How to Slow Roast a Home Grown Demagogue

Obama Roasts Trump


Happy Friday, All!

Let’s ALL give it up with a hearty “T.G.I.F.”!!!

How did you like the speech given by President Barack Hussein Obama Wednesday night in Philadelphia?!?  Well, it was “off the chain”, as he intellectually dismantled the Republican Party’s candidate for president as well as his ideas in which he clearly treats the American people as those who need “direction” and “a ruler” … a demagogue in short … even though we are a democracy … with leadership ” … of the people, by the people and for the people”!!  There were even chants of “Four More Years!” as he spoke!  Obama also acknowledged the tremendous following created by Bernie Sanders and applauded his “organizers” for building such an incredible following for Mr. Sanders!  Impressive, indeed … Obama was laser focused and chose all the right words for this moment in history!  Thank you, POTUS!

Most of the people who had a chance to discredit the “Tom-foolery” of Trump did so with style!  Joe Biden also delivered a heart-felt message about what he observed in his time working with Hillary in her position as Secretary of State even though the e-mail scandal had become a major talking point in the Republican Party’s attempt to discredit her even though from my reading and limited research, it appears that she was not the only person in recent political history who had used their personal e-mails while in office.  It seems that this was a tremendous effort to discredit Hillary Clinton as she takes the helm of the Democratic Party going into this next presidential election.   While Trump had taken his cheapest shots at Clinton especially when calling her “crooked Hillary”, as if HE has never done anything “crooked” when filing multiple bankruptcies, the POTUS and his administration took turns “roasting” the big-mouthed braggart!!!   If anyone does vote for Donald Trump, it is not because that person thinks that Trump would do a decent job or even knows what to do as POTUS!!  In my opinion, as well as many many others, including New York’s Michael Bloomberg when he spoke in support of Hillary, it was easy to highlight Hillary’s experience in “politics” while indicating Trump’s lack of knowledge of world affairs, not to mention his bias, racist remarks and attitude as he seeks to divide the people of these United States of America.  It is as if he, and his supporters, have a set of blinders on coupled with their “selective hearing/reasoning”!

Now, most of you know that I don’t usually like to talk about the dreaded politics of this nation, clearly now propelled by special interests groups wielding money as opposed to the values that once defined America … shallow as they seem sometimes … Trump is clueless!  Slow roast his a$$ … and as Obama said, “Don’t boo, vote!”  Enjoy your weekends, folks!  Don’t let hate divide us … recognize our similarities!


John I. Cook, Director

I Had To See This One For Myself

learn from mistakes


It’s Tuesday … and the night after what was for me, an historic opening of the Democratic Convention.  There were some impeccable speakers indeed.  Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders and the points they raised, not to mention the near perfect explanation by Elizabeth Warren, I believe, of how “segregation” was used by the “rich and powerful” to keep the poor whites of the South thinking …. ” Well, at least we are white and better than the Negro!”

Bernie Sanders was received in such an incredible way that it was clear how close he came, if not even would’ve won, had it not been for the scandal surrounding e-mails of Florida’s Debbie Wasserman-Schultz possibly discrediting Sanders!  Even some of the commentaries indicated a strong following for Bernie and even belief, by one that Bernie was the more popular of the people than Hillary.  What can you say … the process ran its course.  Yet, I was proud for Bernie … and sad at the same time since he didn’t win … of how he stood his ground, defending his positions, and even included Hillary in on several of his major issues, like free education at local colleges for everyone!!  While his “revolution”, which we need badly in this country to redistribute wealth and power and refocus our efforts on the American people (rather than block proposed legislation just because it came from the Obama administration, whether good or not so good), may be taking the back burner for now, but as he said:  “It will continue!”

Michelle Obama spoke like the polished, well informed, charismatic and “people focused” person that she is!  She literally brought the house down!  It was a great effort done by ALL to set the stage for Hillary, whom I pray can stand up to Big Pharma and Wall Street as many speakers suggested in their speeches for the Democratic Party.  I said this before, and I’ll say it again, if it were not for the fact that Hillary is a woman, she would simply be for me “the lesser of two evils”, though I do think her experience by far surpasses any buffoonery that Trump could muster that might resemble an experienced leader “of the people, by the people and for the people!”

I saw it for myself … did you?!?  I prefer not to be one of those people that functions based on hear say, though there are many areas in which I lack knowledge.  Whoever votes for Trump must definitely be a psychological “basket case” who is not only ignorant of what Trump “has no plans to do anything about”, but are motivated by fear, racism, division and stupidity!  Woe is “you”!  There is more to come for the DNC with Bill planning to speak tonight and Hillary herself later this week, that I still have to see for myself!


John I. Cook, Director

Still … Bringing in The Clowns!

trump change


Happy Friday, All!

And I want to simply “T.G.I.F.” from all parts of my heart and soul.   Many many times this past week, I had to stop and “kiss the sky” as Jimi Hendrix used to say, just to let my Creator know how much I appreciate “It’s” help … if you know where I am coming from.  Over the years, I have developed a concept of My Creator as not being male or female … just great and loving and caring and seeking the best for me … and ALL of us!!

Again, these past few days … Full Moon included … I have wanted to speak with my mother!  There were moments that I listened for her advice or suggestions in handling certain things coming my way and have heard pure silence!!  Can’t she hear me?!?  Doesn’t she know that I need answers?!?  Yet, I think she knows as I full well know … that my Creator is her Creator … though each of us are very different creatures.  For example, I have noticed how quick some folks are to “seem right” or prove me wrong, better yet!!  I call on my Dad’s teachings at this point … very simply … “You can’t make everybody happy, Son, so be sure you are the happy one!”  My mother,  on the other hand, was intent on making sure that everyone was taken care of … food, clothing … maybe even shelter if she could help with that, too!  I am a combination of the two of them … glad to say … and can usually recognize insincerity or deceit before it lands in my life, so to speak.  Sometimes, hopeless romantic that I am … wishing everyone well and trusting folks first … I don’t catch on until it (deception, dishonesty, fakeness) is right in my face!  But I respond quickly and accurately … usually “right between the eyes of the culprit” with a comment that is SURE to get their attention and let them know that I know … Peace be still!  I once  sent an e-mail about how “yogis” are not “chumps” … I am living proof, if you will.  I know that what I write is usually scrutinized and criticized … if not deleted … by those who may disagree with my resolve to live a peaceful life.  So, I am prepared to defend myself if necessary, though I don’t owe anyone an explanation for what I write … or do, for the most part!

Now, it is the Republican National Convention time where they “bring in the clowns”!  All of the “in-house” fighting, attacking of wives and children, “borrowing” other First Lady’s ideas from her speech by Mrs. Trump and the desire of Republicans to paint Hillary as a big liar.  Check out “the pot calling the kettle black”, to use an old school expression when most kitchenware was made of heavy wrought iron and were black!!  If people don’t think that Trump lies, listen to his comments from the beginning of his campaign and listen to him now!!!  What a hypocrite!!  He even had Giuliani making a speech on how America is not black or white … it is just “America”!  Then you hear a criminal politician like Chris Christie who says that he will have his own trial charging Hillary Clinton with treason …. something he knows a lot about!!!  What clowns are these characters!!?!!  Well, next week the Democrats will have their chance to top this Republican “act” ’cause I don’t trust not one of them … pure showmanship and childish behaviour!

Most folks don’t value sincerity, especially when they have their own agendas … like proving you (or me) wrong or proving themselves “better” at something which is usually power or wealth, definitely not sincerity or humility!  Just goes to show you what people are “trained” and “conditioned” to value in a “dog eat dog”, “rat race” based capitalistic society!  Get yours “bigger and better” (house, car, income) or you just don’t count!!  Hmmmm …..  I always count … and I pity the fool who tries to make me NOT count!!  I got two earfuls for you, believe me!!

Keep the peace in your heart, let your love shine through your skin!  You don’t have to show anyone that you love them, but if they don’t get it … move on … in peace!

Peace … again,

John I. Cook, Director

Some Folks Can’t Figure Out What’s Wrong!



It’s Tuesday …

And the “killing” continues across the globe … Can anyone figure out what’s wrong with humanity?!?  Most people can’t because they are too caught up in the “problem” either fantasizing that they are “cool”, “okay” or even “good” …. while there are others who can’t take the disparity between “the haves” and “the have nots”!!  Those are the ones that usually go “ballistic” because they see that the “American Dream” is a far reach for many, if not, most of us!!

The event that occurred in France on Bastille Day is highly charged with terrorist action, though it seems “he” may have targeted the wrong people, so to speak.  These are not necessarily “the haves”, so to speak, but they were the people celebrating the dismantling of The Bastille as France’s prison for the influential in hopes of getting ammunition!  The Bastille itself stood as a symbol of the hypocrisy of the aristocracy ruling in France at the time of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  Does anyone see any similarities between those times and these today?!?  With the onslaught of “social media”, the press and the broader media, folks almost don’t know what to think … especially the “less astute” folks who may be “showing off” possessions and wealth in “the faces” of a far less financially successful group!  Some folks just don’t get it.  Yet, others quite clearly do!

Just a few days ago, they had a story on the news about a young man who rode his brother’s bicycle something like 60 miles to go to college, pitched a tent on campus since he couldn’t afford a dormitory room and prepared to go to college!  After a few days, campus police approached him in his tent and, instead of arresting him for trespassing, took him to a hotel and paid for two days!  Soon, the story had spread to the wider community and people came to the African American student’s hotel room with more gifts of housing and someone even set up a “Go Fund Me” account and I believe he has accumulated like $100,000.00!  So, some people do get it and try to help … when they can.  That’s always a good thing … when you can!

The gap is widening between the “haves” and “the have nots”, as the “99%” seems to be growing … and the “1%” is hunkering down to maintain control of things … the power, the financial wealth and riches, and ridiculous realms of influence.  Many of us have heard the saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”  If you look around, perhaps, your job and the situations at large, one may see this pattern of behavior being extremely typical in this days and times.  In many “circles”, it is not important anymore that one be able to speak, read and write intelligently, if you will, not to mention being honest and fair in ones endeavors.  If we take a close look at some developments in our society, we can observe that “truth, equal opportunity and sharing/harmony” are things of the past.  Did you hear Mrs. Trumps speech last night?!?  Who was she talking about?!?  This is what I mean!  People were cheering at points during her speech when she stated: “There is no black America, no white America … no Hispanic America … there is just one America!” …. I mean, don’t we wish.

May we be aware of the economic, power and influence wedge being driven between us … by the very society that we are supposed to be “developing”.  Is it over developed?  Is it failing the majority of us?  Do we need to replace this “system” with something that seeks to redistribute values, wealth and power?  For me, this is what the youth should be studying in school … how to refocus our efforts on sustaining life on this planet as well as extending the life OF this planet!  The continual destruction cannot last much longer … something has got to give!  Do what you can … when you can!


John I. Cook, Director




But for real this time!!  My Wednesday message had a “Happy Friday” in it, too!  I mean, it was mostly wishful thinking though since it was my birthday, it felt like a Friday!!  Imagine that!  There were some years that I would celebrate my birthday for the whole month of July!  Many friends that I have also have birthdays this month … a few even on the same day as mine!  I have a friend who calls herself “Soul Star” whose birthday is July 13th!  Yet, there is another friend … former student and basketball player from White Plains High School Basketball Tigers, Steve Morgan!   His birthday is the same day, too!

On my birthday, I got hundreds of birthday wishes … So many that I haven’t been able to thank each and every one, which I always like to do!  It often takes a few days, to find the post wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook, and then replying to each one.  I am glad that so many people consider me a “friend” enough to take time to wish me a happy birthday … if only on Facebook.  Now two friends, Kevin Hall and Vetalle Fusilier, even called me to say Happy Birthday.  Needless to say, I felt special … good even!  A pure feeling of thankfulness came over me, which is why I try to thank each person individually.  Looking at what has occurred in France on Bastille Day, around 6 months after the terror that took place when the newspaper called “Charlie” was attacked and the explosions that took place both at a concert in Paris makes me appreciate my life!  Do we really know when our last day is?!?  Do we know when our friends last days are as well?!?  I think not!  That why it is so important for me to thank folks, often friends and foe alike, just to keep me feeling like I am sending out good vibrations to “humanity”!

Reach out … tell a friend that you wish them well.  Not only on their birthday, but any day!  Many of you reading this are friends from a long time.  Some of you have been a friend for “a reason” while others have been a friend for a “season”!  Yet, there is a group of “friends” that I cherish … those who I’ve known for a long time … maybe since prep school or college, maybe from the Winbrook Projects where I grew up … or maybe from a casual acquaintance that “just happened”!  Mrs. Nicole Mercado Valencia is a friend I met when working as a cashier at night for a service station in Pembroke Pines several years ago.  She is the one who makes it possible for me to do the talks I do for the Broward Sheriff’s Office Community Justice Program!!!  Imagine that!  Of course, I appreciate each and every one of you!  At my job, I have been able to make friends of some folks who also showed me much love on my birthday.  They got a cake, two girls in particular, put the number “62” on it and even sang “Happy Birthday”to me during our break!  How nice of them!  Enjoy your friends, be grateful for them … and cherish them!  Shucks … you can even be a friend for someone!


John I Cook, Director

Hump Day Birthday . . . Finding My Joy in the Journey!

joy in your journey


Happy Hump Day, All!

Talking about living, loving and learning?!?  That is pretty much where I am today … Nothing serious, just trying to keep it simple.  I am currently not about accumulating persons, places or things … I am not a hoarder either.  But, I am glad to be “amongst the living” today and thanked my Creator as soon as my eyes opened up!

Birthdays are cool times.  You kind of get to know the friends who actually think about YOU … not the things you have or the trips you are going to take … or even those that one has taken.  As I gratefully embrace this day, I am still planning things to do in early retirement … especially work!  I am hoping to stay at my current “call center” assignment and continue looking for “part time” employment and continuing to build Educational Excellence … writing and speaking, when possible!  Maybe someone will “catch on” to what I am doing and help me on a larger scale.  Yet, I remain humble, remembering that some of the best known people today, like Mother Theresa, MLK Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and am able (and willing) to remain on a grass roots “scale, so to speak!

In closing, I just want to thank each of you, who, since you are on this list, had some impact in my life and I wanted to “stay in touch” for the long haul!  It is pretty clear that some of you, your encouragement and support, your kindness and friendship, have been integral parts of “my journey”!  Today, as with most days, I am seeking “joy in my journey”!

Have a great day … I love you …


John I. Cook, Director

The Psychology of Fear



Happy Friday …

Unless you were killed in front of your girlfriend and her daughter for complying with an officer’s request …. Or unless you were shot in the head a few times while lying face down on the ground with some frightened and hostile people dressed as “police officers” holding you down!!  I know, I know I am approaching some “troubled waters” ahead with this topic.  Yet, before I go any further, and this is why I love this guy, I would say what the POTUS Obama said Thursday when he landed in Poland after hearing of the two police involved shootings here in the States … but I am not that talented a speaker nor do I have a fantastic speech writer who might help me with “rough spots in my thoughts that I want to express verbally”.  So, I agree with him as far as this subject goes and his words as he sought to express his feelings on these killings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge … eerily similar and so close together time wise!

Were these shootings/murders justified?  We just had a few race related police involved deaths of African (Moorish, a la James Bailey) men … mostly men … but there was a young lady who hung herself (purportedly) to end the drama that the officer there in Texas inflicted upon her during a routine traffic stop.  There is “fear” all around this social problem.  There may be fear going into the African American “community” in this country but it seems to be a fear that is slowly turning into anger as a result of these “public assaults”.  And I am sure we all know of the group(s) of folks who are in groups preparing for “the end of the world” … storing up food and alternate shelters as well as weapons and ammunition for an extended period of time!   Scary yet?!?

Of late, like last night in Dallas, vigilante anti-police shooters took aim at any police officers in sight!  From the news snippets, it appears that 5 officers are pronounced dead.  This, in many ways, is what it comes down to when fear, hatred and anger are mixed together, whether amongst civilians or law enforcement officers!  Shall we call it “mayhem in the streets”?  Very simply put, guns are taking center stage in the news here of late, perhaps over the past 5 – 10 years.  Do we have any solutions for these type of occurrences?  Could we use a little more love and peace … rather than spreading fear, anger and hatred … which very often erupt in violence?  We have a lot of work today … here in “America” … the land of the free, the home of the brave …


John I. Cook, Director

What Do You Do When Nothing Seems to Make Sense?!?

meditation is key


Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Yes, I had to take Tuesday off from blogging … woke up late and I was tired, too!  I couldn’t get to sleep … had something heavy on my mind  Yet, I am back on “my grind” writing about what I find in the human experiences I have and witness.

So, I really didn’t want to write about this but here it goes . . . So, my daughter had come down a few months ago in an attempt to relocate to “this part of the family”.  She had my grandson, Caleb Isaac, with her at a meager 8 months of age!  What troopers they BOTH are!!  Some of my friends in yoga asked me:  “Did she take the baby on the train?”  I told them, “Yes, of course!”  She and I have had our ups and downs; yet, as a father, I sought to keep the relationship alive even though her mother and I had divorced many years ago.  I had to move to Cali, Colombia, South America just to get over her!  I struggled with personal problems but kept my passion for teaching close to my heart.  I didn’t come out of that experience unscathed … but I did come out!  I came back to the States and relocated to Florida after spending five wonderful years living and teaching in Cali … Colombia that is!  I even found a girl there to marry … and divorce … after 6 months.

While Ayanna and Caleb were here, I got to see them several times …. as I would drive to my sister’s house in Port St. Lucie, FL where they were staying … and she was trying to relocate.  As we soon found out, things got more challenging … family issues arose … and things got worse and worse.  Finally, she had had enough of discomfort and disillusionment, and, after a most unexpected “family drama” for lack of better less accusatory words, she decided that she would call her mother … my ex-wife living in CT … and asked for help to get back home.  Her mother, my ex-wife, sent her train fare on the spur of the moment.  I had done my best, as I am struggling a bit to pay off bills and find “affordable housing”, and felt very helpless in the face of “others” selfish and dishonest behaviour!  I joked with her as she had planned to leave with her mother in a few weeks anyway, that she had had a good vacation in Florida and, that I had gotten to see my only grandson – Caleb Isaac.  The “Isaac” was chosen as his middle name by Ayanna, which is also my middle name and my father’s first name.  After spending some quality hours with Caleb, I came to the conclusion that he has a beautiful spirit and a wonderful soul.  Right now … I truly have to “Let Go and Let God”!  I had some horrific retaliatory thoughts  in the midst of the family crisis … But upon praying and meditation, … and tears, I decided that “This, too, shall pass”!

So, in case you go through something like what I am attempting to describe with as much anonymity as possible, just trust in your Creator … things will go better!

Thanks for reading … Miss you guys already Ayanna and Caleb!

Love always,

Happy 4th of July – Happy Birthday, Big Ike (RIP)

happy birthday dad


Happy Friday, All!

I’ve got to give it up to My Creator again today … as I do everyday … T.G.I.F.!!

July is always a special month for me … not only because my birthday is July 13th, but because my father’s is on The Fourth of July!! He was always considered to be a “firecracker” of a guy who didn’t tolerate much nonsense.  That was tough to deal with as a youngster because I always liked an explanation … and … if the explanation was too intricate for him to explain to me … he would say: “Because I said so!  That’s why you have to do it … I said so!”  I had to get used to that one … Dad dropped out of school in Florida when he was in the 9th grade or so.  He was a hands on type of guy, though his favorite past time after working all day with Pinkerton Detective Agency was to read the local newspaper in his easy chair in the living room in our small and humble 3 bedroom apartment in the Winbrook Projects.  Quite often, I would end up in his lap trying to decipher the comics he laughed at or understand the news stories he frowned at.

My father – Isaac Henry Cook – was very resourceful.  This guy could fix a car … any problem from transmissions to oil changes, even shocks could be replaced by he and his buddies who ran a successful auto repair shop.  He hunted deer in the winter and brought them home and he and Mr. Joe, one of his good friends and hunting buddies, would hang the deer in Joe Derouseau’s garage and cut steaks and prepare the meat for the women to grind into meatballs!!  Big Ike was a multifaceted guy whose love of his family was shown more in deeds than in words.  He and my mother came to visit me during Parent’s Weekend in Concord, NH when I attended St. Paul’s School.  They came to my graduation from SPS and were very involved in helping me map my way through Princeton University.  When I had personal issues, like a broken heart or “friend problems”, they did their best to counsel me or find someone who could talk to me!  They both came, with my sister Edna, to the graduation in 1976 and loaded up the cars and we drove back to White Plains!  I felt cared for … by them both.

So, this weekend, I hope to spend some time with Ayanna Lynne and Caleb, hang out on the beach a little … see some fireworks, and enjoy the festivities at my favorite night spots.  I don’t want to do the work of the terrorists in the aftermath of the airport bombings in Ataturk, Turkey.  Again, keep your eyes open … if you see something, say something!  Be grateful to be able to enjoy Celebrations of the 4th of July with family and friends and don’t forget to spread your love, compassion and peace.  Don’t take each other for granted … it might be the last time “you” see them.


John I. Cook, Director

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