Hilarious Video by President Obama Musing On Life After White House

This is a four minute video produced by the White House which shows President Obama talking to various people about what he should do in the two years he will be living in DC after he leaves the Presidency. This isn’t political and the advice people give him is very funny.

The Hon. Barack Obama President of the United States of America: Events at the White House in July 2016

p072516ps-0208c

President Barack Obama greets Armanii Chisholm, age 3, as his grandmother, Chief Religious Program Specialist Tameca Brown, looks on during a tour with wounded warriors and their families in the Cross Hall of the White House, July 25, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

pod3-p072716ps-0205

President Barack Obama meets with Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, who briefs him and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on the potential cases of non-travel related Zika announced by the Florida Department of Health earlier today, in the Oval Office, July 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p072216ps-0260

President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico walk through the Blue Room before a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, July 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

6_p072116ps-0763

President Barack Obama smells a rose given to him by Sophia Ahmadi, 2, as her parents, Zainab Ahmadi and Mohammad Ahmadi, look on during the Eid al-Fitr reception in the East Room of the White House, July 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p072016ps-0394

President Barack Obama takes the stage as he is introduced by Strive Masiyiwa during the White House Summit on Global Development at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., July 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

2_p071916al-0363

First Lady Michelle Obama and Tyler Oakley greet family pets Bo and Sunny in the Library of the White House, following the Beating the Odds Summit , July 19, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

4_p071816ps-0408

President Barack Obama talks with retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles, center, and his guests, former brothers-in-arms from Vietnam, in the Blue Room following the Medal of Honor ceremony for Kettles at the White House, July 18, 2016. Then-Major Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967, and is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Hon. Barack Obama, President of the United States

p112115ps-0422

President Barack Obama visits a Dignity for Children Foundation classroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 21, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p112015ps-0574

President Barack Obama greets participants following a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) town hall at Taylor University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p111915ps-0112

President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico prior to an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p111815ps-1197

President Barack Obama talks with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei Darussalam, wearing traditional off-white linen Barong Tagalog shirts, at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) leaders welcome dinner at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

pod_1_p110615ps-01821

President Barack Obama talks with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the hallway outside the Oval Office prior to entering the Roosevelt Room to announce the administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, Nov. 6, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p112415ps-1160_0

With the U.S. Marine Band playing the score from the movie, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” President Barack Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, feigns riding a bike in the sky as happened in the 1982 movie directed by Steven Spielberg, who had just been one of the honorees of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Nov. 24, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Salon Ran MY Confederate Flag Piece As Lead Story on their Web Zine Last Evening

Link to my story on Salon is here:

Confederate Flag Symbol of Racism Article on Salon

I was “gobsmacked” as the English say, to have had this happen and obviously very pleased since I worked on this for three weeks or more. I rarely do more than the minimum to get my writing “out there” since it is time consuming and I refuse to beg people to post or print something I have written.

At the same time, it is a terrible irony that such a bloody tragedy called forth some of my best writing. I wish it hadn’t. But I am selfish enough to be pleased that my story about the Confederate flag, prompted by the evil slaughter in Charleston, one of my favorite cities, got so much exposure.

Salon has 17 million subscribers, although I am hardly suggesting that many people read it my piece– probably more like ten thousand. I will ask them later.  I felt validated as a non-fiction writer. I have always thought my non-fiction was very good but if people who know me think of my writing at all, which I am not suggesting they do, they only think of fiction. So you might imagine how pleased I am to see a piece which took so long to write, and was personally very painful to write, get this kind of exposure.

Only a few hundred people read my blog each day although occasionally I get as many as 400 hits and that is always on posts I never think had a broad appeal. The post on the Panther tank got 400 or more hits in a day.

That the Confederate flag is a racist symbol, is a belief I came to accept after a number of years of thinking about it. Worse, has been the growing use of it by right-wing skinhead fascists in other countries. Nonetheless, I rarely mentioned my opinion on the flag since it almost never came up and I found it very difficult to discuss.

But when I read of the cold-blooded murder in Charleston of nine African-Americans in their own church engaged in Bible study, I was shocked me and I am hard to shock. Given that one of the slain was a South Carolina state senator was even more shocking. All I kept thinking was this is my state and for God’s sake, this group of people were at Bible study. President Obama’s eulogy in Charleston moved me greatly and after that I decided to set down my thoughts in words.

 

But how Salon came to run this piece is a story in itself and this is what happened. I posted the piece on my blog and my blog automatically posts to my Facebook. A friend of mine I used to work with by the name of Murray Attaway saw my piece on my Facebook and emailed me and said he thought it was great and could he cross-post it and I said ‘sure.’

Years ago, Murray used to be a rock star. He and his band never got the famed they deserved but they were well known in the music scene. I only found out about this after someone at the firm told me since Murray never told anyone. He is from Athens GA and that city, which is a beautiful leafy college town, has produced a number of famous bands including the B52s and REO Speedwagon.

Athens GA also produced another great band: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/guadalcanal-diary-mn0000648097/biography.  Murray was lead guitarist, song writer and singer. They toured for years and major labels released 4 CDs which have been remastered and are again available.

Turns out David Daley, the Editor in Chief of Salon used to be a rock music critic years and years ago and one of his favorite bands was Guadalcanal Diary. So that is how he knew Murray and they are Facebook friends. After Murray posted my piece on his Facebook, David Daley read it. He liked it a lot and emailed me and asked if Salon could run it.

His email went into my spam folder! By sheer happenstance, I checked my spam folder Wednesday mid-day and had my cursor on the delete all button but saw an email from Salon. Had to be spam. I don’t anyone at Salon. But I thought ‘what the hell,” and opened it. And there was the email from David Daley. I only googled the guy after two or three email exchanges and only then learned he was the editor-in-chief.

So thank you Murray.

Why is is that such sadness calls forth better writing than things in everyday life? I also must say that I felt trepidation when I posted the piece about the Confederate flag because I am certain that some of my friends in South Carolina will never speak to me again. Unquestionably that makes me feel low. But to me me, a good writer, an honest writer, has to write what is in his heart and gut. That’s what good writers do and I am self-confident enough to number myself in said group.

 

 

Katy Parry Sings at White House Someone Just Told Me

 

rs_634x1024-131209084539-634.michelle-obama-barack.ls.12913

The Hon. Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

(Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta courtesy AP Photo and E!)

From Eonline.com:

“We have just one of my favorite people performing tonight—Katy Perry,” Obama introduced the night’s musical entertainment. “We are so grateful to her.”  

“I love Katy Perry,” he added. “She is just a wonderful person. I’ve just met her mom and now I know why she is such a wonderful person, but I just want everybody to know she is on tour right now and so for her to take time out to do this is really special, and so we really want to say thank you to her for doing this.”

http://www.eonline.com/news/565268/barack-obama-favorite-katy-perry-sings-at-the-white-house-and-brings-her-republican-mom

 

As my handful of regular readers know, I don’t follow popular culture very closely since I’m busy learning the popular culture of another society–in this case Great Britain in WW Two–so I don’t have time to do both.

I revealed my ignorance in a recent blog post in which I recounted talking to a nice young guy at Filter Coffee House in DC, my home away from home, and learned he was a side guitarist for someone named Katy Perry.

Since I had never heard of her he politely explained who she was. Later I learned from friends that Katy is one of the most famous singers like, ever! 

How the hell I am supposed to know all this? I don’t listen to the radio. I imagine this guy was amused since I must have been the only person he had meet in recent years who had no idea who he was talking about.

http://charlesmccain.com/2014/06/i-never-heard-of-katy-perry-until-monday/

 

A dear friend from South Carolina who I have known since the 4th grade at Sheridan Elementary School in Orangeburg, SC, emailed me and said that President Obama knew who Katy was and that she had performed at the White House a few days back.

I had no idea since I don’t follow the social calender of the White House. As to the President knowing who she is, I told me friend that we both had to accept that President Obama was far more cool and more hip than I am. Or ever will be.

The Hon. Barack Obama, President of the United States and C-in-C of the Armed Forces Gives Commencement Speech at US Military Academy at West Point

p052814ps-0204 (1)

West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen briefs President Barack Obama prior to the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 

p052814ps-0229

President Barack Obama touches the Marshall Plaque at Michie Stadium upon arrival for the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

p052814ps-0242

President Barack Obama and West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen participate in the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

p052814ps-0321

 

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

p052814ps-0290

Graduating cadets listen to President Barack Obama deliver the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

p052814ps-0389

Gavin White, a West Point graduate who lost a leg in Afghanistan, left, is recognized by President Barack Obama during his commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014. White came to the ceremony to watch his sister graduate. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p052814ps-0336

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p052814ps-0408

Graduating cadets stand during the presentation of diplomas at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p052814ps-0437

President Barack Obama greets graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p052814ps-0622

President Barack Obama greets graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

p052814ps-0766

Graduates toss their hats at the close of the commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

p052814ps-0973

President Barack Obama boards Marine One at the United States Military Academy at West Point landing zone for departure from West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Very Cool Photo of Japanese Archer on Horseback During President Obama’s Visit to Japan

 

 

016b_x18_2ckb5986

President Barack Obama and Chief Priest Seitaro Nakajima watch archers on horseback demonstrate their skills at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2014. Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan and her husband Edwin Schlossberg are seated at right.

(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)