As Hillary braces for a possible letdown in Iowa, Jack at Jack and Jill Politics has a great series on why he won't Support Hillary Clinton. I have big respect for both Jack, Jill and all the bloggers at Jack and Jill Politics. Jack raises some great points on why he and others won't be supporting Hillary.
Faye Anderson at her Blog Anderson@large has a lot to say about the topic of race and the presidency. She has followed Obama and his wife Michelle campaign for some time. Faye Anderson notes in a recent blog post, Barack Obama says "the American people have moved beyond race (and here). Perhaps. A new Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 40 percent of blacks think "blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race." Black support of Sen. Hillary Clinton suggests black voters have indeed moved beyond race."
But, as Faye Anderson Notes, in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Michelle Obama dismissed the possibility that they are making informed decisions. Instead, in her worldview, black support for Hillary stems from a clinical disorder.
AAPP: I agree with most people who feel that race should not be the sole part of the decision-making process, yet, anyone who says it will 'not be part' of the decision-making process in the 2008 presidential race is not being honest with themselves.
I don't think that we as Black Americans should vote lock step with Obama or Hillary unless she outlines her plans to target resources to African American communities. There should be some systems in place to gain commitments from those running for the highest political office in the land to better the lot of black communities. Why is it that the democrats can authorize billions of dollars every six months for Iraq, but can't commit billions to inner city and decaying schools, health care, child care, housing, drug treatment, anti gang programs for every major city in America? Neither Clinton nor Obama has laid out a Clinton Plan or Obama Plan to rebuild New Orleans, or for that matter any city in America. Where is the Obama plan to rebuild urban areas of America? Or the Clinton Plan to rebuild Newark, or Gary, IN? Why are blacks not coming together and pressing the issue in a United Front?
Should the best man or woman with a plan win the black vote? There is no mistaking his campaign theme: it's time for the old to move over and make way for the new.
Or will it be politics as usual in the black community, with black folks having the opportunity to place a hold on the evil parts of the other American Dream? I'm not sure only time will tell. Will experience really count, or will it be the color of ones skin?
I'm old school, the old school that Obama seems to care less about. can you remember this old school joint from Marvin Gaye? it's relevant today, and may be something that Marvin Gaye wrote for Barack Obama without knowing it:
MARVIN GAYE lyrics - You're The Man
People marching on Washington
Better hear what they have to say
'Cause the tables just might turn against you, brother
Set around Election Day
Politics and hypocrites
Is turning us all into lunatics
Can you take the guns from our sons?
Right all the wrongs this administration has done?
Peace and freedom is the issue
Do you have a plan wager?
If you've got a plan
If you've got a master plan
Got to vote for you
Hey hey, got to vote for you
'Cause you're the man
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Jordan Fox accepted a $10,000 signing bonus from the US Army. Then like so many of our troops in Iraq, he got blown up by a roadside bomb. He suffered back and head injuries and lost vision in his right eye. His injuries left him unable to pursue his dream of joining the police force... and continue serving in the military. He was sent home 3 months before his contract was up. Then he got a bill from the Pentagon for nearly $3000 of his signing bonus. They want their money back because he didn't fulfill his entire contract.
Jordan Fox is not alone. According to reportage from KDKA, thousands of injured troops are being denied signing bonuses because of injuries that cut that service short. It would seem that sacrificing vision, limbs, and futures, in the service of their country, is not enough. The government would also like them to relinquish money they promised to pay them for risking death and disfigurement, in the first place.
When I first heard about this story, earlier today, I thought, the Pentagon will fold on this one. The publicity is just too heinous, especially when they are still waving signing bonuses under the noses of potential enlistees, in their desperate effort to meet enlistment quotas. Cave they did, but so far, only in the case of the young man who has gotten media attention. (Power of the press, we call it.) According to this follow-up report from KDKA, they will not explain whether Fox's bill was sent in error, nor on the status of the thousands of other injured vets who are reportedly being denied what was promised to them.
Jason Altmire, a freshman Congressman from Pennsylvania, last month introduced a bill called the Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act. Altmire is, of course, a Democrat, because, as we know, Republicans only care about the troops when they are using them as set dressing and propaganda tools.
The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal, as well as the Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus, the Independent Bloggers Alliance, the Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust.
“Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads."That sort of gratuitous violence was a harbinger of things to come. During this period in 2003, Delgado experienced an internal crisis. The warrior ethos was not compatible with his sensibilities as a Buddhist and he opted to apply for an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector.
The army tried to persuade Delgado to apply for non-combatant status instead and still complete his duties as a mechanic. It would’ve been the path of least resistance and Delgado rejected it. As far as Delgado was concerned, applying, as a non-combatant was a half-measure and he wanted to make a moral statement.
The path Delgado chose was a long tough road of bureaucratic struggle, taunts, bullying and peer abuse. The army hoped to provoke Delgado away from pacifism, make him feel ostracized and humiliated. Many considered Delgado a coward and a traitor as he continued to fulfill his duties while the application process went forward.
Delgado’s application for conscientious objector status had not been resolved when his unit was redeployed to Abu Ghraib in November 2003. Shortly after he arrived, a prison riot against the miserable conditions there resulted in a fatal shooting of four detainees who threw stones. Delgado told Bob Herbert how he confronted a sergeant who claimed to have fired on the detainees:
"I asked him if he was proud that he had shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones. He didn't get mad at all. He was, like, 'Well, I saw them bloody my buddy's nose, so I knelt down. I said a prayer. I stood up, and I shot them down.'"When Delgado initially arrived at Abu Ghraib he assumed most of the detainees were hardened insurgents and terrorists. He later learned while working as a radio operator for the Abu Ghraib headquarters brigade that most detainees were either petty civilian criminals or completely innocent. Ultimately, Delgado concluded that regardless of why they were there, American behavior could not be excused.
Delgado’s unit was dismissed after completed its duty in March 2004. He received an honorable discharge after returning to America in April 2004. Currently, he’s an antiwar activist as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and the Buddhist Peace Alliance. Delgado captured his spiritual journey and experience in Iraq with his recently published memoir, The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes From A Conscientious Objector In Iraq (Beacon Press)
It’s not fully possible to grasp what soldiers like Delgado went through and witnessed. What does it mean to read that serving in Abu Ghraib is hell or living through mortar attacks is scary? Is it really possible for mere words to convey how soldiers such as Delgado are torn between loyalty to the uniform they wear and their humanity? How can one truly understand without having lived in the shoes of someone like Delgado himself?
Those of us who haven't been in that position can't truly understand. Nevertheless, Delgado skillfully puts the reader in the front row of his year in Iraq, the friends and antagonists he interacted with, the near death experiences he endured and the torturous battle waged within his soul about right and wrong.
Delgado agreed to a podcast interview with me over the telephone about his book, experiences inside Iraq and Abu Ghraib in particular. We also discussed how racism towards Arabs and the Muslim world helped facilitate the crimes committed against Iraqis and his spiritual journey as a Buddhist and anti-war pacifist. Our conversation is approximately fifty-six minutes and took place on Sunday, November 18th. Please refer to the media player below.
This interview can also be accessed for free by searching for "Intrepid Liberal Journal" at the Itunes Store.
Please note that Aidan Delgado only had access to a cell phone for this interview. The sound quality is quite good most of the time and the passion of his convictions comes through. Also, I made a couple errors during the podcast I would like to correct. In introducing Aidan I referred to his unit as the 320th Military Police “Academy” instead of “Company.” I also listed Kuwait among the countries Aidan lived in while growing up when in fact he only visited there.
I am slooowly getting over a yucky cold, but it's gray outside, so that's amplifying the usual virus-induced bleariness.
Bounce, bounce, bouncy, bouncy--will you look at that? All bouncy and yellow...like the sun that's hiding behind the clouds today. In that the sun is yellow, I mean, not that the sun bounces. At least, I don't think it does...
Now, what was it that I was going to do next? I'm sure it was important...
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 2:26 PM
Today's story about the Supreme Court's future ruling about the gun ban in Washington DC inspired this walk down memory lane, where I posted a entry on my blog, Rants 'n Reviews, entitled, "Constitution: 2nd Amendment."
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.It seems to me that, despite the fact that I don't necessarily hold our forefathers in the highest esteem (after all, some owned slaves, all believed women to be inferior, and none of them were Stooges fans), we have to take their words in context.
When these men conjured up the ideas set forth in the Constitution and its amendments, there was a deep aversion to the federal government, brought about by the British government the framers had just fled. They were also cognizant of the fact that the British, if not other countries, would invade eventually and try to take over. Hence, the need for a militia. A militia, or any military force, is impotent without firearms and explosives. Just ask our beloved American Indians.
Put in modern English, the 2nd Amendment could be written thusly:
The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon because the nation needs a militia in order to ensure the security of a free State.So, taken in context, a militia, with proper weaponry, is essential to maintaining a free state. This weaponry includes firearms (handguns and long guns, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns). However, this weaponry does not apply to all people -- in fact, contextually, it seems to me, the weaponry belongs to the militia.
So men and women don't have an innate right to own or possess firearms. But a militia does. And since militias are governed by the individual states, it is the state that has the right and responsibility to decide who gets to "keep and bear arms." If California, for example, deemed that all men over 18 were members of an involuntary state militia, then men over 18 would have the right and responsibility to possess firearms, but only in the context of their belonging to the state militia.
I don't know what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the words. The only thing I do know is that words mean something, and over time, words, especially in the context of "now," change meanings.
In this world of crazed lunatics, is it a good idea for everyone to own guns? No. But crazy people are prohibited from buying guns. Crazies and bad people will always find ways to skirt laws, the Constitution, and other governmental constraints.
Gun control actually makes it easier for nutjobs to commit crimes, because law-abiding citizens will be the only segment of the population that won't own guns.
However, do guns really kill people? No, bullets do. But that's another story.
2008 candidates on spot over gun-control - Politics - MSNBC.com
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The Plymouth settlers (who came to be called “Pilgrims”) set apart a holiday immediately after their first harvest in 1621. They held an autumn celebration of food, feasting, and praising God. The Governor of Plymouth invited Grand Sachem Massasoit and the Wampanoag people to join them in the feast. The settlers fed and entertained the Native Americans for three days, at which point some of the Native Americans went into the forest, killed 5 deer, and gave them to the Governor as a gift.
And we just kept thanking them…
The Indian Removal Act, part of a U.S. government policy known as Indian Removal, was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.
The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the “Five Civilized Tribes”. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokee nation. President Jackson, who supported Indian removal primarily for reasons of national security, hoped removal would resolve the Georgia crisis. While Indian removal was, in theory, supposed to be voluntary, in practice great pressure was put on American Indian leaders to sign removal treaties. Most observers, whether they were in favor of the Indian removal policy or not, realized that the passage of the act meant the inevitable removal of most Indians from the states. Some Native American leaders who had previously resisted removal now began to reconsider their positions, especially after Jackson’s landslide reelection in 1832.
Most white Americans favored the passage of the Indian Removal Act and it passed after bitter debate in Congress.
The treaties enacted under the provisions of the Removal Act paved the way for the reluctant—and often forcible—emigration of tens of thousands of American Indians to the West. The first removal treaty signed after the Removal Act was the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on September 27, 1830, in which Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West. The Treaty of New Echota (signed in 1835) resulted in the removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Note: Town Called Dobson will be on hiatus until Monday, November 26th.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Black Accountability Projects Launched
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Whereas "boxers or briefs" was cute 16 years ago, "diamonds or pearls" was just inane. With soldiers dying everyday in the Middle East, I had hoped a smarter format had been planned, such was not the case.
CNN lost me years ago when they drove the "Dean Yell" into the ground. Then, a long time later, they admitted they overplayed the story. They are still wrong, it was never a story to begin with. My wife told me about a protest march in DC last week and I hadn't heard about it. She told me she saw it on CNN International. Figures.
CNN suffered some tremendous losses in the past years. John Holliman was killed in a very senseless car accident in 1998. Bernie Shaw retired in 2001 to our immense loss. This leaves just two journalists at CNN; Michael Ware and Christiane Amanpour. Everyone else are posers. That is a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of just two reporters.
Then again, maybe since CNN is a sinking boat, those two are their only life preservers... and they are treading water as fast as they can.