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Archive for the ‘Just a Thought’ Category

A Valentine’s Gift of love that keeps on giving 16 years later

Posted by Newsroom On February - 14 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

It’s one of the fond pinnacles of my many years of marriage

By Juanita Bratcher

 

I’ve been somewhat of a pack-rat most of my adult life after getting my own place to live, but only with those things that I cherish and treasure and have no intentions of getting rid of right away…maybe never. They fit right into what I call precious, specific categories – they either have informational or personal value to me and something – more likely than not – that I would want to revisit, take another peep at and refresh my memory once again somewhere down the road.

These are things that passed my way at one time of another that I feel personal about or a personal attachment to. Or they’re things that I treasured at the moment, wanted to take them into my future, with no intentions of getting rid of them, if at all possible.

Many of these things I usually run across when I’m into some major house cleaning, others I know exactly where they are and at times revisit, re-examine and re-evaluate them as to their immediate relevance. You know, do I still need or want them? Is it time to get rid of them because of their waning usage and of needing the space for something else? We all make these evaluations from time to time.

I admit that I have a knack of wanting to hold on to certain things in the way of information or memories of “feel good moments” – souvenirs and the likes…memorabilia, that I accumulated mostly during my professional career as a Journalist/ news reporter/ author/ publisher.

I still hold on to the press identification tag I received when attending a press conference with Britain’s Prince Charles when he was in Chicago years ago, an autographed book from former President Jimmy Carter at his press conference in Chicago where he released his new book. I have pictures with entertainment personalities when they visited the historical newspaper, the Chicago Defender, where I worked as an investigative news reporter. I have a paper plate that was autographed by Harold Washington, the first Black mayor of Chicago, when attending a social event. I was assigned to the campaign trail of Washington. I have hundreds of articles that I wrote during my college days when seeking a degree in Journalism and in the starting years of my professional career as an investigative news reporter, which has now been some 37 plus years. And the list goes on.

But there’s nothing more dear to my heart than the empty Valentine’s box (now without candy) stored in my closet that was the last Valentine’s gift presented to me by my late husband, Neal A. Bratcher, Sr. in 1997, that I preserved, along with several artificial roses inside of a glass cage (a large souvenir) and a Valentine’s card.

I remember Neal always being in a happy and pleasant mood on Valentine’s Day. He was like clockwork – always showering me with a card, flowers and candy on that special lovers’ day. On Valentine’s Day 1997, for the first time, Neal gave me a large souvenir with artificial flowers encased in oak wood and glass. This was the first year he gave artificial flowers. In past years, Neal always brought fresh flowers with card and candy. Perhaps it was fate that he deviated from the norm and brought artificial flowers instead, because fresh flowers would not have survived even for several days. I am happy he made that decision.

I am by no means trying to live  in the past, even though I’m cherishing those loving memories from the past and cherishing a caring and loving husband who made me happy in life, an excellent father to our four children and a very civic-minded person who reached out to others.

In a book of poems I wrote and released in 1994, “I Cry For a People; In Their Struggle for Justice & Equality” one of the poems was written expressly for my husband, Neal. The title of the poem is “That Twinkle in Your Eyes”, which follows:

 

“That Twinkle in Your Eyes”

                   By Juanita Bratcher

 

I’ve looked in your eyes

For many, many years

Sometimes I saw smiles

Other times I saw tears

Sometimes I found anger

And yes, there was sadness

Oftentimes there was joy and untold gladness

But that twinkle in your eyes was always there

A symbol of the love we will always share

In your eyes I’ve seen grief

Other times they were bright

Sometimes there were mixed signals

Other times sheer delight

Sometimes there was patience

And impatience too

Your eyes said it all

About your feelings and you

But that twinkle in your eyes was always there

A symbol of the love we will always share

Your eyes said it all

Whether they were clear or red

There was something about them

And the secrecy they shed

Sometimes they sent a message

So concrete in thrust

And with the bat of the eyes

The message could instantly adjust

But that twinkle in your eyes was always there

It was a symbol of the love we will always share

When Neal read the poem he was elated. After his death in 1997, the lyrics were turned into a record. It was beyond my wildest imagination. And I wished that Neal was here to hear the song. But the card, artificial flowers, the empty candy box and the song – written by me – are memories that will be a part of my life forever.

Great memories are made of this. They will always hold a special place in my heart…even in death.

Here are some of my favorite love songs: You can hear them all on Youtube.com.

Love Will Conquer All – Lionel Ritchie

Have I Told You Lately That I love you? – Rod Stewart

Neither One of Us – Gladys Knight

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

You Are So Beautiful To Me – Joe Cocker

Happy Valentine’s Day to all; and may you always have a “genuine everlasting love” in your relationships and marriages.

Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics. 

What Ever Happened To Truth? Truth Gets Lost In an Election Year Full of Dirty Tricks and Lies

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On October - 6 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Just A Thought

 

By Juanita Bratcher

 

Having set their sights high on running for various political offices in the 2010 elections, some candidates feel that they can fast walk or skip into office on a “pack of unmitigated lies” – from lying about their credentials to lying about their opponents. That’s why voters must be exceptionally vigilant about candidates running for public offices and about their agendas.

 Many of these wishful thinking politicians are not fit for public office, and are not ready for prime time on the political stage.

Voters should not be fooled by fast talk and trickery rhetoric or mayhem. They should keep their eyes open, ears on the alert, and be mindful of those who use lies and fear tactics as a means to land into office.

For every incumbent running, there’s a track record to run on – good or bad- while political novelist, those new to running for office, perhaps the first time (there are many perennial candidates) – have some kind of background – whether community or political activists, or civic, corporate or business. Spending a little time on Google or other search engines can flush out a lot more information than imaginable. 

If elected to office, what change will they bring? Change can be difficult for some – they want things to stay in the past rather than come into the present. It’s hard for them to give up one thing for another. But what some of these winning candidates will inevitably bring to office can have a profound affect on the country as a whole, specifically in the U.S. Congress.

 Voters should not be misled by candidates who shuffle with the truth. It is essential that voters are conscious of candidates’ records and fight back and challenge those misfit or unfit candidates at the polls by not casting a vote for them, regardless of their Party affiliation – Democrat, Republican or any third-party candidate for that matter.

 Voters should make it their business not to elect people to office who do not understand politics or government, or not be able to effectively participate in decision-making. And what’s wrong with being inclusive? How advantageous is it to Americans to support a candidate whose actions and rhetoric leave a lot to be desired? Will they bring about serious change that truly represents all?

 We live in a complex society. There are different views, different opinions, and we have different ways of doing things. But that shouldn’t be a factor in our dialogue to work for the good of the country and its people.

 But what would be more troubling, is the failure of some apathetic voters to not go to the polls on Election Day to systematically weed out those whose agendas are based on lies and innuendos.

 Those who are not part of the solution can certainly be looked at as a part of the problem.

“Swiftboating” President Obama and the American people

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 20 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Just A Thought

 

 

By Juanita Bratcher 

 

There are many Americans who don’t give a “hill of beans” about what “hatemongers and racists” have to say in their efforts to spin the truth and divide the country, yet the media ram their incendiary remarks straight down our throats on a daily basis as though it’s priority news when a leftover menu of “real priority news” can’t find its way to the front burner.

Americans are concerned and frustrated about a slow economy, slow as a turtle in bouncing back; whether they’ll still have a job tomorrow, whether money will be available to send their children to college, whether they can hold on to their houses, cars and other basic necessities, and hopefully, be able to meet the mortgage on their homes as opposed to foreclosure. Not what some “hatemonger” said while getting high on hatred.

And nowadays it’s become commonplace to say any ill-willed thoughts or any incendiary remarks that come to mind, and once said, come back and apologize for what never should have been said in the first place. Obviously, if an apology is in order, apparently no thought was given beforehand to what was being said. I call it the game of “Say it, just for the hell of it, see how much will stick, and go back and apologize later.”

There’s been a lot of that floating around in the atmosphere lately.  And frankly, it comes off as a game inasmuch as the damage has already been done, an indelible image was made, and the messenger got exactly what wanted – executing the hateful deed and then apologizing.

And a lot of those ill-willed statements and incendiary remarks are made toward President Barack Obama by “Birthers” and people at Tea Party rallies. A recent poll stated that 24 percent of Americans that participated in poll believe Obama is a Muslim when he says he is Christian. I say this, not as a negative to Muslims, but because of controverse surrounding it.

There’s a lot of negative, misconstrued talk, and a large stream of it is coming straight out of Washington. And those who do it intentions are ugly – they are demagogues practicing demagoguery, inflaming and polarizing the country – “swiftboating” President Obama and the American people.

It is what it is!

Recently, I came across the lyrics of a song by the great Stevie Wonder – “Heaven Help Us All”.

I was truly intrigued by this excerpt in the song:

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep.
In a troubled world, I pray the Lord to keep, keep hatred from the mighty,

And the mighty from the small
Heaven help us all.

And to that I say, Amen! Heaven help us all – the haters and the peacemakers.

 

Hate Talk and Senseless Rhetoric: The “Dumbing-Down” of America

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On July - 25 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Just a Thought 

 

By Juanita Bratcher

 

jbphotoWild allegations, senseless rhetoric, inflammatory remarks, misinformation, incendiary voices and hatemongering are see-sawing their way through our daily lives nowadays via the Internet, Blogosphere, radio and television. And many of these slanderous offenders justify their actions as “freedom of speech”, their First Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution. 

The aforementioned statement is by no means being critical of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That legislation is rock solid. Our forefathers who wrote and signed the U.S. Constitution into law did an honorable job. And certainly, I’m in total agreement with it. My criticism is with those actions of “rabble-rousers” who cling to First Amendment rights to slander others, say hurtful and disparaging remarks, display despicable signs, and deliberately spew out misinformation they know is not true, but as a means to plant chaotic seeds of distrust in others.

                      “Congress shall make no law respecting an

                      establishment of religion, or prohibiting the

                    free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of

                  speech, or of the press; or the right of the

                 people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the

               Government for a redress of grievances” – First

              Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution.

Then there is the Second Amendment to the Constitution…the right to bear arms.

        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security

        of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear

       Arms, shall not be infringed” – Second Amendment

      to the U.S. Constitution 

 

There was an awkward display of that right at some of the health reform rallies when some of the participants showed up with guns strapped to their hips.

Many of these hate mongers have no leadership qualities or skills and no credible ideas. Their goal and intentions are to keep havoc going by using scare tactics, smear their targets and create fear. They demonize and vilify their targets through false and misinformation. And they will say any and everything even though they know it to be inaccurate and not the absolute truth. They spew out hatred and “doctor” information to divide this country. They give power and life to lies. They do not disseminate constructive ideas or provide any relevant information, yet there are those who buy into their garbage because of lack of knowledge.

It is the “dumbing-down” of those who listen and accept their messages as the absolute truth. And many of these messengers spreading these false claims are making buckets full of money in the process, while at the same time, riling and building up hatred in some recipients of their messages.

As Americans and as a country (these United States of America), we are better than that!!!

Note: Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The first ten Amendments collectively are commonly known as the Bill of Rights 

Source: U.S. Constitution Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D-Day on health care legislation; will it pass the test of reform?

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 20 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 By Juanita Bratcher 

 

After months of debate, health care legislation heads for the finish line. On the heels of the House vote, President Barack Obama said he was confident “History will be made” with this “historic vote.”

The upcoming vote on health care legislation expected this Sunday (March 21) in Congress is synonymous to that great game of competitive sports – the Super bowl. After months of debate, political ideology clashes, boisterous health care reform rallies, and infighting between lawmakers in both the Democratic and Republican Parties, it seems that America is in the final stretch of what has been an unnerving debate. Tempers flared, incendiary remarks were strewn about, and mean-spirited words lit up the poster boards and took on new meanings – polarizing and dividing the country.

While some speculate that the votes are not there for passage, others predict that health care legislation will pass, even though the numbers will be very close. And no Republican in the House or Senate is expected to vote for it. Republican leadership has tried to torpedo the legislation from Day-One. And in the final days, suggested that health reform talks go back to the drawing board and to start from square one even though legislation had earlier passed the House and Senate.

President Obama, speaking before thousands in Virginia’s Patriot Center, March 19th, declared:

“…At the heart of this debate is the question of whether we’re going to accept a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people — because if this vote fails, the insurance industry will continue to run amok.  They will continue to deny people coverage.  They will continue to deny people care.  They will continue to jack up premiums 40 or 50 or 60 percent as they have in the last few weeks without any accountability whatsoever.  They know this.  And that’s why their lobbyists are stalking the halls of Congress as we speak, and pouring millions of dollars into negative ads.  And that’s why they are doing everything they can to kill this bill.”

Those who keep a close eye on the political arena, and have become swept up into this political/ideology battle, are now poised, waiting for the outcome, the end result of a once seemingly unending fierce political battle. After the results are officially in, assessments will be made – of winners and losers – and will then move on to the next political episode…battle? There’s bound to be more. Believe it, there will be innumerable ones down the road. Why? Because there’s never a boring time in the political arena; it’s filled with exciting blurbs and innuendoes, and at times, can be very dramatic with lots of grandstanding.

From the outset, CopyLine Magazine has always been in favor of a public option in health care legislation. Unfortunately, public option didn’t make the cut. Nonetheless, health care legislation up for vote on Sunday is a very good start, though not perfect. Yet, if passed, 32 million uninsured will have accessibility to health care, those with pre-existing conditions will now get a fighting chance, without being dropped by their insurance companies, among other things. 

When all is said and done – which ever way the vote goes – whether it passes or fails – there is bound to be winners and losers. And in the aftermath, it will be an excellent time for assessment. Voters should take a closer look at those that represent them in the U.S. House and Senate. Did they like what they saw or heard from their representatives? Were elected officials’ actions more about politics (whether it would hurt their chance at re-election), or in the best interest of their constituents and that of the country?

If not, it’s time to throw the incumbent bums out and send some fresh talent to Washington; those with constructive, innovative voices that are worthy of our support and trust.

JUST A THOUGHT: On the dawn of the New Year

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On January - 9 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Commentary

By Juanita Bratcher 

The Year 2009 was a tumultous year for many Americans, much of it due to a tough economy – job loss and all the other downs that come along with it. And we haven’t gotten there yet – recovery from this lagging economy – and there are many still suffering because of it. What will the Year 2010 bring? That’s a tough question that perhaps no one can answer just yet, other than by mere speculation; and speculation doesn’t amount to much and it’s certainly not reality.

One of the most troublesome things that bothered me in 2009 was all the mean-spiritedness – this wide-array of hatemongering and ignorance that raised its “ugly head” after America elected its first African-American President Barack Obama. Many of us are aware of these blistering attacks coming from the mouths of some politicians and other public figures who want to see this Administration fail – even one wishing that health care reform would be Obama’s “waterloo.” Some have even prayed for failure, as in the likes of U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Coburn, on the Senate floor, prior to the healthcare reform vote for cloture, which would ward-off a filibuster by Republicans, asked that Americans pray that somebody (a senator) wouldn’t “make the vote tonight…that’s what they ought to pray.”

Some felt that he was referring to U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia) who has had recent bouts with illness. However, the 92-year-old Byrd made the roll call, helping to rein in the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster.

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), while expressing shock over Coburn’s prayer, said it crossed the line to ask people to pray so that senators wouldn’t be able to answer roll call.

There have been other incidences in Year 2009 where individuals prayed for negative outcomes surrounding President Obama and some of his initiatives, especially healthcare reform. One wonders why they would “pray for evil” to happen. That’s certainly not the Godly way. God is love! And it should never become the American way of doing things!

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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