Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Finding Affordable Beautiful Shoes that Provide Comfort & Style

Marc Joseph Cypress Hill Mocs

Paul Green
There was a time when I could run through Dallas-Fort Worth Airport wearing 4 inch stiletto pumps. For at least two decades I felt no pain, instability or discomfort despite having a repeatedly sprained right ankle since 1979. Wearing gorgeous heels was a badge of honor, a message to all that I represented was professional women with the poise and were-with-all to always look like I would take no prisoners. 

Eileen Fisher Bailey
Then I moved to the country 12 years ago and began telecommuting. Working remotely rom home 80% of the time I morphed into donning loafers, sandals, ballet flats or low heeled ankle boots. The ligaments in my legs changed; the muscles became used to the flats. Whenever I tried to wear professional attire including previously loved heels my legs and ankles rebelled. My beloved shoes became the enemy. Ultimately I could barely totter on my stilettos in the house much less navigating the treachery of stairs. Despite overt rebellion it became abundantly clear that my vanity was losing ground. I found it necessary to identify kitten heels or comfort brands that would save my vanity and my lower extremities.
Stewart Weitzman Poco

Rockport 75 MM

It became my mission to identify brand of footwear that were stylish and wearable for women of a certain age. 

Consider some of the brands and styles pictured here!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War | PBS

Cu Chi Tunnels

For those of us who grew up during the 1960’s it should be a moral imperative to watch the Ken Burns series The Vietnam War on PBS. Tonights PBS screened the inaugural episode, which resonated with me across the decades. The conflict in Vietnam had such an influence on me and my friends who came of age in the 1960’s and 1970’s, who watched the evening news, saw the collection of ever mounting body bags, and listened to the rhetoric of politicians and talking heads that claimed it was essential to stop the spread of communism in the world.

As children most of us were afraid that we would be drafted, forced to join the military and fly to a country across many continents to fight in a foreign land about which we knew nothing and was unlikely to have any effect on our way of life. I, personally, was against the war from the age of 10. While I believed we as a people had a duty to defend our shores from an attack from foreign invaders, I [even as a child] had no inclination to fight for the autonomy of a country thousands of miles away.

Even in my infancy I was aware that General Westmoreland and the federal government were spouting propaganda to support a war machine that should have been shut down. We had no moral authority to impose the will of the USA on a foreign government. Essentially, the US government sought to appease the post WWII French who wanted to continue an to expand its imperial influence. It is for this nominal excuse that we sent our young, often economically disadvantaged youth into the valley of death. To this day I am disgusted.

I have been to Vietnam and love its people, who are open, generous, kind and welcoming. It has been my privilege to walk in the footsteps of those who were compelled by government compulsion to visit this land and fight for somebody else’s mission.It is a beautiful land  transformed by miles of pristine beaches, mountains, rice paddies, lowlands, cities, and farm land, which has been transformed by its history and those who conquered or influenced the food, architecture, religion, ideology or technological status. It is a country of diverse political, religious, ideological, cultural or artistic sensibilities. The people of Vietnam are resilient, optimistic, artistic, capitalistic, and resourceful. 

My husband was somewhat concerned that the inaugural episode failed to address the insights and perspective of the original French colonizers. I did not feel the same sense of perplexing frustration. Instead I decided that this series is, after all, the story of Vietnam,its people, and the experience of those Americans who were affected by the Vietnam conflict and the American government’s misguided decision to intervene in the politics of a sovereign country that did not, in fact, request assistance.  It is the story of America’s misguided attempts to detour the spread of  communism, interfere in the machinations of an independent state, and exert influence beyond its borders. In my humble opinion this is not our right or duty. Instead, it is my belief that we have a responsibility to support whatever form of government that an independent country celebrates. We have no right to interfere. And by doing so, the US government launched a political rebellion and mistrust of government that has not abated after 40 years. 

It is time to retire the ghosts of Vietnam to history, move forward, accept the mistakes that were made, apologize to those who were vilified for fulfilling a duty required, and to accept that what happened, happened and that we cannot change the past. This is the only path to healing.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 ~ 16 Years Later Has the Mainstream Media Forgotten?

We said we would never forget, those of us who watched in horror as the planes flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. We said we would always remember and commemorate the first responders and innocent civilians who died when the skyscrapers fell and carpeted downtown New York will layers of dust and toxic chemicals. We promised that we were all Americans and would stand together against the tyranny of foreign radicals spewing hate and jihad while avowing to believe in a god that promoted peace. We promised to remember the heroes and heroines on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in the fields outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania to prevent the terrorists attacking the White House, US Capitol Building or some other monument to American freedom. We vowed to always remember the sight of the cavity burned into the Pentagon, the symbol of American military might. 

We Americans lauded the selflessness of the first responders who ran bravely into the valley of the shadow of death with 60 police officers and 343 firefighters  paying the ultimate price in service to the people who relied upon them in valiant efforts to save those trapped by the raging fires.

The free world responded with support. America’s citizens put aside petty squabbles. Men and women volunteered to fight for America in the war on terror and deployed to the inhospitable lands of Afghanistan and Iraq. Celebrities performed concerts to raise money. Congress conducted investigations. The Department of Homeland Security was formed to eliminate failures of the various bureaus and security agencies to share information. 

For the first 5 years the horror was still raw. But life moved on. Despite saying we would never forget this first act of war by foreigners on the US Mainland, the resilience of the human mind contributed to people forgetting the devastation, fear and insecurity we all felt on 9/11/2001. People became accustomed to invasion of privacy by national security agencies. People acclimated to offensive intrusion by TSA officers. The American public slowly became “sheeple” but forgot why.

In the last 16 years our citizens have moved away from being a people united in celebrating our collective freedoms to a country divided by moral judgment and self-identity segregation. We risk decay from within rather than obliteration by attacks from without. 

If you have read any of the major newspapers or watched the mainstream television networks today you will note that the media would rather focus on Hurricane Irma, how UVA was ill-prepared for the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, how Hillary Clinton is still “sad” she lost the presidential election last year, and a HUGE leak about the release of the Apple iPhone 8. I am disgusted.

As many have reminded the masses, those who ignore history are likely to repeat it. 16 years is not a long time in the scheme of things. I, for one, refuse to forget.