Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mr. Smith should go to Washington and show Obama how it's done.

When President Obama won the Oval Office, I was so charged up. I was involved with my country again after years of feeling like my vote counted for nothing. I was proud to be an American again. I was excited to see the changes that were promised come into being. Mostly, I was excited for the American people. After eight years of oppressive leadership in Washington, we finally had someone who was there for us. Or so we thought. What happened? Where did the fire go? In the movie, MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, Jimmy Stuart started out a reluctant hero of the people. He found his voice and his fire as he stood in front of lawmakers to champion his cause. I thought that Obama resembled the Jimmy Stuart's Smith when he won the election. I just felt in my bones that he was the person we all had been waiting for. The man who would shake up Washington. What has happened is the opposite. Mr Obama has made some very lovely speeches, but he's absolutely been ineffectual in his role as President. Instead of moving forward into the 21st century, we are stepping back in areas we thought were somewhat settled. The Abortion issue has taken the healthcare debate hostage and pushed Senators into full retreat. Obama has labeled this so-called reform historic, but it's not historic in the way the White House is spinning it. It's historic because of the way Obama has run away from it. He keeps making speeches about how it will cover 30 million more Americans. What about the remaining 15 million who will still be uninsured. We heard a lot about the 45 million who were without coverage in the early days of the health care fight. We don't hear anything about that now. At the start we heard that the insurance companies should have competition to keep them honest and fair. We don't hear about what these companies are doing to people before the limited regulations come into play. Not from Obama and not from any of the people participating in this charade of health care reform. The fact that the Democrats let abortion hijack reform is a testament to their spineless dedication to mediocrity. There seems to be no one in the Democrat party who is willing to really fight for reform. Everyone is covering their ass. The Democrats seem ready to sell the farm to get the votes they need so that they can put health care reform in the win category. Why must we settle for less when we have a majority in both houses? The Republicans are no better. They just want Obama to fail. They don't care that reform would be good for the country. They would rather see the country spiral into the abyss than give Obama a win of any kind. The lies and marches for non-reform is so transparent, it would be laughable if it weren't for the people who will be affected. As a Black (African American) person, I really wanted to see President Obama go in and kick some ass. In the back of my mind however, I felt that because he is a Black man, he might not have the political clout of familial generations to help him move the mountains that needed to be moved. The "Old Boy Network" is long and strong. How could this Black man do anything substantial without help? The evidence is not much. The rich keep getting richer. It's been said that the banks run this country. Everyone believes that to be true including me. Why else would they be able to rape the American People even after the people gave them money to stay afloat? Bernie Madoff is small time in comparison. This bailout scam in hindsight seems to be the biggest Ponzi Scam in the history of this country. And it was perpetrated by our own government. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by what has happened. as I said it was in the back of my mind all along, but it makes me sad. I won't be voting Democrat again. It won't matter that I hold my vote. Things just go on in Washington as they always have. The only thing that brings change is social discourse. When the people finally get so fed up, they take to the streets and demand change. Oh, wait a minute, we did that last November.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why would these "Blue Dogs" bark for health care reform?

Why would the so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats support health care reform? I found that a large majority of the so-called "Blue Dogs" aren't in the pockets of the Insurance industry, but a fair amount of them actually have taken large amounts from the industry. Three members stand out in the crowd. Dennis Moore of KS, has taken $49,000 from the insurance industry for '09-'10. Running a near second is John Tanner, TN. He took $47,800. Charles Wilson took a paltry $24,750. All through the list of "Blue Dogs" I saw contributions from Health Professionals. That adds up to a lot of kibble coming from the healthcare industry. The "Blue Dog" most popular in that department is Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota. His take amounts to $98,885. I won't call them all out because I can't really figure out where "Health Professionals" plays out in the big game of campaign contributions. But quite a few had HUGE contributions. But I did want to find out who in the Democrat party had their hands in the Insurance industry pot. The Democrats were not famous in the past for being bought and sold, What is going on today?

How do we lose when we've got the upper hand? Let me count the ways.

How is it possible that the Democrats could allow the Republican party to continue to have an effect on this country? This country was decimated by the Republican party and here we are at the eleventh hour of real change for the people, and we have Democrat representatives who are running scared by politics. Where is the love? Why did these people become politicians? Did they do it to be popular? Did they do it to be told by their opposition that they might lose their jobs if they don't in fact do their jobs? I feel like spitting nails these days because of what I'm seeing. I have been rendered speechless by what's going on here. I can only list the ways I see the Democrats failing to do anything to turn this country around.

1. They let Lieberman keep his committee chair.
2. They don't get in the faces of those Blue Dog Dems who take millions from the big corporations.
3. Democrats love to be in power, but don't have the fortitude to do what's necessary.
4. We may truly be lacking the leadership necessary to get things done. (Sorry Obama, You're looking a little weak right now.)
Oh hell, there are just too many ways to lose the big win. I'm tired.

I really am considering a shift to Independent, but I probably won't participate in the political process any more. I will become what I have always tried to talk others out of. I will be a citizen who doesn't go to the party.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What? Obama in Texas?

This may seem silly. This may seem a little paranoid, but I don't think it's a good idea for President Obama to go to Texas. Why would he go there? These are the same people who want to break away from the Union. After what happened to Kennedy in Texas, why would any of Obama's advisors think that he would be safe in Texas. I just don't think it's right. I find it weird that he would go. The subject of his speech would be about Community Service. Who would be served by his speech? It seems that Texans only want to serve Texas. President Obama, watch your back.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The search for love has come up dry.

What is rational thought? According to Webster's, rational meaning, being in or characterized by full possession of one's reason; sane; lucid: And thought, meaning the product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought. The phenomenon that's happening these days in America is the opposite to rational thought. People are gearing up for a fight of some kind. When I take a look inward at my own thoughts, I can sum up my behavior as reaction. I have been reacting since Barack Obama was elected to office. It's probably been since he first announced his run for president. I have been more active in the political process than I ever have. I have donated more money and written more letters to my elected officials that I ever have. I don't feel like it makes a difference, yet I can't seem to stop. It's become a joke between my husband and me. An issue comes up and he says write a letter and I usually do. I've written to my state senators and congress men and women. I've written to other state's representatives as well. Is my behavior rational? I don't think it's totally rational. I wrote the White House today. This behavior is causing me more stress than I'm able to handle. I don't want to handle it. I want to be happy and I want to feel secure in my life. I want that security to be the truth in my life. The hatred that I've exposed myself to is too overwhelming and I choose to replace it. The love that I've been trying to find in this political landscape must come from me. Yes. It will start with me. I'm going on a diet. I'm going on a political diet. No more writing about politics, no more watching the political pundits, no more NPR. So much for finding love in the political landscape. There's no love out there. The only love I find is within me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's hard to forgive, but I do.

With 68.7 percent of the population in South Carolina being White, it's no wonder that Joe Wilson has a completely different view from my own. When I put myself in his shoes, I can understand that his road has different signposts. I forgive his ignorance of my life and those who look like me. He can't know what he's never lived. He can't understand the plight of those who are less fortunate than he is. If he chose to make a detour and see the actual lives of those he seems to be against he might begin to understand. If he walked a mile in an immigrants shoes or spent a day waiting for medical care that he knew he couldn't afford, maybe he could see a side beyond his own. The percentage of Blacks living in South Carolina is around 28.5%. Hispanics make up about 4.1%. Does Joe Wilson have any Black or Hispanic friends? Who knows? It's easy to tear him down because of it. It's easy to tear anyone down when they or you've chosen a side instead of standing in the center and and taking in both halves of the whole. The fact that he doesn't feel it necessary, speaks to our societal ills. From the time we are able to think for ourselves we are trained to think like everyone else in our lives. We are taught that a person has to choose a side. Right or wrong, good or bad, mean or kind, we all learn to choose. The only thing you can't choose is your family for the most part. If you're family is White, it's possible that you are taught to fear those who don't look like you. If you're born Black, it's possible you are taught the same thing. Only the reactions are different. I believe that Joe Wilson is passionate about being who he was always meant to be. His disrespect to the President is a by-product of who he has always been. I don't agree with what Joe Wilson did, but allow him the right to do it. He alone is responsible for his actions and he alone must walk the road he's chosen.

Let’s not dismiss and miss the point.

It's sad that President Carter is being criticized so harshly for his comments about race in this country. Racism still exists. Who better to identify the warning signals, than someone who grew up in a world where it was as close as your next breath? There is nothing wrong with our elders giving us advice. I think James Madison said, "If we don't know our history, we are doomed to repeat it." But once identified, we have an opportunity to examine ourselves and see what our feelings are surrounding this issue. It's also true that our world has changed. More and more our racial landscape is blending. Our President is referred to as a Black (African American) man, but a White woman made this contribution to the world. I also grew up Black even though my father was American Indian and my mother is a mixture poured from a Louisiana melting pot. The label of African American wasn't my choice. At some point the Black label got transformed. I've never been to Africa and I've met Africans who don't like Black Americans any more than they like White Americans. Growing up in the turbulent era of civil rights meant I had my share of being called he N-word and being told to go back where I came from. My answer has always been the same, "Chicago?" I guess my point is that there will always be someone who doesn't like, doesn't trust, and doesn’t tolerate you because of race. There was a rainbow of faces at my family gatherings, but I knew there was danger in certain neighborhoods. You couldn't cross one avenue because it was the dividing line between the races. Fortunately, that has changed somewhat and unless it's Orange County or Simi Valley, I'm pretty much ok. I've been married for 20 years to a man who has a family tree that grew in Scandinavian soil. Even he is a mixture of Swedish and Norwegian. What we've given to the world is a daughter who is part Black (African American), American Indian, Jewish, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish...you get the picture. None of us can truly claim only one bloodline, unless cousins were the only ones at the party. We need to get beyond this affliction of racism. The majority of us in this country have. Dare I say that the world is moving beyond it simply because isolation is hard to come by these days.

Roadside bombs in American soil

Many have lived to tell the story of the horrific moments after an angry soul bent on destruction has been moved to action because they see their fears and prejudices supported by someone “playing the game”. With so many groups organizing and being financially backed by huge corporations with the intent of stopping at all costs any reform, it makes me wonder. Where does the responsibility lie? Who pays for all the pain and suffering associated with this drastic turn? Can these groups truly walk away from the aftermath with not so much as a slap on their collective wrists? The proof of incitement is so clear. It has been documented and proven legitimate by many concerned citizens, news reporters, and whistle blowers. Big business continues to spend millions to support “Tea Baggers” and the like. If one of their followers makes a choice to take matters into their own hands, can these companies just walk away spouting the notion that they had no idea that such a thing could happen? Can it be justified merely by saying that “It was just Satire”? Maybe they could in the past when fact checking was something that happened after the fact. Maybe they could get away with it when there wasn’t a 24-hour news cycle and their names would most likely remain hidden until years later with the tragedy a cold memory. I say we call this what it is. Domestic Terrorism. Is there any legal action that can be taken against these groups who knowingly incite violence and discourse into the public arena? If something terribly wrong happens because of the poison that has been injected into the arm of the fringe element, do we as a nation have the right to hold someone accountable? Would we call this Domestic Terrorism? I wonder what these people who are so cavalier about their games of seek and destroy would do if they suddenly found themselves behind the defense table of a federal court? We send our troops into harms way to stop terrorism, yet we allow companies with huge amounts of money to wage war here at home by planting theoretical roadside bombs into the minds of people who are already unstable. These people who would die for the cause and become martyred are the roadside bombs. What makes them any different from the extremist we are currently fighting in the Middle East? It’s sad that we as a country have become what we despise. How can we be the moral authority for any other country when we allow such civil unrest to thrive in our own backyard blanketed by the First Amendment? A U.S. Representative of California, Wally Herger led a town hall meeting where a 67 year old man, Bert Stead declared himself to be a “proud right-wing terrorist”. The Representative gave him a reply of “Amen, God bless you. There’s a great American.” How is this not a crime? At the very least it should be an act of treason on the part of the Representative. On 9/11 we wanted to take out all terrorists. We wanted to hunt them down whether home or abroad and make them pay for killing so many of our American citizens. Now we have “Proud Right Wing Terrorists.” What’s the difference between them and Al-Qaida?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where’s My Thug At? (A Black President’s dilemma)

Maybe Barack Obama didn’t realize that he was chosen more because of his color than his eloquence. Don’t get me wrong; he wowed everyone at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. I knew he would be a great senator, but I truly believe that he was chosen because the Democrat Party needed some muscle. The party is full of politicians who can give good speech, but the first Black (African American) President by virtue of being Black, would most certainly bring with it some of the physical and mental toughness afforded to our Black athletes in this country, or even some of the “bust a cap in your ass” generalizations that some Whites have held onto even in this supposed “post-racial” America. The fact that he’s also from Chicago must have been the tipping point. Now, many people are expressing disappointment in his unwillingness to jump into the fray and throw punches. It would surprise no one in the Black community that he wouldn’t conduct himself in that manner. Mr. Obama is a highly educated man with a family. Not a street thug. Have we ever stopped to think that he’s playing the game? He’s been in office for 9 months and the fact that he hasn’t used his A-K is surprising to some. When Blacks won the right to vote, they were subjected to lies and misrepresentation when they showed up to polling places. “If you can’t read, you can’t vote.” was one of the lies told at the polls. When Blacks cry racism these days, they are met with a reverse racism label and told to be quiet. I think Mr. Obama is playing the game. We voted for him. We put him in office with a mandate. Now after less than a year we are swayed with untruths and intimidation. The “Right” Whites in this country who will never vote for anything he puts forth and are trying to bring him down at all costs are happy that we are silent. We stand idly by and watch while the big corporations in this country use their considerable wealth to hold onto power and the status quo by trotting out the same old fear and intimidation tactics they always use. Why? Is it because we expected Barack Obama to run the White House like the thug brothers we see in movies or on television? Did we expect him to call out the name callers and the “Deciders” for a game of one on one? What is it that we want from a man who has been in office for 9 months, has two wars, a failed economy, record unemployment, and a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit (none of which happened on his watch)? We truly are spoiled children who want everything and are willing to do nothing for it. If we don’t stand with our president, if we don’t push back in numbers against those who clearly have a BIG problem with a Black man living in the White House, then we have gone back on our word. Our promise. Our vote. With our vote we promised that we would help Barack Obama bring change to this country. And EVERYONE from age 18 to 100 plus has a responsibility to help this country back to health. HE CANNOT DO IT ALONE. We complained for eight years about an administration that bullied us and ran the country into the ground. We now have someone in office that is willing to work with us. Are we willing to work with him? The Democrats don’t have backbone. They run full tilt when the Republicans pick on them and call them names. I believe Barack Obama has shown his backbone simply by running and actually winning the White House in a country where white and black, white and brown, white and yellow is still the underlying issue.