July 3, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
Those who follow this blog regularly know I have had the tendency to focus on many of the problems our country faces as well as on those whom I believe have helped cause those problems, either through their actions or inaction. I have done so to draw attention to the many flaws we have here in America, in hopes that improvements will someday be made. I will continue doing so on a regular basis.
Every year near year’s end, I post an annual December feature, which I call “Santa’s Bozo of the Year.” It highlights some of the fools and clowns in public life whose antics were so outlandish that they were deserving of ridicule. In a similar fashion each spring, I take an opposite approach and do a different annual feature, which portrays an individual of today or yesterday whose contributions to humanity and/or our country have been so spectacular, courageous, and/or noteworthy that they should be lauded near and far as good examples of what we as humans can achieve, if we only put our minds and hearts to it. After all, not everything going on in the world is doom and gloom. So here is the sixth installment of this annual mid-year feature I call the “Head and Heart Award.” Past recipients of this award have been ROBERT REICH, NICK HANAUER, VAN JONES, KEITH OLBERMANN, and MOTHER TERESA. Individuals featured here have used their head and heart to produce great things for humankind, and have shown themselves to be beacons of light in an often vast sea of darkness. These persons should serve as an inspiration to us ALL to actually DO something – to take a principled stand - using OUR heads and hearts on behalf of our fellow brothers and sisters, rather than simply sitting back complacently enjoying the relatively good life we have experienced here in the United States. This year, I am a little behind schedule in presenting this award, and I apologize for my uncharacteristic lateness. Also, I have chosen TWO recipients of this year’s award, both of whom are equally deserving. I am proud to announce them as being :
1). BURR DEMING, the St. Louis-based creator of an amazing blog called Fair and Unbalanced (see my blogroll at the lower right of this page). Mr. Deming writes with uncanny insight and sensitivity, and has always taken a gentlemanly approach to dealing with those whom he disagrees with politically or economically. He often laces his articles with a deft sense of wry wit. Wisdom and careful deliberation abound in his writings. The man is a true gem, whose observations and lessons taught can often leave the reader in awe. He has undertaken to nasrrate a number of his posts into podcasts, and I am proud to say a good number of them will be appearing here in this blog in the future. If you haven’t already done so, check out his superb writing over at his website, and be sure to catch his excellent podcasts here as they appear. Our world is definitely a much better place with thoughtful contributions from this gentleman in it, and I am very happy to be associated with him!
2). Based in Lake Worth, FL, and only a stone’s throw from the lair of that nefarious purveyor of darkness, dishonesty, and evil known as Rush Limbaugh, is the gleaming beacon of light, reason, and truth known as GWENDOLYN HOLDEN BARRY. This remarkable woman is a relentless activist who is dedicated to bringing knowledge and scocial consciousness to the world through her many varied endeavors. She is the regular host of Here Be Monsters: The Sunday Show, an online radio intelligent talk show (which I and F. Wayne Johnson often co-host with her) that can be heard for one hour most every Sunday from 6 -7 PM Eastern time on BlogTalkRadio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/here-be-monsters). This site also has an archive section where you can actually listen to past shows in their entirety. The call-in number to participate is 213-816-0357. ALL are encouraged to call-in and participate!
Gwen is also quite active in dozens of other progressive causes, including environmentalism, racial and gender equality, economic justice, climate change, the anti-nuke movement, the Commons Project Network (http://www.thecommonsprojectnetwork.com/), Bridge the Gulf, plus many, many, MANY others. She is an ongoing contributor to that outstanding progressive website Roundtree7 (http:///www.roundtree7.com/), and is a regular follower of such progressive icons as Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein, to name but a few. She is very active in progressive chatrooms on Facebook and Twitter and has made a great number of fiends nationally and internationally using those increasingly important social media tools. She probes and inquires in her quest to bring knowledge to the social consciousness by watching RT television and constantly combing the internet for relevant, breaking news stories.Wherever there is a hand to lend for a just cause, you’ll find Gwen Barry there, ready and willing to aid the cause. Her head and heart have been in the correct place for a very long time, and that is what makes her more than worthy to share in this year’s Head and Heart award!
I am really happy to be associated with both of these fine individuals, and consider them to be true friends as well as shining examples for us all to follow. I offer them to you as genuine patriots who definitely care about not only their country, but also about the world and their fellow humans in general. As we all celebrate this year’s Independence Day, let us reflect upon and even emulate Burr Deming and Gwen Barry, and recognize that each is a beautiful example of what this country can and should produce!