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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Aug-6-2009

my new favorite ancestor picture

all my close asian friends have been doing these pics for years! white folk always wondered what we were up to. wonder no longer, bei-long!

happy national week of celebration!

big ups to efc pm, cbc pm and club vision. our time has come.

and one more clinton joke: bill has found his calling- government paid trips to foreign countries to pick up girls with hillary’s blessing.

Posted under politics
May-27-2009

news about the news:left leaning?

its not news that obama and cheney have been sniping at each other. and is it news that the news seems to lean left? or more accurately, leans obama?

exhibit a: here’s the picture cnn.com used recently to accompany the obama/cheney exchanges…

no bias there, eh? i saw bad pictures of cheney and bush throughout their time but have yet to see an unflattering picture of obama.

to their credit, cnn switched to this picture a short time later….perhaps after complaints?

but who watches the watchmen? who covers the news about newsmakers? do newsmakers see the biases they are swimming in everyday?

Posted under politics
May-24-2009

memorial day weekend musings: welcome to america

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it might have just been an excuse to hang out with q and the lee fam…the kids are pretty animated these days…

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but after many a year in the states, a few deportation scares, a marriage to an all american girl and two boys born in philly, my boy q swore an oath to relinquish following principalities and despots…to become a united states citizen.

much to his delight, his american bride has decided to keep him and the marriage going…even after the ceremony!; which was a much shorter affair than i expected…maybe 15 minutes? many folks left before it was finished!…literally after their family member received their certificate! imagine students and their guests leaving the facility after receiving their diplomas!

still, a moving milestone and i was glad to be there with my friend.

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as we celebrate this weekend and remember those who sacrificed for our way of life…i invoke the yankee stadium 7th inning stretch call for prayer for our troops. thank you, friends.

Posted under living in america, politics
May-13-2009

stand up president

comedians are the last prophets that culture will tolerate. they can speak truth as long as there is that gleam or smirk. instead of stones, we throw money at the good ones.  politicians on the other hand are expected to lie. so when the president takes his annual turn as lead joke teller at the national white house correspondents’ dinner, it makes for fascinating viewing…..

Posted under politics
May-8-2009

jack kemp and barack obama

once again….the class of jack kemp:

A LETTER TO MY GRANDCHILDREN

November 12, 2008

Dear Kemp grandchildren — all 17 of you, spread out from the East Coast to the West Coast, and from Wheaton College in Illinois, to Wake Forest University in North Carolina:

My first thought last week upon learning that a 47-year-old African-American Democrat had won the presidency was, “Is this a great country or not?”

You may have expected your grandfather to be disappointed that his friend John McCain lost (and I was), but there’s a difference between disappointment over a lost election and the historical perspective of a monumental event in the life of our nation.

Let me explain. First of all, the election was free, fair and transformational, in terms of our democracy and given the history of race relations in our nation.

What do I mean?

Just think, a little over 40 years ago, blacks in America had trouble even voting in our country, much less thinking about running for the highest office in the land.

A little over 40 years ago, in some parts of America, blacks couldn’t eat, sleep or even get a drink of water using facilities available to everyone else in the public sphere.

We are celebrating, this year, the 40th anniversary of our Fair Housing Laws, which helped put an end to the blatant racism and prejudice against blacks in rental housing and homeownership opportunities.

As an old professional football quarterback, in my days there were no black coaches, no black quarterbacks, and certainly no blacks in the front offices of football and other professional sports. For the record, there were great black quarterbacks and coaches — they just weren’t given the opportunity to showcase their talent. And pro-football (and America) was the worse off for it.

I remember quarterbacking the old San Diego Chargers and playing for the AFL championship in Houston. My father sat on the 50-yard line, while my co-captain’s father, who happened to be black, had to sit in a small, roped-off section of the end zone. Today, we can’t imagine the NFL without the amazing contributions of blacks at every level of this great enterprise.

I could go on and on, but just imagine that in the face of all these indignities and deprivations, Dr. Martin Luther King could say 44 years ago, “I have an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in mankind.” He described his vision for America, even as he and his people were being denied their God-given human rights guaranteed under our Constitution.

You see, real leadership is not just seeing the realities of what we are temporarily faced with, but seeing the possibilities and potential that can be realized by lifting up peoples’ vision of what they can be.

When President-elect Obama quoted Abraham Lincoln on the night of his election, he was acknowledging the transcendent qualities of vision and leadership that are always present, but often overlooked and neglected by pettiness, partisanship and petulance. As president, I believe Barack Obama can help lift us out of a narrow view of America into the ultimate vision of an America where, if you’re born to be a mezzo-soprano or a master carpenter, nothing stands in your way of realizing your God-given potential.

Both Obama in his Chicago speech, and McCain in his marvelous concession speech, rose to this historic occasion by celebrating the things that unite us irrespective of our political party, our race or our socio-economic background.

My advice for you all is to understand that unity for our nation doesn’t require uniformity or unanimity; it does require putting the good of our people ahead of what’s good for mere political or personal advantage.

The party of Lincoln, (i.e., the GOP), needs to rethink and revisit its historic roots as a party of emancipation, liberation, civil rights and equality of opportunity for all. On the other hand, the party of Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and now Obama must put forth an agenda that understands that getting American growing again will require both Keynesian and classical incentive-oriented (supply-side) economic ideas. But there’s time for political and economic advice in a later column (or two).

Let me end with an equally great historical irony of this election. Next year, as Obama is sworn in as our 44th president, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. I’m serving, along with former Rep. Bill Gray of Pennsylvania, on the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Board to help raise funds for this historic occasion. President-elect Obama’s honoring of Lincoln in many of his speeches reminds us of how vital it is to elevate these ideas and ideals to our nation’s consciousness and inculcate his principles at a time of such great challenges and even greater opportunities.

In fact, we kick off the Lincoln bicentennial celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Gettysburg, Pa. The great filmmaker Ken Burns will speak at the Soldier’s National Cemetery on the 145th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. On Thursday, Nov. 20, at Gettysburg College, we will have the first of 10 town hall forums, titled “Race, Freedom and Equality of Opportunity.” I have the high honor of joining Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Professor Allen Guezlo and Norman Bristol-Colon on the panel, with Professor Charles Branham as the moderator.

President-elect Obama talks of Abraham Lincoln’s view of our nation as an “unfinished work.” Well, isn’t that equally true of all of us? Therefore let all of us strive to help him be a successful president, so as to help make America an even greater nation.

Posted under politics
May-7-2009

jack kemp’s passing

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp died Saturday at age 73 after a battle with cancer, his family announced.

Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 1996.

Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 1996.

A onetime professional football player, Kemp served nine terms in Congress as a representative from New York and was former Sen. Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. He was a leading advocate of “supply-side” tax cuts, advancing the argument that cutting taxes would boost economic growth and yield more revenue for the federal government.

“The only way to oppose a bad idea is to replace it with a good idea, and I like to think that I have spent my life trying to promote good ideas,” he told CNN in a 1996 interview.

Kemp “passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord” Sunday evening, a family statement said. He disclosed his illness in January.

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i found jack kemp’s passing and the fact that it was mostly ignored, sobering.

he could have been vice president or even president. then the story would have been reported differently.

but i remember the republican party distancing themselves from this honorable man because of his voice on behalf of minorities, the poor and the forgotten. i read an article over a decade ago praising jack kemp’s character for helping african americans in low income areas despite the fact they made up a small portion of his constituency just because he believed that it was the right thing to do! he was a prophet begging the republicans to reach out to them and other minorities.  he was ignored.

i know others will remember him for his economics but i will remember him for his heart and putting his own political future at stake for others.

only when it was clear that bob dole would get his donkey rocked did the republicans reach out to him to join the ticket. even though dole and kemp did not like each other….Kemp once said, “In a recent fire, Bob Dole’s library burned down. Both books were lost. And he hadn’t even finished coloring one of them.”

here’s what others said about him:

from npr:

The other mainstay of Kemp’s philosophy was that the GOP needed to be more inclusive. From the outset of his career in electoral politics, which began with a successful bid for an open congressional seat in western New York (Buffalo) in 1970, he pushed for Republicans to do what they could to bring more African-Americans into the party.

After his election, President Bush named Kemp to his Cabinet, as secretary of housing and urban development, where he earned a mixed review. He got credit for innovative ideas and was best known for championing the inner-city poor. And he helped end the stench of corruption and cronyism that had engulfed the department under his predecessor, Samuel Pierce. But in terms of real results, not much changed in his tenure.

from fred barnes/weekly standard:

There was a reason for his enduring appeal: Kemp was a good-hearted man who put his philosophy and his cause above personal ambition. His overriding concern was for others and for America.

At the heart of this exchange, and everything Jack did, was his unshakeable belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. This is what inspired his passion for job creation and economic growth; his support for freedom fighters in every corner of the globe; his insistence on a strong defense as a deterrent to war; his work on behalf of the poor, the immigrant, the unborn, and the dispossessed. I traveled with him from the union halls in his district outside Buffalo, New York, to the small towns of Iowa and New Hampshire; from the most blighted and desperate slums in the United States to Prince Charles’ private garden at his home, Highgrove. In every circumstance, his message was the same–each and every human being is a precious resource, to be nurtured and defended and given the freedom he needs to fulfill his destiny as, in Kemp’s words, “a master carpenter or a prima ballerina–or even a pro quarterback.”

one of his interns at empower america described him as such:

Kemp was one of those rare individuals who is genuinely at ease with people from all walks of life. Most politicians can affect an air of friendliness when necessary. But Kemp seemed to genuinely enjoy talking about a wide range of matters with all sorts of people. He was equally at home with policy wonks, athletes, and just ordinary voters.

from the dallas news:

There was another side to Jack Kemp, though. He tirelessly advocated expanding Republican outreach to the poor and to minorities, believing that a just government must care about extending the blessings of free-market prosperity to all. Dallas Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery, a close friend, tells us that Mr. Kemp learned a lot about race in America from his years as a Buffalo Bills quarterback and felt a moral obligation to speak out on issues that hurt him among some Republicans.

“He talked a lot about taxes,” Mr. Ussery says, “but the other things he talked about, they didn’t want to hear so much.”

Yes, Jack Kemp was the future once. For a Republican Party badly in need of fresh ideas, credible optimism and a heart for those at the social and economic margins, he could be again.

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in a sense, i find jack kemp’s trajectory appealing. quietly serving and advocating for the marginalized. and then quietly forgotten. getting to keep my soul in full in the process.

Posted under politics
Apr-22-2009

my favorite obama headline(so far)

president obama has been making lots of headlines since entering office…but my favorite headline comes from the day before his inauguration…mostly for personal reasons…..

only a few people would know what i’m referring to…so i will let you in on the joke.

“joke”

being a speaker, there are cliches that annoy me. most cliches do….instead of writing, saying, thinking something original, we default to a pre-packaged phrase….sometimes even misusing it. “low key” is one of those cliches….to alleviate my anger, i always hear it as loki.

so one night early in my marriage, my wife requested a low key night….and i responded manically- like loki, the norse god of mischief??? and pranced around with hands mimicking horns on my head. theresa wondered what she married.

i laugh that president obama chose to have a low key night before becoming the most powerful man in the world.

Posted under politics
Mar-6-2009

my top ten political predictions: winter ’09 update

Posted under politics
Dec-31-2008

lego hair

i recently changed my hair style and i was worried that my hair looked like this guy’s!:

from the chicagoist:

Bla-lego-vich

Inspired by a commenter on Fark who called our soon-to-be-former Gov. Blagojevich a “living Lego man,” (as well as our previous South Park-itizing of the Gov.) we decided to do a side-by-side comparison and by god, the resemblance is uncanny:

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In fact, Lego has announced a new play set, available just in time for Christmas:

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Legoman image by dunechaser

By Prescott Carlson

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even more to worry about! i knew that he was crazy and delusional!

and from knx1070.com

Blagojevich’s Hair: Sign of Mental Illness?

( courtesy of suntimes.com/wonkette.com ) – Gov. Blagojevich’s glossy locks — perfectly sculpted in rain or snow — may be an indication of a sickness beneath his scalp, said one local psychologist.

“It’s all part of managing his image, managing his image of being without a blemish, without a flaw,” said Scott Ambers, who has practiced clinical psychology in the city for more than two decades.

Several psychologists interviewed one day after the governor’s arrest agreed that he might be suffering from an affliction known as narcissistic personality disorder.

“This grandiose sense of self . . . doesn’t carry the implication that [Blagojevich] is a raving lunatic, crazy and out of touch with reality, but it does suggest he has a really overinflated view of his own importance,” Ambers said.

Those who bandied the term “delusions of grandeur” when talking about Blagojevich have missed the mark, Ambers said.

“I have a patient who is firmly convinced the FBI, the CIA and [the Department of] Homeland Security are following her . . . as she drives on the expressway,” Ambers said. “It’s all delusional.”

Perhaps Blagojevich suffers from the opposite problem?

“I think he felt a certain kind of immunity,” Ambers said. “It’s part of the grandiosity — ‘They are not going to be able to punish me because I’m above the law, I’m smarter, I will outfox them.’ ”

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but luckily….my hair “parts” the other way…and i don’t really have a part! phew! i don’t want lego hair or the issues associated with it!

Posted under politics, prophet
Dec-28-2008

gaza attacks and retaliation

as i enjoyed a slow, lazy long weekend during christmas, others in palestine/israel were enduring a different kind of long weekend. having spent a summer in israel and palestine, the news stories from the region are never just (disposable)news.

both sides will blame and accuse…in this case, the israelis are bombing gaza in response to rockets…the palestinians are promising more violence…..the details matters little to me…i subscribe to the theology of “their lives were bigger than any big idea”. so i mourn. i pray. i pause. on the christian sabbath after one of the main christian holy-days, i pray that people will turn from their violence…learn to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with their God.

our true violent selves have risen above the surface….

unfortunately, more to come….

Posted under a different world, politics, prophet