Cynical Synapse

Tue, 11 Oct 2011

The Incredibly Inconsistent, Opportunistic Rev. Al Sharpton

Filed under: Behavior, Candidates, Deceit, Hypocrits, Media, Opportunists, Politics, Racism, Society — cynicalsynapse @ 4:32 am

Rev. Al Sharpton and Russell Simmons in Zuccotti Park

Frankly, I’m amazed Rev. Al sharpton waited 24 days before showing up at Occupy Wall Street. Reminiscent of Underdog, Sharpton’s motto is, “When opportunism knocks, I am not slow. It’s hip, hip, hip, and away I go.” Keepin’ It Real, Sharpton’s radio show, broadcast Monday afternoon from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. During his show, Sharpton exclaimed common cause with the causeless protest:

We [Sharpton and his show] are here today because we agree 1% should not be controlling the [nation’s] wealth. These [demonstrators] are regular people trying to feed their families, trying to pay their rent and mortgages, trying to survive.

Can I get a fact check on aisle 1, please? While there’s no question the 1% hold a disproportionate share of wealth, 66.6% of US wealth was held by the remaining 99% of the population in 2004, according to the Federal Reserve. Where do you suppose Rev. Sharpton falls in the net worth band? While he’s surely not in the despicable 1%, Rev. Sharpton’s $5 million net worth puts him in the top 10%, I’m sure. The same Federal Reserve data said the top 10% of the population held 69.5% of 2004 wealth. I’m thinking Rev. Al is not one of us regular people.

Russell Simmons, co-founder of the Def Jam hip-hop record label, joined Rev. Sharpton for his radio broadcast from Zuccotti Park. Simmons, reputedly worth $500 million, is not a regular guy, either. Sharpton has a TV show, too. Why not put Occupy Wall Street on his TV show? As the Gothamist put it, “Is he saying that the protesters have faces for radio?”

Herman Cain

Maybe Gothamist isn’t so far off the mark. Rev. Al Sharpton, and others of his ilk, can’t wrap their heads around Herman Cain not being an angry, race-baiting black liberal like the good Reverend himself. Maybe Sharpton is nervous because Republican Presidential candidate Cain has been steadily rising in the polls. Cain is the epitomy of the American dream, having become successful by will and effort. Cain threatens Sharpton’s powerbase and relevance, which exists largely on the basis of racial devisiveness and a continuing victim meme. And that might be the very reason Cain made the remark about African Americans being brainwashed into voting for Democrats.

From Keepin’ It Real‘s Friday (07 October) show, Rev. Al Sharpton said of Cain:

If Herman Cain were to come on my show radio or TV, I would say to him how could anyone in their right mind that grew up in the South and saw what they saw, or stand up there and act like anybody and that is unemployed and that is not rich did it to themselves starting with your momma. I could have understood someone with Barack Obama’s background having that kind of confusion. So, I would only assume that he is either socially ignorant or playing games to get votes. Cause he couldn’t possibly have grown up and come to that conclusion unless he was one or the other.

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Mon, 03 Oct 2011

Herman Cain Desperately Plays Race Card

Filed under: Candidates, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 5:29 pm

Cain's race card

Let me start with I really don’t like Presidential campaigning starting 2 freaking years before the election. I blame the Obama lovers because they’re the ones that set precedent this in 2007. I mean, seriously, the Republican candidates have already had 3 debates? It’s nearly half a year before most of the primaries.

Why, then, does Republican candidate Herman Cain have to play the Race Card on fellow Republican Rick Perry? Does this matter, since Cain says he wouldn’t rely on the Race Card? Is Cain so desperate already that he’s pulling out all the stops?

Rick Perry with a handgun

Make no mistake—I do not condone the disgusting, racially offensive name of the Perry hunting camp in years past. But, regardless of whether the rock was repainted 4 years or 28 years ago—or somewhere in between—Cain showed his hand before he should have. And, he’s admitted he has nothing beyond this round.

Voters now know that Cain will use the Race Card when he thinks it’s to his advantage. The majority of African-Americans tend to vote Democratic, so Cain’s machinations won’t pull them to his cause. As for Whites, those that might have considered Cain will be disgusted, leaving them to vote Romney, if liberal, or Perry, if conservative. Unless, of course, they’re still drinking the koolaid.

It figures, too, that Rev. Al Sharpton would not miss an opportunity to suck up Cain’s publicity for himself. That said, and frequent readers better take a seat, Sharpton’s got a point. Perry initially responded by saying his dad painted over the epithet in 1983. Since then, he’s left damage control and all statements up to his campaign spokesman. That seems odd, and a little disconcerting, to me.
 


 

Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Fort Monroe Closes; Historical Significance at Risk

Filed under: Government, History, Indecision, Military, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 5:46 am

Fort Monroe

All of our military forts have some historical significance. Fort Monroe was the longest serving Army installation, having been completed in 1834. The site on which Fort Monroe sits has had defense works since 1609. Last week, Fort Monroe was decomissioned and is no longer an active military installation. Its closure is a result of the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process.

The Army will turn Fort Monroe over to an authority of the State of Virginia by 2012, but there is considerable interest in making Fort Monroe a National Park or monument. Just as its location made it important from a strategic perspective in its day, what an amazing place for a national park.

Fort Monroe emancipates slaves as contraband of war

Without a doubt, portions of Fort Monroe will be sold to the private sector for development. Just as it’s an ideal location for a park, it’s also ideal for commercial exploitation. But the actual stone fortress itself must be preserved for its historical value for generations to come.

Fort Monroe was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Even so, that’s not why we must preserve it. The simple fact is Fort Monroe provides the first tangible act of emancipation by sheltering escaping slaves when Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler classified them “contraband of war”. Next to the Emancipation Proclamation itself and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this has got to be the most significant official action to recognize racial equality in US history.
 

Fri, 12 Nov 2010

School Denies Flag Rights During Veterans Week

Filed under: Citizen rights, Civil liberties, Government, Hypocrits, Justice, Legal, Life, Paradoxes, Politics, Racism, Schools — cynicalsynapse @ 9:21 pm

Cody Alicea rides bike with a US flag

On Monday, 08 November, Denair Middle School told a student to stop displaying the US flag on school grounds. According to Superintendent Edward Parraz, officials were concerned about racial tensions. Excuse me? The US flag causes racial tensions? I thought that was the Stars and Bars.

Mr. Parraz said the Campus Supervisor told Cody Alecia he couldn’t fly the US flag out of concern for Cody’s safety. Parraz blamed the matter on Cinco de Mayo which, by the way, is not a US holiday like Veterans Day.

Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want.

Denair Middle School

Denair Middle School is in mid-central California, southeast of Modesto. I realize all of California has a large Hispanic population, but it’s not like Denair is a border or urbanized region. Thus, it doesn’t follow that Cody’s display of the US flag could be seen as anti-Hispanic or even counter to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Alecia had been displaying the US flag on his bike since the beginning of the school year, so this is not a new issue.

Today, 12 November, the school district decided Cody Alecia could display the US flag. This was in the face of nationwide outrage and a community march on the school. As a side note, perhaps Fox 40 personnel should undertake some remedial spelling and grammar classes. In any case, Supt. Parraz said:

[The] First Amendment is important. We want the kids to respect it, understand it, and with that comes a responsibility.

Burning constitution

Besides dissing veterans in this week that includes Veterans Day, Denair fails to address the underlying issues. Does anyone doubt this could have longer term impact on society at large?

As a result of the nationwide controversy, Cody Alecia is flying the US flag from his bike once again. Score one for correct over political correctness.

Previously on the US Flag:

Wed, 07 Jul 2010

Eastpointe Finds Racial Idiocy Still Exists

Filed under: Citizen rights, Crime, Life, Oppression, People, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 8:53 pm

Kwanita Graham reading hate mail

It’s hard for civilized people in the 21st Century to comprehend, but sometimes the Race Card is real. Case in point: Nearly 20 Black families in Eastpointe, MI, got hate mail over the last couple of days. The gist of the mail: move back across 8 Mile—the symbolic divide between Detroit and its northern suburbs.

This is a significant event, when 20 families in the same neighborhood receive essentially the same letter. Fortunately, the Eastpointe Police and US Postal Inspectors are investigating. Using the mail to commit a hate crime makes it a Federal offense. That means whoever is behind this could be facing up to 20 years in the Federal penitentiary.

hate mail

As far as I’m concerned, that’s not nearly enough. I’m stunned to learn Federal hate crimes penalties are only a year. Michigan is no better. So, best case, the perpetrator gets a year per for a max of 20 years. In my opinion, this is way more serious than that. How would you feel if you saw this in your mail?

We tired of u [n word]s movin in are neighborhood. You need to move back across 8 Mile. We just need to start killing you [n word]s one by one.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this, ever. It’s shocking, very shocking,” said 7-year resident Darlene Foster. None of the 18 recipients, all African-American who live on Sprenger Street, should have experienced this at all.

My hope is the goofball responsible for this pathetic fiasco will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That probably doesn’t make up for the disruption in their daily lives suffered by the affected Eastpointe residents. Perhaps, it shows most of us think alike and can agree that, sometimes, the Race Card is justified. Personally, I’m disgusted.

Sat, 22 May 2010

Tangled Web of Two Kids’ Killings and Opportunistic Grandstanding

Filed under: Behavior, Crime, Detroit, Hypocrits, Legal, Opportunists, People, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 4:38 pm

Jerean Blake

The story that’s caught the nation’s attention started with the senseless point-blank killing of Jerean Blake on Friday, 14 May. The 17 year old was shot to death outside a party store after leaving Southeastern High School where he was preparing to graduate. Blake planned to enter military service. According to the teen’s mother, Lyvonne Cargill, the string of events that followed isn’t “as innocent as it looks”. She said:

It didn’t take me an hour to know who killed my son. I do not know them. I never seen them before. All I knkow is that they bragged about the way they killed my son.

Chauncey L. Owens

Just 34 hours after Blake’s murder, Detroit Police Special Response Team officers were at a duplex to arrest a suspect. Police arrested Chauncey Louis Owens, 34, during the raid early Sunday morning. Owens was in an upstairs flat of the duplex, just two blocks from the store where he gunned down Blake. Owens’ actions were unquestionably pre-meditated. He told his victim “You better not be here when I come back.” Apparently he had to run home to get the gun he used to slaughter a kid half his age. Why? Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy summed it up:

The death of Jerean Blake is as senseless as it can get. The allegations are that [Owens] killed the 17-year-old high school student because he looked at [Owens] the wrong way.

Owens faces charges of first-degree murder and using of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He’s being held without bond until his June first arraignment. Owens’ prior criminal record includes 2 counts of auto theft, for which he was still on probation, breaking and entering, and escaping from the Washtenaw County jail.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Unfortunately, DPD’s raid went bad and 7 year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed when an officer’s gun discharged. As Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee said, “This is a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude.” But, in the wake of the raid, the circus began and the original victim was all but forgotten. Beyond speculation and questions about what really happened, crews from A&E were filming for the network’s “First 48” series. Some claim police were overly aggressive and used a flash-bang (stun) grenade because there were going to be on TV.

Aiyana’s family lawyer, Karri Mitchell, said the family wasn’t even thinking about a lawsuit. Speaking to the Detroit News on Monday, Mitchell said:

We’re not indicating the officer’s actions were intentional. We know it was an accident, but the method that they used in executing the search warrant was flawed. The family understands that the officer is not a monster. He didn’t intentionally shoot a 7-year-old girl.

Fieger press conference

Next in the 3-ring circus is the sheister lawyer made famous by representing Dr. Death, Jack Kervorkian, in his assisted suicide cases. By Tuesday afternoon, bottom-feeder Geoffrey Fieger was filing lawsuits in both federal and state courts on behalf of the family. This is the same family that, as late as Tuesday morning, Fieger was still arm-twisting so he’d have something to say at the press conference he’d already called. Fieger doesn’t care any more about little Aiyana or her family than he does about yours. As Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said, “[Fieger’s] taking advantage of a terrible situation and it’s about money as far as he’s concerned.” Meanwhile, Fieger says the police raid was improperly executed and overzealous.

Despite Michigan State Police handling the investigation into the police raid that took Aiyana’s life, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality called on US Attorney General Eric Holder to have the Justice Department investigate. Not to be left behind, especially in an election year, US Rep. John Conyers sent Holder a letter requesting federal resources to ensure the case gets the “close scrutiny” it deserves. Conyers (D-Detroit) is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees Holders’ Justice Department. No undue influence there, ya think?

Off. Joseph Weekley

Detroit Police announced <a href="http://www.racewire.org/archives/2010/05/detroit_police_departments_long_troubled_history.html&quot; target="_blank"Joseph Weekley is the officer whose weapon discharged, the round striking Aiyana Jones in the neck. Weekly, 34, is a 14-year veteran of the Department. He’s spent the last 6 with DPD’s Special Response Team.

The fact Weekley has been profiled by A&E’s show Detroit SWAT fuels speculation he might have been “hotdogging” for A&E First 48 film crews. DPD said Weekley was involved in a non-fatal shooting last year involved a barricaded gunman. The department determined he acted appropriately. In another federal lawsuit, filed last year, Weekley is named as part of a raid team during which an officer shot two dogs and pointed a weapon at children, including an infant. DPD is also under two federal consent decrees stemming from Justice Department lawsuits over excessive force and unsafe holding cells.

But Weekley has been involved in charitable and community events, as well. In 2003, he founded the SWAT for Tots program to collect toys for homeless and abused children during the holidays. Just last month, Weekley was involved in “Run With the Cops, Not From Them” to raise money for kids with cancer. A coworker said Weekley “tried to make kids see that the cops are the good guys.”

Al Sharpton grind

Even before the cop’s race was known, race-baiters and professional opportunists Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson began coming out of the woodwork. On Wednesday, 19 May, although stopping short of calling Aiyana’s shooting a racial incident, Jacksons wickered race in on the guise of deaths in other cities. Speaking to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Jackson said, “So there’s a racial dimension to this, which is volatile and ugly.” Then he drug up the riots of the 60s and health care disparity. Excuse me, Rev. Jackson, but none of that has anything to do with this case! Stop trying to turn a tragedy into a purposefully orchestrated act of genocide.

A week after her death, Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ funeral took place at Second Ebenezer Church. Rev. Jackson, John Conyers, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, and several Detroit City Council members attended the 22 May service. Hundreds of mourners were also there.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones' casket

Rev. Al Sharpton gave the eulogy ostensibly at the request of the family, though I suspect it was the other way around. In the eulogy, Sharpton said, “I came because I feel we must stand and show the value and worth of the lives of our children.” At one point, he called on the congregation to help stop the violence in Detroit, saying, “This is it. This child is the breaking point.” While he condemned Detroit Police’s actions, asking if police in the affluent suburbs would use a stun grenade, Sharpton took a surprisingly positive approach:

I’d rather tell you to start looking at the man in the mirror. We’ve all done something that contributed to this.

In a typical, self-aggrandizing, egotistical display, Fieger also spoke at the service. As if to, yet again, make a mockery of the innocent girl’s death, a virtual spitting on her casket.

Will Jackson and Sharpton attend Jerean Blake’s funeral? John Conyers or Ficano? Detroit City Council members? I doubt it. The death of both kids is terrible and tragic. But Jerean Blake’s killing doesn’t suit the opportunists needs.

Aiyana Jones' house

Some have questioned why the police were in Aiyana’s apartment at all, but the warrant was valid for both flats in the duplex. Fieger questions the flash-bang grenade, perhaps rightly so, citing toys and neighbors telling police there were kids in the apartment. The accidental discharge that killed an innocent 7-year old does not change her family’s bad choices. Neighbors even said the girl’s house was no place for kids. Aiyana’s aunt, Regina Morgan, was engaged to Blake’s murderer, Charles Owens. Aiyana’s family harbored Owens in their house, albeit the upstairs flat. Aiyana’s father, Charles Jones, had also been seen at the party store on the day Blake was killed. And they had to have known if Lyvonne Cargill knew as early as Friday evening. Owens’ heinous crime set in motion the series of events that led to Aiyana Jones’ tragic death.

Not to excuse the police—this is still a wrongful death—but who will compensate Jerean Blake’s family? Fieger didn’t jump on the bandwagon to represent his mother in a lawsuit. I doubt Fieger will give his share of the Aiyana Jones lawsuits to Ms. Cargill. She wants Chauncey Owens charged with another murder. She summed it up:

I feel like [Owens] should do time for two murders. He’s the reason why the 7-year-old girl’s life was in danger. The whole family should go to jail. You don’t harbor a fugitive that you know killed my son.

Off. Brian Huff

And, to add some additional context, Detroit has seen a startling increase in homicides over the last month or so. On 3 May, Jason Gibson, a career criminal, shot 5 Detroit police officers responding to a 9-1-1 call. Detroit Police Off. Brian Huff was killed in that altercation, just 2 weeks earlier. His family and fellow officers just laid him to rest a week before Jerean Blake’s murder.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009

Racist Tax Cheat Wants Bailout for Detroit

Filed under: Bailout, Budget, Detroit, Economy, Government, Hypocrits, Politics, Racism, Take action — cynicalsynapse @ 5:53 pm

JoAnn Watson's house

I don’t see any tornado damage on the house justifying JoAnn Watson’s property tax bill of $68 for the last 10 years. That’s what the Detroit City Councilwoman has been paying while her neighbors paid $5-6,000. Seems to me a councilmember should be quite aware of what tax rates are, especially with Detroit’s budget shortfalls. For someone who huffs and puffs about tax evaders, Watson was only going to pay the last 3 years, which is all the city can charge her. Media attention and her desire for reelection to council are the only reasons she paid her back taxes in full. Probably no interest, though.

Detroiters mob Cobo Center for federal housing assistance

Although she says she wants a diverse Detroit, Watson’s racist attitudes have oozed out a few times. Just last year, when trying to get former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to resign, Watson said, “Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit.” Watson called for boycotting the suburbs during the time the Detroit Zoo was teetering on the brink of extinction. In fact, her racism pre-dates her tenure on the city council. At the time she was Director of the Detroit Branch—the largest&mdash of the NAACP, Watson refused to help stop the spread of black supremecist literature at Ferris State. I guess it’s just part of that whole “Black people can’t be racist” thing.

Does incumbant council candidate JoAnn Watson have a vision for Detroit? Why yes, she does and she took a whole year developing it. She calls it the Detroit Marshall Plan. She’s calling for rapid transit, renewable energy, re-population, routing housing to families in need from government resources, and providing jobs for heads of households. Since Detroit deserves its share of the Stimulus, she plans to pay for this with a $1 billion Federal handout. Watson also wants a multi-year moratorium on foreclosures in Detroit. Concerning Detroit’s $300 million budget deficit, Watson would’d cut from the top of city departments, including all deputy directors, not from the workers at the bottom.

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson during a session

While the ideas in Watson’s Marshall Plan may make sense, her concept of implementing it is just pie in the sky. No where in her Detroit Free Press council candidate online chat does she propose solutions for Detroit’s systemic problems and inefficiencies. In short, Watson is clueless to how dysfunctional Detroit government is. And she wants to remain part of the problem. Hey, JoAnn. How’s that billion-dollar bailout working for you?

I couldn’t say it any better than this guy. He gets it. Detroiters, vote out all the incumbent city council members except Ken Cockerel Jr. and Kwame Kenyatta. The others all have issues. This is probably the most important election in the city’s 308 years.


Sun, 11 Oct 2009

People Walk for a Detroit Gem—Focus:HOPE

Filed under: Detroit, Education, Life, People, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 3:42 pm

Founded by Eleanor Josaitis and the late Fr. William Cunningham, Focus: HOPE has been helping Detroiters for 41 years. Today, on a cool but sunny day, over a thousand took part in the 35th annual walk for the charity. The 4 mile event was expected to raise $100,000 to help with education and training programs, community development, and a food bank.

Today’s walk launched a new neighborhood initiative, as well. The HOPE Village Initiative aims to provide services to children and their families.

After the 1967 Detroit riots, Focus:HOPE looked into discriminatory pricing on food and prescription drugs between the city and its suburbs. The findings, published in a report, showed Detroiters paid more for these essential goods. In response, the charity designed a supplemental food program to offset the effects of malnutrition on childhood development.

Its Machinist Training Institute, launched in 1981, represents Focus:HOPE’s more profound impact on the community. With over 2,400 graduates, the Institute has allowed thousands to improve their lives and livelihoods. In light of the failure of Detroit Public Schools, Focus:HOPE has programs to help school kids with their reading and math skills. They’ve added the Center for Advanced Technologies, partnered with universities in engineering, and the Information Technologies Center, which provides networking training.

To me, Focus:HOPE is a Detroit gem. It’s mission is to break down racial barriers and help Detroiters improve their lives. It methodology is by lending a helping hand and developing skills. Handouts are the exception at Focus:HOPE.

Wed, 16 Sep 2009

Metro Detroit Wins; Cobo Authority Becomes Reality

Filed under: Budget, Detroit, Economy, Government, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 8:42 pm

A regional board took over Cobo Center Tuesday. This is a win for the aging convention center, the city of Detroit, and the metro region. This is a major step at dismantling decades of city-suburban mistrust and animosity.

Make no mistake, getting to this point was not without its challenges. And it was iffy until Detroit City Council chose not to torpedo the latest Cobo deal. Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said:

I know this has been an emotional issue and a controversial issue. But it’s real simple: We don’t have the money to do this on our own. This thing is a go, and it’s something they should be happy about. It’s going to allow us to re-position Cobo to make it competitive, to secure the [North American International] Auto Show and attract other kinds of convention business.

But, the road ahead isn’t without its potholes. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson doubts revenues will cover expansion costs. Still, the very fact there is a regional convention center board is major progress for metro Detroit.

It’s taken 42 years to get to this point. I hope metro Detroit continues to move forward.

Tue, 08 Sep 2009

Obama Propaganda: Much Ado About Nothing

Filed under: Behavior, Government, Life, Patriotism, People, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 9:59 pm

President Obama’s message to school kids—set your goals, work hard, and don’t give up—hardly seem controversial. They are the bedrock of this country, and Obama made that point in his speech to school kids today.

You cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to train for it, and work for it, and learn for it. And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life: what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home, none of that is an excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude in school.

You’ve got to do your part, too. So I expect all of you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down. Don’t let your family down, or your country down. Most of all, don’t let yourself down. Make us all proud. Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you, God bless America.

So, why the controversy? The biggest culprit has to be the US Department of Education’s so-called lesson plans. Anyone associated with education these days knows that’s the way schools operate these days. Problem is, the lesson plans focused on helping Obama achieve his goals rather than the President’s message of achieving the student’s goals. Score 1 for the Obama = Socialist crowd.

Next up: folks like Florida Republican chair Jim Greer called the speech a bid to indoctrinate children in Obama’s “socialist ideology”. After reading the speech, Greer changed his stance to Obama should never have given a speech to school children in the first place. Never mind that Pres. George H. W. Bush spoke to school kids, as did Pres. Reagan, whose message was certainly politicized.

Perhaps part of the problem is Obama’s speech to school children falls on the Tuesday after Labor Day, the first day of school for a majority of America’s kids. The timing problem here is Obama plans a speech to a joint session of Congress, an unsual event, for Wednesday, Sept. 9th, on the healthcare debate. The coincidence of timing may hardly be surprising, but the perception by the Obama = Socialism crowd shouldn’t be.

I suspect I’ve tipped my hand. It seems a majority of anti-Obamists claim he’s trying to turn the country into a Socialist state à la the old Soviet Union, or Cuba, or maybe even Venezuela. There’s certainly cause for some concern, what with the speed with which he wants to fix healthcare, the $700 billion Stimulus bill, and the $700 billion for Wall Street, with little to nothing for Main Street. Let’s not lose sight of the fact, however, Republicans generally oppose Federal involvement in education.

There seems to be a growing anti-Obama is racist crowd, though. Call me naive, but I don’t think this is rocket science. Conservatives tend to be white, relatively affluent, and generally opposed to concepts that threaten—or are perceived to threaten—their way of life. The less well off tend to be more liberal and socialist, regardless of ethnicity.

Some would call this the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. I just don’t see that big a difference between the major parties anymore. Maybe ethnicity (race, religion, or whatever) tends to be the deciding factor, except for those that go straight ticket no mater what. Nonetheless, socialism is the rallying cry of the anti-Obamists and it is no less strong today than it was during the McCarthy era. It’s just politics as usual. In my mind, that doesn’t now make it racist as well.

In any case, the controversy over Pres. Obama’s speech to school kids was much ado about nothing. Listen to the speech; see for yourself. Seems to me he talked about personal responsibility and being part of the larger community—patriotism. Sounds like mom, apple pie, and the American way to me.

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