Live from America (on the President’s UN Address) + more

The First Lady at the President's UN Address

We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom

That moment when the camera pans on the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the President says: “We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom.”

It’s so poetic there are no words to truly do it justice.

Her story is the truest (not the bluest) story of the United States of America.

From the person whom she would marry (now the 44th president), to her paternal great-great grandfather Jim Robinson (who was a slave on Friendfield Plantation in South Carolina), and to her beautiful daughters growing up in the Capitol of the United States.

I’m speechless from the long overdue real life painting of my America now come true. My heart beats for the kind of moments captured here. I find it unjust in how rarely noticed such a thing is.

Sadly, Friendfield Plantation today is the kind of place a lot of people like to have wedding ceremonies at – like there is not generation upon generation upon generation upon generation upon generation of pain here on these grounds (the kind that cannot be forgotten and whitewashed).

This is my America. For all of its ugliness there are still moments like the one captured here in the President’s UN Address – of a wisdom and maturity that you cannot buy with money. I try and point them out and hold onto them for as long as I can.

For Mike Brown and the countless generations past of such horrible events that mark and stain the flag we drape our pride and honor for country with. And in the words of the President, “To bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation.”

I was so inspired by just the few moments at the end of the UN address that I had to share this. I could go on and on about the rest of the more than 35 minute speech, but sadly the odds are you’re probably not interested enough to watch the full speech – let alone read all of this.

Such is the tragedy of the Information Age. Be not incurious. Do not dull the mind with the fleeting and temporary, but fill it with the timeless and ageless. Enquire within upon all things in the name of science and progress.

President Obama addresses the UN Assembly

Don’t let go

Found on Tumblr:

1) The day my sister got back from the hospital after a suicide attempt. I didn’t let go for about an hour.
2) Kid just found out his brother was shot and killed.
3) A Russian war veteran kneels beside the tank he spent the war in, now a monument.
4) Man sobbing at animal shelter. After being jailed briefly and his dog Buzz Lightyear impounded he couldn’t afford the $400 to get his pet back.
5) A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires that burned across Victoria, Australia, in 2009.
6) Alcoholic father with his son
7) Robert Peraza pauses at his son’s name on the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center.
8) Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012
9) After two double lung transplants and years of battling cystic fibrosis, my good friend passed away last Saturday. This was one of the last pics taken with his mother.

King Tim of Northern Ireland and the Lesson Never Learned from Empire

Northern Ireland riots from Orange order

“On both sides of the fence it looks like people are willing to believe almost anything about each other.


It feels dangerous. It feels like it wouldn’t take very much for it to really kick off. Like those boys, as lovely as they are, they’re angry angry angry boys, and the other side are angry. And just because we’ve had fifteen years of peace it doesn’t seem to be changing the way that they feel.”

Language and negative connotations

KAT is a commonly used graffiti tag in Northern Ireland by Protestant Loyalists. It stands for Kill All Tadghs.

Tadgh at one point was once a very common Irish male name, which is translated into English as Tim. Taig and Teague are the most commonly used spellings of the name today.

Taig is considered to be used purely as a derogatory term towards Irish Catholics. Some Irish Catholics have begun to use Teague as an ironic self-identifying term to glorify there struggle against Protestants in Northern Ireland.

KAH stands for Kill all Huns. It is commonly used graffiti opposing Protestant Loyalists.

From the Orange of France to the Tricolors of Ireland

The Orangemen march of July 12 seems to be the main event that stirs up the violence that separates these two types of Northern Irish people.

It’s horrifying how power weaves it’s way through everything – from kingdom to religion to government and anywhere else you allow it to corrupt you, absolutely. Right down to the most minuscule detail of whether or not a certain sect of the same religion can walk down a road in a neighborhood of a highly populated area by people of a different sect.

Upon researching more about the battle won on July 12 that the Orangemen march celebrates every year, ultimately what divides these Irish people is purely bad history surrounding religious tradition and territory. This is what is left from the near and still lingering past of a once domineering and warring soul for the crown of the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland.

At least on paper, the biggest difference of the two opposing sides in Northern Ireland is in how to properly be a Christian. In other words, Christianity was so successfully adopted throughout Europe in the last 2000+ years that the biggest fights between each other are the proper way to believe in the same thing. The similarities in the Apocalyptic literatures about the Roman Empire found in the Christian Bible telling of Babylon are not lost on me.

But aside from that, what really keeps sparking the fire of riots in Northern Ireland is the bad blood of local history. It’s the same problem with Palestine/Israel. This is why Northern Ireland fascinates me, because it hints to what we should anticipate to come for the future of the Palestine/Israel area of the Middle East.

At war with the human soul for mind and soil

It’s amazing how troubling the human ego is even with itself. We’re all our own worst critics at times. We’re almost never happy with ourselves. And even when we are no longer at war with others, in times of peace, we will still cling to our differences until we begin to argue and fight over piety.

We will essentially go to war over who believes the same thing more. “I believe in the same God so much that I’ll kill you to prove it.” Suddenly, the simplest of simple things like the way you worship and practice the same belief in God becomes a world apart in difference.

I compare this to the two party system of Democrats and Republicans that dominate politics in the United States of America. Fundamentally, when you compare there similarities to other countries with different political parties, the two are almost identical. But when you zoom in to nitpick the tiniest of detail it’s as if magically the two become polar opposites.

The same story from a different point of view

An even more tragic comparison is the fact that each of the three major monotheistic religions of the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are all just different versions of the same story of the God of Abraham.

I point this out not to belittle monotheism, any religion, or theism as a whole, but rather to try and give context to the reality of just how fragile the tragic human condition truly is.

We need more commonality – not division.

On a very macroscopic level, like the Troubles of Northern Ireland, the belief in a monotheistic God – it turns out – was so successfully adopted across the world abroad, that the believers of the very same God are essentially just blindly carrying on the local traditions of fighting over the better way to worship the same deity.

That and a whole lot of history of retaliation and ego.

Don’t let it go to your head, friend.

If you are reading this and I have offended you in how I sweepingly lump religious extremism into a category of all religion, I apologize, but please know this is only my point of view. I am subject to being wrong.

Feel free to respond with your point of view.

And as always I will try to do my best and turn the other cheek.