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Monday, January 30, 2017

Quote for Today:

"Fight to win!" ---- Sifu Klaus Brand, International Academy of WingChun

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quote for Today...

"Trump ban is an international 'stop and frisk' tactic!"  ---Tomi Johnson

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ethical meeting in Deep South looking for conference participants

"Examining Ethics and Culture of Health in the Context of the Deep South" will be convening at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala., and you are invited to attend.

"We invite you to become a critical member of the audience and participate in one of four small group sessions related to the three keynote addresses.  We are also asking you to share this information with anyone you think would be appropriate to participate in this critical discussion. The recommendations from those who participate in the small group sessions will be used to help develop a 5-year action plan to assess the culture of health in the Deep South."

There is no conference fee. Travel and hotel accommodations are not provided for conferees. Meals (continental breakfast, lunch and dinner) are free Sunday 5:00 p.m. CDT, February 5th through 12 Noon, Wednesday, February 8th.

To register, go to: .

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Raising a child estimate tops $12k yearly while black median household income is $35k

Leonardo DaVinci's drawing of Foetus in Womb
It costs a lot of money to raise a child in this country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released "The Cost of Raising a Child" earlier this month. The report, developed by economists at USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), estimates that for a child born in 2015, a middle-income* married-couple family will spend between $12,350 and $13,900 annually (in 2015 dollars) – or $233,610 from birth through age 17 – on child-rearing expenses.

That means that over one quarter of a median household's income can be allocated to taking care of a child.

In the black community, however, Black Median Household income is only $35,481. 

Another startling statistic is that about 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a measurement that has been shown to underestimate the needs of families. ( According to CNN, two out of every five black kids are living in poverty. A Pew Research analysis defined poverty as a family of four with two children that has income of less than $24,000 a year.

Families with lower incomes are expected to spend $174,690 and families with higher incomes are expected to spend $372,210 from birth through age 17. Many state governments use this annual report, first issued in 1960, as a resource in determining child support and foster care guidelines.

"As the economy continues to improve, USDA is committed to supporting the nutrition and health of individuals and families through our research and programs," said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "This report, which we have produced for 55 years, gives families a greater awareness of the expenses they are likely to face, and serves as a valuable tool for financial planning and educational programs, as well as courts and state governments."

"Understanding the costs of raising children and planning for anticipated and unexpected life events is an important part of securing financial health. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, among other Federal agencies, has a wealth of information and tools that can help Americans plan for their future. can help you make a budget, find assistance with child care costs and save for emergencies or big purchases like a home or college education," said Louisa Quittman, Director of the Office of Financial Security for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Across the country, costs were highest in the urban Northeast, urban West, and urban South; while lowest in the urban Midwest and rural areas. Much of the regional variation in expenses was related to housing. Differences in child care and education expenses also contributed to regional variation. Overall, child-rearing expenses in rural areas were 24 percent lower than those in the region with the highest expenses, the urban Northeast.

It is important to note that child-rearing costs vary greatly depending on the number and ages of children in a household. As family size increases, costs per child generally decrease. Report author and CNPP economist Mark Lino, PhD emphasized how significantly costs are impacted by the number of children in a household.

As a result, compared to a child in a two-child family, families with one child spend 27 percent more on the only child and families with three or more children spend 24 percent less on each child.
CNPP economists used data from the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey to present the most recent and comprehensive estimates. The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2015, is available on the web at The CNPP website also offers downloadable infographics and an interactive Cost of Raising a Child Calculator that can be used to view costs associated with different geographic locations, income levels and family sizes.

Federal jobs frozen by Trump after advisors sworn in

Members of Congress can't do anything when it comes to filling jobs in the Executive Branch.
According to the official US Government Jobs website (, there are 18,915 advertised federal jobs in the US to be filled and another 3,491 worldwide.

Trump's Presidential Memorandum issued yesterday to freeze hiring, however, is said to concentrate on the Executive Branch, which can be viewed at , but is defined differently on Wikipedia. ( ). Trump put a freeze on hiring one day after his own senior staff members were sworn in. 

The freeze is for 90 days and will ultimately be replaced by a long-term workforce reduction plan. Military, public safety personnel, and public healthcare jobs are not affected.

Although Pres. Trump said he was going to help more folks find work as one of his campaign promises, he has now limited jobs to be filled in the federal government. Also, Trump has been meeting with business leaders who want to build more cars, and he hopes to employ more people by building a pipeline which has been protested by Native Americans and environmentalists.

The government's JOBS website lists the most urgent jobs to be filled include those in Mathematics, Engineering, Human Resources, Business/Industry, Social Services, Medical/Dental/Public Health/ Science, and Technology.

We wish President Trump and his staff much success in improving employment figures in jobs that will benefit all Americans.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Don't drink the champagne-flavored Kool-aid!

Don’t drink the champagne-flavored Kool-aid.

Once you’ve been lied to, on purpose that is, it's kind of hard to believe a liar going forward. That is what journalists in the new TrumpNation have to deal with while trying to report reality to the citizens of the world. 

Maybe if you could travel to Colorado where it's legal to smoke weed you could level your head and heart, but after you come down, what then?

Fact is, when you don’t know why the wind is blowing from the South and affecting the North, it’s hard keeping your sanity. When you’re being told it’s dark outside in the middle of the day and are told to make decisions based on alternative facts, you become a little crazy, right? 

Don’t drink the champagne-flavored Kool-Aid or accept the Tiffany-wrapped box.

Throw away Tiffany-colored-papered gifts from those who have previously insulted you.
Reality, like beauty, is now in the purview of those with agendas, and the public may be easily fooled. That’s why we count on the media to record, comment, and question. That’s all we can do.  You must decide your own reality.

After talking to my sister-in-law tonight, someone who is always positive, she convinced me that anything can happen under the new Trump Administration, but we must stay sane and prayed up. What more can we do???

Don’t drink the champagne-flavored Kool-Aid.

Should we allow this person to tell the media what to do?

Today's photo and quote

"Let liberty, not mindless slavery, prevail in a nation claiming to be free, while we watch fireworks spectacular instead of bombs ignite a tree." --- Tomi Johnson

Kung Fu Master Klaus Brand returns to Metro ATL for weekend training

Sifu Klaus Brand will be teaching two kung fu seminars in Metro ATL this weekend.
Grandmaster Klaus Brand will be visiting Metro Atlanta this Saturday and Sunday for one thing: to teach you how to defend yourself in hand to hand combat and against weapons.  Brand will be instructing on Special Applications Training (S.A.T.). He is the founder of International Academy of WingChun and has German special forces ‘Lone Fighter’ military experience. Included in the training will be four IAW WingChun Forms, the stick and knife weapon concepts of IAW, Escrima, and practical IAW Combat training. For more information on the seminars and payment terms, go to:

Cobb County, Ga. looking for new police chief

Screen shot from Department website.
After serving the Cobb County Police Department for 32 years and being chief since 2010, John Houser will be retiring, effective Jan. 27. A Cobb resident for nearly 40 years, Houser also is the founder and race director for the Cobb County Make-A-Wish 5K.

In 2013, two African American police lieutenants filed a federal lawsuit against Houser and the Cobb County Police Department claiming discrimination in promotions. Craig Owens was awarded $150,000 and a promotion to captain, according to the settlement agreement obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Georgia’s Open Records Act. Owens is now over Animal Control and is still a member of the military. It is unclear the outcome of the other lawsuit.

An interim chief will be named before Houser officially leaves. Cobb County will be in need of extra law enforcement leadership with the new Braves stadium set to open in Cobb by 2017.

To apply for this position, go to

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Quote for today:

"We have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth." --- President Donald Trump

This is a prime example of bad leadership. 

All the media has to do is press "record" on their cameras, audio recorders and cell phones. All listeners have to do is press "play" and decide for themselves what kind of leader is in the White House. 

No commentary needed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Breaking News: Millions protest against Trump in worldwide "March for Life"

"March for Life" in Oakland, Calif.
While President Trump has stopped tweeting and  picked up bowling with his kids and grand kids in the White House, millions of protest marchers are walking, like Joshua, around the world. This story is developing. (Photo from Oakland, Calif.)

While speaking in Washington, D.C., Madonna said to those against women's issues, "Fuck you, fuck you," before she could be edited on TV.

Madonna onstage at "March for Life" in Washington, D.C. with Economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux standing with her.
The Williams Street exit near the Center for Civil and Human Rights where a march was held in Atlanta was closed, but march participants could be seen walking down Peachtree Street carrying signs.

It is estimated that more than 2.5 million people attended protest marches against hate, racism, and misogyny around the world.

Marchers on Peachtree Street in Atlanta leaving the event carrying "We Can Do This" and other colorful signs.

Trump gives Black Power sign at Lincoln Memorial

Fake News: Gotcha!

Friday, January 20, 2017

President Trump can make "America First," but...

Trump should concentrate on the USA first and then the rest of our closest neighbors.

Some have criticized President Trump for saying we must make "America First" in his inauguration speech, that it was akin to supremacist ideology and Nazism. But maybe concentrating on the affairs of countries in our own hemisphere is not such a bad idea after all.

But what would that really entail?

It would have us concentrating more on helping our own country first, perhaps, but also focusing on the international relationships we have with our closest neighbors instead of meddling in the affairs of China, Africa, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Japan, and the Middle East. I say we should get started with helping our most populace states first, or maybe the poorest one.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the Union. Let's start with building up Mississippi.

Then, let's concentrate on New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernadino, Detroit, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, and St. Louis. Then let's help rural communities. Let's get started here with building America including Puerto Rico.

Next, we need to concentrate on our neighbors to the north and south. Canada, our closest neighbor, should be one of our best partners.

Then there's Central America, consisting of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

After that, let's do something about  Mexico, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Panama, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Llucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saint Eustatius, Saint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

Going further south, we need to have good relationships with Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and the Falklands Islands.

OK, Trump's State Department and ambassadors. Instead of building empires and warring around the world, let's truly make "America First." 

Any ideas we can use to help?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Quote for today...

"We're invisible, dangerously invisible, until they want us to sing and dance and be tourist attractions." ---
T'so-ya-ha (Richard Ray Whitman) Yuchi Indian

Obama defines "journalist" in last presidential press conference

"You're not supposed to be sycophants, you're supposed to be skeptics...You're not supposed to be complimentary, but you're supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here." --- President Barack Obama (Photo of Tomi Johnson at work in ATL - by Kurk Johnson)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Father Pfleger indicts clergy, politicians for selling out America's poor

Fox 5 News carried live coverage of MLK celebration
Father Michael Pfleger of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina Church in Chicago was the guest speaker at the MLK Celebration held at Ebenezer Church in downtown Atlanta today. The celebration, which lasted four hours, focused less on Dr. King's legacy of non-violence and more on what we need to do to keep his dream of a beloved community alive.

Pfleger began his remarks by saying, "Shame on you, Mr. Trump," for disrespecting Civil Rights Icon John Lewis (D., Georgia) who represents District 5. "And to do that on MLK's birthday celebration weekend!"  While Pfleger was giving his speech, Martin Luther King, III was meeting with Trump in his New York Plaza Hotel.

The theme of the celebration was "Remember! Celebrate! Act!" In his remarks, Pfleger categorized America as a sick patient in intensive care that can be saved only by citizens becoming peacemakers. He said that we are living in severe, dangerous times, and families are in waiting rooms of fear. "Do you want to get well, America?" he asked the audience. In order to do that, Pfleger said we must stop misappropriating funds for missiles and drones and wage a war on poverty. He said preachers must stop running churches like Fortune 500 companies and dismantle the systems which are killing our children.

"I asked a six year old girl in Chicago what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she said, 'Alive.' Racism is in our blood...we need a blood transfusion," he said. "We must not just take down the Confederate flag but also take down the spirit behind the Confederate flag."

For more information on this subject, go to:

Orthodox Christian's mission to save humanity

Interview with Archbishop Makarios of Kenya

 “Our mission is to save humanity.” --- Archbishop Makarios

Archbishop Makarios of Kenya first visited the U.S. in 1971 when he went to Boston while a seminarian living in Paris. He was attending an international youth conference.  In 2017, he has returned to the U.S., to Metro Atlanta, to attend an international meeting of the World Conference of Churches focused on missions and evangelism. The meeting will involve planning an event that will take place in Tanzania in March 2018 which will be interdenominational, with 1,000 people from all over the world attending. Previous meetings have been held in Tanzania, South Africa, and Switzerland.

This interview just so happened to be done on what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 88th birthday. Makarios says he often quotes from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  He will be attending the MLK service tomorrow at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Members of his group have also toured the Museum for Civil and Human Rights as part of their visit.

When asked to contrast the Ethiopian orthodox mindset with the Kenyan orthodox mindset, Makarios says there are a lot of differences. “They call themselves Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but they are not orthodox. The same with the Coptic church in Egypt. They were both actually introducing a kind of heresy because they were saying up to now, that Jesus Christ has only one nature. With us, we say Jesus has two natures – the human and the divine. From the 5th century, they separated themselves. They ran away from us and formed their own church.”

On the question of why churches are so segregated racially, Makarios says he doesn’t see it that way and has a different opinion. “I am dealing only with the African people. I have been evangelizing for the last 40 years and am dealing only with Africans. I am the only European. In our school, we have only Africans from all over Africa. I feel that we need to somehow make it known to the people that it is not the correct thing to think that Europeans are actually racists.”

When asked about the appeal Africans have toward orthodoxy, Makarios said, “It is very important for us to bring the message of the gospel to the African people. Orthodoxy is very close to the African cultures. Me, personally, I have great respect and honor for the African cultures. That’s why I fully participate in their cultural festivals and activities where I am always present. I don’t want the African people to feel that becoming orthodox will make them lose their identity, roots, culture and origins. I encourage them to keep their cultures, and the way I am encouraging them is by translating all the information on orthodoxy into their local dialects. We have students from different African nations, and because of our work on translations, they are celebrating services in their local dialects. Even the Greeks, if we lose our language, then we will lose our identity. I insist that we must translate the church services into the local dialects of the people. By keeping their language, they will also keep their culture.”

 Archbishop Makarios with priests at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, Marietta, Ga.

When asked about challenges orthodoxy faces with the onslaught of Islam, Makarios says having direct dialogue with Islamic leaders is very important. “I cannot say that we have direct problems with Islam.  I myself am very close with the Islamic people. I have many friends.”

He recently traveled to Iran to meet with Muslim leaders. “Not all Islamic people are against the Christians. Not all Muslim people are killing the people.” Makarios said last week he was traveling in a very dangerous part of Kenya, an area where much conflict between Muslims and Christians transpired resulting in assassinations, an area that is still very sensitive, where you need a lot of security to reach your destination, where a majority of the population are Muslims.

“I decided to go, of course with an escort, the police and the army.” Makarios said. “It was two days’ journey from Nairobi. Unfortunately, as we were passing through the forest, the jungle, one of our cars broke down. We were in the middle of nowhere. It was dangerous. Even the Muslims themselves were fearing.” Makarios said he was praying. Muslims helped them, and they were able to reach their destination safely.

Makarios gave us a brief history of orthodoxy in Kenya. “Orthodoxy is connected very much with the struggle for independence of the country. Kenya was like Cyprus, like my country, under the British administration, under colonialism. The Kenyan people were fighting for their liberation. We can go back to the 1930’s, but unfortunately, you see, all the missionaries, the Roman Catholics and Protestants, were under the influence of colonial rule, which meant that in their schools and churches, they were promoting colonialism. A group of people wanted to introduce schools which were independent and not under the control of the colonial people. That group of people were the future leaders of the orthodox church. They were able to establish independent schools in Kenya. They were the founders for the liberation of Kenya."

Makarios said that liberation starts with education. “We have the best schools in Kenya because those schools are not colonial-minded. They were only for education and the free will of the people and also religion. The religion which they have chosen is orthodoxy.

“Those churches were not fighting the Africans. So, when the British discovered that, they closed all the schools which were favoring independence and orthodoxy. So, the leaders of those independent schools were arrested by the British colonial administration. And they were imprisoned in jails. So, there was no activity between 1952 up to 1963. It was only after their independence in 1963 that these people came out from the prisons.” Makarios said the independent movement was led by Jomo Kenyatta. 

Archbishop Makarios of Kenya is also dean of the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School
“Now there is freedom in the country, so Orthodox Christians are able to exercise their religion freely, to establish their schools, their churches, and slowly by slowly, one African bishop was consecrated. Today we have five African bishops.”

Speaking of Archbishop Iakovos who marched in Selma with MLK but was later reported to have been ousted from his leadership role by Bartholomew I for his political views, Makarios said that Iakovos was with King and believed in his movement. When asked about advocacy of the church in the 1960’s being more vocal than today as far as fighting for human/civil rights, Makarios said he was not sure about that. 

Archbishop Iakovos (l) marched with MLK and was featured on Orthodox magazine cover.
“The fact is that the American Orthodox are the people who are supporting the mission in Africa. There is an Orthodox Christian Mission Center in Florida, and we receive assistance from there to promote orthodoxy among the Africans on the African continent.”

Books and CDs can be purchased by contacting the Archbishop at P. O. Box 46119, Nairobi, Kenya or emailing him at

As far as what the Catholics are doing in Kenya, Makarios said, “Of course they have been there for many centuries, but they have not done much. The people knew they were after colonialism. They were not supporting the cultures of the people. They were interfering, they were condemning. You know, Africans are very sensitive. They like their cultures. We honor, support and follow their cultures. We have nothing against their cultures."

Philosophically, when asked about the beginning of the bible, with God separating the darkness from the light, metaphorically what that could connote about separation of the races, Makarios replied that really didn’t have anything to do with race. “If you go through the bible, you will find that God created according to his image and likeness which means that we, the human being, we can really become like Him, like God, any kind of human creation. That is why, when I see you… you know when I met with a Muslim leader, he said to me, ‘This is the first time I am meeting with a Christian leader. How do you see me? I am Muslim, you are a Christian.’ There was no reason for me to think too much about it. And I told him immediately, ‘You know, you are in the image of God. You are a human being. God created all human beings according to His image which means that each and every human being is an icon of God.’ Very simple.”

Makarios says his mission is salvation. “This is my truth. This is why I am dealing with the Africans, because I see them as the images of God. I cannot reject them. I cannot tell them that because you are Africans, you are not like me. We are exactly the same. African, Europeans, Indians, Japanese, whatever – they will be judged equally when the time of judgment comes, we will all be judged equally.”

Makarios is a firm believer, and his countenance speaks to his beliefs. He just doesn’t talk to impress people. When asked about the mission of Orthodox Christians, Makarios said, “To save humanity. Our message is a message of salvation. To bring the people to Christ. If you know Christ, then you will be able to think more philosophically and realize that, yes, there is somebody, somewhere, if I follow Him, and if I become like Him, then there is also for me a space, a place in Heaven.”

Archbishop Makarios with Tomi Johnson and Maria Caras. (This interview took place on January 15, 2017 at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, Marietta, Ga.)

Interviewer's Note added 1/19/2017: This interview may be deemed more of a respectful public relations piece. Questions still may arise concerning attempts to paint religious missions in Africa as methods to "save" ancient cultures by Europeans who want to "civilize" others and exploit their cultures for their own ends. 

Hopefully this journalist will be able to travel to an African mission to see first hand how the religious community is helping natives there.

In this direction to understand more, read the following: