Friday, August 31, 2007

Maybe Condi's Black After All

When I read this item over at POLITOPICS, I had to smile.

Here's the Condi Dish:

Rush & Molloy

When Condi went nuclear
Wednesday, August 29th 2007, 4:00 AM

Condoleezza Rice may be willing to compromise at a Middle East negotiating table - but not at a jewelry counter.

Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor who is one of the secretary of state's closest friends, recalls going into a shop where Rice asked to see earrings. The clerk showed her costume jewelry. Rice asked to see something nicer, prompting the clerk to whisper some sass under her breath.

Blacker remembers Rice tearing the woman to shreds.

"Let's get one thing straight," he recalls her saying. "You are behind the counter because you have to work for minimum wage. I'm on this side asking to see the good jewelry because I make considerably more."

A manager quickly brought Rice better baubles.


Never thought I'd cheer for Condi, but, um, I can relate. Is there a Black woman alive who can't relate?

FBI Spied on Coretta Scott King

FBI Spied on Coretta Scott King

As per

FBI Spied on Martin Luther King's Widow
Posted: 2007-08-31 15:52:35

ATLANTA (Aug. 30) - Federal agents spied on the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for several years after his assassination in 1968, according to newly released documents that reveal the FBI worried about her following in the footsteps of the slain civil rights icon.

In memos that reveal Coretta Scott King being closely followed by the government, the FBI noted concern that she might attempt "to tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement."

Four years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, the FBI closed its file on Coretta Scott King, saying, "No information has come to the attention of Atlanta which indicates a propensity for violence or affiliation of subversive elements," according to a memorandum dated Nov. 30, 1972.

The documents were obtained by Houston television station KHOU in a story published Thursday. Coretta Scott King died in January 2006 at the age of 78.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - which King co-founded in 1957 - said the documents illustrate the FBI's pattern of "despicable and devious" civil-rights-era behavior against the organization and those affiliated with it.

"The FBI kept a microphone everywhere they could where the SCLC was concerned," said Lowery, who said the agency had a member of the SCLC's staff on its payroll.

"Since we had nothing to hide, it was no great problem for us. But we don't put it past the FBI; (then-FBI Director) J. Edgar Hoover hated Martin Luther King and everything that the SCLC stood for."

Andrew Young, a lieutenant of King's during the civil rights movement, agreed. But he said he was surprised that the government would focus on Coretta Scott King.

"I didn't know it and I don't think she knew it," Young said. "If ever there was a woman that had the makings of a saint, it was Coretta. I don't know what they were looking for, I don't know what they were expecting to find. I don't know why they wasted the government's money."

Rest of article at link above.

This can't come as much of a surprise to anyone. After all, the FBI spied on her husband and husband's family for DECADES. I'm sure Betty Shabazz and Myrlie Evers were spied on too. So, anyone who is shocked by this doesn't understand the history of the United States of America.

Linda Johnson Rice Gives Donation to USC Media Center

Linda Johnson Rice Gives Donation to USC Media Center

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Johnson Publishing pledges $2.5 million to U. of Southern California's media center
By James P. Miller | Tribune staff reporter
5:34 PM CDT, August 23, 2007

The University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication disclosed Thursday that Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. has pledged $2.5 million to fund a program on African-American issues in the media at the school.

The Johnson Communication Leadership Center will be the home of a new undergraduate scholarship program, which will be the first at USC to focus on the specific interests of the African-American community, the Los Angeles-based university said.

The center was established by Linda Johnson Rice, president and chief executive of Johnson Publishing, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines.

The Johnson Center will fund scholarships to students who demonstrate "a strong interest and involvement in issues related to African-Americans in the world of journalism and communication," USC's Annenberg School said.

In addition, the center will provide seminars that will expose students to journalism-industry leaders, help students establish mentor relationships with experienced journalists, fund travel to meet media and policy leaders and create internships.

Initial scholarships have already been granted for two Annenberg students, the school said.

"We are deeply grateful for the vision and generosity of Linda Johnson rice in creating this pioneering center,' said Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School.

It's always good to see folks who have plenty reach back to help those who just need a hand up, and not a handout. And, considering the dearth of representation of Black folk in the media, this donation and its purpose is very welcome.

Bush to Help Mortgage Holders in Crisis

Bush to Help Mortgage Holders in Crisis


Bush unveils mortgage crisis first steps
By: Mike Allen
Aug 31, 2007 12:09 AM EST
Updated: August 31, 2007 01:50 PM EST

President Bush has unveiled his first detailed steps to intervene in the subprime mortgage crisis that threatens to throw hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes and send financial markets into a tailspin.

"We will deliver help and hope to American families who need it, we'll help guard against future problems in the housing sector, we'll reaffirm the vital place of homeownership in our nation," Bush said.

"The recent disturbances in the subprime mortgage industry are modest -- they're modest in relation to the size of our economy," Bush said. "But if your family is -- if your family's one of those having trouble making the monthly payments, this problem doesn't seem modest at all. I understand these concerns."

"The government's got a role to play, but it is limited," Bush said. "A federal bailout of lenders would only encourage a recurrence of the problem. It's not the government's job to bail out speculators or those who made the decision to buy a home they knew they could never afford. Yet there are many American homeowners who could get through this difficult time with a little flexibility from their lenders or a little help from their government."

Well, as they say usually, and ESPECIALLY with this group...

the devil's in the details.

And, I just don't trust him or anyone near him. Until I hear it from credible people that this is actually help for HOMEOWNERS, I'm not going to believe it.

Because, it would be the first time, EVER, in his Presidency, that Shrub has EVER helped ' the little man'.

So, I will reserve any congratulations until the details are revealed. The cynic would say that it will be a figleaf for the Homeowner, and the meat of anything he's proposing is going to 'the big guys'.

This has been his pattern. Let's see if it continues. And, if it actually does help 'the little guy', then I will know for sure that this mortgage crisis is indeed as bad as James Cramer wrote about in this week's New York Magazine.

Update: Bush reveals his plan, and not 24 hours, here's someone telling us that the plan isn't 'all that'.
Bush's plan for aiding homeowners is less than it appears

Iowa Court Rules Same-Sex Couples Can Marry

Iowa Court Rules Same-Sex Couples Can Marry


(CNN) -- An Iowa district court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples can marry based on the state constitution's guarantee of equal treatment, court documents show.
An Iowa district judge ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

The ruling was in response to a December 2005 lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples seeking to wed. They were denied marriage licenses and claimed such treatment violates equal-protection and due-process clauses in the Iowa constitution.

The court also struck down a state law declaring valid marriages are only between a man and woman.

The Iowa District Court for Polk County advances the case to the Iowa Supreme Court which will make a final decision on same-sex marriage, according to Lambda Legal, a gay and lesbian legal organization representing the couples.

The 63-page ruling, written by Judge Robert Hanson states: "Couples, such as plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licenses to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering into a civil marriage pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 595 by reason of the fact that both persons compromising such a couple are of the same sex."
The law describing marriage as between a man and a woman, "constitutes the most intrusive means by the state to regulate marriage. This statute is an absolute prohibition on the ability of gay and lesbian individuals to marry a person of their choosing," Hanson wrote.

This is news the Democrats did NOT need to come their way. Nothing can energize a demoralized GOP Evangelical base more than a judge forcing same sex marriage upon them. This could become a big issue in a state like Iowa in the general election, and that just does not bode well for the Democrats in states like Iowa. This isn't New York, California or New Jersey; this is Iowa, the middle of the ' Heartland', and this is an issue that just won't play well with the rank and file Iowan voter, irrespective of political party.

Senator John Warner (R-VA) to retire


Warner to retire

Virginia Sen. John Warner (R) said Friday that he will not seek reelection.

Warner, 80, long a Capitol Hill power as a result of his post as chairman of the Armed Services committee when Republicans controlled the Senate, said of his five terms: "I have done my best" and closed with a quote from Thomas Jefferson on the historic campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He said he'd made the decision in the "last day or two" and had wanted to first make one final trip to Iraq.

Warner said his age had been a factor in his decision. "You got to face that I"m now 80," Warner said. "I would be near 88 when I finish (a sixth term) . . . I want to be fair to this wonderful state."

This is very interesting. Virginia is what could be considered a Purple state. A long time of voting solidly Republican, but over the past five years, has elected Democrats in major offices, including Governor and the election of Jim Webb as Senator in 2006.

With Warner's retirement, the race will be on - who will run? Not only from the Democrat's side, but also, from the GOP side. Will recently defeated George Allen run again? Remember, there was the Bob Novak column about the DLC wanting Hillary to choose the former Governor Warner as her running mate, but now with the Senate Seat open will he go for that?

This could become a major political soap opera in 2008.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

School Bans Shirts in Jena Six Case

Hat tip - Prometheus6:

As per the Chicago Tribune:

School bans shirts in racially tinged case
Associated Press
August 30, 2007

JENA, La. - Officials at a central Louisiana high school have banned T-shirts supporting six black students accused in the beating of a white schoolmate, saying the shirts are disruptive.

About nine students at Jena High School wore the "Free the Jena 6" T-shirts on Tuesday, and the slogan caused too much of a stir on campus, said LaSalle Parish Schools Supt. Roy Breithaupt.

John Jenkins said his three daughters wore the shirts to make a statement, not to cause trouble.

"They weren't doing anything other than wearing the shirts," Jenkins said. "The school doesn't have a dress code. They were covered. They're trying to tell them what they can and can't wear."

Read rest at link above.

Interesting, they ban t-shirts, but have no problem with allowing the circumstances that precipitated the need for the t-shirts.


Related Articles:

Update on the Jena Six

Free the Jena Six

Take Action to Stop the Legal Lynching of the Jena Six

Legal Lynching and the Jena Six

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Editorial: Treat Us Fairly, Mr. President

I give you the Times-Picayune:

EDITORIAL: Treat us fairly, Mr. President
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nobody wants to have to compete for disaster relief.

But that is what Louisianians have had to do in the two years since Hurricane Katrina struck.

Despite massive destruction caused by the failure of the federal government's levees during Katrina, despite the torment caused by FEMA's slow response to the disaster, despite being hit by a second powerful hurricane less than a month later, Louisiana has had to plead to be treated fairly by our leaders in Washington.

President Bush and Congress have sent us billions in aid -- from $10.4 billion in grants for housing and infrastructure to $95 million for higher education to $168 million in business tax credits.

This community is grateful for the help. But Louisiana's losses were dramatically higher than any other state's and thus deserving of greater compensation. In reality, Mississippi has gotten a larger share of federal aid.

Donald Powell, the president's point man for recovery, downplayed the comparisons with Mississippi. "Tell me exactly what you need, and I'm happy to sit down and listen," he said. "But the evidence has to be based upon the need, not a comparison."

That is easily done. Our needs are real and quantifiable.

Louisiana had three times more damaged homes and seven times more severely damaged homes than Mississippi. Universities in this state had three times as many students displaced and had four times the losses of Mississippi's campuses. Louisiana fisheries suffered almost 75 percent of the damage done by Katrina, and our hospitals lost 97 percent of the hospital beds closed by the storm.

Yet in every case, Mississippi ended up with a disproportionate share of aid. Housing grants, for instance: Mississippi got $5.5 billion in Community Development Block Grant money for its 61,000 damaged homes. Louisiana, with 204,000 damaged homes, got $10.4 billion. If the aid were given out proportionately, this state would have gotten twice that much.

We hope that President Bush and Congress remember that imbalance when they consider Louisiana's request for $4 billion to keep the Road Home Program in the black.

Our neighbors on the Gulf Coast were hit hard by Katrina, no doubt about it. And Mississippians needed the help of the federal government to rebuild and recover. No one who has suffered from devastation would argue otherwise.

All Louisiana wants is to be treated fairly. But that hasn't happened.

Some people point to the clout of Mississippi's congressional delegation as the reason. Others say that Louisiana's reputation for political chicanery has hurt us.

Frankly, neither should be an issue. The people of Louisiana are no less deserving of disaster aid because their representatives are newer to Congress or because some of the people we trusted to lead us turned out to be scoundrels.

As President Bush returns today to mark the second anniversary of Katrina, this is what Louisianians need him to remember:

We are Americans who have suffered a great tragedy. We have worked tirelessly for two years to revive this beloved place and reconstruct our lives. And we ought to get no less help from our government than any other victims of this disaster.

I agree - the government could be doing so much more, but seems to refuse...I wonder why.......hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tavis Smiley's All American GOP Presidential Forum - One month out

The Republican Forum, the second of the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS hosted by Tavis Smiley, will be held on September 27, 2007 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. The event will be televised live on PBS and simultaneously Webcast on

The All-American Presidential Forums on PBS mark the first time that a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color has been represented in primetime. Questions to the Republican candidates will be posed by Tavis and journalists Ray Suarez of of The NewsHour, columnist Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and NPR correspondent Juan Williams.

Guess who has not agreed to come?

Rudy and Flipping Mitt.

Surprise Surprise.

Now, don't call me conspiratorial, but how come regular folks can't send in questions to this one? Did I miss them asking for questions? If I'm wrong about that, please tell me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Senator Larry Craig (R, Idaho) Arrested

Via Daily Kos:

ID-Sen: Sen. Craig (R) arrested for lewd behavior in bathroom
by kos
Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:15:03 PM PDT
So a rumored story outing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig as gay was apparently spiked by the Idaho Statesman. So, um, was Craig feeling particularly frisky in celebration? From the subscription-only Roll Call:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.

I just find these so amusing from the party of ' Family Values'.

Where are his Holy Roller Buddies' comments on this?

Uh huh.

Alberto Gonzales Steps Down

Stormy Monday In Washington D.C.


This should have happened a long time ago. When Robert Novak mentioned a few weeks ago that more top Bush administration officials would be leaving I thought that was code for Alberto.

I hope he doesn't believe that the Congressional investigations will stop. In fact, they will get more interesting.

Breaking Story Below From the New York Times

WACO, Tex., Aug. 27 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not announced immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the resignation had not yet been made public.

Mr. Bush had repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Mr. Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department, over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

Earlier this month, at a news conference, Mr. Bush dismissed accusations that Mr. Gonzales had had stonewalled or misled a congressional inquiry. "We’re watching a political exercise," Mr. Bush said. "I mean, this is a man who has testified, he’s sent thousands of papers up there. There’s no proof of wrong."

Mr. Gonzales’s resignation is the latest in a series of high-level departures that has reshaped the end of Mr. Bush’s second term. Karl Rove, another of Mr. Bush’s close circle of aides from Texas, stepped down two weeks ago.

The official who disclosed the resignation today said that the decision was Mr. Gonzales’s and that the president accepted it grudgingly. At the same time, the official acknowledged that the turmoil over Mr. Gonzales had made his continuing as attorney general difficult.

"The unfair treatment that he’s been on the receiving end of has been a distraction for the department," the official said.

Unfair Treatment? I beg to differ...


More on the Gonzales Resignation

Resignation Letter Below

Click Image to Enlarge

Commentary from the Washington Post

Good Riddance

By Andrew Cohen

When historians look back upon the disastrous tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States they will ask not only why he merited the job in the first place but why he lasted in it as long as he did. By any reasonable standard, the Gonzales Era at the Justice Department is void of almost all redemptive qualities. He brought shame and disgrace to the Department because of his lack of independent judgment on some of the most vital legal issues of our time. And he brought chaos and confusion to the department because of his lack of respectable leadership over a cabinet-level department among the most important in the nation.

He neither served the longstanding role as "the people's attorney" nor fully met and tamed his duties and responsibilities to the Constitution. He was a man who got the job not because he was supremely qualified or notably well-respected among the leading legal lights of our time, but because he had faithfully and with blind obedience served President George W. Bush for years in Texas (where he botched clemency memos in death penalty cases) and then as White House counsel (where he botched the nation's legal policy on torture).

For an administration known for its cronyism, and alas for an alarmingly incompetent group of cronies, Gonzales was the granddaddy of them all. He lacked the integrity, the intellect and the independence to perform his duties in a manner befitting the job for which he was chosen. And when he and his colleagues got caught in the act, his rationales and explanations for the purge of the U.S. Attorneys were so empty and shallow and incoherent that even the staunchest Republicans could not turn them into steeled spin. Devoid of any credibility, Gonzales in the end was a sad joke when he came to Capitol Hill.

Even before the Justice Department was exposed under his reign as a politicized den of ideology, Gonzales' work as Attorney General was unacceptable and unworthy of high office. He defended the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program even though many conservative and liberal legal scholars alike considered it to be a violation of the law. He endorsed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which did away with important rights not just for the detainees at Guantanamo Bay but for legal aliens within the borders of the United States. Thus did Gonzales fail to exercise any sort of independent check and balance upon the White House's most controversial legal policies.

Meanwhile, according to the National Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, big-city murder rates have risen by 10 percent over the past two years -- a period that coincides precisely with Gonzales' time as attorney general. The Federal Bureau of Investigation puts the violent crime increase at 3.7% for January-June 2006 and drug use (and production and sales) apparently are on the rise in the nation's heartland. And the Justice Department's record of terror-related prosecutions is a mixed one at best. Thus did Gonzales fail to succeed at the most fundamental task of chief law enforcement official -- to make crime less not more prevalent.

And all the while, Gonzales' Justice Department was crumbling from within, devastated by a cynical strategy of minimizing the role of career nonpartisan professionals within the Department in favor of young ideologues, mediocre attorneys and just plain party hacks. The U.S. Attorney scandal is just the most publicized example of this daring effort to make the Justice Department a house organ for the Bush administration. Less visible career attorneys were pushed out at the expense of rank partisans willing to toe the company line. Even the internship programs for law students were schooled to favor "right" thinking attorneys at the expense of others. One law school, founded by Pat Robertson and rated among the worst in the nation, became a feeder school for the Department. And it was all part of a plan.

If Gonzales knew this was occurring, and allowed it to unfold anyway, then he conspired to participate in one of the worst structural disasters in the history of the Justice Department. And if the Attorney General truly did not know this power game inside his Department was occurring, or why, or how, then surely it is because he did not want to know. See no evil. Hear no evil. Thus did Gonzales preside over the gutting of the Justice Department, turning it in the span of just a few years from a respected institution into a spectacle of rank intellectual corruption.

The pattern here is not hard to see. President Bush elevated to the position of Attorney General a friend and loyal supporter whose record in public office suggested even then that he would not be up to the job. And, in turn, Gonzales and his immediate subordinates elevated to the Department lower-level attorneys who by training and temperament were not likely to be up to their jobs -- or at least not as qualified as the professionals they were chosen to replace. The first bad choice begat a series of other bad choices and together they led us to the unhappy place we find ourselves today.

Because we all benefit from a Justice Department that is fair, impartial, nonpartisan and filled with the best and brightest legal professionals the nation has to offer, we all suffer when it falls short of those ideals. The Justice Department under Gonzales was a miserable failure -- it never even came close to those lofty goals -- and now, finally, it is gone. Good riddance to it.



More from Think Progress

The Moderate Voice Also Provides Some Early Commentary


Commentary from NPR

More from NY Times Blog

Timeline of Events in Gonzales' Tenure in The Bush Administration


My Thoughts

Attention will now turn to his successor. Bush & Co. does not want to deal with another contentious confirmation process. As a way to avoid a confirmation fight, many believe that the White House will play it safe and choose someone familiar to the Senate. That person is said to be Michael Chertoff.

I'm not so sure that this would necessarily be a safe pick. Although he is familiar to the Senate, this also means that they are familiar with all of his faults. Hurricane Katrina comes to mind. However, I think that the Attorney Generals spot may be a better fit for Chertoff. His expertise is in Law, not emergency response or homeland security. Unless the Democrats are able to dig up skeletons in Chertoffs closet, I don't see any major problems with this likely choice.

However, if the White House chooses to pick someone from the outside to take the job, expect a fight in the Senate. If Bush & Co. follows their normal pattern of choosing divisive figures.... people who are on the fringes in terms of their philosophy, then it will only create more trouble for the Republicans.

The more interesting question in all of this might be - if Chertoff is moved into the position, who will replace Chertoff?

And we must not be lulled into believing that all is o.k. now with Gonzales. The Democrats have already announced that they have no intentions of letting up on Gonzales and the others who have been involved in all sorts of dishonorable and likely illegal activities, particularly regarding the firings of the 8 U.S. Attorneys earlier this year. There are too many issues that point to illegal behavior and, at the least, abuse of power in the case of the fired attorneys.

Interracial Relationships - Still Threatening To Some

But This Blogger Is Not Threatened, and Feels That People Should Be Free to Be With Whomever They Choose Without Fear, Scorn or Guilt.

What is behind the fear?

This is a topic that I did not want to tackle just yet, but I wanted to respond to comments made by a blogger regarding interracial marriage.

A fellow African American blogger- who I will not name- stated on NPR earlier this month that Black women who chose to marry men of another race were in his words, “traitors”. He went on to challenge the “blackness” of his fellow NPR guest for his opposition to the statement.

I was shocked and a little embarrassed by the statements because, for one, they seemed to run contrary to other statements made by this blogger in the past…where he seemed to be open to the idea. I had been familiar with the writings of this particular blogger because I have allowed him to occasionally cross-post/co-blog on this site. I was a little disappointed by the comments because I was happy about his opportunity to be on the show…and didn’t want him to blow it. I also was hoping that the comments were a fluke.. But after the airing of the show, this blogger proceeded to attempt to defend his statements, which I thought were indefensible.

I actually found myself in agreement with the other guests on the show- James Collier, and LaShawn Barber (somewhat troubling, lol). Now I still have respect for this blogger, and I continue to read his blog. He is a very talented blogger. He is also still welcomed to post here… but there is no way that I can allow him to have a pass after I have criticized other bloggers on NPR’s News and Notes program who have made questionable statements. I will not post the episode of the NPR program here…and I don’t want it posted here… but I did want to bring the subject up.

The statements were dead wrong! People should be able to date and marry whomever they choose, regardless of ethnic, cultural, or religious differences. The blogger who made the comments does not represent me or this blog when he is expressing these sentiments. Although, he is entitled to his opinion.

I don’t think someone can be considered a traitor because of who they choose to have a relationship with. And I don’t even think that the concept of “traitor” is valid today. Interracial relationships are becoming a much bigger part of America. It is a reality that is not going away. The race traitor talk comes from a close-minded ideology that is well past its expiration date. People are moving past this way of thinking.

I think that Black women should feel free to date whoever they want, without guilt. There does seem to be a shortage of what they call “marriageable” Black men. Not a shortage of men per se… but a lack of those who meet their economic, educational, and social standards. Should they be expected to die alone, waiting on a Black man to sweep them off their feet? Of course not. Now I will say that some Black women seem to be demanding when it comes to the standards that a man has to reach before he is considered “marriageable”. But then again, this has become the norm for most women, regardless of race/ethnic background. I guess men have always been judged by the “marriageability” standard… income, career, ability to support a wife and family, etc etc. But in recent decades, it has become even more important.
And I also notice that Black women get upset about this as well, from the other side. In fact, Black women seem to have more of a problem with it than Black men. That would probably be because there are more Black Male/other couples than Black Female/other.

My Personal Perspective On Interracial Relationships

When I was in Middle School and High school, I always had a hard time identifying with Black popular culture. Although I had White friends, Black friends, & friends of various other different races, I always felt like I did not belong when I was around my Black peers. I always seemed to identify more with other groups. So I was in a dilemma. I didn’t feel like I was part of my own group, yet non-Black groups would never really accept me either. So I always felt like I really did not belong to any group.

And when it came to dealing with the opposite sex, I ran into the same problem. Most of the Black girls were always (literally) competing for the bad boys, thugs, gangbangers, jocks, the troublemakers, etc. I’m not saying that this was an issue that was exclusive to Black girls. Girls of other racial backgrounds also suffered from the Bad Boy disease. But it seemed to be more pronounced with the Black girls. If you were trying to do good in school, you were considered “uncool” & thus unattractive (according to the Black girls at least). Education seemed to be despised… Ironic considering that we were in school, lol. I also never had much in common with my Black female counterparts. I seemed to be more interested in the young ladies of other ethnic groups. But once again, there was the issue of race. I never knew how to talk to any of them and was always worried about not being accepted. So my High School dating life was non-existent. In Middle School, I went to dances alone. And later in High School, I avoided each and every one of these events. Although I did go to a regional academic tournament to represent my High School, but that wasn’t a social event… That was my government teachers idea for getting me to participate more in school activities.

Fast forward to adulthood, and I still deal with the same problems of identity. I didn’t date until very late. And I quickly realized how much I hated the ritual…. Which is why I didn’t date long. I am currently 3 years into a long intermission. But for the short time that I did date, most of those dates were interracial. I make no apologies. And when I start dating again, I expect to have several dates with women of other racial backgrounds. Now I would love to find a Black woman who fits what I want, but I’m not going to grow old waiting for her to magically land at my front door. Does that make me a race traitor? Is “traitor” talk even appropriate in today’s world? Is it obsolete? Was it ever appropriate?

Have you had an interracial dating experience? If not, would you consider one? If you have had an interracial dating experience, what was it like? For me, I just recall all the strange stares from people. I felt uncomfortable… but I don’t know if that was from the date, or from the stupid looks from people. That is something that I am going to have to get used to. I commend people who have to deal with this and who choose to endure it for years. I don’t know if I have the armor to deal with the reactions. As I mentioned, I’d much rather have a Black woman who fits what I want… but I can’t build myself an android. I have to wait for the real thing. But in the meantime… No limits. I like all of the varieties that are available.

And Black women…. Why do you get so upset about Black men dating out, especially in light of the fact that so many Black women are now doing the same?

Related Article

Interracial Marriages Flourishing

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Obama Outlines Plans for New Orleans

Since this is the second anniversary of the national negligence known as Katrina, the candidates will be making their way down to New Orleans. Barack Obama gave a speech today in New Orleans outlining his plans for the city.



“"Let New Orleans be the place where we strengthen those bonds of trust, where a city rises up on a new foundation that can be broken by no storm. Let New Orleans become the example of what America can do when we come together, not a symbol for what we couldn't do.”[Speech in New Orleans, 8/26/07]


As president, Barack Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. And he will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.

Barack Obama swiftly responded to Hurricane Katrina. Citing the Bush administration’s “unconscionable ineptitude” in responding to Hurricane Katrina, Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane victims. Obama visited thousands of Hurricane
survivors in the Houston Convention Center and later took three more trips to the region. He worked with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to introduce legislation to address the immediate income, employment, business and housing needs of Gulf Coast communities.

As president, Barack Obama will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.

The people returning to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are heroes who believe in their communities and are succeeding despite the fact that they often have not received the support they deserve from the federal government.

Strengthen the Levees: Two years after Katrina and despite a billion dollars spent to strengthen the levees, New Orleans is still not protected from a major storm. The levee rebuilding has been piecemeal and disorganized, and major sections of the city remain nearly as vulnerable as they were before the storm. As president, Barack Obama will ensure that New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city
against a 100-year storm by 2011, with the ultimate goal of protecting the entire city from a Category 5 storm.

Obama will also direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection.

Restore the Wetlands: Levees and floodwalls are not the only way to protect against a storm. Every four miles of wetlands can absorb about a foot of Hurricane’s storm surge, but Louisiana is losing an acre of wetlands – the equivalent of three football fields – every 24 minutes. Barack Obama will help the Gulf Coast restore the
wetlands, marshes and barrier islands that are critical to tamping down the force of hurricanes. He will work with local governments to develop the best strategies for protecting and expanding wetlands. As president, Obama will immediately close the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, which experts say funneled floodwater into
New Orleans.

Fight Crime: Katrina decimated the region’s criminal justice system, destroying police stations and courthouses, and scattering police officers. New Orleans led the nation in murders per capita in 2006, and is experiencing a 14 percent increase in murders and 44 percent leap in armed robberies this year. Two of the city’s police stations and police headquarters continue to operate out of FEMA trailers. As president, Barack Obama will finish rebuilding the region’s criminal justice system so that we do not have to rely on the National Guard to patrol city streets. He will establish a special “COPS for Katrina” program to allow communities impacted by the storm to hire and retain new officers and community prosecutors, develop community-based crime fighting strategies, and rebuild their lost infrastructure. Obama will strengthen Drug Enforcement Administration efforts to stop the reestablishment of drug gangs across the region. He will help local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies come together to establish an integrated regional crime control partnership so that each police chief and sheriff doesn’t have to face these crime problems alone.


Shake the Money Loose: A large portion of the federal money committed to rebuilding the Gulf Coast has not yet reached local communities. For example, FEMA has allocated $6.3 billion to Louisiana for the rebuilding of essential infrastructure. But as of July 20, only about 40 percent of this amount ($2.6 billion) has reached Louisiana communities. In particular, Orleans Parish has received only 25 percent of the amount allocated to it.

In the Senate, Obama successfully worked to waive the 10 percent state and local match requirement for Katrina recovery as was done after 9/11 and Hurricane Andrew.

As president, Obama will ensure resources reach the communities that need it. Louisiana officials have had to fill out more than five million forms to get reconstruction money from FEMA. Obama will streamline the application process so that communities feel that FEMA is a partner in reconstruction, not an opponent. He will elevate the federal rebuilding coordinator so that he or she reports directly to the president and so that rebuilding remains a national priority. Obama will work closely with the state to distribute critical infrastructure dollars.

He also will ensure that no unnecessary red-tape or burdensome regulations are holding up state and local plans, while retaining the need for public accountability.

Rebuild Hospitals: Only one of the seven major hospitals in New Orleans is operating at pre-hurricane level; two are partially open, and the remaining four are closed. As a result, only a third of the hospital beds remain in the city. St. Bernard Parish remains without a hospital altogether. Doctors, nurses and other workers are in short supply and area residents must drive many miles for care. In the Senate, Barack Obama introduced legislation to improve, modernize, and repair health facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and to assist individuals and
hospitals in Gulf Coast communities that disproportionately experience health disparities. As president, he will rebuild broken facilities and provide incentives, such as loan forgiveness, to lure medical professionals back to the region. He will fight to establish a major medical complex in downtown New Orleans that will serve the entire community. He will also push to quickly build a new, state-of-the-art Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in New Orleans so that the city’s veterans can get top-quality care.

Rebuild Schools: Fewer than half of New Orleans’ schools are reopening this September. Across the region, student achievement has declined. In the Senate, Barack Obama introduced legislation with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to enable public schools affected by Katrina to immediately attract and retain top talent. He
also introduced legislation to help three historically black colleges and universities in New Orleans recruit and retain students and faculty. Obama has proposed a loan forgiveness program to encourage students to return to institutions of higher education in the affected Gulf area. As president, Obama will help communities in the Gulf make necessary school infrastructure investments so all kids from all backgrounds have safe and supportive environments to learn.

Restore Housing: The lack of affordable housing in New Orleans has prevented many Katrina victims from returning to the city. And the city’s homeless population is approximately double what it was before the hurricane. The Road Home Program is the largest housing recovery program in the nation’s history, designed to help homeowners with up to $150,000 in assistance and provide rental property owners with incentives to build affordable housing. However, the program has provided grants to fewer than a quarter of all applicants, and Louisiana officials warn as many as 50,000 homeowners could end up without aid because of funding shortfalls. In the Senate, Obama recognized the right of Gulf Coast residents to return to their homes, supported increased funding for the Road Home Program, supported rental assistance so that families still living in FEMA trailers could move into decent and affordable housing, and increased funding for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. As president, Obama will work with the state to establish a goal for approving all Road Home applications within two months. He will also work to increase the supply of rental property, which is particularly important in New Orleans where 57 percent of pre-Katrina residents were renters.

Improve Transportation: In New Orleans, only 19 percent of buses are running on 50 percent of the pre- Katrina routes. Barack Obama will help the New Orleans area develop regional transit partnerships so that public transit can be integrated across parish lines, providing seamless transportation options, including a possible light rail line to connect New Orleans and Baton Rouge through the petrochemical corridor in between.


The New Orleans region’s economy has recovered faster than many would have expected with sales tax revenue, total employers, jobs and labor force size returning to at least 79 percent of pre-Katrina levels. However, some parts of the region have not recovered and are losing employers. The region’s unemployment rate is today higher than it was one year ago.

Ensure Locals Can Get Recovery Jobs: In the past year, unemployment in the Gulf region has increased despite economic recovery efforts. Barack Obama believes that Gulf Coast residents who lost their jobs as a result of Katrina should be given a fair chance of regaining employment. In the Senate, Obama introduced legislation to increase the government-wide procurement goal for contracts awarded to small businesses for recovery and reconstruction activities related to Hurricane Katrina. He will fight to ensure more Katrina-related recovery or reconstruction activities can be done by local residents. These measures would ensure that Gulf Coast residents, and not big corporations, will rebuild their communities. As president he will work to improve job training in the area as well.

Provide Incentives to Employers in Hardest-Hit Areas: Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes have lagged behind the more prosperous Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes both in terms of population recovery and economic activity. For example, nearly 52 percent of businesses in St. Bernard Parish and 28 percent of Orleans Parish businesses have not returned after the storm. As president, Obama will target tax incentives to lure businesses to the hardest hit areas of the Gulf Coast including downtown New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish.

Support Financial Infrastructure: Access to capital has become a major problem in the Gulf Coast recovery process. Barack Obama introduced legislation in the Senate to support local banks and credit unions impacted by the Hurricane in continuing to serve and stabilize neighborhoods. As president, he will continue to support local banks and other key financial institutions so that businesses and families have access to the financial services they need.

Fix FEMA Insurance Rules:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently changed the
insurance requirements that local governments and nonprofits must meet to be eligible for public assistance in times of disaster. Under the new rules, entities would be ineligible to receive help from FEMA to pay an insurance deductible if FEMA has helped them before. This will have a negative impact on governments and
nonprofits across the Gulf Coast that have been hit by hurricanes and disasters over the years. As president, Obama would reverse this policy so that local governments and nonprofits do not have to face risks alone.


Barack Obama will take the lessons of Katrina seriously and will ensure that we never face the same problems again.

Fix FEMA: FEMA’s failures to adequately respond to Hurricane Katrina contributed to the loss of life and property across the Gulf Coast. As president, Barack Obama will professionalize and depoliticize the appointment of FEMA's director. Like the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FEMA Director will have a fixed term of office to insulate him or her from politics. The FEMA Director will report directly to President Obama, serve a six-year term and will have professional emergency management experience.

Fix the Small Business Administration: Many of New Orleans’ small businesses failed following the storm because they did not have sufficient capital to ride out the aftermath of the storm. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is supposed to step in during catastrophes, but was quickly overwhelmed with applications following Katrina. As president, Barack Obama will fix the SBA bureaucracy so that it can step in during a disaster and provide assistance.

Adequately Plan for Emergency: Even though federal officials long knew of the possibility of a catastrophic levee failure and had several days warning of Katrina’s potential threat to New Orleans, it took four days for National Guard troops to begin relieving victims at the Superdome, the city’s shelter of last resort. Our nation’s emergency response needs to improve. In the Senate, Barack Obama successfully pushed for legislation to plan for evacuating people with special needs including the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and those with limited
English skills. He also successfully pushed for a National Family Locator System so that those displaced by emergencies can quickly be reunited with their loved ones.

As president, Obama will dramatically improve disaster planning. He will work with emergency management officials, emergency responders and other experts
from all 50 states to create a real National Response Plan that provides for real cooperation between states, locals and the federal government in the face of a disaster. Obama’s FEMA will provide real training to emergency responders and professionals in states and localities to ensure that all areas of the country have the human resources necessary to respond to disasters.

Direct Rebuilding Efforts from the White House: Immediately following a catastrophe, Barack Obama will appoint a Federal Coordinating Officer to direct reconstruction efforts. The job of the FCO and his or her staff will be to cut through bureaucratic obstacles, get federal agencies to work together and to coordinate efforts with local officials. Obama will ensure bipartisan staffing to ensure that politics do not override the real needs of the recovering community.

Minimize Waste and Abuse: After Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency used emergency authority to enter into open-ended, no-bid contracts. What was meant to be a temporary stop-gap ballooned into wasteful contracts that lasted many months and wasted more than $2 billion in taxpayer dollars, according to the Government Accountability Office. In the Senate, Barack Obama teamed up with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to pass legislation to fight this practice by restricting the use of emergency contracting only to urgent needs in the immediate response to emergencies. The two senators have introduced legislation to establish better oversight of Katrina reconstruction funds and have placed consistent pressure on FEMA to reduce wasteful contracting practices. As president, Obama will appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters to minimize waste and abuse.

Provide an Insurance Backstop: The damage caused by catastrophic hurricanes and other natural disasters over the past few years makes clear that we need a paradigm shift in how the Federal government responds to major emergencies. Rather than only stepping in after the fact with expensive clean-ups and financial bailouts,
the Federal government should work with the insurance industry before the next major disaster to set up an efficient catastrophe insurance "backstop" that protects both homeowners and business owners against catastrophic loss. Barack Obama will create a National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve that would be funded by private insurers contributing a portion of the premiums they collect from policyholders. Such a framework would neither distort the insurance market nor discourage risk avoidance and risk mitigation investments because insurers would not be forced out of high-risk markets for fear of bankruptcy in the event of a disaster.

With this program in place, disaster victims would no longer have to depend solely on taxpayer-funded federal disaster aid loans. It has been estimated that a properly managed fund could save homeowners $11.6 billion on annual insurance premiums.

I don't have problems with anything that he's proposing. The one thing that struck me as funny is that when the ' waste and abuse' part comes from the GOP Candidates, I'll bet money that they'll talk about people who walked away with $2000 Visa Gift Cards, and say nothing about the scams of the no-bid contracts, coupled with the suspension of the Davis-Bacon provisions, and how that hurt the WORKING MAN in New Orleans and throughouth the Gulf Coast.

Related Articles:

Reckless Abandonment - Excellent article by Douglas Brinkley

Obama: U.S. Can't Fail New Orleans Again

Michelle Obama's Role in Campaign & Reshaping Image of the Black Family

As I was thinking about the NON-controversy with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, I thought about her role in this campaign, and how integral she has been for the Obama campaign.

First and foremost, Michelle Obama humanizes her husband. Her teasing and chiding in the beginning was a signal that Barack Obama is a very gifted man, but he's not the Second Coming, so don't see him that way, because he can't do anything but disappoint you. But, if you see him as a man with gifts, talent, service and inspiration, then he's your man, and stick with him.

While much has been written about Barack Obama's 'appeal' to the White community, because of his non-traditional background (growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia), you can't run a campaign across racial, ethnic and religious lines, if you don't have a narrative that those White audiences can relate to.

And, that's where Michelle Obama comes in, and that has been her major task:

To show the common universality of the ' American Experience', and point out that we're not all so different. Using herself as an example, not only within the context of how SHE, was skeptical about Barack Obama in the beginning, not knowing what to make of this 'Skinny Black Guy with a funny name who grew up in Hawaii', thus relating herself to the general audience - both BLACK and WHITE - but, also by bringing up her OWN background.

Another important part of the challenge of the Obama campaign, in its quest to reach out to the General American populace, is that they have had to try and reshape the very IMAGE of the BLACK FAMILY.

From the Black Point of View, when Michelle Obama tells the story of her family and talks about her father, as I have written before, I see the Black men that I grew up with in my life. The Black men who never get stories written about them in the papers, and certainly never make the news. And, she seems to have been talking about the Black community in which I was raised. As a community, we've not had someone talk about the Black Family in the way that Michelle Obama is doing. We've not had those hard working, Black men and women, especially of that generation, acknowledged in what they did, and what they demanded of their ' striving' children. For those in the middle class, we all know Michelle Robinson's family, because they were our neighbors. A generation ago, this was the family of the working class.

As Mrs. Obama has said herself, she finds nothing extraordinary in how she grew up; people like her and her family have ALWAYS been there - they've just been ignored by the MSM. And, because the Obamas are running, they can't ignore that story anymore, because in order to tell the story of the Obamas, you have to tell Michelle Robinson Obama's story, and thus the story of an entirely ignored swath of the Black community.

To the White community hearing this rarely told story, they can relate to it from their end; how many of them had fathers who weren't professionals, but worked to put food on the table through adversity, and had mothers who stayed at home, keeping the house together and the children in line, stressing education and hard work as the keys to achievement in society. To be able to relate to Michelle Obama's upbringing is a way to reach over that divide and show that we have fundamental values in common in this country, and if we can work through those, we can make this country a better place.

It's a daunting task for the Obamas - to try and counter the massive denigration of the Black Family that the MSM has done, but they have to do it, in order to be competitive. And, it's just another example of what Barack Obama has to do as the BLACK Candidate in this race that just doesn't apply to the other candidates.

Related Articles:

Michelle Obama - the latest Racial Rorschach Test

Michelle Obama Making A Case For First Lady

My Women for Obama Experience

Michelle Obama Sees Election as Test for America

The Michelle vs. Hillary NON-Controversy

This past week, I watched the MSM media completely fall over themselves to distort a PORTION of a stump speech that has been given by Michelle Obama for quite awhile. Taking the lead from the likes of the DRUDGE report, they took a portion of what Mrs. Obama said, and turned it into a ' Is Michelle Obama Attacking Hillary Clinton?' story.

Here are the EXACT WORDS of Mrs. Obama: (hat tip: Think on These Things)

That one of the most important things that we need to know about the next President of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can’’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House. So, so we’ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I’m home before bedtime. So the girls know that I was gone somewhere, but they don’t care. They just know that I was at home to tuck them in at night, and it keeps them grounded, and, and children, the children in our country have to know that they come first. And our girls do and that's why we're doing this. We're in this race for not just our children, but all of our children.

Now, isn't it convenient that so much of the MSM CHOSE to drop the remarks in bold. For those marks explain right away what Mrs. Obama's frame of reference is, and who she's talking about - HER AND BARACK OBAMA. With those remarks in bold, not much of a 'controversy' is it?

I was in one of the audiences that heard that speech, and the Clintons never came into mind for me.

This was some of the most pathetic, lazy ass ' journalism' that I've seen in awhile. I swear, Tucker Carlson was foaming at the mouth, trying to make a conservative turn this into a story. When Kate O'Beirne from National Review didn't agree with him that this was an attack on Hillary Clinton on one day, he ditched her, and brought it back again the next day with another conservative.

Related stories:

Fox & Friends on Michelle Obama's comments: "The Claws Come Out"

MSNBC Exposes CNN’s Tabloid Journalism on Michelle Obama

NY Times, Chicago Sun-Times reports left out key part of quote to suggest Michelle Obama was on the attack

Another Look at the Unfolding Housing Crisis

I came upon this diary on DailyKos, and thought it would be worth sharing. This is about the unfolding housing crisis in California, but to be honest, I think it could be extrapolated to any place in the country that has seen the huge rise in housing prices over the past five years.

The Rich Get Richer. The Poor? Maybe Homeless
by shanikka [Subscribe]
Fri Aug 24, 2007

Something that not too many folks are talking about in connection with the mortgage and market shakeouts is the divergent impact of this problem on communities, depending on the demographics.

At present, there still appears to be no meaningful harm to the upper end of the housing market in terms of either devaluation or a flattening sales curve. For the wealthy, real estate business (as opposed to mortgage-backed securities investment, anyhow!) appears to still be booming. Inventories in some of the more "upscale" (almost all white and Asian) places to live in the Bay Area are just around 30 days - which means that sales are beyond brisk.

shanikka's diary :: ::

While there is a temporary panic over the fact that jumbo loan financing (that which exceeds $417,000, the maximum loan amount that can be guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) shut completely down two Fridays ago and thus, high end folks had to pony up even more money for closing home deals, the word on the street is that this was only temporary and now business is inching upward again already (no doubt because those who can come up with more cash are doing so.)

Would that the working and middle class had it so good. With plummeting values and sales non-existent, with some "not upscale" communities (like east and south San Jose, where there are lots and lots of Brown people) now faced with more than a 1 year inventory of homes up for sale, things are grim and California is facing the highest levels of foreclosure activity it has seen in a decade.

At the same time that prices for housing continue to go up - but only if you want to buy in the "right neighborhoods."

In other words, the rich continue to make each other richer, through their homes - median prices continue to rise for them, even as they plummet for those whose only real asset was the equity in their homes. It at times feels like well-off folks (not to mention the equity purchasers and foreclosure rescuers, for whom RealtyTrac continues to be valuable) are presently having an orgy, that they are driving prices up at the same time they know how bad it is out there for more modest homeowners whose struggle to become homeowners far more closely reflects the original meaning of the "American Dream" than the new money which followed the post-Reagan era of personal greed.

The frightening proof in the pudding about what we face here in California as a result of the "mortgage liquidity crisis" is seen in the number of trustee's deeds recorded - after homes were actually sold on the auction block, the ultimate failure of lending that historically both borrowers and lenders have done everything possible to avoid, such that they heretofore were a comparatively rare occurrence in life.

Not anymore.

The percentage increase in the most devastating event to occur in a homeowner's life -- one's home being sold at public trustee's sale -- in those California counties which house huge numbers of the poor/working/lower middle-class population in of our state -- particularly in the rural/farmworker counties -- in just one year should bring any decent person close to tears:

San Bernadino County: 986.9% increase

Contra Costa County: 1,154.8%

San Luis Obispo County: 1,200%

Stanislaus County: 1,350%

Monterey County: 1,825%

Yuba County: 2,000%

Kern County: 2,032%

El Dorado County: 2,125%

Merced County: 3,328.6%

Yolo County: 10,200%

(Source: DataQuick)

That the state's bottom line of trustee's sales is "only" 799.2% more than it was a year ago in light of the numbers I've listed above is something for celebration, only if you're in one of the neighborhoods whose average pulled the listed numbers down to "only" 799.2%.

This is occurring all over the country and while this diary won't post all the data, it isn't hard to find, and confirm. For those skeptics -- almost all employed by the real estate sales industry at this point -- who insist insanely that all this shakeout of low-income communities is either (a) just a fluke given the high cost of California housing or (b) a natural correction in the marketplace -- I urge them to review ALL of Dataquick's market reports that are publicly available as a starting place:

For Portland, Oregon (21% fewer homes sold, but at a 2.6% higher price);

Seattle, Washington (23% decrease in home sales yet prices rose 7.6%)

Miami, Florida (33.3% decrease in sales yet prices rose 5.1%)

Honolulu, Hawaii (in most expensive zip codes, price per square foot rose between 3.7 and 115.2% yet fell in less costly neighborhoods)

Nashville, Tennessee (sales decreased up to 11.8% in most expensive neighborhoods yet prices rose up to 13.3%)

Chicago, Illinois (many exclusive residential areas, such as Lake Forest, Hinsdale, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Oak Park, River Forest, Winnetka and Western Springs, saw sales decrease as much as 39.4% yet prices increase up to 34.3%)

Read the rest here:

We are just beginning to see the ramifications of the 'creative financing' in the housing industry. And, as the bubble bursts, and the market readjusts, I do believe that this will become one of the top three issues of the 2008 campaign by this time, next year.

Interesting Obama Site

Hat Tip: The HNIC Report.

I love the internet, because you can see how people use their creativity to support the candidate of their choice. The website Go Tell Mama - I'm for Obama is part of that creativity. Just go and take a look for the artwork by the siteowner. I'm going to get a few of his posters because they look fabulous.

General Paul Eaton Speaks About Bush Using Vietnam to Defend The Occupation of Iraq

I almost fainted when I heard Bush making this argument last week.

I think that anyone seeking the Presidency should be required to have a basic understanding of history & international affairs before they can even launch their campaign for the job.

Approximately 6 months ago Bush rejected arguments that Iraq was another Vietnam. However, as a way to defend the occupation, Bush now all of a sudden wants to use Vietnam as an example for staying in Iraq, saying that if the U.S. leaves Iraq, the aftermath could be like Post- U.S. Vietnam. But if you go back and look at history, the original argument for staying in Vietnam was that if the U.S. left, other governments in Asia would fall like dominos to Communism. However, after the U.S. exited, this domino effect of course never happened.

Bush is saying that thousands would die in Iraq.... this may or may not be true... But this is the case with any country in a Civil War and that wants to eject occupiers. Vietnam was in the midst of settling a civil war that we got into the middle of. They had already ejected the French and had no interest in allowing their country to be occupied.The U.S. only made the civil war worse there by prolonging an delaying it. This probably caused more civilian deaths than would have occurred if the U.S. had not occupied South Vietnam.

The same thing is happening in Iraq.... there probably would be civil war there if the U.S. pulled out... but there is a civil war now. But who's to say how bad this would be? I think the first thing that you would see if the U.S. withdrew would be an effort by Iraqis to get rid of Al Qaeda once and for all. I see this happening before Iraqis would turn on one another.

Then there are the fundamental differences between Iraq and Vietnam that immediately came to mind... General Eaton wasted no time pointing them out.

This reminds me of the comparison that Bush & Co. made between Post war S. Korea and Iraq. Now they are using Vietnam. Once again, there is very little comparison between the two in terms of the "Post war" situation. Although the insurgencies are similar.

Hear An Interview From the Tavis Smiley Program on PBS

Rush Limbaugh and his Idiotic Comments About Darfur

How does an idiot like this maintain a radio show? What's worse is that there are thousands of White Americans who eat this stuff up everyday.... they hang on this mans every word. And I guess this answers that question... people want to hear this stuff. I won't even try to attempt to get into why he is wrong... that would be a waste of my time, but I will post the nonsense that spewed from his mouth.

Courtesy of Media Matters

Limbaugh claims Dems' interest in Darfur is securing black "voting bloc"

Summary: On his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Democrats "want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur." He continued: "There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble." A caller responded, "The black population," to which Limbaugh said, "Right."

On the August 21 broadcast of the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show, a caller said to host Rush Limbaugh: "I know I'm no expert in foreign affairs, but what really confuses me about the liberals is the hypocrisy when they talk about how we have no reason to be in Iraq and helping those people, but yet everybody wants us to go to Darfur." Limbaugh responded by claiming Democrats "want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur." He continued: "There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble." The caller responded, "The black population," to which Limbaugh said, "Right."

Limbaugh also stated: "So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing."

Limbaugh added: "Clinton sent the U.S. military off to Bosnia. No U.S. national interest at stake. The liberals will use the military as a 'meals on wheels' program. They'll send them out to help with tsunami victims. But you put the military -- you put the military in a position of defending U.S. national interest, and that's when Democrats and the liberals oppose it."

However, interest in ending the killing in the Darfur region of Sudan is bipartisan. In 2006, Congress passed the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, sponsored by then-Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL). The law contained several sanctions on Sudan, including a ban on ships involved in Sudan's oil trade docking at U.S. ports of entry. An initial version of the bill passed the House by a vote of 416-3, and the final version passed the House by voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent and was signed by the president on October 13, 2006.

From the August 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Here's [caller] in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thank you for calling. Great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. It's great to talk to you. I talked to you once before. I've been listening to you for a couple of years now, and I think I'm getting brighter, but there's a lot to be learned. I know I'm no expert in foreign affairs, but what really confuses me about the liberals is the hypocrisy when they talk about how we have no reason to be in Iraq and helping those people, but yet everybody wants us to go to Darfur. I mean, aren't we going to end up in a quagmire there? I mean, isn't it -- I don't understand. Can you enlighten me on this?

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. This is -- you're not going to believe this, but it's very simple. And the sooner you believe it, and the sooner you let this truth permeate the boundaries you have that tell you this is just simply not possible, the better you will understand Democrats in everything. You are right. They want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur.
CALLER: Right.

LIMBAUGH: There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur?

CALLER: Uh, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble.

CALLER: Yes. Yes. The black population.

LIMBAUGH: Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.

CALLER: It's just -- I can't believe it's really that simple.

LIMBAUGH: Well, see, I knew you couldn't believe it. But here's the -- here's one that's even going to be harder to believe and it is even more truthful. Could you tell me what vital national interest, [caller], is at stake in Darfur?
CALLER: Um, I don't know.

LIMBAUGH: Nothing. Zilch, zero, nada. Darfur is not attacking us. Darfur has not said they want to attack us. So they will -- same thing -- Clinton sent the U.S. military off to Bosnia. No U.S. national interest at stake. The liberals will use the military as a "meals on wheels" program. They'll send them out to help with tsunami victims. But you put the military -- you put the military in a position of defending U.S. national interest, and that's when Democrats and the liberals oppose it. And --

CALLER: Right. Terrorists have attacked us and our oil supply comes from, you know, Iraq and Iran and the Middle East, and yet that's not worth defending.

LIMBAUGH: Right. That's exactly right. You've got it. You've got it. Now you just have to believe your own instincts from here on out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bottom line: Vick did this to himself

Sometimes, you find material that is on the money.

Presenting Ms. Jemele Hill at ESPN.Com:

Bottom line: Vick did this to himself
By Jemele Hill

Dear young, Black men:

Today, many of you are angry. You are angry at a society that has swiftly and vigilantly punished a superstar quarterback for dogfighting, but often looks the other way as a grotesque number of black men die in the streets. You are angry at the NFL, which has punishments some of you feel unfairly targets those who look like you. You are angry at Michael Vick's buddies and criminal cohorts for "snitching" on Vick, noting that trainer Greg Anderson, a white man, sits in federal prison with his lips sealed, protecting Barry Bonds and refusing to cooperate with authorities.

Michael Vick heightened the stereotypes of black men instead of eroding them.
You are feeling a lot of things -- some possessing merit -- but I caution you not to make Vick a martyr. Do not applaud him for taking his comeuppance like some modern-day gangster. Do not blame others for Vick's predicament when he alone should be held accountable for his actions.

Let this historic unraveling be a wake-up call for the young, black men caught up in the same lifestyle that claimed Vick. Let his prison sentence send the message that a continued allegiance to street culture successfully keeps young, black men frighteningly behind in American society.

As the Vick case shows, millions of dollars are little protection if a certain mentality remains. Until now, Vick was considered one of the lucky ones. He rose out of poverty to become one of the most mesmerizing athletes of our time. He went from nothing to millions. He wasn't the American dream, but the American reality. He had the support of a city, of a people and he struck a chord with many young, black men because they saw themselves in him -- rebellious, strong and heroic.

But Vick let you down. He betrayed you. He heightened the stereotypes of black men instead of eroding them. Racists certainly will feast on Vick, but he was the one who made himself an entrée.

You can say Vick was persecuted unfairly by the white media, say we should be more concerned with the war in Iraq than an illegal dogfighting ring or say his downfall wouldn't be a 24-hour news event if he were the highest-paid white quarterback.

But it's impossible to stand on moral high ground while trying to defend something so low. Vick did something wrong, something against the law, something disgusting and vile. Even worse, he appears to be the financial backer and mastermind behind the dogfighting ring.

I understand Vick's guilt is a tough, humbling thing to swallow because the one thing black men in this society understand is the feeling of being piled upon, discounted and discarded. Last year, several studies showed that American black men are failing at an alarming and heartbreaking rate. More than half of black men in the inner cities don't have a high school diploma. There are more black men in prison than in college. Everyone else in society -- whites, Latinos, women -- is gaining ground, but black men are falling further and further behind in virtually every category.

Black men have a history of being marginalized and demonized in the mainstream, so although your rush to defend Vick was misguided, it also was understandable.

But now that we know of his guilt and complicity, let's be honest and not use racism as an excuse. Let's not point to Rae Carruth, Ray Lewis and Leonard Little and cite their crimes -- as if wrongs can exonerate other wrongs. Racism isn't putting Vick in jail. Awful decisions did that.

Instead, let's attack this poisonous idea in the black community that equates only negatives with success. Surely, one reason Vick kept his circle of friends is because successful black people are pressured into keeping their toxic buddies around for the sake of "keeping it real" -- even though they've spent most of their lives trying to escape the street lifestyle in which many of those friends remain.

Of course, what's forgotten is that if Vick's "friends" truly cared about him, they never would have allowed him to jeopardize his freedom, NFL career and family for an illegal enterprise. A $100 million man involved in dogfighting isn't keeping it real. That's keeping it stupid.

I wanted to address this letter to young, black men because they fall victim to this mentality more so than any other group. It's not just black athletes facing a crisis but black men, period.

Vick was in a position to show that young, black men are not something to be feared. But instead of leading the Falcons to the playoffs this fall, Vick will be among the nearly 800,000 black men in prison -- which sadly constitutes half of the nation's prison population. Instead of wrapping himself in the support he received from millions of fans -- many of whom look like you -- Vick aligned himself with a destructive culture that is being indirectly endorsed as long as some African-Americans continue to make pathetic excuses for an immature millionaire.

You may not believe this, but I hope Michael Vick recovers. I hope he plays in the NFL again. I hope his comeback is just as good, if not better, than Ray Lewis'.

But mostly, I hope that, through Vick, other black men learn that society is quite capable of gobbling them up. No extra help is needed.

Page 2 columnist Jemele Hill can be reached at

Ms. Hill is so on point, and her points needed to be repeated over and over to counter the Vick apologists.

Dr. John Johnson Speaks At Veterans For Peace Event

Dr. John Johnson, father of Army Pvt. Lavena Johnson, spoke about his daughters case at the Veterans For Peace National Convention which was held in St. Louis last week. Dr. Johnson is fighting for Justice for his daughter Lavena, who died while serving in Iraq in 2005. The Army attempted to cover up the circumstances of her death, calling it a suicide. However, evidence indicates that Lavena Johnson was brutally murdered.

See a posting with Video of Dr. Johnson from the Lavena Petition Blog.

I have been following this case since 2005, and have been mentioning the situation here for about a year now.

Related Report

NPR has finally decided to cover the case of Lavena Johnson. Where has NPR been all this time? This would be the first time, to my knowledge, that NPR has even mentioned this case. The case was not mentioned in any formal NPR report, but instead was briefly discussed as part of the Black Bloggers Roundtable, on the NPR program News and Notes. (But I am happy to finally see any coverage). Listen to the Show Here. Hopefully this will lead to more coverage from NPR programs All Things Considered, Morning Edition, or an even larger media source.


Cartoonist Offers an Apology?

I think the cartoonist, Ed Gamble, deserves a Pulitzer Prize nomination. This piece covers several different social ailments within the so-called "Black Community" all in one image.

But the Black establishment (NAACP & all the rest) immediately started to boo hoo about the cartoon, eventually pressuring the cartoonist and his Editorial page editor to apologize. But they should have stood their ground. They had nothing to apologize for. I am sick and tired of the Black elite establishment in this country claiming racism whenever someone challenges the so-called "Black Community" about its problems and points out painful truths.

I was going to write a long commentary about this latest bit of nonsense from the "Black establishment", but blogger and author Angela Winters did a wonderful job with her commentary.... taking the words right out of my mouth. She has the background information on this story.

Article from Eurweb

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Experience at Camp Obama

I spent last weekend at Camp Obama - a two- day orientation for the hardcore possible volunteers.

Arriving at the new Volunteer Headquarters, it's a peppy, Obama-positive space. There were 85 people there from the following states and countries:
Virginia, Ohio, California, North Carolina, Texas, Singapore, Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Colorado, Rhode Island, Michigan, Connecticut, Washington, Mississippi, Arizona, The Balkans and, of course, Illinois.

There were at least 3 High School Students there, not old enough yet to vote, and the youngest participant was a young lady, 13, who was there because she wanted to go into politics, and wanted to find a way to convince her parents to vote for Obama.

Since it always comes up, I'll break down the numbers. Out of the 85 people there, Approximately 30 were from Illinois, and at least 20 were African-American. A good third of the people there were from Students for Barack Obama, and they were very motivated.

We went around, introduced ourselves and answered why we were there. Very interesting comments from the audience.

There were some technical difficulties, so we didn't get the usual first day training. There was a good third of the participants that had been involved in political campaigns previously, and those of us who had not had to go to them and ask what they did. A number of them had done phone banks, and canvassing, as well as the usual office work. I met a woman from Oak Park, Illinois, who had already been to Iowa twice to canvass...very enthusiastic.

There was a lot of discussion about campaigns, and what their purpose was. That we were not to consider ourselves volunteers, but ' organizers', and to that point, we had three Obama-centered articles which we had to read for the next day's activities.

We had a long presentation with one of the Deputy Directors of Students for Barack Obama - it was his responsibility to explain the website to us, and how to use it. I swear, I'm getting old, because he looked 12 (just kidding). But, he was very knowledgable, and he was very patient with us, as he took us through, as well as I was quite impressed with how the website enables a group to organize and keep in contact with one another. I can definitely see how and why Obama's been able to use the web to break new ground fundraising.

We separated into groups according to region of the country, with the Illinois group being a separate group unto themselves. The MISSION of Obamans from Illinois is one:



Nothing else counts, and every effort you make in Illinois needs to be put towards that effort.

We had a session with two guys from the Policy Department, but more on that later.

We also had a session with someone from the Communications Staff, and my one complaint about him, though he was thorough, was that I didn't find his answer about reaching out to the blogging community satisfactory, but then again, I'm not the first person who has had issues with Obama and the blogging community.

Day #2

Day #2 had a specific focus. The main lecturer for morning was man named Mike Krugler. Krugler worked with Obama when he was a Community Organizer.

I have to admit, he began slow, and I was like ' oh no, you gotta be kidding..I woke up on Sunday for THIS?'

But, then, Mr. Krugler hit his groove about 20 minutes in and didn't stop until he had been there THREE HOURS.

He was, in a word, AMAZING.

He spoke about the tools of community organizing. The disciplines that needed to be involved. The principles of power and politics, and how they could be brought to ordinary people. That relationships have to be built upon self-interest. That to be an organizer you have to be tough and agitate.

Power comes from organizes people and organized money - I have to admit, as he goes through his presentation, I am bringing it back to Obama and his campaign.

He challenged the group on words like power, powerlessness, ruthless, selfishness vs. selflessness.

What is a leader?
Connecting with people so that they'll follow with what you want to do.

Interesting concept, no?

Blunt, brutal and hilarious at times, he was damn good.

I definitely understand what I have been seeing come out of the Obama campaign after listening to this guy. The concepts of a campaign that I thought were happening, and what Obama is trying to do here.

We spent the rest of the time after lunch learning about the Iowa Caucus, by participating in a faux caucus. Then after the caucus, we were able to meet with the man who heads Obama Illinois and the Chicago Area Field Director. Their focus was getting us to see how important Iowa was, and that they need the bodies on the ground in Iowa, and the Chicago Area Field Director wanted us to know that she would work with any group for any time length to get people on the ground in Iowa.

After we signed up for volunteer time, we could go.

All in all, it was well worth going because of some of the people that I met, and definitely for the Krugler lecture because he was terrific.

Now, that was the positive for Camp Obama. What did I see as the negative?

It came up during the session with the gentlemen from the Policy Section. It was early into the session when the landmine came up:


Immigration is The Willie Horton Issue of 2008.


I sat in a room full of the hardcore Obama supporters, because nobody who pays money to come across the country to train is anything less than hardcore. And, this was THE most passionate, heated issue.

They wanted to know Obama's policies on it, and when the guys told them, the women from North Carolina were like - ' Amnesty?'

They rattled off all the problems with illegal immigration; those who had canvassed in Iowa before said that they had been asked questions about immigration. Some even brought up the Newark executions.

That's when the nightmare commercial came into my mind. Newark, The execution of that young girl in Los Angeles; the killing of the Black policeman in Texas...

There it is. There is the GOP commercial next time out - marrying illegal immigration with unfettered crime, and laying it on the feet of Democrats unwilling to 'secure our borders' or ' protect us' from illegal alien criminals.

Can you imagine the power a commercial using ALL BLACK VICTIMS with ALL HISPANIC ILLEGAL ALIEN CRIMINALS in its ability to undermine an Obama candidacy?

I understand it. And, it just upsets me. The commercial would hurt ANY Democrat, but Obama most of all.

And, this sort of tactic also has the possibility of derailing any substantive discussion on the Prison Industrial Complex, and possible reform.

The Democrats better wake up, and take away the immigration issue from the GOP. They better put forth GENUINE proposals to secure our border and ports, or they will lose again in 2008.