maryland

People snap pictures with their cell phones

Waiting in line for 2 hours with no complaints or shows of ignorance

Not for concert tickets, or free giveaways but for the sole purpose of suffrage.

Sound it out baby


There’s a change in the air

The kind of change when enough have had enough

When self serving agendas and motives give way to

Not just to the idea of hope, but to a belief in hope.

How dare we believe in hope

All those black people shoved into a tight space,

But you dare not use a N-word

Sound out the O-Word


This is the end of the campaign,

But the beginning of change

Don’t let the passing of a day

Or a week

Or a month make you forget what you believed in today.

Don’t let it dampen your appetite for change.

Don’t let it steal your dream for a better tomorrow

Based on what you did today.

Sound it out baby


Sing it out baby


Scream it out baby


Live it out baby


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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

...Sarah Palin lost the debate on the substance of the issues, but she won on style and performance. Just like in her days as a beauty pageant contestant, Sarah's coaches saw she didn't have a talent for grasping "the issues", but they agreed on a routine that will allow her to 'fake it 'till she makes it'. As soon as she walked out with the "...can I call you Joe?" line, I knew exactly where she was going. In short, her performance strategy was to use a whole lot of "galee gee, garsh darn, Joe six-pack" to blow smoke in the audience's eyes, while she slips in an answer that sounds good, but has nothing to do with the questions asked... After all, the only part of a beauty pageant where we see the true, honest to God, unrehearsed contestant is the 'question and answer' portion... Read more
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

I can't tell you what my hardest class was in college, but I can tell you who the professor was. Undoubtedly, it was a class taught by Dr. McLain. Most of my college courses revolved around passing test. Homework was designed to pose questions you would see on a test. Classwork and lectures were geared to cover the information contained on the test. Sample tests, study sessions, coaching sessions; all were geared toward the ability to regurgitate a scripted and acceptable answer to a question posed on a test. For physical science, I didn't have to know anything about Selenium, or understand the concept of atomic mass. I was simply trained to see SE, and with atomic mass, spit out 78.96. A decade removed from my physical science class, my knowledge of the periodic table pretty much begins and ends with the knowledge that Phosphorous is represented by the letter K.

Dr. McLain, however, was not impressed by an ability to regurgitate. He had this strange goal that he actually wanted us to digest the information. He didn't care what we could spit back at him, he was more interested in our ability to understand and apply the concepts of the subjects he taught. Knowing that the student's focus began and ended at the point in between the letters A through F and the numbers 0.0 through 4.0; Dr. McLain came up with a diabolically ingenious idea to ensure that his students did more than spout scripted answers to predictable queries. Dr. McLain's tactic was to rarely test what he taught. Instead he would come to class and simply encourage students to partake in the reading. When the students complied, we would often ask questions about the material that would answer a test question to be posed later. If there were no questions to be asked, Dr. McLain would gloss over the material, introducing the topics, but not giving enough information to divulge answers to test questions. The advanced accounting material was often too complicated to understand simply from reading the textbook, while the glossing over of topics barely scratched the surface.

To his students, Dr. McLain was an incarnation of the devil; a teacher worried more about teaching students than passing graduates. This principal of enforcing substantive learning however is valuable; especially when it comes to the subject of our faith. The Lord beckons us to study the scriptures. The ability to rightly divide the word of truth lies in the ability to both understand it and apply it. Understanding the scripture doesn't just mean paying attention on Sunday mornings, showing up on Wednesday bible studies, and listening to CD copies of the message on your way to work. Understanding means to undertake study of your own; asking pertinent questions and recalling related scriptures.

Look at what the bible says are the characteristics of a Godly man. The idea of teaching is mentioned twice in this scripture. It tells us that a Godly man must be able to teach, and that he must be able to instruct those who oppose him. In a previous blog post, I wrote about the tradition of tithing. There were some who expressed disagreement with the blog entry. I'm not interested in arguing the points as my blog can still be found on this site, and each point has hyperlinked scripture behind it. The question that I pose however, is do you have the ability to instruct? If you didn't agree with it, could you, from the scriptures, tell me where I was either wrong or misapplying God's word; or did you simply toss the entry aside, not thinking about it because it did not fit into what you already believe?...Could you instruct?

In Galatians 2:11-21 we see a very interesting encounter between the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul. Paul is confronting Peter to his face because both Peter and Barnabas have gone astray due to the pressures of men. In this passage we see Paul's ability to instruct Peter with irrefutable truth to bring Peter back to the Lord. It is the ability to instruct from the scriptures where we often fall short as Christians. Instruction does not come from traditions, and cliches, but is the byproduct of study and understanding.

Notice I use the word ability to instruct and not the a title like  instructor or preacher. The ability to teach is not achieved through obtaining a title, but through the process of study. Again I ask, do you have the ability to instruct? When someone opposes what you think or believe, are you able to come from the scriptures as whole with understanding?

The value of the ability to instruct from the scriptures can not be overstated. Inside the body of Christ, it is important because we as people have a tendency to go astray. Inside the New Testament we see various warnings about false teachers, false prophets, false apostles and false Christs. We see the ability to twist scripture, to make it convenient, and the frustration from Christ himself with the willingness of some to choose tradition over God. Because of all these things, Christians need to be able to explain why they believe what they believe from the scriptures. We need to be able to recognize when someone is not rightly dividing the word of truth. Just as important, we also need to be able to recognize when we are the ones operating outside of scripture.

The ability to instruct also has value outside of the body of Christ. As Christ's ambassadors, we are called to be witnesses for him. That means that we are called to share our faith. That requires "keeping it real" rather than "keeping it church"... In other words, I've found that there are not many unsaved people who react to cliches.  For example, It's not my intent to disrespect those who use this phrase, but there are a lot of Christians whom, if asked about their well-being will reply by saying that they are "blessed" or "blessed and highly favored." It has become such a scripted answer that if an unsaved person poses the follow up question, "how are you any more blessed or favored than me?", are you prepared to instruct? Are you prepared to be an effective witness?

Even more challenging, are you prepared to instruct a unsaved person who has studied the scriptures. Don't be fooled into thinking that unsaved people have never cracked open a bible. Many unsaved people can run spiritual laps around Christians as far as their study in the scriptures. During the temptation of Christ, linked above, the devil temps Jesus the second time by quoting scripture. Can you rightly divide the word to someone who has already read it? Do you have the ability to instruct?

Back in college, to prepare for Dr. McLain's tests, we would often test ourselves. It is no different when it comes to our Christian walk. Christ is both the author and perfecter of our faith. Knowing that it is perfect, the bible encourages us both to test our faith and to test every spirit. How do you pass a test? You have to study and understand. Are you doing your homework?

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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Tonight is the first and only debate between the vice-presidential candidates and, contrary to popular belief the deck might be stacked against Joe Biden. This has nothing to do with his intellect, his experience or even his exaggerated proclivity toward putting his foot in his mouth. I does, however have to do with the fact that the bar for Sarah Palin is set so low that my 16 month old son could clear it (he's really smart, though). That coupled with the McCain campaigns strategy of making her newly earned reputation as a bumbler appear as a folksy, "Joe six-pack", down-home trailer park, charm. Add to that, the hurdle of debating her without appearing like a brute or a neanderthal. Having said that, there are some strategic decision that he could make, that will level the playing field... Read more
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

We, as a society have started hiding our eyes from the truth so we can believe our own lies. We justify our actions with our own desires and intentions. We justify those intentions and desires with the belief that in the innermost core of our being we are innately good… Let the lies begin. As much as we may want to hide our eyes from what God says about our innermost core, he's already said what he thinks of our heart and desires. What does he say?... Every man is justified in his own mind. In much the same way, given enough time we can justify any action with the right physical impulses... Read more
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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

The right wing may not like it, but I think it's important for an unknown governor to be able to stand face to face with questions about her comments, her record, and her positions on the issues. Is it really badgering and picking on her if we ask her if she supported "The Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it, or what news publications she reads to inform her decision making? Well if so, then here's a new glossary of wrestling terms to describe the McCain campaign's view of the interview with Sarah Palin...

Body Slam: Asking her about how the distance from Alaska to Russia qualifies as her foreign policy experience... Read more
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