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I give thanks for:

My Life and my Wife, Linda Jo.  I list them together because they are interconnected in a fashion, as to not be distinguishable, one from the other.

My Daughter(step), Monica.  Who has redefined, for me, the words “joy and pride”

My Mom, Elisabeth.  From whose womb this life’s journey began.  Without whose love, understanding, and guidance, this destination would not be met.

My Sisters and Brothers, Linda Alice, Keith, Arthur, Amy-jo, Jenni-ann, and Lisabette-sue.  They are a cadre of love, not always spoken, but always felt.

My Family, no longer physically with me, but permanent residents in my heart.

My Friends, far too many to list.  Who, just by being there, have insulated me from a cold world, with the warmth of their love.

My acquaintances, people I’ve met along this path of life.  Who have touched and shaped me in profound ways.

My GOD, for all of the above, and above all, for being GOD.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Tomorrow being Thanksgiving Day, I would like to share this thought.  I hope you enjoy it.


First among the things to be thankful for is a thankful spirit.  Some people would grumble at the accommodations in Heaven if they ever got there.  They take their blessings here so much as a matter of course, that even a day of general thanksgiving once in a year is more than they feel any need of.  And if their personal blessings in any measure fail, gratitude for what they have had or still enjoy is the last thing they think of.  Another class really desire to be thankful, but they are  naturally despondent.  Their sky is as dark with clouds as though a special “Old Probabilities” were employed to keep it full.  They go through the world in a deprecating spirit, hoping things may turn out well yet fearing for the worst.  We always feel glad for this class when Thanksgiving Day comes around.  They then have an official warrant for gratitude,  If their own hearts do not formulate blessings, they can listen to the sermon, or look to the President’s proclamation.

How different with the thankful heart!  What a gift it is to be born with an outlook toward the bright side of things!  And if not so by nature, what a triumph of grace to be made thankful through a renewed heart!  It is so much more comfortable and rational to see what we have to be thankful for and to rejoice accordingly, than to have our vision forever filled with our lacks and our needs.  Happy are they who possess this gift?   Blessings may fail and fortunes vary, but the thankful heart remains.  The Happy past, at least, is secure–and Heaven is ahead.

(attributed to “Golden Rule”)

(This passage was taken from the collection “Leaves of Gold,” edited by Clyde Francis Lytle.)

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Thank you America.

Thank you for seeing through the haze.

Thank you for proceeding through the maze.

Thank you for not allowing the hate and fear mongers to direct and control your thinking.

Thank you for believing in yourself and your judgement.

Thank you for moving forward, not backward, towards our future.

Thank you for your faith.

Thank you for re-electing Barack Obama [the] President of the United States.


Congratulations Pennsylvania!

“Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Mighty is your name,

Steeped in glory and tradition, Object of acclaim.

Where brave men fought the foe of freedom, Tyranny decried,

Til the bell of independence filled the countryside.”

I’m singing your praises Pennsylvania.  What needed to be done, has been.  Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has blocked implementation of the Voter Photo ID Law until after the election.  Now, while the move by the court only delays this law until after this years election, we will now see if there was ever any reason beyond preventing President Obama’s reelection for this law to be in place.

We will see if voter fraud was a problem or if this was, simply, a fraudulent attempt to suppress votes.  My guess is [it was] the later.

This in fact may be the most telling part of this entire charade.  And when I say telling I mean that it was them, the republicans, doing the telling.  On June 23, 2012 State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) stated:

  • “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done.”
  • “First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done.”
  • “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Since the 1960’s, there has not been a more blatant attack on America’s civil rights, indeed, an attack of the most basic right of our society, the right to vote.

This is not just about Pennsylvania, though.  Their’s was the most restrictive of many such laws passed in more than 30 states over the last few years.  Some have been struck down by the Voting Rights Act (that’s come under fire lately), and others by Local and State courts that have determined that the laws were an unnecessary intrusion on our voter franchise.

My guess is, though, this is not just a one shot deal.  Most of this talk about in-person voter ID fraud will quietly dissipate, but it won’t disappear.  Voter suppression and manipulation is as important down-ticket, at the State and Local level, as it is nationally.  What this process has shown us is that State Houses, State Legislatures, and locally elected Judges play as much a part in this scenario as the National ticket.  We must be aware, and beware.  The war continues.

It is in the local courts where laws are being upheld that are restricting or eliminating more of our basic freedoms. Like freedom of choice for women, freedom to choose who to marry, freedom to bargain collectively.  Even the right to be governed by our lawfully elected officials is being challenged.  State Legislatures are realigning voting districts to dilute the power of constituency voting.

So the war is not yet won.  The battlefield has shifted. Diligence and determination are the weapons with which we must arm ourselves, as we continue moving “Forward.

So, congratulations Pennsylvania.  A battle won, but the war goes on.

“Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, May your future be,

filled with honor everlasting as your history.”


The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association’s Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee has completed it’s ratings of judicial candidates for the Wayne County 2012 election cycle.

Of the candidates for 36th District Court judge, Doug Monds has been rated “OUTSTANDING,” the highest rating available from the committee.

Quoting from their site:

” To be rated “Outstanding,” an individual must stand at the top of his or her profession.  He or she must rank among the very best qualified judges or lawyers available for judicial service.  This candidate must have outstanding legal ability and background, as well as wide experience, wisdom, intellect, insight, and impartiality.  To be accorded the highest rating, a candidate should generally have the breadth of vision and outlook that derives from participation in civic, religious, charitable or political organizations of the community, and the work of the organized bar or other professional associations.  In short, each should be a person whose preeminence in the law and as a citizen is widely acknowledged and whose qualifications are virtually hailed by judges and lawyers.”

It should be noted that “only” Doug, of the 10 candidates on the ballot for 36th District Court, received this rating:

36th District Court, Non-Incumbent

6 Year Term (2 positions)

The 36th District Court needs Doug Monds.  The City of Detroit needs Doug Monds.  Be sure to vote in the primary election August 7, 2012.

Be sure to vote for Doug Monds!

Learn more at:

Doug Monds For Judge

With all the attention on the national election, and believe me that attention is warranted, we are drawn away, sometimes, from the very important, and perhaps as critical political races, being run in our own backyards.  Such a race is the one for 36th district court judge here in Detroit.

Detroit needs and deserves someone on the court who sincerely wants to make a difference for the city and it’s citizens. That person is Attorney and Administrative Law Judge, Doug Monds.

Recently I sat and talked with Doug and was impressed both with his qualifications for election and the vision that he has for the city he loves and wants to serve.  I want to share with you some of what I learned from our conversation.

His story began in Detroit, just over 50 years ago:  “My father was a hard working entrepreneur, having started his own trucking company.  My mom, a registered nurse.  Me, my sister and my brothers went to a small Lutheran School on Tireman and Burnett,” on Detroit’s west side.  “My Education started in that four room school house,” Doug continued, “and progressed to St. Mary’s of Redford High School, Morehouse College in Atlanta – famously known as the school of Reverend Dr. M.L. King and then the University of Michigan Law School – the number three law school in the entire country.”  After graduating from law school Doug landed a position as an Associate Attorney at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, one of Detroit, and Michigan’s, most prestigious law firms.  “I eventually left the firm in my quest to gain more trial experience,” said Doug.

After a time, Doug applied for and received a quasi-judicial position as an Administrative Law Judge for the City of Detroit Department of Administrative Hearings.  Said Doug, “I finally found something I loved in the law.  I wasn’t the first ‘blight court judge’ for the city, but I was determined to be the best.  I wrote my own operating manual and worked hard to fairly adjudicate every case.  I earned the respect of the city inspectors and the police officers who regularly appeared in my courtroom.  I also earned the respect of the residents, business owners, investors and attorneys who also happened to find themselves in my courtroom.”  Doug continued, “I will continue to earn respect every day as a District Court Judge.”

When asked why are you running for judge, Doug responded:  “One of the things I realized right away is that the ordinary people who appeared in front of me often had never been in a courtroom before.  I found that truly listening to folks and letting them have their day in court went a long way toward them understanding and accepting the judicial system.  Taking this same approach of respect for the individual to the 36th District Court will make a difference.”  “While there are more than 30 judges on the court,” Doug said, “the right judge, at the right time, can make a difference in someone’s life.  I will be that right judge.  I will be that difference maker.”

We talked about crime, and this is what Doug had to say:  “Everyone who lives in Detroit has been touched by crime or, at least, knows someone who has been touched by crime.  Judges aren’t crime fighters, but they can have impact, as program implementer’s.”  In fact, Doug was victimized recently, “My car was stolen a couple of weeks ago.  Just like everyone else, in that situation, I had to deal with it.  I’ve been robbed before – I had to deal with that, too.  What people don’t like to deal with is a system which seems to ignore them.  If a person is caught committing a crime the worse thing that can happen is that the offender is seen to have gotten off ‘scott free.'”  Doug continued, “The role of the judge is to balance the need for punishment, the need to prevent future offenses, by the persons found guilty, the need for fairness and the need for firmness, all at the same time.  This type of balancing can’t be taught.  It is a skill developed with years of experience.  I have those years of experience.  I have those skills.  I’ve demonstrated them for years and will continue to demonstrate them as a District Court Judge.”

Finally, this from Doug, “Every case is different.  Every person is a unique individual.  My philosophy is to remember this, even when there is a courtroom of people waiting to be heard.  No one gets the short shrift.  When people are treated as individuals they tend to respect the process.  Respect for the process is the reason for the black robe, the gavel, the elevated bench, the flags in the courtroom and all of the rest of the symbolism that goes with the office.  When the people respect the judge wearing the robe, behind the elevated bench, holding the gavel, everybody wins.”

Doug Monds is a winner.  He deserves your support.  The primary election for the 36th District Court is Tuesday, August 7, 2012.  Be sure to get to the polls and vote.  Be sure to select Doug Monds.

For more about Doug Monds go to: