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Stars and Stripes Fly
A tribute to America and its heroes.

 

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Dave Wrendom Bio

I'm a guitar player who decided not too long ago to write songs and sing my heart out. I'm excited to share them all with the world as they come. I used to be a corporate guy, now I'm trying my hand at serious musicianship. Come with me on my journey in song, as I celebrate my life and experiences as a proud American guitarist/singer/songwriter.


Wrendom is a term for categorizing the special characteristics of the Wren family of birds. My surname is British in heritage and is likely derived from these common creatures found around the world. My musical influences are mostly British as well, but I'm a proud American trying to display my own kind of wrendom.


I don't have a strong political agenda, I just want Americans to get along on both sides of the spectrum. I don't believe in War but I support the heroes who help keep this country free, safe and exciting to live in. My music tries to communicate that and the blog which follows talks about current American events or political issues I feel are generally important to Americans and life in the US. I try to express myself in a non-offensive way as I agree with many left and right viewpoints but offer my disagreements too. I try to keep informed and look at diverse arguments before setting my beliefs and opinions.

I hope my style and spirit can be an example to people trying to make a better life here in the US. It was nice when everybody got along after 9-11-2001 (especially in NYC where I was) and I aim to keep that sentiment of peaceful cohabitation and positive spirit alive.

Please enjoy my music with an open mind and spirit ready to be uplifted!

 

 



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WRENDOM BLOG:

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HAVE FAITH

I hope everyone's having a great summer and enjoying themselves.  It may not be easy to pay the bills or fill up your car lately, but keep faithful.  Cut costs and be creative with sources of income. I've learned to do that and sometimes it makes just the right amount of difference to get by.  

Hopefully our politicians can get their heads together eventually and straighten up a few important things for the USA.  Keep faithful, do the right things and our positive energy will translate  to the right places... I'm pretty sure of that.

August 1, 2011

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FAMILY MATTERS

This Memorial Day Weekend I've spent with my family.  I've got 2 little girls who mean everything to me.  I see them as much as possible during the week now that I live nearby.  We used to be separated on 2 different coasts, but now I'm able to live close by.   It has made a significant difference in their lives.

I think a lot of kids grow up in the US these days with only one of their parents in the household.  Separation and divorce can be devastating to a child, but then again so can constant quarreling between parents.  There is a lot of responsibility being a parent, and it is an obligation of every parent to be present emotionally for their children all the time.  Otherwise there are dire consequences.

I think crime and substance abuse are both realities that can be directly attributed to neglectful parenting.  Children who's Dads or Moms aren't in their lives growing up suffer serious voids.  This also happens when parents are physically present but not there emotionally, or worse yet when Dads and/or Moms are abusive emotionally (physical abuse is in turn emotional abuse, but emotional abuse is  just as bad or worse).  These voids cause most  kids to turn to drugs, alcohol, crime or other unhealthy compulsions or addiction for satisfaction.

The most sad fact about these situations of neglect for kids is that their physiology is most sensitive to long term damage (emotional and physical) at their pre-adult age.  It is harder to help someone who has suffered as a child than helping someone suffering only in their adult life.  So drug and/or alcohol addictions and criminal behavior are harder to rehabilitate as kids become adults.  But if parents or other caring individuals can intervene lovingly while the kid is still young, there is greatest hope for long term rehabilitation.   The examples parents can set for their kids are enormous and this should be paramount in every Mom and Dad's daily decisionmaking and related actions.

I think an interesting social experiment would be to take every severely neglected or abused  kid in the US and foster them somehow with  love and support until they are at least adults.  I wonder just how much the number of addicts and crime rates would decline?  I would imagine the Country would be a much safer, less costly place to live than it is today.

I cherish being able to spend lots of quality time with my kids now.  I know they wouldn't want it any differently.  I mess up sometimes, sure, but at least they know I persevere relentlessly to understand their troubles and needs to insulate them from neglect.   I really think this is key for a healthier, safer family and I hope that sentiment translates through to society.

May 30, 2011

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BANKING ON THE ECONOMY

Its not so funny how the world seems to revolve around the Banking industry these days.  Though the top exec's are probably laughing every day.  They know they have us in their hands and feel secure its not going to change.  That is, a lot of our current economic condition is preset by Banking and rather dependent on it.  Our tax dollars will be spent keeping banks alive for many years to come.  Why?  Because we need banks for loans and to move our money around, which is why they were "bailed out"... they were too big to fail.  Stock prices of corporations are linked to how well banks and financial companies advise and transact our wagers on their success.  Government is only now waking up to the risks of abuses though.  Banking reform legislation is coming, but its not going to stop the momentum of greed and abuse that is so deeply interwoven within the fibers of global financial institutions.

From mortgage and credit financing to investment banking, the Financial industry certainly has a key play in how we exchange money and therefore how we conduct our lives.  Most consumers can only trust what banks say about risks and rewards, and when the inconsistencies pop up they are left holding the bag of crap - credit card rates balloon while limits retract, mortgage resales occur with failed servicing, false securities ratings and manipulated markets render investements worthless, and so on.  Meanwhile, bank fees and interest income make for large bonuses and big smiles on the faces of carefree crap-selling bankers.  So many transactions with so many complexities on so many open and closed markets makes it a breeding ground for deception and predatory profit taking that slips through the cracks.  I'm not saying all banks and bankers are crooks, I just think the current culture in the industry breeds them.

I know first hand how saturated the Banking/Finance industry is with smoke and mirrors trickery.  I worked in it for over 10 years (P&L and Balance Sheet Reporting) and still do some consulting there.  Its amazing how much banks cover up or blur for the sake of their own profits at the eventual expense of others.  They can get away with it though because it is so hard to monitor and cross-check due to volume, complexity, and fear.  Even though legislation (Sarbanes-Oxley Act, "SOX") was passed during the Enron days to limit such deception, accountability to it has not yet been enforced by the government.  Clearly there were admitted violations of SOX principals but I've never heard of any bank exec getting cuffed on the wrist for it yet... that's right, cuffed, not just slapped!

I am trying to stay involved in the area of Banking Compliance so that I can help contribute something toward better practices, both in my words and in my work.  Its a rapidly developing area in banking and corporate accounting that may stand a chance to rid selfish animalistic behavior, with helpful government encouragement and dedicated experts.   This industry is not going away anytime soon so I figure if you can't play nice together, beat 'em.  Wish me luck on my job interviews!

May 19, 2010

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OBAMACARE

The USA is about to see an extraordinary change after the new Healthcare Bill (so called "ObamaCare") becomes law. I could benefit from this change, as I may now qualify for Medicaid (depending on my music and consulting income) and currently have no insurance (COBRA ran out and I don't qualify for the extensions). But I think it could have crippling effects (pun intended) on many others. Forced premiums and higher taxes may not offset the financial impact and possible drop in care quality. I imagine there will be millions of individuals who sit just above the new Medicaid cutoff and more above that who will feel the pinch, even with subsidies. Will small businesses, which are integral to our economy and American entrepreneurial spirit, be able to sustain? I am happy that ObamaCare will provide for those who currently can't afford healthcare (like me). But isn't there a more effective way to achieve this? Why are we rushing into such a dramatic change in such a forced way? I am very confused and worried for Americans now, as our freedom seems at risk.

Back in 2008 I had my right hip replaced. The total cost of this procedure (mostly paid for by my then corporate-sponsored insurance) was around $150,000. WOW!!! I have the insurance billing history to prove this; it’s really astonishing what goes into such a complex procedure. Most of this cost was for the hospital services, not the actual doctor's fees. I'm so glad I had insurance back when I needed it. The constant severe pain I was in made my life unbearable, so I now truly value my pain-free days and all those people and facilities that helped get me here. I am thankful to have had the majority of that cost covered, as I could not have afforded it otherwise.

With ObamaCare, I fear for people who need such life-sustaining surgeries. Will they be available to everyone, really? Will the great doctors who perform them now in the US still be available to perform them at the same standards of excellence that I experienced? Will the patients have their choice of where and with whom they have their surgeries performed? Will there be a mass exodus to certain more ObamaCare supported states in order to gain better care? Will there be an extraordinary wait for surgery because of additional red tape? Will the Government really be qualified and ready in the near future and beyond to regulate what surgeries are performed on whom and how? Well at least people with pre-existing conditions will now be qualified for immediate care, but lets see how that flood of new patients is dealt with effectively.

I know I would be happy to have a new hip any way I could get it if I ever need the surgery again, but I am biased. I only have good experience to judge from because I was able to choose my doctor/hospital and he was able to operate right away by his own procedure which went perfectly. I worry especially for the elderly who, according to ObamaCare, will not be easily granted these types of procedures. When I was crippled in my early 30's, I was still practically in the prime of my physical and mental life although I felt worn out and useless. Imagine how the elderly feel when crippled! You think they drive badly now, how about when they are debilitated? And who will pay for the resulting extra support required to help these debilitated elderly? It will be a challenge for sure.

I don't want to sound like I don't support President Obama’s initiative for change, I am just concerned along with many other Americans now. In addition to the quality discussion, the financial impact of this truly will be felt for several generations. Do we really need this at a time when we are still stuck in the Great Recession? I am not pleased, but at least I will have healthcare again... supposedly.

March 22, 2010

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PATRIOT DAY - 9/11/2009

This year 911 was remembered in NYC, where I live, as a rainy day.  The temperature was in the upper 60's F, wind strong, and rain came down consistently all day.  I think a lot of people likely let the dismal day pass without regard for the events back in 2001, and others definitely spent the day in rememberance.   I for one spent time at my neighborhood midtown Manhattan firehouse where Engine 16 and Ladder 7  teams reside, and where several firefighters were lost on 9/11/2001.  I also spent time at Ground Zero after being inspired by an FDNY Captain who I'll call Capt. D.

I learned from the Captain that most firemen don't really feel comfortable being specifically thanked for duties performed on 9/11/2001.  That was a day of great loss for the FDNY, and firefighters who survived or were not even there at the time don't feel comfortable with, or even perhaps worthy of gratitude.  In their eyes only the people who gave their lives and their families deserve thanks and condolences.  I hope I got that message correct.  Capt. D said that firemen perform their duties because it is their job and because they are expected to do whatever it takes to bring safety to civilians in the face of the dangers they are trained to deal with.  To perish in the line of duty is difficult to think about but nonetheless a realistic possibility which firefighters understand.  It is most difficult however for a firefighter to experience the passing of one of his own, especially if involved somehow in the incident.  There is a natural sense of responsibility felt about the thought that nothing more could have been done to prevent the loss.   They live with that and do their best to perform as optimally possible, constantly trying to come to terms with others loss despite their diligence.  I'm sure firefighters don't spend much time thinking about it in these terms, that's just my unqualified psychoanalytical interpretation ;)

I wanted to play my song "Stars and Stripes Fly"  on 911 this year for the guys and families of the deceased at that firehouse.  I wanted to make the rainy day a little brighter.  But Capt. D told me he thought it wouldn't be a good idea considering the feelings most had there, which were somber and pensive.   He said, "Even if you were Bruce Springsteen, I don't think the guys would want that right now."  He told me the best thing I can do to pay tribute to 911 would be to sing my song down at Ground Zero for all the tourists in the spirit of the folks who passed.  So thats what I did, after stepping outside the firehouse and singing my song on the street in rememberance/honor of the men from Engine 16 and Ladder 7 who passed.  Capt. D and the guys and famiies in the House didn't know I did that, and that honestly made me feel better than I could have imagined.  I was really fulfilled, almost like prayer is to some,  singing in the spirit of those lost, alone just outside the firehouse.

So I'm glad to have been educated by Capt. D on 9/11/2009 about the mindset of those who put themselves in harms way for the sake of the rest of us.  I now know they don't want to be called heroes, or thanked for what others may have done who wear the same uniform.  We may want to think of them all as heroes and that's ok, but we can do better giving thanks everyday by acknowledging their regular hard work and commitment to face danger.  Hey, saying a prayer or singing a song is pretty good too, believe me!

September 11, 2009

 

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INDEPENDENCE DAY: The 5 F's 

Happy 4th of July everyone.  In the USA we are happy to have this holiday, typically focusing on family, friends, food, fireworks and fun.  These 5 F's, as I'll call them, symbolize and memorialize the celebration of the feedom achieved by the issuance of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776 when the US established independence from Great Britain.

Now we take at least this day during summer time to relax and have fun as best we can.  We watch fireworks shows or make our own to highlight the day with a "bang".  I don't think many of us really think about the historic battles for freedom occuring centuries ago.  The tradition of fireworks symbolize these battles though, and honor the sacrifices of those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.

I didn't get to see fireworks today.  I will soon, as there will be many shows in the coming week I can watch in my area.  But a part of me wanted to hear booms and see bright lights flash in the sky today.  There is something grand about the power of such sounds and displays which captivates us, and we expect them on this day. 

I was able to appreciate the other 4 F's today despite the lack of fireworks.  I am really looking forward to them again though.  I will think about what happened during the American conflicts prior to 1776 as I watch the fireworks show.  I will be thankful for the relative peace and freedom we enjoy across the USA now as a result, thanks to perseverance of defense in the name of freedom.

July 4, 2009

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MEMORIAL DAY 2009

I hope that everyone in the US enjoyed their long weekend, and payed attention to the meaning of Memorial Day for at least a moment or two.   In case you don't know, Memorial Day is to commemorate veterans of the US Armed Forces who gave their lives in the line of duty.  Some people mix this day up with Veteran's Day in the Fall each year. 

I think its good on both these holidays to consider all who serve the US public in some way.  Active military and veterans, alive and deceased, specifically deserve thanks as well as their families.   It is certainly not an easy job preparing to fight, or actually fighting,  for the defense of freedom.  It's also not easy taking orders, literally, from people all day.   And families supporting their loved ones in the military should be proud and deserve thanks too.

So if you see a Soldier, Sailor or Air-person, or know someone in their family, say thanks or nod your head in recognition for their efforts. 

May 25, 2009

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INAUGURATION DAY NOTE 

This is a big day for the United States.  Barack Obama will take the Oval Office and lead the US toward "change", as he becomes the 44th President of the United States today.   But what exactly does this promise of change mean?  I think this is supposed to mean that under his direction, in an unprecidented style of sincerity and conviction, new viewpoints will spread throughout Government and political communities in a deliberate way to affect new and reformed policies and practices.  The intention is (presumably) that these changes will better the Country and perhaps the world by example. 

I have noticed so far throughout his campaign, and now through the messages given in his inauguration, that Barack Obama intends to make improvements through promoting individual "responsibility".   From his many websites, support organization emails, interviews, and discussions I've seen a consistent message.  President Obama wants each Citizen to offer service toward something positive in US society.  This is an important messsage which, if taken seriously and acted upon by Americans, can have great and swift impact.

I trulywant to believe change is ahead.  I wish too that the world can benenfit from any improvements made to US life quality which the new President proposes possibility for.  There is so much hope now, in both the US and abroad, for new possibilities and change.  Spirits are high in anticipation of a better economy, better education, better healthcare and more.  The path to success can be charted by this spirit of hope and enthusiasm inspired bythe new President, Barack Obama.

I wish him luck and support all in the US and abroad who try to keep his hopeful and responsible spirit alive.  The power of this and the momentum it can generate is our best bet for success.

January 20, 2009

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MY JURY DUTY EXPERIENCE

I recently finished serving Jury Duty in Manhattan, Court.   Somehow I was selected to participate as a Grand Juror, which is a special category of Jury Duty.  At first I was disappointed and hoped not to be selected.   After participating though I now really appreciate the experience.  Seriously!

The New York State justice system requires that everyone charged with a felony must first have their case brought before a Grand Jury to validate that evidence is sufficient for a trial.   A Grand Jury consists of 23 jurors randomly selected to serve for a 2-week period.   Unlike in a trial jury, the defendant usually never appears in front of the Grand Jury.  The evidence is supplied by an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) and is gathered from witnesses.  The defendant has the right to testify but usually chooses not to in order to avoid cross-examination by the ADA.

I saw about 40 different cases in my 2-weeks of service.  Most cases were drug-related, and others were cases of assult, burglary or gang-related crime.   As a Grand Juror my job was to vote if there was enough evidence provided by the ADA to indict.  If not, I had a choice to vote for the case to be completely dismissed or postponed for further evidence.  Most cases had sufficient evidence to indict, some did not have enough evidence, and very few were fully dismissed.

The dialogue in our case deliberations was reasuring, as most of my 22 peers often had unique perspectives to offer.  This provided a forum for complete review of facts and prevented opinions from influencing the final decision.  I feel confident that every defendant in each case truly had a fair chance by us.

I don't have to serve in New York State Jury Duty again for another 8 years becuase of my recent service as a Grand Juror.   So in the scale of things these particular 2-weeks of my life were well spent.  I encourge every US Citizen to be proud and motivated to participate in Jury Duty when called to serve.

January 4, 2009

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ELECTION DAY NOTE

I hope all US Citizens can get out to the polls and vote on Election Day. No matter who is chosen, there is a statistical impact of each and every vote which makes the process so important. You know the saying, "Power in numbers". Well everything adds up from the number 1, and that's each and every American. So be proud and be part of the numbers!

Whatever the outcome, Americans should support the new President, Vice President, Congress and Justices while in office (unless of course they break the law or violate the Constitution, or... you get what I mean). Speak out when concerned, by all means. That's what's so great about America. But accept the Nation's choices and do your best with the freedoms available in America. As long as the Constitution and Bill of Rights stand, and Citizens continue to care, America will thrive.

American pride, spirit, and self-assuredness will bring the US economy back around I'm sure. If everyone just shows at least a little bit of respect and enthusiasm toward one another, regardless of Party affiliation, Americans can recover. Maybe not right away in all cases, but eventually.

I lost just about everything I've had over the course of this year, literally. But I wrote this song to keep my pride and hopefulness alive. Now I finally have some direction again and see clearer than I had not too long ago. There is a bright horizon ahead, lets all believe in it. Enjoy the music of Wrendom!

GO VOTE and BE PROUD
Nov. 4, 2008

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STARS AND STRIPES FLY!

'Stars and Stripes Fly' is my original song about the freedom Americans have, and how everyone living in America should be honored and proud to experience the opportunities that freedom brings.

This song has inspired me to pay tribute here to American heroes, past and present. To me a hero is someone who has positively affected the quality of life for a great number of people.

I think the United States of America is fertile ground for the cultivation of heroes stimulated by its values. Inspite of the difficult political times in which we live since 911, the American Constitution enables and guarantees the ability of Americans to freely express opinions and promote change. That is how so many American heroes develop and are lauded around the world.

The Presidential campaigning and election process of 2008 is perhaps one of the most anticipated and discussed in history (that I'm aware of). Many are eager for political change yet others cringe at the notion of diminished conservative policy. This polarity of spirit has been welcome in the USA and has strengthened the Nation's resolve for commitment to freedom throughout its history.

We should all take time to appreciate how blessed Americans are to be free and acknowledge the great American heroes. We should be encouraged to live and work well together, inspiring each other and the world!

Sincerely,
Dave Wrendom September 11, 2008

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Music and lyrics by Dave Wrendom, 2008. 
Song performed by Wrendom  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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