Saturday, July 30, 2005
Either way riding on a long distance train such as either the Southwest Chief or the Capitol Limited is almost like a cruise ship. Think about it, there is a kitchen on board the train and a place to sit down and eat and there is also a cafe. They don't merely serve peanuts either (btw I've never taken an airline flight).
If you're a first class passenger you can take a room in a sleeper car. You also have a complimentary meal which is included in the fare. In making reservations for the Southwest Chief we found out that a first class seat on the train costs about $700. Despite that price I have no doubt the sleeper car is the way to travel. Usually when I take the train I travel by coach which isn't bad you're probably more likely to mingle with the people on the coach.
Amtrak may cost more than going Greyhound but it's probably more economical than taking the plane. You really have to search for a fare on an airline. The train is perfect for someone who enjoys the ride as much as getting there.
Perhaps one day I should do some research on Amtrak and perhaps I'll get back to this issue. And even take a strong stand on this issue.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Mentioned here is Black Bourgeoisie by Howard University sociologist E. Franklin Frazier. I've never read that book but what I hear about the book seems like a hit piece on the black middle class. I should add that to the reading list.
Washington’s Lost Black Aristocracy by Tucker Carlson from City Journal Autumn 1996
Thursday, July 28, 2005
He had been riding around with a friend of his on motor bikes in Louisville when it was raining. They walked into a restaurant and ordered some meals. A waitress told them that "We don't serve Negroes."
Ali's reply, "Well, we don't eat them either."
Remember that Ali was wearing his gold medal around his neck when this happened. He told the waitress who he was. At that moment he was Cassius Clay, Olymic Champion. At this moment the waitress went into the back to talk with her manager. Ali surely believed they'd let him an olympic gold medal winner eat there. But they still had to leave this restaurant.
So here's a paragraph about this incident from the book...
As Ronnie (his friend) and I stood up and walked out of the door, my heart was pounding. I wanted my medal to mean something-the mayor had said it was the key to Louisville. It was supposed to mean freedom and equality. I wanted to tell them they should all be ashamed. I wanted to tell them that this was supposed to be the land of the free. As I got up and walked out of that restaurant, I didn't say anything, but I was thinking that
I just wanted America to be America.
Ali had this medal on virtually all the time until this incident. Louisville was his town and someone didn't want him in his restaurant. Everyone knew who he was and he even won the gold medal. But this meant nothing especially since he "didn't have the right skin color."
Ronnie wanted me to call one of the millionaire from my sponsoring group to tell them what happened, and I almost did, but more than anything, I wanted that medal to mean that I was my own man and would be respected and treated like any other human being. Then I realized that even if it had been my "Key to the City," if it could get me into the "White only" place, then what good was it? What about other Black people?Ali came to realize that his medal didn't mean "equality for all, it didn't mean anything at all."
...From that moment on, I (Ali) have never placed great value on material things. What really matters is how you feel about yourself. If I had kept that medal I would have lost my pride.Well first off I didn't even know he was in the Olympics and won gold. But I was surprised a little to find out what he did with his medal. It seems drastic but one can understand where he was coming from I hope. So in his own words this is what happened to his medal.
Over the years I have told some people I had lost it, bu no one ever found it. That's because I lost it on purpose. The world should know the truth-it's somewhere at the bottom of the Ohio River.This is a timely quote given the Rev. Meeks situation during the last couple of weeks or so.
But as clear cut as the race angle may be to black people, a lot of whites won't get it.Again I don't know what happened I can only go by what Rev. Meeks says and whatever the officer says. Hopefully the two sides will get their stories out there. If this sergeant was really with a chip on his shoulder then I think that's a problem.
Meeks is likely to find that rather than seeing racism, whites will likely dwell on why he got out of the car, just like they dwelled on why Oprah was trying to shop at a closed store.
Here's another column with regards to abortion and how a United Nations Committee liken abortion to torture. By any stretch of the imagination I am by no means pro abortion, I feel it is the tool of the irresponsible. Then again those who are just having babies and not taking care of them is as irresponsible.
In either case if one doesn't want a child there's always adoption or even prevention with the use of birth control and condoms or even abstinance. More times than one whenever one has intercourse without protection you're taking a BIG chance. I would just rather that abortion would be the very last option on the agenda of any mother to be.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I've taken some video even. As soon as I can get a handle on this vlogging craze I'd like to share some with you. There is one thing I failed to get video of...
We went into a part of LA with a rather large homeless population. I could call them shanty towns because it's not uncommon to see tents on sidewalks all over LA. It's really sad when you think about it. I truly believe homelessness is a choice though I am sure most have had hard luck but that is another question. As with most other cities particularly the city I'm most familiar with (Chicago), progress is definitely creeping up on the homeless and the poor. In any case we were there looking for a relative who had been known to hang in that area.
Also my family was there for a family reunion. There were only a handful of us there and that's because California is an expensive proposition for many in my family. Of course there are those who didn't really want to go anyway or they may have small children or they may have been elderly. Then again there are many who are hard pressed with money.
I'm rather looking forward to my next Sunshine State getaway but that won't be for some time. I was nine when I went out there last and I barely remember that. I hope I'll get other opportunities. Besides there are other sites to see in not only LA, but San Diego, San Francisco, and even Oakland. We'll have to see.
In any case I'm sure I have some catching up to do. I have a few ideas to play around with so in the next few weeks I'm going to put them to press here. In the meanwhile this'll be it for today. Hopefully I can do some posting tomorrow.
Oh yeah if you guys want to know if I have updated you can utilize this feed. Hopefully you either have My Yahoo! or even My MSN. Or you can utilize some of these programs which allow you to read the various blogs out there.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Black Caucus Shows Constituent Changes
By Brian DeBose
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
May 6, 2005
About 35 years after its founding, Congressional Black Caucus members no longer vote lock step with each other and the Democratic Party, reflecting a significant change in the economic status and demographics of their constituents and their own political aspirations.
"At one time, it was easy for a black legislator to say 'When I vote this way, my constituents will like this,' " said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, a former caucus chairman now in his sixth term in Congress.
Mr. Cummings said the economic and racial diversity of his Baltimore-based district has exploded in less than a decade, and growing wealth in his district has caused him to have to strike more of a balance in the way he votes.
"It is a blessing that we are now moving into these diverse populated districts, but at the same time it brings new challenges," he said. "Some don't like it, but I guess it is the price we pay for progress and being relatively successful." In the early days, members said, the caucus' mantra went hand in hand with President Johnson's vision to use federal policies to close disparities in employment, wealth, health care and civil rights between blacks and whites.
"When we first started out, we were dealing with a dozen members, and man, it was easy," said Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, a founding member of the caucus. But as the American social climate has changed and more blacks have moved out of poverty — only a quarter of blacks are at the poverty level today, compared to more than half in 1965 — the politics have changed, as well. More blacks are interested in lower taxes and pro-business policies that will lead to job growth.
The changes have played out on a series of votes this year, such as passage of the Republican-led bankruptcy bill, which 10 members of the caucus voted for, and elimination of the estate tax, which drew eight votes from the 41-member caucus.
Five members, all Democrats, voted for both measures: Reps. David Scott and Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia, Albert R. Wynn of Maryland, Harold E. Ford Jr. of Tennessee and William J. Jefferson of Louisiana.
The caucus was founded in 1969 by 13 members of the House, primarily representing urban districts in the Northeast, Midwest and far West. Though it remains all-Democratic, it now has grown to 41 members, including a senator, Barack Obama of Illinois, and has spread to the booming suburbs near Southern
Mr. Scott, an honors graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who went on to establish his own advertising agency, is the first black politician to be elected to a Southern district that was less than 40 percent black.
"It is important that there be a rich political diversity in the Black Caucus because there is a rich diversity in America and within the black community," he said.
As a businessman, Mr. Scott said voting for the bankruptcy bill and elimination of the estate tax was easy.
"The business of America is business, and Georgia is one of the fastest-growing states in America because we are pro-business," he said.
Although Mr. Scott said the Democratic Party still represents the best avenue for change, his political allegiance is not strongly tied to the party — the state party chairman ran against him in 2001. He added that the greatest disparity between whites and minorities "is money."
"So do I leave Wharton and a wealth of knowledge from that institution and 20 years in business behind, or do I bring that and add that to the Black Caucus?" Mr. Scott asked. Nowhere are the demographic changes more evident than in Maryland.
"I represent the inner city of Baltimore," Mr. Cummings said. "But in my district, I represent people making more than $250,000 a year, black people, and we have some poor whites, some rich whites and poor blacks, but the vast majority, if you can target a majority, are lower-middle-economic blacks."
Mr. Wynn, who represents Prince George's County, the wealthiest predominantly black county in the country, said his votes always have been consistent. "I campaigned on job creation and economic growth 13 years ago, and I don't view [my votes] as a change," said Mr. Wynn, whose district has a high concentration of both large and small black-owned businesses. "Most of my votes are tied to job growth, wealth creation and small- and minority-business growth."
"Almost all in the minority-business community supported elimination of the estate tax. Access to capital has been a big issue, and small businesses and minority businesses are being hurt by unnecessary bankruptcy," he said. Mr. Conyers said the chance for bigger political opportunities also has had an effect.
"We have a guy who might run for Senate, and he's got to cool off and lay back, and another planning a presidential run and another person who is coming back after getting taken out," he said.
A recent editorial on BlackCommentator.com criticized caucus members who voted for the bankruptcy and estate-tax bills, accusing them of being bought off by corporations and wealthy campaign donors and betraying core Democratic values. But Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat and another founding member of the caucus, said the notion the caucus is losing cohesion is ridiculous.
"Why any member would be voting for the bankruptcy bill or estate-tax repeal or for making the tax cuts permanent or any of those things is just stupid, but it doesn't tear us apart because whether it is a speaker or a member, we only have one vote," he said.
"We have to be very, very tolerant of a person that votes stupid, because they may think they have a good reason and they are the ones who come down here, so you may think the vote is stupid but they know what they are doing," Mr. Rangel said.
The bolded part is where my emphasis is. Black Americans are a talented people and I really believe that. I want our neighborhoods to look like let's just say the north side of Chicago. With businesses up and down commercial areas. I don't want to see boarded up storefronts or even vacant lots. In another post I've said that the Latinos could pass us up in money or income. These are the days to catch up and prove to the rest of America that we are not only talented but also hard working as well as enterprising. We also have to save our money and leave the wealth we build to prosperity.
Friday, July 15, 2005
The confrontation occurred about 9 p.m. Wednesday at 116th Street and Kensington Avenue as Meeks, accompanied by his wife, Jamell, their son James Jr., 19, and his driver and security guard Terry Booker, left Bible study at nearby Salem Baptist Church, where Meeks is the minister.This is a comment by Meeks...
According to Meeks, the sergeant who pulled his family over became angry when Meeks exited the car and identified himself, telling Meeks: "Get back in the f-----g car." When Meeks repeated his identity, the sergeant pulled his gun from his holster, stuck it in Meeks' face and said, "I know who you are . . . Get back in the f-----g car," Meeks alleges.
"That's the moment that you realize that you are black. No matter what you have achieved or accomplished, you are still black,"I haven't had many problems with this. Most likely because I've never had a car and been stopped by police. I would consider this a silly charge and just a way to really get blacks to hate the police (whose job it is to protect them). Then again I have no doubt that there are some idiot cop out there who would find an excuse to pull over a black motorist without any serious cause.
In any event there are calls for an investigation in this matter. Meeks was issued four traffic tickets which included charges of failing to stop at a stop sign and an unfastened seat belt.
Meeks says cop put gun to his head from Chicago Sun-Times July 15, 2005
Ill. Lawmaker Said Faced Racial Profiling (AP) from Yahoo! News July 15, 2005
Rev. Meeks Claims Racial Profiling In Traffic Stop (w/video) from CBS2Chicago July 14, 2005
From July 14, 2005 it talks about the possibility of a black president and such a candidate would be critiqued by their ability to speak. Contrast Bill Clinton to President Bush for instance. Clinton is well spoken but Bush has a tendency to stumble on his words. If a black person has a chance to become president he or she may need to sharpen their public speaking skills.
While he and I may agree that we'd "rather take a jive-talkin' honest man over a well-spoken liar any day", we for some reason expect a black American to sound somewhat reasonable and intelligent.
Read this conclusion...
It really seems unlikely that an African-American who would speak with the verbal equivalency of George W. Bush would be embraced by the ethnic majority. More than likely, they would be critiqued and laughed off the podium, yet so many seem to find relaxed verbal traits endearing when it comes to a caucasian leader. Word of advice for Condoleeza Rice, whom many in the more enlightened segments of the GOP would like to see run for president in 2008: Don't lose that diction, whatever you do.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Honestly he has more solid reasons than I do. I have yet to get out there and hit it and seriously. But he states his reasons clearly. You may actually like this blog I've actually syndicated this blog as with many other sites that allow it.
Why am I a Republican?
Oh yeah a three paragraph quote...
The liberal philosophy’s main tenets of paternalism and class warfare didn’t appeal to me and are antithetical to the genius of America. I believe that regardless of your race, ethnicity or family background, anyone can achieve their American dream. Liberalism tells me that only a select few can and will achieve success and that I need them to protect my interests against “big business” and the “unscrupulous rich.” I categorically reject this. Let me say that I am not naïve to the fact that there is not equality in America, in fact there is not equality in the world. The only place equality will be found is in the dictionary. This does not excuse the racism and the injustices inflicted upon African Americans over the course of three hundred years in this country. My point is that opportunity abounds for everyone and that obstacles I may have may not be there for everyone else. The key is to continue working toward eliminating those obstacles but keeping the main focus on the attainment of the goals.
My generation owes an incalculable debt to those who struggled, fought, and died for me to have full inclusion and citizenship. To embrace conservatism or the Republican party is not a rejection of their sacrifices but a celebration of the values once held dear. Values such as hard work, family, self dependence and spirituality. It disturbs me when our “leaders” adhere to the liberal philosophy that I believe is antithetical to the above values that have sustained us for 300 years. Self-dependence and hard work have been replaced with a government check because the liberals have convinced us that we are owed it, thus destroying the family structure. We embrace a philosophy which is for the removal of spirituality from society. A spirituality that was the cornerstone of our survival during slavery in the form of Negro spirituals, sustained us during the days of Jim Crow, and eventually liberated us and brought us great leaders such as the Rev. Martin Luther King.
Booker T. Washington wrote, “We can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” These words are as relevant today as when they written one hundred years ago. These are words black liberals and conservatives need to adhere to. I believe it is time for new leadership and new ideas. The strategy during the civil rights era of focusing on the judiciary and the legislative branches of government were crucial. Discrimination was deeply institutionalized and in the hope to achieve full citizenship, these branches of government had to be used extensively. Unless full citizenship was achieved, the cry for equality was moot. The mistake in my view is that this strategy is still being mployed. Now is the time to focus on economic empowerment. My parents along with others took advantages of these opportunities during the 60’s and are now solidly ensconced in the middle class. This is where the emphasis must now lie, to achieve “equality” by the past strategy of political means only is suicide. With the rise in population of Hispanic Americans, our strength as a voting block is being gradually diminished. Republicans and Democrats alike are courting Hispanics vigorously, ignoring African-Americans since Republicans know they won’t get our vote and the Democrats know they already have it.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
"We're going from being media consumers to media makers. We're learning how to do that," said Chuck Olsen, a documentary filmmaker and video blogger in Minnesota. "There's sort of a whole continuum between (videotaping) grandpa's birthday and filmmaking."
And also this from Mr. Olsen...
Anyone can "create media and have a distribution outlet for it that bypasses television and mainstream media," Olsen said. "It's like slightly curated cable-access."Perhaps I need to come up with some projects but just for fun. Serious stuff can come later. LOL
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Preacher: What happened in a certain country, which was mentioned in the media yesterday, is a clear act of aggression, which is totally devoid of any logic, and is entirely unjustified. Whoever carries out such an act is not a Muslim, nor is he a religious person. This is the kind of criminal act that serves only those who wish to destroy mankind, and to thwart civilization and progress. Igniting civil strife and using the tools of war and destruction is the habit of the despicable Jews and Christians of the ancient nations, and the Koran has already deplored them for that.Interesting, this is referred to on LGF as the...
...vast yawning gulf between his world and ours.LINK to transcript of sermon.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Between the suburbs and the city, the difference is like night and day. We were officially in the ghetto the are we were through was blighted and run down. There were a few store fronts but there weren't many businesses there. This was the Lawndale neighborhood. Then we went east on Cermak and crossed under railroad tracks and this is considered the Latino area.
What we saw was nothing but businesses. Of many different types. There were plenty of banks. Unlike in the ghetto (and I mean poorer areas) you'd be unlikely to run into a bank on every corner, in fact in the black ghetto you'd be most likely to find two or three churched on every corner instead of a business of some type. Go into places in Chicago like Lawndale, Austin, or Englewood the complaint might be lack of opportunities and jobs but for the Latino community they seem to create their opportunity. My mother and I concluded that they are an enterprising people.
Why can't black communities look anything like that? I have to wonder are we just a right now kind of people. That is we seek instant gratification or perhaps this fabled term known as bling-bling. Or do we just lack the drive or ambition to own our own shops when no one else will invest in our areas. To be sure there are black areas which have thriving black businesses but it seems the Latinos do it to the fifth power. But blacks can't seem to get it together.
This'll have to take some digging to find out but I do have one thing to say. If the Latinos have surpassed black Americans in population they will surpass us with their money. We'll still be struggling and we must change that.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
One ought to be disturbed (at least one who is black) by Mayor James' reverse racism. There are ways to divide the race and Mayor James uses them. This division could be the result of skin color, economic class, perhaps even where you come from (that is are you a product of the street or poor). Whatever the case instead of having something to stand on Mayor James insist on attacking Cory Booker using some of these methods.
At one point during this film Cory Booker was at a booksigning with Dr. Cornell West. A Sharpe James campaign vehicle passes by with speakers at full blast. They say such things as "You ain't black" or "You're suspect boy".
I would have to wonder if those who support Sharpe James had known about his indiscretions and his methods. Do they even know about them or pay attention? Or do they even care? One thing is certain there will be another election either between Mr. Booker and the incumbent mayor. Hopefully there will be a return to democracy there.
He ran against an entrenched incumbent Mayor Sharpe James who pulled all the stops he could to defeat this young man Cory Booker. It goes from threatening business owners with closures, threatening churches with violations, and even threatening residents of public housing with eviction. The incumbent even gets nastier referring to Mr. Booker as a Jew, as not being black, as even a tool of the conservative right wing.
We see two sides of the story of Newark. Mayor James had engaged in building the city of Newark. There were new homes, businesses, even sports stadiums. As his administration pressed on there were charges of corruption. To be sure Mayor James had been in politics since he was 34. Mr. Booker is even younger at 32. This campaign for Mr. Booker is about Mayor James' policies regarding Newark's poorer residents.
He (Cory Booker) cites Newark's sky-high murder rate, a poverty level over 30%, and an astounding high school dropout rate of 60%. Booker suggests that it's time for a new generation to bring Newark's downtown "renaissance" to all the city's residents.Mr. James has the support of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. One of the Booker campaign aids refer to Marion Barry from DC who despite getting caught with crack cocaine was re-elected mayor of Washington and even worse he is still able to return to power having defeated a city council incumbent. This aide explains that Mayor James is well known and liked by everybody, they know him but Cory Booker is an unknown brand. If only they knew of how Mayor James had been able to continue to retain power for so long having never lost an election.
In America, democracy has many unwritten rules but the basic one is key, whoever gets the most votes wins. Ethics also has unwritten rules but in this election ethics had been thrown out the window. The main thing about this episode is the generational divide.
My generation is far removed from the Civil Rights struggle. Indeed, I've never seen any of it and neither have other young guys who have been elected around the country. From Rep. Harold Ford Jr., Sen. Barack Obama, and even Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Indeed a lot of us have been the results of the Civil Rights struggle. Unfortunately there are leaders who have been in power since the Civil Rights struggle and are loathe to let go of power. They don't know how to step aside and will have a problem with someone trying to go up against them. And perhaps we're looking at the effect of urban style machine politics.
There are lots of issues and questions to be had here. I want to see more young people take on entrenched incumbents essentially to FIGHT THE POWER.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair made comments on these events. Have a look at these comments by the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone:
LIVINGSTONE: I wish to speak to you, directly to those who came to London today to take life. I know that you personally do not fear to give your own life in exchange for taking others, is why you are so dangerous. But I know you do fear that you may fail in your long term objective to destroy our free society. And I can show why you will fail. In the days that follow, look at our airports, look at our seaports, and look at our railway stations, and even after your cowardly attack you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world, will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfill their dreams and achieve their potential. They choose to come to London, as so many have come before, because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to feed themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don't want that. And nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities, where freedom is strong, and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.Timeline from FOX News
Monday, July 04, 2005
May we bless those who have kept us free. May we also find ways to continue to improve and build this great land. It is important to contribute something to America let us all continue to do so.
God bless America.
Friday, July 01, 2005
I may not agree with Congressman Jackson on a number of issues but I do think it's time for a change and he represnts it. Unlike the first black mayor of Chicago Harold Washington, he'll be considerably younger.
This article from the Sun-Times has him talking about starting a voter's registration drive. THe last time this happened Harold Washington went on to become mayor. But since Eugene Sawyer was mayor for two years after the death of Mayor Washington, no other black has come anywhere close to the mayoralty.
So here's the deal. Aside from Jackson's rather socialist leanings, I want to know what else he stands for. Can he appeal across the various racial, ethnic, or economic lines of Chicago? And can he be the reformer Chicago could use in the 21st century, which is something that Daley seems to not have. We'll just have to see.
Jackson Jr. looking more seriously at City Hall Chicago Sun Times 7/1/2005
Justice O'Connor to resign Chicago Tribune 7/1/2005
ANALYSIS: 'A force for moderation' Chicago Tribune 7/1/2005