Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What If the Roles were Reversed?

A friend sent the message below to me. I am unsure of its original author, but thought it was interesting. If you think issues of race have or are no longer as relevant as they were "back in the day," then take a look at this quick read.

I've never been one who often refers to or even laments about the "Black Tax." But with all of the talk of Sen. Obama's lack of executive experience or readiness for the job on Day I, this message does make you at least pause and think about the extent to which race has made what would've probably been a landslide Democratic victory a tight contest.

Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?..... think about it. Would the country's collective point of view be different? Ponder the following:
  • What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
  • What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
  • What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
  • What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
  • What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident?
  • What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
  • What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
  • What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
  • What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
  • What if McCain was viewed by such a large percentage of the population (on both side of the aisle) as a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
  • What if Obama demonstrated the same sort of difficulties (as McCain) reading from a teleprompter?
  • What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
  • What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
  • What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?


Educational Background: Barack Obama:Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain:United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.

This Is It!...

Two years of informal and formal campaigning all come down to this day (minus any law suits or legal objections sure to follow such a contentious election). But bigger than the mainstream's two years of anticipation is the TWO HUNDRED years (plus some) of anticipation that African Americans have waited for, which is embodied by this day, November 4, 2008.

Win or lose, this day will only come once in a lifetime for us. I have no doubt that other phenomenal African American leaders will continue crashing through the glass ceiling that Candidate Obama has surely cracked--and hopefully shattered--with his historic campaign. He is, I'm sure, just the first of our post-civil rights generation through the door...the first of us to bend history. Nevertheless, this is a momentous occasion.

We began this blog as a place to record our collective rants, reactions, review, and responses to what happened in the 30 days leading up to the election of our next president. Today, we invite all of our bloggers and YOU, our readers, to join us in ongoing blogging or by posting your comments throughout the day.

This is a moment that is not lost on us. If you have not done so already, VOTE--then add your voice to this conversation today!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Monday Moment

Barack Will Be President But Will Your Life Be Different?

I am a former government employee and civil servant.

I cashed my dream of being a civil servant in for the American dream of prosperity.

I hate politics.

I hate reading.

I do not watch any news shows, except for the Daily Show and/or the Corbert report on occasion.

I cannot tell you which channels CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, TV One, or BET are on my cable box.

I trust all politicians to do that which they must do to stay in power.

There is no such thing as truth in politics, because the truth is a relative concept controlled entirely by whomever is in power.

Honesty will get you nowhere in politics.

The American public does not care to be bothered with facts, instead they want to be promised a “chicken in every pot” and “a car in every backyard.”

The only forces that get anything to done in government are the forces of power, money and mass public outcry.

I think state governments should allow students to opt out of attendance starting in grade school and, as a result, save scarce resources for those who actually want to learn.

Most people in this country are behind the evolutionary curve.

I am not a nice person.

I am not a role model.

I have met Barack Obama personally and believe him to be a good man. I also believe that Barack will be the 44th President of the United States. But simply because Barack will be the next President come November 4th, how will my or your life improve come November 5th?

Come November 5th, the Proletariat will not rise up and overthrow the Bourgeoisie;

Fools will still be selling and/or doing drugs and still hanging on the corner waiting for the next hustle;

Public schools will still be more of a detention center, than a center for education and betterment;

Americans will still be overweight, dying and getting sicker as a result of lifestyle choices;

There still will be a proclaimed shortage of “good” black men;

Women will still get married and then proceed to get real complacent in that marriage;

I will still be fat;

I will still need to get up on November 5th and go to work;

I will still need to reconcile myself with established religion and start going back to church again;

My son won’t all of a sudden be a man and my newborn won’t arrive into this world talking and potty trained.

After November 4th, despite being the great man that he is, Barack will not be able to do more for you or me than that which will keep him in power. Even more to the point, becoming the next President of this country was Barack’s personal challenge that he faced down and conquered. This accomplishment is his personal testimony.

What is your testimony?

How can you be better?

What have you been neglecting?

What did you previously believe was impossible to accomplish?

What challenges have you or will you face come November 5th to bring about the change that you need?

Prior to November 4th, I was an invisible man. No, not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am invisible simply because people refuse to see me. But after November 4th, I remain invisible by personal choice rather than by the social construct. Come November 5th, I am no longer invisible but can only become visible after I commit myself to personal progress and begin to implement the change I need.

The times are too serious not to challenge myself to change myself; the stakes are too high;

I am at a crossroads in my personal history;

I have a righteous wind at my back;

My shoulder is pressed up against the wheel of change moving forward – I shall overcome today.

Back in June 1994, a man stated that in order to change the world, I must first start by changing myself, with Barack as President, it seems that world may have a head start on me.

You Need To Change Today

You Need To Vote Tomorrow.

May God bless you and God bless America.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little known grammar rules

First - cards fully on the table.

1) My grandmother is a retired English teacher. She literally had me do grammar exercises sometimes when I would visit her. I can do a fish diagram of a sentence better than I can fry a fish (no comments from the peanut gallery).

2) I am a complete political junkie. I watch election coverage to the exclusion of my TIVO'd shows. And I talk about it whenever I can. My son knows Joe Scarborough like he's a member of our family, and will stop eating to listen to Chuck Todd (sincerely hope you don't know who either of those people are). I also read like Sarah Palin claims to, "any of them, all of them, everything." I literally read three daily newspapers, three weekly news magazines and 3+ 24/7 blogs on my kindle. I even read transcripts of things.

The two points above make me Sarah Palin's nightmare. Because what is "folksy" on television, when read, just comes off as ridiculous (at least for any adult with more than a Chicago Public School high-school diploma). And what irritates me, and I'd guess all English teachers and their offspring, is her butchering of the English language. For instance, take the phrase "who are desiring" which she says all of the time. Is this the Alaskan equivalent of black english?
Seriously --- people "who are desiring," ..... is that the same as saying "people desire?" Do these people desire something now? Are they contemplating what they will desire in the future? Are they currently "desiring", but really don't want to desire it, so they're going to stop soon? Or are they just as confused about what the @!$!# she is talking about as I am?

The secret writer in me wants to scream at the TV, newspaper or Kindle that "desire" is in a category of verbs that cannot be correctly conjugated in any continuous tenses. But then I realize that would go over Palin's head like she thinks Putin's planes do. Besides, I don't want to focus on the rule she's breaking as the specific rule isn't the point. I don't expect anyone to know the arcane rules of grammar (part of me wishes I didn't know them myself).

But my grandmother didn't expect this either, not even on those long-ago summers. Nana's overriding rule to me was always "Say it aloud. If it sounds wrong, it probably is." Sarah Palin's words, reading them, hearing them or speaking them just sound wrong. If Barack came out today and said, "I just glanced at the polls and we be winning," it would upend the polls. It would just sound wrong.

Never have I felt more my Nana's grandchild than in the past 8 weeks as I've listened to this woman. There's a little known Dr. Seuss book entitled "Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!" I so very much want to say this to Sarah Palin.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Really, Joe?

Here's a quick Friday post, my response to some random person on a friend's Facebook page about this dumb Joe the Plumber nonsense. I've changed the poster's name to protect him from further ridicule....

Original statement by my observant friend...

Record profits for Exxon Mobile. We should give them a tax cut cause they need it, as McCain suggests. Maybe they will grace us with some good trickle down wealth?

"Fan of regular-Joe caricatures and plumbers" at 9:14am October 31

PLUMBER: “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more. Isn’t it?”

OBAMA: “It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Spread it to WHO? Ladies and Gentlemen, the last time I checked, this strategy was defined as Socialism!

Will Hill at 1:02pm October 31

Well... In Alaska for decades every citizen has received annual dividend checks from oil profits. I wonder if Joe and Sarah also believe that to be socialist....

No "spreading of wealth" unless it's in Alaska? Funny :-)

Trick-or-treating might actually be more profitable than trickle down trickonomics.

Tax breaks for big corporations do not directly result in more jobs (the theory itself is an indirect possibility at best). Exhibit A - executive salaries, Exhibit B - the George W. Bush corporate tax cuts have increased jobs by exactly how much?...

By the way Joe actually makes $40K per year and every analyst agrees he'd benefit from Obama's tax plan. I know Joe's looking for any reason not to like Obama but these aren't very intelligent ones.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Will you posed some good questions on my last post. I agree that this is very complex and I'd have to dedicate some serious time to figure out what would work. I respect those who do it every day. I know its not easy so I wouldn't disrespect them by simplifying it. For me, the fact does remain that we do need to create a regulations that makes sense for today's global economy. We can get in the lab on that off-line.

Moving on....

During the debate, Tom Brokaw asked the candidates if they thought the ecomony would get worse before it gets better. Neither candidate was willing to be honest about that question. I understand why. Why take the risk? This is they type of thing that makes my earlier point about trust salient. Tell me what you think about this:

What if Obama gets elected, gives a speech and in the speech talks about the election process. He takes responsibility for not being completely honest about the economy getting worse before better for the reasons we all know, apologizes, and makes a pact with us that he's going to give it to us straight from this point forward. Part of his platform is based on being honest with the American people, telling us what we need to hear vs want to hear. And while no one expects him to be perfect, he can correct errors and make a sincere effort to move our politics in the direction we all know it should go. If we're the ones we've been waiting for, then we have to operate based on what we know to be true and proceed accordingly. Does anyone think taking a stance like this would be detrimental in the long run?

The #1 reason I believe Barack should do this is because its right. The second reason is because I believe he has to be transcendent while in office. That's a tremendous burden I know but that's what this time in calls for.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Three Cheers for "Maybe You Shouldn't Vote"

I'm somewhat new to the blogsphere and still unsure of "Blog Etiquette." So forgive me for using this post to draw your attention to a post on another blog. Bill Folman wrote a very insightful blog that appeared on the Huffington Post yesterday as well as on his blog. He writes:

"Voting is a skill. It's like basketball. Not everyone is good at it. Sure, everyone likes to think he or she is a good voter, just like everyone likes to think he or she is attractive and has a sense of humor. Sadly, the numbers do not support these claims. If everyone was a brilliant voter, we would never elect bad leaders, and the last eight years might have turned out quite differently. So this election year, before you step into a voting booth and possibly screw things up for the rest of us, I ask that you take a moment to answer the following questions and determine whether you have the skill and the know-how to vote responsibly for our next president."

You really should read the full article. But if you're short on time, check out Folman's list of questions he uses to determine a voter's skill:

  1. Do you feel you made a mistake in 2004 when you voted for George W. Bush?
  2. Do you believe Barack Obama is a Muslim? Do you believe he "pals around with terrorists"?
  3. Do you believe any of the following to be unbiased and even-handed sources for political news: The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post, Air America, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, or the Fox News Network? (Worth noting that his blog appeared on the Huffington Post)
  4. Are your political opinions easily swayed by forwarded e-mails, messages on your answering machine, or frightening campaign commercials?
  5. Do you vote based on who you feel is the more "patriotic" candidate? Do you worry about having a president who is a member of the "elite?"
  6. Are you planning to vote a certain way because of Barack Obama's skin color or Sarah Palin's gender?
  7. Are you afraid of accidentally electing a socialist president to the White House?
  8. Do you want your president to be just like you?
  9. Are you upset because you don't know where the candidates stand on the major issues?
  10. Do you feel there is no real difference between the two candidates?

Again, check out the article. It's a quick, fun read. Folman created a great blend of humor and insight.