Motivation Monday: Inner Strength–Letting Your Disability Be Your Greatest Strength


Its Monday, the beginning of a new week, and you need words of empowerment to start off your week right.

This week’s words of motivation: Inner Strength–Letting Your Disability Be Your Greatest Strength

In this short film, we see a story of a young Violinist struggling with her disability: hearing loss. In the beginning  we can see her being taunted by the young Pianist–being told that playing the violin is not for the deaf. And in her moment of despair, she runs to her friend and mentor, crying to him, as to why she can’t be like the others. Her mentor then said to her (using sign language),

“Why do you have to be like the others?”

He tells her that Music is a visible thing and all you have to do is close your eyes to see it. He encourages her to continue to practice the violin, even though her peer continues to bully her.

The night of the music contest finally arrives and we see the Pianist, playing the piano. And as we see her play, we also see the tragedy of the violinist and her friend unfold–with her friend in the hospital and her violin smashed to the ground. The Pianist received an amazing applause, and the Violinist never showed up. But, just as they were about to announce the awards, the young Violinist walks onstage, picks up her broken violin, closes her eyes and plays. And as she is en-wrapped in her music playing, we see fields of green, a butterfly, and an gorgeous sunset. The music then comes to a complete silence, and the Violinist receives an outstanding ovation.

Her weakness in hearing became her greatest strength. She did not listen to the music; she SAW the music. Her disability enabled her to SEE Music–unlike others who couldn’t.  And that in return allowed her to triumph over adversity, and win first place. I also strongly believe it is why Beethoven became one of the greatest classical composers on earth.

Strength does not lie on the outside. Strength lies within.

Find your inner strength. If you have a disability and or weakness let it be your greatest strength. Be patient with yourself, and envision how you want to see a path for yourself, the way the Violinist envisioned it.

Daily Newsfeed


Transportation Dept is still flying after sequesterian cuts; Former KKK member and turned civil rights supporter Elwin Wilson dies; US deploy stealth fighter jets to South Korea; Labor-immigration deal has been reached; Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Church is working on better outreach to gays; Sen. Graham won’t be joining fellow Republicans on filibustering gun legislation; and Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter as pope. All this and more, please follow the links below.

Transportation still flying

Elwin Wilson dies

US deploys stealth fighter jets to S Korea

labor-immigration deal

Catholic church reaching out to gays

Sen Graham says no to filibustering gun legislation

Pope Francis celebrates his first mass

Texas DA and wife murdered at home

Two dead in China from unusual bird flu strain

The Obama attends church on Easter

China losing battle against state backed polluters

Daily Newsfeed


China and US cyberwar escalates; Police find NRA Certificates from both mom and Adam Lanza; North Korea ready its rockets after US show of force; why are Republicans winning the sequester wars; GOP condemns Rep. Young’s wetback comment; Boehner praises GOP victory; Obama pushes for billion dollar investment in infrastructure; Cyprus criticizes Euros zone experimentation; Mandela is making a steady recovery; and Adult Motorists text more than teens while driving. All this and more, please follow the links below.

China and US cyberwar escalates

Mom and Adam Lanza have NRA certificates

N Korea readies its rockets

Why Republicans are winning the sequester wars

Rep Young misuse of wetback

Boehner praises GOP victory

Obama pushes for Billion dollar investment

Cyprus criticizes Euro Zone experimentation

Mandela is making a steady recovery

Morning Coffee Ed.: Tabac Cafe


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Wherever my work takes me, so does my coffee. And so today’s edition is Tabac Cafe.

Located on the corner of Market and 3rd Ave, Tabac Cafe provides a whole new cultural experience by infusing urban hospitality with international exotic flavor.

After my day of relaxation and comfort, at the downtown massage parlor (Downtown Dcompress), I was in search of a nearby coffee shoppe, where I can begin my daily blogging and applications to fellowships, scholarships, and of course Law School. Unannounced to me, I happened to find a coffee shoppe that was right across from me. And I when I entered, I was stunned by its intricate interior design: A Victorian chandelier hanging from the ceiling; urban steel furniture; and to top it off a cigar and hookah room. I didn’t know if I was in Europe or in the Middle East. It came me to later that it was a combination of all three: Coffee, Cigar, and Hookah Lounge.

And so today, I had the pleasure of sipping their famous White Casablanca Coffee. An espresso stirred with white chocolate, caramel syrup, steamed milk; topped with chocolate shavings and fresh whipped cream. As I am molding myself in becoming a connoisseur in coffee tasting, this is by far the best espresso I’ve had thus far. They made no mistake to name it Casablanca because my taste buds had a delicious rendezvous with Love. If coffee tastes this good, then I’m heading to Morocco in the near future (which I plan to).

Tabac is conveniently located across the street from the massage parlor and yoga center Downtown DCompress and international hostel SDInternational. So after a day of relaxation or Yoga, come by Tabac Cafe and grab yourself a Casablanca.

Here’s looking at you kid!

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To follow Tabac Cafe go to: http://www.tabacsd.com

Follow them on Yelp as well!

Daily Newsfeed


Justice Elena Kagan delivers “gotcha” moment in DOMA case; Immigration talks hit the border; Legalized Marijuana may be taxed; Cate Edwards set to air on Friday to talk on her father’s (John Edwards) affair; Chief Justice Roberts overlooks a critique in DOMA argument; DOMA hits LGBT troops’ finances; Miami loses its 27 winning game streak; Experts ponder another Korean War; Mandela has been admitted in the hospital for lung infection. All this and more, please follow the links below.

Kagan Delivers Gotcha Moment

Immigration talks hit the border

Marijuana Tax

Cate Edwards speaks on father’s affair

Roberts overlooks DOMA critique

DOMA hits LGBT troops’ finances

Miami loses its gaming streak

Korean War II?

Mandela sick with lung infection

Weekly Political Report: SCOTUS and the Cold Feet Syndrome


English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

Every Wednesday I will write a political issue that affects you and the world on you.

This week: SCOTUS and the Cold Feet Syndrome

Just when you thought there would be a sweeping vote on Gay Marriage on the court, The Supreme Court is now hesitant than ever to walk down that aisle and exchange vows on both sides of the issue.

In both oral arguments that took place yesterday and today, in cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop.8) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Justices both liberal and conservative are reluctant to move quickly on this issue of Gay Marriage.

Yesterday in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing voter, wasn’t entirely sure whether the dispute over California’s Proposition 8 should be in front of the court at all–saying this in his line of questioning: “You might address why we should take and decide this case.” There were at least four other justices, including conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, and liberals Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor who also raised similar questions.

The issue at hand is whether or not Proposition 8 has the procedural grounds to address it at the federal level. Reasoning being that it would only impact some parts California and not the rest of the states in the U.S. Proposition 8, which was voted as constitutional in 2008 elections, was appealed at lower court ruling at the 9th circuit and deemed it as unconstitutional. Furthermore, the Justices would be only deciding if they should overturn or keep 9th Circuit decision intact. What’s interesting about this measure is that the same majority of Californians who voted for Prop. 8 also voted for President Barack Obama on the same day that it was introduced. California is also a Blue State. And so the image is this: Should the Federal Government rush or interfere with states’ rights, which through the democratic process, California voted for Prop. 8? Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, also said this in response to the merits Prop 8: “You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cell phones or the Internet? I mean…we do not have the ability to see the future.” So again this issue is more of a state issue than it is a federal one–now, onto the case of DOMA.

The issue here is basically the definition of marriage itself and whether or not a married couple [in the eyes of the Federal government] can receive benefits regardless of sexual orientation. When it was passed, it was passed on the traditional definition of marriage; not hate inspired. However Justice Kagan, a liberal justice, jumped on the opportunity and provided a rare “gotcha moment” when she cited 1996 House Judiciary  Committee report on DOMA that lawmakers supported the law based on dislike on homosexuality.

As much as it is a civil rights issue, this is also a State vs. Fed. Government issue. Can Fed. Government recognize a State’s Definition (NY, MA, etc.) of marriage as constitutional, OR vice versa. And so today, the oral arguments started with a woman in New York, Edith Windsor, who paid $363,000 in federal estate taxes after her same sex spouse died in 2009 under DOMA. But what through a wrench into this was Justice Kennedy questioning, along with Chief Justice Roberts, and Antonin Scalia, about why this administration (Obama) has been enforcing the law although they have deemed it as unconstitutional?

“If the president doesn’t think a law is constitutional then he shouldn’t sign it..” Furthermore Scalia, said that Obama ushered in a “new world” when the executive branch does not defend a statue.

Today’s case didn’t squarely address the issue of whether the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex couples to marry. Rather it asks whether the federal government has a legitimate basis to treat such couples differently.

In summary these two past days of oral arguments have been interesting. Both conservative and liberal Justices shocked the nation with their line of questioning, but it all boils down to this: Five conservatives (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas) vs. Four Liberals (Kagan, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer). Majority wins consensus and one potential swing voter can change the outcome; and Kennedy has already shown cold feet. SCOTUS will deliberate in June.

Weekly Political Report: Unveiling the Mask of Realpolitik


Congress standing to receive Wilson  (LOC)
Congress standing to receive Wilson (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Every Wednesday I will write a political issue that affects you and the world on you.

This week: Unveiling the Mask of Realpolitik.

For months, we have faced threats of governmental shutdowns and sequesterian cuts, and still Congress has not yet found common ground of a plan to reduce our trillion dollar deficit budget; kicking the can to a new deadline every month. Are they really “fighting” over principles or something else?

Even though our country has experienced same difficulties and recessions during the Clinton administration, I am still stunned that this amount of partisanship of this magnitude exists amongst our distinguished parties of power. Is this what we are seeing now? Politics, confined to squabbling? Or, merely a mask of an underlying goal that is waiting to be unveiled? The type of politics that we are seeing is something that I would like to call Realpolitik.

Politics is defined as an art of influence—to compete with competing interests and attain control of government. Realpolitik is a more of aggressive approach to the madness. The interpretation of it is quite ambiguous to any scholar however it can be simply put as this: “the considerations of power, not ideals, morals or principles.”

What we are seeing in Congress are not just squabbles and pointing fingers, but an opportunity to seize power for the very few. Whoever controls the House and Senate controls the agenda for America. The Senate today is controlled by the Democrats, while the House is controlled by the Republicans. For any bills (or budget plans) to be passed into law—bills proposed from the President or members of Congress—there must be a two-thirds majority vote from both the House and Senate. It is then sent to the President for a signature which the President can veto or sign it into law. If not, Congress will block the bill and delay until further notice. And the faction in Congress that is preventing our country from moving forward (and have been heavily publicized by media for so long) is House Republicans.

For the first time in our political era, we are seeing unyielding compromise and power mainly from one sector: House Republicans–the same sector that has in the past denied support for Women Health issues and aid to Hurricane Sandy. There are some of whom in this faction who do not care if teachers, mailmen, firefighters, road construction workers or military personnel suffer from the sequester- which majority of whom are Middle Class Americans; unless their demands are met: protecting the very few Americans who still or have not paid their fair share of taxes.

Let us not be ignorant of the fact that there is income inequality in America: there are haves and have nots! And the argument is simple which is this: who represents who?

On November 6th 2012, America, did not vote for a man nor a politician but a valid political and American principle (which the overwhelming population of Americans deliberated on): Fairness. The wealthiest should not pay lower taxes than the average American; CEOs should not ship job oversees for tax credit; nor can they snuff the tax system.

If politicians do not represent this valid view (which has been long debated for months on in via radio, television debates, and television ads; and then deliberated through legitimate means of the democratic process) then they DO NOT represent the Majority of Americans! So, when a politician says that taxing Americans is not a legitimate way to reduce the deficit, he is not talking about the majority of Americans that voted on Nov. 6th, he is talking about the very few Americans that have rigged the system and has not paid their fair share of taxes.

Let me be the first to say that I hate taxes! But I hate it even more when folks at the very top are paying lower taxes than I am!

This mask of Realpolitik, that House Conservatives have devised, is really hurting the majority of Americans who voted for fairness. They are many of whom who do not believe in this philosophy, however the new pope (Pope Francis) has given me new hope–that a conservative does believe in helping the poor; and not protecting the rich. #fairness

Sources:

Realpolitik Definition (Merriam Webster)

DOD Sending forlough notices (Politico)

Sequester Tsunami (Politico)

Regressive Tax Plan (Politico)