Happy Mother’s Day 2017

Most of you that know me, especially those of you who are on my Contacts list, know how special my mom, my dad’s mom, and my mother’s grandmom have been to me and how they have helped make me the person I have become in this life.  To me, Mother’s Day is the ultimate holiday, and nothing comes close.  That’s been reared in me by the man I most revere, my father, and been shown to me by my mother’s example and the example of friends, family, and associates throughout my life.

pepper_and_granny

Those of us who have the ultimate blessing of a mother who’s always been there for us and that we can count on are especially responsible to make the most of ourselves as an offering and homage to the contributions our mothers unselfishly and constantly bestowed on us.  I am blessed to say that I know through many examples the important influence a mother has on a person’s life.  Most of you that have read my Mother’s Day messages are aware that I have chanted and testified to this throughout most of my life.

I am also moved this year by my young six year old friend, Peyton Farwell and her older sister Summer, who recently lost their mother, and to all my other good friends (Jeffrey, Brian, Dominic, Leonard, Cardell, George, Lisa, Leslie, Natalie, Peggy, Lance, Jason, Mike, and Roxane) that have also endured the ultimate pain from the loss of a mother.  You are some of the people that I hold most dearly that have shared the experience of a mother’s major influence in their lives, and I thank you for that.  Honestly, the just and loving God that I believe in would take me before my mom.  I pray every day that he will keep my mom alive and happy to continue taking care of my dad, my brother and his family and all those other people we love.

I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge those special mothers that I’ve been blessed to know, those friends, family members and nurses that do the WHOLE job, the hardest job, by themselves or with little support from the fathers.  You know who you are and know how special you are to me.  I am in awe of your strength, resilience, and ability to assemble bigger resources to provide what’s needed for your children.  You’re amazing!   All of us know women like this, that take God’s ultimate responsibility on by themselves and raise children that become accomplished, contributing, and successful members of society.  I believe it’s a special responsibility to do what we can to assist and support them and to give their children whatever we can to help them show appreciation for their mothers.

I love all of you and your mothers that I’ve had the opportunity to know.  On this special day, we should take the time to express love and appreciation to the special mothers in our lives and those wives, sisters, cousins, and friends that we know who are doing the best they can to be the best mothers they can be.

Once again, this message is especially dedicated to my sweet Peyton, who will no longer get the opportunity to experience the kind of support and love that we get from our mothers, as well as to those of you who have prematurely said goodbye to those mothers that helped to make you who you are.

God bless all of you!

Much love always,
DJ

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Election Day

Tues., Nov. 8, is a very big day!  We should be electing the first woman president of the United States.  I believe that Hillary Clinton would do so much more for so many people than her opponent.  I feel like most businessmen, he has an agenda.  He says he wants to make America great again, but he doesn’t have a connection with the masses of people or an understanding of their problems and how our system can create some answers for them.  Please give Hillary a chance and let her do the best she can to continue to fight the Republican Congress and make the lives of the masses more bearable. 

Much love,
DJ

Mother’s Day 2016

I am so blessed to receive my 58th Mother’s Day.  Those of you that receive my messages know how important my mother is in my life.  My strong faith in God keeps me alive and thriving, but my mother is my earth angel.  She has been struggling with a back condition for over a year.  She’s had 3 surgeries and is doing her best to overcome substantial pain to maintain a constructive and contributory life to her family and her community.  We have maintained our relationship over the telephone for almost a year.  It’s quite a sacrifice for both of us.  She’s hoping to regain her mobility and become fully functional sometime this year.  Please pray and keep positive thoughts for that to happen.

Most of you that get my messages are blessed to have important relationships with your mothers.  For those of you that believe, that relationship is the closest one to your relationship with God.  Those of you who are mothers take it seriously.  I revere my mother and try to emulate her and live a life that will make her proud.  To those of you so blessed to become fathers, try to be the kind of father that will represent the unconditional love, kindness, and support given to us (or that we believe should be given) by our mothers.

Give your mother your love this weekend and every week.  Also, think kindly about Hillary Clinton, a mother and grandmother who we need to chair our nation!  The alternative is unacceptable!

Much love always,
DJ

2016: A Year of Positive, Accelerated Change

Most of you know that I’m a much more spiritual than religious person.  I have my beliefs and my faith that have served me greatly for almost 58 years.  I don’t go to church regularly, but I watch Joel Osteen on occasion.  I’ve seen him twice and I’ve gotten some good sermons from him recently.  One talk in particular proclaimed this year as one of accelerated goodness and healing, and I embrace it, especially for my mom and other members of my family, as they deal with some particularly tough challenges now in their lives.

Those of us from my generation have seen so many wonderful, uplifting, and enlightening changes, living in no doubt the greatest country in the world.  My testimony is that I’ve had a truly blessed, exciting, and wonderful life because of what’s available to people like myself in the USA.  I have always been provided for.  You know how it is when you’re blessed with good parents.  My God started me out with not only the best parents, but also with wonderful siblings, grandmothers, and great grandmoms!  He connected me with the best friends, teachers, professors, and extended family a person could ask for.  He gave me television, computers, ventilators, electric wheelchairs, cars, and airplanes that got me to Cal Berkeley, UCLA and USC, as well as social workers, concerts, cultural events, and political awareness.  What a life I’ve had SO FAR.

Thankfully, my mom has survived three surgeries for her back this year.  She’s presently back at home with my dad and on the mend.  Hopefully, we’ll be seeing her in California sometime this spring.  I haven’t seen her since last June.  Although we talk frequently (daily), I miss that uplifting and rejuvenating energy that a child gets (no matter what age) from an unconditional mom’s love.  She’s truly my earthly life source, like a car generator.  We need to be together to charge each other up.  My lifelong friend Robin, who I love dearly, had a similar back surgery and is recovering in her upstairs apartment in the valley.  She’s my most faithful/spiritual friend (Hyacinth, you’re a close second).  I wish I could do even more to help my mom and Robin during their recoveries.  I’m sure though that prayers and good thoughts have carried both of these women through their challenging surgeries and in this accelerated year, will bring them better health and more comfortable mobility.  They both have many people dependent and reliant on their positivity to make it through!

Other than visiting her children and grandchildren on the west coast, my mom has a really chaotic and desperate election to get involved with.  This electoral season needs her experience, wisdom, and influence desperately!  My bias leads me to believe that some accelerated change is needed, given the mockery that Donald Trump and the Republican party are making of this critical election.  I believe Democrats have two better candidates.  They almost cancel each other out though, harping on their differences and jockeying for the lead position.  Sanders has many great ideas, but America is a democratic state, “supposedly.”  Sanders will have even worse luck dealing with a Republican Congress to get his ideas and policies implemented.  Like Barack Obama (whose journey to the White House and grace through pressure and prejudice I have been so blessed to share and observe), Bernie, a Jewish-American, would make history were he to win the election.  Yet Bernie has been in politics for years, with marginal positive impact.  Although he will have familiarity with the political process, his voice will be muted and his effect will be diminished by the conflicting Republican reality.

Of course Hillary has her issues too.  While super intelligent, she’s also sometimes stubborn and doesn’t always connect as well with the electorate at large.  Yet she’s connected to the best part of the establishment and most importantly, she’s a woman and we need that change right now.  I think America can be made better by her representing some of the more positive female leaders of the past and present in the world.  I hope that the electorate gives her a vote of confidence, knowing she’s a positive piece of clay that can be molded into something extraordinary if given the chance.  The alternatives we can’t afford.

Now is the time that we need some positive accelerated change to make our domestic and international positions more secure and help us achieve a more just society.  We need a forward thinking administration to address real problems in our country and save the lives of men, women and children in dire need.  We need to affirm the right to equality for men, women, and children of all kinds.  That’s what our president and our electoral system is supposed to be about.   We need a president that can encourage the electorate to vote in better senators and congressmen and women as well as local politicians so they can deal more effectively with local matters such as the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan.  I remember Jesse Jackson saying when he was running for President that America “can be better than this.”  I embraced it then and I still believe it now.

Barack has done some great things, Obamacare, same-sex marriage, among others.  He is now perhaps in the midst of his greatest political fight and challenge as he tries to achieve political cooperation in order to select a moderate Supreme Court justice who will be accepted collectively and will look at the Constitution as the great document that it can be, not the conservative restrictive document that it’s being presently interpreted as.  Hopefully, we’ll get a Supreme Court that will even more fully champion equality and civil rights for everyone.  If he isn’t able to win this fight, hopefully our next President will be able to achieve this vision.

Lastly, some congratulations are in order.  First, to Peyton Manning.  I guess it wasn’t Cam Newton’s time to reign victorious over the NFL.  God willing, he’ll have other times, like other great quarterbacks have.  Peyton is a great example of overcoming challenges to receive destiny.  And also, congratulations to my friend Brian on finding a house where he can hopefully find great happiness and inclusiveness, which he deserves.  He’s so great to me!

Thanks for listening to my opinions and hopes for the future.  I love all of you for sticking with me, reading me, and encouraging me to keep going.  Your prayers and positive thoughts are highly effective.  I love all of you!

Always,
DJ

From DJ’s friend Larry

DJ,

“I LOVE YOU” !!!. Far more than you can imagine. I’ve never met a more Loving, Caring,Human than you in all of my travels, and experiences.You demonstrate the utmost in “BALLS” in facing up to,and circumventing the roadblocks,and trials put before you,while focusing on other peoples problems,rather than dwelling on your own.

 I only wish that I was strong enough to exhibit a small percentage of the Love and devotion to others that you unwaveringly exude.You are a constant inspiration to me,and other in our crew,as we move around the world making music. We think,and talk about you a lot,even if we don’t always take the time to stay in touch as often as we would like.

GOD BLESS YOU.

LOVE,

Ragman,Roberta,Roy,Marsh,Justin,Sullivan,Quincy etal.  

“Trying times” means “keep on trying – don’t give up”

I’m troubled by the recent decision by the grand jury in Cleveland, OH, where the group of policemen were not indicted or substantially reprimanded for the killing of an unarmed African American, contributing to the further devaluation of African American and other minority lives.  Also alarming were the cases in Baltimore and Ferguson, MO, which erupted into public disobedience due to frustration stemming from the incident.  We’re still waiting for the verdict of the grand jury and investigation in the case of a 12 year old African American boy in Cleveland.

I’m turning 57 years old next month and have seen much police brutality throughout most of my life.  One of the earliest encounters I had was when my godbrother, Steven Russell, was killed by a police officer while in high school, unarmed and on route to the arcade from an after-school job.  His killer was not indicted and the whole process of investigation was heavily weighted toward accusing the victim, not much unlike the recent Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

All of this victimization and racial abuse seems even more sad in the times of an African American president.  The kind of disrespect and false accusations that have been hurled at him for the past six and a half years create the kind of climate where diminishing the value of African American lives is acceptable.  If the person holding the highest office in the U.S. can be disrespected, ridiculed, and made less of by his political peers and the common man, what chance do regular “John Q. Public” African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and homeless have to be treated with respect and common decency from police officers and the military establishment?  What kind of message does this send to all of our young people?  What type of stability does this establish for the foundation of households and domestic relationships?  It’s a disheartening time.  It seems like Eric Holder was just beginning to scratch the surface on developing policy that could lead to fundamental change in how the political and punitive systems deal with lesser enfranchised people.  I can only hope that Loretta Lynch can continue his investigations and add to the development of more positive and fair treatment of my brothers and sisters.

Social media, cell phone cameras, and other technologies are going to help eliminate the problem.  Eventually, the right type of evidence from the wrong kind of victims is going to be made available and ignite even further social unrest.  I’m hoping and praying that better policy and more egalitarian treatment take place before things get any worse.

I love you all.  Thanks for reading.  Let’s make it better!