Obama’s Stolen Strength.

February 20, 2008

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What comes to mind when I think of Barrack Obama? A candidate of nothing. An interesting man, a talented orator, a devoted father/husband, and a political novice. A shell of a president. A man with a brilliant future, several years from now, when he has the experience to command anything more than an audience. His own supporters have been stumbling in interviews when simply asked to state one legislative accomplishment. Why then is he winning? Two words: incandescent speech. When the man talks, he glows. He beams of confidence, optimism, and truth. In reality those beams consist of arrogance, naivety, and rhetoric. I appreciate a good public speaker and do value words. I would never lobby his lofty speech against him like some people have. Now his lack of experience is another issue that I have no problem holding against him.

So what is my point? You already know I support Clinton, but respect Obama (that does not mean I have to respect people who vote for him). Words are really all he has and now the news is reporting some of his words are not his own. Yes, I speak of plagiarism, a borderline curse word in the academic setting. Apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable in the campaign for the White House. Because he continued his surge of victories after the story broke. A man running solely on his words shouldn’t be simply quoting others. Many of you will jump to his defense, that is was his speech writers who plagiarized, but therein lies the problem. If words are all he has and we don’t hold him responsible for his words then there is nothing left of his candidacy.

In defense of being “just words”

Obama responded nearly word for word and without attribution, a quote from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’ — just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words.”

On another occasion

Deval Patrick: “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”.

Obama: “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”

On Pharmaceutical Ads

Edwards’s 2004 stump speech: “I love the ads. Buy their medicine, take it, and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields.”

Obama: “You know those ads where people are running around the fields, you know, they’re smiling, you don’t know what the drug is for?”

During Announcement Speeches

Edwards (2003) : “I haven’t spent most of my life in politics, but I’ve spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington.”

Obama (2007): “I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Unionized Labor

Edwards: “We need a president not afraid to use the word ‘union,’

Obama: “We need a president . . . who is not afraid to mention unions,”

Working Class

Edwards: “Hard work should be valued in this country, so we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
Obama: “We shouldn’t just be respecting wealth in this country, we should be respecting work.”

 


Who Will Snoop Dogg Vote For?

February 2, 2008

Political activist / Media correspondent Snoop Dogg, oh wait, I mean Blunt Smoker/Rapper/#1 Pimp Snoop Dogg is torn up about who to vote for. Or at least thats the implication between CNN political ticker headline Snoop Dogg torn between Obama, Clinton. Now I have no problem with this article, I mean people are always curious what candidates celebrities support.  And with the rockstar like craze Obama has been using to help people look past his weak credentials and even weaker plans, it is refreshing to see a celebrity not just jump on the wagon.  Many celebrities with little to no political knowledge have jumped behind Obama helping to raise money and awareness.   Some how there is this implication if you don’t support Obama over Clinton you are some racist who hates change.

What I thought was funny is that the article is the top story on the CNN ticker, which is a blog I frequent several times a day.  If I were Snoop I would write a rap about the two candidates and switch between the verses who I was supporting.  Add in his characteristically smooth hooks and he now has new hit that every station will jump to play throughout the primary season.


Score One for Team Clinton

January 24, 2008

I read an editorial on the New York Times website endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination tonight. I am not going to rephrase or highlight it, because I believe you should read it for yourselves in its entirety (its not long). I feel it accurately captured my view on the election, and the differences between Clinton and Obama.

I like both of them politically and because of the great overlap in their platforms it can be hard to differentiate.   I would be happy with either in the White House, but one clearly has more experience and is at least vocalizing more specific, in depth plans for our country.  While they share similar goals for the country, I need a president with plans to achieve those goals.  Although Clinton’s plans have not always panned out, she has always been forward about her successes and failures and willing to keep moving to get things done.

Read the Editorial Here


Video of The Day

November 3, 2007

Gotta love his moves.  He will be the smoothest dancing vice president hopefully.  (even with moves like that I have to support Clinton.  She has the experience, talent, and plan to be our next president.)


Quote of the Day

November 3, 2007

“I don’t think they’re piling on because I’m a woman, I think they’re piling on because I’m winning.

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MOVIES, MOVIES, MOVIES!!

October 27, 2007

I worked last night at the theater. My favorite thing about working Fridays is that I get to watch all the trailers on the new movies. So I’m going to give you a heads up on some awesome looking movies coming out.

The Diving Bell and the Butteryfly

Why it looks good?

It looks touching, moving, endearing, depressing, and uplifting. But what struck me was the intense visual aspect. I think it will be one of those movies you remember specific freeze frames from, with amazing colors and emotional cinematography.

Be Kind, Rewind

Why it looks good?

**This trailer is being difficult, not sure why, but if it is not up, check it out on imdb.com**

First, let me say I hate Jack Black but want to see this, which means it must look hella good. I think Mos Def is an awesome versatile actor. It looks cute/funny and it just made me smile.

Reservation Road

Why it looks good?

I don’t really need to explain, it is an intense thriller.

Juno

Why it looks good?

Its an offbeat dark family comedy, the best kind. Good actors, great soundtrack, and fresh story line with solid one liner.

Wristcutters

Why it looks good?

I’m not sure it does. I have seen two different trailers, one I thought yes I def. want to see that and one where it looked so stupid I could barely stand watching the two minute trailer. I think it is going to be very hit or miss.

Sweeny todd

Why it looks good?

If I have to explain this to you, you probably shouldn’t be here.

There are some coming out shortly that good as well. Lion for Lambs, American Ganster, Martian Child, No Country for Old Men, Beowulf, and Love in the time of Cholera all look good. P2 looks like my worst fears realized.


The Black Vote

September 26, 2007

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The Black Vote” is always an interesting campaign conversation piece. It gets brought up but nothing is ever really said. I think that is because truth be told politicians don’t care. The Democrats know they are going to get the black vote, or at least most of it. Republicans know they are not going to get the black vote, or at least not much of it. But maybe if the Republicans had stronger responses to national news stories involving discrimination, or feigned interest in struggle black communities in times of disaster, a history of backing civil rights, a tradition of trying to equalize laws not just throw young black men in jail, more people of color in political positions, more outward support of minority programs, family assistance programs, and affordable healthcare programs. But I guess if they had those things then they would be Democrats. All Republican bashing aside, one thing they do have that they should be able to pull more votes with is religion. Strong Christian leanings bode well with black voters. Republicans have no shame of mixing religion and government and using it to their advantage, so why not use it to court more minority votes.  Not that I want African Americans to vote for Republicans or anything like that, I want Republicans to respect minorities enough to at least court them. Most of the major Republican candidates opted out of the debates sponsored by Univision, NAACP, and the Urban League. What would one night have cost out of their campaigns?

Roland S. Martin a contributing writer for CNN had the following to say:

The GOP as a whole is completely scared of black voters, and the actions by the front-runners for the party’s 2008 nomination show they are continuing the same silly political games the party has played for years. Oh, don’t bother tossing out the appointments of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state by Bush. Yes, they are African-American. But I’m speaking of the party. Ever since Richard Nixon ran for the White House, the GOP has run on a “Southern Strategy,” meant to alienate blacks in an effort to garner white voters. They’ve worked the strategy to perfection. (Read the Rest)

I just figured it was something to think about. Obviously most minorities are not going to support a party who clearly doesn’t support them, but what I think the Republicans are missing is that there are a lot of white voters who wouldn’t support a party that ignores entire segments of the population based on their race.


Pfizer’s new HIV drug

September 25, 2007

After the unfortunate failure of the Merck HIV vaccine, I figured I should share a promising development in the battle against HIV/AIDS.


LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drugmaker, said on Monday the European Commission had approved its AIDS drug Celsentri, the first in a new class of oral HIV medicines. The drug — which is known generically as maraviroc and as Selzentry in the United States — is the first designed to keep the HIV virus that causes AIDS from entering healthy immune cells. Older AIDS medicines attack the virus itself. It works by blocking the CCR5 co-receptor that serves as a main doorway for the HIV virus into immune cells. The green light from the European authorities had been expected after a panel of EU experts recommended the product in July. The medicine was also cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month. Celsentri is approved for use in patients who have tried other medicines and for whom a diagnostic test has confirmed their HIV strain is linked to the CCR5 receptor. New York-based Pfizer is counting on new medicines such as Celsentri to help drive profits as several blockbusters lose patent protection and its top-selling Lipitor cholesterol treatment faces strong competition. Industry analysts have projected annual Celsentri sales of about $500 million by 2011.


Clinton gets some gay lovin’

September 24, 2007

I thought my dream magazine cover had materialized when I first saw:

What could be more perfect? Clinton, who is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent females of her generation, is the cover of the Advocate. Two possibilities, one she is announcing she is a lesbian, which would be pretty much the coolest ever, since the new face of lesbianism would be a brilliant successful woman, rather than a shaved head lumber jack. Or she has decided to embrace gay marriage completely rather than civil unions. Either way I was down.

But then I read the article. While she has a track record of respecting the gay and lesbian community and she is still my choice for the primary, she just reiterated her typical stances on all the relevant issues. But the article points out the obvious question. Why do the gays love her? The article states: “Just why are we so in love with Hillary? Her husband signed the vile “don’t ask, don’t tell” law and the nefarious Defense of Marriage Act, she refuses to endorse same-sex marriage even though everyone suspects she privately supports it, and on other issues important to us she can sound a little soulless.”

For me, it is just she is the only candidate that I honestly believe sees no difference between gay and straight people. For political reasons she cannot endorse gay marriage, and if that would make her an unviable candidate I wouldn’t want her to. But she has courted the gay vote since long before it was the norm for democrats, she opposes her husband’s don’t ask don’t tell, and she is the most visibly comfortable with gay issues. Most of the candidates say the right thing but look queasy when asked about gay issues. I don’t Clinton is even the most liberal candidate; it is probably related to being the only female candidate. In general women seem to be more tolerant. Maybe she understands discrimination better than your average rich white man.

She might have a run for her money, many gays are jumping on the Obama bandwagon. I think this election will change history in any event.  But we’ll see.

Source Article


Jena 6

September 21, 2007

So as I am sure most of you have read about, the Jena 6 in Louisiana was the topic of the day. Although the events involved happened last year, the news has been picking up the story and more people are starting to hear about. It is an unfortunate event, actually more like a series of events. To familiarize yourself with the story, the most non-biased and straightforward article I have found is the NY Times article. People protested all across the country this week, and today many people wore black in solidarity. I go to school in North Philly and saw at least 15 people with “free the Jena 6” shirts on just on my lunch break.

Not knowing all the details I cannot formulate an exact opinion. But from what I have gathered so far, I agree it is a heinous example of racial discrimination. The initial tree incident should have been dealt with swiftly and severely and there should have been early attempts at relieving racial tension in Jena. Violence perpetuated by white students on black students should have been punished severely within the school and additional legal options made available for any victims. But that in no way excuses the attackers or implies that the people involved should be set free. Now if those people are cleared of wrongdoings or found not guilty then they should go completely free. But in reality, no one is denying that six people attacked one person. As such, those six people need to be punished. Violence, except in self defense, is never permissible. So because the system has been unfair to you in the past does not mean that system does not apply to you. What I find disturbing and to be racially discriminatory is the charges filled. A fight, even a brutal out numbered one, is a fight. An assault is not an attempted murder. There is no indication their intention was murder, and with six people if the intention was murder, the victim would be dead. The charges are clearly blown out of proportion, but I think the prosecutors are to blame and will over the course of time, reduce all charges (if not just drop most completely) and there may be resignations/firings coming down the pike at both the school and the DA.

What this incident really should serve as is a conversation piece. People need to start talking about racism and discrimination in our society and ways to prevent and deal with it. Racism is clearly still alive, but we need to focus on the modern reincarnations. Knowing about Martin Luther King Junior or sit ins or marches is not relevant to solving today’s problems. Modern racism is more subtle, more gray. We don’t live in a black and white world, of racists and non-racists. I think our societies racial problems stem from a lack of knowledge more so than an intrinsic feeling of superiority. I think really understanding the significance of socioeconomic factors, historical circumstances, and legal inequalities (for example the war on drugs, and 3 strikes laws) would help rid America of much of the racial tensions. I know it is sometimes hard for people to see how African Americans can still be so far behind in terms of monetary, political, and social equality when many immigrant populations have come to America and succeeded in far less time. But a strong education (in early childhood and continuing through life) about the cyclical nature of poverty, discrimination, and crime might change things. I don’t know, maybe I am just an optimist, but I see the majority of racial discrimination as a solvable problem. I think education is the only tool available to level the field. If quality education could be provided at all levels in all areas regardless of economics, then more of the underserved populations (which consist heavily of minorities) would get out of that life and go on to success. As more succeed, there are more examples, more hope, and more possibilities opened for other underserved people. It wouldn’t be overnight, but slowly things would begin to even out. The wealth, the knowledge, and the privileges of American life would be spread more evenly among the races, largely cutting racial tension and resentment.

But before anyone jumps down my throat for being a pansy liberal and allowing society to take the fall for individual’s choices, let me say I feel everyone is accountable for their own actions and their life’s outcome. I believe if someone works hard, gets an education, and always strives for what they want, they can get ahead in life. Letting race, or for that matter anything, hold you back or using it as an explanation for failure is copping out. I think the first step towards full equality is for the discriminated population to stop viewing themselves that way and to stop wallowing in real or perceived discrimination.

As my man, Bill Clinton said:

“I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I believe in religious liberty, I believe in freedom of speech, and I believe in working hard and playing by the rules.”