Flying AA 1263 DFW to LGA. Over all Walls, Barriers and Fences.

Not a statistically significant sample for the Data Kings, but good enough for me. Here’s a driver profile summary for my last 5 Uber rides in Dallas:

“Egber”
Descent: Kurdish, 1st generation arrived in U.S. age 1
Car: Hyundai Elantra (spotless inside)
Music Playing: Country
Uber Rating: 4.88
My Rating: 5.0

“Fouad”
Descent: Egypt (1st Gen)
Car: Toyota Camry (Spotless)
Music Playing: Classical
Uber Rating: 4.82
My Rating: 5.0

“Rafat”
Descent: Jordan.
Car: Toyota Camry (Spotless)
Music Playing: Classical (soft)
Uber Rating: 4.88.
My Rating: 5.0

“Bennie”
Descent: U.S. Lake Providence, Louisiana. African American. “Retired Grandpa of 5. Love People.”
Car: Lexus ES. (Spotless)
Music Playing: Jazz
Uber Rating: 4.94
My Rating: 5.0

“Jason”
Descent: Jamaica (1st Gen)
Car: Nissan Maxima (Spotless)
Music Playing: Pop
Uber Rating: 4.91
My Rating: 5.0

This Rider (DK)
Descent: Canada (1st Gen). Green Card Resident.
My Uber Rating: 4.92

Punch line:

God Bless America.

I love this country.


Photo: (via me-poppins)

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

As 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood at attention during the commencement ceremony at West Point, N.Y., he was overcome with emotion. Tears rolled down both cheeks, but his gloved left hand held firm on his white, gold and black “cover,” the dress headgear that Army cadets wear.

He worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti, earning his citizenship and serving for two years as an enlisted soldier.

“I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.”

“I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.

“Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words,” Idrache wrote. “I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.”

Idrache was a leader in his class of 950 cadets. He was named a regimental commander last summer. He became West Point’s top graduate in physics.

Idrache’s father, Dieujuste, immigrated to America and was able to bring the rest of his family with him in 2009, one year before an earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince. The family didn’t have much, Idrache said.

~ Dan Lamothe, excerpts from The story behind the ‘American Dream’ photo at West Point that went viral


Notes:

  • Post Inspiration: Today is Martin Luther King Day: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
  • Post Title: “The New Colossus” is a sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level. (Source: wiki)

My 1%

Alex Van Gelder %22Armed Force%22 - Louise Bourgeois Hands

Rush jobs. Corners cut. One constant in 30 years, disappointment.

A handful of notables come to mind. So few, I can picture the craftsman. I can picture the chair. Here the tired and the scuffed are healed to a high gloss sheen.

It’s rare. 1%.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Kloten Airport in Zurich.
Allen Edmonds, Port Washington, Wisconsin.
And, Grand Central.

Her country of origin? My best guess. Guatemala. Age? Impossible to gauge. Hunched over. Plump. Hands tough, cracked. Brown skin is smooth, free of pock marks. Hair pulled back. Green smock. I’ll say mid-50’s. But a hard 50.

I wait for her to be done with another customer. The other shoe shiners, all men, smirk.  I turn away, anger surges.  Clench my fist. [Read more…]

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