The Way I See It

My world, my way

2010 11 Aug

The Politics of Race

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I am a Libertarian.

There. I said it. I didn’t want to label myself but Libertarian best describes my political views. I know it’s a dirty word on both sides of the political spectrum but I don’t care. I’m pretty disgusted with both the Democrats and Republicans right now so I really don’t care what they think of me, either. This rant, though, is about the Democrats because I don’t like Obama’s politics.So, if I disagree with Obama’s policies and don’t vote for him, does that make me racist? According to many who support Obama, it does. But that leaves me with so many questions.

If Condoleezza Rice had run against a different Democrat, would those voting for the Democrat then be racist? Would the black community have come out in support of Dr. Rice? If so, does that mean that they’re voting for her color and not her policies, since her policies are so vastly different than Obama, for whom most blacks voted.

If Condoleezza Rice or J.C. Watts runs for the Republican nomination and wins it, would that squelch the claims that Republicans are racist?

Has it ever occurred to Obama supporters that those who vote against Obama also voted against Al Gore and John Kerry? How does the race card play into that? It seems logical to me that those who opposed Gore or Kerry would also oppose Obama, all liberal democrats. The only way to win an election these days is to turn good Americans against each other and the accusation of racism does just that.

I’m not giving Republicans a pass on this, though. They’ve proven their prowess in divisiveness in the past as well. My gripe right now, though, is with the Left and their accusations of racism because it’s against ME. I do NOT support Obama’s policies. I don’t see how that makes me racist.

The problem is, if I try to defend myself by telling how I’m not racist, I sound pathetic. I’m not going to list my black friends or how many of them have been to my home or stayed here overnight. I won’t tell you how many blacks are members of my family. If I did, that would be pathetic.

I will say that every black person I know is a good, hardworking American, just as the white people I know are. That brings up another question. If you work hard for your money and value that kind of work ethic and pass it on to your children, regardless of your race, do you also support the notion of helping to support others who choose to not work at all? This isn’t about race but about responsibility. Who is responsible for putting food on the table, a roof over your head? After you take care of your own family, are you responsible for those who would rather get high, get drunk, not work?

Here’s the thing. There are hard workers of every color and deadbeats of every color. This isn’t about black against white. It’s about every person’s liberty. We each have the right to choose to do as we please. Likewise, we each have the obligation to suffer the consequences of the choices we make. The government is not there to take care of us. The government is not there to tell us how to behave. The government is there to protect our individual rights. Period.

Crying “racist” when that isn’t the case is akin to crying “rape” when there was none. It hurts the legitimate accusations and victims and does nothing to rid society of such hatred. As long as Obama supporters accuse Libertarians (or Republicans or Independents) of being racist, this country will remain divided and equality of all will remain only a dream.

Now that Michael Jackson’s body has been laid to rest, let’s focus on his spirit. I watched the public memorial service and couldn’t believe the message that was relayed. In fact, the only person who presented the real Michael Jackson was Brooke Shields. She brought him to life and made him human.

What bothered me the most was the constant theme that Michael Jackson was all about race and empowering African Americans. That wasn’t the impression I got from him, having watched him perform for decades. (MJ and I are the same age.)

Michael Jackson’s message was that race was a non-issue. His concern was with the humanity of every person, regardless of race. He told us that we were all the same no matter our skin color or nationality or religious beliefs. We were people. Michael Jackson focused on our similarities to bring all people together.

So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Michael Jackson did do more for people of color than first meets the eye. But it wasn’t because he preached “black power.” It was because he preached – and lived – “It don’t matter if you’re black or white.”

RIP Michael.

Of course, that has never stopped me before.

I know I’ve neglected this blog as well as my others. Shame on me. I’ve had many thoughts on the passing scene and have shared some thoughts here and there around the internet. It’s time to get those thoughts together and put them right here, under my own name.

Sometimes I have very deep, convoluted thoughts and sometimes I have quick snippets of ideas. One problem I face is finding the time to organize my mangled mess of ideas so others can follow. The other problem is that I’m never sure if a one or two sentence post is enough to be of interest to anyone. Or if I’m even capable of condensing my thoughts into one or two sentences.

I am going to try though. This will be an experiment, in a way. We’ll see if anyone bothers to read this blog after being dead for so long, if the long posts or the short ones attract more readers and if I can mix local with national news enough to keep me interested.

Let’s see where this goes.

I could rant on and on right now but I won’t. Instead, I’ll paraphrase something that I heard Dick Morris say when he visited West Liberty State College last month.

Tonight, I am proud to be an American. I am proud of my country for being one step closer to overcoming our racism.

In January, when Obama is inaugurated, I will be very concerned for the future of my country.

Nothing would make me happier than to find, four years from now, that I was wrong. I just don’t think that will happen.

It’s election day. Whatever will happen, will happen. I’m just so amazed at those who are misinformed. I’m amazed that someone who cares and who is trying to weigh her options, thinks that George W. Bush caused the current banking crisis. I’m amazed that she has not seen this video, in their own words.

And still more:

And for the person who asked, because I know she loves more information rather than less:

From GovTrack Senate Record regarding Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, dated May 25, 2006.

Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]: Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

And further, McCain’s attempt to fix Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac in 2005 and Democrats Were Wrong on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Plus, go here and scroll down a little for a list of Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008.

If anyone wants to debate these claims, please do so with documentation.

For those who haven’t read my short and sweet About Me page, I’ll save you the trouble of clicking away and tell you that the important tidbit there is that I am a Libertarian. I’m not particularly fond of either of the two major parties so I’ll probably cast my vote for the least of all the evils. This is all significant because I want to be clear from the start: my opinion has nothing to do with my choice for president. None of the candidates reflect my views. My commentary on the 2008 race in general and this post’s topic in particular is not partisan in any way. Feel free to comment an opinion of your own but I don’t promise to debate you, even if I disagree. But I might.

I’ve watched for a week now as the media played the endless loop of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s offensive sermons. I’ve listened to the pundits and I’ve listened to and read the transcripts of Senator Obama’s response. And I am amazed.

Why does it matter what this man’s religious and spiritual leader says and believes? Why must we conclude that Senator Obama agrees with Reverend Wright on every issue? Is that even fair?

According to Catholics In The Public Square, the 110th Congress claims 157 Roman Catholics. Of those, there are 89 Democrats in the House and 16 Democrats in the Senate. Think about that.

A handful of those Democrats are pro-life but for the most part, these Catholic Democrats vote the party line of pro-choice. We all know that the world wide leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has taken a decidedly pro-life stance and has instructed US politicians to do the same. Maybe I’m not paying attention but I haven’t heard an outcry that all Catholic Democrats secretly agree with the Pope and will work to undermine the pro-choice laws of the United States.

Of course, being pro-life isn’t necessarily a hateful thing, as racism is. So let’s look at another issue that Catholic Democrats face: Gay rights. While both parties seem to be intent on denying gays the right to marry, Democrats have always talked the talk of gay rights (even if “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a cop out). And yet the Pope, as leader of the Catholic Church, has called gays “sinners” and homosexuality a sin. Some claim that the stance of the Catholic Church on homosexuality is hateful.

Do we question Catholic Democrats who claim to disagree with their spiritual leader on this issue? No, we do not. In fact, we don’t find it at all unusual for Catholics, whether in political life or not, to disagree with their Pope or their Bishop or their priest on this and other issues. And yet, we are holding Barack Obama to that standard. Why is that?

If we’re going to question Barack Obama on the beliefs of his spiritual leader, then we need to question every member of Congress about how their political beliefs match up with the teachings of their spiritual leaders. We need to examine them with a fine tooth comb just as we have Senator Obama and the Reverend Wright.

The way I see it, the man who brought Barack Obama to Christ is a flawed man. That doesn’t mean that the Lord did not use Reverend Jeremiah Wright to bring His child Barack into the family of Christians. Maybe it simply means that Christians are sinners but that God can still work through us. Maybe it means that no matter our shortcomings, the hand of our Lord can bring forth goodness. Maybe the message in all of this is not about hatred but about God’s power.

If the media really wants to do some digging, let’s find out who is really fueling this story. That’s what I’d like to know.

2008 21 Mar

It’s Time

Filed under: Blogging | RSS 2.0 | TB | No Comments

Yes, it is. It’s time to bring this blog back.

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging here. It was doing so well. It bears my name, after all. For some reason I did stop blogging here and the site just sort of fizzled. But now it’s coming back.

With politics at the front of everyone’s mind, either because of interest in the election or frustration from being bombarded with the same thing over and over, this is probably the best time to resurrect a blog that focuses on my thoughts. Because, well, I just know everyone wants to read my ramblings on the passing political, social and bizarre scene. .

Somewhere along the line I’ll be changing the look here a little. I think the tiara is getting old. Hell, I’m getting old. Time for a new look, too. But first, I’ll blog. For now, keep in mind that I am neither a Liberal or a Conservative. I am a Libertarian. I have no problem separating my spiritual (Catholic) beliefs from my political beliefs. I’ll probably expound further on that later. And more.

Stay tuned. You’re about to discover The Way I See It.

Anita Roddick, who founded The Body Shop and pioneered the “ethical” beauty movement in the 1970s, died on Monday. She was 64.

Roddick had contracted Hepatitis C over 35 years ago during a blood transfusion when giving birth to her youngest daughter. She died of a brain hemorrhage.

Read the full article on Anita Roddick.

2007 10 Sep

New Day, New Commitment

Filed under: Blogging | RSS 2.0 | TB | No Comments

I’ve neglected this blog and I’m so ashamed. I’m such a slacker sometimes. But that’s all going to change. I’m going to commit to at least two posts per week here to start. Hopefully, once I get into the habit, I’ll post more often. I really do have things to put here but sometimes my mind gets bogged down in other stuff. No more. It’s a new day.

So, pay attention. the focus here may sway a little as my brain negotiates the ebb and flow of ideas. Hopefully, in a month or two I’ll have a clearer picture of where we’re going here. Won’t that be fun?

I like to think of this blog as my own personal soapbox. This is where I can engage in long, tedious eloquent rantings.

Today, I’m giving you someone else’s words. I can’t explain it better. Please read it, join the outrage, sign the petition. We cannot claim to be a humane, caring people as long as this type of injustice continues.

I just learned about a case of segregation-era oppression happening today in Jena, Louisiana. I signed onto ColorOfChange.org’s campaign for justice in Jena, and wanted to invite you to do the same.

http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=2453-219082

Last fall in Jena, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the “white tree” on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a “prank,” more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town’s police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, “I can be your best friend or your worst enemy… I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen.”

A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

It’s a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in “their place.” But it’s happening today. The families of these young men are fighting back, but the story has gotten minimal press. Together, we can make sure their story is told and that the Governor of Louisiana intervenes and provides justice for the Jena 6. It starts now. Please join me:

http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=2453-219082

The noose-hanging incident and the DA’s visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were later arrested for the theft of the gun.

That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students “nigger.” After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital, but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.

Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal’s parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.

Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years. Theo Shaw’s trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.

The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. But if we act now, we can make a difference.

Join me in demanding that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial.

http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=2453-219082

Thanks.


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