Thursday, November 21, 2013

Toni Morrison Honors Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards report-- "Author Toni Morrison honored writer Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards this evening with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

“It’s a personal pleasure to honor a friend and artist and a legend,” said Morrison, who said how wonderful it is that such a talented person doesn’t put others down. “Instead, Maya Angelou inspires delight as well as awe,” said Morrison. “Her reputation sparkles with elegance, generosity, humor…compassion, and dare I say it, wisdom.”

In her speech, Morrison said that when her son died one Christmas, the very first non-family voice that she heard on the phone was Maya. ”With so much toxicity around in this world, the celebratory social life she offers her friends and colleagues is a blessing,” said Morrison. “And trust me, Maya can cook.”

After listing Angelou’s prolific list of accomplishments from journalist to playwright to screenwriter to author and beyond, Morisson said to her friend, ”Dr. Maya Angelou, you improve our world by drawing from us, forcing from us, our better selves.”

Angelou took to the stage and responded, ”It takes one to know one.”

She is a blessing,” Angelou said about Morrisson, thanking her “sister friend” of many years.

“God put a rainbow in the sky,” sang Angelou, referring to a passage in Genesis. “God put a rainbow in the clouds. You are rainbows in my clouds,” she said as she thanked the literary community for choosing her “whether she deserved it or not.”

“Easy reading is damn hard writing,” said Angelou. “I am trying to tell the truth, not everything I know, but the truth.”

“People live in direct relation to the sheros and heros they have and I thank you for honoring me,” she concluded."

Food for thought:  I've always respected and admired the works of Maya Angelou and have drawn most of my inspiration for my poetry from life’s experiences, history, social issues, art and most notably; Dr. Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Phillis Wheatley, just to name a few.  When I wrote "Essence of Black Beauty" I drew inspiration from her poem, "Phenomenal Woman".  My goal was to challenge myself to write an Anthem for the New Age generation black woman.  As soon as I began to write the first stanza my spirit immediately drew me to a dark place of our past.  Needless to say, I was proud of my effort and decided to title my first poetry book after the poem.  

I guess I still hold the record for being the only "Single" officer to go to jail for alleged adultery. According to the "Law", Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and a partner other than the legal spouse. Yet another classic case of "Selective Prosecution"... Only in the U.S. Military!!

Capt. Jeffrey Winter, the commander of Carrier Air Wing 17,
has been fired over an alleged relationship with a female junior officer. (MC2 James R. Evans / Navy)


© 2013

Navy CAPT Jeff "Chilly" Winter had led a seemingly charmed life.
Graduate of the Naval Academy (Class of 1989), former TOP GUN instructor and hot-shot four-stripe commander of Air Wing 17 on the USS Carl Vinson, Jeff Winter had it made. He was considered a sure shot for promotion to admiral down the road.

Not any more.

As we reported earlier this year, the much-experienced fighter-pilot stepped on his dick when the married captain was caught having an affair with a female officer.
E-MAIL PROVES AFFAIR TOOK PLACE can now tell you it was a LT and medical officer on the Vinson. Her nickname is "Sugar" and she was, according to sources in the know, very sweet indeed.

While crew members of the carrier suspected CAPT Winter was fooling around, the proof of his adultery surfaced when a suspicious sailor's wife somehow got into her husband's laptop and downloaded sexy messages between Winter and his love-struck gal pal.

The nosy frau was looking for evidence of her own husband's infidelity - they are now going through a divorce - and when she came across the incriminating evidence about Winter, his boss, she turned it over to authorities.

We won't reproduce the messages here on MCC - after all, we have some ethics - but let's just say the "terms of endearment" expressed left no doubt that a hot affair was underway. LT "Sugar" spoke longingly of moments of bliss with handsome "Chilly" during a five-day port call at Perth, Australia.


When NCIS agents confronted Winter, he admitted the affair began in early 2012 and ended this June.

We are told the female officer is no longer in the Navy. As for "Chilly," he's already received a letter of reprimand and presumably is hard at work on preparing retirement papers.

And his wife, you can be sure, has "frozen out" Chilly from sharing the master bedroom. The unfaithful top jock likely will be sleeping on the sofa from now on.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kristen Gillibrand's military sexual assault bill rejected by senators in letter

Senator Gillibrand insists that victims don't trust the chain of command
to mete out justice, or they fear or have experienced witness retaliation.

Senate opponents of stripping military commanders of the authority to prosecute serious crimes such as rape and sexual assault said Monday that the proposal could make it worse for victims.

In a letter to Senate colleagues, 11 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote that sexual assault in the military is an abomination and must be dealt with forcefully, but they rejected the solution offered by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat.

Gillibrand has the public support of nearly half the Senate for removing commanders from deciding whether serious crimes go to trial and giving that authority to seasoned trial lawyers who have prosecutorial experience and hold the rank of colonel or higher.

"We believe strongly that this would create a system that would actually be worse for victims and significantly undermine the military system of justice and discipline," the senators wrote. "It could lead to constitutional hurdles for military prosecutions; undermine the ability of prosecutors to execute plea bargains that can spare victims a difficult trial process."

The senators also said the plan would undercut the ability of commanders to threaten courts-martial and carry out non-judicial punishments.

Gillibrand insists that victims don't trust the chain of command to mete out justice, or that they fear or have experienced witness retaliation. She points to the Pentagon estimate of 26,000 military members who may have been sexually assaulted last year, based on an anonymous survey. Thousands of victims were unwilling to come forward despite new oversight and assistance programs aimed at curbing the crimes, the Pentagon said.

The letter comes ahead of a showdown over the issue as Gillibrand is expected to offer her plan as an amendment to the annual defense policy bill. The proposal has bitterly divided the Senate and the 26-member Armed Services Committee.

Senators Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, and Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, the top members of the panel, signed the letter as did female senators Claire McCaskill (Democrat, Missouri), Kelly Ayotte (Republican, New Hampshire), and Deb Fischer (Republican, Nebraska).

Backing Gillibrand are Senators Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas), and Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky), as well as 16 of the Senate's 20 female members.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

Food for thought:   This is why I don’t put much faith in "political" justice.  There is always some leverage or bargaining chip when it comes to protecting our human rights.  The Senate played the same game with the passage of Obamacare.  Meanwhile, more and more veterans are vulnerable to being raped or sexually assaulted the longer they wait on passage of this bill.  

Yesterday I spoke to another victim of military sexual assault, she was wrongfully discharged from the Navy after being sexually assaulted by Marines at the Quantico barracks.  She was recently discharged from the Navy and was denied her VA benefits.  Her story is just as bizarre as mine because it involves a group of Marines videotaping her in the nude while she was sleep walking, which was due to a side effect of her sleep medication, prescribed by Navy doctors.    

After she reported the incident to her chain of command she was immediately reprised against. She was busted down from a petty officer to an E2, wrongfully charged with being drunk on duty (after test results proved she didn’t have alcohol in her system), and she was taken to Ft. Belvoir for several weeks to undergo involuntarily mental health therapy, which consisted of her being directed to take large dosages of medication and was threatened if she refused.  

During the 3 hour conversation what stood out the most was that the mistreatment seemed to be centered from her choice to serve as openly gay.  There is obviously more to her story.   The fact that she’s African American, a woman and identifies with her sexual orientation, affords her “triple” protection under the 1964 CRA, as amended.  The fact that she now suffers from severe medical disabilities makes this a blatant violation of her human rights!

Yet I wonder how many more veterans needs to be tortured and traumatized before the Senate realizes the seriousness of this situation!! 

Years ago, after investigating and reporting my former bosses for engaging in defense contract fraud they used the military’s justice system to punish me and cover-up evidence of ongoing corruption, which involved contract bid rigging and illegal revolving door practices.  Recent news reports have proven that this sort of thing has been going on in the Navy for over 25 years, or longer!

Unfortunately the Senate would rather “play politics” and turn a blind eye when it comes to military corruption and protecting military whistleblowers.  Whether the claims relates to fraud, rape, sexual assault, reprisal, hazing, etc., it doesn’t matter, military whistle blowers are not being protected!  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Senior Navy civilians investigated in alleged scheme to defraud military for $1.6 million

Federal authorities are investigating three senior Navy intelligence officials as part of a probe into an alleged contracting scheme that charged the military $1.6 million for homemade firearm silencers that cost only $8,000 to manufacture, court records show.

The three civilian officials, who oversee highly classified programs, arranged for a hot-rod auto mechanic in California to build a specially ordered batch of unmarked and untraceable rifle silencers and sell them to the Navy at more than 200 times what they cost to manufacture, according to court documents filed by federal prosecutors.

The purpose of the silencers remains a mystery. According to the court papers, one of the intelligence officials told a witness in the case that the silencers were intended for SEAL Team 6 , the elite commando unit that killed Osama bin Laden.

The case is the second ­contract-fraud investigation to entangle senior Navy intelligence officials in recent weeks.

"Classified information in exchange for prostitutes and in one case $100,000 in cash?" said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who on Wednesday introduced the latest in a series of bills aimed at sexual assault in the military. "That suggests that to the core the institution needs to be scrubbed clean with peroxide or something. It needs a good cleaning. It is an absolute frat house!"

Say it ain't so!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

U.S. Senators Who Support The Military Justice Improvement Act

47 U.S. Senators including 8 Republicans, have publicly expressed support for this common sense approach to create an independent, non-biased and objective military justice system:

  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)*
  • Mark Begich (D-AK)*
  • Michael Bennet (D-CO)*
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)* 
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)*
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)*
  • Ben Cardin (D-MD)*
  • Tom Carper (D-DE)*
  • Robert Casey (D-PA)*
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)*
  • Chris Coons (D-DE)*
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)*
  • Al Franken (D-MN)*
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)*
  • Chuck Grassley (R-IA)*
  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  • Tom Harkin (D-IA)*
  • Martin Heinrich (D-NM)*
  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)*
  • Mazie Hirono (D-HI)*
  • Mike Johanns (R-NE)*
  • Tim Johnson (D-SD)*
  • Mark Kirk (R-IL)*
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)*
  • Ed Markey (D-MA)*
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ)*
  • Jeff Merkley (D-OR)*
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)*
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)*
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • Mark Pryor (D-AR)*
  • Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)*
  • Bernie Sanders (I-VT)*
  • Brian Schatz (D-HI)*
  • Charles Schumer (D-NY)*
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)*
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Mark Udall (D-CO)
  • Tom Udall (D-NM)*
  • David Vitter (R-LA)*
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)*
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)*

I strongly encourage other Congressional Officials to show their support for passage of this bill, to help victims of military sexual trauma heal from their pain.  Sometimes all it takes is an acknowledgement of the crime, not years of denial.  The more a victim holds on to their grief, the stress alone could cause cancer.  Its one thing not to uphold a victim's rights under the  protection of the Civil Rights Act, its another to allow the crime to exacerbate into a human rights violation. Which is what PTSD is, a medically diagnosed disease. 

Radioactive leak found in reactor at S. Carolina nuclear plant, one of largest in US

Oconee Nuclear Station (Photo from reports -- A reactor at one of the nation’s largest nuclear power plants has been taken offline due to a radioactive leak within a containment building.

"Out of an abundance of caution,” service was temporarily removed from Unit 1 at the Oconee Nuclear Station in western South Carolina early Monday, according to ONS spokeswoman B.J. Gatten. 

A robot was used to confirm the leak over the weekend after it was first suspected Friday night inside Unit 1’s containment facility, Gatten said.

Less than one tenth of a gallon of radioactive material is leaking per minute, though it is not yet known how long the leak has existed, she said, according to WYFF.

The leak remains solely inside the containment building, a steel-lined, airtight area with concrete walls several feet thick. No one works inside the containment building, Gatten said.

The leak is subject to ongoing repairs and analysis, though there is no estimate for when it will go back online.

Gatten claims the leak will not put any employees or the public in danger, nor will it affect service.

The leak has been reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she said. A Commission report said Unit 1 was running at full power Friday.

Unit 2 at ONS was offline already for routine refueling, leaving one reactor - Unit 3 - online Monday.

ONS is run by Duke Energy, and began operation in 1973 with an initial expiration date in 2013, per 40-year regulatory standards. However, its license was extended for an additional 20 years - only the second reactor to earn such a renewal - and is now scheduled to expire in 2033.

The power plant is located on Lake Keowee near Seneca, South Carolina. Its energy output is over 2,500 megawatts - enough electricity to power 1.9 million homes, according to Duke Energy.

Let’s pray that this doesn’t mimic Japan’s Fukushima Radiation Leaks, thus contaminating our soil and air.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In dedication to the memory of a beloved friend and fallen soldier, Major Gloria Davis, may your spirit forever Rest in Peace!!

Gloria and her fellow comrades, Army Ball, Seoul Korea.

She’s My Hero
©2007 Syneeda Penland

Sitting here numb, in search of the right words to say,
I get down on my knees in prayer, asking the LORD,
“Why have you taken my best-friend away?”
Softly he whispers,
“My child, it’s because I needed her this day.”

She blessed so many lives with her caring ways,
She charmed so many hearts with her glowing smile,
She warmed so many souls with her humble spirit,
She was simply adored for her alluring style.

Now is time for her to be amongst the heavenly angels,
Where she will continue to watch over
The countless lives she’s touched.

The emptiness and loneliness in your heart
Is a constant reminder
That she's missed very much!

Remember my child,
“Always be kind and gentle to everyone you meet,
Show compassion, love and respect for others,
Even someone you casually meet in the street.”

By believing in yourself,
Others will always believe in you,
By respecting yourself,
Others will always respect you.

Live your life unselfishly,
And remain true to who you really are,
Just like your best-friend Gloria,

One day you too will become, a bright, shining ‘Star’.

For all the young children who are coping with the struggles of identifying with your sexual (gender) orientation, this poem is dedicated to you.

Let this be my freedom
© 2013  Syneeda Penland

Let's this be my freedom,
The way I wear my hair,
Don't care if they stop and stare,
Let's this be my freedom;

The way I wear my clothes,
Whether they're knock-offs,
Designer ware or bought
From a second-hand store,
Let's this be my freedom;

The way I pronounce my words,
Whether I speak Ebonics,
Broken English or choose
To use run on verbs,
Let this be my freedom;

The way I act in school,
Whether I'm popular,
Stuck up, or shy,
Or chose to break all the rules,
Let this be my freedom;

Whether I’m a boy, a girl, or both,
Whether my skin color is
Black, brown, red, yellow or white,
Who I am, how I chose to behave,
Is MY GOD’s way of saying "It's All Right!"

So, Let this be my freedom!

Food for thought:  A few weeks ago I shared this poem to show my support for my niece, who's 15 years old and has already identified with her sexual orientation; her attraction to other females.  Yesterday I learned that one of her older brother's is transexual.   Had it not been for the documentary, "The Christine Jorgensen Story", I might not fully understand what my young nephew is experiencing. 

As a human rights advocate, I fully support, "Freedom of the mind and equality of the heart", especially when it comes to healing the mind, body and spirit of our young children. 

For decades we have seen how the suppression of equal rights have torn our country apart and subdivided us into subcultures, thus creating what has been labeled as the "gay" (happy) community. The human race is steadily evolving into a new age of heightened awareness and enlightenment which is affecting our senses, our deeper emotions. God is finally connecting us to our souls.

Everyone has feelings, know that your hateful words (whether written or said) are painful to the eyes and ears (senses) of others, especially our children.  We are all unique human beings in our own special way, God created us this way.  So stop trying to impress your views, your lifestyle (sexual or not), most of all your HATE, upon someone else.

Stop for a minute and listen to the thoughts (feelings) of the other person, you might just learn that they were "born that way"!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A tribute to those who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the safety and security of our country and her citizens!

Two admirals face misconduct allegations related to large-scale bribery scheme

Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, left, and Vice Adm. Ted Branch have had their access to classified material suspended by the Navy in connection with a massive bribery scheme in Asia involving prostitutes and luxury travel.

Read more:

Navy Times reports -- Two flag officers have been added to the growing list of Navy officials allegedly connected to a large-scale bribery scheme in Asia.

The Navy on Friday announced that Vice Adm. Ted Branch, director of Naval Intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, director of Intelligence Operations, are under investigation for “inappropriate conduct” stemming from their relationships with Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. and its CEO Leonard Francis, a larger-than-life character well known in Navy circles and nicknamed “Fat Leonard.”

“The allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments and flag officer rank,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy’s chief of information, in an emailed statement. “There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information.”

 In light of the investigation, however, the Navy has suspended the flag officers’ access to classified materials.

“The suspension was deemed prudent given the sensitive nature their current duties and to protect and support the integrity of the investigative process.”

Kirby stressed that neither man has been charged.

“Both men retain their rank and security clearance,” Kirby said. “They are on temporary leave.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is continuing its investigation, which began in 2010. Three Navy officials already face charges.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez. Sanchez is accused of accepting prostitutes, $100,000 cash, and other bribes from Francis, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors say in exchange, Sanchez passed on classified U.S. Navy information to the Malaysian contractor, whose company has serviced Navy ships in the Pacific for 25 years and is accused of overbilling the Pentagon by millions.

Others charged:
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz — who like Sanchez, is accused of giving Francis’ company confidential information about Navy ship routes.

And a senior Navy investigator, John Beliveau II. Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Beliveau, 44, kept Francis abreast of the bribery probe and advised him on how to respond in exchange for such things as prostitution services.

GDMA overcharged the Navy millions of dollars for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, prosecutors say.

Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, the criminal complaint alleges.

Francis, 49, was arrested in San Diego in September. A few weeks later, authorities arrested his company’s general manager of global government contracts, Alex Wisidagama, 40.

Misiewicz, Beliveau, Francis and Wisidagama have pleaded not guilty. Their defense attorneys declined to comment.

Food for thought:  Since this story first broke I've received numerous emails, texts messages and emails asking me to check out this story.  To learn of, yet another corruption story involving blatant abuse of tax dollars; involving our military, this time practically "giving away our country's intel, for a piece of tail; makes me wonder, "What else have these senior admirals and generals done to compromise our country's national security?!"

Thought for the day...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thought for the day...

Man’s Purpose
© 2013  Syneeda Penland

“Am I my brother’s keeper”,
Said the bloodthirst Grim Reaper,
While roaming the belly of Ole’ Hollow Earth,
The cradle of life, man’s origin,
his place of birth.

His original seed was planted
Deep inside Mother’s Earth tomb,
Nurtured for thousands of centuries
As he quietly slept inside his mother’s womb.

Alone in the darkness,
Afraid to be delivered into the light,
Afraid to look upon the face of God’s Glory,
Mother Earth”, at the early break of light.

Afraid to see the reflection of himself,
His self-destructive past;
Afraid to accept the notion
That his was not the first,
But soon will be the last.

Afraid that he’ll forget his “true purpose”,
Which is to watch over Father’s Glory,
His beloved “Mother Earth”, which is why
Mankind falsely invents his own story.

Centuries ago, man was selected
To accomplish but one simple task,
The challenges of his duties
Father thought was not too much to ask.

Father commanded man,
“To watch over his wife,
His beloved Mother Earth,
And all of her creations."
For his labors,
Man was to be rewarded
Abundant seeds of the earth,
Many sons and daughters,
To become kings and queens
Of many powerful nations.

To accomplish such a deed,
Man was given a holy staff, a scepter;
Within its rod,
Exists the “True Power of God”.

Fooled once before by his traitor, Satan,
God knew man was not yet able
To accomplish such a task,
So goes the story of Cain and Able.

Unable to tame the wild beast within,
Lies the misery of man’s sins,
His over indulges in greed and hate
Will ultimately destroy everything man creates.

Upon completion of Father God
Most treasured creation,
He wept tears of joy,
The infinite love for his wife
Mankind has always tried to destroy.

Father enveloped his beloved Earth in water,
Wept from the Heavens above,
To one day cure man of his greed and hate
And soothe his soul with love.

The lustful passion to protect his wife
Will either baptize man
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
Or slice through his heart like a knife.

Fully engulfing the flames of hate
From the depths of her ferocious waves,
Mother Earth will bury man from whence he came,
Sending him to an early grave.