A Time For Giving Thanks, Redux ’21

It’s time to Break It Down! 

Originally posted on November 24, 2010, and prior to today, subsequently on November 27, 2013, November 26, 2014November 25, 2015November 23, 2016, November 22, 2017, November 21, 2018, November 27, 2019, and November 25, 2020.

As in the past, since it is Thanksgiving Week, this post will deviate from the standard fare. I know that travel schedules (in some cases impeded by weather events, and COVID-19, again this year), meal planning, family time, shopping, football, basketball, parades, and if there is any time remaining, relaxation, will be the dominant theme this week. However, it is Wednesday, so there shall be a blog and it will be brief.

Those among us who have perfected humility, and ascended to a genuine Nirvana state, have no doubt also elevated giving thanks to an art form. The rest of us must fully invest our appreciation in the notion, “That’s why we have Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, which kicks off what we commonly refer to as the Holiday Season. Almost instinctively, Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. Yet, there is so much more than that to the Season.

Over the next 54 days, many of us will enjoy succulent feasting at Thanksgiving, exchange gifts and contribute to the needy during Hanukkah. We will buy, give, exchange, and/or receive, and (in far too many instances) return gifts at Christmas, eat, drink, and celebrate the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, and party and toast the dawn of 2022 on New Year’s Day. We will honor the life and works of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on MLK Day. In addition, even in these tough (though improving) economic times, still further fraught with the consequences of coronavirus, further complicated by soaring inflation, this weekend, millions of Americans will pay (literally) homage to our most celebrated of shoppers’ holiday weekends, Black FridaySmall Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, by rising early, and proceeding to scour the aisles for those perfect gifts…and if not perfect, at least cheap, relatively speaking. There are even some precociously enterprising businesses that will start the shopping clock Thursday. Sigh!

In past years, I have sometimes recounted my reasons for being thankful. This year I find that I have more reasons than ever to sit contemplatively in humble repose, and affirm boldly, that I know, without caveat, not only the goodness, no the greatness of God, but also of his inestimable and inexhaustible beneficence. I thank Him for deliverance, and for imbuing me with the sense and sensibility to discern the distinction between kairos and chronosGreek concepts for God’s time, and man’s time, respectively. In this the Year of our Lord and Savior, 2021, a.k.a. Year 5 A.D. (After Donald), I have again been reminded, God really does have a sense of humor. In accordance, I thank him dearly and daily for Stephen ColbertTrevor Noah, and SNL. More important, I am thankful this moment also reflects Year 1 A.J. (After Joe).  Amen!

Eons ago, when I was a college student, I pledged a fraternity. It is familiarly known as the Oldest, Boldest, and Coldest, but I digress. The point of this reference is that during the erstwhile pledge process, as prospective initiates, we were required to learn several classic poems. There were many, each selected to convey a specific life lesson. Some of them have stayed with me, but none more than Invictus, written by English poet, William Ernest Henley (1849-1903).

The Latin translation for Invictus is Undefeated. You may recall it, but just in case, see it below:

Invictus (Latin for Undefeated) By William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

So, as you go about your way tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow, recognize that Thanksgiving, at its core, is not simply a day on the calendar. It is a spirit that dwells within each of us, an impulse that prompts us to thank God (for our being undefeated), and for the graciousness to share His blessings with our fellow men and women. Indeed, every day is “A Time For Giving Thanks, Redux ’21!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/. Find a new post each Wednesday.

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Go Stand In The Well: You’ve Been Censured

It’s time to Break It Down!

Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar has a date in the well of the House of Representatives today. Based on a revised proposal released by the House Rules Committee yesterday, the House is expected to vote on a resolution that both censures Gosar and strips him of his two committee assignments, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as the House Committee on Natural Resources. A censure resolution is the most severe form of punishment in the House and requires the censured member to stand in the well of the House while the resolution is read out loud.

Representative Gosar is on track to be censured due to his posting of a photoshopped anime video to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and attacking President Joe Biden. Interestingly, Gosar and Ocasio-Cortez both sit on the Oversight and Reform Committee. The act has produced disparate reactions among House members, depending on Party affiliation. 

Gosar is one of Trump’s most ardent supporters in Congress. Not surprisingly, Republicans, by and large, have come to Gosar’s defense. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remarked that Gosar took down the video and went on to add he (Gosar) had not seen it before he removed it. Democrats, as one might imagine, have been less sympathetic. It is worth noting that, while Gosar did take the video down, he did not issue an apology.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted she was initiating and executing the vote because Gosar “made threats, suggestions about harming a member of Congress. That is an insult – not only endangerment of a member of Congress, but an insult to the institution of the House of Representatives. We cannot have members joking about murdering each other, as well as threatening the President of the United States.” Undoubtedly, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats were also motivated to act because McCarthy and his fellow Republicans were lax in taking any action.

Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney have distinguished themselves by speaking out against Gosar’s actions. Of course, Kinzinger has announced that he is not seeking re-election. By contrast, Cheney has made no such announcement. Moreover, she has been especially vocal in expressing her disdain for Gosar’s actions, and her disapproval of McCarthy’s inaction. She characterized the Minority Leader’s declining to act against their Republican colleague as “indefensible” – especially considering the GOP hue and cry to punish the 13 Republicans who supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill. She added, “Our party needs a leader who is going to stand up for what’s right and stand up for the truth and stop trying to play these games. The notion that Leader McCarthy won’t full-on condemn what Paul Gosar did on multiple occasions but that he seems to be entertaining this move to push the 13 off their committees, I mean it’s indefensible, morally and ethically, and it’s crazy politically.”

So, Paul Gosar, come on down, and “Go Stand In The Well: You’ve Been Censured!

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

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A Domestic Threat To Our Constitutional Republic

It’s time to Break It Down!

Legerdemain; another word for deception, or trickery.

GOP bosses are furiously doing everything they can think of to derail the Biden agenda. But, from my vantage point, that’s not the worst aspect of the Grand Old Party machinery’s chicanery. In fact, I would argue, it’s not even close.

One partisan politico phrased it this way yesterday.

“The United States is confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before in the form of former President Donald Trump, who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic, aided by political leaders, who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.”

At first blush, one may be tempted to think those were the words of one of the GOP’s more derided progressive Democratic arch villains, say, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or possibly, Washington’s Pramila Jayapal. One would have thunk bigly wrong. It was actually Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney

That, however, was not the end of the Dick Cheney scion’s pointed observations. She also rendered a scathing assessment of the enablers, supporters, and sycophants in her Party who continue, even now, to back Trump in his unyielding adherence to The Big Lie, especially the notion, according to Trump’s claim, that the insurrection occurred on Election Day, rather than January 6, 2021.  

She said, “Political leaders who sit silent in the face of these false and dangerous claims are aiding the former President who is at war with the rule of law, and the Constitution (not to mention the truth). When our constitutional order is threatened, as it is now, rising above partisanship is not simply an aspiration. It is an obligation.”

Liz Cheney, along with Adam Kinzinger have become the co-faces of what I refer to as the Republican Resistance. The two are the only GOP members on the House Select Committee charged with investigating the attack on the Capitol. They also were both among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the events of January 6th.

Cheney’s remarks were part of a keynote address for a First Amendment Award given by Saint Anselm College’s Institute of Politics in Goffstown, New Hampshire. There’s a chance Representative Cheney’s broadside against all things Trump is a prelude to her own run for the Presidency in 2024, and an equally good chance that Trump will be at least one of her opponents. Coincidentally, the first Primary will be in New Hampshire.

During her speech, she touted her “conservative republican” bona fides, and mentioned that she strongly disagrees with nearly everything President Biden has done since being in office. She boasted of her support for limited government, low taxes, strong national defense, and family values. Nevertheless, while clearly delineating her differences with Biden, she targeted Trump again and again. She called him a “liar who tragically misled Americans and provoked violence on January 6th.”

In summary, she said, “I love my Party, I love its history, I love its principles. But I love my country more. I know this nation needs a Republican Party that is based on truth.” She made a compelling case that Donald J. Trump is…“A Domestic Threat To Our Constitutional Republic!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects to this post, consult the links below:



Critical Race Theory: This Year’s GOP Boogeyman

It’s time to Break It Down!

The 2020 Election year ended with the GOP ranting and raving about election integrity, all the while falsely embracing The Big Lie that Democrats stole the election from Donald Trump. Courts high and low, several with Trump appointees included, aided by GOP Elections officials in Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania exploded that nonsensical myth…again and again. In the 12 months since last year’s elections, hundreds of new laws have been manufactured, ostensibly to ensure only eligible voters are permitted to vote.

That’s a great idea, but the functional result of many, if not most of these new provisions is to make it more difficult for citizens unlikely to vote Republican to exercise the franchise. But wait; we’re getting ahead of ourselves. This year’s off-peak Election Year rabbit out of a hat surprise is the false flag otherwise known as Critical Race Theory, or CRT in shorthand.

CRT is a technical legal term introduced by Harvard University Law Professor Derrick Bell in the 1970’s. It is a branch of legal scholarship that challenges the validity of concepts such as rationality, objective truth, and judicial neutrality. That one sentence is probably more than almost anyone who will read this has ever heard about the subject. With that in mind, here’s all you really need to know. CRT is not taught, nor has it ever been taught in anyone’s elementary, middle, or secondary school. That is not even a point worth arguing; it simply has not happened, nor is it likely to ever happen.

School Boards, parents, local and state elected officials, even Governors races have been immersed in the faux premise that children, ostensibly White children, must be rescued from the onerous dictates that apparently shame White students, while simultaneously painting Black students as victims.

There’s a lot that could be said about this topic. What needs to be said, more than anything else, is that no matter how much some parents do not want to hear it, American History has been bastardized, so that the historically dominant culture can feel good about itself, while avoiding and evading some of the dastardliest deeds known to man. Yes, our exceptional forefathers owned human beings, beat them mercilessly, bought, sold, and abused them, practiced Jim Crow, made Strange Fruit of Black men and women swinging from trees, took land from its owners, executed the scourge that was the Trail of Tears, redlined Blacks into undesirable communities, massacred Blacks in Tulsa, Wilmington, and Rosewood, just to name three, interred Japanese Americans, and more. Let’s be clear. Recounting atrocities such as those is not the basis for some theoretical framework called CRT. No, those events are actual practical examples of American History, and let’s get real; the aforementioned items do…not…even…scratch…the…surface!

At the end of the4 day, politics is not tiddlywinks. We can be certain the progenitors of this charade are sharing Champagne toasts, and redoubling their commitment to the well-known principle, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Congratulations. Critical Race Theory: This Year’s GOP Boogeyman!

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects to this post, consult the links below: