Saturday, December 31, 2011

The spectre of 1932...

"How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory"

I saw this Daily Mail article courtesy of Instapundit. Ouch to those running for President in the Republican primaries next year. It's almost very pessimistic:
Sadly, there seems little point in looking across the Atlantic for inspiration. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover, beleaguered by rising unemployment and tumbling ratings, flailed and floundered towards election defeat.

Today, Barack Obama cuts a similarly impotent, indecisive and isolationist figure. The difference is that in 1932, one of the greatest statesmen of the century, the Democratic politician Franklin D. Roosevelt, was waiting in the wings.

Today, American voters looking for alternatives are confronted only with a bizarre gaggle of has-beens, inadequates and weirdos, otherwise known as the Republican presidential field. And to anybody who cares about the future of the Western world, the prospect of President Ron Paul or President Newt Gingrich is frankly spine-chilling.
I was watching FOX News today and there was a panel talking about all the GOP candidates. This piece doesn't mention Mitt Romney, but certainly he's in the description of all candidates. What one member of the panel discussed was that it seemed as if Republicans are looking for an alternative to Romney and that's an issue he needs to address soon. Especially if it turns out that Romney will eventually gain the nomination in spite of Republicans looking for anyone but Mitt!

The rest of the article takes aim at the environment of Europe in the early 1930s. The Great Depression started here in the states and eventually made its way across the Atlantic into Europe. Perhaps the economy of those days were more global than I would've thought. In some ways the European economy was inter connected and in some ways the American economy was interconnected with Europe.

Anyway this column seeks to draw parallels between 1932 and 2012. Comparing the various world leaders of that time 80 years ago with those of 80 years later. Some of these parellels are spooky and unfortunately almost seems hopeless as indicated by the excerpt above about our own current Presidential race.
Time will only tell if this assessment is correct. You should read the whole article for the history lesson!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

AmericanRattlesnake: An Open Debate About Open Borders

The immigration website takes a look at the philosophical aspects of immigration reform between conservatives & libertarians. More specifically those libertarians that believe in open borders:
Yet, even if we were to concede that there’s no firm historical or Constitutional foundation for this nation’s current open borders policies, can it not be argued that there is a compelling moral case for the views espoused by those at the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Cato Institute, Reasonoids, and other trendy, beltway cosmotarians? You would definitely think so if you took their arguments at face value. The notion that we have no moral basis for barring certain immigrants from entry into the United States is certainly widespread in certain libertarian circles, but I don’t believe that makes the idea, ipso facto, libertarian. Julian Simon, in a 1998 essay published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, articulated the perspective felt by many that individual autonomy takes precedence over other “public” goods, including our national borders. In an anarcho-capitalist reality, nation-states would not exist, therefore deciding who should or should not be admitted to your nation would be a moot point.

But while it might seem logical that freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of contract-and at its most essential level, the individual him or herself-are all prioritized over the wishes and feelings of citizens who have a vested interested in preserving the character of their nation, there are those that don’t think these competing values are necessarily mutually exclusive. In a persuasive essay written for Lew Rockwell several years ago, N. Stephan Kinsella made a very compelling argument that while the disposition of property in our society is unjust-insofar as the state has no right to expropriate land that rightfully belongs to individuals-so long as that property is entrusted to the state it has a responsibility to act as caretaker for the rightful owners. In this case, it has the responsibility to prevent the ingress of people that citizens do not want to welcome into their country. While those who are opposed to communitarianism in even its most minimal form might reject Kinsella’s public pool analogy, I think he makes a convincing case that some prophylactic measures need to be enforced to prevent the exploitation of your property-even if it’s already been subjected to theft by the state.

There are many cogent arguments against the current trendy libertarian support for open borders, several of them outlined by the first presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, John Hospers, in paper published by the Journal of Libertarian Studies over a decade ago entitled A Libertarian Argument Against Open Borders. The concluding paragraph of the essay is especially perceptive in its analysis of the problem:

Occasionally, we hear the phrase “limousine liberals” used to describe the members of the liberal establishment who send their children to expensive private schools while consigning all the others to the public school system, which educates these children so little that by the time they finish the eighth grade they can barely read and write or do simple arithmetic, or make correct change in a drug store. It would be equally appropriate, however, to describe some other people as ”limousine libertarians” —those who pontificate about open borders while remaining detached from the scenes that their “idealism” generates. They would do well to reflect, in their ivory towers, on whether the freedom they profess for those who are immigrants, if it occurs at all, is to be brought about at the expense of the freedom of those who are not.
I don't follow these issues very carefully so there still isn't a very solid idea that would be espoused by me on immigration. It is understood that you have the right to freedom of association, movement, and contract to anywhere you choose. At the same time should you simply bring your cultural sensibilities with you to a new land or place.

I think not. Perhaps that's why there are people who want to keep their eye on the border. There are people who immigrate who are unwilling to assimilate. Which could mean amongst other things learning English.

What say you on this topic?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm sure Illinois Republicans could see this as good news...

Greg Hinz at Crain's takes a look at this new Congressional map. It was drawn by the Democrat control Illinois General Assembly to elect more Democrats to the US Congress. At current Illinois congressional delegation sees this state sending more Republicans to Washington than Democrats at a margin of 11-8. Also remember this year Illinois loses one Congressional seat.

In any event Hinz doesn't see the Democrats doing much better with this new map. Some of the Congressman elected in last year's wave election had defeated incumbents and not all were long term incumbents:
The one sure GOP loss is in the new 16th District, which swoops from Rockford south through Joliet, and then east to Will County and the Indiana border. The new district combines bits and chunks of old districts, and effectively is the place where Illinois' loss of population in the Census is most clearly reflected.

Two Republican incumbents are running there: Rockford veteran Don Manzullo and Joliet newbie Adam Kinzinger. It's tempting to pick the energetic and good-looking kid in this one, but I wouldn't discount the veteran, who has a fair-sized lead in early polling.

Either way, the Republicans will lose one incumbent here — even if, as expected, the winner of the Manzullo/Kinzinger match trounces the Democratic nominee in November.

Almost as certain is the eventual defeat of Tea Party flamethrower Joe Walsh.

Yes, the Democrats have yet to navigate a rather noisy March primary contest between Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth. But the district tilts Democratic, and word on the street is that national Democrats are preparing to dump all kinds of money into the contest.

If Mr. Walsh were untarnished, he might survive in what, after all, is a 100% suburban district. But his video-caught bad judgment in harassing constituents and demanding that President Barack Obama "quit lying" are a bit much. And it's rarely good politics to be accused by your ex of holding out on $100,000 in child support payments.

If the Democratic nominee runs even a mediocre campaign, Mr. Walsh is there for the taking.

The Democrats have some other opportunities. But they're not as good.

One is in the new southwest suburban 11th District, where — assuming the primaries go as expected — former Democratic congressman Bill Foster will take on GOP incumbent Judy Biggert, whose current 13th District was dismembered by Democratic remappers in Springfield.

Mr. Foster sometimes isn't the best of campaigners, and it's been at least a decade since Ms. Biggert really was pressed. So each will have to step up their game. But expect big spending, particularly on the Republican side. And watch to see how popular Mr. Obama is at election time, because it could make a difference is this district.

Mr. Obama's popularity also will be a factor in the north suburban 10th Congressional District.

GOP incumbent Bob Dold, a sometimes-moderate in an increasingly conservative Republican Party, on paper is vulnerable. But his stock has risen among GOP pros, and Democrats oddly were unable to recruit any of several state lawmakers who would have been instant favorites in the 10th.

We'll see who wins the Democratic primary: contenders Brad Schneider, Ilya Sheyman and John Tree all have a shot. Then we'll see if Mr. Dold really can convince voters he's been reborn in the mold of John Edward Porter or Mark Kirk, the district's prior two moderate GOP congressman.
BTW, I found this article that lauds the architect of the current state Congressional map for exactly this map but for other things he helped to orchestrate:
Michael Madigan, A: Madigan had two big victories this year. His Congressional re-map looks as though it will eliminate four Republicans, wiping out the gains the GOP made in 2010. Politico was so impressed with the map it declared that Madigan had “punched his ticket to the partisan hall of fame.” Also, Madigan’s nemesis Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison, giving his daughter another argument when she runs for governor as a reformer in 2014.
Well 2012 is just next year. We shall see if Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, is successful with his maps producing the desired results. We shall also see of Hinz is correct

NBC Chicago: Winners & Losers of 2011

Amongst local figures at our NBC affiliate's Ward Room blog. This isn't something I could disagree with:
Carol Moseley Braun: Named the black community’s “consensus” candidate after Rep. Danny Davis and state Sen. James Meeks realized they couldn’t beat Rahm Emanuel. Completed her political decline by accusing Patricia Watkins of being “strung out on crack” and repeatedly yelling “tampon” at Emanuel during a Tribune editorial board meeting. After winning one precinct and getting only 9 percent of the vote, the “recovering politician” has finally recovered.
She was a long way from being a recovering politician when she remained in the 2011 mayoral race. She wanted to try one more time and failed.

I would rather believe her loss would more likely have tempered this idea locally of a "consensus Black candidate". The idea behind it was sound don't divide the Black vote have one credible candidate run and then expect Black voters at least to fall behind that candidate. It didn't happen.

By all accounts they flocked not to our former US Senator - the first Black woman elected to that august body - but they instead flocked to our current Mayor Rahm Emanuel. There was a consensus Black candidate and he wasn't Black. WOW!

And then no one seems to ask, by who's consensus? Even those posting makes it a decision of the Black community, but I think it was more Black power brokers who decided that there had to be a consensus candidate. They failed to choose a winner!

The next time anyone seeks to point out a consensus candidate, choose a winner. Don't just choose someone because of their gender, sexual preference, ethnicity or religion. Choose someone who can successfully wage a political campaign. And don't let the last one standing who can't do that when everyone else drops because they know they can't win be the consensus choice by fault.

Facebook set to reveal all about you, like it or not

This can only give some the excuse to never ever join Facebook. The ones who refuse to join in the first place definitely won't if they get wind of this story:
Within days, all of Facebook's 800 million users' profile pages will change. And with it, every photo, status update, wall posting, since your Facebook birth will be much more easily visible.

Facebook claims Timeline will make profiles more comprehensive.

Consumer advocacy groups say it violates users privacy.

"We want people to decide if they want to post the old stuff on the wall, says Marc Rotenberg, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "We want people to decide whether the stuff Facebook wants to post, is the stuff they want. It really should be up to the user, not Facebook."

But for now it'll be up to Facebook to decide, and users to try to hide the stuff they'd like to keep private.
I found this story via Instapundit who noted:
FACEBOOK IS DOOMED BECAUSE OF TIMELINE. Not due to privacy concerns, but because the new Timelined pages look like nothing so much as old MySpace pages.
There is a reason why I and many other never use MySpace anymore. I've always liked FB better, but if MySpace could just become a place for bands to promote themselves then who knows what FB will be. That being said FB could be just another dead social network. There are many online too, for example I used to be on BlackPlanet and sadly I haven't thought about that place in years.

BTW, so that I don't contribute over any hyperventilation FB is doing what it can to inform people about the new timelines. There are some things I would like to keep private although I don't plan to go back and delete every single item that I never want to see the light of day again. Just have to cross the bridge when that time comes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Romney: At Harvard, a Master’s in Problem Solving

The NY Times talks about former MA Governor Mitt Romney's time as a graduate student at Harvard University where he attained both an MBA and a Law Degree:
When he arrived, he was the son of a Republican luminary — George W. Romney, who had run the American Motors Corporation before becoming governor of Michigan — who was still insecure about his own talents, according to family members, former classmates and professors. When he graduated, he was an academic star and a hot recruit, convinced he could play on a bigger field than he had previously dreamed. He had found two new homes: in Massachusetts, a state he would eventually govern, and in finance, a field he would eventually help shape.

Those years also help illuminate who Mr. Romney is now: a Republican candidate for president accused of having no core convictions, a once-moderate governor suspected of tailoring his views for political expediency. Nearly four decades ago at Harvard, Mr. Romney embraced an analytical, nonideological way of thinking, say former classmates and professors, one that both matched his own instincts and helped him succeed. On a campus rife with political and social ferment, he willfully distanced himself not only from politics, but also from larger ideological frameworks and heated debates.

Eager, driven and tremendously hardworking, he mastered the Harvard Business School method of literally looking at the world on a case-by-case basis, approaching each problem completely on its own terms and making recommendations based on data.

In the classrooms where Mr. Romney distinguished himself, there were no “right” answers — no right questions even, just a daily search for how to improve results. The Mitt Romney classmates knew then was a gifted fix-it man, attuned to the particulars of every situation he examined and eager to deliver what customers wanted.
I would think that "an analytical, nonideological way of thinking" is what we would want in a President. However, we're talking about politics and it's ok to be analytical once in office but in order to work that way you have to get elected. If you hope to have a long tenure you also have to be mindful of those who think politically or ideologically.

I somewhat know what this is about - "Romneycare". If it's not about that it's they're unsure what he represents and he may go the direction the nation will go.

Tough economy isn’t child’s play - Chicago Sun-Times

While long-term unemployment and the foreclosure epidemic is challenging family members of all ages, there is reason to worry that the stress and uncertainty children face today will thwart their ability to thrive in the future, experts warn.

“It’s not only a life-changing experience for the adults that are losing our jobs, it’s also a loss for the kids,” said Williams. “Whatever happens to us is a domino effect happening to our kids. The most important thing is our babies.”

Indeed, there is growing evidence that a parent’s job loss adversely affects how children behave, how they achieve in school and even how they do in the job market later in life.

“Whenever parents are stressed out, children sense that stress,” said Lynn Knobloch-Fedders, a licensed clinical psychologist and director of research at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “That creates a lot of uncertainty for the children.”

For one thing, job loss can shake up parental roles.

“That can be unsettling for the entire family,” Knobloch-Fedders said. “Let’s say the father is at home and was not at home before. The father has to adjust to being at home. The mother has to adjust to having the father take over some of those responsibilities, and the children have to adjust to a new family environment and a [different] parent’s approach to homework and activities and things. That’s often a very difficult transition for a family.”

Regardless whether Mom or Dad loses the job, children more often have trouble at school.

When low-income mothers suffer job losses, there is a 40 percent increase in problem behavior among children in the classroom, according to research by Heather Hill, assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. That problem behavior ranged from children being more withdrawn and showing signs of depression to such things as acting out, disobeying, and being physical with other kids or teachers, she said.

Problems can occur at higher income levels as well. Children were 1.6 times more likely to repeat a grade if their father lost a job, research that focused on middle and higher income families found. The research by Ariel Kalil, professor in the U of C Harris School of Public Policy Studies, also found children were more likely to be suspended or expelled from school and less likely to attend college.
This is a good article. I never thought in terms of the children and how they may weather the job loss of a parent.

There are some saying that the economy is rebounding. Sometime last month the numbers for unemployment has come out and indicated a decrease in unemployment.

Here's hoping 2012 is still a better year for many, although we should all recongize that there is an election next year. :P


Well again what do you expect it is MY MIND we're talking about here. Rarely do I discuss personal things on this blog but during the holiday season starting with my birthday it's time to discuss myself a little but more.

Anyway, leading up to the New Year and getting started on some resolutions this one subject in need to a tackle.

During the course of this blog, I spend a significant amount of time still in school at Morehouse. It was four and a half years before I finally graduated. Then going on more than two years on the work force it's time to start making moves for a change.

So what do I have in mind as far as a change.

Perhaps it's time for me to go back to school. Ever since I started at Morehouse it was something under consideration such as possibly getting a PhD or some type of advanced degree in political science. That would mean I would either have to do research and get published or I would have to do that and teach in a classroom.

Besides I wouldn't mind perhaps returning to Morehouse to teach one day or possibly staying here in Chicago and teach at a local university. As many of you know there are several in this great city.

What they push largely in the political science department is law school. As a political science major it wasn't my first instinct because it's already ingrained in many of us that law school is hard. Not only to gain admission but to even finish. And on top that more money for tuition although it's true for whatever program you enter into for an advanced degree.

The last option that occurred to me recently was going back to school for an education degree. So it almost seems full circle I would like to teach on the college level but then my impact could be more immediate if I taught the young people before they enter into college. Although now is a very tough time to enter that profession because I'm sure there's a lot of pressure on teachers everywhere.

Any this was something I didn't prepare myself for very well for a future career when I was still in school. Now my task is to scramble and figure out things on the fly, AGAIN!

Last year I was supposed to have done most of this. This year my plan is to look at all of it again. That in addition to seeking out new opportunities in the new year. Hopefully it will all work out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The ever inflating higher education bubble...

[VIDEO] Not to turn this into an outlet for only PJTV vids today, but I'm a regular Instapundit reader. Glenn Reynolds who is the blogmaster there is a law professor at a Tennessee university. He's often written about amongst other things the issue of high education where he currently works.

This was actually first seen on December 23, 2011 and is part of a series on the big stories of 2011. You need not watch this video or see any stories on this issue in the mainstream media (MSM) to know what he's referring to. Most of us should know students who are struggling because they're unable to find any gainful employment to pay off their student loans. Including yours truly.

If you regularly read Reynolds' blog, he doesn't just take aim at increasing tuition prices. Indeed he may take aim at the process of college admissions, academics in the classroom, even questions whether or not getting an undergrad or graduate degree is worth it.

There are a lot of reforms necessary here. Perhaps colleges should go back to teaching and then gearing their students towards the workplace in whatever field they choose to study. At the same time, college has to be for the serious and it can't just be about that sheet of sheepskin.

On "If I were a poor Black kid"...

[VIDEO] Joe Hicks discusses the controversy over Gene Marks' blog post at Forbes entitled "If I were a poor Black kid". Basically he asks, "Why can't white people contribute to the national dialogue on race and racism?"

It does seem like a cop out to just tell someone that they have nothing to say because they're not a poor Black child so they can't relate in any way. I've had a white geography teacher in high school - GO FALCONS - who said that he could relate because he was poor. Of course the conclusion could be that he thinks all Blacks are poor, but that's only a thought and not necessarily based on reality.

All the same Marks bounces off of a recent speech by President Obama in Kansas where he discussed the gap between the rich and the poor:
The President’s speech got me thinking. My kids are no smarter than similar kids their age from the inner city. My kids have it much easier than their counterparts from West Philadelphia. The world is not fair to those kids mainly because they had the misfortune of being born two miles away into a more difficult part of the world and with a skin color that makes realizing the opportunities that the President spoke about that much harder. This is a fact. In 2011.

I am not a poor black kid. I am a middle aged white guy who comes from a middle class white background. So life was easier for me. But that doesn’t mean that the prospects are impossible for those kids from the inner city. It doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for them. Or that the 1% control the world and the rest of us have to fight over the scraps left behind. I don’t believe that. I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2011. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.

It takes brains. It takes hard work. It takes a little luck. And a little help from others. It takes the ability and the know-how to use the resources that are available. Like technology. As a person who sells and has worked with technology all my life I also know this.

If I was a poor black kid I would first and most importantly work to make sure I got the best grades possible. I would make it my #1 priority to be able to read sufficiently. I wouldn’t care if I was a student at the worst public middle school in the worst inner city. Even the worst have their best. And the very best students, even at the worst schools, have more opportunities. Getting good grades is the key to having more options. With good grades you can choose different, better paths. If you do poorly in school, particularly in a lousy school, you’re severely limiting the limited opportunities you have.

And I would use the technology available to me as a student. I know a few school teachers and they tell me that many inner city parents usually have or can afford cheap computers and internet service nowadays. That because (and sadly) it’s oftentimes a necessary thing to keep their kids safe at home than on the streets. And libraries and schools have computers available too. Computers can be purchased cheaply at outlets like TigerDirect and Dell’s Outlet. Professional organizations like accountants and architects often offer used computers from their members, sometimes at no cost at all.
You will see at the end of this posting links to several rebuts to Marks' comments. I will add my two cents just as Hicks and those other links have.

I didn't go to the very best schools in Chicago. I'd say my old elementary school was an average at best school and my old high school - when I attended - was one of the worst. My marks weren't that great in elementary school but for some reason my marks in high school were often in the honor roll range. With that in mind though I consider that a fluke today.

My time in high school wasn't a time to seek out options. I never thought of my grades as a ticket mainly because they were had too easy. It was never a challenge academically and who knows how that would've been weathered. The serious challenge was in college where I struggled to keep up.

If only I had the tools back then that the young people have today to help me study and understand the various subjects. I wouldn't just be ahead of my peers but it would be light years ahead of them. But when I was in public school most of those tools did not yet exist.

In spite of the nay sayers - and I will get to one in a moment - Marks isn't wrong. Make the best grades you can where you are take advantage of all the tools you can. Don't have a PC at home go somewhere to use one, especially the library. At that there are people at your school who if you establish a relationship with them will help you move forward.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas...

I wish you a safe and merry Christmas. May Santa Claus give you all the gifts you need this season.

Friday, December 23, 2011

iPads and the Embarrassment Factor

Well iPads are nifty devices for websurfing, reading, messaging, etc. They're also expensive devices hot commodities where people could just decide they want one bad enough to steal. In my case it's to the point where I'm trying to figure out what to do if I ever travel with one.

Anyway here's an article (via Instapundit) that discusses the potential application of the iPad in the classroom and how the students used them:
News that all the graduate students in my Future of Media seminar would receive iPads for the semester generated a flurry of excitement.

Some students replied with exclamation points in their email messages. Some stopped and asked when the iPads would be available. Others passed on word to classmates and seemed to enjoy the envious responses.

Then something odd happened: The students, all in their mid- to late 20s, became self-conscious about carrying iPads. They refused to use them in public. They felt elitist. In their eyes, the iPad represented snobbery, a technological tool that no one needed and whose utility was far from apparent. Used to a graduate student frugality, they didn’t want to be seen as profligate.

I was surprised about the students’ embarrassment. Part of the experiment of having the iPads was to consider how tablets might fit into the future of media. Were they a fad or a potential institution? Would they displace laptops? Become a favored companion to smartphones? How might journalists use them? Educators? Students?
Check this out:
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Last year, a psychological profile of iPad owners described them as “selfish elites.” And earlier this year, a study found that those most likely to buy iPads had incomes of $100,000 or more.
I've been thinking about getting an iPhone and have the concern about becoming a "selfish elite". Having any Apple product doesn't necessarily cause me to think more of myself than others. Although I wish I could buy cases of iPads for students of my old elementary school (GO BADGERS) and my old high school (GO FALCONS). Let's leave aside the perception of "classism and think in terms of technology for everyone! Not necessarily for iPads but any tablet device include the Nook or the Kindle.

BTW, this article also shows what happens when you pull out the iPad. It may attract criminals but it also attracts people who are curious and honest people at that. People who may be OK with not using any paper or people who want to read more or even people who want an iPad themselves.

Hmmm a tablet device as a "social instigator"? Imagine that!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Iowa Town Won’t Let Retired Chicago Cop Keep Service Dog « CBS Chicago

Iowa Town Won’t Let Retired Chicago Cop Keep Service Dog « CBS Chicago

I think this could count as a nanny state problem. People will single out a breed without any evidence of aggressiveness. This former Chicago Policeman uses this dog as a service animal and surely no one would train a particularly aggressive dog as a service animal. So perhaps this Iowa down and the citizens doing the complaining are just allowing themselves to become nanny state busy bodies.

I hope the retired officer, Jim Sak, gets his pit-bull mix back in his possession.

BTW, I fully support the idea of states and localities within states to make whatever laws that are deemed necessary. At the same time this is a case of not only not thinking but thinking with fear.

Ron Paul stands up for Blacks...

[VIDEO] This is a collage of various clips of Ron Paul (via Newsalert). Apparently he was at a forum hosted by Tavis Smiley although I can't establish when this was. Perhaps this was from 2008 when he ran for Republican nomination and lost to eventual winner Sen. John McCain. The other clip was certainly from 2008 where he was interviewed on CNN.

I think in entitling this video, all the YouTube uploader did was just claim that Ron Paul was a racist. That is a charge against him but I'm sure mostly by those who insists that Republicans are racist. Most of his comments make sense and surely is real to a lot of people right now.

He talks about how the "War on Drugs" are unfair to blacks. His solution is to end the war on drugs. He also is against the federal death penalty. Also he claims Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King as his heros in attempting to refute claims of racism.

What do you think of Ron Paul's comments?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still leaving Illinois: An exodus of people and money

The Illinois Policy Institute (via Newsalert) has a study about the economic environment of Illinois. Click through to see the report:
Illinois residents are fleeing the state. When people leave, they take their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income with them. For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.

Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that, in 2009, Illinois netted a loss of people to 43 states, including each of its neighbors – Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Over the course of the entire year, the state saw a net of 40,000 people leave Illinois for another state.

The data reflects a continuation of a trend of out-migration from Illinois that has lasted more than a decade. Between 1995 and 2009, the state lost on a net basis more than 806,000 people to out-migration.

When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them. In 2009 alone, Illinois lost residents who took with them a net of $1.5 billion in taxable income. From 1995 to 2009, Illinois lost out on a net of $26 billion in taxable income to out-migration.
Rich Miller at Capitol Fax also notes:
Keep in mind this data was compiled well before the tax hike. Also, the net out-migration actually seems to be slowing. The average over 15 years is just under 54,000, so 40,000 net outmigration is less. That could be because of the recession and the fact that lots of people can’t sell their houses, however.
Illinois has issues. I noted at least two of them in the post about Illinois' governor's mansion. Corruption and fiscal issues. The state just concluded a session that looked at the fiscal issues. Illinois can't hope to solve these problems unless there's a way to stimulate the economic environment here. Give the people a reason to stay here.

Here's IPI's solution:
Illinois policymakers must change the failed policies that have prompted so many people to leave Illinois. The state needs to lower taxes so that it can compete with its neighbors as well as states around the country.

In addition, the state must end its culture of spending and borrowing, which ultimately drive up taxes and chase away residents. Only through fiscal discipline can the state avoid a crisis and set the tone for a wave of in-migration.
Do you agree?

Illinois Channel: Christmastime at Illinois' Executive Mansion

[VIDEO] Been quite a while since I linked to anything from the Illinois Channel. It's very much worthwhile to see a program about Illinois' Executive Mansion.

You know it's still unclear to me if our current Governor Pat Quinn actually lives at the residence when he's in Springfield. Perhaps he stays there when the General Assembly is in town but otherwise he makes his way to suburban Oak Park when he has no business in Springfield.

When he replaced Rod Blagojevich as Governor in 2009, it seemed his plan to move into this place and often referred to it as "The People's House". Blagojevich seemed to refuse to even stay in the mansion during his time as Governor opting to take flights back and forth between his Chicago home and Springfield. When his work habits were examined not long before he was removed from office one of the grips was how much it cost to fly him back and forth.

Well sorry to turn this positive program into a negative. We have another weekend to go before Next weekend is Christmas and I promised that this year I'm going to feel the spirit. Hopefully if you're an Illinoisian you will feel the Christmas spirit watching the 10 minute program from the Illinois Channel about the Executive Mansion.

In spite of the many issues of this state which will include the fiscal issues and the corruption for which Blagojevich was recently sentence, let's recognize that Illinois has plenty of treasures. And not all of those treasures reside in Chicago or the Chicago area either.

BTW, in Chicago you can watch Illinois Channel programming on CAN-TV!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time for a new direction?

Well I wanted to write a blog for New Year's resolutions and the first post was intended to be about this blog.

To start with the blog, this place has been publishing consistently since 2005. If you've followed this blog from day one, you might have seen it reach various phases. From more of a conservative blog to more of a local blog and so on.

I've always treated this blog as more of a hobby although there are other blogs that I operate that I use for a more serious purpose. This at least is one place I could use often as a soapbox of sorts on any issue of my choosing. For the foreseeable future it will remain so.

The issue may be in choosing the subjects or an area of expertise. This could always be a Chicago blog, although I try not to make it too hyperlocal. There is already a place for that!

Sadly it can't said that I'm a professional that offers something unique as far as skills or a niche. In fact that could be considered another of my New Year's resolutions. Still that's certainly what I need for this blog.

I'm still learning something new in life and probably will continue to do so. Perhaps there is no need for a singular focus, still. Although there is one thing to consider.

I had intended for this blog to be for almost long forum posts. As was stated earlier this is supposed to be my own soap box. A place to write an essay of sorts as had been the intention when I started this blog. Instead of just linking to articles that catch my eye perhaps in the new year, I just need to start really writing again. In which case that also means I have to step up my researching game.

I've also stated earlier that this place is treated as a hobby, and hopefully that's what it'll always be. What great joy in life is to share your passions and your ideas with the rest of the world and not get paid for it. Although if one is really good at what they do then who knows getting paid is in the future. Let's see what 2012 has in store!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

BBC: N Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies

Today seems to be a day to report deaths of world leaders. First Vaclav Havel and now Communist dictator Kim Jong-il. I hope sincerely North Korea is better off under his 27 year-old son Kim Jong-un than it was under Jong-il. We'll have to see:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.

Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.

He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months.

His designated successor is believed to be his third son, Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be in his late 20s.

North Korea's state-run news agency, KCNA, urged people to unite behind the younger Kim.

"All party members, military men and the public should faithfully follow the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-un and protect and further strengthen the unified front of the party, military and the public," the news agency said.

A funeral for Kim Jong-il will be held in Pyongyang on 28 December and Kim Jong-un will head the funeral committee, KCNA said.
Via Instapundit!

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel dies...

He led the nation of Czechoslovakia out of Communism and after its dissoluation led the Czech Republic. He was previously a playright who was jailed and monitored by the Communist dictatorship of Czechoslovakia. This article from the NY Times offers an interest portrait. Although Americans elected a former Hollywood actor President 30 years ago, for some reason being a playright is an odd occupation for a politician. Still he played an important role in the end of the Cold War.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And now a drive down the "great" Michigan Avenue...

[VIDEO] Alas, it's not the more well known "Magnificent Mile" with all the shopping and million dollar properties. Instead it's the shopping and residential areas on the far south side of Chicago that's referred to here as the "Non-Magnificent Mile". That area is referred to as Roseland, a very depressed community with abandoned homes, vacant buildings with bombed out storefronts, and vacant lots.

This is an area I drive through a lot and of course when I see anything from either better days to even its worst, it's thrilling to see it exposed to the rest of the world on the internet. It's all just to show the world what the real Chicago looks like.

Our host, Partee Wesley, has a sense of humor in spite of this bleakness. Then near the end he turns more serious letting us know that it's very important to see the entire meal and not to see it cut in half. He even makes an offhanded reference to one possible reason why the Olympics aren't coming to Chicago.

Via YoChicago!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Time for News Year's resolutions

Well I mean what do you expect It Is "My Mind" we're talking about. While I talk about a lot of things here at this blog sometimes I delve into the personal. Usually about my educational background but not much more.

Now that my birthday has passed it's time to look into New Year's resolutions. If you follow me on Twitter I have only hinted at that. Next year there are some goals I hope to accomplish. Most of them are from 2011 that I never realized.

Perhaps 2012 will be a better year for me. Perhaps up until New Year's Eve, this will be further fodder for this blog. In fact, perhaps there will be a New Year's resolution for this old blog as well.

You will have to stay tuned to find out.

Oh and Happy Holidays to everybody. Merry Christmas! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welfare reform still isn't done yet...

What's described here is something seen in the "hood" by yours truly. Even though this story is out of the state of Maine. And I'm sure many of you don't think welfare when thinking about that state.
During the 2010 and 2011 summers, I was a cashier at Wal-Mart #1788 in Scarborough, Maine. I spent hours upon hours toiling away at a register, scanning, bagging, and dealing with questionable clientele. These were all expected parts of the job, and I was okay with it. What I didn’t expect to be part of my job at Wal-Mart was to witness massive amounts of welfare fraud and abuse.

I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it. What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items. I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life. That’s not how welfare was intended, but sadly, it is what it has become.
I remember one night I was at a Jewel in the suburbs. This woman in front of me was dressed really nice and her shoes and fingernails appeared to match colorwise. She couldn't possibly be on government assistance looking the way that she did, right? Wrong, she paid for her groceries with food stamps. To this day and this was many years ago, that still blows me!

In Illinois, people on government assistance are issued link cards similar to the image on the top. There are scams people pull with that as well. People will trade food stamps for cash. They will literally stand outside of the grocery store finding some poor sucker who would accept the card in exchange for cash. Usually, I believe, the value of what's on the card. Of course you're supposed to use the card for the necessities.

Also, this posting shows how people on government assistance even have an appetite for expensive cellphones. If it has been determined that you need help paying for food then why do you have a brand new cell phone in your possession. Not only that do you really need anything more beyond phone service. If you can't pay for your food there's no way you should also be able to afford a data plan!

Via Instapundit!

In honor of my birthday...

[VIDEO] Just cross posted this music video over to Electric Moleskine. 50 Cent's "In Da Club" not exactly a birthday song, but hey the lyrics does start off with partying like it's your birthday. That's close enough for me! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reporter ordered to give up their notes...

Well it was so ordered by federal district Judge James Zagel who is known for being the presiding judge over Ousted governor Rod Blagojevich's criminal trials for corruption:
During a brief hearing last week, U.S. District Judge James Zagel brought up the idea of compelling the Tribune to turn over its notes from a conversation with the juror before any of the lawyers in the case even raised the issue. The judge identified the juror in Monday's ruling as Candy Chiles.

The defense argues that the Chicago woman compromised the verdict by concealing her criminal history and potential bias during jury selection. In an effort to bolster their position, Cellini's lawyers sought access to notes of Tribune reporter Annie Sweeney from a brief interview with Chiles.

In his ruling issued late Monday, Zagel ordered that Sweeney "produce any and all notes, memoranda, tape recordings, documents, or other records, from Oct. 3, 2011, to present, of any conversations the journalist had with the juror" related to her previous criminal history or answers during jury selection.

Cellini's attorneys could not be reached Monday for comment.

The Tribune filed a motion Monday morning suggesting the subpoenas were a fishing expedition and saying Cellini's lawyers should instead question the juror, other jurors in the case, co-workers, neighbors, friends and family.

"Subpoenas to journalists should be a last resort in exceptional cases — not an automatic first step," the newspaper's lawyers wrote.
Tribune editor Gerould Kern offered his thoughts on this ruling:
Journalists must be free to ask questions and collect information secure in the knowledge that their notes will not be seized by the government or litigants in court and used for other purposes. Unfortunately, that security now is threatened by this ruling.

We believe that these subpoenas are unnecessary and in fact do harm to the independence of the reporting process. We are disappointed by Judge Zagel's ruling, and we now are considering our options.
I know that at times we don't care for the work of the journalists. We may believe them to be bias towards one point of view or another. Sometimes they may be unfair to the other side of a story.

That being said if we complain about journalism in this nation for exactly that, then how do we expect it to ever get better if judges are willing to force reporters to give up their notes. Should they chase down reporters chasing a story without interfering with the judicial process or should they chase down the person whom the story was about?

Hat-tip Capitol Fax!

Zonation: Time to Lower the Confederate Flag

Click pic to watch video

[VIDEO] PJTV's Alfonzo Rachel follows up on this story about a Black college student's insistence that he should be allowed to display the Confederate battle flag in his dorm room window. Zo's response is surprising and I suppose it would be based on his conservatism.

He somewhat agrees that the Confederate flag is a symbol of "white supremacy" although there are more accurate symbols of that he displays in this video. Even the Stars & Stripes was used for this purpose by the KKK and people who are clear thinking let them.

I have no problem with the Confederate battle flag. It's a symbol of many things one of which is a symbol of rebellion against the United State of America. Yeah the Confederate States of America did have continued support for slavery, but who knows it could've been abolished in due course had the Confederacy survived as a nation.

Either way, both Zo and I can say that this young man should in fact raise the stars and stripes in his dorm room instead of the battleflag. Our nation's flag should prevail over an historic relic Southern pride or otherwise.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Electric Moleskine is back!!!

Just a way to post more frequently without having to do so here. I did intend this blog to be more for the long form (essay) posting anyway. At least I can get away with posting short form posts there on a variety of subjects. An excuse to really peruse blogs, news sites, etc. Comments aren't allowed there, but perhaps it's time to post an e-mail address there to allow for comments.

This post I made there deserves a long form post here though!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Capitol Fax: Blago as Fredo

To be honest I have a tough time getting into The Godfather franchise, but I know many are huge fans of those films. This is how Rich Miller in his Sun-Times column describes how Fredo Corleone and Blago are similar:
His flashy, expensive clothes, his gigantic posse, his brash swagger all point to the wannabe gangster type. I mean, the man is broke but he still had a driver take him to court every day? That’s gangster if I ever saw it.

The thing is, Blagojevich was never much good at the gangster role.

Sure, he had most of the theatrics down, but aside from firing a bunch of helpless state workers without the proper political connections, he was a failure right down the line.

Blagojevich declared war on House Speaker Michael Madigan when he was still in the Illinois House. By 2007, all hell had broken loose. This was supposed to be his Michael Corleone moment, when he would wipe out all his enemies in one fell swoop.

Instead, the fight lasted two years and ended with a paranoid and deranged Blagojevich caught on FBI wiretaps plotting ways he could leverage Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to get himself appointed to a Cabinet post, or a cushy job making big bucks or raking in tons of campaign contributions from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Madigan’s obvious desire to pursue impeachment charges and Obama’s rise to the nation’s top job had finally collapsed Blagojevich’s insane belief that he was the one destined for the White House, and he didn’t handle it well.
Like Fredo, Blagojevich was far too interested in the flashy life to take care of business, though both were convinced they were destined for greatness. Fredo’s botched shortcut up the family tree by helping a rival gangster try to kill his own brother undid him.

Blagojevich’s illegal shortcuts resulted in a 14-year prison sentence and permanent infamy.
I might have seen the scene in the Godfather series where Fredo was murdered but I don't remember the context. I skipped the part of Miller's column where he describes the moments that undid Fredo and Blago alike. Fredo was upset that his father Vito Corleone passed him up and made his brother Michael cheif of their crime family. Blago on the other hand was recorded on an FBI wiretap expressing his displeasure over a 13% approval rating by Illinois voters.

Let's Have Some Love For Illinois

Edward McClelland at NBC Chicago's Ward Room is essentially arguing in favor of the National Popular Vote Compact:

It’s an agreement between states to moot the Electoral College by casting electoral votes for the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact would take effect once it’s ratified by states comprising 270 electoral votes. So far, nine states with 132 electoral votes have joined. They’re all reliable blue states that are usually ignored by candidates.

The Illinois General Assembly ratified the compact in 2008, and it was signed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It’s been seen as the Democratic Party’s revenge for the election of 2000, when Al Gore won the popular but lost in the Electoral College to George W. Bush. But the compact was supported by former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, who pointed out that presidential candidates only visit Illinois for money. (The last big campaign event here was a 2000 rally for Gore in downtown Chicago.)

“When you govern, you remember particularly where you campaigned,” Edgar told the National Press Club. “You remember who you met when you campaigned. Today, for president, most of the states, most of the people are really ignored by the candidates, because they only concentrate on a few states. My home state of Illinois, we’re pretty much ignored, unless they drop in to Lake Forest to have a fundraiser. We have over 12 million people who are disenfranchised. That happens throughout America. In fact, most of the American people are left out of this process.”
They note that California and New York feels like ATM for Presidential candidates and they rarely get visits except for fundraisers. Perhaps they don't get visits from candidates because they're reliable blue states. If your state is a competitive state for both parties like Ohio or Florida are then I'm sure Presidential candidates pay attention to you. Noted by McClellan:
The Midwest is the battleground of American politics -- except for Illinois. Barack Obama actually used this to his advantage in 2008, by dispatching hometown volunteers to the swing states of Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa and Michigan. He won five out of six. Had the presidency been decided by popular vote, Obama would have kept his troops in Illinois, to squeeze as many votes as possible out of his home state.

We won’t always have a favorite son on the ticket, though. When we don’t, it will be nice to know that our votes matter.
If only we knew that Illinois was already a competitive state for both parties where the President knew he had to spend some human capital. Would 2008 have been different if he had?

I think I stumbled into another reason why this compact may not be a good idea. It's not about the popular vote or the electoral college it's about where the states generally lean politically. The onus should be on the opposition parties in each state to be strong enough to give the party in power a run for their own money.

I could talk about the situation in Illinois with the Republicans, but that's going to have to be written in another posting!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Will Blago's sentence deter political corruption?

That is today's Capitol Fax: Question of the Day in light of yesterday's sentencing on federal corruption charges to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. We also found out today that he will not be receiving his state pension as a result of his federal conviction in connection with his time as Governor.

If you want to know my thoughts. This morning when I first noticed the comments there had been 80 and now as I write this post there are 143 so far.

Most of those comments are very negative. They believe Blago's conviction will not change the corrupt culture of this state. Many will say human nature is what it it where people are greedy and want a monetary reward for their service. Well however they get their monetary reward.

We may still wink and nod at the actions of politicians and we may know that something is fishy about what they're doing. It's probably just theater to many of us and it'll get us talking with people who are of like minds.

Still the optimism in me says, yes his conviction will deter some politicians from taking money or anything gift in relation to their duties as public officials. There probably will people who will engage in activities that could easily be construed as criminal, but I also hope that no one will ever again be as brazen as Blagojevich. If nothing else this conviction will convince those who are headed that route will either keep their noses clean if they do serve or stay out of politics altogether.

I'm listening to a lot of people's thoughts on his time as Governor and as it relates to people who didn't get caught engaging in corruption. Some insist Daley is crooked and yet he's not going to jail or otherwise indicted. Some people note the crimes of George Ryan, the corruption scandal that took him down was as a result of deaths because of license for bribes.

Some have commented on what Blago has done for the poor and senior citizens of this state. People might admire Ryan for his moratorium on the death penalty before he finished his one term as Governor. They may have done some good, but their legacies could've been cemented had they been clean enough to avoid prosecution for corruption.

The lesson, if you do right by the people you will be rewarded. If you don't then Blago or Ryan is an example of what can happen if you fail to do the right thing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blago has been sentenced...

Progress Illinois:
Former governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his conviction on 18 counts of corruption charges, including selling the U.S. Senate seat of President Barack Obama. He has also been fined $20,000.
Well at least it's finally over. Time will tell if our Ousted governor will finally realize what's happened. There are a lot of observers I'm sure who might still wonder that. Will he understand when the bars finally close on him!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Full interview with Lenny McCallister

[VIDEO] Sylvia Snowden interviews Chicago area Conservative Republican/political analyst/author Lenny McCallister as they talk about the state of the Black Community. This video was recorded this past summer. Another example of how Republicans can reach out to inner city communities although I'm also a proponent of choosing carefully your audience.

The higher ed bubble is bursting, so what comes next?

I've said once before here, if my degree has about the same value as a high school diploma then I have a very expensive high school diploma. Something I have to pay back with student loans. Check out this column by the Instapundit:
This is a simple case of inflation: When you artificially pump up the supply of something (whether it's currency or diplomas), the value drops. The reason why a bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor's degrees.

There's something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. -- that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

Professional basketball players have expensive sneakers, but -- TV commercials notwithstanding -- it's not the shoes that make them good at dunking.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Where Black students from elite colleges go to work...

I'm going to guess that this article is (via Instapundit) talking about Black students from at least the Ivy League universities, but then I wonder about the ones who go to the big name HBCUs such as Hampton, Spelman, Morehouse, Howards, etc. Anyway what's the story here, you may want to know:
Despite civil rights legislation enacted in the 1960s and ’70s, a lack of federal enforcement of and funding for black employment initiatives kept the parents of today’s college students from making significant strides, Beasley writes – and their children have modeled their career preferences accordingly. There is more occupational diversity among black employees today, but the differences as compared to whites are still significant.

For example, according to the 2000 Census, the top 20 white-collar careers among both black and white employees include elementary and secondary education as well as registered nursing. But break it down further and you’ll find that white people hold proportionately more high-status positions: lawyers, physicians, surgeons, chief executives and financial, general and operations managers. Black employees, in contrast, trend toward “service-oriented, racialized jobs” including counselors, education administrators, preschool and kindergarten teachers and community and social service specialists. Taken together, the differences in employment result in: chief executives being the fifth most common white-collar occupation among whites, but 35th among blacks; lawyers being 10th among whites but 27th among blacks; and physicians being 19th among whites but 31st among blacks.

Thus, Beasley concludes that a persistent lack of black employees within certain fields is the source of “significant economic and status disparities” between black and white populations in America.

My thoughts on Chicago's ward remap...

Were posted Friday morning over at Gaper's Block. Feel free to post your thoughts there. This issue I have covered extensively over at The Sixth Ward. The constituents of Chicago's 6th Ward have been very concerned about this remap.

Friday, December 02, 2011

U.S. unemployment hits lowest point in 2½ years

[VIDEO] Here's an AP report on the unemployment rate, the video above is from Crain's looking at the local implications of this news:
The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 2½ years. More of the unemployed either found jobs or gave up looking and were no longer counted as unemployed.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6 percent, down from 9 percent in October. The rate hasn't been that low since March 2009, during the depths of the recession.

About 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed.
Private employers added a net gain of 140,000 jobs in November. But governments shed 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed nearly a half-million jobs in the past year.

More than half the jobs added last month were by retailers, restaurants and bars, a sign that holiday hiring has kicked in. Retailers added 50,000, the sector's biggest gain since April. Restaurants and bars hired 33,000 workers. The health care industry added 17,000.

Even with the recent gains, the economy isn't anywhere close to replacing the jobs lost in the recession. Employers began shedding workers in February 2008 and cut nearly 8.7 million jobs for the next 25 months. Since then, the economy has regained nearly 2.5 million of those jobs.

The presidential election is less than a year away, which means President Barack Obama will almost certainly face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any president since World War II. Still, if the rate continues to decline, Obama stands to benefit.
In talking about the unemployment rate they noted people who have left the work force. Wouldn't they be counted as unemployed unless they retired and have no plans to go back to work?

There are implications to Obama's re-election effort. What will these numbers look like near Election Day 2012?

Black College Student Wins Right To Hang Confederate Flag In Dorm Room!

[VIDEO] Get a load of this. A college student wishes to hand a Confederate Flag in his dorm. Of course there probably would be concerns about any racial intent in displaying this flag. There's just one thing, the student displaying this flag isn't white, but Black.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

What Cain's presence in GOP means to black conservatives


[VIDEO] Any story about the emergence of Black Republicans or conservatives I often take with only a grain of salt. There is a young man from The Sixth Ward who can't be described as conservative although he's more than free to correct me on this assertion who interested in covering Black conservatives in Chicago through is own production company.

Anyway I found this WGN story from early November. This was way before the many issues that have found Cain's Presidential bid hobbling currently.

Some of what's noted is stuff I could believe. Blacks basically are described as socially conservative. Black folks probably could relate somewhat to the evangelical base of the Republican Party. The issues may include abortion or even gay marriage.

Other issues probably aren't that important to different segments of the Black community. Economic development is one issue that should be important but there isn't enough talk of the entrepreneurs or small business owners. That's not to say there aren't Black small business owners or entrepreneurs, but if there is a discussion of economic development in Black communities, that doesn't appear to dominate. What may dominate is tax money and perhaps hassling corporations to black their business in Black communities.

Another thing said in this story that I agree with. A group of Black conservatives were interviewed in this piece and one of them said the issue was of messaging. He explained that the issue isn't entirely the message, but of the messenger. That aspect I think is dead on. Could Herman Cain be that messenger? If not him then who else?

All the same I've said it before and I will say it again. History may well be an important aspect of attracting Blacks to the GOP. They could mention Abraham Lincoln, Republican historic support for Civil Rights, or even famous Blacks who were Republicans.

I've often stated there must be more. Republicans have to offer Black something and in saying that I don't mean "pork". It's safe to say Democrats had a hold on the Black community because they offered something. Perhaps it was support for Civil Rights or even programs to help Black people during the New Deal or the Great Depression.

There is some answers to this. Any potential Republican Black or white or whatever could talk a lot about education and offer their ideas on this subject. While today there are reports that even charter school struggle in Chicago it's OK to talk about such an issue or to talk school vouchers. Black folks for the most part wants to ensure that their children are successfully education.

Another answer certainly is economic development. The answer can't be redistributing wealth, but certainly making it easier for Black to use their talents and prosper. At that I don't mean being entertainers or athletes. We all have a talent for something, and that talent could be used to make money. Some are good at sales, some are good at producing.

See there Republicans reading this blog got some free advice right there. All they need are some messengers. :P