Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pay close attention to the image on your right... this is the true face of "humility"

Food for thought:  After reading this comparison or should I say contrast, I couldn't help but to think about the Bush administration turning away all those suffering victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Instead of authorizing more federal funding to rebuild an aged, run down, yet historic town, most of the survivors were displaced and "shipped off", I meant to say flown or bused to other towns. I'm sure this won't happen to those who were affected by the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. 
President Obama is a man of character who stands behind his words. The first caption got it right, "Real Leaders" don't care about polls, he cares about his people, no matter the race, gender, age or sexual orientation. His track record speaks for itself. Remember to cast your vote, re-elect President Obama, A man of character who deeply cares about the health, safety and welfare of the American people.

Part 1 of an interesting perspective on religion

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lawrence Wilkerson, Former Colin Powell Aide, Blasts Sununu, GOP, As 'Full Of Racists'

Several days ago the Huffington Post reported --- Colin Powell's former chief of staff condemned the Republican Party on Friday night, telling MSNBC's Ed Schultz, "My party is full of racists."  Several days ago the Huffington Post reported --- Colin Powell's former chief of staff condemned the Republican Party on Friday night, telling MSNBC's Ed Schultz, "My party is full of racists."

Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson made the comment in response to Mitt Romney campaign surrogate John Sununu's suggestion on Thursday that Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama's re-election was motivated by race.  Wilkerson, who served as Powell's chief of staff when the general was secretary of state during the first George W. Bush term, told Schultz that he respected Sununu "as a Republican, as a member of my party," but did not "have any respect for the integrity of the position that [Sununu] seemed to codify."

When asked by Schultz what, if anything, the remark said about the attitudes of the Republican Party, Wilkerson said:
"My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people -- not all of them, but most of them -- who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable."

The retired colonel also said that "to say that Colin Powell would endorse President Obama because of his skin color is like saying Mother Theresa worked for profit."
Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama for the second time on Thursday morning --he also backed the president in 2008 -- saying on CBS' "This Morning" that he was "more comfortable with President Obama and his administration" than with Romney on a host of issues.
Sununu, no stranger to incendiary rhetoric this election cycle, reacted to the endorsement on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," saying that "when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama."

Obama himself dismissed Sununu's suggestion on Friday, telling radio host Michael Smerconish:
 "Any suggestion that Gen. Powell would make such a profound statement in such an important election based on anything but what he thought was what's going to be best for America doesn't make much sense."

Food for thought:  Finally, someone bold enough to admit what Americans already knew!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Remember to cast your vote!! President Obama 2012

As an author, poet, military veteran and human rights activist, I've decided to endorse President Barack Hussein Obama, and I hope to encourage other military veterans to re-elect him as your Commander in Chief.  With him at the helm, he will help to steer America and other world leaders back on the proper course to encourage love, hope, peace and happiness, not hate, war and violence

Not only do I support him, so does my mentor Dr. Maya Angelou, she inspired a large number of my poems published in my poetry book "Essence of Black Beauty."

As a young black female enlisted and officer serving in the Navy for 20 years, at nearly every one of my Navy commands I was the only black female officer.  Each of these experiences I wrote about in my diaries and poems.  I titled my book Essence of Black Beauty because this is what I reminded myself of everyday, when my white male counterparts wanted to convince me that I was only there to fill a quota. Based on my prior military experience coupled with a post graduate degree, I knew was just as qualified as they were.

In my book Broken Silence, I discuss what my life was like "filling a quota".  In the chapter titled "Being a  black woman in a white man's Navy", I describe blatant prevalence of racial and gender inequalities that still exist in the Navy.

In my chapter titled "Good ole Boys Retaliate", I describe how I was fired from my job after I reported my bosses for defense contract fraud and how I was replaced by a white male defense contractor.  Although he was qualified to do my job he was hired illegally, at the time he was hired he was a defense contractor and this illegal revolving door practice violated the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

After the DoD IG investigation was complete, proving the company he worked for committed violations of the FAR, he and a handful of other culprits were rehired as a government civil service employees.  These guys love to keep evidence of fraud in-house!!

On a much brighter note, I wanted to share a letter Dr. Angelou emailed to President Obama which was posted on his campaign website.  As always, my role model has such an eloquent way of reminding us "who we are, where we come from and how far we still have to go" on our journey in demanding racial, gender and social equality.

“Pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich”

By Grant on  Voting

The great American author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou sent an email to Obama supporters this morning, urging everyone not just to vote, but to make sure your friends and family vote, too:
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country—as an American.
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful—don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor.
As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.
My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" When they couldn't answer, they couldn't vote.
I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time—I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.
I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.
And since President Barack Obama's historic election, we've moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.
Yet as Rev. King wrote, "All progress is precarious."
So don't sit on the sidelines. Don't hesitate. Don't have any regrets. Vote.
Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard.
Your vote is not only important. It's imperative.
Thank you,
Dr. Maya Angelou

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life comes of slain hoops star ‘Benji’ comes full circle in Chicago

Today reported -- CHICAGO  -Webster’s Dictionary defines “urban legend” as an often lurid story or anecdote based on hearsay and widely circulated as true.
If you’ve heard the story of Ben “Benji” Wilson, you’re familiar with the legend of an innocent young man, referred to by many as the best basketball player Chicago ever produced, who lost his life in 1984. Wilson was walking down the street with his girlfriend, minding his own business, when he accidentally bumped into a “thug” who not only took exception, but brandished a firearm and shot him twice.
All because he didn’t say, “excuse me.”
That story (or some version of it) has been told many times over the past 28 years in Chicago. On Tuesday night, “Benji,” the documentary of Wilson’s short life and untimely death, aired on ESPN for the first time aiming to separate fact from fiction and finally tell the full story in chilling entirety of a young man’s life taken too soon.
Hearing basketball guru Sonny Vaccaro declare Ben Wilson the first actual “phenom” in the world of high school basketball jibes with the way Benji has been described by Chicagoans all these years. That part of the urban legend was true. Benji really was great.
Here was a player from the South Side of Chicago who came out of nowhere one summer and emerged as the nation’s best high school basketball player – the first from this city to ever hold that distinction – in a class deep with NBA-level talent.
Anthony Davis, who took college basketball by storm and became the No. 1 pick of the New Orleans Hornets in last June’s draft, literally followed the exact same path to basketball stardom while he was in high school. His ascension was an almost symbolic gesture of what Benji’s life could have been had he lived.
Click here to read the rest of this story.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Virginia GOP linked to voter registration fraud

Mugshot of Colin Small (Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office)

The reported, “Man with GOP ties charged with destroying Virginia voter registration forms”

Details of the article: A man employed by a company working for the Virginia Republican Party was arrested Thursday and charged with destroying voter registration forms,according to WVIR-TV.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office arrested Colin Small, a 31-year-old resident of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, after receiving a report from a Harrisonburg store manager who says he saw Small throwing eight voter registration forms into a nearby dumpster, just before the Monday filing deadline.

Investigators say Small works for Pinpoint, a company hired by the Virginia GOP to register voters. The Sheriff’s office said there doesn’t seem to be a widespread case of voter form destruction and that the incident may not have been politically motivated.

Chairman Pat Mullins, of the Republican Party of Virginia, called Small’s actions “a direct contradiction of both his training and explicit instructions given to him.”

“The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process,” Mullins said. “The individual in question was fired immediately after we learned of his alleged actions.”

Prosecutors charged Small with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice.

The Sheriff’s office said there is a possibility of additional charges.

Full article:

Food for thought:  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  First the GOP voter fraud in Florida during the Bush vs. Gore election, now the GOP is still “cheating” within a few weeks of the election.  WoW, even Mitt Romney, their top GOP candidate has stated in his numerous debates how much he despises cheaters.  Does this mean Mitt Romney now despises his own camp, the GOP Tea Party?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maya Angelou 1993 Bill Clinton Inauguration

After watching last night's Presidential debate, I ask both President Obama and Mitt Romney to take a listen to the powerful words of OUR history, brilliantly outlined by Dr. Maya Angelou.

Mitt Romney, just in case you may have forgotten my ancestors, both Cherokee and Creek Indians were already in America when your ancestors were born in Mexico and maybe abroad.

The notion of "immigration reform" should be respecting the descendants of my ancestors instead of denying us our right to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which is what President Obama is promising to ALL AMERICANS.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Easier as a Latino? Actually...

Jay-Z: The Power of Our Voice

Essence of Black Beauty -- My signature poem

After receiving dozens of private messages from close friends and admirers, I’ve decided not to prolong the wait any longer and finally debut my signature poem “Essence of Black Beauty.”  This poem also serves at the title of my first volume of poetry. 

Over the past 30 years I’ve written a sizable collection of romantic, inspirational and erotic poetry. Most of my erotic pieces were written while traveling to some of the most erotic and exotic places around the world, during my 20 years in the Navy.

So what inspired me to write this particular piece?  Let’s just say, I challenged myself to compete with the renowned poet and phenomenal “Renaissance Woman”, Dr. Maya Angelou.

Serving as one of my most highly admired mentors, her famous poem, “Phenomenal Woman” became an anthem I’d learn to live by as a professional military officer.  So quite naturally it was easy for me to come up with the title during my challenge.

But knowing the true history of who I am, as a natural poet, it was difficult for me shield the words of truth from flowing through me.   It’s probably the cancer in me.  Some die-hard astrologist say we are both the Ying and Yang and I often get emotionally carried away at times.

I would love to hear your feedback.  

Should I continue to grind, which is slang for “to continue working on perfecting my craft?”  Or did I fare well in competing with Dr. Angelou in my version of what I consider as the 21st century anthem.   

        Essence of Black Beauty
                © Syneeda Penland 2008

            Time has changed,
            so have generations of our times.
            Leaving intriguing tales
            and mysteries of our past,
            as I search for answers
            seeking to find.

            I seek to explore the essence
            which defines the mystery
            behind hidden taboos.
            Depicted by false labels and stereotypes,
            shamelessly dictating all that we do.

            Have we allowed these labels to shame us
            from vicious acts exploited in the past?
            Allowing this fear to still haunt us
            how much longer will it last?

            No one put us up on a pedestal
            to be portrayed as delicate and pure.
            Instead, curious of the Essence of our Black Beauty
            strongly desired by those seeking to endure.

            To fulfill the desires of their fantasies
            and strip us of all that once was pure.
            Planting a seed to become nameless,
            scarring our souls leaving us shameless
            of brutal acts, never painless!

            This scar, passed on to each generation
            left never to be discussed,
            yet complete annihilation
            from the history of the heritage
            of African Queens.

            This heritage, so enriched
            by the beauty of her land,
            cradled in the essence of her bosom
            her jewels and all her riches
            are strongly desired by man.

            No longer will we be haunted
            by the mystery of hidden taboos,
            which defaces our heritage
            and wrongfully defines what is true.

            For being Black defines the beauty
            that lies deep within our skin.
            Either at its purest or mixed with other
            combining such a beautiful  blend.

            So be proud of who you are
            and show the world that you are able
            to lift the taboos, stereotypes
            and many false labels.

            Look in the mirror
            and inhale your beauty,
            Embrace it!
            And say out loud...
            ‘with a wink of an eye of acceptance’
            I’m Black!       
            I’m Beautiful!
            And I’m Proud!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

When life imitates art

The Persistence of Memory
© 2010  Syneeda Penland

By artist Salvador Dalí

Like a time piece
washed upon the shores,
deposits of corroded sides of mountains
lies each layer of my ore.

I’ve traveled through life
alongside many other sands
of father time.

When I've reached the edge
my body fades away,
I am returned to the earth.
Details of my memory
are intertwined.

Military veteran speaks out on coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

After watching this video, I ask that you take a few extra minutes to read the article I linked below.  The article discusses the growing number of veterans, since returning home from the war, that are diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD.  To understand what it’s like to experience symptoms of PTSD, then re-watch the video.

For those of you who’s yet to take notice, I’ve slightly began to change the theme of my blog.  I don't follow military news like I use to.  

Earlier this year I was also diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD.  

Each time I read a news article about: "How our veterans are still being mistreated"... "How Congress or the Supreme Court hasn’t done anything to improve the laws to better protect us", or  "How our veterans are being seduced to commit inhuman acts against others, ie. raping innocent men and women", It keeps me on edge…

For the past year, I’ve reached out to provide advocacy support for other veterans.  While doing so, I was warned by my VA mental health therapist that it may not be a wise idea.  I must admit, he was correct.  After listening to other veteran’s stress-related issues, day in and night, I’d reached my breaking point.  So I had to pass the baton back over to the trained professionals.

To cope with the added stress of the other veteran's issues, I had to seek additional means of self-therapy. This is because I suffer from a blood disorder condition called essential thrombocythemia

The incurable condition was brought on when my military superiors exposed me to extremely stressful working conditions (or should I say, lack thereof) and by subjecting me to cruel and excessive punishment. 

To prevent me from having a stroke or a heart attack, each day for the rest of my life, I am prescribed chemotherapy medication.   Meanwhile, the average person is only required to take an aspirin for stroke and heart attack prevention. 

I try to minimize my stress levels by incorporating mental and physical at-home or health spa relaxation techniques. 

To confront my fears, I’m learning to recite and perform my poetry by creating an alter-ego.  I also began to write short stories, ideas for a series of romance novels and spoken-word song lyrics.   

Since coming “Full Circle”, I encourage other veterans to seek help and guidance from GOD our Creator for help in confronting the demons that keep us awake at night.  By doing so, you will be guided on a path of finding YOUR inner peace. 

Friday, October 12, 2012


Picture courtesy of artist Sidney Carter,
visit his website at

               © 2010 Syneeda Penland

            After centuries of being denied access to our history,
            African American history is no longer a mystery.

            After being kidnapped from our homeland,
            told false promises of being returned to our origin,
            America is now home to me.

            Holding her torch, the Statue of Liberty,
            a symbol of freedom, promises of false hope
            that in America you will no longer feel choked.

            Strangled by shackles around your feet and hands,
            you’ve landed on the shores of the
            so-called “Promise Land.”

            Many centuries ago,
            these shores laid home to my other ancestors
            who were free to roam
            up and down the shores
            of America’s creeks.
            Native American Indian’s land
            is what explorers would seek.

            This land of the West is what explorers called
            “The New World”,
            soon became home for other nations
            to explore.

            America is now considered home
            to many races,
            Black, red, yellow, white;
            many brown faces.

            America, America
            Land of Liberty.

            America, America
            Will I, on OUR land,
            Ever be free? 

Delivery suite horror story: Doctors 'killed baby during birth and tried to cover it up with a Caesarean'

  • Arteisha Betts went into labor in March 2011 only 28 weeks and five days into her term. Lawsuit claims doctor told Betts earlier that the baby must be delivered via C-section Mother says she was forced into vaginal delivery against her wishes.  Doctor pushed the baby's detached head and body back into birth canal, complaint states...

  • Read more: 

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    Food for thought:
    During last night debate, in an online chat, there were dozens of women asking, "Why were there little to NO discussions about Women's Rights issues", especially surrounding the abortion issue.   

    After reading this article, if I was the attorney for this couple, I would demand an investigation into what was really wrong with the infant.  

    According to the article, the baby's abdomen was obviously to large for a vaginal delivery.  But what caused the stomach to swell? And was the baby growing much faster than what is normally considered to bet the average growth rate" for a fetus. 

    What was the mother's diet like?  Was she eating food that's been injected with growth hormones that could've affected her baby?  

    This could possibly answer the question of the rapid growth of the baby's stomach.  Thereby prompting the doctor to deliver the child via C-section.  

    Opps, that is what he'd initially planned for, to deliver the baby via C-section.  So why did he change his mind?

    Was this doctor incompetent or was there something seriously wrong with the unborn child?  There are so many unanswered questions to this story...

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    History on Affirmative Action in America

    In his memoir, "STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM: THE MONTGOMERY STORY", Dr. Martin Luther discusses his tireless efforts while working with local community leaders and church organizations in the mid-1950s, during the Montgomery Alabama boycott against the public transportation system.  This was in light of the historical "Rosa Park" incident, subsequently resulting in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

    In recent news, the issue on Affirmative Action for minorities in America has resurfaced.  Across the board, nearly ALL minorities in America are grouped in one class, especially in situations involving colleges, universities and training institutions.

    Read the full story here:

    The following is an excerpt from my memoir: “Broken Silence” where I discuss diversity and affirmative action issues in the military.  As a civilian, I can easily see a comparison as to how the military is decreasing its minority quotas, similar to or at the same rate; as America is downsizing its middle class.

     Chapter 17 – Selective Prosecution

    Each year the DoD military leadership diversity commission (MLDC) performs an analysis of the military diversity initiatives, across all branches of services.  The commission compiles all their findings and conclusions in an annual report and submits it to Congress and the President, offering recommendations for improving diversity initiatives within the military.

    The latest report provided statistics of all senior military officers who are serving on active duty, reporting the following breakdown: 77% are non-Hispanic white males, 8% are  non-Hispanic black males, 5% are Hispanic males, 4% are  Asian/Pacific Islander males, 1% other and 16% are women (racial statistics was not provided).  The report suggested an immense absence of minorities in senior leadership roles and is something that needs to change.  The report also offered twenty recommendations on how to increase the proportion of minority officers in the military in order to create a fighting force that better represents the makeup of the population it defends.

    As America progresses forward into the 21st century, hatred and bigotry still resides in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. Even after the election of President Barack Obama, senior military officials have cleverly found ways to disguise their ill-treatment and racism towards minority officers.

    One such why is what I view as a “pyramid effect.”  This is when the military drastically decrease its quotas for senior minority officers and increase its quotas for junior minority officers.  Proof of this fact is reflected in the significant number of minority officers who are enrolled at their military training institutions, historical black colleges or a traditional university ROTC officer program.

    Meanwhile, there’s a competitively low quota and opportunities for prior enlisted service members to earn a commission to become a Naval officer.  This was one of the main reasons why I decided to get out of the Navy after seven years of prior enlisted service, to seek a commission as a civilian.

    Unfortunately “Mustangs” – prior enlisted services members – are always frowned upon by officers who earned their commission through traditional means.  I assumed it’s because it’s harder to recondition us to go along - just to get along, especially at the sacrifice of others.

    As quoted by President Obama in his 2005 Knox College Commencement Address when speaking about America, he said, “Her place in history and how she will always rise above her challenges, because America is… “A place where destiny was not a destination, but a journey to be shared and shaped and remade by people who had the gall, the temerity to believe that, against all odds, they could form “a perfect union” on this new frontier.”   It is this very message that should serve as a as motto for our military.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Slavery and the Prison Industrial Complex - Angela Davis

    The sequel to my military memoir

    As the cold winter months draws near, I've been pondering my brain for an idea for my first romantic novel.  As promised, I'm in the process of writing a sequel to my personal memoir, "Broken Silence" The Syneeda Penland Story.

    My memoir is about sex, seduction, lies and corruption in the U.S. military.  From the beginning to end, I outline what my life was like growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta Ga, in a predominantly white town.  This is where I learned how to "get along" with people of other races. I'm the descendant of African and Native American Creek- Cherokee Indian, yet my family was mis-treated, like all other minorities growing up in the south.

    This is why it is necessary I write my sequel, because it discusses how I overcame adversity in the military and what my life has been like, since moving back home to the deep-south.

    For the past 2 years, I’ve learned a lot about the buried secrets, all along the coast line of the Lake Lanier Islands, which probably explains weird deaths in that area, if you believe the things you read about in Steven King's novels...

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Romney plans Navy buildup.... Meanwhile, the U.S. deficit keeps rising posted an article, stating "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to buy three more submarines over the next three years as part of his plan to boost shipbuilding to 15 ships per year, he said Monday in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute."

    Romney also plans to add an 11th aircraft carrier wing, build more Marine Corps amphibious ships, F/A-18 Super Hornets, a missile defense ship and a frigate.

    The Republican spoke in detail about his plans to grow the Navy while adding few details about the other services in his speech to VMI Keydets billed as a national security address. Chris Cavas, Defense News’ naval ace, broke the story of Romney’s naval plans following an interview with John Lehman, a top Romney national security adviser and former Navy secretary.

    On the campaign trail, Romney has promised to build up the Navy fleet to 350 ships by increasing annual shipbuilding from nine to 15 vessels. Until Monday, he had not provided details to what he wanted to build.

    The Pentagon is preparing for a potential $500 billion cut to planned defense spending over the next decade should Congress not reach a compromise by Jan. 2 to avoid sequestration. Romney has placed blame on Obama for not showing more leadership toward ending the cuts.
    Romney explained how he’d more actively use the American military to influence events in the Middle East during his speech Monday. He said increasing the Pentagon’s budget is part of that as a strong military prevents war.

    Romney criticized Obama for his handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. He said it was wrong for the president to blame the attack at first on an anti-Islamic You tube video that unleashed large scale protests across the Middle East.

    “This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the administration’s attempts to convince us of that for so long,” Romney said.