Barack H. Obama's last official day as the 44th President of the United States of America feels sad. It leaves one thinking how long it will be before this great nation swears in another great leader into the White House. Or someone even close to it.

We will miss his grace, dignity, and leadership. And of course, First Lady Michelle Obama. And their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, who grew up before our very eyes.

So long. Farewell.

May their health, growth and contributions continue for years to come.

Jim Nelson writing on GQ makes his point on why Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents of all time.

But what now feels distinctly possible is that, just as Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed, over time he may be judged less for the color of his skin than for the content of his character.

He argues:

Barack Obama will long be revered because he’s charismatic, presided over an economic revival, and changed and elevated the view of the presidency. He’s simply bigger than Bill.

+ Read the whole thing at

Tweeting in remembrance of the late great MLK, Senator Bernie Sanders writes:

To honor Martin Luther King Jr. we must fight to carry out his bold vision. He saw the relationship between racism and economics and war.

You know I love good music. And I have a special affinity to singer-songwriters blessed with a unique, beautiful voice. Valerie June fits the bill. Here is a lyric video for her newest single:

Valerie was born in Jackson, Tennessee and grew up influenced by gospel music at her local church as well as the musical tastes of her father which leaned R&B and soul.

She began recording and performing at the age of 19 after she moved to Memphis, TN in 2000. First as part of a duo in Bella Sun, with her husband of the time. She went solo after the marriage ended and has since released 4 albums.

Her breakout was "Pushin' Against A Stone" in 2013

Photo Credit: Valerie June Website

Her fifth, and latest is entitled "The Order of Time" and is set to be released in 2017. "Astral Plane" is the lead single already available on streaming and download with the usual outlets.

Says Valerie:

“Understanding the order of time is important to anyone hoping to manifest a dream. There is a time to push, and a time to gently tend the garden.”

+ Visit Valerie June official website

The New York Times reports that Norway has decided to switch off FM broadcasting; the first country to do so.

Apparently, the move is intended to go fully digital but not everyone is happy with the decision.

I grew up listening to broadcasts over FM and some over AM. And although I haven't needed to tune to a non-digital station in quite a while, I can understand how it can be a loss to at least some segment of the population used to the ready accessibility of the format.

+ Read the New York Times story.

We are so going to miss President Obama.

He officially leaves office on January 20 when the next Commander In Chief is sworn in. God help America.

In his farewell address from his hometown Chicago, the President spoke eloquently and delivered a message of hope and also of caution against complacency.

He said he still has faith in Americans and reminded the audience that every citizen has a responsibility to bear and that they should remain vigilant to make sure what makes this nation great is not lost to enemies external or domestic.

It was endearing to watch Obama tear up speaking in glowing terms about his lovely wife, Michelle, and their daughters Malia and Sasha.

Of course, his overall theme was familiar and reassuring.

"Yes, we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we can."

The iPhone was announced 10 years ago today by Apple's iconic leader, the late Steve Jobs. And it has profoundly changed the world of technology in many different ways.

Apple commemorated the anniversary with a special press release titled "iPhone at ten: the revolution continues."

CEO Tim Cook said:

“iPhone is an essential part of our customers' lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live.

iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”

+ Read the announcement at

Danny Glover was deserved winner for one of my favorite new shows on TV: Atlanta on FX.

He got two awards on the night:

  • 'Best Actor in a Television Series' - Musical or Comedy for 'Atlanta'

  • 'Best Television Series' - Musical or Comedy for 'Atlanta'

The show is funny and smart. And it features a cast that is relatively unknown but excellent nonetheless.

I don't believe there is a more versatile, more talented person in the world of acting than Meryl Streep.

Accepting the Cecil B. deMille Award at the Golden Globes from friend and fellow talented actress Viola Davis, Meryl made a powerful speech that stirred emotions.

Without mentioning the president-elect who ran a campaign of lies, hate, division, and fear-mongering against immigrants and foreigners, Meryl spoke her mind and brought the audience to cheers and some to tears.

Thank you, thank you. I lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this week. I’ve lost my mind sometime earlier this year, so I have to read. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said: You, and all of us in this room, really belong to the most vilified segment of American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.

But who are we? What is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of different places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey, Viola was born in a sharecroppers cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Amy Adams was born in Vicenzia, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here nominated—for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here playing an Indian, raised in Tasmania.

So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing else to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. They gave me three seconds to say that though.

As an actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like, and there were many, many ,many powerful performances that did exactly that—breathtaking, compassionate work. But there was one performances this year that stunned me; it sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job—it made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter—someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie; it was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

Okay, this brings me to the press: We need the principled press, to hold power to account, to call them them on the carpet for every outrage; that’s why our founders enshrine the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only asked the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing. Once, when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, isn't it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor. Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.

As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you.

What a beautiful, moving speech. No wonder those in attendance were moved. I very much share her sentiments.

Truly, as a society, we are and can be much better than this.

Tottenham were quite impressive as they ended Chelsea's 13 match unbeaten run in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory at home at White Hart Lane.

Mauricio Pochettino's side had been gathering momentum of late and came into this game on the back of strong performances in the last few weeks to end this game with the meanest defense in the league. Chelsea had that honor prior to this game. But they ended up conceding 2 goals to Dele Alli.

Antonio Conte's Chelsea, with 49 points, remain 5 clear of Liverpool at the top. Spurs are a further 2 points behind in third.

This 2016/2017 season is shaping up to be quite competitive in England's top tier of football.