Vol. 5    No. 25
December 16, 2010

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

Webmaster:
Heidi @
heidipascual@sbcglobal.net
      I am so looking forward to the Christmas holidays this year. In less than a week, I will see my son
Andrew and spend the holiday with him. I haven’t seen him since August 2007 when he caught a plane at
O’Hare Field in Chicago headed for Nanning, China. We both have grown a lot during the subsequent 3 ½
years. I often worry that we have grown apart.
     We always have fantasies of what the holiday season should be. There is supposed to be laughter and
mirth for a 10-day period or so with no arguments and no despairing words. Everyone is supposed to be
happy with the things they receive and act — perhaps not honestly — that it is the one thing that they
wanted all along.
     And so I am so happy to see my son, but there is that underlying worry that — hopefully unfounded —
that we will quickly run out of things to say and do. But no matter what my fears, I do rejoice that my son
will be home, even if it is just for a few days. It truly is the best present that I could receive.
     I also wish President Barack Obama peace this holiday season. It seems folks from both sides of the
aisle, Democrats and Republicans, have been beating up on him over tax cuts and all of the other issues
a president has to take on.
     I was thinking back to the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial that was held on the Sunday
before Barack Obama was sworn in as president on January 20, 2009. The imagery was incredible and
the site for the concert was apt. In between the performances of stars like Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder,
folks like actor Tom Hanks — who is a descendent of Abraham Lincoln — read from the Gettysburg
Address and other Lincoln documents.
     The event kept bringing out the parallels between the era of the Civil War and present day America.
When Lincoln became president, America was on the verge of a civil war with the North and the South
deeply divided over the issue of slavery. Eventually the South seceded from the United States to form the
Confederate States of America and the Civil War commenced. Through the course of four years, Lincoln, in
essence, kept the United States intact by keeping the middle states like Tennessee in the Union and
defeating the Confederates. It was through perseverance, wisdom and the willingness to fight for what he
believed in that allowed Lincoln to eventually bring the United States back together again. On some
levels, Lincoln was in the middle ground with the opposing sides trying to tear the middle asunder.
     I am sure that was the vision that Barack Obama saw as he took office in 2009. He envisioned himself
in the middle as the country kept dividing up between Blue states and Red states. The divide between the
Republican and Democratic parties was getting wider and wider and little work was getting done.
Representatives and Senators who in yesteryear could sit down after a debate and have a good laugh or
compromise to find the middle ground for legislation were now hardly talking to each other and not
budging an inch on any legislative matters.
     As the new president, I am sure that Barack Obama saw where the country was headed with this great
divide. A house divided is a house that falls. So Barack Obama chose the middle course and continuously
tried to bring the parties together in the spirit of compromise. And he was met with obfuscation from the
Republicans and stinging rebukes from his own party, the Democrats.
     I must admit that I was one of those people shouting for no compromise with the recent tax cut debate.
But the President struck a compromise with the Republican leadership that was eventually voted on by
the House and the Senate, which both have clear Democratic majorities until next month. All of us will
have a tax cut in 2011. Some of us will have more of a tax cut than others.
     It is probably Barack Obama’s middle ground approach that allowed this legislation to pass. The
unemployed will get their unemployment compensation, a wonderful Christmas present. But the Social
Security trust fund could be endangered as a result and more than likely, the rich will continue to get
richer and the poor poorer. My wish for President Barack Obama this holiday season is that he and his
find peace and that he unite the country through fair policies in the year ahead.
     And peace to all of you, our dear readers, as well!
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                          Peace to All of Us
HO HO SOUL
The history of and need for Soul Santa