Monday, November 8, 2021

THE LIFE IN MY YEARS

Written and posted on Instagram September 19, 2021 on my 68th birthday

Chilton County HS 1971

I've come a long way and outgrown so much, like being too quick to criticize and judge others, which is a typical Virgo trait. I’ve corrected that in my personality though. Instead, I practice when people show you who they are, believe them and either I accept them as they are without expecting them to change or I distance myself from them.

Sometimes I overthink things. It’s because I feel too much and value emotions and love to the point of tears. I'm still discovering and rediscovering things about myself, even now at age 68, and I like that.

I've survived a lot . . . the death of both parents before age 11, years of mental torture and violent beatings by a stepmother who was filled with anger from her own childhood trauma and was incapable of loving me as a parent, an emancipated minor at age 16, divorce, and financial instability.

I accept these struggles because they did not crush me; instead, they made me a kinder and more loving, empathetic, compassionate, generous, and sympathetic person. They brought me closer to God where I discovered that the more that I love Him, the more love I have for myself for He is me, and I am Him, and we are one in the Holy Spirit.

God blessed me with a son and two daughters, and my daughters blessed me with seven grandchildren between them. I lived in Japan for two years with my husband who was in the U.S. Air Force. I’ve traveled a lot throughout the U.S. and I lived in California for 26 years, where all three of my children were born, before relocating to the East coast in 1996.

It was at age 16 that I discovered that writing was my God-given talent which comes to me as natural as breathing. Thus far I’ve written well over a half million words: two linear novels, published book of life-affirming essays, publisher and editor of a magazine/journal, published poetry book, published articles, essays, and poetry, and wrote five songs and recorded a demo of them, and other writings.

It was through writing that I confronted my fears. I’ve written works of fiction to address things from my past that haunted me by creating characters to portray my inner turmoil and pain. I've written nonfiction to encourage and inspire others, and business and technical writings to earn money.

I graduated from college with a degree in social science and computer technology. I designed the curriculum and implemented the first vocational computer programming and word processing course in the State of California in 1981, and taught the course for high school students and adults in the Los Angeles school district for seven years. The curriculum that I created became the foundation for future computer technology training courses in the state. In addition, as an educator one of my fondest and rewarding life assignment was teaching Civics and Social Studies at the eighth grade level in Fairfax County Virginia.

I know without a hint of doubt that my God is real for I can feel His love flow through my veins. I discovered that connection at age 10. I praise Him for allowing me to lean on Him during times when it’s too hard for me to stand on my own. He’s the reason that I’ve made it this far. I promised Him in 1978 that I would not become too attached to people, places, or things that keep me from fulfilling His purpose for me, that I would be a faithful servant and go wherever He leads me, and do what He wants me to do because I trust Him.

I accept ALL of my past, and I have no regrets. I have very fond memories that I carry in my heart and I've had a LOT of fun and good times. I've met a lot of good and honest people, and I have people in my life who genuinely love me, and I love them back like my youngest sister Angela who is my loyalist and staunchest supporter. I trust her with my life.  I wouldn’t change a thing about my life because changing just one thing, changes everything.

My hope is boundless. It knows no end. Therefore, I shall trust my God because my faith is stubborn and it has taught me that the good things come those who are patient. Something that I had to learn to have because there was a time patience was sorely lacking.

It’s not the end of the life in my years, but a new beginning and hopefully many more years. Some of my best days are ahead of me.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Civics is KNOWLEDGE + ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP = POWER TO CHANGE GOVERNMENT


I launched Civics Online Resource Community (CORC) https://civicsonlineresourcecommunity.org in 2018, a website that “reintroduces visitors to the power of Civics so that citizens can better understand their rights and duties of citizenship to become more informed about how government work, more encouraged to get involved in the community, and vote like their life depends on it. You relearn the tenets of citizenship, put them into action, and share what you learn with fellow citizens.”

“Civics is a subject understudied in junior high and high school, which translates into how underappreciated it is in society today. Understanding Civics is essential to understanding that as citizens, we have a duty to know what is happening in government and be vigilant in knowing how governmental agencies and departments are managed, regardless of the political party in power.

The framers’ belief in self-government is shown in the first three words of the United States Constitution, "We the people." C.O.R.C. is an online community of civic-minded citizens committed to understanding how government work and holding government accountable when it is not working as it should; citizens who vote as an act of duty; and citizens serving the community.”

Contents include subjects regarding:

Branches of U.S. Government
Political Parties
How a Bill Becomes Law
Filibuster and Nuclear Option
Principles of The Constitution
The Election Process
Platforms and Planks
State Government
Commonwealth vs State
Local Government
United States Territories
The Bill of Rights
Constitutional Amendments on Voting Rights
Meaning of Lady Justice

No matter what your political leaning is, as citizen, you have a duty to know how government work and to hold government accountable when it is not functioning in ways that best serve, we the people. 

“It is my belief that once citizens have a clear understanding of Civics and how government work, they will know which party or candidate is or will be instrumental in making sure government work as citizens expect it to work, and which candidate or party will be dogged in making sure government work for ALL citizens.”

  “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” John F. Kennedy, 35th President of The United States 

“I hope to impress upon visitors to this site that because government is the people, for the people, and by the people, as citizens we have a duty to make sure our constitutional rights are not trampled on, not bargained away or redefined under the guise of other legislation, no matter whether government is local, federal, or state and no matter which political party is in power. That takes understanding how all of government work, and once you know, you will be able to spot when governmental agencies and departments are not working as they should.

“We have hundreds of governmental agencies and departments that function to serve we the people, and Congress is charged with oversight of them. The Department of Transportation function is to ensure our roads, bridges, and tunnels are safe to travel on. The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with making sure our air is safe to breathe and water, clean to drink. The Food and Drug Administration regulate the following industries: prescription and over the counter drugs, food, cosmetics, medical devices, animal and veterinary, tobacco products, radiation emitting products, vaccines, blood, and biologics.

“Government is guided by principles of the U.S. Constitution and not ran like a corporation. There is a total of 535 members of the U.S. Congress that make all federal laws and by the time a bill reaches the President's desk for his or her signature or veto, at least 51 members of the Senate and 218 members of the House of Representatives had to agree to it. That is not how a corporation is managed.”

Many citizens are committed to active citizenship and they vote in every election. They see their right to vote as their duty as citizen to do so, and see serving the community as a moral duty as citizen. I hope those who haven’t made a commitment to active citizenship will be inspired by what they learn from this site and do so.


Friday, January 19, 2018

THE "FORGOTTEN MEN AND WOMEN" MY PATOOTIE

“Which political party has forgotten these hardworking noble white people? Surely not Democrats. But who do these “forgotten men and women” cast their vote for year after year after year while feeling so forgotten, so neglected?”

Updated/Reposted April 8, 2019

Donald Trump often declared that “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” With that phrase (,which was used in the Depression era,) he invoked the notion that white people are the "forgotten" and the real wage earners who have been deprived economically and forgotten by the federal government because of "the others" taking resources from them. Who are "the others," primarily blacks, Hispanics, Mexicans, Muslims, other minorities, and whites who vote for Democrats or advocate for abortion rights or equality for all citizens.

The way they phrase it suggests that whites are noble and worthy of support from the government when they fall behind and have to apply for assistance, but "the others" are unworthy of government aid no matter how hard they work, even though they pay taxes too.

The U.S. Congress and governments in all fifty states are largely governed by white men and every piece of legislation in the U.S. congress or in all fifty state governments are written with the majority in mind. Who are the majority? White Americans.

So how have white Americans been forgotten? Who forgot them? Surely not Democrats who risked their political future to give every America access to affordable healthcare that Republicans are determined to take it away.

Democrats and not Republicans 
are the ones fighting for a living wage, so people can lift themselves out of poverty and low-income earners can move into the middle class.

Democrats and not Republicans are the ones fighting to make sure students, regardless of race, who can’t afford a college education have access to federal financial aid.

Democrats and not Republicans fight for high-performing public schools, better roads and bridges, funding hospitals and broadband in rural areas.

Democrats and not Republicans are the ones who care most about combating global warming, clean air and water, and protecting our coastal states from oil drilling. Republicans are giddy that the Trump regime believes money made from oil drilling and coal mining far outweighs the harmful effects they cause to the environment and humans who work in those mines.

Democrats and not Republicans created a federal agency to protect consumers against payday lenders, credit card companies, and mortgage lenders. Republicans vehemently oppose the agency, and the Trump regime is slowly dissolving it.

So again, which political party has forgotten these so-called hardworking noble white people? Surely not Democrats. But who do these “forgotten men and women” cast their vote for time and time again while feeling so forgotten, so neglected? They vote for Republicans. Why? Not because they directly benefit from legislation put forth by Republicans. They believe that Republicans will fight to stop women (they don’t even know) from having an abortion and stop minorities from getting government aid of any kind for any reason even if it means that the “forgotten men and women” get nothing themselves.

Every time they cast a vote for a Republican, they’re saying: ‘forget about me, just stop those damn Democrats from getting ahead by any means necessary.’ They are willing to deprive their own children of financial aid to go to college, withhold healthcare from them, or to have access to a rural hospital as long as "the others" don’t have it.

These ‘noble white Americans’ want affordable healthcare, they just don’t want "the others" to have it. They voted for Trump knowing he ran on repealing Obamacare, which they benefit from. However, they believe if Obama did it, then he did to help "the others," so they rather not have it.

My blood boils listening to pundits and analysts on cable news accuse Democrats of forgetting white Americans in rural areas while ignoring the fact that the poorest people in America live in 9 states governed by Republicans. Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona (ranks 8th – home state of former Senator Jeff Flake), Georgia, Kentucky (ranks 4th - Senate Mitchell McConnell’s home state), Louisiana (new Democrat governor elected in 2017), Mississippi (poorest state in the nation), New Mexico (ranks 3rd), Oklahoma, West Virginia (ranks 5th).

The Republican governors in 9 of the 10 states, which by the way were voted into office by the so-called “forgotten men and women," support the Trump agenda of decreasing the size of the federal government so that it primarily serves corporate America and the rich like himself and eliminate vital programs that these states need to lift their residents out of poverty.

It would behoove Democrats in Congress to stand up for what Democrats accomplished from 2009 to 2016 under Barack Obama, the most consequential president since FDR. They need to push back on this notion that the Democratic Party is neglecting rural America, which is farthest from the truth.

It is this automatic acceptance amongst media figures that since the Democrats are primarily made up of racial minorities, women, and young people, they need to do something extra special to make rural whites feel included amongst all these minorities.

For the so-called “forgotten men and women” in states with the highest poverty rate, how have your life improved economically under your Republican governor? Then look in the mirror, see yourself as the cause of your own discontent with government by electing Republicans time and time again, and see yourself as the solution to your discontent with government -- stop voting against your own self-interest and see "the others" as your fellow citizens who want government to work for them, just like you do.


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Follow me on Twitter: @smaxxmahaffey

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cue the applause: How the news media helped the GOP cruise to victory

“Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media; admit mistakes and correct them promptly, and abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.” The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics 

You would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to see the coordinated cooperation the Republican Party received from the news media to bring about their so-called historic win from a 37% voter turnout, one of the lowest in history. Whoop-Dee-Doo!  Don’t be misled that Republicans had some great ground game and people were falling all over themselves to jump at the chance to vote for them. No! They’re still more unpopular than President Obama, but what they did have was an effective media campaign that doomed Democrats’ chances by forcing them to abandon their twice-elected Democratic president.

Republicans did not win because they had a clear vision for the Country or they had earned the respect of the American people for helping the Country get back on its feet after the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression.  GOP voters did not care that Republicans in Congress had shut down the government, threatened to default on the full faith and credit of the United States. It didn’t matter to GOP voters that they had obstructed every effort to make the Country fairer and more equal. All GOP voters wanted were candidates that could beat the Democrats and were willing to punish Barack Obama for being a black man occupying space in the White House other than as the butler or cook.

Republicans had great cooperation from conservative bloggers who behaved in their typical rabid dog fashion and intimidated spineless Democratic candidates in so-called red states by tying them to Conservatives’ #1 nemesis…Barack Obama. They see him as their bitter enemy who was unbeatable in two presidential elections. They still haven’t gotten over it. Even progressive bloggers wrote an onslaught of highly critical pieces which surely made some Democratic voters think, why the hell am I voting for these people?

One way the Sunday news shows helped Republicans’ efforts to suppress Democratic voter turnout was by simply making voter suppression a non-issue. For some folk, if it’s not in the news then it must not be true.  Another way was that they relied on journalists like Bob Schieffer, host of CBS Face the Nation, and Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press to carry water for them.

Schieffer generally favor Republican guests and the door to his CBS studio is always opened to critics and haters of Barack Obama. Schieffer supports the conservative position on issues and regularly levels abrasive criticism against the President. To have Bob Schieffer, host of the highest rated Sunday news show, catering to your Party's point-of-view is a win-win for the GOP no matter how you analyze it.

Todd gained more GOP fans when he joined the merry band of conservative and progressive hypocrites on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show excoriating Alison Grimes for refusing to answer whether she voted for Barack Obama.  Todd, a staunch critic of the President and the Democratic Party in general, declared that Grimes had disqualified herself.

Chuck Todd: “The idea of -- I'm sorry even to say you regret your vote that would almost seem as disingenuous. But that is -- can Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything? You want to be a U.S. Senator? If you can't say -- if you can't find a way to stand behind your party's president, you can disagree with him but can't answer that basic question and come across looking ridiculous. I think she disqualified herself.”

Republicans thanked him publicly for his cooperation by using Todd in an ad against Grimes, which probably drove a few thousand Republican viewers to his failing show and drove even more viewers away from the Democratic candidate. Though I was not a fan of Grimes and definitely did not support her strategy of dividing the party into Clinton Democrats and Obama Democrats, I joined the chorus of those calling Chuck Todd unethical for interjecting his personal opinion about a candidate; thereby giving an advantage to the opposing candidate. He should have remained fair and objective, especially as a news director for a major news organization. But I don’t know anyone who thinks Chuck Todd has an objective bone in his body.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) bought into the GOP narrative, peddled by the news media, as to what Democrats were up against in the midterms, and out of fear, they sidelined their most valuable player Barack Obama. Their strategy was not to lose. They never had a strategy to win.

How the news media helped Republicans cruise to victory

1.    Convince white men that the black President’s approval rating of 42% to 45% is the lowest of any white president before him and only conservative white men can save the Republic from the black guy. Repeat it constantly and avoid comparing his approval to previous presidents. Have a slew of prominent white men, whom all vote Republican, on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC attacking every decision the black guy makes. If you listen to cable news, Barack Obama has the lowest approval rating of any president in history, which is a bald-faced lie.

2.    Distract from the Democratic Party’s economic successes and the fact that 10 million Americans now have healthcare because President Obama and the Democrats in Congress risked their political futures to pass it. How to distract? Push media coverage painting the highly successful Democratic black president as “the other” and his policies of equal pay, education reform, equality for all is bad for America, particularly white Americans. Keep comparing him to former presidents, all of whom are white, to drive home the point to white men and older white voters that when they look back on the Country’s greatness, white men were in charge.

Of course that strategy counted on silence by minority reporters from pointing out that the good, the bad, and the ugly of America happened under the rule of white men until just six years ago when the first non-white male was elected as President of The United States. Before then, it had been over 200 years of total white male domination. A lot of ugly sh*t happened during that time which created a stain on America’s image that can never be washed away.

3.    Instill fear by making white Americans fearful of an African disease, an imminent attack by a crazed Muslim terrorist group, and an influx of Hispanic children crossing the border carrying diseases. The news media was culpable in pushing GOP hysterics that Ebola was spreading rampant on the continent of Africa. It was so effective that, not surprisingly, gullible Democratic candidates jumped on the bandwagon of wanting to impose a travel ban on ALL of Africa, not just the infected areas.

4.    Force Democrats to adopt GOP’s preferred strategy by pushing candidates into a corner to see President Obama’s approval rating through the lens of the GOP and Republican-leaning independent voters, thereby; ignoring his 76% approval rating amongst all Democrats and 87% approval amongst black voters. Republicans got a major lift from the news media for carrying out this specific strategy.

5.    Trick Democrats to adopt a win with white only voters’ strategy by placating to that strain of anti-Obama voters in the Democratic Party who have racial animosity toward the black president and started voting Republican because of it. Republicans and the media knew this strategy would alienate black voters, and they selectively put white Democratic candidates on the spot to defend the black guy at the expense of losing a more likely white racist voter. The Democrats chose the more likely white racist voter. This strategy infuriated black folk and their trust level for white politicians took a dramatic nose-dive. Blacks, who didn’t vote, point to how Democrats treated President Obama as a reason not to trust white politicians. Quote unquote.


Cable and news organizations got into the mix with scathing criticism of President Obama and his Administration and unrelenting negative news coverage designed to scare white folk and weaken already vulnerable Democratic candidates. After the GOP won, all of a sudden, presto…Americans don’t have to be afraid anymore.

Fox News role in GOP win

Everybody knows that Fox News Channel is the media arm of the Republican Party and a platform for the conservative movement. They’re unapologetic about it. So, of course, they were very instrumental in helping Republicans scare white folk and capitalize on what is historically low voter turnout in midterm elections. They didn’t have to implement some specific strategy, they simply kept doing what they do every single day, paint Barack Obama as a Kenyan-born Muslim socialist who wants to scrap the U.S. Constitution in favor of Sharia Law, and drill down into the subconscious of white folk that the black guy is coming for their guns and their Bibles.

CNN role in GOP win

CNN, that bastion of negative news coverage, probably wasn’t asked to cooperate with the GOP in taking over Congress. They volunteered because wherever the majority of white folk are on issues, there is CNN promoting that position. So, no way would they be left out of gaining some of that anti-Obama rating from Fox News. They just threw a ton of negative sh*t out there about President Obama and the Democrats and whatever stuck, they ran with it. They didn’t try to be fair, balanced, or ethical. Of course, they think they’re a pillar of integrity. Barf…barf…barf!

MSNBC role in GOP win                                        

That bunch of progressives on MSNBC, the ‘liberal my ass’ channel, played a role in the GOP win too, maybe unwittingly but their negative coverage fed into black folk and many Americans’ distrust of politicians in general.  Chris Hayes (All In With Chris Hayes) and Rachel Maddow (The Rachel Maddow Show) are both equal opportunity offenders, so Democratic candidates should never consider them a friendly progressive venue. That distinction is reserved for progressive/libertarian guests like Glenn Greenwald. Hayes and Maddow gave their viewers a lot of unflattering facts about Democratic and Republican candidates that would make some first time voters and young voters say, ‘F**k this, I don’t trust any of these people in either party.’

MSNBC content writers for Ed Schultz (The Ed Show) and Al Sharpton (Politics Nation) shows must be GOP moles because 80% of the content for those shows is about how disgusting Republicans are. Like people don’t already know that. I would bet you a dollar to a dime that relentless coverage of GOP antics had a demoralizing effect on Democratic voters and apathy ensued. Some Americans probably thought not even voting will stop the GOP.  You would expect two boisterous bleeding heart liberals to focus primarily on the positives about America, instilling optimism, a platform to educate viewers about how the political process works, and so on. It’s not like Schultz and Sharpton are journalists or claim to be unbiased. So having a format like that would not be out of line because they are billed as opinion shows. The shows’ content writers limit reporting on the great things that President Obama and Democrats have achieved in the last six years. They spend way too much time on how pathetic the GOP is.  Like I said, we already know that.

I stopped watching both shows (, and MSNBC in general,) because I simply grew tired of them regurgitating GOP hysterics while progressive gains sometimes were tabled for later on in the show, like the last fifteen minutes, or barely discussed.

Even if I didn’t mention the king of hypocrisy Joe Scarborough’s role in the GOP win, you would know that Mr. Hypocrite, host of MSNBC's the Morning Joe Show, had a hand in depressing the Democratic vote. Surely, the guy writes his own content, and it is all about how bad of a president the black guy is compared to previous white presidents. He had a slew of left-leaning guests who were big supporters of the Democratic Party before Barack Obama became the Party’s standard bearer. These ‘I don’t like the black guy’ Democratic operatives were more than willing to pour water on the Democrats chances for victory.


Black activists and educators’ role in GOP win

We can’t leave out cooperation the GOP received from black activists and educators who have an ongoing beef with President Obama for not showing enough of his “blackness.” What the hell does that mean anyway?  

Baptist minister Michael Eric Dyson and Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC The Melissa Harris Perry Show, issued a venomous attack on President Obama regarding what the two perceived as a lack of their preferred response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Surely, both being respected voices in academics, knowingly or unknowingly, convinced some blacks to stay home because it would not make a difference.  Dyson seemed to want the black president to raise his fist and say, ‘F the police,’ while Harris-Perry signaled she wanted him to apologize for racism and all other ills of society.



Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, the two poverty pimps, played a major role in riling up poor black folk to distrust ALL politicians, even the black guy in the White House. They have hoodwinked them into believing that the answer to all of their money woes rests in the hands of Barack Obama and the reason they’re still broke or living paycheck-to-paycheck is because the uppity black president doesn’t care about poor people. Smiley and West probably tell their anti-Obama supporters to pooh-pooh on JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Poor people should be the first in line at the polls in every election.
If Democrats had been fortunate enough to have this degree of media cooperation and outside support to get out their message, they could have won too. Oh wait…screech…. back up…nothing was going to save Democrats this election cycle because they let the news media and Republicans sucker them into believing that President Obama, their most valuable asset, was a drag on the party.
Besides Democratic voters expect a hell of a lot more from their candidates than GOP voters do and will not support candidates who are too spineless to stand up for their convictions. Democrats tried to run away from being Democrats and it backfired on them. It was a colossal failure of judgment on their part.

Oh well, if you don’t believe in something, you will fall for anything, and Democrats fell hard for GOP messaging. Of course, the GOP could not have been victorious without help from the news media. Cue the applause.


That's my yada yada and I’m sticking to it!