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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Newt calls out Holder on race

If you don't know about Holder's comments on race that prompted the response of former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich then here's a story on that:
Eric Holder, the nation’s first black attorney general, said Wednesday the United States was “a nation of cowards” on matters of race, with most Americans avoiding candid discussions of racial issues.

In a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month, Holder said the workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.
“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder said.
Now here's Newt's response to our Attorney General:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called out Attorney General Eric Holder Friday over his comment that the United States is a "nation of cowards" on issues of race.

"I'm welcome to have a dialogue with you about cowardice, anywhere, any time," Gingrich challenged the attorney general during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"I certainly hope that Attorney General Holder will have a dialogue about whether we are a nation of cowards," he continued.
...
While Gingrich repeatedly highlighted Holder's use of the word "cowardice," the former House speaker did not make a direct reference to race. He pointed to the "failed policies" of inner city Detroit, but did not directly rebut Holder's claim.

"This is a nation of people courageous enough to tell the truth," Gingrich said. "This is a nation courageous enough to stand up when they know they are not being told the truth."
Sometimes when it comes to issues of race, the people doing the talking may not always tell the truth. As I've stated many times on this blog, it's very easy to thrown down the race card, especially when people may disagree with you. As a result people shut up because someone might just be dumb enough to consider them racist.

I would like to see how honest would Gingrich be on race and conversely Attorney General Holder. How would Holder take on urban policy in Detroit or any major inner city area? What exactly would the former Speaker propose to help inner city minorities? How might either address the issue of segregation on the weekends as Holder seemed to attempt to tackle?

Let me tackle that.

One day in religion class we discussed these comments. Indeed the professor referred to Holder as an angry black man. Indeed he went on to say that Obama wasn't an angry black man. Whatever happened in his life prompted these comments.

At the same time why address why Americans do what they do on the weekends. At work or at school people have to work together and it doesn't matter your background. You have to work with people of different backgrounds and study with people of different backgrounds. I intentially avoided race, because I consider that a background.

People are free to associate who they want to associate with outside of work. That's not to say of course that there are those who won't associate with blacks or whites no matter what. That is to say that if people who work or study together wants to they will hang out with their black or white friends outside of work or school.

Of course there could be one problem. Perhaps if one started to take on stereotypical attributes of either a black or a white person there could be some problems. Especially if you want to fit in, however, one can over do the who black people talk in slang for instance.

What say you about Gingrich's comments and Holder's comments?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Burris situation

I was really amused to find this post from a neighborhood blog featured on the CapFax blog today. It's about a strategy to help Roland Burris as he is currently embattled due to who appointed him. I should have you know I may not have discussed the context, but I had the link on The Sixth Ward a couple of days before he used it.

He basically took excerpts from a letter and basically supported his idea that there is a plan afoot to draw the dreaded race card. To me the only reason the race card is used to shut people up, because you know, there are people out there who don't want to be called racist. Even if on a particular situation you might be right about a particular issue or situation.

That being said, there are a lot of people interested in helping Burris keep his seat. Chicago's Aldemanic Black Caucus are certainly behind him:

At a City Hall news conference, the aldermen warned that there would be a price to pay for Quinn, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Treausurer Alexi Giannoulias, and others who have climbed aboard the anti-Burris bandwagon. The price is black support.

“To just muck up somebody's 30-plus year record of loyalty to the Democratic Party — for all of them to turn turn on him — we say it's time for this to stop. And if it does not, we shall remember this at the next election,” said Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), chairman of the Black Caucus.

Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), city chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, said the “anti-Blagojevich hatred” has unfairly been transferred onto Burris.

“I would just suggest to those people who seek to run in the wards of the city of Chicago where there are people of color living that they should tone it down because some of us are taking notes. They will run at their peril,” Lyle said.
...

Blagojevich's administration hired Roland W. Burris II as a senior counsel for the state's housing authority Sept. 10 — about six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service slapped a $34,163 tax lien on Burris II and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure suit on his South Side house.
For the aldermen, the story was over the top.

“You all are attacking people's children. That is crossing the line,” said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).
Oh yeah I forgot to mention this scandal threatens to also take down Burris son. He had the misfortune of running afoul of the IRS. Not only that he's got his job thru the preceding corrupt ex-governor's administration. It's getting to become a big mess.

Bobby Rush isn't backing down on his support for Roland Burris just yet:
"I think Sen. Burris should not resign," Rush said. "He did not do anything inappropriate, he did not do anything arrestable, he did not do anything indictable."
Though this story is old news there isn't yet a united front on this yet.
A faction of black ministers plans to ask for Burris' resignation following revelations that the senator tried to raise money for the disgraced governor who appointed him, one of the ministers told The Associated Press on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because a meeting with Burris had not yet been scheduled.

Clergy Speaks Interdenominational, an umbrella group that includes hundreds of Chicago's black churches, will meet Friday to discuss its support for Burris, spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said. For now, the group still supports him and its leaders are unaware of discussions about asking him to resign, she said.
Ok, to be honest this seems a bit short sighted here. Black political leaders are latching onto Burris almost as if there is no one else on the horizon who could even run for a Senate seat. Especially if it happens to be the seat that was warmed by both Carol Moseley Braun and President Barack Obama. What about Jesse Jackson Jr? He was gunning for that seat hard!

I'm thinking some people out there should have taken a deep breath on this issue (especially Bobby Rush) and found someone to groom to take this Senate seat. Burris unfortunately is himself flawed and only because of who appointed him. If it wasn't for the corrupt ex-governor of Illinois, I'm sure no one would have a problem. My Alderman called it correctly, but the questions asked aren't entirely bad questions to ask. It may very well come out that there was no quid pro quo and that Burris may have left some things out of his affidavit but that he didn't committ perjury.

As for going after Burris' son well I don't think that's out of line. There should be questions especially if he is the son of a known political figure and he got his job thru those connections. The question here might be how he got the position and it certainly doesn't help if a tax lien was slapped on him in the process.

Fact is that this could get ugly. The racial component is about to come out. That would be unfortunate because who knows if this could make it difficult for another black to get elected to the US Senate. Instead of finding someone who could possible take that seat, they're coalescing behind someone who probably shouldn't have accepted that seat due to the situation at hand.

It's very unfortunate and a big mess!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carol Marin on the Burris fiasco

I must admit that this caught my eye when I saw her column this morning:
DURBIN: There is a "feeling of disappointment of some of us in the Senate. . . . We were relying on his sworn testimony."

TRANSLATION: Everyone knew this guy, appointed by THAT guy, was tainted but Harry Reid and I didn't have the cojones to cross the Congressional Black Caucus and just say no.
The primary reason why this is news at the moment. They wouldn't have this problem if they held their ground, instead they had to buckle under the pressure. A race card issued for a man who had the unfortunate distinction of being appointed by a corrupt Governor. Even worse Burris accepted and now he has to answer more questions about who he talked to about that seat or whether he gave the corrupt former Governor any money.

It's a mess!

The race card still came up in the column however:
Now, Cobb says, Burris' enemies are trying to bloody him up and weaken him with mounting legal bills.

"And then it won't be called racism," said Cobb.
Can someone explain to me what this means?

Look, I'm sick of this race card already. Why would Burris' mounting legal bills be called racism? For that matter why wouldn't it be? Any situation could warrant the use of the race card, even if race isn't the issue.

Race wasn't an issue with Burris' appointment. Especially with the now corrupt ex-Governor making the appointment. It was already said that any appointment made by him was unnacceptable. Then here comes Bobby Rush utilizing the race card in this instance. He effectively placed his weight (or support) behind a flawed appointment and that was unfortunate.

Let me just say that while I do believe under normal circumstances Burris wouldn't be a bad pick it's just unfortunate that it was made this way. It was unfortunate that he was another pawn in another game by the corrupt ex-governor. Now we are further distracted because there are more questions about whether Burris told the truth.

You know I posted this over at Mechanics not too long after the Burris story broke. I took Durbin to task for being one of the crowd of vultures who want him gone. Indeed I saw he was one of the people who opposed at first Burris' appointment by the corrupt ex-Governor.

Read this round-up over at the CapFax because you'll see stories about Burris getting snubbed by his colleagues. It's harsh, but that's the situation we're in right now.

The decline of Los Angeles

Article from New Geography. I forwarded this to a friend of mine and he really wants to get Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gone! Something is up out there although the article seems to predict a Villagraigosa victory.
A century ago, when L.A. had barely 100,000 souls, railway magnate Henry Huntington predicted that the place was "destined to become the most important city in this country, if not the world." Long run by ambitious, often ruthless boosters, the city lured waves of newcomers with its pro-business climate, perfect weather and spectacular topography.

These newcomers--first largely from the Midwest and East Coast, and then from around the world--energized L.A. into an unmatched hub of innovation and economic diversity.

As a result, L.A. surged toward civic greatness. By the end of the 20th century, it stood not only as the epicenter for the world's entertainment industry, but also North America's largest port, garment manufacturer and industrial center. The region also spawned two important presidents--Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan--and nurtured a host of political and social movements spanning the ideological spectrum.

Now L.A. seems to be fading rapidly toward irrelevancy. Its economy has tanked faster than that of the nation, with unemployment now close to 10%. The port appears in decline, the roads in awful shape and the once potent industrial base continues to shrink.

Job growth in the area, notes a forecast by the University of California at Santa Barbara, dropped 0.6% last year and is expected to plunge far more rapidly this year. Roughly one-fifth of the population depends on public assistance or benefits to survive.

Once a primary destination for Americans, L.A.--along with places like Detroit, New York and Chicago--now suffers among the highest rates of out-migration in the country. Particularly hard hit has been its base of middle-class families, which continues to shrink. This is painfully evident in places like the San Fernando Valley, where I live, long a middle-class outpost for L.A., much like Queens and Staten Island are for New York.
Keep reading he's starting to look like a Rod Blagojevich knockoff. Except that he's probably not as corrupt or willing to shakedown anyone.

In contrast, Villaraigosa, according to a devastating recent report in the LA Weekly, spends remarkably little time--about 11%--actually doing his job. The bulk of his 16-hour or so days are spent politicking, preening for the cameras and in other forms of relentless self-promotion.
...

Certainly, odds against changing the current political system seem long to an extreme. The once-powerful business community has devolved into a weak plaintive lobby who rarely challenge our homegrown Putin or his allies in our municipal Duma.

Of course, entrepreneurial Angelenos still find opportunities, but largely by working at home or in one of the city's surrounding communities. They tend to flock to locales like Ontario, Burbank, Glendale or Culver City, all of which, according to the recent Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey, are less expensive and easier to do business in than L.A.

"It's extremely difficult to do business in Los Angeles," observes Eastside retail developer Jose de Jesus Legaspi. "The regulations are difficult to manage. ... Everyone has to kiss the rings of the [City Hall politicians]."

Legaspi, like many here, still regards Southern California as an appealing place to work, but takes pains to avoid anything within the purview of City Hall. As the economy recovers, I would bet the smaller cities around L.A. and even the hard-hit periphery rebounds first.
The signs of the times right now is ineffectual politicians. Rod Blagojevich, take away his corruption and you still had an ineffectual politician. We might be more concerned about that now than ever before. Now we trust them with more money and we hope they'll place it in the right places.

If LA falls into a decline might Chicago get it's return to the status of America's Second City. Or will Houston, TX become the next desirable place to live and do business. Of course it helps if you have accountable and effective leadership that caters to these issues of standard of living and commercial activity.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

America's One-Way Conversation on Race


The Southern Avenger is back talking about a number of subjects related to the convo on race. Especially Eric Holder's comments last week, the esteem many blacks hold Dr. Martin Luther King, and the dreaded Confederate battle flag. I forget he even address how often and on whatever occasion that the term racism is used.

If race=thing, then what is a thing? Perhaps it's racist for a phone charger to be black. Perhaps an epithet of choice could be to call a person of color or a black person a phone charger. I'll admit that it's a bit absurd, but the only point to be made here is that to the Southern Avenger anything can become racist.

That is what concerns me. SC Rep. James Clyborn called opposition to Obama's stimulus racism, but it's entirely possible that this stimulus may not benefit blacks all that much. He probably says that because he's behind it all the way and probably should call it accordingly, but not call it racism when there is opposition.

What about Bobby Rush? He supported outgoing Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to warm the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama. Even used some racially charged language to support this controversial appointment. The justification was to say that we need a black member of the US Senate and those who oppose his appointment (never mind that he was appointed by a recently arrested pol who attempted to put the Senate seat up for sale) were no different than a George Wallace. Keeping blacks out of institutions where they aren't represented.

Of course at this time we're seeing where this lead. There are renewed questions about how Burris got appointed. Indeed it has to be proven if in front of a state house panel investigating charges of impeachment against now former Gov. Blagojevich if Roland Burris has in fact committed perjury in his testimony to the panel. Bottom line is that in Burris' rush to get a black senator he may have connected one with the dubious legacy of a politician on the way out to the door and used an unfortunate tactic to get his way.

Sometimes racism can be a crutch. Especially for those who choose to do nothing with their lives believing that the larger society won't afford them any opportunities. Of course one has to wonder if they may be correct or they're just making excuses because they either don't want to work or go to school. The only point I make is that one must be careful about throwing the word racism around or at least believe the charge of racism.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rant raises profile of CNBC on-air personality Rick Santelli

Here's the rant in question...

Now an article about one possible route that this rant Mr. Santelli gave on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade could lead from Phil Rosenthal:
CNBC's Rick Santelli's self-described rant on TV last week, bemoaning that "the government is promoting bad behavior" with President Barack Obama's mortgage bailout plan, clearly resonated with many Americans, made him a viral video star and drew a White House rebuke.

Only during the weekend, however, was it occurring to him how his newly raised profile—part Howard Beale, the fictional "mad as hell" anchorman, part Howard Jarvis, the anti-tax champion of fiscal responsibility—might be parlayed into other opportunities.

"I don't think in those terms, but maybe I should now," Santelli, 52, a full-timer on CNBC since 1999 whose current contract is set to run out around the end of the summer, said from his west suburban home. "I have three daughters. I have the whole college thing and whatnot."

Santelli, who doesn't have an agent, said he already has heard from several publishers, a prospect that interests him. And he previously has enjoyed doing talk radio. That said, he noted, "I'm pretty happy with what I do."
...
"I've been associated with them 14 years, 10 years on the payroll, and you never see me much in commercials and whatnot," Santelli said. "Boy, has that changed in the last 36 hours."

A former trader and financial executive, Santelli said he appears on CNBC about 12 to 16 times a day and typically goes off on a tear a couple of times a week.

"I'm just a fired-up kind of guy, and it's all spontaneous," he said. "The ranting part, I'm just prone to do that. This one was just different. And, no, I certainly didn't expect it to turn out any different. It's just that with this one, we really, really tapped into a nerve."

With an allusion to communist Cuba and traders around him voicing their support, Santelli said from the Chicago Board of Trade floor early Thursday on CNBC: "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbors' mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? ... President Obama, are you listening?"

Someone at the White House was. At his briefing Friday, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs shot back—hard—likely out of concern for the traction the so-called Rick's Revolt could gain. "I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn't know what he's talking about," Gibbs said.

You know what else this can lead to. During his rant he talked about a Chicago Tea Party almost like the Boston Tea Party that spurred the American revolution. I found a couple of blogs about this. Check them out.

If not staying in the broadcast industry, I wonder if someone wants Santelli to run for office. There's alreay a button made just for that purpose. The button from a CNBC article.


Chicago Tea Party blogs
Rick Santelli’s Chicago Tea Party
The Chicago Tea Party

Also Marathon Pundit briefly writes about this coming Tea Party.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Obama to savers: I don't care...

A piece by David Henderson at the website called Library of Economics & Liberty. This article refers to those people who have saved and are waiting to buy their own homes, however, this recently enacted stimulus will make it difficult for such people.

This piece really excerpts from an article at FOX News:
While the plan may help many who most need assistance, there may be some unforeseen consequences, warned David R. Henderson, a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Bailing out homeowners who would otherwise be forced to find more affordable housing could hurt people who are ready to buy homes at rock-bottom prices, he said.
"All those people who have been saving their money, waiting on the sidelines, are being penalized," Henderson said. "The government is taking away this opportunity."

Here's some more excerpts that I'll pull from that article:
Michelle Fry is a suburban Atlanta homeowner who has seen the value of her modest one-family home drop by more than half in the past year. She now sees a national mortgage bailout plan that appears to reward people who bought more house than they could afford and can't pay their bills. And she has a simple question for President Obama:

"Why am I paying for them?"

"We are very frustrated and scared," said Fry, 32, a newly expectant mother who works as a creative director for a public relations firm. Her husband Sam, 38, is a truck driver for a local printing company. Their combined household income is less than $100,000.

"My husband and I always discuss, 'Why do we try to better ourselves, when it seems if you do nothing, you get all the help in the world?'” she said.

That kind of frustration is being expressed at dinner tables throughout the country. Middle class homeowners who worked hard, played by the rules and paid their mortgage bills and taxes on time are wondering out loud whether the government is interested in helping them, too.
You should go to the books part of the Library of Economics & Liberty. I even links in my book list to The Wealth of Nations, at least to a public domain copy I found in their online library. It might be worth your time, but I certainly need to browse there a little more.

Via Instapundit!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The monkey cartoon!

A whole class period over a cartoon yesterday! Even worse I was late and we didn't even talk about religion. The only time we talked a little religion was when the discussion turned to Obama and Jeremiah Wright or the belief that JFK's assassination was because of his Catholicism and finally when we're going to have our first exam.

There was a lot to be said about the cartoon that drew a firestorm earlier in the week that portrayed two police officers shooting to death a chimp. BTW, called this chimp a monkey doesn't fly. When I say monkey cartoon everyone will know what I refer to, however I prefer to call that animal in the cartoon an ape. Chimps aren't monkeys but apes. Monkeys have tails.

Anyway, let's not forget that we're talking about a room full of black males talking about an issue that's got them riled up. Unfortunately there are those who see the racial connotations especially since once upon a time many thought blacks or Africans weren't much different than the common ape. We were supposed to be inferior.

I argued in an earlier post that I see the firestorm as an over reaction. People are taking more meaning out of it than is actually there. Then again a cartoon hasn't exactly aroused my anger in only that perhaps I'm not looking for outrage or meaning other than the context of the cartoon.

All there is is two police officers, a dead ape, and a caption saying that they'll have to find someone else to write the stimulus. So who was this cartoon referring to? President Obama or the Congress or a specific member of Congress who wrote that bill?

Whatever the case people are pointing the finger at who they believe this cartoon represents, Obama? Thanks to whatever racial connotations that might exist in their thoughts. Thus some argued yesterday that this constitutes a direct threat against the President. Indeed if the cartoonist didn't intend to put out such an idea the idea is probably implanted in some troubled person for whom this cartoon could be an influence. I would consider that weak, but the idea is there.

That was surprise people were talking about the racial aspect, but many were talking about the possible threat from this cartoon. They were more upset about that. It was also mentioned how attached people are to Obama. You can't say anything bad about the President for whatever reason they may have. Probably doesn't even matter if you agree with his policies, got a problem with the policies, then you got a fight with them.

Let's get back to race for a moment.

A couple of guys were talking about playing on XBox. They mentioned the nastiness that occurs because somehow they found out someway that their fellow players were black. They would start asking crazy questions like are you a coon, n*gger, or whatever. In some instances they'll find ways to take you out of the game. For the most part I could attribute this to ignorance or even sheer stupidity. What makes you think you can say crap like that to anyone? I'm sure there is anonymity in these games so that makes them even braver in their stupidity.

It brought to mind a video I found a while back. A black teen was with his white friends or counterparts and all the sudden this black teen gets assaulted for no reason by his fellow whites. The black teen was asking constantly, "What's going on yo?" He had no idea what just happened.

My idea is this. When teens do things like this it's probably funny to them? Perhaps all they know is that they assaulting for kicks some poor black teen and look at this they got it all on tape. It could be a racial thing perhaps they thought they'll get a good fight out of him since perhaps they seen blacks get themselves in trouble all the time. Who knows?

Either way event though we now have a black President, what might go thru the mind of a budding racist or anyone like that will still exist. It'll take time to eliminate from everyday speech these ugly words that we will use towards each other. One day it won't be funny to call a black person a coon or a n*gger. One day it'll just be a word that we can laugh off or indeed it won't be a sign of disrespect and indeed those who use it will realize that anytime it's used it's disrespect.

As for this cartoon, I really want nothing to happen to Obama other than for him to finish his term and hopefully be successful. Not do I hope that nothing happens to the President but also his family because I understand that there are threats against them as well. Such threats in my opinion would be vile, well any threat is vile, but who would threaten to kill not only a powerful man, but his wife and children as well. That ought to bother all of us.

Anyway this was what happened in our religion class Friday. That class is very interesting!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Burris is in trouble!


Over the past weekend news broke that Sen. Roland Burris had refiled affidavits discussing any possible contacts he may have had with former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The questions are about who did Burris contact with respect to an appointment to the then vacated US Senate seat of President Barack Obama in addition to any questions of a "quid pro quo". It turns out that Burris at some point did attempt to fundraise for the Governor, although it might have been much earlier than his Dec. 9th arrest by federal authorities.

It also turns out that he's been in contact with the Governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich. It seems Blago's brother is knee deep in these schemes, and I think that's unfortunate.

Let's also not forget why this is news. Burris' appointment around New Year's by then IL Gov. Blagojevich was controversial. Especially since Blago was arrested for putting Obama's vacant Senate seat for sale in addition to a myriad of other charges. The fact that Blago would appoint a person to the US Senate knowing full well that it would be a problem is certainly a testament as to why he was removed from his position last month.

Since the past weekend we have hear a myriad of politicians, columnists, and editorials refer to Burris' appointment as another piece of the Blago legacy. Wait...what's a Blago legacy?

Anyway the fact that Blago appointed Burris to this seat knowing full well that no one wanted him to appoint anyone after he was accused of putting that seat up for sale. Then using some very hardball tactics that resulted in Burris getting seated and then over a month later there are questions about how Burris got this seat. This all counts as the Blagojevich legacy. Pay to play, hardball politics, dishonestly, and I'm sure there are other descriptive words to describe this story.

Anyway this video is an AP report about local ministers thinking about backing away from Burris. They are considering asking him to resign. You can read a write-up here.

Anyway check out Rich Miller's comment in his round-up of Burris stories...
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a different way of doing business for some African-American pastors who seem all too willing to loudly support seriously flawed political allies. They got played badly by Rod Blagojevich for years, and their support for him after his arrest was embarassing.
One can only hope. If this is what the most important of black leaders can do and use their following to support flawed characters, then should they even be involved in politics. Especially if they know full well that where they point their flock, they follow.

It almost makes one wonder where the race-baiting that resulted after Blago appointed Burris. Especially with the comments of Rep. Bobby Rush who on that day sought to draw parrallels between the US Senate leadership attempting to block Burris from taking his seat to any segregationist southern governor keeping a black student from attending classes at a southern state university.

You know this whole story was flawed. Rush really made this about race, it was important to him to have a black sit in the US Senate. Unfortunately the problem was with the person who was making that call, Rod Blagojevich. I heard the call to separate the appointer from the appointee except that's the problem we have now! And that also could mean that blacks won't have any senators in the US Senate, until the next one gets elected whenever that'll be.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama the chimp?

You know I often forget how people can be at times, hypersensitive about these type of things. It may even be that some people over react.

I can see how some people can see the symbolism. Racist people often think of blacks as apes and since blacks often equal apes then we have a police officer shooting at black/ape. Of course it doesn't help that the caption mentions this whole stimulus package that was signed into law this week.

Of course while people want to associate this photography with President Obama, it could be noted & said that Obama didn't write the stimulus. He largely did leave it up to Congress to determine what should be in there, even if he had his own ideas.


Anyway what do you think about this cartoon.

You can find the original cartoon here at the New York Post. You'd have to go thru the archives although it was just yesterday.

Other posts of interest
Update: Black people portrayed as monkeys is still racist -Hate on Me
Obama Not Monkey Who Wrote Stimulus -Chicago News Bench
New York Post Condones 'Obama the Monkey' Cartoon -Electronic Village

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fitzgerald's investigation of Ald. Carothers is heating up

Wait a minute, we're already and an Alderman who was recently sentenced for bribery. Why is US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald looking at west side Alderman Issac Carothers? Let's look at the Sun-Times:
Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed that federal investigators had requested city records on four West Side zoning changes pushed by Carothers. He had received campaign contributions from two of the businesses seeking the changes.

Now, a 2007 federal subpoena -- released in response to a Freedom of Information request -- reveals a demand for documents including seven years worth of aldermanic expense records; 29th Ward zoning changes; ordinances introduced by Carothers, and correspondence between Carothers and the mayor's office regarding zoning changes

The subpoena further demanded information on comments made and votes taken by Carothers since January 2001 before two City Council committees. Carothers could not be reached for comment.
Not sure if it always was, but right now zoning and development is a big deal in Chicago. Enough for a shakedown or some type of enrichment, perhaps. This is almost what took down Arenda Troutman seeking bribes for development. Other alderman lost in 2007 thanks to their zoning efforts. Especially seeking bribes from people who want to develop in her ward.

I know that Carothers has developed his own feuds over the years, especially in his own ward, so there probably is someone out there who is totally ecstatic. Even if you're not feuding with him there are those who refers to Aldermen as Aldercreatures and may generally think most if not all are tainted with some form of corruption. We'll see if the feds have anything on Carothers.

Via CapFax morning shorts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is Obamanomics D.O.A.?

So I understand that today President Obama signed this much maligned stimulus into law with the idea that it's necessary to jump start the US Economy again. Of course this could bed the question, is it time to coin a new term. We've had Reaganomics, but is it time now for Obamanomics?

What does this column from MarketWatch say? That column's title is the title for this post.
America's been operating at the opposite end of the political spectrum for 28 years going back to Reagan, a reign that's left Obama with a massive handicap: a huge unresolved banking system mess, an abortive $350 billion bailout that BusinessWeek labeled a "bust" and massive debt that one Nobel economist calls a "$10 trillion hangover." 

So yes, we must ask, over and over, that painful lingering question: Is Obamanomics and its Keynesian theory really better than Bush's Reaganomics? Obama is unequivocal and emphatic, we have no choice: "The federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life ... There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy." 

Conservatives vehemently disagree. The Cato Institute just ran full-page ads signed by 250 economists: "With all due respect Mr. President that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s." 

Now get this: Even liberal New York Times columnist and Nobel economist Paul Krugman has jumped on the bandwagon, prematurely labeling Obama's presidency a failure ... after one month. Krugman warns that Obama's "belief that he can transcend the partisan divide" has "warped his economic strategy." Warped? Yes, it's "a defeat." 

So not only are conservatives and centrists prematurely signing Obamanomic's death certificate, liberals are also chanting the mantra: "Obamanomics has already failed."
 Via RealClearMarkets! I would suggest you read the whole thing and yes I think it's a little unreasonable to declare the Obama presidency essentially "dead on arrival". He can always switch gears and realize his folly.

Image via this article from The Guardian.

Monday, February 16, 2009

CLASSIC: I was at an Obama rally!!!

Originally I posted this at one of my blogs, the Eye or My Mind's Eye, but I no longer update that blog. Anyway I took this picture on a Saturday back on April 14, 2007 over at Georgia Tech and wrote a blog about this day. Had no idea that he'd be our sitting President in less than two years time.

BTW, I decided to take some of the posts that I have over at the Beta and post them here. Most of the post I have at the Beta were either videos or mobile photos that I had originally posted at the Eye. If you never went to either the Eye or Beta you will see most of them here. I will roll them out gradually, especially important if I may have nothing on any particular day.

BTW, here are some more pictures I took on that day and those definitely weren't mobile images.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lee Bey on storefront churches

From LeeBey.com:

Whatever the term, storefront churches are a disappearing breed now. The rise of religiously charismatic mega-churches has played a role. So did stricter practice of zoning laws (storefront churches are often a non-conforming use.) Years of increasing real estate values along commercial areas of black Chicago have driven out many of these churches. Why rent for pennies to a small church when you've got CVS, Walgreens and others offering you a tidy bundle to demolish your building?

The churches are worth noting and documenting while they're still around. They are a step in the black American religious experience in the post-Great Migration north. Architecturally, they have their own vernacular and represent often ingenious examples of adaptive reuse. Amen? Amen.
You know I wanted to address what he said earlier in his post in him saying that this term has become something of a slur...
The term ascribed to them---"storefront churches"---became a bit of a slur, conjuring up stereotypes of shady preacher/pimps with processed hair and new Cadillacs parked in the rear.
I'm sure many of us may have those same sensibilities when we find such a church. It's probably ministers like these that probably would cause some people to just not go to church or at worst might lose faith in Christianity.

At the same time, some of these churches have been built up overtime to megachurches. Reverend Meek's Salem Baptist Church didn't have the congregation is does today, once upon a time. They started with a small group say less than 25 people. Creflo Dollar at World Changers in Atlanta had a similar size group starting off. I'm sure once upon a time the Catholic Church started with a small number of people to eventually become one of the most powerful churches or religious institution or Christian denomination in the world.

If not that I'm sure in some of these churchs the faith of some individual was solidified indeed brought alive, but these storefront preachers. Still I suppose one must choose carefully who they want to put their faith in.

Also, and this is my conclusion. Churches to me are only bricks and mortar. People make them holy (however you may define that). Especially the people who worship there or indeed the people who effectively lead their flock in such a building.

Check out Mr. Bey's post there and look at his other photos of storefront churches around the city of Chicago.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Harold Ford for Secretary of Commerce

Hopefully he won't have to drop out due to either disagreements, tax issues, or even personal political issues. I don't know of any, but that's not to say there isn't anything in his background. Perhaps Harold Ford isn't out of the national spotlight yet. So what about this story:
Harold Ford Jr. for Commerce Secretary? It's something a few Democrats around town are pushing and, according to sources, the idea of appointing the former Tennessee Congressman is being given serious thought by folks high up in the Obama administration.

On paper, Ford checks a lot of boxes for a an easy-to-confirm nominee for this post: He's a pro-business Democrat (remember, this is Commerce Secretary so the job is to be a promoter of business); he's a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus (you'll recall this whole kerfuffle over control of the census under a Judd Gregg-led Commerce Dept. was started by complaints from the CBC); and he's a practiced spokesperson on TV (the Geithner rollout this week is a reminder that the administration doesn't have enough solid media savvy members of his team who can sell the administration's policies.).
Well I had to click thru two links to get to this article at MSNBC. They've found something, whether or not he's recieved a bonus from Merril Lynch. No one close to Ford belives that there is an issue. Hopefully this nomination won't be another strike against the young Obama administration.


Well I click to MSNBC starting at Instapundit.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Southern Avenger: Being Honest About Abe

As my home state celebrates the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln as his 200th birthday was yesterday I wanted to share a divergent point of view regarding Lincoln.

I've often talked to a friend who doesn't believe Honest Abe was as honest as he's often been portrayed. In fact he places Lincoln in the same vein as any of the worst tyrants we've ever heard of around the world. We could talk about Josef Stalin or Adolf Hitler. The Southern Avenger (SA) doesn't go as far, but if Washington was the father of what was supposed to be a voluntary union and a constitutional republic, Lincoln certainly became the father of a more centralized big American government.

Now let's get into a funny area. Well it's not funny because it's not  unreasonable. Consider for a minute that people have different standards for judging a success or a failure of a Presidency. For SA, Lincoln forcing the Confederacy back into the Union doesn't make him a great president. If he doesn't consider Lincoln a failure, he certainly might see Abe as a tyrant.

My definition might be an effectiveness of a particular administration in solving the nation's problems. I'm not entirely sure if that totally holds, especially if you look at FDR. There are those who'll trash FDR because of his New Deal policies, those policies those will argue didn't relieve the Great Depression, but caused it to linger on until the Second World War. Still FDR did lead America thru two major crises and towards the end of his life/presidency won the Second World War. Who knows the jury might be out on his stewardship of the American economy, however, we still see elements of his legacy such as the FDIC. You know these alphabet agencies, especially the ones that largely regulate the private sector economy.

I would say Lincoln was a great or effective President because he navigated a great crisis. He had to deal with the loss of an entire region of the Union and then he fought a war against that region who declared themselves an independent state and then attacked Union forces at a fort that remained in their territory.

Of course if I was in that situation where the country split apart and they attacked my military installation in hostile territory, I have one of two options. Do I withdraw and do nothing or do I engage in a military campaign to say that we can't be having that? Lincoln's military campaign as it turns out brought the South back into the union.

You know I often compared James Buchanan or Bill Clinton. Well at least during the early days of the Bush administration for not a long while after the 9/11/2001 terror attacks. Both men seemed inept at solving the major problems that came to a head after they left their respective presidencies. Buchanan was unable  or perhaps unwilling to ease the regional strife that brought the Civil War. Clinton on the other hand well could be blamed somewhat indirectly for the 9/11 attacks for his unwillingness to go after Al-Qaida.

In any event what do you guys think about this video?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rangel Investigation Continues

Real Clear Politics has the story:
The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, otherwise known as the House ethics committee, announced yesterday that an investigative subcommittee has been reauthorized in the 111th Congress to look into potential impropriety by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

More than a month into the new session, the reorganized committee -- with new leadership -- will begin again to look at Rangel's ethical issues, which we recently reported on here. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in November that the report would be completed by the close of the 110th Congress, which was January 3.


The investigation remains incomplete, and Rangel still chairs the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, much to the chagrin of House Republicans. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) introduced a privileged resolution that would have forced Rangel to step down from Ways and Means until the ethics committee completed its report. The House voted last night to table it, however -- thereby killing it.

Via Instapundit.

Let me remind you of this vid I posted last month. It was shot in Rangel's NYC Congressional District.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Deal With It, the Free Market Is Dead

Here's an article from the Financial Times that I found via RealClearMarkets:
The free market is dead. It was killed by the Bolshevik Revolution, fascist dirigisme, Keynesianism, the Great Depression, the second world war economic controls, the Labour party victory of 1945, Keynesianism again, the Arab oil embargo, Anthony Giddens’s “third way” and the current financial crisis. The free market has died at least 10 times in the past century. And whenever the market expires people want to know what Adam Smith would say. It is a moment of, “Hello, God, how’s my atheism going?”

Adam Smith would be laughing too hard to say anything. Smith spotted the precise cause of our economic calamity not just before it happened but 232 years before – probably a record for going short.
...
Smith was familiar with rampant speculation, or “overtrading” as he politely called it.

The Mississippi Scheme and the South Sea Bubble had both collapsed in 1720, three years before his birth. In 1772, while Smith was writing The Wealth of Nations, a bank run occurred in Scotland. Only three of Edinburgh’s 30 private banks survived. The reaction to the ensuing credit freeze from the Scottish overtraders sounds familiar, “The banks, they seem to have thought,” Smith said, “were in honour bound to supply the deficiency, and to provide them with all the capital which they wanted to trade with.” [308]

The phenomenon of speculative excess has less to do with free markets than with high profits. “When the profits of trade happen to be greater than ordinary,” Smith said, “overtrading becomes a general error.” [438] And rate of profit, Smith claimed, “is always highest in the countries that are going fastest to ruin”. [266]
...
How then would Adam Smith fix the present mess? Sorry, but it is fixed already. The answer to a decline in the value of speculative assets is to pay less for them. Job done.

We could pump the banks full of our national treasure. But Smith said: “To attempt to increase the wealth of any country, either by introducing or by detaining in it an unnecessary quantity of gold and silver, is as absurd as it would be to attempt to increase the good cheer of private families, by obliging them to keep an unnecessary number of kitchen utensils.” [440]

We could send in the experts to manage our bail-out. But Smith said: “I have never known much good done by those who affect to trade for the public good.” [456]
Now I really want to read The Weath of Nations. I have it in the Book List even with a link to the book itself (public domain). Did I mention that Adam Smith is apart of this idea called "Classical Liberalism"? If John Locke discussed more personal or political liberty Smith at least seems to have an interest in economic liberty.

Today we're talking about what this nation should do to handle this economic crisis. The trend unfortunately seems to be that we're not going to leave the market alone. We're using government funds to bailout  bad businesses the ones who weren't able to adjust to succeed or at least getting involved in investing in what amounted to be bad lending.

I twittered a link to the Chicago school of economics and I indicated that I have some reading to do. Well at least of that article since it really takes time for me to finish a book (heh I allow myself too many distractions), but at least I have something to look forward to. I understand politics, but economics well my understanding of that field could use some work.

Anyway I inquired to a friend about what should I read if I want to look into Austrian economics. He couldn't tell me about a specific piece telling me that he largely reads stuff off the internets, however, he did suggest that Smith is a good place to start. Although the book itself is only a click away, I should really consider either buying a copy or going to the library and getting it from there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Former Klansmen apologizes to Rep. John Lewis

I twittered this CNN video on Sunday, but I think this story deserves it's own post.

And we can look at this write-up from the Tribune's blog, Exploring Race:
Elwin Wilson’s story is one of transformation. That’s why it resonates so much. It’s a story of changing one’s self and in a way that’s neither instantaneous nor painless---but it reminds us that change is possible.

By now you’ve probably heard about the meeting that Wilson, a former member of the KKK who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., had earlier this week with U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). It began this way: Last month, Wilson, 72, read a story in his town’s newspaper about a group of students from the local black college who decades ago had faced an angry white mob. They were trying to integrate a dime store lunch counter.

Wilson was part of that angry mob and another that attacked the congressman, leaving him bloodied.

So, after years of wanting to make amends, Wilson apologized to the former students. (He’s shown in a grainy photograph reveling in having cracked an egg over the head of a young black man.) Then, this week, Wilson traveled to Washington D.C. to apologize to Lewis for beating him up at a Rock Hill bus depot. Lewis got off the bus in May, 1961, determined to enter a “white only” waiting room. That was when Wilson grabbed Lewis.
I'm not sure I'd ever see this day. A former Klansmen who seeks to reconcile with one of the very people he hoped to defeat especially by physically beating him. Is it easy for us to just think of Wilson as a Klansmen forever?

In the CNN video you might hear about Wilson getting a phone call from a guy who certainly considers him a turncoat against the Klan, even if he left that mindset behind years ago. It wouldn't surprise me if the person who called him is a young racist hot head himself. In a few years, assuming that he might have done something that borders on what Wilson did way back when, this young man might seek forgiveness in his old age.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Barack Obama is a novice - and it shows

It seems like the President is having something of a rough spot since he was inaugurated. A promising start after the inauguration and then within the last two or three weeks cabinet nominations withdrawn and controversy over a stimulus package.

Yesterday via Instapundit was this blog post that showed various pics of the President. It showed happy smiling Obama and then we see various pics of Obama not looking very happy. A very stark difference if I muse say.

This morning another article from the Telegraph via Instapundit:
During last year's epic election campaign, Hillary Clinton said that in the White House "there is no time for on-the-job training". Joe Biden, too, remarked that the presidency was "not something that lends itself to on-the-job training". Both were aiming barbs at their then primary opponent. Mrs Clinton has since brought what she would refer to as her "lifetime of experience" to the role of Secretary of State, while Mr Biden has traded 36 years in the Senate for the vice-presidency. And the rookie they derided is President.

Now, the words of his former rivals are returning to haunt President Obama. After a distinctly rocky start to his presidency, he has admitted he "screwed up" and is returning to one thing in his political career that he has perfected – campaigning. In Elkhart, Indiana, today and Fort Myers, Florida, tomorrow, Mr Obama will try to seize back control of the political agenda with question-and-answer sessions with voters in two of the swing states that gave him victory.

Already, however, he is struggling, and the product he is now selling is not himself but a near-trillion-dollar economic "stimulus" package loaded with pet Democratic spending projects that has awakened slumbering Republicans in Congress and is now supported by barely a third of Americans. In between the Indiana and Florida stops, he will return to the White House for a prime-time press conference in which he will appeal directly to citizens and seek to rekindle the magic of his campaign.
...
The American presidency is a platform without parallel, offering the incumbent a degree of instinctive deference and goodwill and a megaphone that will amplify his voice across 50 states and the world beyond. But it is also a lonely perch for the timid.

In the early days of his presidency, Mr Obama has seemed passive and uncertain. Instead of drawing up his own economic stimulus bill, he sub-contracted the job to Democrats on Capitol Hill. They opted to spend money on projects for contraception and beautifying the National Mall – their doorstep – and gave Republicans an plenty of ammunition against the package.

Slipped into the small print was a "Buy America" provision that sent shock waves through capitals from Brussels to Beijing and triggered fears of trade wars and a new American protectionism. It was hard for the President to defend a bill he perhaps didn't fully support himself. He neither championed the package as imperfect but essential, nor sought to make meaningful changes to it. Instead, he attempted to charm Republican centrists with his own personality and the trappings of the White House by inviting them over for cocktails and a Super Bowl party. It didn't work. Of 219 Republicans on Capitol Hill, only three voted for the bill. Introducing a $500,000 pay cap for some Wall Street executives was empty – and possibly counter-productive – populism.
Well I sincerely hope he gets it together by the time his honeymoon period is over. I was very concerned about voting for a rookie to become our commander in chief. Obama didn't have much to suggest that he would be a good fit for the Presidency. It was precisely why I couldn't vote for him, notwithstanding the historical significance of his campaign and eventual victory.

I know there are some of you out there who are ready to pounce. I'm just not there yet because he has the next 3+ years to get it together in this administration. He may even have less time than that to turn it around so the time to pounce is only when it doesn't appear that this rough period isn't going to turn and the Obama administration continues to stumble.

We shall see!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thoughts on education

Well I saw that my alderman commented on a blog post over at The 6th Ward blog. Lately I've taken an interest in crime reports I find on EveryBlock Chicago that takes place in or near schools in the 6th Ward of Chicago. The crimes found aren't a big surprise because I've seen it done especially narcotics, theft, assault, battery or robbery.

Unfortunately kids are apt to get themselves into trouble during their teenaged years. Now I can't tell you why it is what it is. Perhaps a lot of them think they're bad and they always got something to prove. Perhaps their parents aren't able to reign some of them in. Who knows what it is.

All the same I want to share that comment with you. I have talked at times about the school system and sometimes I do mind sharing some harsh measures that I hope would make them better. This post may be cross-posted there, however, what will be said could be a little harsh. The main idea is to just consider what's wrong with our schools and what can be done to make them "right".
I note that the 7th Police District sends cars to all the high schools in that district at dismissal, just as the 6th District and 5th Districts do. They do that because at dismissal you have hundreds of young people coming out and lots of non students, many time gang bangers, hanging around to prey on/solicit/confront students who are just trying to get home. And we must not forget that some of those students are gangbangers themselves. It is a similar problem at the elementary schools as gang membership/involvement seems to be starting at a younger age.
In doing these posts over at the 6th, most of this statement isn't a surprise to me. Although to be honest I would have easily believed that the students were preying on each other while in school. Unfortunately this is what has been done in my experience. Of course that's not to say that there are young people who go to a rival school or indeed aren't in school at all who might pick on those who have just gotten out of school.

I always thought it was unfortunate that the police has to be present. On many days I hated to see Chicago Police use their sirens and their squad cars to essentially chase students away. I understand why it's done, because there are those who are looking to either make trouble or get into it. The sooner that they may go home, hopefully if there's one worth going to, the better.

Next point...
Also because the Chicago Public Schools must take every child, the children in our schools come to school suffering from all of the social and psychological conditions that exist in the general population. Unfortunately the schools don't have the resources to treat most of those conditions, thus the teachers and disciplinarians have their hands full.
Now this is where I get harsh. Does CPS have to take in every child? Think about it for a minute.

There is a reason why there are students who are suffering from social or psychological conditions. I would largely point my finger at the parents. I've probably mentioned this once before but I was on my way to class and saw the teacher arguing with a parent because she believe my teacher was picking on her daughter. The daughter was standing right there.

Granted I don't know the whole story, but ideally you might want to keep disagreements between adults behind closed doors. Especially if the daughter isn't exactly telling the complete truth about what's going on in class on any given day. Unfortunately there are parents out there who might want to believe that their children can do no wrong, even if that's right under their noses.

On the other hand, there are parents who generally don't care. On Friday, I posted a blog about some truant officers visiting a home in New Orleans where the parent has given up on her children. She talks like the state is going to take them and she's already decided that she doesn't want them anymore. What do we do about these parents that will neglect or otherwise just refuse to parent?

Final point...
For these reasons and many more, we celebrate the successes of the students and teachers whenever we can and encourage neighborhood organizations and churches to do the same. In each of the schools you have mentioned recently there are success stories. Robeson sent a young man to Northwestern with a 5 yr scholarship; there's a junior at Harlan who scored 23 on his ACT and has an internship at Northrup, etc., etc.
This is great! I like to hear success stories. In fact I do believe that we should hear success stories. Not all kids who attend many of these less successful neighborhood schools are headed towards jail or a life of working non-skilled jobs. There are more than a few who are going somewhere in their lives. I sincerely hope that we will be able to keep those kids and more on the track they need to be for their own success in their lives. For that reason I hope that the young man from Robeson or the junior from Harlan who scored a 23 on the ACT will not merely be the exception, but the rule.

I look forward to the day when the only news that comes from our high schools are that our students are successes doing very well in their lives and making the best marks in school. Hopefully I won't have to post these reports from EveryBlock Chicago that let us know that our students are either committing crimes or being the victims of crimes by their peers.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

He was elected on January 30th, 2009. I most twittered the proceedings as I came to different reports about the balloting to determine who'll be the next Republican Chairman.

Well, what can be said for RNC Chairman Steele.

Well all I really know about the guy was that he used to be Lt. Gov. of Maryland and he ran for US Senate against the now incumbent Ben Cardin. He ran a close race, but this was back in 2006, and that year wasn't particularly good for Republicans as the Democrats regained control of the US Congress.

I write about him know because in my religion class at least before we started to talk about our lesson for the day, we talked a little politics. At some point Michael Steele came up, and this should beg a question.

Does anyone believe that Michael Steele's ascension was an answer to Barack Obama? Was this a copycat move because the leader of the Democratic party is currently the President of the United States?

Well that was what my religion professor believes. Michael Steele was elected because the Republicans needed their own version of Barack Obama. But at least he noted one thing, Steele is no slouch. He may have more going on in his head than Gov. Sarah Palin. Indeed he went on to say that the Republicans only got Sarah Palin because of Hillary Clinton.

Anyway it was in the news that Chairman Steele has requested mass resignations from his RNC staff:
A Republican source says newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has requested the resignations of the entire RNC staff and signaled a dramatic turnover at the party organization.

Some aides may be retained, though Republicans are under the impression that Steele will lead a large-scale changeover in the institution, which has about 100 staffers. Obama's new team at the Democratic National Committee also requested mass resignations.

Many, including communications staffers, have been told their last day is Feb. 15.
I wonder what other changes Steele was have in store.

He might want to combat the often stated image of the Republican Party. That they are the party of the rich, that they are the party of old white men, or even the country club party. Nevermind the image of the Republican Party as the non-inclusive party and the whole Southern strategy image to attract disaffected Southern whites.

I wish Chairman Steele the best of luck and I hope to be able to keep very good track of him during his term, however long it is meant to be.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Statue commemorating race riot to be unveiled

The race riots that happened over 100 years ago in Springfield, IL are getting more and more recognition these days. Check out this AP article:
During its quarterly meeting Saturday in Springfield, the Illinois State NAACP plans to unveil a bronze statue by sculptor Preston Jackson commemorating the Springfield Race Riot of 1908.

This is the centennial year of the NAACP, and former Springfield chapter president Ken Page says the riot was one of the reasons the civil rights organization was founded.
This sculpture was commissioned thru a grant of $300,000 by the IL Capital Development Board to the city of Springfield. Also the Springfield NAACP branch and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency were instrumental in this project.

Not bad for an historical event that has only recently started to garner some attention.

If you want to know more I refer you to one of my posts that links to some relevant information.

100 years had past last year, but this year I'm sure we'll hear a little bit about the race riots that occured in Chicago back in 1919. 2009 is at least the 90th anniversary of that. I would like to find some links about that race riot. People know a little more about that than they did about what happened in Springfield, IL in 1908.

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

I found this article via the Chicago Schools blog and the setting is New Orleans. Here's something that should make you wonder:
JOYNAL ABDIN, police and public safety officer: Police. Police. I'm here to serve your summons. You got your I.D.? Are you going to go to court?

PARENT: Yeah, I have to take that day off.

DORIS TAYLOR: Ma'am, make sure you go. Make sure you go, because if you don't, we're going to come back out and pick you up and bring you down to lock-up. That's your responsibility as a parent to make sure that your kids attend school.

And this makes me very frustrated, because this is a child's education we're talking about. There's no excuse why a child should miss 21 days and he's just a second-grader?

PARENT: Can I ask a question?

DORIS TAYLOR: Sure.

PARENT: Is there like any way that the state could pick them up, I mean, if they miss like a couple more days?

DORIS TAYLOR: You keep saying the state going to take them. You sound like you don't want with them.


PARENT: To be honest with you, I don't.

JOYNAL ABDIN: If the parents don't want you, what kind of message do you think you're sending to the child? I mean, it's frustrating. It's sad. It's very emotional. But at the same time, that's what we're here for.
It should make you wonder. Why do these parents have kids they don't want? What's occuring in their lives where they parent may just decided that they don't want to keep their kids and they're ready for the state to take them away? It's unfortunate that there are those parents who want to thrown their children into the system.

I also would ask do these kids have anyone else in their lives they can lean on. Especially if their parents seem to have given up on them. You know I assumed this was a single mother and I would always ask the question where's the daddy. Indeed it's messed up when both the mother and father just don't have their act together and there's literally no one who could step in for the sake of the child.

You know it should make you wonder. Parents that don't care is why the children find themselves messed up in the future. They don't attend school or eventually find themselves in jail. What can we do about this problem.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Senators: Blagojevich was his own worst enemy

A week ago I did three posts. I consider those posts to be an impeachment special that I wrote right on the cusp of the vote that essentially fired Rod Blagojevich from the Governornship. My last words on the final post of that day was, "Bye Rod".

But Mr. Blagojevich didn't go away after that. He held a presser outside of his north side home, a place he refused to leave in favor of the Governor's mansion during his 6 year tenure. He's been interviewed on national programs since his removal, but really got shellacked on of all places, The Late Show with David Letterman.

Today I offer an article where the Senators give their unanimous vote to impeach the Governor. Senators Kimberly Lightford and Dan Harmon both Democrats says:
"There was much belief in our caucus that he could have mounted a serious defense to the charges. But he didn't," Harmon said after the unanimous votes to fire the governor and bar him from holding any state office.


Lightford admitted she wasn't always satisfied the prosecution had proved its case, but added that while Blagojevich "made the best campaign speech of his life" just before the Senate voted, he "didn't put himself under oath, produce a defense, or answer questions."

While "it appeared we came to our conclusions (to convict) at different times," she and at least some others decided that "if he didn't care enough to come in and defend himself, why should we?" she said.

That vote to convict didn't have to be based on agreement he was guilty of all the charges made by the House prosecution team. He only had to be found guilty of some of them, Lightford explained.

In the end, "the evidence (against Blagojevich) was overwhelming and unrebutted that the governor abused power time and time again," Harmon said.

Lightford said she was upset at the way Blagojevich got the General Assembly to support some of his prescription and health care programs, not knowing he had skirted federal laws to put parts of those programs together, thereby making the lawmakers his unwitting accomplices.
Are they saying that Blago essentially cheated to have his way? That he was a liar in achieving his objectives?

Perhaps his closing statements also showed how clueless he was. Perhaps he did come to the point that he didn't care anymore. Some speculation was that he didn't want to be Governor anymore hence his attempts to either procure himself an appointment as a cabinet secretary in Obama's cabinet or some other high powered gig.

Or perhaps his problem was that he's often found himself in campaign mode that he just couldn't help but give the camapaign speech of his life. He's been accused of governing via press release, so why would impeachment be any different. And it didn't help that he already chose to boycott his own impeachment trial unwilling to submit his evidence or his witnesseses and a lot of them said their were insulted  by his comments and considered them self-centered.

Of course like I said he already didn't have a good relationship with the state legislature. Especially the state house with whom he's largely warred against since his re-election in 2006. Yeah he was his own worse enemy and that was probably the main thing that did him in.

I sincerely hope that I can find other things to talk about other than Rod Blagojevich. Thankfully his reign over Illinois is over, but his attempts at publicity will contiune until eventually national media outlets get tired of him. Perhaps he can find himself on the Daily Show again so that they can make fools of him once more.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cuff Links...A Brief American History

I suppose this is commentary on race relations in this nation. From slave shackles to Presidential cuff links. And just in time for Black History Month.

If anyone has any idea where this cartoon first appeared I would greatly appreciate that information.

What J.M. Keynes Should Have Said

I've been utilizing the website RealClearMarkets ever since we entered this era of financial crisis and recession. A lot of the articles that I found on this issue talked about Keynesian economics. The basic idea that I got was that goverment spending can help bring an economy back to prosperity.

You know, I ran into John Maynard Keynes in high school. My psychology teacher had to teach us a unit in consumer education and he showed a lot of tapes from programs that I would think could be found on WYCC-TV. The problem was the theory of Keynes wasn't articulated in a way that I or probably most of my classmates could understand.

Well anyway what does this column from RCM says about Keynes:
For more than seventy years, policy makers have used Keynesian monetary and fiscal policies to control recessions (Keynes 1936). Although these policies are widely perceived to have been successful in stabilising the business cycle, academics gave up on Keynesian theory in the 1970s. The appearance of stagflation led to the adoption of the Phelps-Friedman hypothesis of a natural rate of unemployment, and it caused academics to abandon the Keynesian idea of many steady-state unemployment equilibria (Cross 1995). Mainstream economists adopted an approach in which temporary deviations from the natural rate of unemployment are caused by “sticky prices”.

In a forthcoming book (Farmer 2009), I propose a new paradigm that reconciles Keynesian economics with general equilibrium theory. Unlike existing interpretations of Keynes’ General Theory, my approach does not rely on sticky prices and does not carry the implication that the economy, if left to itself, will return to full employment. The theory implies instead that any level of unemployment can coincide with any rate of inflation.

I will make three related points. First, due to missing markets, labour market clearing may occur at many different unemployment rates, all of which are consistent with steady state equilibrium. Second, aggregate demand determines which of these equilibria will occur. Third, aggregate demand depends not on income, as asserted by simple Keynesian theories, but on wealth. My argument leads me to advocate a different policy from the trillion dollar bailout currently on the table. I argue instead for direct control of the stock market through Fed intervention in a market for indexed securities.
Sounds like the author, Roger Farmer, wants to rework the theory of Keynesian economics. Although reading thru this piece, and I do suggest you read the whole thing, it almost looks like Farmer advocates for greater governmental control of the economy. People are already complaining, well if you watch FOX News Channel, that America is making a nose dive into socialism. Farmer addresses that issue in the very last paragraph.
Capitalism is the single greatest engine of growth ever devised and the free market allocation of capital is superior to any other system known to humanity. If the big three auto makers cannot produce cars that people want to buy – let them fail. If Lehman Brothers made bad investments – let it sink. But do not let every manufacturing firm and every bank fail at the same time as a result of speculative movements in markets that serve no social purpose.
Well that's all fine and good. I've always believed that anyway that companies that engage in bad business should fail. Still I think we should be bothered if government wants to take on more influence in the economy. The fear is once the government gets into something it's very hard to get it back out!

Here's another piece worth your time. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey advocates for less Keynesian economics and more Hayek. Friedrich Hayek was a practitioner of Austrian economics.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Black history month

Well Black history was made twice last month. The first black President of the United States was both elected in November and inaugurated last month. Also the first black man to head the Republican National Committee was elected on Friday as well. Just found out that Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie ran for President in the 1960s wanting Phyllis Diller as his running mate.

How much material I will come up with this month is always a challenge, but I like to mark Black history month on this blog. So let's see what else is new this month!