Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
© 2018 Sy’needa Penland
Stand your ground, are the final words
that echoes through the mind
of a fallen youth, before their
lifeless body falls to the ground.
Shots fired, blares across the net,
as panic reaches the desk—
of the top brass, whose ass
is on the line.
Cops blind, to justice!
Blind, to the emotions
of the families who will bury
their son (or daughter) too soon!
Because they chose to
stand their ground!
To fight for justice!
Isn’t this why we elect members
to serve in Congress?
To represent our rights,
so we can sleep in peace at night?
Or, are they paid to stand by
for just the right moment
to raise hell, in front of the cameras!
While nothing gets accomplished!
While the government shuts down!!
Since the election of Donald Trump,
watching political shouting matches
has become the best prime-time entertainment
yet I was more entertained, as a child,
watching the classics of Donald Duck.
But today’s youth don’t give a #uck
about cartoons!! Or politicians!
Come high-noon— it’s all about survival
in these means streets. The way they see it…
It’s either you or me!!
So how do we create peace and love
in modern-day America?
When ancient scriptures are still guiding Us!
When the laws are not upheld to protect Us!
When the streets are designed to kill Us!
When government science labs study Us!
When the government schools
and other systems deny Us…
Fair Justice and Equality!
And the last thing the Spirit hears
before it leaves the lifeless body
of our children….... Shots Fired!
How do we create Peace and Love…
We become it!!
Monday, January 22, 2018
The Most Powerful Sexual Assault Speech I've heard thus far...Aly Raisman Calls Out Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics!
"Aly states that USA Gymnastics is rotting at the core...."
It took a lot of courage for Aly to read these words, not only did she "Call out her accuser, and the administrations, she demanded a full investigation into this matter!!!" Not only to preserve the sport of gymnastics but to protect rights of the next generation of young aspiring gymnasts. Aly, I applaud you!!
As a military veteran, who served our country for nearly 20-years, I both experienced and witnessed sexual discrimination throughout my Navy career, and complaints of such behavior were always ignored and swept under the rug, and never made it to the office of the Secretary of the Navy.
My Civil Action lawsuit against the former Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, states such fact!!
Since my retirement, I've sat on the sidelines and watched how the military's sexual assault epidemic has yet to reach a federal courtroom since the 2011 Civil Action case against former Secretaries of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, where only 28 survivors came forward, but thousands of sexual assault and rape survivors have filed claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, requesting compensation for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma on the basis of military sex crimes.
However, Senator Gillibrand has introduced S.2141 - Military Justice Improvement Act of 2017, the following provides the details of the bill.
After closely examining the language of the bill, given that "victims", will likely experience "sexual discrimination, retaliation, or other forms of injustices," prior to their complaints reaching the level of consideration of an Article 15, much less Courts Martial.
The problem lies with the Equal Opportunity Program Manager and the Inspector General complaint process, and the command's Judge Advocate General, which was the facts outlined in my Civil Action case, against the former Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, and former members of my chain of command, including my Commanding officer, who preferred charges against me, after I'd already filed a complaint against him for violating my Civil Rights. In that aspect of my case, I fully support this bill!!
Yet it appears that America's old womb has not healed, as the push for Women Rights is rapidly gaining momentum, as well as members of the LBGT community.
As an advocate for Human Rights Protection, I view the only solution to hold our trusted leaders accountable, across all professions, is the passage of a Human Rights Bill, making it not only a federal crime for failing to uphold a person's equal employment rights, but should they encounter Human Rights Abuse, due to an agencies negligence in upholding their Civil Rights-- all members involved in committing the crime, as well as the concealing the evidence, should receive the maximum punishment!!
© 2018 Sy’needa Penland
The many faces that have touched my soul,
dreaming of a new place to call home,
no longer shall their Spirits roam—
no longer shall their eyes weep.
As their descendants, awaken from
a nightmarish sleep, they shall awaken to
America's heart, they shall awaken to
a land to call home.
Centuries ago, our Native ancestor
tilled this very land, building and shaping
Centuries ago, our Native ancestor
tilled this very land, building and shaping
their piece of a New World, to call their home.
Hunters and gatherers they once were,
fathers and mothers to the children
that survived, war after war—
from foreign invaders.
fathers and mothers to the children
that survived, war after war—
from foreign invaders.
Centuries later, descendants of those
Native to my soil, shall no longer
dream or toil for freedom,
on my land—America’s land.
America’s heartland, from coast to coast,
where she is revered the most,
where all her inhabitants can proudly boast
that this land, America’s land,
is a land, we all, can call—Home!
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
BreakingDefense.com reports, "Vice ADM Rowden: Scapegoat?" This reminds me of the USS Cole Incident... And the final investigation reports... Innocent lives lost... Improper training... Greed.... Corruption... You name it!!!
"After a string of firings and retirements, the highest-ranking naval officer yet stepped down over accidents that killed 17 sailors. But was Vice Adm. Tom Rowden truly culpable in the summer 2017 collisions, or is he a scapegoat for deeper systemic problems? Our expert sources frankly disagreed.
The argument against Rowden is simple. As the Director of Surface Warfare in the Pentagon and then Commander of Naval Surface Forces in San Diego, he had to be aware of the stress the surface fleet was under as the number of ships shrank, budgets became erratic, and training and maintenance fell behind, even as the demand for overseas deployments continued. He didn’t fix the problem; he didn’t raise hell about it, at least not publicly; and he didn’t resign in protest. Therefore he’s as culpable as the captains of the two ships involved, the destroyers McCain and Fitzgerald, who will now face criminal charges. By comparison, Rowden, who just had to move up his retirement date, got off easy.
The counter-argument is that Rowden is being held responsible for things he couldn’t control. It’s ultimately up to the skipper of each ship to ensure the crew is trained and the ship is in good condition. And it’s ultimately up to Congress to provide the funding to train, maintain, and operate the force. The admirals in between are middle managers, struggling to meet all the missions assigned with only the resources provided. Sure, they could resign in protest or go public with the problems, but violating the chain of command this way goes against deeply ingrained military culture, where the ethos is to shut up, roll up your sleeves, and somehow make it work.
Rowden Wasn’t Responsible
“I believe Vice Adm. Rowden recognized the readiness challenges surface forces were facing, but like other surface force leaders, he was put in the situation of having to salute and carry on, because Navy HQ either agreed to continue deploying ships or were told by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to do so,” said Bryan Clark, a retired Navy commander now with the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. “Arguably, he could have done more to ‘die in the ditch’ over readiness, but I believe he made his concerns known.”
Rowden didn’t create this problem, agreed another retired commander, Bryan McGrath. “None of the officers disciplined thus far wrote or approved budgets or generated independent operational tasking,” McGrath told me. “Yet a lack of resources and too many commitments have both been identified as systemic contributions to the tragedies. The officers responsible for those decisions have come under little scrutiny.”
Conversely, lower levels — up to and including Rowden — have been punished too indiscriminately, McGrath argued. “I’m concerned that the punishment of what is most of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces – Japan chain of command has done damage to the Navy’s unique and defining view of the inseparability of responsibility, authority, and accountability in command,” he said. “Before the investigation into the cause of the first collision (Fitzgerald) had even started, much of the naval intelligentsia abandoned the Navy’s time-honored notion of fixing ultimate responsibility with the commanding officer, in favor of a view that seemed to suggest that responsibility for these accidents should be shared with those in charge of the system that supported the ships.”
“Once this die was cast, firings and retirements up the chain of command were inevitable,” McGrath continued. “Yet an interesting question has now been raised, and that is, where does this sharing of responsibility end? What is the limiting principle?”
Rowden Had To Go
Another retired naval officer, however, though Rowden was treated justly. “I like the guy but he made some terrible strategic mistakes,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous. As the fleet shrank and stress increased, “we should have cried uncle and told the politicians that the Navy was broken,” the retired officer said, but Rowden didn’t do that. Instead the admiral kept trying to do more with less. Even his signature Distributed Lethality concept was arguably a way to get more firepower out of a shrinking fleet.
“I think he was doing what he thought best, and I know he loves the Navy,” the retired officer told me, “but in the end, he set the surface community and the Navy writ large up for failure. He should have been gone a while ago.”
Clark agrees Rowden had to go, but not as punishment: Instead, the surface force needs a new style of leadership, one which routinely rejects assignments that will overstress the fleet. “I think this is a justified change, but not as a punitive measure,” Clark told me. “I believe this is a good change…because the surface force needs to turn the page and shift from being a demand-based force to being a supply-based force. It will have to focus on readiness and increasingly say no to deployments.”
“The submarine force has been taking this approach for decades,” said Clark, a former submariner himself, “and we now have a clear indication of what happens when the surface force does not control its output to align with its input. A supply-based model is very different than the traditional surface force philosophy and we will need a new leader in the job who can embrace that new approach.”
Full article: https://breakingdefense.com/2018/01/vice-adm-rowden-scapegoat/?_ga=2.112616452.1220531741.1516157577-331406834.1504169433&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb-1-17&utm_term=Editorial+-+Early+Bird+Brief
Saturday, January 13, 2018
The Road Ahead
( Dedicated to the legacy of Dr. King)
© 2015 Sy’needa Penland
I will keep my eyes on the prize
as songs of freedom
ring through the heavenly skies,
hopes of better days gone by.
A new generation we will seed and multiply.
It was my hopes and dreams
that freedom will one day bring
new beginnings – days of old gone by,
as I illuminate your Spirits
from the heavenly sky.
Don’t be afraid to dream,
to see the road ahead.
To walk this path of freedom
is nothing to dread.
Let go of the shackles
and hold your head high.
Look beyond the masses
and raise your head to the sky.
Dare you to dream, to think on your own?
Allow your mind to soar to new heights,
no longer will it roam.
For I had a dream
that one day we will unite,
and allow our eyes to see beyond the flesh,
yet the Spirit takes flight.
When the soul is hollow
it’s just an empty shell,
joining misery in its company
to enjoy a life in hell.
But from the highest mountain top,
my Spirit, will always dwell.
Monday, January 8, 2018
Thursday, January 4, 2018
As I was listening to her, I immediately thought of young men and women that are being recruited to serve in the Military, with preexisting mental health conditions, and I fear they will suffer at a higher rate, from the diseases she mentioned, once they are exposed to constant adversity, while serving on active duty; as long as there are no current laws to protect them against Civil and Human Rights Abuse!!
Just a thought!
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
The Fall of the House of "Trump" Cards.... The Guardian reports, Trump Tower meeting with Russians 'treasonous', Bannon says in explosive book!!
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”, according to an explosive new book seen by the Guardian.
Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and players in and around the administration, is one of the most eagerly awaited political books of the year. In it, Wolff lifts the lid on a White House lurching from crisis to crisis amid internecine warfare, with even some of Trump’s closest allies expressing contempt for him.
Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign in its final three months, then White House chief strategist for seven months before returning to the rightwing Breitbart News, is a central figure in the nasty, cutthroat drama, quoted extensively, often in salty language.
He is particularly scathing about a June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York. A trusted intermediary had promised documents that would “incriminate” rival Hillary Clinton but instead of alerting the FBI to a potential assault on American democracy by a foreign power, Trump Jr replied in an email: “I love it.”
The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: “The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.
Bannon added: “You never see it, you never know it, because you don’t need to … But that’s the brain trust that they had.”
Bannon also speculated that Trump Jr had involved his father in the meeting. “The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed last May, following Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James Comey, to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This has led to the indictments of four members of Trump’s inner circle, including Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges; Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. In recent weeks Bannon’s Breitbart News and other conservative outlets have accused Mueller’s team of bias against the president.
Trump predicted in an interview with the New York Times last week that the special counsel was “going to be fair”, though he also said the investigation “makes the country look very bad”. The president and his allies deny any collusion with Russia and the Kremlin has denied interfering.
Bannon has criticised Trump’s decision to fire Comey. In Wolff’s book, obtained by the Guardian ahead of publication from a bookseller in New England, he suggests White House hopes for a quick end to the Mueller investigation are gravely misplaced.
“You realise where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmannfirst and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
Last month it was reported that federal prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, the German financial institution that has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kushner property empire. Bannon continues: “It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”
Scorning apparent White House insouciance, Bannon reaches for a hurricane metaphor: “They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five.”
He insists that he knows no Russians, will not be a witness, will not hire a lawyer and will not appear on national television answering questions.
Fire and Fury will be published next week. Wolff is a prominent media critic and columnist who has written for the Guardian and is a biographer of Rupert Murdoch. He previously conducted interviews for the Hollywood Reporter with Trump in June 2016 and Bannon a few months later.
He told the Guardian in November that to research the book, he showed up at the White House with no agenda but wanting to “find out what the insiders were really thinking and feeling”. He enjoyed extraordinary access to Trump and senior officials and advisers, he said, sometimes at critical moments of the fledgling presidency.
The rancour between Bannon and “Javanka” – Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump – is a recurring theme of the book. Kushner and Ivanka are Jewish. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, is quoted as saying: “It is a war between the Jews and the non-Jews.”
Trump is not spared. Wolff writes that Thomas Barrack Jr, a billionaire who is one of the president’s oldest associates, allegedly told a friend: “He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.” Barrack denied that to the New York Times.