Thursday, December 29, 2005

Harold Ford Jr., Is Grasping At Straws


Harold Ford Jr. is acknowledging the possibility that he may have a caucasian grandmother. This is simply a political maneuver. He has nothing to loose, he has already committed himself to whatever happens. He can't run for the senate, and keep his seat in congress. Those that support him won't change their position anyway. The only thing he can do is gain a few votes. Someone may appreciate his honesty. The fact that he even brought it up. It's not like the question hasn't crossed peoples minds. In the campaign ahead he can use every vote he can get.

I don't think he will win , but I appreciate his effort. I think if he is not successful in his bid for a senate seat. He will come to Memphis, and run for mayor. That is if, he continues his career in politics. He has the education and background, to do other things. His father is making a very comfortable living as a consultant. If he is unsuccessful he may be drawn to the private sector.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chinese Restaurants Targeted

This past Tuesday night, three Chinese restaurants were targeted for robbery. It's safe to assume they were targeted, they were like in a row. "Sing Lay" one of the restaurants, is a repeat victim. I think it's location makes it a prime target. I was surprised at "Yum's" on Austin Peay, with it's high visibility. The robbers took a added risk. The other one "China Chef", I'm not familiar with. I am annoyed at anyone being robbed, regardless who is victimized. Many people take the attitude, the foreigners are only getting what they deserve. I heard someone make the argument,"that's the cost of doing business".No one is saying much now, it's not gaining much media attention. It's just a matter of time before someone gets shot and killed. The owners aren't going to keep taking it in stride. At some point they're going to strike back. What will we say then, or will we remain quiet? I think we'll get a chance to see soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas To All

Friday, December 23, 2005

This Charter Commission, Is Like A Rebellious Child *

How do you feel, when your children question your authority in your house? I know the first thing the supporters of the charter commission, are going to say. They are not children, and that's true. For the sake of comparison, let's just pretend you are. What strength does this commission have, without the citys backing? It doesn't have any teeth, like the citizens review board. Only allowing the clique, to be policed by the clique. It will be more symbolic than anything else. Like a child wanting to tell you what to do, when you have to pay the bills. Without the support of a parent or guardian, they would have nothing. They don't have the right to make any demands, only requests. Everyones opinion counts, but there has to be a final say. When you don't want to follow the rules of the house. It's time to get your own place. In the case of elected officials, vote them out of office.

The leader of this drive, doesn't even live in Memphis. John Lunt is a resident of Germantown. You can bet he won't be looking out, for the residents of Memphis interest. I would bet a months wages, that his concerns are of a business nature. This is just another attempt of those outside the city limits, forcing their way in city affairs. They have gathered a group of malcontents for whatever reason. To join forces with them in trying to circumvent the administration. In my opinion Consolidation of city and county, will eventually happen. The people with vision see what's happening. This is a last ditch effort, to retain some semblance of power. In a setting that's quickly becoming a thing of the past.

I find it intresting how the city government, is dealing with this reocurring problem. They aren't continuing to fight in court, that would cost the taxpayers too much money. They are stacking the deck with candidates. City councilmen and state represenatives to name a few. For those that helped get this thing off the ground, the focus has already changed. This came up before the recall of the mayor. Could the sudden attention to this, be a way of undermining that?

Can A White Republican, Win In A Predominately Black Democratic District?

It depends on the atmosphere, and the candidate. Where I reside, the atmosphere is ripe for the picking. A certain segment of the community feel so disenchanted with the political process. They're game for anything, they think might make a change. They want to do something, even if it's wrong. The combination of poor voter turn out, dilution of the voters, and campaign and poll issues. Make for an easy target to say the least. I don't think the Black populus, is prepared to accept the conservative message. To get them to vote for it, will require trickery.

I think this is the reign of the RINO (republican in name only). In order to be elected,you can't claim your conservative views. Once you get in office, you vote as you choose. The Republicans won't point this out, they're not the one loosing. It's the people falling for this tactic. I think Harold Ford Jr., is a victim of this on the opposite end of the spectrum. To those that don't like him, now he's labeled a bluedog democrat. I tend to agree with a lot of his decisions in Washington. Only to have him come back to the voters of the 9th district and twist it around.

The same confusion and dedication, that led to this mess in the first place. Is the same mindset that will allow for an outsider to slip in office. When I say outsider,it has nothing to do with party. I mean someone who doesn't have the constituents best interest in mind. That could be someone calling themselves a Democrat or Republican. They could be male or female, black or white. The major concern should be, are they right.

Monday, December 19, 2005

President's Address To The Nation

President's Remarks

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Three days ago, in large numbers, Iraqis went to the polls to choose their own leaders -- a landmark day in the history of liberty. In the coming weeks, the ballots will be counted, a new government formed, and a people who suffered in tyranny for so long will become full members of the free world.

This election will not mean the end of violence. But it is the beginning of something new: constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East. And this vote -- 6,000 miles away, in a vital region of the world -- means that America has an ally of growing strength in the fight against terror.

All who had a part in this achievement -- Iraqis, and Americans and our coalition partners -- can be proud. Yet our work is not done. There is more testing and sacrifice before us. I know many Americans have questions about the cost and direction of this war. So tonight I want to talk to you about how far we have come in Iraq, and the path that lies ahead.

From this office, nearly three years ago, I announced the start of military operations in Iraq. Our coalition confronted a regime that defied United Nations Security Council resolutions, violated a cease-fire agreement, sponsored terrorism, and possessed, we believed, weapons of mass destruction. After the swift fall of Baghdad, we found mass graves filled by a dictator; we found some capacity to restart programs to produce weapons of mass destruction, but we did not find those weapons.

It is true that Saddam Hussein had a history of pursuing and using weapons of mass destruction. It is true that he systematically concealed those programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your President, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. Yet it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

He was given an ultimatum -- and he made his choice for war. And the result of that war was to rid a -- the world of a murderous dictator who menaced his people, invaded his neighbors, and declared America to be his enemy. Saddam Hussein, captured and jailed, is still the same raging tyrant -- only now without a throne. His power to harm a single man, woman, or child is gone forever. And the world is better for it.

Since the removal of Saddam, this war, like other wars in our history, has been difficult. The mission of American troops in urban raids and desert patrols, fighting Saddam loyalists and foreign terrorists, has brought danger and suffering and loss. This loss has caused sorrow for our whole nation -- and it has led some to ask if we are creating more problems than we're solving.

That is an important question, and the answer depends on your view of the war on terror. If you think the terrorists would become peaceful if only America would stop provoking them, then it might make sense to leave them alone.

This is not the threat I see. I see a global terrorist movement that exploits Islam in the service of radical political aims -- a vision in which books are burned, and women are oppressed, and all dissent is crushed. Terrorist operatives conduct their campaign of murder with a set of declared and specific goals -- to de-moralize free nations, to drive us out of the Middle East, to spread an empire of fear across that region, and to wage a perpetual war against America and our friends. These terrorists view the world as a giant battlefield -- and they seek to attack us wherever they can. This has attracted al Qaeda to Iraq, where they are attempting to frighten and intimidate America into a policy of retreat.

The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life. And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia, and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens, they would be on the offense, and headed our way.

September the 11th, 2001 required us to take every emerging threat to our country seriously, and it shattered the illusion that terrorists attack us only after we provoke them. On that day, we were not in Iraq, we were not in Afghanistan, but the terrorists attacked us anyway -- and killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children in our own country. My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad, removing their safe havens, and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.

The work in Iraq has been especially difficult -- more difficult than we expected. Reconstruction efforts and the training of Iraqi security forces started more slowly than we hoped. We continue to see violence and suffering, caused by an enemy that is determined and brutal, unconstrained by conscience or the rules of war.

Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost, and not worth another dime or another day. I don't believe that. Our military commanders do not believe that. Our troops in the field, who bear the burden and make the sacrifice, do not believe that America has lost. And not even the terrorists believe it. We know from their own communications that they feel a tightening noose, and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq.

The terrorists will continue to have the coward's power to plant roadside bombs and recruit suicide bombers. And you will continue to see the grim results on the evening news. This proves that the war is difficult -- it doesn't mean that we are losing. Behind the images of chaos that terrorists create for the cameras, we are making steady gains with a clear objective in view.

America, our coalition, and Iraqi leaders are working toward the same goal -- a democratic Iraq that can defend itself, that will never again be a safe haven for terrorists, and that will serve as a model of freedom for the Middle East.

We have put in place a strategy to achieve this goal -- a strategy I've been discussing in detail over the last few weeks. This plan has three critical elements.

First, our coalition will remain on the offense -- finding and clearing out the enemy, transferring control of more territory to Iraqi units, and building up the Iraqi security forces so they can increasingly lead the fight. At this time last year, there were only a handful of Iraqi army and police battalions ready for combat. Now, there are more than 125 Iraqi combat battalions fighting the enemy, more than 50 are taking the lead, and we have transferred more than a dozen military bases to Iraqi control.

Second, we're helping the Iraqi government establish the institutions of a unified and lasting democracy, in which all of Iraq's people are included and represented. Here also, the news is encouraging. Three days ago, more than 10 million Iraqis went to the polls -- including many Sunni Iraqis who had boycotted national elections last January. Iraqis of every background are recognizing that democracy is the future of the country they love -- and they want their voices heard. One Iraqi, after dipping his finger in the purple ink as he cast his ballot, stuck his finger in the air and said: "This is a thorn in the eyes of the terrorists." Another voter was asked, "Are you Sunni or Shia?" And he responded, "I am Iraqi."

Third, after a number of setbacks, our coalition is moving forward with a reconstruction plan to revive Iraq's economy and infrastructure -- and to give Iraqis confidence that a free life will be a better life. Today in Iraq, seven in 10 Iraqis say their lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve even more in the year ahead. Despite the violence, Iraqis are optimistic -- and that optimism is justified.

In all three aspects of our strategy -- security, democracy, and reconstruction -- we have learned from our experiences, and fixed what has not worked. We will continue to listen to honest criticism, and make every change that will help us complete the mission. Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.

Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them. My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.

It is also important for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. We would abandon our Iraqi friends and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word. We would undermine the morale of our troops by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed. We would cause the tyrants in the Middle East to laugh at our failed resolve, and tighten their repressive grip. We would hand Iraq over to enemies who have pledged to attack us and the global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever before. To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor, and I will not allow it.

We're approaching a new year, and there are certain things all Americans can expect to see. We will see more sacrifice -- from our military, their families, and the Iraqi people. We will see a concerted effort to improve Iraqi police forces and fight corruption. We will see the Iraqi military gaining strength and confidence, and the democratic process moving forward. As these achievements come, it should require fewer American troops to accomplish our mission. I will make decisions on troop levels based on the progress we see on the ground and the advice of our military leaders -- not based on artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington. Our forces in Iraq are on the road to victory -- and that is the road that will take them home.

In the months ahead, all Americans will have a part in the success of this war. Members of Congress will need to provide resources for our military. Our men and women in uniform, who have done so much already, will continue their brave and urgent work. And tonight, I ask all of you listening to carefully consider the stakes of this war, to realize how far we have come and the good we are doing, and to have patience in this difficult, noble, and necessary cause.

I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country -- victory or defeat. And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party, because the security of our people is in the balance. I don't expect you to support everything I do, but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom.

Americans can expect some things of me, as well. My most solemn responsibility is to protect our nation, and that requires me to make some tough decisions. I see the consequences of those decisions when I meet wounded servicemen and women who cannot leave their hospital beds, but summon the strength to look me in the eye and say they would do it all over again. I see the consequences when I talk to parents who miss a child so much -- but tell me he loved being a soldier, he believed in his mission, and, Mr. President, finish the job.

I know that some of my decisions have led to terrible loss -- and not one of those decisions has been taken lightly. I know this war is controversial -- yet being your President requires doing what I believe is right and accepting the consequences. And I have never been more certain that America's actions in Iraq are essential to the security of our citizens, and will lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.

Next week, Americans will gather to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. Many families will be praying for loved ones spending this season far from home -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other dangerous places. Our nation joins in those prayers. We pray for the safety and strength of our troops. We trust, with them, in a love that conquers all fear, in a light that reaches the darkest corners of the Earth. And we remember the words of the Christmas carol, written during the Civil War: "God is not dead, nor [does] He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on Earth, goodwill to men."

Thank you, and good night.

President Bush, Summed It Up


I listened to President Bush address the nation, on the war in Iraq. I think he gave in my opinion, one of his best speeches ever. Everything he said Sunday night, he has already said before. Those that disagree with him. Just refuse to listen. I think the president summed it up when he made this statement. "Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right".


When I watch this video, I ask myself the question. Is this creating undue fear, or simply telling the truth? It would be interesting to hear what was said in between the sound bites. To get the full and complete understanding. Even though the view was slanted. One message still came through loud and clear. It may sound repititous, but did he tell a lie?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reginald French, Is A Politician, But Not A Sheriff

I had the opportunity to hear an interview given by Reginald French. I noticed he didn't say anything about running for sheriff. He is presently the chairman of the Alcohol Commission. I would consider that a very political job in itself. You are bound to meet connected individuals, in a business setting like that. I don't really know what to call him, he's had so many jobs. His primary job is being the Mayors sidekick. Not a bad position for a young Black man in Memphis.He is a locally born and bred product. Which is a plus in itself. Considering the brightest star on the political horizon, never resided in the city of Memphis. It gives his political aspirations an aire of credibility. There may really be a desire to serve the people he grew up with. He noted his favorite job, was the "Mayors Action Center". A job that would allow you to intermingle with citizens, and handle their complaints. I think this young man has clearly prepared himself for a career in Memphis politics.

One thing I find refreshing about Mr. French though. He has come up through the local ranks. The job he holds now, plus several other administrative positions he has held. Even though they were all appointed positions. It serves as experience, just the same.I have followed Mr. French since his days of filing a suit for discrimination, against the Bartlett police department. I don't know if that was politically motivated or not.As usual, like anything racial in Memphis. It gained local news coverage. The next thing I know. Every time you saw Mayor Herenton, you saw Reginald French. His association with the mayor has allowed him to build quite an impressive resume.

The job of sheriff is a specialized position. I don't think that's a good place to start a political career. Even if he does read fifteen newspapers a day, that's not like having hands on experience.Personally I am pleased with the job, Sheriff Luttrell has done. I don't think we need to elect a sheriff because we like him. We need someone who can do the job.

How Black Conservatives Hurt Their Cause

I just recently came across conservative commentator Star Parker’s January 18 article “The Credibility of Black Conservatism,” in, a conservative Web journal. Parker’s piece was apparently prompted by the storm then surrounding Armstrong Williams, the discredited black radio and television commentator. Williams, we recall, got in trouble when it was revealed that he received payment from the U.S. Department of Education to plug George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program.

In the interest of disclosure, I am a self-described progressive/leftist. But even though it might seem I do not share much in common with conservatives, I do not subscribe to the proposition that one side of the ideological divide has a monopoly on truth. So, I do often give the conservative side the benefit of the doubt. At least I think many do operate with good motives.

However, as an African, and resident of the (black) south side of Chicago, I have often wondered why the black conservative view has such poor resonance in African American communities. One of the most popular explanations, offered by black conservatives themselves, is that the “liberal media” caters to traditional black leadership at the expense of alternative voices. While there may be a grain of truth to this view, I would like to suggest that the answer is a bit more complex. In fact the “credibility” gap of black conservatives that Ms. Parker laments in her article has many roots.

First, I think tone and language matters. When I heard Star Parker suggest on Fox Television News that New Orleans’ black residents suffered from a “welfare mentality” I cringed, was angry and overwhelmed with deep emotion. I thought to myself, even if for a moment this were true, it is not the way anyone, black or white should be sounding in a time of such despair for that community. Although it was not readily apparent to me what Parker meant, I know that the term “welfare mentality,” used in certain contexts, is a provocative term. And for those among Katrina’s victims who work hard and do not receive welfare, I thought it would be particularly offensive.

But it seemed particularly mean-spirited for Parker to say this at such a crisis moment for black Louisianans. This tone, and the reflexive, single-minded identification of black people with “welfare” is not conducive to a healthy dialogue between conservatives and the black community. Surely, Parker cannot think this kind of attitude will move large numbers of black people to her side. Moreover, such harsh words about black people are at once hypocritical and one-sided: How often is “welfare mentality” ascribed to white people on the receiving end of government largess after a disaster? How many times have government emergency services been used to rescue white adventurers stranded on mountain tops or snow slopes while engaging in voluntary activity such as hiking or skiing? But we never hear black conservatives suggest that there is a “welfare mentality” at work there. I think most people would agree that people caught in a natural disaster have a better claim to government services. But, maybe to black conservatives the stranded white adventurer is more deserving, somehow.

Blacks aren’t voting liberal-Democratic because they are simply misled by Jesse Jackson and the civil rights leadership, or because they have a “herd mentality” as conservatives often contend. It would be condescending to deny the fact that black people, like any other population group, know and comprehend their self-interest. The black community is voting against what it hears, or does not hear, from black conservatives. Here are some examples:

Minimum Wage and Living Wage: Black conservative opposition to raising the minimum wage and rejection of living wage proposals across the country puts them squarely at odds with the vast majority of black people who are stuck in low-wage jobs. Blacks do not buy the defense that these regulations “stifle” business profitability and undermine job creation. It is hard to convince these black workers when, for example,
Wal-Mart made $10 billion last year in profits and Alice Walton, heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, just purchased a painting for $35 million at a NYC auction! Americans overwhelmingly agree that people who work should not have to be impoverished, that able employers such as Wal-Mart should pay a living wage;
Speaking out against racism: Black conservatives seem unable to instinctively convey revulsion over racism or its vivid manifestations. When a James Byrd is dragged behind a pickup truck, crosses are burned in front of black homes, or a Trent Lott or William Bennett utters racially offensive rants, black conservatives need to be as resolute as Jesse Jackson in criticizing it. The only comments I heard from black conservative leaders after the James Byrd murder was a call to reject the “politicization” of the issue by “liberals” and to reject calls for hate crime legislation. While hate crime legislation is certainly debatable, it shouldn’t be the first and only time black conservatives are involved in the conversation. They too, as black people, should share in the revulsion and be front and center in protesting gruesome racial violence. That’s where credibility and authenticity comes from. And, here’s a secret: Jackson keeps his credibility among many blacks precisely because he speaks out. Black conservatives’ failure to respond forcefully to such outrages only feeds the suspicion that they have essentially declared racism a thing of the past, that it no longer has urgency. This is a source of the credibility gap that Parker bemoans;

African Americans respect intellectual and political independence: Right or wrong, black conservatives are often seen as defenders of, and apologists for white racism. John McWhorter, an African American scholar at the Manhattan Institute has defended, as have many other black conservatives, William Bennett’s recent offensive remarks, dismissing them as just “hypothetical.” For many in the black community, conservative commentators who cannot call these offensive remarks what they are lack independence, are morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest. When something so blatantly offensive is uttered by people of such influence as Bennett, black conservatives need to stop the knee-jerk defense and simply call it for what it is. I live in the black community and I know there is universal revulsion over these remarks. Jesse Jackson is not coaching black people to feel offended. Black people know racially offensive stuff when they hear it. Quite frankly, there is no way that black conservatives can make inroads into black communities while giving aid and comfort to such contemptible views;
Affirmative action matters to black people. The knee-jerk references to “merit” and “qualification” made by conservatives every time affirmative action is debated lack credibility, especially now when the Bush administration is stacking government bureaucracies such as FEMA with incompetent friends. In light of such obvious cronyism, opposition to affirmative action is seen merely as a conservative strategy for maintaining white privilege. And please, conservatives should drop the charge that affirmative action “stigmatizes” black people. Racism is what stigmatizes black people. We should not blame the solution. Furthermore, no one should think for one moment that Michael Brown ever felt “stigmatized” by taking a job at FEMA for which he was unqualified;
The environment and workplace safety matters: Environmental racism is a reality. As long as black conservatives are seen as defenders of an unfettered free enterprise system that disregards the environment and public safety, no one in the black community will take them seriously. After all, black communities are disproportionately affected by diseases such as asthma, cancer and heart disease, maladies that have a strong environmental dimension. Black conservatives need to stop apologizing for negligent corporate conduct and support positive action to reduce pollution.
Katrina has deepened black opposition to the Iraq War: Regardless of its merits, the failure of the government to respond to Katrina’s victims has deepened black opposition to the Iraq War and exacerbated an already palpable backlash. The most common refrain here in Chicago runs like this: “black kids are dying trying to bring 'democracy' to the Iraqis and our government can’t even rescue our people from a flood in New Orleans.” Black conservative commentators who uncritically cheerlead for this war are seen as out of touch with the needs of Black America and sharing the “lopsided priorities” of this government;
Health Care for All: By large majorities, blacks want to join the rest of the industrialized countries in having a right to health care. Black conservatism that does not accept this sentiment and seeks to maintain the status quo will flounder;

Historical racism: Any analysis of the present black condition that denies its link to historical racism, seeks to locate the “black problem” wholly within the individual and denies the presence of structural barriers to social and economic mobility will not be taken seriously. Black conservative attacks on government belie the positive and legitimate force that government has been in advancing black interests. Such attacks provoke a well deserved rebuke from black beneficiaries. Black people share an understanding that the federal government, no matter how flawed or inadequate, has been a positive force in their lives, an equalizer that forced open the doors to higher education, gave access to affordable housing, invented Social Security, Medicare and yes, welfare, and has sought justice, albeit belatedly and often inadequately, in defense of black civil rights. The recent conviction of KKK member Edgar Ray Killen in the murders of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner is a notable example. Obviously, it is legitimate to criticize governmental failure. However, black conservatives too often sound as if government is the enemy of black people, and come perilously close to embracing the radical libertarian premise that people should be left to the vagaries of the marketplace, and everything will be just fine. Black people do not subscribe to this view. The fact is there is no level playing field for everyone and, especially in the current economic climate, it is ever more necessary for the government to assert its role as a counterweight to corporate excesses (have we forgotten the Savings and Loan, Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco Xerox scandals?);
Foreign policy for the people: Black conservatives’ uncritical support for trade deals such as NAFTA and CAFTA that have played a role in the de-industrialization of American cities will win them no allies in black communities. And black people view with suspicion conservative attacks on leaders such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela that do not acknowledge the source of his popularity: the largest share of the county’s oil revenue goes to fight poverty. Black conservative attacks on Chavez fuel suspicion that they only care about protecting American oil interests. And black people remember that during the anti-apartheid struggle, many black conservatives aligned themselves with the white establishment here, which sought to protect white minority interests in South Africa at the expense of blacks. And it is worth noting that in 1986, President Reagan vetoed a strong sanctions regime against South Africa and Dick Cheney, then a member of congress, dismissed Nelson Mandela as “terrorist.” The black conservative movement has never tried to disassociate itself from this kind of racial bias in foreign policy. It is truly hard to imagine black Americans flocking to the conservative movement anytime soon, given its attachment to the historically racially insensitive foreign policy establishment.
Racial discrimination is a reality: The wave of successful class-action suits in recent years (against the FBI, Denny’s, Wal-Mart, and so on), funding inequities in education, disparities in the criminal justice system (17 black inmates have been released from death row in Illinois, vindicated by DNA evidence), discrimination in employment (ironically, with the exception of Fox News Sunday, Sunday morning TV news programming in the “liberal media” is now off-limits to black commentators and opinion makers), all conspire to undermine black progress. Black conservatism that does not acknowledge this contemporary reality will not attract black followers;

Attacks on black leaders: No matter what they think of Jackson, Sharpton, Representatives Maxine Waters, John Lewis and others, black conservatives’ vitriolic attacks on the black civil rights leadership will never work. Whatever the merits, when Star Parker, Armstrong Williams, Larry Elder and other conservatives attack black leaders in a personal way (as opposed to reasoned, honest and constructive engagement), they are seen by many black people simply as attack dogs for the white Republican establishment. I have listened with disbelief to language used by black conservative commentators and wondered whether they want a real debate, or just to humiliate the opposition and score points. I’ve heard Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton described as “race prostitutes,” “poverty pimps” and much worse. This kind of language does nothing to advance the debate and only helps galvanize black support for the leaders. Like other communities, black people will rally around their leaders when they are unfairly attacked. As one who has seen how these attacks work I can say: (a) they simply help elevate these leaders in the eyes of black people – call it the “Arafat effect”; (b) even if they may have misgivings about their leaders, black people do not believe these to be appropriate or accurate characterizations. I don’t think many black people doubt Jackson’s bona fides as a champion for civil rights. Race pimp? Poverty pimp? No matter how meritorious, that won’t work. To the contrary, one has to admit there is something quite extraordinary about an Al Sharpton, a child preacher who grew up to become a self-made political actor in the U.S., a leader, and formidable debater and polemicist. People may disagree with him, but the narrative of his personal accomplishment actually validates the possibility of America, the “American Dream,” if you will. Isn’t this what conservatives should be applauding? How many black youngsters will grow up to become a presidential candidate and eminent leader? (c) The personal nature of the attacks simply re-enforce the suspicion among black people that black conservatives are carrying out someone else’s agenda.
Furthermore, respect still matters in black communities, a holdover from Africa, perhaps. But we grow up to respect our elders, even when we disagree with them. Put more plainly, personal attacks against the civil rights leadership will not endear black conservatives to black audiences. They will be rejected.
I have offered these views in the hope that black conservatives who are truly interested in changing the lives of black people for the better take another look at why their ideology has not taken root in the black community. It might comfort some to blame the “liberal media” for ignoring them. But let me suggest that black people have heard the black conservative message. They just don’t like what is being said and how it is being said. There are white conservatives who have a long history of antipathy toward black people and they too hate government. But they hate government because they think government does too much for black people. If black conservatives don’t distance themselves from such convoluted sentiments, they will be shouting in the wilderness for a long time.

Mr. Thindwa can be contacted at

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Told You So

I don't want to say I told you so, but I did. Represenative Ulyssess Jones is on the take as well. He was more careful than most of them. He didn't just grab the cash. He was sneakier with the switch. Read this story about Tim Willis and Represenative Jones, see what you think.

Words To Live By

Either you is or you ain't

Either you can or you can't

Either you will or you won't

Either you do or you don't

That's the whole crust of the thing

Rufus Thomas

Thursday, December 15, 2005

NAACP Needs A Makeover

In my opinion this is yet another instance, that the NAACP has lost it's savour. It has become nothing more than a Black ACLU. Only difference is, they collect dues. The President of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP had nothing better to do than this. In the predominately Black city of brotherly love "Philadelphia". I think they need a makeover, or at least change their name.

NAACP Leader Rips McNabb; QB Answers BackPhiladelphia Branch Head Says Quarterback 'Played the Race Card'By ROB MAADDI, APPHILADELPHIA (Dec. 14) -

Donovan McNabb is still taking shots - the latest from an NAACP leader who criticized the quarterback's leadership skills and said he "played the race card" in explaining why he no longer runs the ball.J. Whyatt Mondesire, who publishes a newspaper for blacks and is the president of the Philadelphia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, recently wrote that the Eagles' star quarterback failed as a team leader and choked in the Super Bowl.McNabb responded sharply, but Mondesire hasn't changed his stance."He doesn't get it," Mondesire said Wednesday. "If he got it, I wouldn't have written the article."Mondesire, publisher of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, criticized McNabb in a column in his newspaper on Dec. 4.He wrote that McNabb's tendency to run the ball early in his career "not only confused defenses, it also thrilled Eagles fans," but that abandoning that element "by claiming that 'everybody expects black quarterbacks to scramble' not only amounts to a breach of faith but also belittles the real struggles of black athletes who've had to overcome real racial stereotypcasting in addition to downright segregation."Mondesire said the bottom line is that McNabb is "not that good.""In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best," Mondesire wrote. "And trying to disguise that fact behind some concocted reasoning that African American quarterbacks who can scramble and who can run the ball are somehow lesser field generals ... is more insulting off the field than on."McNabb was stunned by Mondesire's comments."''When someone of the same race talks about you because you're selling out because you're not running the ball, it goes back to, 'What are we really talking about here?'''-- Donovan McNabb","''In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best.''-- J. Whyatt Mondesire","''I always thought the NAACP supported African Americans and didn't talk bad about them. Now you learn a little bit more.''-- Donovan McNabb","''Obviously, if it's someone else who is not African American, it's racism.''-- Donovan McNabb","''He doesn't get it. If he got it, I wouldn't have written the article.''''When someone of the same race talks about you because you're selling out because you're not running the ball, it goes back to, 'What are we really talking about here?'''"Obviously, if it's someone else who is not African American, it's racism," McNabb told reporters attending his annual holiday party last Saturday. "But when someone of the same race talks about you because you're selling out because you're not running the ball, it goes back to, 'What are we really talking about here?'"If you talk about my play, that's one thing. When you talk about my race, now we've got problems. If you're trying to make a name off my name, again, I hope your closet is clean because something is going to come out about you ... I always thought the NAACP supported African Americans and didn't talk bad about them. Now you learn a little bit more."McNabb's season ended last month when he decided to have surgery for a sports hernia. It's been a miserable year for the five-time Pro Bowl selection, starting with his feud with now-banished wideout Terrell Owens.Mondesire wrote that McNabb shared the blame for Owens' departure."Finally, your failure as a team leader off the field to my mind did as much as anything to exacerbate the debacle that has become synonymous with T.O.'s full name."Mondesire said the article expressed his opinion of McNabb, not the view of the NAACP. When Rush Limbaugh said on ESPN two years ago that McNabb is overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed, the NAACP criticized the conservative commentator and called on him to quit. Limbaugh resigned from ESPN three days later.Mondesire said McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, called him after the story appeared. He returned the call twice, but hasn't spoken to McNabb.McNabb had a strong start this season, throwing for 1,333 yards and 11 touchdowns while leading the Eagles to a 3-1 record. But he was bothered by injuries and struggled over the next several games before going on injured reserve.McNabb clearly wasn't the same quarterback who led the Eagles to the NFC championship game the last four years. He threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter in each of his last three games, and had nine picks this season.Overall, McNabb passed for 2,507 yards, 16 TDs and had a passer rating of 85.0 this season. McNabb was reluctant to leave the pocket this year. He had just 55 yards rushing on 25 carries, including several kneel-downs.McNabb's problems with Owens dominated the headlines most of the year. Their issues began when Owens dissed McNabb after the Eagles lost to New England in the Super Bowl last February. The two didn't speak for a prolonged period, but performed well on the field together.Owens was suspended last month for a series of infractions and critical public comments about McNabb and the organization, dating to his offseason demands for a new contract. An arbitrator later upheld the Eagles' decision to deactivate him for the remainder of the season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why Blacks Don't Get The Conservative Case (But Should)

I am an Independent conservative, and I found this writers( James Thindwa) liberal comments very interesting. He spoke as a resident of south Chicago. I know the racial climate couldn't be any worse there, than it is here in Memphis TN. Politics in this area, are definitely racially polarized. I thought it would be interesting, to address this writers arguments one by one. The writer who labels himself, as a progressive leftist Democrat. Has done the same in regards, to a Republican commentators comments. I'll consider this as my response, to his response to her. He started like this:

I just recently came across conservative commentator Star Parker’s January 18 article “The Credibility of Black Conservatism,” in, a conservative Web journal. Parker’s piece was apparently prompted by the storm then surrounding Armstrong Williams, the discredited black radio and television commentator. Williams, we recall, got in trouble when it was revealed that he received payment from the U.S. Department of Education to plug George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program.

This is my rebuttal to his comments, I'll start like this:

I say liberals are so sensitive. When it comes to what conservatives say. They don't exercise the same courtesy when confronted with a difference of opinion. When you observe a conversation between the two sides. Who is usually calling names, and making disparaging remarks? "Star Parker" the Republican in question. Referred to the New Orleans victims having a welfare mentality. She could have possibly used a better choice of words. Can you imagine the things she's been called as a Black conservative? The unfortunate thing is, she was telling the truth. New Orleans had a population of about 480,000 people, with less than 250,000 people working. I said that to say this. Many of the people of New Orleans were on welfare. They were only exhibiting the mentality they were familiar with. Would you prefer they dressed it up for the camera? If the shoe doesn't fit, you don't have to wear it. We can't hide that out of control cousin, in the backroom. And act like he isn't there, when company comes. When disaster strikes, we have to save him too.

I don't think the conservative agenda is to round up dependants. Unlike that of the Democratic party of the past. I'm sure that strategy is going to change. It's not working anymore. Neither of the parties hold the solution to our problems. We have to get it right among ourselves. In my humble opinion that can only be accomplished through God.The goal here is to teach people to be self sufficient as possible. Maintain and keep, more of what you have. Let's not pretend Katrina only struck New Orleans. It hit the state of Mississippi as well. What about the cities on the Gulf coast? They were destroyed too. Looking at the media coverage, you would think only New Orleans got hit. If your motive is truly correction. How do you approach someone, with something other than the truth. That's one of the main problems here, we've been dressing up a lie. It's easy to drag up some isolated occurence, to compare the inequities of our government. I bet it's easier to name something you know that happens everyday. That cost the taxpayers a fortune. You just don't talk about it, because you don't want to tell. The truth of the matter is, it's tough but it's fair.

Blacks are voting liberal-Democrat because of tradition. We are sold on the fact that we are victims, so we assume we should stick together. Only problem is, we come together for the wrong things. Jessee Jackson and people like him are not credible to me and others. Many Blacks just dismiss the thought of even listening with an open mind to the other side. The raising of the minimum wage and a living wage, to most working Blacks aren't major issues. Even if it were raised, who want's to hoover around that rate? I dare say to you,we aren't prepared to pay $5 for a hamburger. What we should be concerned with, is tax reform and keeping more of their money. Raising the minimum wage would discourage starting business. Which is something we need to do. We always focus on how much, we can get from someone else. Instead of focusing on obtaining our own. If Wal-Mart closed tommorow who do you think it would hurt the most? Probably the workers themselves. Not to mention those who shop there religiously. The Waltons are five of the richest people in the world. It's unrealistic to concern yourself with the money they spend personally in regards to Black economics. All the money Oprah gives away she can't even make a dent.

On the issue of racism, why is it so important that Black conservatives speak out. There is really no reason to do so. The liberal Black community is doing an adequate job of that themselves. Anything that remotely resembles racism, we're on it, like a duck on a junebug. We've got it covered. To imply anyone supports the mistreatment of their people is deceptive, if not dishonest. Because as a group they aren't holding news confrences. Doesn't mean they are absent in protesting violence. What exactly can we do outside of vigilante justice. To change hate crime legislation, could have an undesired effect for some. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton wouldn't have a job. Everything they usually say could be considered racist propoganda. We don't have exclusitivity on facing prejudice. We just focus on it more than anybody else. While we were fighting over our seat on the bus. Jews were being stripped naked and shot. Why would you associate racism with conservatism? Instead of with biggots and racist, where it belongs. Has it ever occured to you that's the way it's planned? Kind of like the old saying. "If you don't want Blacks to know something, put it in a book".

To say Blacks respect intellectual and political independence is simply not true. That's largely the problem, we don't respect the ideas of others. The William Bennett statement ruffled a lot of feathers. The statement he made, in the context it was used. It could have applied to any race. He really was responding to someone elses question to him. The liberal media took the statement and ran as usual. It's not a major issue anyway, it's not like it's going to happen. It's just one mans opinion. In light of all the social issues, we can't seem to solve. It would stand to reason someone would offer controversial solutions, or some we find offensive. I'm not saying I agree with his statement,but I understood it. Most people wouldn't concern themselves with what William Bennett said, if certain people didn't make it their business to remind them.

As a black man , I can see the ill affects of affirmative action on our race. What it has done is emasculated the Black man. The best way to handle a race of people, is strip the power from the man. Affirmative action was needed, and unfortunately it may still be. The thing is we didn't put it to good use, when it was timely. It ended up being the tool to put the Black man, in competiton with the Black woman. Killing two sometimes three birds, with one stone. Hiring a minority, a woman, and sometimes getting a booty in the process. We won't get another forty years to get it right. Our time has come and gone. We are no longer faced with the same issues we were during the crest of the civil rights movement. If it really worked, or created it's intended purpose. Someone should be charging Blacks, of the offences we accuse others of now. In hindsight we have used it against ourselves. How many people have been given jobs because of the hook-up? Another name for the procedure is networking. It's the same thing, just a different level. We have and will continue to compromise our position with our refusal to do it right. We are now guilty ourselves, of what our complaints have been about others;

I'm glad liberals are even talking about enviromental concerns. It allows yet another oppurtunity to reveal the facts. We recently dealt with this issue in our community. Our Black Democratic elected officials played politics with the issue. They took the popular way out. Twenty years from now, liberal politicians will be blaming their decision on enviromental racism. Instead of telling the voters the truth. They said what they needed to say, to try and get elected. And appeal to the generator of the revenue. They delayed the final decision for three years. The voters will have forgotten all about it by then. The will and health of their constituents, took a backseat to economics and politics. I think that's always the case. It's not personal, it's profit driven (business). Decisions are based on the bottom line. Remember the bestselling book and #1 movie "Erin Brockavich"? That's just one of the more popular cases;

Blacks oppose the war under any circumstances. They don't want to fight. No one was complaining when they were being paid to be weekend warriors. Using hurricane Katrina as a reason not to support this administration is a cop-out. Everything bad that happens. We want to blame the conservative agenda. President Bush may be a powerful man,but he doesn't control the elements.Since when do you join the Army, if you aren't prepared to fight? Everyone in the military volunteered;

Everyone that has community healthcare is going broke. Though it sounds good it doesn't work. No one bothers to tell you, it might take a year for an x-ray. Or months to get a simple shot. A C.T. scan is out of the question. Things we take for granted become a luxury ;

Historical racism will never disappear. Why should we focus on something that we cannot change? We can only use it as a reminder, of where we've been. And help us not to return there again. We cannot honestly say things haven't changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Even if there is yet a long way to go. We only want to look at the side of the issue that affects us. Not racism as a whole. I can't name an organized group of Blacks, that have sought out particularly whites.Other than maybe the N.O.I.,until recently. They've watered their speech down quite a bit.It was largely just speech anyway. The minority, usually don't go after the majority. Except in instances of being ordained by God, it usually doesn't work. On the other hand I can name several groups blacks have organized to assist in their own peoples destruction. The Crips and Bloods for instance. That would be an article in itself. I don't discount the injustices of the past. Why are we not more recognizant, of the fact that it's not happening now?

When it comes to trade agreements, and the American economy. I take a simplistic view,labeled supply and demand. The same people making this argument are most likely to buy something made in "Korea". Wal-Mart stores are open 24 hrs. a day. We want to earn more money, but we want to spend less. Why buy one bic lighter and spend $1.59, when you can buy three no names for a $1.00. You save money but coupled with others doing the same, you cancel an American job. If Hugo Chavez is doing so much in Venezuela, why don't the cheerleading Americans go over there? The truth of the matter is. It's better to have less in America, than more elsewhere. It's hard to imagine the majority of Blacks flocking to anything until it's too late.

The whole liberal argument revolves around what someone else has. And how much of it, you can get. Lawsuits aren't the answer to Black economic woes. That works on an individual basis, much like the lottery. For every winner there's a million loosers. Liberals want the goverment to force those that have, to share with those that don't. To a degree more than they already have. The 2% of the population creates the economy for the rest of us. What if this 2%, just decided to take their money and leave. That would put the rest of us in a heck of a fix. The Democrats criticized a plan to give those people a tax break. Those are the people who create the jobs for everybody else. It's like the situation with Saudi Arabia. They possess like a 1/3 of the money in American banks. We can't just break ties with them, because of an out of control nephew (Osama Bin Laden).

As long as people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakahn are what's considered our leaders. We don't pose a serious threat anyway. Control their opinion, they influence the masses separately. These three leaders have never united for anything, that I can remember. They have never been on a stage together, for a single combined cause. I'm not saying they don't have legitimate gripes sometimes. It's just overshadowed by all the bogus claims they make. It bothers me that their opinion carries so much weight. I have no problem with their opinions being heard. I just wish the Black conservative opinion, would be given the same attention. More than likely between all three of these people, you still don't hear my position.I see these people on the television all day long, for the Black conservative I have to search. Larry Elder comes on early in the morning,at least he used to. Star Parker doesn't come on at all. Anybody that listens to political arguments, knows who uses the inappropiate language. These people called attack dogs are just responding to past experience. After a while you get tired of being called an "Uncle Tom or sell-out". Most Black conservatives have developed thick skin. As far as the character of those we consider leaders goes. If you take the positive aspects of their character, and dismiss the negative. You aren't weighing this issue objectively.

Respect still matters among Blacks depending on who we are talking about. To the contrary we are breeding an atmosphere of disrespect for authority in the name of culture. We want to go to their arenas and enforce our cultures, traditions and wishes on others. We have to lead by example. And strive for perfection through practice. The discipline of old regardless of where it came from. Isn't being exercised with consistency, in the Black community today.

In addressing the various concerns above all one thing has stood out. Black people much to our chagrin, aren't necessary to win anymore. We want to come to the table and negotiate, when we have nothing to offer. Our support isn't indicative of the final result. We are no longer the majority minority, as we've been in the past. A distinction we have enjoyed for quite some time. Instead of focusing on what the conservatives should offer us. Maybe we should reverse our thinking. They're the ones in power. They don't have to have our support. In case you haven't noticed, the conservatives won. We need to appeal to them. Why is pointing this out to Blacks, by a Black considered betrayal? We are robbing those conservative Blacks, of their significance in the political arena. Based on our prejudices among each other. Considering we represented who we supported by 88%, we did our part. It just wasn't enough. Instead of the message changing to fit the people. Maybe the people should change to fit the message. Which approach is working? Certainly not the one we've been using.

I Think The Violations Were Planted

I think the reason the Republican Terry Roland, is so sure there are irregularities in the dist. 29 state senate race. Is because he planted them there. Everytime Greg Duckett, and the election commision dodge one ball. Terry Roland comes up with another one. I'm all for the truth coming out. But I don't believe he's telling the whole truth. Terry Roland, the accuser that is. I think the Ford family may be arrogant, but they're not stupid. Being in the funeral business themselves. They wouldn't bury their skeletons there. Someone trying to catch them would.How do they know who the dead person voted for? He might have voted Republican. The problem is the Democrats are dirty too. I listened to a Greg Ducketts interview, he said he was pleased with the questions they were asking. What are they asking different now? He could have saved the taxpayers time and money. By addressing them from the start. Instead they certified the election results. They're asking the same things they always have. Since they won't go away, the election commission has to respond. For the sake of their own credibility. It will be interesting to watch this story unfold.

Does Truth Have A Color ?

In yesterdays Commercial Appeal they revealed something that many people already knew. People are voting and even running for office, in districts in which they don't reside. Not to mention the allegations of those that have moved on to the hereafter. That's quite a campaign strategy reaching them. But let's not make this the litmus test for honesty though. Because you live in the vicinity of your prey, doesn't make them any less of a victim. History has taught us repeatedly. We don't have to watch our enemies, as close as we do our so-called friends.

The thing that bothered me most is the fact that, this isn't anything new. The person in question in yesterdays article, is known not to live in the district he runs for. He seems to think he knows what's best for them. Because he has been blessed, to move away from the area. That is primarily the reason he garners no more support than he does. The people of North Memphis resent this attitude. He must really think they're stuck on stupid, as he always says. Many of those who urge him in his positions already are aware of this. They didn't see a problem with it, until a White Republican said something. I have no more of a problem with it now, than I did before. I never liked it regardless who was the perpetuator. The issue to some, seems to have taken on new life. The only thing that has changed, is the bearer of the news is a different color. Is it okay to bend the rules, as long as no one outside the circle can see. Could that be the reason for the Tennessee Waltz. They thought no one was loooking. Obviously someone was looking and taping both. Does truth have a color? I don't think it does.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shep Close Shop


I just read a very interesting article in the Memphis Flyer, about former Juvenile court clerk Shep Wilbun. After reading a long evasive explanation given by Shep Wilbun himself. It helped me to finally come to a conclusion myself. Mr. Wilbun was guilty in my opinion. Since he has gotten away (charges dismissed), he would serve himself better in my opinion. By just not saying anything about it. With the issue in question. He clearly took matters into his own hands. Which was unethical at best, if not illegal. I think it was probably both. The fact that the charges were dropped, doesn't mean he was innocent. The whole concept of plea bargaining. Which is how 80% of cases, in this city are handled. Has made a travesty of the American justice system.

The problem here is, he may be partially telling the truth. There may very well have been forces working against him from the start. One thing I find strange. After the damage was done, they just left it alone. The problem is, from what I see. He gave them all the ammunition they needed, to hold him over the fire. Whether he was guilty or not ,they created suspicion. With his help I might add. I don't accept this poplar defense, " everyone else is doing it". In this city that isn't necessarily a deal breaker though. He might still get elected to public office. I have never seen so many non-believers, ready to exercise Christian forgiveness. When it comes to criminals of the same race. A blow to the head hurts, regardless who does it. Wrong follows wrong, what goes around comes around.

If I were close to you, I'd say stop while you're ahead. But I'm one of convictions and principles. I say if you can't do it right, don't do it at all. That's not the mark of a good politician unfortunately. If you take a look around at the Memphis political scene. A prospective candidate might just say "what the heck". No one else is running, "I might as well". We have convicted criminals running. Not to mention drug abusers, and alcoholics. I know the pickings look easy. If I were Shep Wilbun. I wouldn't heed that call. Take my advice,"Shep close shop".

Rest In Peace Richard

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sunday Liquor Sales, Bad Move

Once again the children of the city of Memphis are being exploited. They're being used to justify Sunday liquor sales. Most responsible drinkers, if there is such a thing. Just buy their liquor on Saturdays anyway. Next we're going to have the liquor stores open on holidays. It mostly provides an opputunity for those people to go back more often. That probably didn't need to go in the first place. People with drinking problems, and those who can't afford the habit. What happened with the lottery money? I can't help but think the lottery is counterproductive. When I see people walking to the corner store, to buy a lottery ticket. Or begging outside for your change. To have enough to take a chance. It's like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It won't stop the bleeding. Let's just make the parents, gambling alcoholics. That'll save the schools.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Think They Call It "Running Away"

The young lady that was supposedly abducted, and held hostage for two days refuses to cooperate with police. Ashley Dawn Ivy of Hernando, is unable to be contacted by authorities. Every minute you don't follow up on leads. Makes it harder and harder to solve the case. Especially an abduction and a rape. If there really was a case to begin with. She said on a news interview that she escaped out of a bedroom window. That she was afraid to say anything, because the abductors knew where she lived? As if she knew who her abductors were. There hasn't been much news coverage on the outcome of this case. Could this have something to do with the young ladies race?

The Horn Lake police didn't seem to put much stock in what she said. Neither did the district attorney. Their main concern seems to be the ransom request. Her mother Bonnie Ivy seemed to believe her daughter though. I don't mean to cast dispersions, but the mother looks shady too. I can't help but wonder, is this the first time this has happened? In a way I feel sorry for the mother. I think is the result, of what was meant to be a scam for her. That got seriously out of hand.

The Best And Worst Job Markets

1. Las Vegas, NV
30. Raleigh, NC
59. Albuquerque, NM
2. Phoenix, AZ
31. Madison, WI
60. Providence, RI
3. Washington, DC
32. Sacramento, CA
61. Grand Rapids, MI
4. Sarasota, FL
33. Poughkeepsie, NY
62. Chicago, IL
5. Orlando, FL
34. San Antonio, TX
63. Springfield, MA
6. New York, NY
35. Boston, MA
64. San Jose, CA
7. Boise, ID
36. Baltimore, MD
65. Buffalo, NY
8. Seattle, WA
37. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
66. Atlanta, GA
9. Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
38. Portland, OR
67. Scranton, PA
10. Miami, FL
39. Colorado Springs, CO
68. New Orleans, LA
11. Honolulu, HI
40. Omaha, NE
69. Greenville, SC
12. Los Angeles, CA
41. Indianapolis, IN
70. Hartford, CT
13. Charlotte, NC
42. Little Rock, AR
71. El Paso, TX
14. Salt Lake City, UT
43. Tulsa, OK
72. Louisville, KY
15. Tucson, AZ
44. Syracuse, NY
73. Pittsburgh, PA
16. Jacksonville, FL
45. Harrisburg, PA
74. Columbia, SC
17. Austin, TX
46. Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA
75. Bridgeport, CT
18. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
47. Milwaukee, WI
76. Columbus, OH
19. Des Moines, IA
48. St. Louis, MO
77. Cincinnati, OH
20. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
49. Allentown, PA
78. Rochester, NY
21. Philadelphia, PA
50. Birmingham, AL
79. Akron, OH
22. Richmond, VA
51. Kansas City, MO
80. Memphis, TN
23. Oklahoma City, OK
52. Durham, NC
81. Toledo, OH
24. Albany, NY
53. Nashville, TN
82. Baton Rouge, LA
25. Houston, TX
54. Oxnard, CA
83. New Haven, CT
26. Charleston, SC
55. Greensboro, NC
84. Cleveland, OH
27. San Diego, CA
56. Fresno, CA
85. Dayton, OH
28. Denver, CO
57. Wichita, KS
86. Jackson, MS
29. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
58. Knoxville, TN
87. Detroit, MI

Red = Best
Blue = Worst
Black = Black Mayor

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Successful Recall

The charter is set up different, from state to state. The right to and provisions for a recall, varies from state to state. It's clearly set up to reflect the will, of the majority of the people. These people were able to get a most of the voters in Spokane. To write in and to take part, in a special election. They voted him out by 65% of the ballots cast. The recall is set up for extreme situations. I suppose the people of Spokane considered this situation extreme. It reminds me of something I heard, about another politician. The only thing to keep him out of office would be. To be caught in bed, with a dead woman or live boy. I guess they caught him with the latter.

APMayor James West is Spokane's first elected chief to be recalled.

SPOKANE, Wash. (Dec. 7) - Mayor James E. West must leave office this month after voters recalled him in a special election sparked by allegations he used a city computer to woo gay men over the Internet.
West, 54, must leave his position when the election results are certified Dec. 16. He has not been charged with a crime, but FBI agents seized computers from his home as part of an investigation.
"I said I'd abide by the will of the voters, obviously, and they've spoken," West told The Associated Press Tuesday. "I'm at peace with their decision and disappointed." The recall election was launched by a local resident, Shannon Sullivan, who said she felt vindicated by the results.
West, a former Boy Scout executive and sheriff's deputy, was elected mayor in 2003 after serving more than two decades as a conservative Republican in the state Legislature, where he voted against gay-friendly bills.
A little more than half of the 110,000 ballots mailed to voters were counted in the first batch of results released Tuesday night. Of those, 38,718, or 65 percent, voted to recall West, while 20,681, or 35 percent, voted to retain him.
The recall campaign began after the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported in May that West was a closeted homosexual who visited gay chat rooms using his city-owned laptop computer, and offered internships and other favors to young men he hoped to have sex with.
Sullivan, a single mother with a high-school education and no legal background, shepherded her petitions for a recall vote through superior and state high court challenges brought by the mayor's lawyers.
"It's been a long, hard seven months," she said Tuesday. "Elected officials need to be held to higher standards." Shannon has said she started the campaign after finding herself at a loss to explain newspaper reports of West's behavior to her 9-year-old son.
West has denied any wrongdoing. In a newspaper ad, he acknowledged making "personal mistakes" but insisted he had "never done anything to harm our city."

Why Are We Paying So Much ?

I heard an interview with the president of Memphis City Schools "Wanda Halbert" today. She handled the interview skillfully as usual. She still didn't answer any questions though. As usual anything that they say is too little, too late. I know every member only has one vote. But I like to see my elected officials go down fighting. If you don't agree with what's going on. Everyone within shouting distance should know it. There just seems to be too much of a spirit of compromise in the air.She did reveal one thing. The vast majority of parents didn't support taking corporal punishment out of schools. In a independant survey conducted, they voted against it by 70%. It was Carol Johnsons agenda, and she pushed it forward. We have added several million dollars to the school budget. To oversee a program that has proved to be ineffective. As I have stated before, I like Ms. Halbert personally. Her style of politics needs to be a memory. I do understand, why she does what she does. It's the only way to get elected. The voters of Memphis like a good speech. They would rather hear a well dressed lie, instead of the naked truth.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Meet Asheville, N.C.'s Youngest Mayor Ever

Making Her Mark

Terry Bellamy will be one of three black mayors running a city with more than 50,000 people and less than a 20 percent African-American population.On Dec. 6, Terry Bellamy will be sworn in as the first African-American and the youngest mayor of her hometown of Asheville, N.C. The city of close to 70,000 people, known as the economic and cultural hub of Western Carolina, elected the 33-year-old who was in the midst of her second term as city councilwoman. While African Americans only make up about 17 percent of the population of the city, almost 57 percent of the residents voted for Bellamy."After (high school) graduation a lot of people left because they couldn't afford to live here. Opportunities were limited and they couldn't afford housing," said Bellamy, who graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. "Instead of leaving, I decided to do something about it."According to the National Council of Black Mayors there are over 500 black mayors but Bellamy is one of three running a city with more than 50,000 people and less than a 20 percent African-American population.Married and the mother of two children, she initially became active in her community because she "wanted to make sure the school board members cared about the education of all children."She works fulltime as marketing and development manager for Mountain Housing Opportunities, a nonprofit community development corporation that builds and improves homes for people with limited resources. Since 1999 she has been a member of the Asheville City Council. She served as vice mayor from 2001-2003 after being elected by her fellow council members. This was her second run at the mayor's job."The difference is this time I have a better track record for success -- people know me-- and I did a better job campaigning," offered Bellamy.In addition to affordable housing, her campaign mandate was to create more jobs that pay a living wage, keep students from dropping out of school, and reduce drug usage and improve public safety.Some community activists, who have watched Bellamy working throughout the city at neighborhoods events and meetings weren’t surprised at her victory."Terry contacted me right after I got here," said Rev. Keith A. Ogden, pastor of Hill Street Baptist church, one of the most active black churches in Asheville. "She is very involved. She has her hand on the pulse as far as empowering people to move to a higher level. She does a lot of door-to-door work. She's very enthusiastic and knowledgeable."John R. Hayes, Asheville NAACP branch president, has been an informal mentor to Bellamy since she was in middle school and attended an enrichment program for youths, which he founded. He hired her to be his administrative when she returned home after graduating from college. "Some say she is too young, but I don’t look at it like that" said Hayes. "I've seen her mature. This is the work I believe God has for her to do. Whenever you can humble yourself -- don’t flaunt your degrees -- continue to meet people where they are and not tell them what to do but work with them on what they want to do, then your work is anointed."Hayes said now he sometimes calls her for her advice on issues. "I am her elder but I don't mind. I can call her and get a perspective when I need to brainstorm with someone. Terry came back to her community. She didn’t run off. She came back to serve."Bellamy suggests her community activism may come from having a mother who has helped homeless kids and who has volunteered in prisons for over 20 years. As for her political victory, Bellamy said, "It shows that dreams really do come true. You can come home again.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Stanley Tookie Williams


If there was an argument on Mr. Williams behalf, that I would be willing to consider. This would be it. I wish I could've stated it as well. Where the difference comes in our positions is. I don't necessarily disagree with the death penalty. In certain clear cut cases. I do agree that usually by the time sentence is carried out. We are not executing the people we convicted. I felt this was a very well written argument, against the death penalty being carried out. I'm not a lawyer myself, I'm in the middle :

No Special Break for Tookie
Celebrities and 'Redemption' Aren't the Point. States Shouldn't Kill.
By Eugene RobinsonFriday, December 2, 2005; Page A23
Big-time Hollywood stars, including Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Danny Glover, are leading a high-profile campaign to persuade another big-time Hollywood star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to save the life of a convicted murderer on California's death row named Stanley Tookie Williams. Sorry, but I can't join the glitterati in showing the love.
Williams's case is about the power of redemption, his supporters say, but I think it's more about the power of celebrity. The state shouldn't execute Williams, but only because the state shouldn't execute anybody -- the death penalty is a barbaric anachronism that should have been eliminated long ago, as far as I'm concerned. But it can't be right to save Williams just because he's a famous desperado (or former desperado) with famous friends, and then blithely go back to snuffing out the lives of other criminals who lack his talent for public relations.

Tookie Williams, scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 13, is famous because he was a co-founder of the Crips -- the Los Angeles street gang whose epic war with a rival gang, the Bloods, is one of the founding legends of the "gangsta" strain of hip-hop culture.
Snoop Dogg was briefly a Crip before discovering it was much more lucrative, and much less dangerous, to recite clever couplets about nihilistic violence than to actually participate in turf battles, shootouts and beat-downs.
"Now tell me, what's my [expletive] name?" Snoop boasted on one of his early songs. "Serial Killa!" the chorus shouted in response. But it was all make-believe for Snoop -- these days, you can see him in a television commercial playing golf with Lee Iacocca. The vast majority of his fans understood all along his music was just artifice, and I'm not ready to hold the artist responsible for the relative few who took all his pretend violence and misogyny seriously.
But Williams is a different story: The bullets in his gat were real. He was convicted of the 1979 murders of four people in two separate robberies -- convenience store worker Albert Owens, 26; and motel owners Yen-I Yang, 76; Tsai-Shai Yang, 63; and their daughter Yee-Chen Lin, 43. Williams has been on death row since 1981; that he has consistently maintained his innocence of all four killings hardly makes him unique. There's no dramatic new DNA evidence or anything like that to cast doubt on his guilt.
What does make him special, according to his supporters, is that he has been so lavishly repentant about the culture of violence he helped create.
Since about 10 years ago, Williams has been apologizing for his role in founding the Crips -- in recorded messages meant to be heard by youth groups, and in a series of children's books. A longtime supporter maintains a Web site where Williams, using the overly flowery language of a jailhouse autodidact, urges young people to stay away from gangs. True believers have even suggested him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2004 actor Foxx starred as Tookie Williams in a made-for-TV movie, "Redemption," that sought to portray his behind-bars transformation from gangster to Gandhi. In interviews, Foxx has said he is convinced that Williams's metamorphosis is genuine.
But Williams's time is running out. This week the California Supreme Court rejected a final appeal to reopen his case, and intervention by the federal courts is considered unlikely. Williams's supporters are asking Schwarzenegger to use his power as governor to intervene and commute Williams's death sentence to life without parole. The governor has agreed to consider Williams's case.
Of course, there are hundreds of other men on death row who repent of their crimes and would appreciate a little executive clemency, but they don't have movie stars pleading their cases. Oh, and also lacking a publicity machine are the four people Williams was convicted of killing.
For me, this case just reinforces my belief that there is no way the death penalty can be fairly applied. Among the ranks of the condemned are few genuinely innocent men -- although one is too many. But death row is brimming with genuinely repentant men, not because some divine revelation has hit them but simply because they have grown older.
Tookie Williams is 51; his body has softened, his rage dissipated. The state of California will not be killing the same man it sentenced to death 24 years ago. But don't buy the argument that he's a special case, because he's not.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Home Invasions

I don't mean to sound cold or callous here, but I don't think these acts of violence are random. Why would a criminal take a chance, on someone he doesn't know anything about, blowing their brains out over a possible stash? These aren't crimes of opportunity. They seem to be planned.What if you broke in someone's home and they greeted you with a gun? Many homeowners are ready, willing,and able to protect themselves. Most of my friends are ready, in and out of the house. To the best of their ability anyway. The average homeowner doesn't keep large amounts of cash in their home either. I know I don't, do you? If you invaded my home and committed that crime. You would have to go to a bank or somewhere with cameras, and commit another. I can't see even a criminal taking chances like that. There is usually at least a couple of perpetrators involved. Is $200 worth invading some one's home? I think this is something preplanned. At least a case of "the chickens coming home to roost", to use a famous MalcomnX quote. These crooks have been to the houses before. That or they are familiar with the contents. This to me is proof there is no honor among thieves. Someone banging on the door, could be a robber or the police.

It started back with the incident involving the New Orleans rapper Turk. Who has since been found guilty. He was in an apartment, that was raided by the DEA. He shot at the police because he thought he was being robbed. It turned out to be a criminal investigation. When it comes to the police, ignorance isn't an excuse. If you shoot at them, they're going to throw the book at you. For heavens sake don't kill one. You're going to get the death penalty. If someone is trying to enter your house uninvited. You wouldn't tell them to come around back. Most people would call 911 or start shooting. Unless they didn't want the police there.I would like to know the rate at which these type crimes are solved. After the initial story, we never hear about them anymore. I don't think a tremendous amount of police resources, are dedicated to these crimes. I would imagine after closer inspection. Many of these unfortunate victims, are of questionable character.

I feel sorry for the latest witness, she is only 10 yrs. old. The poor child is too upset, or indoctrinated to secrecy to identify or give a description of the crime. Even though she was an eyewitness to it happening. The other eyewitness jumped out the window and ran. They haven't found him yet. Since when did we have to find witnesses? Could it be that what we are calling home invasions, are simply calculated robberies?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Wanda Halbert, Not A Good Choice

As I stated earlier, personally I like Wanda Halbert. I think her heart is in the right place but that doesn't get the job done. I don't think she is a leader though. She is much more effective in a supportive capacity in my opinion. Where she doesn't have the final say. I have watched her handling of various issues on the school board as board president. She is skilled at evading questions, that's for sure. But in Memphis we don't need anymore of that. Something about her demeanor, just doesn't command respect. With the attitudes and work ethic already at Juvenile court. We don't need someone like Ms. Halbert at the head. The former director had a lapse in that department himself. He was to busy politicking and trying to uncover the powers before him, he slacked on the job he was elected for. Shep Wilbun was exonerated, but that doesn't mean he was innocent. That's water under the bridge though, the charges were dropped. I just wanted to point out the troubles that have already plagued the administration.

I think Juvenile court needs to do major work on its image. From the inside out including customer service. First by working on becoming more expeditious. The process is entirely to slow. Juvenile court shouldn't be a negative experience, for everyone that has dealings with them, like it is now. I don't think Wanda Halbert has the personality needed to turn things around. I understand her wanting to move beyond the school board, but this is not the ticket. It's a full-time job, with part-time pay. Anyone serving on that board, is doing the community a favor. If they are on the up and up and not taking bribes. They don't get paid for all they do. We only pay them $5000 per yr., but depend on them to make million dollar decisions.

I have noticed several people express their desire to serve the people. Yet they only seek positions of an administrative nature, where they have little if any effect on day to day policy. If you really want to serve the people, the best place is the city council. The problem with that is, it doesn't pay a whole lot. I guess from her perspective, there couldn't be a better time to run than now. Looking at the mindset of the voters, why not? Based on some of the results of elections lately. Strike while the iron is hot. There seems to be an atmosphere conducive to putting inexperienced, unethical people in office. It would seem your record would be more closely scrutinized than ever. Especially if you have been part of a team often labeled and shown to be incompetent. No one seems to want to start there, but I think she should run for the city council.

Ray Nagin Is Doing His Best


Ray Nagin was in Memphis yesterday to address the residents from New Orleans. His message recieved mixed reviews. I don't really think there is anything he can say. You tell one lie, you have to tell another. I empathize with him trying to appease his constituency. That's how he got elected after all. He was a confirmed Republican, up until two weeks before he ran for office. Not that I have an issue with that. I just don't like it, that he isn't honest about it. Let the people of New Orleans know the real deal. That those who they think have or had their back, really didn't or don't. I'll just say it's not the Presidents fault. The forever faithfull Democrats, let them down.