Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jimmy Carter's Comments of Race

Mr. Carter is absolutely right in pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. In my experience, the ones who shout loudest that they are not racists, or that racism is a thing of the past in America, are generally the most racist of the lot. I don't know how many times I have heard the phrase, "I'm not racist, but...."

President Obama has been in a tricky position ever since his campaign went into high gear a year and a half ago. The man is no fool and certainly recognizes racism when he encounters it. Yet any mention of it by him or his staff would receive an instant backlash. In fact, I hadn't thought of it in such terms before, but I'd bet that's a fervid hope by those orchestrating such things on the Right. Kind of like when Hillary identified a "vast rightwing conspiracy," and was soundly ridiculed for stating an obvious truth. Only the Right would make 100 times the hay with any admission on Obama's part that his administration is being attacked based on race.

The ultimate affront is that race is being used to incite hatred toward this administration, not necessarily because those behind this renewed vast rightwing conspiracy are themselves racist (though no doubt some are), but because it's a convenient means of tapping into the fears of a large segment of the population. It was the reason the Right went after Hillary more than they did Bill: they knew it would be easy to inflame millions of conservative voters who distrust women in pantsuits.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,

You ran on a promise of affordable healthcare for all. This has been the goal of Democrats and progressives for nearly three quarters of a decade. A bill without a public option would be a boon to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and would serve to actually make our healthcare system more expensive for all. Please be true to the principles you campaigned on. Your legacy should not be a healthcare boondoggle that hangs like an albatross around your neck. Worse yet, the albatross would be unfairly hung around the necks of all progressives and Democrats, and would make a Republican Neo-Con resurgence almost inevitable. Teddy Kennedy would already be turning in his grave if he knew you were entertaining going forward without a public option. Prove you are carrying the torch he handed you when he endorsed your campaign. Be the man of the people you promised to be. You work for us Mr. President. You are accountable to us. Be true. Stand firm. We who supported you so steadfastly during your campaign will stand firm with you – but you above all must stand firm now. NO healthcare bill without the public option!

I wrote the above message on a petition I just signed through I would like to add to it here. A healthcare bill written without a public option will be a healthcare bill written, for all intents and purposes, by and for the Pharmaceutical and Insurance industries. Too long under the Bush administration, were bills written and signed, serving corporate interests at the expense of the public interest. Your campaign promise of change had, at its heart, this resounding distinction. You must shepherd a Congress with the public interest at heart. Only then will we know that change is happening. This is a critical moment Mr. President. It would be better to have fought and to have lost than to capitulate and lose faith with the American people. Undoing the public option is not compromise; it is a betrayal of principle.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time to Move On

I started this blog because I like writing. It began as a series of essays on life, which I enjoyed. But it rapidly found a stridently political voice. It was a voice shared by many at the time, and I have no regrets for having written so.

But it's not what I started out to do, and it's really not what I enjoy writing about. I can't go back. This blog is what it is. But I can go forward, and I have done so, here:

Please join me there. I have a fresh page just waiting for the essays I love.

Thank you,


Monday, July 27, 2009

Alexis Cohen (Idol Wannabe) Hit and Killed - Cops were to blame

A young gal named Alexis Cohen was hit and killed in the small hours of the morning. She was apparently a two-time contestant on American Idol. News stories abound with brief comments on her career and with descriptions of the despicable hit and run act by the bad guy Daniel Bark. Discussions are all about his record, his bail, what a "punk" he is.

I'm sure these are valid conversations. But one story mentions that the hit and run occurred as Bark was running from the Police, who were chasing him. This means that if the cops hadn't chased Bark, young Ms. Cohen would be alive.

Why does nobody ever assign blame to the cops? I don't mean to suggest that Bark is blameless. Doubtless the court will find him guilty of manslaughter or worse. But why aren't cops ever held to account for this kind of thing? Why do cops get the kid glove treatment from the public? When President Obama had the temerity to question the judgement of the police in the Gates case, you would have thought the world was coming to an end. How dare he question the police?

Let's quit molly-codling the cops and start holding them accountable. A quirky young woman who played the erstwhile entertainer for America is dead, and nobody is asking for that kind of accountability.

Friday, July 24, 2009

To the Victors go the Spoilage

So we thought everything was going to be alright now that we elected a Democratic Congress, Senate and Administration. What’s more, we even managed to break at least one glass ceiling on the way (two, if you consider comedy, and Al Franken).

So I forgot about blogging. I went back to Kleenex inventorying, and Scotch sampling. All was now supposed to be good with the world. It was time to enjoy the pretty sunset colors.

Universal healthcare. Ahhh, so nice. Don’t ask, don’t even worry. Better. Guantana-no mo. Bush and Cheney in irons. Patriot – Last Act. What lovely vistas. Let’s raise a glass and toast to these visions of American rebirth.


What’s up?

Did I miss something? I know I was in the john for a bit, but surely things can’t have taken the right turn they seem to have.

Can they?

Is this 1992 all over again? I can’t imagine we haven’t learned anything. We couldn’t possibly have let a vast right wing conspiracy survive as anything more than a whisper of a rotten ghost of a long-dead corpse of a miscreant forgotten by all but some dreary Neanderthals.

Could we?

Have we really allowed a coherent voice from speakers for the dead? Are we actually fighting the same old battles, only with the added juice of race? And with more hyped up venom than ever? With lies which site other lies as “proof,” which themselves are based on falsehoods, based on prevarications, based on malicious slander, and on and on. But of course, like Roger Daughtry, we can’t get fooled again.

Can we?

We have managed to facilitate a bulwark of mighty truth have we not? We have assembled a mountain of evidence. We have instructed our misled brethren (and sisthren) in the holy art of critical thinking.

Haven’t we?

The really bad guys who had free reign in this land, and who made our names synonymous with evil, are vanquished.

Aren’t they?

Why then do we continue to fight what we have won?

How is it that we made battle and unified a people as hadn’t been unified for half a century, and yet we still cannot act like winners?

Quit the apologies. Forget the goddamned bipartisanship. Screw the Republican party.

We won.

They lost.

Let’s be victors and claim the spoils.

Before they spoil.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great Day

What else is there to say? I was stuck at work today (I was supposed to have the day off, but work duties called). I saw the better part of President Obama's speech. Bonnie was at home, and she recorded it. I'll watch the whole thing with her this evening.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am no Pollyanna. But I can't help but feel a great deal of hope. As a general rule, I do not believe in disenfranchisement, but all those right wing whacko's out there who have done their level best over the past eight years to make our world hell, have been disenfranchised today! And it's a great thing.

I can't say where this will all end. But what a great beginning.