Saturday, November 08, 2008

From Portside

An Open Letter to Ralph Nader About His Dis to Obama

By Davey D Davey
D's Hip Hop Corner
November 7, 2008

Oh, Mr. Nader, in your bittersweet resentment of Barack
Obama you have allowed your envy to dictate your action
and called our first Black President-elect an "Uncle
Tom", and allowed the enemy to call the kettle black.

I can understand that as a revolutionary you may simply
see just another Democrat taking the throne of an
American presidency. You may think that he is an
establishment leader and thus the change he brings is
nothing more than temporary reform.

You have chosen to focus on the tree instead of the
forest so that you can continue to promote your own
political agenda.

When southern Blacks forced integration, they did not
build black-only diners and then open them up to the
whites. They walked into already established whites-
only resturants and took a place at the table. The
only way to revolutionize the establishment was to
become a part of it and then redefine it with new
institutions both tangible and abstract. And even when
they played by the consitutional rules, they were still
killed, beaten and broken down.

You Mr. Nader may believe that your revolutionary
stance and inclusive policy proposals allow you the
right to critique this new Black president and his so-
called "change" platform in the manner that you did.
But you certainly never called any other president an
"Uncle Tom." And quite frankly you sounded like the
white boy who got invited to the house party and
thought he was cool enough now to use the "N" word.

And like the white boy at the house party, you were
sorely mistaken.

Your points were relevant when you questioned Obama's
economic policies and voting record. However, when you
decided to use a racial epithet to describe the type of
man Obama might be should he not hold the corporate
elite accountable, your ideas got lost in translation
and you became a "racist. "

You gave fodder to FOXNews, a white supremacist news
network, to use against our movement and highlight a
division that may or may not truly exist. Honestly, you
are from an older generation that sees race in terms
quite differently then my own generation. My
generation, my people, Hip Hop culture, gave rise to
this Black president because we understand that you
must free your mind first and the rest will follow.

Mr. Nader, come join our revolution. Let your fear go.
Your time has passed you need to embrace the future.

Krsta Keating of Revolutionize yo' Block

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I know Patti Labelle cried November 5th!

From Dr. Cornel West

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama: Opening a New Era and Ending the Age of Reagan,Obama Must Now Act

This historic significance of the majestic victory of Barack Obama is threefold.

First, Obama's brilliance, charisma, and organizational genius have ushered in a new era in American history and a new epoch in American politics. For the first time in the history of American civilization, a black man will occupy the White House and lead the nation. The shattering of this glass ceiling has a symbolic gravity difficult to measure—here and around the world. On one Election Day and one January morning, the self-image of America undergoes a grand transformation. In the eyes and hearts of young people of all colors, the sky is now the limit. And for millions of adult citizens and fellow human beings across the globe, some sense of sanity, dignity, and integrity have returned to the Oval Office. We now have an American president-elect of vision, courage, and maturity who also is black. Race matters in the story we tell about this special moment in history.

Second, Obama's glorious victory brings to a close the age of Reagan, the era of conservatism, and the epoch of the southern strategy. The economics of greed, the culture of indifference to the poor, and the politics of fear have run their course. The war in Iraq, Katrina, and the Wall Street collapse were the three nails in the coffin of the age of Reagan. For nearly 30 years, the elevating of deregulated markets, the glorifying of the lives of the rich and famous, and the trivializing of poor peoples' suffering have shaped the climate of opinion. And like the American Hamlet Blanche DuBois, in the white literary bluesman Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, the world of make-believe in which we lived was shattered by reality, history, and mortality. Truth and justice crushed to earth do, at some point, rise again. The positive role of government in the lives of citizens now has a new claim on our visions for the future. Democracy matters in the public sentiments we shape to forge new policies in the age of Obama.

Third, Obama's grand ascension to the White House will challenge him to translate symbol into substance. He is now an American hero whose name will forever be sketched in the pantheon of American achievement—a global memory. Yet at the moment, Obama is a concrete symbol whose substantial use of power as president is highly anticipated. What kind of team will he assemble? Which advisers on domestic and foreign policies will he choose? Which issues will have a priority? Will he become a great statesman like Abraham Lincoln, a masterful politician like Bill Clinton, or a pragmatic experimentalist like FDR? The crucial answers to these questions depend not only on President Barack Obama's decisions but also on who we are and what we do. As he rightly noted in his monumental campaign, change comes from the bottom up, not the top down. Our hopes are on a tightrope, and America hangs in the balance—and we either hang together, or we hang separately.

Cornel West teaches at Princeton University

From Barbra

A New Day

November 5th…what a day… a new day….finally Dr. King’s words ring true that one day we will live in a nation where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” After 2 stolen elections, this time, in this election over 57 million Americans made their voices heard. I am so proud of our country today…miraculously overnight we have regained the respect of the world. From England to Africa, people are celebrating Barack Obama’s victory…proof that he is the first truly global President. Last night, Americans took this wonderful country back from the party and the leaders that have led us astray over the past eight years. So I thank each and every one of you for standing in line for hours to vote. Americans have regained their optimism and renewed their sense of hope ...and now we all look to a brighter tomorrow. Unlike most of the public, the pundits and the politicians, President-elect Barack Obama rejected the idea of an America comprised of blue states versus red states…and last night he proved to each and every one of us that we truly are the United States of America.


Subtle anti-war messages on daytime television soap operas.

Poem For Us

Yesterday was for Katrina
Yesterday was for the victims of George Bush's torture
Yesterday was for the students and warriors who were beaten in Selma and died because they loved us
Yesterday was for Fannie Lou Hamer.
Yesterday was for the Triangle Shirtwaist factory workers who jumped to their deaths at the behest of capitalism.
Yesterday was for my forefathers who constantly heard "no" "nevermind" and "stay back."
Yesterday was for the cotton plowed and the shanty shacks and the Hoovervilles and tenements.
Yesterday was for the children who ate lead and fell down through iron shafts to their deaths while ten thousand people crowded for shelter in one building in utter poverty.
Yesterday was for those who couldn't read and struggled and died to make sure their children could.
Yesterday was for the promise and vision that runs through our blood and that has now blossomed into a beautiful flower.
Sunlight and peace and joy and enthusiasm for life forever may rain down on us living striving constantly moving and working for a better tomorrow.

Question I Pondered in a Forum

I think this is great analysis. Alas, I don't think it should be passed up lightly that two of the three states named, North Carolina and Virginia, historically have been known for their large and sometimes distinguished mulatto populations--from the antebellum period onward. There is something to think about the coalitions that put President Obama in the White House. This does raise new old theoretical premises on race was that the Afro-American population ( Blacks descended from American slaves--but then also Blacks from other heritages as well are gathered in that equation) are the bastard children of the white male power structure--and have been perpetually been seated at the end of the table. Does Obama's win mean that the White Male Power structure has crumbled? Has the bastard child--as in King Lear-overthrown so called legitimate power and established a new order? These are questions I think are grave and should seriously be pondered.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Great Quote

Our country has been stripped ethically by psychopaths, and stripped materially by robber barons. And it's still going on. We have to help Obama. We've empowered him, and he has empowered us...yet, it could all vanish in a flash if we don't maintain our power. That takes action.
Oppose Proposition 8 and preserve Affirmative Action.

Read the Wonderful Reaction of George Wallace's Daughter

I was supposed to be here to witness this.

Thank You Oprah

You are truly a powerful woman!
We are the one's we've been waiting for.
Well done America, you have restored my faith in you.

An Open Letter From Alice Walker

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker

99 and a Half- Mavis Staples

A little wheel a turnin'
A little fire burnin'
A little wheel a turnin' in my heart
you can't make me doubt him
because I know too much about him
and I can't live without him in my heart
This is the most exciting time since emancipation!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We have come out of the darkness and into the light.
Dear God, hold me. Hold me lord. Thank God for this moment. It is a time for all of us to pause and thank the Universe for being good.

Monday, November 03, 2008

This is Interesting

Dick Cheney's hometown newspaper endorses Barack Obama. Everybody get out the vote for Obama!

Dear God

Many sympathies to Barack Obama on the passing of his grandmother.

From Barbra

John McCain has declared from swing state to swing state, "I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican…” Does McCain realize that President Roosevelt advocated for progressive taxation…just like Senator Obama. McCain has labeled Obama a socialist for his position on taxes. However, in his own words Roosevelt stated: “We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

Roosevelt also created the Progressive Party, was known as a “trust buster” and firmly believed in the separation of church and state.

And John McCain must not have realized that Teddy Roosevelt was a serious environmentalist who believed in conservation. He created five National Parks, four Big Game Refuges, fifty-one National bird Reservations and the National Forest Service. Roosevelt advocated for the sustainable use of the nation's natural resources, the protection and management of wild game, and the preservation of wild spaces. McCain, who has received a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters, has yet to provide any details about how he will preserve our dwindling natural resources or how he will tackle global warming…aside from his running mate’s chant of “drill baby, drill.”

The problem with John McCain comparing himself to Teddy Roosevelt is that McCain’s policies and political views bear no resemblance to that of the former President…and the Republican party of today doesn’t look or sound much like the Republican party of Roosevelt’s era. But then again, McCain in 2008 bears no resemblance to McCain in 2000. In the last few months the “Straight Talk Express” has devolved into a series of desperate hail marys that have included name-calling, mudslinging and downright lies about Barack Obama. And no amount of channeling Teddy Roosevelt will clean up the mess that McCain has created for himself.

GOP Obama Ads

I just saw an ad from the GOP against Barack Obama which they really really need to be called on.

Great Stuff From O Columnist Lisa Kogan

I just thought this was wonderful and wanted to share.

Lisa Kogan Tells All: How You (Yes, You!) Should Live Your Life
By Lisa Kogan

In 1977, my friend Brenda and I went for dinner at a little Chinese restaurant called Empress Garden. She had the lemon chicken, I had the shrimp har kow, and we each had an egg roll because in 1977 you could eat sugar and fat and deep-fried everything without its signifying that the apocalypse is at hand. Our waiter placed the entrèes in front of us and ceremoniously lifted the shiny silver domes. Brenda's chicken was crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, lemony all over, and I knew in an instant that I'd made a hideous error in judgment—I should've gone with the chicken.

I tell you this story to illustrate my willingness to admit when I've made a mistake. In fact, I've rarely ordered a breakfast, lunch, or dinner I didn't regret; at this very moment I'm wishing I had an iced tea instead of a Diet Coke. But aside from the food thing and one very adorable guy in the early '80s who was all you'd want in a man except for the fact that he was also looking for all you'd want in a man, I am never, ever wrong.

Now I'm not saying I always take my own advice or trust my own instincts. I'm merely suggesting that the world would be a much better place if everyone else were to do exactly what I tell them to do. Arrogant? You bet. Narcissistic? I suppose. But c'mon, admit it, you've had the very same thought kicking around for years. Still, I'm the one with the column—so now without further ado…

Everything I know about the world and how you (yes, you!) should live your life:

1. If you can't get a babysitter, for the love of God, stay home! I don't want to be sitting next to little Charlotte and Duncan as they fight over a Raisinet at the midnight screening of Atonement. You wanted kids, so suck it up, walk it off, subscribe to Netflix.
2. If your outgoing phone message is longer than, let's say, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian of the Year segment of the Oscars, it's time to rerecord.
3. Calling to let your friend know you're running late does not excuse your constantly running late.
4. I'd like to say a few words to every crabby traveler who responds with disgust whenever a baby cries on an airplane. Perhaps you don't know how babies work, but there's been a study, and it turns out that giving a 4-month-old the stink eye doesn't actually accomplish anything. Either have a little compassion or a little Ambien.
5. Here's something for any gentleman who may be reading this: If you look good in a Speedo, you will look even better in virtually any other kind of swimsuit.
6. I am a cynic. I am a pessimist. I came of age with the Watergate hearings playing on the tiny TV in our avocado green kitchen. But every four years I wrestle my apathy into submission, read up on the issues, and cast my ballot. You must vote. I don't care who you vote for (that's not really true—I think you should be penciling in my name), but you've gotta get in the game.
7. One word: Floss.
8. Any man who begins a conversation with, "I don't want to hurt your feelings…" is about to hurt your feelings. It's the kind of phrase that's never followed by, "…but I just don't think you're eating enough. Please have more lasagna while I get you a brownie." Other opening gambits that pretty much scream duck-and-cover include: "Don't take this the wrong way…," "You can feel free to say no…," and the always popular "Look…"
9. Enough with celeb gossip. The problems of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears should not be competing for the headline space in our brains. We have to be smarter than that, and if we're not, we have to pretend that we are.
10. Get so excellent at something (long division, friendship, Parcheesi, removing cranberry juice stains, decoupage—it doesn't matter what) that your genius will be impossible to ignore and your legendary expertise at removing cranberry juice stains while dividing six-digit numbers by 37 will either bring you glory beyond your wildest dreams or, at the very least, help you feel vaguely competent as you make your way through the world.
11. Allow me to demystify the entire real estate market for you: Gracious means ridiculously small. Quaint means a total wreck and ridiculously small. Spacious, airy, luxurious, and grand all mean ridiculously small.
12. I like a plastic bag and a bottle of water as much as the next self-involved me monkey, but it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to manufacture 100 million grocery bags, and if I were capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic I'd say—well, who are we kidding? I'm not capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic—just know that we're in great danger of making Al Gore really, really mad.
13. Words matter. It's time to stop prettifying the ugly stuff. Spousal abuse means wife beating. Global warming means the Earth is toast. Enhanced interrogation means torture. And here's a bit of trivia for you: The Bush administration did not coin the phrase enhanced interrogation. Nor did it come from Jack Bauer on 24. Nope, it was the Gestapo that originated that little bon mot back in 1937.
14. To quote Elmer Fudd, "Be bwave, widdoe wabbit." Take a chance, wear your heart on your sleeve, ask the most attractive man in the room to dance, say what you want, demand what you're entitled to. There's a pretty decent chance that you won't get it, but who will you be if you never even try? Note: Only attempt the dance invitation if there's actual music playing.
15. Sometimes I worry that we've all become workaholics—because getting through life can be really hard work. But (with apologies to the fine people who pay my salary every week here at the fabulous Hearst Corporation) we need to log off, go home, and remember what it is to have dinner, conversation, and sex…not necessarily in that order.

Deregulation in the Last Days of the Bush Administration

From Democracy Now

Bush Admin in Frantic Deregulation Rush Before January Exit

The Bush administration is making a final push for deregulation in its remaining months in office. The White House is seeking to do away with government safeguards protecting consumers and the environment. Some of the provisions the White House wants to ease or undo include standards on drinking water, emissions of global warming-causing pollutants, commercial fishing and mountaintop coal removal. The Washington Post says the move amounts to “the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era.”

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Girl Put Your Records On

Girl Put Your Records On

Three little birds, sat on my window.
And they told me I don't need to worry.
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet,
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete.

Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely,
Sipping tea in the bar by the roadside,
(just relax, just relax)
Don't you let those other boys fool you,
Got to love that afro hair do.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid, but it's alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change.
Don't you think it's strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

'Twas more than I could take, pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don't even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.