|David L. Strickland|
DLS Voice Productions
Radio Commercials & TV Voiceovers
|David L. Strickland|
DLS Voice Productions
Radio Commercials & TV Voiceovers
VOTING FOR OBAMA
Donald V. Watkins
Editor and Publisher
© October 28, 2008
I voted for Barack Obama yesterday by absentee ballot. It was a surreal experience to finally cast my ballot for Obama for president.
I was a high school student in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960s when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were enacted into law. As I filled out my ballot, I took a mental flight in history and reflected on my childhood experiences in Montgomery, with its segregated water fountains, restrooms, lunch counters, public schools, movie theatres, residential communities, and churches. It seemed unbelievable that 43 years after the Voting Rights Act, I was in the act of casting my ballot for Obama for president of the United States. I was taking an active role in a living miracle.
As I marked my ballot, I doubled checked it twice. I wanted to make no mistakes that would void my ballot--I vote in Florida and remember what happened to Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. I needed my vote to count. After all, I was not casting a vote for a single-issue protest candidate. No, I was voting for the presidential candidate with an eight point lead in all of the national polls one week before Election Day. I was voting for the likely next president of the United States, and he is black.
Only in America could this real life story occur. The greatness of this country has always been embodied in its exercise of reasoned and mature political judgment. The better and more qualified candidate for president is likely to win, and he happens to be black. Obama’s victory will be attributed, in large part, to the millions of white voters who voted their economic interests over any latent fears of black people quietly peddled by Republicans operatives supporting John McCain. Even more impressive is the fact that Obama never renounced or belittle his racial heritage on the road to the White House.
Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, and other blacks who are apparently consumed with self-hatred should take notice of Obama’s refreshing example of comfortability with his blackness. The Clarence Thomases of America must now realize they no longer have to renounce their blackness to be fully accepted by white America. Hopefully, the successful Obama campaign has freed them from their self-imposed racial inferiority complex.
When I mailed my ballot, I realized I had witnessed two pivotal moments in American history. I saw the majority of white Americans embrace and support the changes inspired by the Civil Rights movement lead by Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1960s. Today, I am witnessing white America embrace and support the first true era of trans-racial national politics. In each case, reasoned political judgment triumphed over fear and hated. The first historic event was led by a preacher-leader. The second one is led by a truly inspiring and compassionate political leader.
When the votes are counted on Election Night, I believe Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Americans deserve his style and direction of leadership. He will not be the black president. He will be the global leader of the free world. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Obama is the right man in the right place at the right time. He will restore America’s prestige among the community of nations. He will make all Americans of interracial goodwill very proud.
I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to see and participate in this pivotal moment in American history where the selection of its next presidential is based on the important issues of the day and each candidate’s position on these issues. Race has finally taken a back seat to reason and our national interests.
IT'S TIME: AMERICA NEEDS OBAMA
Donald V. Watkins
Editor and Publisher
Voter News Network has closely monitored the paths to the White House traveled by Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama and Republican Party nominee John McCain. They have been as different as the men themselves. One leads to the future. The other travels back in time.
Obama has mastered the politics of empowering ordinary people. He has done it with record-breaking fundraising activities, overwhelming grassroots organizing initiatives, a skillful bypass of the Democratic Party’s old-guard establishment, and a much needed break from the politics and policies of the past. He has even transcended traditional racial barriers in American politics, and did so without selling his soul or compromising his values. Obama is America, and he epitomizes the nation’s future.
John McCain embodies the old Republican Party’s entrenched view of America and her role in the world. While he is a decent and honorable man on a personal level, the real John McCain was hijacked somewhere on the road to the White House by George Bush’s divisive political spin doctors. His campaign handlers have successfully saddled him with the burdens of raising irrelevant campaign issues--William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright-- at a time when too many Americans are focused on finding money for their next mortgage payment. McCain made a political U-turn from declaring in September that the nation’s economy was “fundamentally sound” to promoting himself as the champion of Joe the Plumber during the final presidential debate. McCain is the old guard with a Sarah Palin face. He’s comfortable with the past. His “maverick” political branding is not an acceptable substitute for the vision we desperately need in our next president.
It’s been eight long years since America had a highly educated street-smart leader in the White House. The nation has suffered during this period primarily because we did enjoy intellectual prowess in our president. George W. Bush masked his intellectual deficit with a variety of feel good flag waving ceremonies, arrogant and reckless military action, and bold inaction with our economy. In a real sense, Bush has been the classic do-nothing president. His chief agenda has been the advancement and protection of the special interests of the super rich--the crowd that implemented Ronald Reagan’s trickle down economic program. This is why we have a dead-end war in Iraq, why we now must use tax money to prop up failing Wall Street companies and their overpaid CEOs, and why we are still dependent on foreign oil barons.
John McCain is George W. Bush’s torchbearer for the failed policies of the past. He’s the new champion of the super rich (people who need staffers to brief them on how many homes they own), he’s constantly looking for the next war to fight, and neither he nor Palin has a clue about energy independence. Sadly, McCain offers us the political reincarnation of George W. Bush and his help-the-rich economic policies.
Enough is enough. It’s time. America needs Obama. He’s the real deal.
We need Obama’s brain-power and brain trust in the White House. As a nation, we have long, dark and difficult days ahead. Our economy has been wrecked by the very people McCain caters to in his everyday life. Obama understands pocketbook issues affecting Main Street. He has lived a working class life. He came from humbled beginnings, and was raised by a single mother and wonderful grandparents who possessed a wealth of solid core values. These values were successfully passed on to Obama and his family. It will be much harder for the martini-drinking, cigar-smoking super rich Wall Street groupies to seduce Obama or hoodwink his Administration for their narrow self-centered interests.
Obama is a leader who knows how to unite and inspire us. He is not a bitter and divisive man. He is thoughtful, respectful of others, and regularly practices the politics of inclusion. Obama’s very existence and fascinating personal story reflect what America can achieve by working together as one nation.
Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, mocked Obama’s vast experience as a community organizer. She and her campaign handlers truly did not know that community organizers are first responders in our neighborhoods and communities across America when bad things happen to good people. They see the adverse impact of an economic crisis in a community long before elected officials acknowledge worsening conditions. They live and work directly with everyday people to solve the chronic problems of joblessness, inadequate healthcare, failing schools, homelessness, crime and despair. They provide hope and inspiration where there is none. They are the nation’s frontline when our economy goes into a death-spiral. They sense earlier than others when the nation is going to war in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. They know first-hand the devastating costs of an unfair tax system. Thanks to Obama’s community organizing skills and efforts over a long period of time, we will likely have the heart and vision of a community organizer embedded in the next president of the United States.
Obama will end the war in Iraq, and do it in a responsible way. We can no longer use an in-your-face brute force approach to waging war. The cost to the nation in death, physical and psychological injuries, divisiveness at home and our leadership standing around the world is too great. We must lead by example, and talk to other leaders whether we like them or not.
We need Obama to balance the scales of justice in this nation. Our U.S. Supreme Court is tilted to the extreme right with scary conservative political agendas. The Justices involved want to take us back to a time when woman and minorities lacked basic constitutional protections in America. They are affable in their interpersonal skills and scholarly in their writings. However, they are very dedicated to their judicial mission--taking the nation back to an unpleasant past. Simply put, we don’t need anymore Clarence Thomases.
VNN is proud to endorse Barack Obama and support his candidacy for president. Our independent voters across America have been waiting for a national leader of Obama’s stature. He was worth the wait. It’s time. Independent voters know what we have to do on November 4. VNN will join Obama at the cross-roads of history on Election Day.
By Elaine Brackin
Progress Managing Editor
The Wiregrass Children’s Home provides a safe haven for children who have been abandoned, neglected or abused. The facility, and those like it, wouldn’t be needed if this was a perfect world. But, says Mike Huckabee, the world is far from perfect, and facilities like the WCH are needed.
“The Wiregrass Children’s Home wouldn’t exist if every child grew up in a home with loving parents,” said Huckabee as he addressed those attending a benefit for the Wiregrass Children’s Home this past Thursday night in the
Huckabee, who made an un-successful bid to gain the Republican Party’s nomination for president, came to
“I’m a pro-life person,” Huckabee said. “I’m against abortion. But, more than that, I am pro life. We are endowed by our Creator. He elevated us. We are not worth more or less than anyone else.”
Drawing from the code of the
“We don’t value people based on their function,” the former
“Life has value from the time it is conceived. Value doesn’t end at birth. We value, honor and celebrate a child’s worth.”
Unfortunately, Huckabee noted, not every parent places great value on a child’s life.
“Some parents in
Huckabee added that a community will get involved in the life of child - either through education or incarceration.
“Lower taxes and less government are directly tied to the level of a society having social fabric,” Huckabee said.
He illustrated his point by creating two mythical towns -
“In Meckville, the social fabric has broken down,” Huckabee said. “Because of a few, we regulate everybody.
“This same idea applies to the Wiregrass Children’s Home. The more children get a chance in life and know they are loved, the less likely they are to cost you money. A bed at the Wiregrass Children’s Home is less than that of a jail bed.”
“One year in prison will cost more than putting someone through a four-year college or university,” Huckabee continued. “Taxpayers fund those jail beds. Which do you think is the better investment? It’s an economic issue. It is less expensive to invest in a child now than when they become incarcerated (as juveniles or adults).”
To emphasize the importance of investing in a child’s life, Gov. Huckabee shared the story of a visit his family made to
“My daughter,” Huckabee said, “wrote these words - ‘Why didn’t somebody do something?’
“Everybody doing something makes all the difference in the difference in the world. We can do something. We hope what happens here is about what we can do - we can invest in a child.”
For more information about the Wiregrass Children's Home, visit www.WiregrassChildrensHome.com
Courtesy: The Dothan Progress
Posted by The Meck / The Meck Report
It’s all about the children.
That could easily be the marching orders for tonight’s gathering, headlined by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckbee, to benefit the Wiregrass Children’s Home.
Huckabee, who served as governor of
“We’re blessed to have someone on the national stage come for this event,” Schmitz said as he explained how tonight’s fund-raising event took shape. “This event is not about politics. It’s about the children.”
Schmitz added Huckabee, a native of
“He did many outstanding things in
Schmitz says tonight’s benefit program serves two purposes.
“First, it’s about raising money for the Wiregrass Children’s Home,” Schmitz said. “We also want to raise (community) awareness about the home, which has been in existence for 17 years. During that time, the home has served the needs of close to 700 children.
“We will use this event to tell our story. Eighty-five percent of the funding for the Wiregrass Children’s Home comes from this community.”
“We want to take this opportunity to tell our community thank you for supporting this home.”
Reflecting on his own background of dealing with separation from his family as a young person, Schmitz says the Wire-grass Children’s Home is more than just a community cause for him
“It’s personal,” Schmitz said of his involvement with the Wiregrass Children’s Home. “I know what these kids go through. Fortunately, I was adopted into the right family.”
While the facility is not “home” in the truest sense of the word, Schmitz says the Wiregrass Children’s Home provides a safe, loving environment for children who have faced a traumatic upheaval in their young lives.
“It’s a Christian facility,” Schmitz said. “It affords the children the opportunity feel secure. They know they are prayed over to be put in the right place.
“This facility is a blessing. And, through the wonderful attitude and commitment of our community, we will stay open.”
The event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased at Impact Fitness, Toyota of Dothan and Mike Schmitz Automotive Group.
The VIP Reception will be held from 5:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. The cost is $250 per person and will include a photo made with Mike Huckabee plus a signed copy of his latest book, “From Hope to Higher Ground.”
For more information or tickets, call 334 794-6716.
All ticket sales are donated to Wiregrass Children’s Home.
Courtesy: The Dothan Progress
Posted by The Meck / The Meck Report
Father's Day, Mother's Day, EVERY Day...T I M E spells L O V E
Readers recall Brad Delp as down-to-earth and 'nicest' guy
Portsmouth Herald: Interviews with Brad Delp
Father's Day, Mother's Day, EVERY Day...
T I M E spells L O V E
Throw me the ball Daddy
I've been waiting all day
I'm so glad you're home and we got some time
So Let's go out and play
Just me and you
It's my favorite thing to do
Daddy I'm tellin' the truth
T I M E time
Spells L O V E love
And Love is the one thing
This world needs more of
The choice is up to you
So what will you do
With your T I M E Time
and your L O V E love
I'll never forget you Daddy
You taught me the game so well
It's taken me places I never dreamed
So many stories to tell
How the time has come and gone
And now I have a son of my own
And I'm making sure your memory lives on
I've heard it said a time or two
This game of life can take from you
But I found out love isn't really love
Till you give it away
Return to TheMeck.com
February 8, 2008
Dear Commissioners and Mayor:
The local chapter (587) of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers met on February 6, 2008. One of the topics discussed was the proposed City Commission’s renewal of City Manager Mike West’s contract. Following the discussion, a vote was taken regarding this issue. The motion was made to advise the City Commission of the results of that vote. The I.B.P.O. Local 587 is not in favor of the City Commission renewing City Manager Mike West’s contract. It is not our intention to discredit or embarrass the City Manager. If you would like an attachment outlining some of the reasons for our decision, please request it by returning the enclosed envelope with the mailing address of your choice.
Chris Watson, President/IBPO local 587
Some of the reasons the IBPO does not want the City Commission to renew Mike West’s contract are listed in part as follows:
· The main concern of this Union is the men and women who serve the citizens of this City. We do not have the confidence that Mike West has provided the leadership this city needs; particularly with regard to infrastructural needs and employee pay and benefits.
· First and foremost are our concerns at the Dothan Police Department: Since the appointment of Chief Powell about 50 sworn officers and dozens of non-sworn personnel have left the police department. Someone for the Commission should be asking why. The department is fragmented; lacks management stability at all levels and many officers are more concerned with potential disciplinary actions as opposed to what dangers criminals pose or other daily challenges. This produces a natural and unintended reduction in productivity and efficiency.
· Personnel action at the PD has been at a historical high. The reasons have been released to the public by this administration have been things like, “cleaning house”, “busting up little cliques”, “get rid of the good ole’ boys”, “straightening out the mess left behind by the former chief”, and countless other insulting comments used to “spin” unreasonable turnover rates, terrible morale, double-standards and micro-management. This followed by genuine and legitimate fear of speaking out or criticizing ANY actions by department management whatsoever.
· The new 18 step “pay plan” provides a 2% increase per year with the only guarantee that employees will make it through step 10. The rest is dependent upon “exceptional” ratings, reserved for “team-players”. This means it is nothing more than an illusion of reality or a recruiting tool to give future applicants the false impression that positions top out higher than they actually do. Officers may work their entire career and never reach the maximum pay in any position city-wide.
· Mike West has been heard commenting to employees that have been with the City for 12 years or more, “I don’t have to worry about you—I’ve got you”. Referring to the employee’s longevity as being a reason not to try and keep them satisfied.
· Allowing the EEO officer to speak filthy and vulgar sexually explicit remarks about male officers of this police department in front of female employees and civilians alike and failing to enforce the “zero tolerance” harassment policy the City has after having been notified of the situation. This was following a complaint against this individual. This same EEO officer has subsequently subjected employees to harassing interrogations against their will on so called “witch hunts” to fulfill whatever personnel agenda he seems to have as well as outright threatening employees with their jobs. Employees are not required to talk to this employee, yet he is allowed unaccountable access throughout the ranks.
· Mr. West tried to change the Civil Service Act at the end of a legislative session (back door politics) to enable him with a perceived total control of the appeal process involving City departments and employees on personnel issues and other matters.
· Promoting cronyism, fear and threat of reprisal against anyone who “questions the establishment.” They fired a long-time city employee over a bucket of chicken; another was put in a broom closet for calling for an investigation; another is in trouble for crashing a garbage truck. West did not intervene on either, yet he can “total” a city vehicle without reprisal or even following the City-wide drug testing policy that applies to ALL city employees.
· Union membership was at an all time low at one point. This was primarily due to employees being afraid to maintain constitutionally protected membership for fear of losing their job or not ever getting promoted. Those numbers are on a steady rise once more. Employees fear this administration, particularly those that work in the Police Department. There is an unprecedented lack of trust in this administration.