Sunday, October 30, 2016

This is one of the most powerful-inspiring poems ever... It represents Truth, Strength, and Black Man's Divine connection to the Most High!

I Am He
© A. B. Boyd and Sy’needa Penland

For I Am He,
filled with love
and perfect harmony.

I Am He,
coated with
unlimited potentiality.

I was there
at the inception of time,
created by my thoughts
illuminated by my mind.

Yes, I Am He
who carries infinite power
in my blood.
My thoughts alone
caused the great flood.

For I Am He
who has melanin in my skin,
which solidifies my right
to be called kin
of the Most High,
The Divine Light,
The Morning Star,
The Evening Light.

As it is above,
So it is below,
upon which my blessings
are bestowed.

For I Am He,
who is a Proud Black Man!
The Husband of Mother Earth,
The Protector of her land!

I stand tall in my Blackness,
I stand tall in my Greatness,
I stand tall in that of the I Am!
For I Am, He

Friday, October 28, 2016

Maya Angelou - From Silence of Rape to Voice of Compassion

Last week I wrote and recorded one of the most powerful poems ever and it strikes through to the core of one of the world's most sensitive topics, the “Culture of Rape!”

The poem was initially inspired by the allegations brought forward against Donald Trump and how the Democrats are using such a sensitive issue to broadcast all over the news networks, while having absolutely ZERO sympathy for the victims/survivors!!   

For the record, “I Do Not Support Donald Trump,” I simply support Humanity!!

In my view, such issues, involving rape, sexual assault, and sexual discrimination are best resolved with a Human Rights Bill, simply put.   Unfortunately, our current laws only offer us Civil Rights protection which are never taken seriously, especially in our homes, college campuses, in the military and other workplaces.

I have friends and loved ones who have been raped. One of my dearest friend's 11-year old daughter was recently molested by her best friend, another 11-year old little girl. Apparently, the child's mother is a lesbian who lives with her lover. The little girl told her BFF (my friend's daughter) that she's also a lesbian and wanted to “show her” how her mom performs "sexual relations" with her partner.  Luckily her father (my friend) walked in before it went too far, but he feels that his daughter's innocence has been taken away!!  When he told me the story, I cried and was angry at the same time.  Instead of venting my contempt for his daughter’s BFF’s behavior, I took to the mic!   

Although it’s considered “taboo” to talk about same-sex rape, I address this dark secret within the Rape Culture in my poem…

Of course, I will dedicate the poem, like with all of my poetry books, to my idol, my mentor and my Spirit Guide, Maya Angelou!  May your voice continue to speak life into Humanity!!!  <3 <3 <3  

Military personnel will soon face a major paradigm shift!! The Associated Press recently reported, "10 transgender soldiers seek formal gender identity change." Yet I'm sure hundreds more will begin their transition.

AP — Within weeks of the Pentagon allowing transgender service members to serve openly, Army officials said 10 soldiers have formally asked to be recognized as their new, preferred gender. 

The small number represents only those who have publicly said they are transgender, and doesn't include soldiers who may be considering or beginning gender transition or those who don't yet want to make an official paperwork change.

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, said the key is to educate the force, particularly commanders who will have to make decisions about soldiers in their units who request a gender change.

"Is the Army ready? Well, we are educating ourselves, and we are trying to get ready," Milley said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're well-past the issue of debating and arguing about transgender. We are now into execution, to make sure the program is carried out with diligence, dignity, respect."

The Pentagon policy took effect Oct. 1, and Army Secretary Eric Fanning approved the service's new transgender guidelines earlier this month. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in June that he was ending the ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military.

Transgender troops are able to receive medical care and begin changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system. Next year, the military services will begin allowing transgender individuals to enlist, as long as they meet required standards and have been stable in their identified gender for 18 months.

"We're monitoring implementation closely, and everything we've seen so far points to a military organization fully committed to treating everyone equally and providing medically necessary care to all troops, not just some," said Aaron Belkin, director of the California-based Palm Center, an independent research institute. "My conclusion, so far, is that implementation has proceeded smoothly and successfully."

Milley and other military leaders expressed concerns that the department was moving too fast.

"The issue to do it or not to do it, to me is not an issue — the answer is yes," Milley said. "The question of how to do it so that it is deliberate, well thought out, executed with professionalism — that's a horse of a different color. Frankly I asked for more time."

Milley said he did a lot of "self-education," meeting with transgender individuals, both military and civilian, as well as other groups.

Now, he said, the Army is getting education programs out to the force to make sure troops and commanders know the new rules, process, medical criteria and who has the authority to make decisions on a service member's gender change.

Under the new Army guidelines, training must be developed by Nov. 1, and it must be completed throughout the force by next July…

Full article:

Food for thought...

Wow...  The Pentagon is definitely under pressure to "evolve" our military to mimic the likes of our "private sector," which in my view is becoming "Anything goes!" Or always has been but not fully recognized or accepted by the mainstream "Norms."  But what's normal nowadays?!

Sooner or later this BOLD initiative will sweep across all branches of services, increasing the statistics of Civil and Human violations.  Look at the ongoing sexual harassment, discrimination, rape and sexual assault epidemic and more victim/survivors are still coming forward to present their cases before the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

There's been an increase in transgenders claiming PTSD as a result of their mistreatment while serving on active duty, yet this initiative may cause more harm than good without strict federal guidelines in place to protect the service member's Civil and Human Rights, while considering making the full transition while serving on active duty, or ready reserve force.

Although I'm a strong proponent of equality, there are thousands of service members in the rank and file that are not, which alarms me.   

I strongly encourage all members of the Transgender community to pressure your Congressional Representatives to guarantee that your Civil and Human Rights WILL BE PROTECTED before you put your personal safety in the hands of military unit commanders and their subordinate staff, who care more about protecting their career trajectory and promotion opportunities rather than upholding your Constitutional rights. 

My nearly 10-year-old Civil Action/Retaliation case is a classic example of what happens to minorities who report violations of their Civil and subsequent Human Rights, they are retaliated  against, punished and are lucky to survive to tell their story.

My memoir Broken Silence, a Military Whistleblower's Fight for Justice, offers a 20-year account of what my life was like as a Black Woman serving in a White man's Navy, enduring ongoing civil rights abuse, disparate treatment, and subsequent human rights abuse. 

As a survivor of such mistreatment,  I strongly encourage our politicians, from either side of the House, to have the courage enough to present a Human Rights bill before the floor, to guarantee Human Rights protection of all servicemembers, should their Rights be violated, the offense will be punishable under the UCMJ.  Including punishment of the Unit commander's failure to uphold the member's Civil and Human Rights!

Monday, October 10, 2016

My latest poetry piece... A few more poems to go before the release of my next volume. If you enjoyed, "Essence of Black Beauty, Black Pearls of Wisdom and Coming Full Circle," you will be just as intrigued with.... "Currently untitled..."

Shadow of Darkness
© 2016  Sy’needa Penland

Weeping is my heart,
            absent of your love;

Torn apart by
            misery and pain;
                        Aching to love again.

Twin souls
            of the Universe,
                        My darkness
                                    to my light;

Conjoined at birth
            to live as one;
                        Once more
                                    We unite.

Hungry souls
            upon thy earth,
                        Feasting to my delight;

Oh ye’
        Shadow of darkness,
                        Conjoined souls

Monday, October 3, 2016

Air Force colonel accused of sex offenses found dead at his Colorado Springs home, Air Force Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey was facing a court-martial next month.

Col. Marc Caughey speaking on Sept. 11, 2014, at the Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.

The Denver Post reports, "A colonel assigned to Schriever Air Force Base and under investigation of committing several sex offenses was found dead early Sunday at his Colorado Springs home.

Air Force Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey, 46, was due to face a court-martial on Oct. 17 for multiple charges, including sexual offenses, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

The military announced his death on Monday.

Caughey was assigned as an Air Force Space Command special staff member and had been in the Air Force since 1993, according to an Air Force news release.

Caughey was a former 50th Space Wing vice commander at Schriever, just east of Colorado Springs, before he was removed from his position on June 17, 2015, when the investigation into his alleged misconduct began.

The Air Force says his exact cause of death is under investigation by the Colorado Springs Police Department. Officials did not elaborate.

Colorado Springs police say they are still investigating the case. They were called to Caughey’s home on reports of a suicide, but that his official cause of death is pending an autopsy.

“We’re conducting a death of unknown origin investigation,” Sgt. Tim Stankey, a Colorado Springs police spokesman, said.

The Associated Press reports Caughey’s civilian attorney, Ryan Coward, said the commander was looking forward to his day in court and had been participating in his defense.

“I think this surprised everybody,” Coward said, according to the AP, adding that his client had served honorably for 20 years. “This is just a very tragic event that occurred for him and his family.”

In 2014, Caughey spoke at a Schriever memorial for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, of which he was a survivor.

“I was a captain inside the Pentagon that morning when a plane crashed into the west side of the building,” Caughey was quoted as saying."

Food for thought:

I’m not aware of the circumstances that led to the colonel taking his own life?  My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.  May he RIP!!

When I faced a military court-martial in May 2008, I felt that my life was coming to an end. Similar to Col. Caughey, I was charged with adultery, 
mis-use of government property and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman, which carried a maximum 16-year prison sentence.  

For several years, before and after my trial, I was tormented and retaliated against by the Navy’s prosecuting officials.  Early on in my case, I was immediately fired from my job for refusing to allow them to “punish me,” for challenging their abuse of authority, misappropriation of war-funds and violation of my Civil Rights and subsequently, I endured egregious Human Rights abuse.   By the time I got to trial, I was gagged by the Judge and was not allowed to testify!!!

Although I was a member of a protected class, Military officials DID NOT recognize Civil Rights Laws that govern treatment (and protection) of minorities (women) serving in our Armed Forces.

In my memoir, Broken Silence, a Military Whistleblower’s Fight for Justice, I highlight key details of their blatant Abuse of Authority, which led me to reach out to Navy and DoD Inspector General officials, the FBI and the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division, seeking better "whistleblower-protection."  Unfortunately, my whistleblower claims, including thousands of pages of incriminating evidence I’d provided to each of the investigating officials were later used against me.  

After surviving the military's gauntlet, I've had to take my case public because in my view, there is NO JUSTICE in the Military’s in-Justice System!!

As much as I don’t condone sexual assault of any kind, I don’t condone military abuse of power either!!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

My latest poetry piece, inspired by this year's election season!!

My latest poetry piece, inspired by Compassion, Love and Healing...

Healing of Mother Earth
©  2016  Sy’needa Penland

A shroud of mysteries,
Heaven’s delight;
Beneath her veil
I bear the light;

Compassion for
Mother Earth
fuels my flame
as her ether glows;
Iridescent hues of love,
Cosmic combustion
Of all below;

Risen above
To heal her pain,
Orbiting my galaxy
Thus once again;
Let the healing
of Mother Earth,
Now Begin!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency'

In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.

Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections…..

He is erratic. Trump has been on so many sides of so many issues that attempting to assess his policy positions is like shooting at a moving target. A list prepared byNBC details 124 shifts by Trump on 20 major issues since shortly before he entered the race. He simply spouts slogans and outcomes (he’d replace Obamacare with “something terrific”) without any credible explanations of how he’d achieve them.
He is ill-equipped to be commander in chief. Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements typically range from uninformed to incoherent. It’s not just Democrats who say this. Scores of Republican national security leaders have signed an extraordinary open letter calling Trump’s foreign policy vision “wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle.” In a Wall Street Journal column this month, Robert Gates, the highly respected former Defense secretary who served presidents of both parties over a half-century, described Trump as “beyond repair.”
He traffics in prejudice. From the very beginning, Trump has built his campaign on appeals to bigotry and xenophobia, whipping up resentment against Mexicans, Muslims and migrants. His proposals for mass deportations and religious tests are unworkable and contrary to America’s ideals.
Trump has stirred racist sentiments in ways that can’t be erased by his belated and clumsy outreach to African Americans. His attacks on an Indiana-born federal judge of Mexican heritage fit “the textbook definition of a racist comment,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking elected official in the Republican Party. And for five years, Trump fanned the absurd “birther” movement that falsely questioned the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president.
His business career is checkered. Trump has built his candidacy on his achievements as a real estate developer and entrepreneur. It’s a shaky scaffold, starting with a 1973 Justice Department suit against Trump and his father for systematically discriminating against blacks in housing rentals. (The Trumps fought the suit but later settled on terms that were viewed as a government victory.) Trump’s companies have had some spectacular financial successes, but this track record is marred by six bankruptcy filings, apparent misuse of the family’s charitable foundation, and allegations by Trump University customers of fraud. A series of investigative articles published by the USA TODAY Network found that Trump has been involved in thousands of lawsuits over the past three decades, including at least 60 that involved small businesses and contract employees who said they were stiffed. So much for being a champion of the little guy.
He isn’t leveling with the American people. Is Trump as rich as he says? No one knows, in part because, alone among major party presidential candidates for the past four decades, he refuses to release his tax returns. Nor do we know whether he has paid his fair share of taxes, or the extent of his foreign financial entanglements.
He speaks recklessly. In the days after the Republican convention, Trump invited Russian hackers to interfere with an American election by releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails, and he raised the prospect of “Second Amendment people” preventing the Democratic nominee from appointing liberal justices. It’s hard to imagine two more irresponsible statements from one presidential candidate.
He has coarsened the national dialogue. Did you ever imagine that a presidential candidate would discuss the size of his genitalia during a nationally televised Republican debate? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine a presidential candidate, one who avoided service in the military, would criticize Gold Star parents who lost a son in Iraq? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine you’d see a presidential candidate mock a disabled reporter? Neither did we. Trump’s inability or unwillingness to ignore criticism raises the specter of a president who, like Richard Nixon, would create enemies’ lists and be consumed with getting even with his critics.
He’s a serial liar. Although polls show that Clinton is considered less honest and trustworthy than Trump, it’s not even a close contest. Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to the quality and quantity of his misstatements. When confronted with a falsehood, such as his assertion that he was always against the Iraq War, Trump’s reaction is to use the Big Lie technique of repeating it so often that people begin to believe it.
We are not unmindful of the issues that Trump’s campaign has exploited: the disappearance of working-class jobs; excessive political correctness; the direction of the Supreme Court; urban unrest and street violence; the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group; gridlock in Washington and the influence of moneyed interests. All are legitimate sources of concern.
Nor does this editorial represent unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis). The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement.

Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.

Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.

Where does that leave us? Our bottom-line advice for voters is this: Stay true to your convictions. That might mean a vote for Clinton, the most plausible alternative to keep Trump out of the White House. Or it might mean a third-party candidate. Or a write-in. Or a focus on down-ballot candidates who will serve the nation honestly, try to heal its divisions, and work to solve its problems.

Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.

Full article: