Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years - 2011!

Happy New Years to all! Looking forward to a great 2011. I was blessed in 2010. Hope for the very same for my friends and family in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Picture of the Day

Picture of a facebook friend at the 2010 White House Christmas Party. Nice decorations. He is a member of the press corp. Took his Mother. Nice. I think I would have tried to impress a date.

Having grown up in the pre-civil rights South, I still can not get over the fact that we have a President who is black. How wonderful.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Picture of the Day

This was taken by a talented Facebook photographer friend during the December Linear Eclipse. It is stunning.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Godfrey Christmas 2010 in G'boro.....All Is Well....

Well, the Christmas Season has once again presented itself. It's always a beautiful and unique time. There are always different facets, events, and emotions surrounding it. Although me at age 62 and Bunny at age 60 makes it a particularly reflective and interesting one, if for no other reason than thinking of that fact, it has been exceptionally beautiful and eventful on many accounts this year.

Greensboro has had a picture postcard 6-7 inches of snow, providing the first white Christmas I remember in quite a while (enjoy the photos above). I love it except for the fact that I am concerned about the kids travel back to their homes (Chattanooga and Columbia).

The Christmas Candlelight service at church was beautiful. This was 37 years in a row for Bunny and I being in attendance. For Rob, it was as many in a row as years as he has lived (30) and for Elizabeth the same, except for her two years in Arizona. Ken's wonderful message, the music, and seeing friends and relatives made it special as usual. I always miss my Mother at that the service.

I have enjoyed recalling Christmas' as child this year for some reason. I recall in particular trips downtown with Aunt Annie during the season, many times on Christmas Eve itself. Aunt Annie, a great aunt who lived two doors down with my grandmother, would get her Christmas Club money, $1. a week she had deposited with the bank, (plus a tad of interest), some $52. We would catch the bus on Summit Avenue and head downtown where it would be so very crowded. The decorated light polls and store windows would adorn the season, and we would roam about the three big department stores, Ellis Stone, Meyers, and Belk. Particularly vivid was her example of never passing the ringers without tossing something in. We would end up at the S&W Cafeteria if I was lucky, and we would hopefully catch a glimpse of Deebo Steele, the town's beloved challenged citizen, acting a self-appointed traffic director out in the middle of the "square." What a time and what blessed memories.

The Christmas Eve gathering at the in-laws was especially good this year. The crowd was overwhelming in terms of size. I was not sure if we would even have the gathering this year due to Jean and Andy's health (they are in their late 80s), but from every standpoint, the Good Lord delivered a beautiful time. Again, that was my 37th Christmas Eve in a row at the home of my in-laws, which has been a blessing for me over time. I missed my Mother not being there.

This is Elizabeth's first Christmas home in two years. She could not come at Christmas when she was in Arizona, although she came at Thanksgiving one year and a week in early December the other. It is wonderful having her closer in Chattanooga. Elizabeth and Brandon are recently engaged and have set a date of May 28th to be married. We are very happy for them both and it has been exciting discussing and planning the wedding with her at Christmas. Brandon is a good and solid guy. He is good for Elizabeth and that makes us happy.

It has been a treat talking with Rob and Jamie about their life and work on SC Governor Nikki Haley's senior staff. They have recently moved into a new place in Columbia which we look forward to seeing.
As I reflect on life, and my life with Bunny, here at Christmas, I am very blessed. Bunny's health is a small challenge, and work/business is a challenge, but that all pales in comparison to the ways in which I am blessed. The kids are healthy, they have wonderful significant others, they have great jobs, they live in beautiful cities, and they all know and love the Lord to whom I believe they look for wisdom, direction, and peace. All is well......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A View of President Obama To Date

As Christmas approaches, I sit in amazement as I follow the closing lame duck session of the 111th Congress. Now that the mid-term elections are behind us, along with the political posturing which accompanies it, so much is being accomplished. The President and his team are proving to be extremely effective at building consensus, moving legislation, and assuring that Obama's ambitious legislative agenda is passed.

The accomplishments of this administration to date are impressive. Health Care Reform, the $789. billion Recovery Act, major financial sector reform, the automotive industry rescue (which is nearly all paid back), appointment of the first Latino to the Supreme Court, expansion of SCHIP for children (health insurance covering 4 million more low income kids), expansion of Pell grants for students, the pulling out of combat troops from Iraq, on and on. What a list. This was before the lame duck session, which includes passage of the massive tax cut bill, DADT repealed, the START Treaty passed, passage of a continuing resolution to keep government running, and a 1st Responder Health Care bill enacted. Astounding.

The retail sector is indicating that this will be a robust Christmas season. All economic indicators, except jobs, point to an improving economy. The transitional world economy, and changing attitudes regarding how we consume, will continue to make this a difficult recovery in terms of employment. Much of the legislation referenced above will have a positive impact on jobs over time. The next big challenge will be attacking the deficit, which has rightly taken a back sit to stimulating a sluggish economy over the past months.

President Obama seems to be hitting his stride. His approval rating has increased significantly..... before the lame duck accomplishments mentioned about. Some progressives continue to be frustrated with him. Continued successes, such of repeal of DADT, should help on that front. Yes, there have been some disappointments such as immigration reform and energy/climate legislation. Their times will come.

An important trait of every successful statesman is said to be the ability to adjust to changing circumstances without selling their soul. President Obama seems to be measuring up. As a friend mentioned, his steady course reminds me of the old idiom, "the cream eventually comes to the top." Keep churning, Mr. President. As a moderate progressive, I could not be happier with your Presidency after two years.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Picture of the Day

General MacArthur signs the surrender documents September 2, 1945, aboard the Battleship USS Missouri at the end of WWII.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Historic WWII Surrender Video Footage

Wonderful, historic footage of Japanese Surrender on the Battleship USS Missouri, September 2, 1945.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

42nd President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton

On November 30, 2010, I was honored to be in the second row under the podium for President Clinton's lecture at the Greensboro Coliseum on his Clinton Global Initiative and on the State of Humanity in 2010. After the lecture, I was able , along with a very small group of others (around 25), to have my picture taken with him and to visit personally (one-on-one) with him for a few very nice minutes. To say that he is quite a valuable citizen of the world is an understatement.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

White House Photographs

These are three of my favorites from the White House photo album. Top is a recent meeting in the Roosevelt Room on the START Treaty. It is attended by a number of former Secretary of States who are pictured, including Madeline Albright, Henry Kissinger, and James Baker. The middle picture of a beautiful morning with a perfect snow on the White House grounds. The bottom picture of of the President signing a baseball.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Max Schmeling and FDR

World Heavyweight Boxing Champ Max Schmeling greets Franklin Roosevelt, Friday, May 20, 1932, at Greenkill, NY, during FDR's visit to Schmeling's training camp there. One month and one day later, Schmeling would lose the title to Jack Sharkey in a split decision at Madison Square Garden. First Lady Eleanor is to the right of FDR.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Heart of Murderers Row

Yankee Stadium, the Bronx, April 14, 1931 - Murderers Row! The heart of the Yankee lineup poses for the camera: Lou Gehrig, Earl Combs, Tony Lazzeri, and, of course, The Great Bambino, Babe Ruth. The Yanks, under skipper Joe McCarthy, finish 94-59, for a second place finish, 13 1/2 games behind Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Picture of the Day

Very nice painting of Teddy Kennedy sailing off Hyannisport with the Kennedy Compound in the background.

(Compliments of friend Robert G. Swan).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

World War II Hero Audie Murphy

Today, during a very impressive Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House, the President made reference to Audie Murphy.

Murphy was the most decorated American soldier during World War II. He received 33 U. S. medals, five French medals, and one Belgium medal. He won every U. S. medal available, five of them more than once. He won the coveted Medal of Honor, the highest service medal.

Murphy went on to become a celebrated movie star for over two decades in the post-World War II era. He appeared in 44 films, including To Hell and Back in 1955. He had a career as a country western music singer and composer for a time as well.

He died in a plane crash, as so many stars seemed to do in the mid-20th century, in 1971 at the age of 47. Audie Murphy, a genuine American we seem to hear less and less about as time passes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Picture of the Day

So clearly representative of how our system works. Here, the civilian leader of the military, Commander-in-Chief and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, confers with WWII European Allied Military Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Picture of the Day

What a great image. Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Gandhi as they meet in London in 1931.

(Photo from Neal Roberson).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picture of the Day

Berlin, Tuesday, February 17, 1931. Army mess wagon helps feed poor Berliners during the Great Depression.

(Photo from Neal Robinson).

Picture of the Day

Rainy night on Times Square, NYC, 1931.

(Photo from Neal Robinson).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pictures of the Day

A couple of nice collectibles. The button is a 2008 Official Harlem Headquarters Obama campaign button (3.5 in.). The magazine features a beautiful February 18, 1957 cover. It is compliments of friend Paul LaDue. (The button is mine). Nice pieces.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Picture of the Day

These are two very intriguing political figures in 2010. To a large extent, the jury is still out on Nikki. She has such tremendous potential and appears to have all the necessary leadership qualities and attributes. I am very excited about following her progress and leadership.

For President Obama, his work is cut out for him in the new congressional climate. I wish him great success as 2012 approaches. He too is a most exciting leader whose political skills will be tested greatly over the coming months. So much in the world depends on his success.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mid-Term Elections 2010

Well, another election is behind us. I am not sure what we accomplished. It seems like there is perpetual campaigning and elections these days. The goal each time should be to move us a little closer toward forming that more perfect union. Not sure it happens. The proliferation of 24/7 electronic media, and the gross sums of money poured into the process, makes it easier and easier it for some politicians to fool, deceive, and manipulate the people.

I am certainly not completely "down" on the process. I think President Obama has achieved great success in rescuing an economy on the brink, reestablishing America around the world, ratcheting down Iraq, beginning efforts to reform the financial sector, and beginning critical Health Care Reform. The 2012 campaign will be a big challenge for him and his work, but he is as bright and good a politician and leader as we have had in my lifetime, and there is no competition around for him in my view.

The national election result was pretty much as predicted. The House fail into Republican hands and the Senate stayed Democratic. Harry Reid stayed in power, and most of the Tea Party crazies, except for Rand Paul, lost. This is mostly good for America, in my humble opinion. Paul will be marginalized. He is just a nut, plain and simple.

It was good to see Guilford County Democrats be successful. We have a good and progressive community. For people like NC House Rep. Pricey Harrison and State Senator Don Vaughn to have lost would have been a travesty. It is unfortunate that the NC General Assembly fail into GOP hands. NC is the #1 best state for job creation 9 of past 10 years, according to Site Selection magazine. Forbes magazine last month named us the #3 best state for business climate and careers. Uninformed citizens are just being manipulated by politicians who are using fear tactics on vulnerable people.

I spent a grand time on election night in Columbia, SC in a private victory party with Governor-Elect Nikki Haley. She is a shining, bright spot in the GOP, a real rising star. She is warm, intelligent, nice looking, and a great person and demographic in general, for the GOP.

I guess it is on to 2012 for the political junkies. As my friend Ogi said, "let the fish fry proceed." I will proceed cautiously and with mixed feelings, while being tremendously proud of, and supportive of, Barack Obama........and a son, who is very involved in the process.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Picture of the Day

What a grand Presidential baseball first pitch photograph. In the picture JFK, Everette Dirkson, Mike Mansfield, Larry O'Brien, Abraham Ribicoff, C. Douglas Dillion, Arthur Goldberg, and JFK Navy pal Paul B. Fay to his right in raincoat and hat (he was also Navy Secretary for brief time).

The Great Rally For Sanity

Picture of the Day

One of my favorite signs from the Stewart/Colbert Restore Sanity Rally. Another favorite, "My wife is a Muslim and not a terrorist, but I am still scared of her."

Stewart/Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity Was Brilliant

The John Stewart and Steven Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity in DC yesterday was very encouraging, very entertaining, and brilliant. I had many facebook friends in attendance. There are firsthand reports of the event all over facebook. The very creatively delivered message was one of turning our backs on hate and Americans working together to make the world a better place.

The crowd was estimated by CBS at an amazing 250,000. They estimated Beck's Restore Honor Rally at 87,000. This turn out, and the theme of the Stewart/Colbert rally, bodes very well for the future. The civil, light tone, and this among people passionate enough about our nation and it's direction to make the trip the DC, was reassuring.

Some of the highlights were SNL's Father Sarducci giving a light invocation, Cat Stevens performing "Peace Train", Kid Rock and Cheryl Crow doing a piece about changing the world, Tony Bennett doing "America the Beautiful", "Medal of Reasonableness" going to Tiger pitcher to Armando Gallerraga, "Fear Award" to Anderson Cooper's tight black t-tee shirt, and much more.

The posters were civil, light, and very entertaining. Some of the better ones, "I Fought Against Nazi and They Didn't Look Like Obama", "My wife thinks I'm hiking on the Appalachian Trail", "Death to Nobody", "I Hate Signs" "Jump Rope with a Muslim", Civility is Sexy", "You want your country back?...Its my country too, Can we share it?", "I've considered the fact that I might be wrong , have you?"

Kudos to Stewart and Colbert for their great effort to Restore Sanity. I am encouraged. As usual, I think the incivility and noise is among a minority. As Stewart said, these are tough times, but not end times. The majority of Americans will be up to the challenge of peacefully resolving our problems in a civil, cooperative fashion.

Above is Stewart's wrap-up and conclusion to the Rally. It's worth a listen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Above are nice images of the 32th President. At the top is a young FDR as Vice Presidential nominee in 1920, on the ticket with James Cox of Ohio. They lost to Warren G. Harding . The bottom is an image of Eleanor and Franklin as they pose for a Christmas 1941 photograph.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picture of the Day

In honor of the 2010 Baseball World Series beginning today between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants, above is a great baseball image from 1932, 78 years ago.

Baseball is one game that has changed very little. Here, at The Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, Saturday, September 17, 1932, Dick Bartell of the Phillies is trying for an inside-the-park home run, and Cubs' future Hall of Fame catcher, Gabby Harnett, is fixing to tag him out at home..

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Incredible Civil War Photographs

Above is photo of President Lincoln visiting with General McClellan after the Battle of Antiedam (Sharpsburg). Below is a link to the most incredible pictures of the Civil War you will ever see. It is amazing the condition they are in. Enjoy the history.

2001 Profiles In Courage Award

Great picture of Gerald Ford and John Lewis as co-recipients of the 2001 Profiles In Courage Award, presented annually by the Kennedy family. John Lewis, congressman from Atlanta and civil rights icon, was the first across the Edmund Pettis Bridge on the 1964 walk from Selma to Montgomery.

Picture of the Day

Tulip gardens in Keuhenhof, The Netherlands.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Picture of the Day

This is one of my favorite pictures, Barry Obama with his grandparents, who, upon the death of his mother, raised him and looked after him. All too typical a story in mid-to-late 20th century America.....a kid from an interracial marriage being raised by a single mother, then by grandparents.

What is not a typical American story is that of a multi-ethnic and bi-racial kid attending Columbia University, Harvard Law and becoming president of Harvard Law Review, teaching law at the University of Chicago, becoming a community organizer and civil rights attorney in southside Chicago, being elected State Senator at very young age, then United States Senator, and then President of the United States at age 47.

Quite an amazing story of human circumstance and human achievement.......only in America. By leaps and bounds, the most intriguing and capable American public servant and figure of my lifetime.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bizarre FoxNews Headline, "The Obama Experiment Has Failed".....What?

It amazes me to read headlines such as, "The Obama Experiment Has Failed." That is a headline on the FoxNews (surprise) website regarding Senator John Thume's response to Obama's Saturday radio address. In this era of mass, 24/7 cable and Internet technological communications, the war of communications is critical, vicious, and deceptive.

How could anyone buy the propaganda that the Obama anything has failed. He has been in office less that 24 months. He follows the worse economic and foreign policy Presidency of our lifetime.

TARP is a tremendous success. The banks are paying back, with interest, all the funds "fronted" them. The Recovery Act (Stimulus) is changing America and was a critical investment in getting America moving again. The investment in automotive companies has been repaid and millions of jobs (when you include the supply chain) were saved and an industry saved. Critical Health Care Reform is underway and the non-partisan scorekeeper, CBO, tells us it will reduce budget deficits going forward. We are basically out of Iraq, in terms of combat troops, and we are once again respected in the world community.

Yet the opposition party sadly tells uninformed, fearful, venerable citizens that the Obama "experiment" has failed. What does that mean? Their objective is, of course, to regain power for power's sake and to look after the interests of those who fund their return to power. It is just a sad and amazing commentary on the state of our system at this point. The only other objective they can articulate is to lower taxes and reduce government. What?

Our system is as broken as I can ever recall. Though important, thank goodness there is more to life than the emptiness and the craziness presented by our political process. Family, friends, hobbies, the great body of Christ and the opportunities afforded for missions and worship by the church, all thankfully give life meaning. The craziness, deception, the sheer ignorance and manipulation which accompanies the political process in 2010 is most discouraging and disturbing.

Picture of the Day

Great image of two great American borrow a contemporary phrase.......two "game changers."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jobs Created

It's official, more private sector jobs created in 2010 than during the entire Bush 8 years in office.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picture of the Day

Frank Sinatra and Ted Kennedy campaigning in the 1960 West Virginia primary for JFK.


God's Beauty Abounds in The Fall

Monday, October 18, 2010

Picture of the Day

Flanked by his wife Eleanor and son Elliott, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt casts his vote in the Presidential election in Hyde Park, NY, November 8, 1932.

(Photo compliments of Neal Robertson).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Picture of the Day

JFK campaigning in West Virginia in 1960.

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