Wednesday, November 30, 2005
He prolly has about the same problem as most black folks. He may not have any idea on how to manage his money. This has got to be an embarrasment for if no one else but the black community and the first congressional district of Illinois.
On the plus side I'd like to say he can find his way onto the right side of the issues unlike some of his colleagues. He was protesting against the slavery in the Sudan, he even got arrested for it. In addition to that he has fought predatory lending. He was quoted to have said that blacks can not depend on anyone else to solve their problems, but this won't make the news.
Another little tidbit. Bobby Rush was opposed back in 2000 by State Sen. Barack Obama for his congressional seat. I don't know how far the grudge has gone but all I know is that when Sen. Obama ran for US Senate in 2004, Rep. Rush threw his support behind Blair Hull in the US Senate Democratic primary.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Regardless, this irritates me. And it is not enough to say it is someone else's job to pick another individual trash up either. In college you must learn that it is not the cleaning staff's job to clean up after you, it's yours. That mean if you don't attend to it right away spills, paper, etc will be there for a very long while.
If Riverdale had been my city, it wouldn't just be a fine but perhaps a tax just to keep the city clean. Someone has to pay for the clean up and as much as I don't like taxes I have to be creative and come up with an incentive. A cleaning tax seems like it. If possible I would place it on property too. Perhaps I should move to the suburbs and run a city.
2)I return to ATL to find that one of my topics on the movie Street Fight (a documentary shown on PBS' POV series) is still getting comments. Of course my posts here seem to average between zero to one comments, I'm kind of amazed that people can still find it. And I see that DVD versions of this movie is actually available, perhaps I'll get me an early Christmas present before I purchase my return ticket to Chicago. I did record this movie on tape unfortunately my VCR is acting up at the current moment. But at least I have an operable DVD player.
Oh yeah I have yet to look at the latest comment. There were links provided of an election in Minneapolis of about the same dynamic as that of Newark. If it's true then I just hope this won't become a trend. It seems easier to hold on to power and influence than to just step aside for new ideas and such.
POV: Street Fight
More thoughts on Street Fight
Honestly I kind of wonder how these people find me. LOL
3)I plan to revamp my links in the near future. There are some things that belong and others that don't. It's probably about that time where I may need to re-evaluate why I have some of those links up there. I've also thought about revamping this blog and going from Blogger to perhaps Wordpress. Unfortunately I'm a long ways from making that decision it ultimately takes money and I honestly like what I am doing here. Either way that time may come.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I would visit the website and all I get is like a banner but no other content. It seems it was never profitable to begin with. Took in more money than it made. They have had like subscription drives and such but I guess it didn't get them anywhere. And indeed it is now a relic.
This source has taught me a little bit about Illinois politics and perhaps even national and a little Chicago politics. I would just like to see more people try to follow what goes on in City Hall or at the County as much as I like to see coverage in Springfield. It seemed to have attempted to bring people a little more closer to state and local government. While in theory government in Illinois is supposed to be open it really isn't and even then people don't really seek to get involved and that's just my observation.
Perhaps that's the beauty of this bloggosphere. All it takes is an individual with an interest and the writing skill or perhaps with the technical know-how to make podcasts and videoblog to look at public affairs. In any case for now if any individual to use the blogging medium to follow their government now it is back to the absolute grassroots. The regular Joes who only has to set up an account and get started broadcasting their opinions. There isn't even a need unless you're totally ambitious to get extra money for webspace.
I hope though that Illinois Leader may return to the landscape. If not well hopefull someone will get the conservative or citizen POV across. If there is one place that needs to encourage more citizen participation and debate, it's in Illinois.
Illinois Leader Pulls the Plug from McHenry County Blog
Rest in Peace from The Capitol Fax Blog
I couldn't make it, I would have like to have learned something but oh well. I'll catch this later one. If I was to ever do it, it would very much be a show about nothing, but I have a few more loftier goals than that. I set up another blog to really play around with this concept. I would do it here except what I can come up with to show on here wouldn't fit in with this idea of this being a current events/political blog. If I do video for this blog it would have to be based on that concept.
For me to be more serious I need to post more videos than I'm really able at the moment. I have dial up at home hence the little joke about me starting up some funds so I can get donations here. I have to upgrade my internet connection from dial-up to broadband. Unfortunately it is not realistic for me at this time. I do have the luxury of a high speed network at school but I can't depend on it forever. If only Chicago had something like Node 101 that has been advertised in New York and San Antonio, TX.
If you might be interested heres a couple of sites if you are in the Midwest and particularly Chicago...
Sunday, November 20, 2005
On Wikipedia I found this most intersting of phenomenas. The typicaly blog may contain an individual's blabberings about issues and life. It's mainly types with a smatter of photography. There may be blogs dedicated to photos (hence the term photoblogging) and then there are those who are able to record audio entries. The I discover videoblogging.
Of course there is an example of this a lot more easier to run into that I ever imagined. Besides it wasn't until fairly recently that I even found out what a blog was. It seems like the greatest attempt to take back our media to date. Thanks to this electronic revolution we need not depend on a major publication or a major media outlet to publish our point of view. Or at the very least tell us what to think. So there are actually those of use taking journalism and opinion back to the grassroots.
Thanks to Evan Coyne Maloney (btw he also has a Wikipedia entry), I figured out that the big story need not come from a major media outlet. All that needs to happen is to have one of us everyday folk go out take a camera or whatever tool you may have and make a record of this story. This is what Evan did at peace march in New York in 2003. His effort hasn't gone unrewarded he's gotten more his on his site the past couple of years than he did when he started his site in 2001 (just before 9/11 you should see his material surrounding the event). Also he is working on a feature length documentary as well his video work on the internet may lead to bigger and better projects in the future God willing.
In any case I'm impressed with those who are engaged in video blogging and to be sure, I've found of couple of blogs which has sparked my interest in this. To be sure this is one of many ways of taking back our media and putting the views of ordinary people out there, but this is as in your face as one can get. I may post more about videologging later. In the meanwhile I'll let you guy have a look at what I've seen a little bit of. They are a couple of video bloggers who I've syndicated using an RSS feed.
Ryanne's Video Blog
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I'm not going to pretend I know I just loved this second article. They talked about some neighborhoods on the near south side of Chicago. Mainly Kenwood, Oakland, and Bronzeville. These neighborhoods are being built up, however some of you wouldn't want to be caught dead in after a certain point in time. As I've stated in my other post the less well to do may wind up moving out because the rents are going to go up and/or it may be more profitable to just sell all together.
To invest in impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago may be a questionable investment, but a worthwhile one as is the case on the near south side. But some of these residents we saw didn't feel too bad about those who had to move in fact some of them are espousing somewhat conservative ideas...
Of the public housing that once dominated his neighborhood's skyline, [Rashaun] Williams says: "All of that was suppressing the value of this very valuable land. People who are on government subsidies, in general, don't have a right to any particular land because taxpayers are the ones paying for it, anyway. If I'm supporting the whole thing, should they get a better view of the lake and I get a view of a south suburban neighborhood and an hour-and-a-half commute?"OK, maybe it wasn't all that conservative but I hope you get the drift. I don't want to tear down public housing residents but there are those who just don't want to leave and it could be because they don't have anywhere else to go. Is it our problem if they just don't want to move out of public housing on their own anyway. Well public housing in Chicago is rife with tragedy unfortunately with children dying playing in elevator shafts, falling out of windows, or shot by a gang members' bullet.
Also there are hope that these near south side neighborhoods could be like the Bronzeville of years past, which was actually an upper middle class black neighborhood and Hyde Park which is racially mixed. However in some of these neighborhoods whites are moving in being readily able to afford the real estate in ways most blacks aren't. Most of the black in the article will contend that blacks need to drive revitalization.
Even mentioned are those blacks who aren't used to the segregation in Chicago. One statistic suggests that 80% of Chicago's blacks may have to move before Chicago is integrated. Some have come from other places where the segregation isn't as stark as in Chicago. There is an idea that the more integrated a neighborhood the better prices might be. The jury may be out on that.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
It involved homeownership. In the Englewood neighborhood there are plans to build new homes and turn those residents from renters into owners. A tough task but the idea is to give these individuals job training and get them started in jobs at over $10 an hour. A tough sell in my opinion however it might just mean that Englewood might return to it's earlier glory. It was once a very good neighborhood until blight set in and it gained it's reputation for its many murders.
Anyway with ownership wealth is a major project for the Rebirth of Englewood Redevelopment Corporation. And this is an issue not just for the residents of Englewood but perhaps blacks around the country. So this first article in the series caught my eye.
A black individual or a married couple can own them a home in a very nice black community such as (stated in the article) Avalon Park. But the value of this home would be far less than Portage Park on the northwest side of town. The perception used is that there is more crime in Avalon Park (or that's the perception) than in Portage Park which in actuality has twice as many reported crimes as Avalon Park. Still a home in Portage Park will be worth $308,000 vs Avalon Park's $136,000. Apparently racial makeup can make a difference, but the question is should it.
Another issue that crops up in redevelopment in many of the surrounding neighborhoods. For instance they sighted a young man moving into the Woodlawn neighborhood. The idea there is to turn that neighborhood will turn around and it may prove to be an investment. Which is why I get the feeling yuppies will start buying property in Englewood and squeeze out those other residents. Of course I can be wrong.
It's too bad this post will probably take more than one. I want to talk about part two of this series later.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Last Friday evening, Danita Carter was inside the couple's home in the Ashburn neighborhood when she noticed the family's dog was barking loudly. When she went outside, she saw two teens "play-fighting" in the bushes, her husband told me.
"Would you guys please stop that because you are tearing up my bushes,"
Danita Carter said.
Rather than reply "Yes, Ma'am" like many of us were taught to do when we were growing up, the teens told her that they lived there. That, of course, was a lie.
"My wife said: 'This is my home.' One of them stood up real quick and with blinding speed punched her in the left side of her face," Harry Carter told me. "He fractured her jaw in three places, knocked her molars loose and knocked out two front teeth. The doctors had to wire her mouth shut."
Oh my. So they got belliegerent with her quick. There have always been complaints that the police aren't very helpful in the black community. That they're not actively protecting the black neighborhoods as the should. Combine this with the idea that charges of police brutality will be thrown around.
Also Mr. Carter has been frustrated there have been no arrests made and he had to do some of his own detective work. In addition to that the assault was listed as a simple battery, but it was corrected to aggrevated battery. So this story may indicate that the police aren't taking this crime very seriously.
I want to touch upon a few points that I found from this article. First off if you're black and middle class in Chicago and I got this from the Tribune a few years ago, you just might not be too far away from high crime areas. This may not exactly compute in this situation Ashburn may not be considered high crime and there may not be much crime in the surrounding areas so what gives.
Well, the people who may have attacked Danita Carter his wife were "section 8". People who left the projects in Chicago as they were being torn down. Even I have had an experience with section 8 people. This group who lived next door to us were pretty horrible. A tree fell into our yard and they took their time in trying to despose of it. We (my mother and I) had to threaten to contact their landlord to get that tree out of our yard. And they went ahead and took care of it.
Well another case occured when they did finally move out. We were finally able to get rid of the roaches in our home but the roaches just so happen to return. What gives? Well it didn't help that they had kids around everywhere who'll throw trash behind bushes. We toured the house they lived in next door after they had left, it was squalor they had lived in. And there were plenty of artifacts left over such as dolls as well as dead roaches. It was horrible. There are other issues. Well in this story, these kids went so far as to engage in an assault.
This leads to another point. Mr. Carter says...
"Up until about 18 months ago, it was real, real quiet," he said. "Then we started getting a speckle here and a speckle there of Section 8 homes. These people move in and they have no information on how to act normal."Essentially and Mitchell picks up on it. Every neighborhood has an established code of conduct...
Residents clash when newcomers aren't willing to adopt that code. For instance, in some neighborhoods, teens are allowed to hang out on corners, play basketball late into the night, and sit in parked cars blasting profane music. In other black neighborhoods, this kind of behavior is considered unacceptably "ghetto."
Basically in Chicago the most grassroots form of government are either neighborhood or city block level in at least most residential neighborhoods. They try to acclimate everyone into the new neighborhood. And I suppose it can only take if the neighborhood make a concerted effort to reach out to their neighbors or if the new residents have no intention of really cooperating with the code. Either way it may be that these kids were looking for trouble and perhaps they were used to people just not bothering them. It's as if they never left the projects. Of course I want to take care and not portray all people from the projects as trouble.
Since we're on the black middle class trip I want to mention another article but I won't add my two cents until tommorrow. Would you believe that black families with homes in black communities will get a lot less for selling their homes than an individual in a predominantly white neighborhood with a much high incidents of crime. Well I presen this Sun-Times article to you and I'll have more to say. Real estate has been an interest of mine as of late.
Friday, November 11, 2005
But how did this armistice day become an American holiday known today as Veterans' Day. Well I suppose it just happened. Wikipedia isn't saying anything but thanks to the sacrifice of American troops during the first world war we have a day to reflect on the sacrifice of all of our veterans in any conflict in American history.
Or perhaps this is a day for our living veterans. There may very well be a few who are still around from World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf, and our current Iraq conflict. I'm sure I haven't named all of our major campaigns. I also want to note that this day is for those veterans who have served in peacetime. We needed them around in times of peace as well.
This day is more than a day off from school (if you go to public school at least in Chicago from K-12) or a day off from work (if you work in government offices or at a bank). We should take a time to honor our veterans. Let's keep them in our thoughts especially those in our families who have served in the military.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
It seems the possibility of a Topinka victory will be wishful thinking in either the primary or perhaps more likely in the November 06 election. She delayed her response because she wanted significant financial support she'll be facing a hefty Blagojevich campaingn fund as other candidates for governor. Now that it looks like she's in the question is can she win.
Well let me share these links and hopefully the right person comes out of this election cycle next year. I'm going to do more research into this.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
There are others around the country for higher offices such as governor. I think there is a gubernatorial election in both Virgina and New Jersey. I'm sure there are a few others.
You know this almost makes me excited for the next Chicago municipal elections. I feel the need to get involved again because I wasn't the last couple of times. Is change in the air in Chicago? Who knows. And I must not forget that next year will be the next campaign for governor of Illinois. I want to see if the IL GOP can actually gain some ground in this one. Because IL Democrats know what they're doing.
Monday, November 07, 2005
There were hopes that she would run for re-election as the Illinois state treasurer. I suppose she got the money and support she needs. I do question if she is the right candidate, during her brief tenure as Illinois GOP chairman she presided over a rather disgraceful period when the original GOP nominee for the US Senate Jack Ryan resigned his nomination and in his place was Alan Keyes.
I would hope however that the GOP can keep it together in this election and not engage in an expensive and negative campaign. They need to unite against a candidate but if I'm to believe the analogy between the national Democrats and IL Republicans, who is to say Topinka won't just become Illinois' version of John Kerry.
I can say one thing about Topinka, we will know where she stands.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Now my friend doesn't hate white people but he feels this great connection with the struggle. Probably more than I do. He's a history major and I have no doubt he's done more to study black history. He once mention how a spiritual that came up in one of his classes he already knew was written by a white composer on top of that it was a little differetnt from one composed by a black composer.
Anyway we talked of a number of issues. A little lifestyle, a little politics and history of course. Lifestyle, well we talked about materialism. I talked up this music video that I saw from Destiny's Child years ago (I haven't watched music videos in years or I'm not as faithful). It featured this rapper Timbaland who was rapping about his Lincoln Navigator. I see this as a promotion of materialism and he talked about those individuals who wants those crazy rims on their cars. I may just call it materialism, but he would refer to this as extreme materialism. Though I'll admit I want some nice things my self, but I at least want some land. (Which reminds me, when I finally graduate, I should look into buying me a two-flat when I'm settle back into Chicago.) That's the issue with the youngins, they want the cars before a roof over thier heads.
Politics, well of course we talked about Libby but we go into his belief system at this moment. First and foremost he doesn't believe America is a truly Democratic nation and says he didn't vote. He asked if I voted, I said yes and I saw it as a duty. He agrees it's a duty, however, it just might not count anyway and they'll do what they want to do. I can't disagree perhaps when we elect someone to office we are always taking a big risk.
However he said something else I can agree with. That it isn't always enough to vote for one guy just because you don't want the other guy in office. That's why I believe the Democrats lost last year. Anybody But Bush and the vulgarity and all this other stuff that they made their selling point to Americans didn't sell. And their candidate against Bush wasn't much to begin with. When Kerry won the nomination, the Democrats lost the election.
So I went to the next topic. And J just knew this was a good topic. What does he think about the fact taht 90% of blacks vote Democrat almost without fail? I think this one trend is probably the one which hurts us the most. Why should the Republicans or anyone else include us in their plans if we just won't vote for them? And the other party can play lip service but barely lift a finger because they got our votes and they didn't have to work for it. That's the one thing that I strive to make a change for.
But he used the one word I hear a lot. Consciousness. In my Internation Relations class, consciouness was refered to in a theory specific the Marxist theory. My professor stressed that the proletariats can't rise up against the bourgeosie because they're not conscious. Awareness of what we are doing and the issues that affect us and maybe even a simple solution and to support those who have solution. Perhaps black America needs to be conscious about the possibility that voting Democrat isn't making conditions in black America any better and it is time to change our voting patterns. We were conscious in the 1950s and 1960s. We knew that Jim Crow or any other discriminatory practices were the enemy and we were willing to do something about it. Can we do something like that today?
His solution to black America's political issues is to say we should form our own party. I didn't say anything, but I would quietly disagree. Third parties unless there is general dissatisfaction with the two main partys aren't going to succeed. The GOP is hyped as being a third party today with Abe Lincoln however they came around when the other major party besides the Democrats, the Whigs, was dying as a party. The idea really does look good on paper but I don't see it as holding traction, blacks and other minorites need to have their hand in both parties. And may the best ideas win.
We talked a little history. Rosa Parks has been an important issue this week. We talked about a little boycott that happened in Montgomery. I never understood this until fairly recently because I've been hearing about this since I was a child. When the laws that Mrs. Parks broke on that fateful day were unjust the black community in Montgomery, Alabama of the 1950s decided to take action. Perhaps blacks made up most of the fare paying customers on the city buses but we weren't respected as customers and they decided blacks didn't have the priviledges thereof. So they found otherways to get around the city. They walked, they carpooled, I'm quite sure they found other ways. Ultimately they looked at their bottom line and black Americans one a victory which was a model for more victories in the Civil Rights movement. So my friend gives the example of could the people of Atlanta do this? And could Altanta's MARTA suffer because of it? In most major cities blacks still make up most of the ridership of public transportation so if they give the bulk of their customer a good reason to take their business elsewhere, then MARTA is in trouble.
This was another interesting conversation. I may not agree with him on a number of issues. I'm more conservative, however, he's still a good guy to have an intellectual discussion with.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
First off, I suppose she was the right woman at the right time. I just learned today that something like this was attempted in Baton Rouge. Additionally there have been stoires that there were others in Montgomery, AL who resisted the law that a black can not sit in the white section of the city bus. In fact I read somewhere that a pregnant unwed teen did about the same thing as Mrs. Parks. Somehow that didn't spark the event now known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Some would claim that Mrs. Parks' NAACP membership got her the attention and some would claim she was set up and that it was staged.
Whatever the real story is, everything came together when Rosa Parks was there. Then we had Dr. Martin Luther Kind and then everything was set for history in the making. To put this event into perspective, I also learned today and I didn't really think about it that Montgomery had the crime of Emmit Till for momentum. Perhaps we come to the realization that if we didn't stand up, racist forces will harm us in horrible ways.
In any case there was a number of events that I can point to as the start of the Civil Rights era. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was certainly one of them. Thanks to Mrs. Parks and others, black Americans are surely better off today. It's unfortunate that many of us fail to see that. And that we'll use the activities of the past as an excuse.
Our leadership today comes from the Civil Rights traditions for the most part or at least most of black America's prominent national leaders. They have proven their worth for many years but could it be time for them to let go and allow the next generation to come in and leave their mark. Who will step up to the mantle of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Medgar Evers. And will black America truly see better days than we've had so far? I want to hope so.