Carter Debate Sets Blog Ablaze!

Since CNN was kind enough to share my blog as a link to their story yesterday I received quite a bit of feedback from readers on both sides.  Passions ran pretty hot but one question in particular prompted me to respond.  That was the question by my blogging friend Jim Thornber.

“If I disagree with you, must it be racially motivated, or could it simply be that I disagree with you? You are African American and I’m not. So what? If you disagree with me, does that mean you don’t like white people?

Is it possible for me to disagree with President Obama simply because I disagree, or must there be, in you opinion, some inkling of racism mixed in there? Just wondering.”

I would like to answer my friend Jim’s question.

Jim, you ask a great and wonderful question.  One I am happy to answer.

Let me frame it this way.  You are indeed correct that they call me African-American and that they call you white.  It is also true that as an African-American I disagree with other African-Americans all the time.  I have disagreed with liberal and conservative African-Americans in politics and in media.  I disagreed with Kanye West and Serena Williams over the last few days.  I don’t consider myself racist by any means towards African-Americans.  So the short answer to you my friend is, “No.”  Certainly in this great nation of ours you have the right to disagree with black folks for whatever reasons your principles compel.  However, you are not the person I was talking about in my post.  You are not the person Carter was referring to in his comments.

The people we are talking about started making their voices known after Obama won the democratic nomination.  When it became apparent that he had a chance to win the presidency, folks like Sara Palin got the racial party started when she said that Obama was not an American like she and her followers are.  (code language to be sure) This continued with congregant rants during town hall meetings and speeches by Sen. John McCain when folks shouted things like, “He’s a Muslim!, or “Off with his head!”  Americans mind you. 

The people we are talking about are like the guy in Florida who had on the T-Shirt that said, “Nigger please! It’s called the White House,” during the election.

The people we are talking about joined and increased numbers for hate groups.  They bought guns and assault rifles at an alarming rate, so much so that places like Wal-Mart ran out of ammunition.  The people I am talking about get their que from Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to name a few.  These guys fan the flames of racism like no other.  Then quickly hide their hands as if they did nothing.

I am talking about are the ‘birthers’ who questioned the president’s citizenship as yet another reason to attempt to delegititimize him and his holding the office.

Jim let me tell you.  I had occasion since the election to visit a couple federal buildings since January.  When I see that picture of President Obama it trips me out.  I saw all of the election results and the inauguration.  But seeing that picture of the president in that official federal format is still quite unbelievable to me.  I am so serious when I say that.  Well likewise many other American can’t wrap their brains around it either.  But it affects them differently.  I may say, “Wow!  Unbelieveable.”  They may say “WTF?! Oh hell no he ain’t my president.” 

With that as a backdrop here is where I agree with Carter.

I argue that race is what made Joe Wilson comfortable making his remarks.  Certainly I knew that Bush was lying about 9-11 being related to Iraq.  I was not unique.  Other House members knew this.  They knew it would cost billions of dollars and thousands of American lives and yet while he made those speeches neither of them thought it righteous to shout the man down and call him a liar. 

I didn’t agree with a lot of what Bush did.  I didn’t watch most of his speeches because I felt they were mere lies and propaganda.  But I’ll tell you what.  If the man while he was president walked in the room I’m standing up and giving him the honor the office is due.  I’m addressing him as ‘sir’ and ‘Mr. President.’

If you’re not familiar, and I am sure you remember some of my blogs before that detailed some of the pictures and cartoons that have been put on the internet.  For example, one show the president dressed in Muslim garb while the first lady totes an assault rifle as they fist bump one another.  Another show the front lawn of The White House with watermelons planted abroad.  Another depicted the president as a witch doctor.  Yet another show two police standing over a dead monkey they had shot.  The police then make references to the stimulus package.  I could go on but you get my drift.  We got wind of these pictures as politicians on the right passed them around to each other in email.  Each time they were caught they claimed, “What me, a racist?” 

The same people who create and promote these cartoons and caricatures are the same people who believe these stereotypes.  These are the same people who tried to turn out the healthcare town-hall meetings.  These are the people who are making the most noise;  not people like you who may or may merely disagree and take the president to task intelligently.

These people are like the ones who sent Rep. Scott of Georgia a letter saying,

“To: NIGGA DAVID SCOTT / You were / You are / And / You shall forever be a nigga!” It added, “The Ethiopian cannot make himself white.” 

As far as Joe Wilson goes, we have enough evidence of his own work and words where he fits the description of a racist.  As Maureen Dowd wrote in a recent column:

“The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president.

But let me say this.  Let’s say Wilson isn’t a racist for the sake of argument.  He feels comfortable in doing what he did because he knows that he comes from a constituency of people who believe that his actions were justified.  He like McCain/Palin early in the campaign against Obama rode the racist base with as much momentum as he could muster.  McCain later backed off and tried to quell that base when it became bad press but by then he couldn’t close that barn.  Republicans know full and well that a large part of their base is racist and furthermore they are easy to scare and rile up.  These politicians at best play on the hatred and fears of such people.  It’s a strategic easy sell.  The Right is not willing to challenge or risk losing that base.  So at the very least they are ‘accessories to racism’ if they don’t personally agree.  What you see now is a result of said tactics.  Carter, a white man from Georgia no less, is merely calling them out for who and what they are.  I happen to agree with him.

Finally, I understand that many are fatigued at the mention of racism.  I fit that description as well.  I am often reluctant to even discuss this because most won’t even admit that there is still a problem.  (Just read some of the comments on yesterday’s post.)  Others are perfectly comfortable saying, “Sure racism exists,” as long as we don’t address anything specific that happens.  If cops shoot a black man in the back shouting the “N” word many whites and a few conservative blacks will say, “Hold on now, this doesn’t necessarily mean its racist.” 

Look, I am not trying to lecture you on race Jim.  I know you are a better man than that.  I am answering your question still believe it or not.  The healthcare debate for you and others like you who may disagree is different from the rants going on out there.  I have a few issues I disagree with the president about.  I expected to when he won the office.  I expect that of any president.  Who am I?  Still my behavior is in tact. 

People like you are not the ones drawing the pictures, carrying guns into meetings, calling the president ‘Hitler’ and ‘socialist.’  In the healthcare debate the name ‘socialist’ is the new ‘nigger.”  People like you are not keeping their children from class because they don’t want the president to ‘put his agenda on them.’   This is a different breed and they are making the most noise.  They get the most media coverage. 

These  people don’t disagree with the president.  They hate the president for who he is.  They feel the country is slipping from their control and, “My God Obama is going to help lazy black people get healthcare.  Pretty soon we are going to have to swim with them and then they will sleep with our women.”  Trust me it always goes back to that.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  If white Americans want people like me to stop talking about racism, all they have to do is police themselves and other whites who step out of line.  Check those who speak lies and promote hateful stereotypes.  But unfortunately I don’t see the rage in white folks in trying to do that.  They rather I just shut up and be glad slavery is over at least.   

People can call Carter ‘peanuts’ or whatever.  That’s certainly easier to do than to grapple with what the man is saying. 

What is that saying about “De-Nile” not being merely a river in Africa?

Well anyway, I hope I answered your question Jim.

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Beer Conversations, or Buds and Suds Part 2

Anderson Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so I said I would take a couple days before revealing who my beer bud would be.  The answer will probably be different depending on where I am in my life.  But presently I would pick CNN’s Anderson Cooper to guzzle some suds with over conversation.  I’ve always liked AC even back in the day when he was a correspondent.  His demeanor has always come off to me as being very business like and yet very sincere and distinct.  I’ve never seen him with an air of taking himself too seriously.  But he brings with news just enough personality where you at least get the feeling you can see a part of his makeup.  He is so relaxed and unconventionally fresh in front of the camera.  It makes me that much more comfortable digesting the news as he reports it.

Added to the intrigue is the fact that I just finished with his book, Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival.” The book is a moving memoir of Cooper’s life as a child of celebrities, his family and life as a war and disaster correspondent.  There is no doubt that his ventures have shaped his life in ways that I can only imagine.  And from what I’ve gotten from the book, he’s always been cool with that.  I get the impression that Anderson’s life is an adventure and a discovery all at the same time.  I feel the same about my life.  I’m sure many others do too.  The thing with Anderson is that he seemed ready to admit that all along.

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I would talk to Anderson about his experiences in Sri Lanka after the tsunami, as well as some of the nations in Africa like Niger and Somalia during the wars there.  Of course we would have to hit more on what went on in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  This seemed to have affected him the most of all the places he had seen.  This was because he never thought his own nation would respond to a disaster with what appeared to be the same level of  ineptitude as he had seen in several third world nations.  That just messed him up.  I would try to get more details than what he shared in the book.   Things he feels people should know even if they don’t think they want to. 

I believe this would be a fascinating, disturbing and enlightening experience.  I know I would come away from a conversation with him better than when I started.

Now as for a beer choice.  Well I’m buying so Anderson can have whatever he wants.  For me, it’s Widmer Hefeweizen on tap; tall cold and frosty with an orange. 

widmer

Is Gay The New Black?

LZ Granderson says criticism of President Obama by the gay community has gone too far.

LZ Granderson doesn’t think so. 

(CNN) — Far from flowing rainbow flags, the sound of Lady Gaga and, quite honestly, white people, stands a nightclub just outside of Wicker Park in Chicago, Illinois, by the name of The Prop House.

The line to get in usually stretches down the block, and unlike many of the clubs in Boystown and Andersonville, this one plays hip-hop and caters to men who may or may not openly identify as gay, but without question are black and proud.

And a good number of them are tired of hearing how the gay community is disappointed in President Obama, because they are not.

In recent weeks, one would have thought the nation’s first black president was also the nation’s biggest homophobe. Everyone from Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and radio personality Rachel Maddow to Joe Solmonese, the president of Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest gay advocacy group, seem to be blasting Obama for everything from “don’t ask don’t tell” to Adam Lambert not winning American Idol.

In their minds, Obama is not moving fast enough on behalf of the GLBT community. The outcry is not completely without merit — the Justice Department’s unnerving brief on the Defense of Marriage Act immediately comes to mind. I was upset by some of the statements, but not surprised. (After the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, President Ronald Reagan’s initial handling of AIDS and, more recently, Katrina, there is little that surprises me when it comes to the government and the treatment of its people.)

Still, rarely has criticism regarding Obama and the GLBT community come from the kind of person you would find standing in line at a spot like The Prop House, and there’s a reason for that.

Despite the catchiness of the slogan, gay is not the new black.

Black is still black.

And if any group should know this, it’s the gay community.

Bars such as The Prop House, or Bulldogs in Atlanta, Georgia, exist because a large number of gay blacks — particularly those who date other blacks, and live in the black community — do not feel a part of the larger gay movement. There are Gay Pride celebrations, and then there are Black Gay Prides.

There’s a popular bar in the heart of the nation’s capital that might as well rename itself Antebellum, because all of the white patrons tend to stay upstairs and the black patrons are on the first floor. Last year at the annual Human Rights Campaign national fundraiser in Washington, D.C. — an event that lasted more than three hours — the only black person to make it on stage was the entertainment.

When Proposition 8 passed in California, white gays were quick to blame the black community despite blacks making up less than 10 percent of total voters and whites being close to 60 percent. At protest rallies that followed, some gay blacks reported they were even hit with racial epithets by angry white participants. Not to split hairs, but for most blacks, the n-word trumps the f-word.

So while the white mouthpiece of the gay community shakes an angry finger at intolerance and bigotry in their blogs and on television, blacks and other minorities see the dirty laundry. They see the hypocrisy of publicly rallying in the name of unity but then privately living in segregated pockets. And then there is the history.

The 40th anniversary of Stonewall dominated Gay Pride celebrations around the country, and while that is certainly a significant moment that should be recognized, 40 years is nothing compared with the 400 blood-soaked years black people have been through in this country. There are stories some blacks lived through, stories others were told by their parents and stories that never had a chance to be told.

While those who were at Stonewall talk about the fear of being arrested by police, 40 years ago, blacks talked about the fear of dying at the hands of police and not having their bodies found or murder investigated. The 13th Amendment was signed in 1865, and it wasn’t until 1948 that President Harry S Truman desegregated the military. That’s more than an 80-year gap.

Not to be flip, but Miley Cyrus is older than Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.” That doesn’t mean that the safety of gay people should be trivialized or that Obama should not be held accountable for the promises he made on the campaign trail. But to call this month’s first-ever White House reception for GLBT leaders “too little too late” is akin to a petulant child throwing a tantrum because he wants to eat his dessert before dinner. This is one of the main reasons why so many blacks bristle at the comparison of the two movements — everybody wants to sing the blues, nobody wants to live them.

This lack of perspective is only going to alienate a black community that is still very proud of Obama and is hypersensitive about any criticism of him, especially given he’s been in office barely six months.

If blacks are less accepting of gays than other racial groups — and that is certainly debatable — then the parade of gay people calling Obama a “disappointment” on television is counterproductive in gaining acceptance, to say the least. And the fact that the loudest critics are mostly white doesn’t help matters either.

Hearing that race matters in the gay community may not be comforting to hear, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

**** BB&G Notes – Opinions for either argument are welcome.  Please come intelligent regardless.

Roland S. Martin on Fatherhoood

Roland Martin says fathers across America are failing their children by shirking their responsibilities.

 From CNN.com

“I’ll kill all y’all.”

Imagine looking at the man whose DNA you carry standing in your home, telling you those chilling words, as he wields a shotgun. The frightening image is a scary thought. But according to former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, it was an actual scene, one that begins his book, “Straw: Finding My Way.” I vividly remember the towering home runs hit by the former star, who played for four big league teams, including the New York Mets and Yankees — and of course, the many times he was in the news for failing drug tests, beating wives, getting cancer twice, going to prison. He was a man fighting enormous demons.

Yet as I read the book, there is one consistent theme that runs throughout and that sheds a spotlight on a figure that continues to plague neighborhoods all across the country: the missing-in-action father. Strawberry makes a point repeatedly in “Straw” that he does not blame his dad for the trials and tribulations in his life; he says all decisions he made willingly. But he does speak to the issue of having a father who, by Strawberry’s account, while technically in the house, was a raging drunk who spent his paycheck doing what he wanted, showing no love and affection towards his children, viciously beating Strawberry and his brother, all while telling them that they would be nothing in life.

“I grew up in an inner city, South Central Los Angeles. When you grow up in the inner cities, most young men don’t have a father figure around. Most mothers are raising the kids,” he told me in an interview. He later said, “I loved playing baseball; I loved playing basketball; excelling and achieving my goals was my own personal goals, but inside, I just never loved myself. I can remember the times when I excelled in baseball and I [would] do extremely well and the cheers and the glitter and everything that came along with it, but you know what, Roland? When I went home at night, here was I again, me myself, [asking] ‘Who am I?’

The cynical in our world undoubtedly will say, “Who cares about a drugged-out, washed-up ballplayer?” But the mental damage that Strawberry says wreaked havoc on him as a child cannot be discounted, and it’s something that millions of young children, especially boys, are growing up with every day. This isn’t a tale of the stereotypical black athlete who grows up with the black father not in the home, leading to the cycle of violence and lack of family unity we see all around the country. Strawberry’s dad was there.

But, according to the former ballplayer, he was a horrible father. And right now, there are also young white boys in suburban and rural America who have dads in the home, physically, yet they have mentally and emotionally checked out. And the same for Hispanics and Asians.  It has gotten to the point that a mother is considered essential in a family, but a father is optional, expendable, and increasingly irrelevant.

I remember watching an OnStar commercial. And as the company touted the features, it showed a father driving his child around, and when the kid starts to cry, the dad freaks out and has to quickly call the mom to calm the baby down. I’m watching that and saying, “Man, it’s your child, too! So calm it!” Then there is the commercial — I don’t even remember what they were pitching — of two or three kids in the kitchen making a mess after spilling the cereal. The hapless and hopeless dad looks at them and says, “Where is your mom?” Every time that commercial comes on I scream at the TV, “Where is your mom? Where are your parenting skills, you ingrate!”

 See, I take seriously the importance of fathers — men — in the lives of children. My wife and I don’t have children of our own, but we are raising four of my nieces because they were struggling at home. They need to see a husband and a wife caring for them, but also instilling the right values in their lives. I am convinced that our city streets have turned into killing fields because dads have abdicated their responsibility in the raising of their children.

Yes, mom is vital. But there is something different about dad speaking, lecturing, cajoling, disciplining, embracing, loving and caring. Our schools are filled with children losing their minds, and teachers unable to control them. When that happens, it’s typically mom, grandma or an aunt coming to the school to deal with the problem. Ask a teacher or principal today and they will say they rarely see dads.

My mom has gotten ticked at times because I often talk more about my father than her on TV or radio. It’s not that I don’t love or appreciate her. But I do it because it is rare to hear men, especially black men, speaking affirmatively about their fathers. I know what it means to have a dad raising and caring for you, and not seeing his child in a drive-by style, or just sending a check. Dads must be present and accounted for, playing a vital role in their children’s life.

That’s why I appreciated it when President Obama spoke about the issue of fatherhood on the campaign trail. We all know the story of his father leaving when he was 2 years old. And yes, he was able to be successful. But for every Obama, there are numerous boys who aren’t able to hold it together.

I’ve called on pastors nationwide to stop the stream of momma, grandmother, aunts and female cousins coming to the altar for baby dedications with no man in sight. That pastor should say, “Until I personally meet with the father, I will not dedicate this child.” Somebody has to hold that man accountable for his actions. It’s time that men hold their “boys” accountable.

Actor Hill Harper had a friend who once said that he hadn’t seen his child in some time, but he found time to play basketball with Harper. Hill said, “Unless you call your child now, we can’t play ball.” See, Hill had to force him to accept his responsibilities. The failure of manhood in America — fatherhood — has reached epidemic proportions. And unless our religious and cultural institutions say enough is enough, we are going to see another generation of children growing up with dad absent and unaccounted for. It’s time for men to man up, so children can grow up with an equal amount of love and affection from both parents.

The Day the News Died…

The date was June 17, 1994 – An event that changed news and the way it was reported forever.  The scene… a Southern California freeway, the 405 to be exact! 

Every television station in the country honed in on the signal from the local news chopper following the infamous white Ford Bronco as  Los Angles police vehicles pursued slowly behind.  Inside the SUV were Al Cowlings and some guy named Orenthal James Simpson.  Simpson had failed to show up at one of the police department precincts as agreed upon between his attorneys and investigators to inquire about the double murder of his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.  While there were over a thousand reporters who showed up for what they though would be Simpson turning himself in, now there were an estimated 95 million watching on television.  This was “Cops” before there were cops.  This was a live pursuit of a famous football player, movie star, sports announcer and rental car pitchman who a large portion of America recognized on sight and adored.  He was suspected of killing his wife and her companion, a white woman no less.  And word on the street was that he made what seemed like threats to kill himself during this slow chase.

And this my friends is in my opinion the event that changed the way the news is reported forever.  The subsequent rumors, innuendos and gossip that followed leading up to the trial became headline news from LA to Boston, from Minnesota to Texas… the OJ trial was the talk of the nation.  Names like Kato, Darden, Fuhrman, Garcetti, Ito, Clark, Cochran, and Dershowitz became household.  And there was a demand to get the inside scoop on it so they added legal experts like Greta Van Susteren to the mix.  She ended up with her own TV show and after the trial a show called Court TV was born.  All because of this OJ event.

What I remember most was the verdict.  It was broadcast all over radio and television.  At the time I worked at a company where our whole operation depended on telephone lines being manned at all times.  Each of us operators left our desk and gathered around a radio at the reception area and the boss didn’t utter a word.  She was right there with us.  When they read the not guilty verdicts the reaction of the White secretary said it all.  She burst into tears on the spot sobbing as if Nicole were her sister.  Most black folk including myself were not as convinced of Simpson’s guilt, especially in light of the way the police handled the evidence as well as the lying testimony of bigot Mark Furhman.  Nevertheless the country was split straight down the middle.  White folks were going Hebrew biblical tearing their clothes in sat-cloth and ashes.  Black folks who honestly didn’t give a damn about OJ post his Buffalo Bills playing days, felt it was about time a black man wasn’t convicted just because he was accused even as white folks wanted his head passionately regardless of evidence.  Opinions ran strong and feeling deeply expressed across offices nationwide.  This took the sensationalism of the news media to a whole new level.

Initially we had investigative journalistic shows like Geraldo Rivera.  He made the genre famous and paved the way for Hard Copy and from there we got a mild but now notorious blowhard Bill O’Reilly on Inside Edition.  By then that Pandora’s Box had been slammed wide open as television producers figured that they could combine the news with the gossip.  Stations like CNN and Fox News were popular, but the OJ trial put them over the top as viewers flocked their cable stations to see the latest speculation and opinions of so called experts.  Local news cast figured they’d better get in on the mix less they be left out.  I mean who wants to hear about local politics and the school board when Cochran was rhyming, “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit?” And if that wasn’t enough, once Princess Diana was killed in that car accident, it was a wrap!  News and popular culture would be forever intertwined with mainstream media. 

I believe this is the origin of and main reason we suffer from a news media that is so entertainment centered while the important issues get’s dilluted.  Bleeding no longer leads as much as scandal sales.  

So there you have it! 

That’s my take.  What’s yours?

Valentines Day… Romance or Rip Off

What do ya’ll think?  Here is one man’s opinion, Roland Martin from CNN.

Commentary: Don’t be my Valentine

Roland S. Martin says he doesn't buy all the hype associated with Valentine's Day.

By Roland Martin
CNN Contributor

Editor’s note: A nationally syndicated columnist, Roland S. Martin is the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith” and “Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.” Visit his Web site for more information.

(CNN) — With retailers hurting and the U.S. president trying to encourage Americans to spend money to restore consumer confidence, what I’m about to say may seem like treason. But here goes: Please boycott Valentine’s Day and all that is associated with this horrendous “holiday.”

For several years I have ripped into Valentine’s Day. Not because I’m against love and relationships, but mainly because the holiday is such a farce.

First of all, Valentine’s Day is not built around a religious event like Christmas or Easter; nor does it have any special meaning to the nation such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

It is nothing more than a commercial holiday created by rabid retailers who needed a major shopping day between Christmas and Easter in order to give people a reason to spend money.

Now folks, I love my wife. She is truly an awesome woman who is smart, talented, fine, and, did I say fine? But do I really need a special day to show my affection for her?

I’ve long maintained that if I sent my flowers at other times during the year, why do I have to fall victim to peer pressure and send her some roses that have quadrupled in price leading up to February 14?

Why should I be inundated with mailings, e-mails and commercials to show her that I love her by buying jewelry or clothing? If we went shopping in June or September or last month, can I get some kind of waiver or “Get out of Valentine’s Day” card?

As for this silly flower thing, it’s even got to the point that any flowers can’t do. Some years ago I planned on sending a woman some flowers that weren’t roses, and the (female) co-workers were aghast. They felt that nothing mattered except roses.

First of all, I didn’t have a lot of dough and felt a nice bouquet was sufficient, but they were appalled. So I told them to go to hell and I’ll do what I want. I guess for them, the thought really doesn’t matter.

Then there are the women on the job who measure the love of their men based on those flowers. You know how some folks are. If there are flowers on the desk of 10 other women, and one woman doesn’t have anything, folks get to talking and whispering as if something is wrong in her relationship.

I’ve learned that even if you get the biggest-ever rose bouquet — the relationship might be crumbling and you just refuse to admit it.

And Valentine’s Day really isn’t even a two-way street. Men are utterly irrelevant except to serve as pawns in this commercial game, emptying their wallets in order to satisfy their lovers or those around them. Oh yea, retailers know the con game.

Most of these guys are hapless saps who have ignored their wives or girlfriends all year, so they buy the flowers and candy, and set a reservation at one of the city’s most expensive restaurants, all to say, “Honey, I love you.”

Ladies, and men, stop it! It’s time to say enough is enough with Valentine’s Day.

What do I want? How about men and women loving, caring and sharing the other 364 days a year? February 14 isn’t the only time to send flowers to your woman (ladies, we wouldn’t mind getting a surprise delivery as well!). How about dropping her a flower arrangement on May 14? And on that card you need to write, “Just because…”

Instead of men and women spicing up their sex life on February 14, make the effort to satisfy your mate the rest of the year.

If last Valentine’s Day was the last time you took your significant other out to a really nice restaurant, you deserve to be in trouble.

Are you planning to treat your man or woman to a wonderful day at the spa this Saturday? Well, I’m sure he or she would thoroughly enjoy the same in June or July.

It’s time that we all take stock of our relationships and learn that we are to be loving and fulfilled 365 days a year, and not reduce our affection to flowers, candy, jewelry, clothes and a meal on one day a year.

The people who plan their lives around Valentine’s are like those who spend more time planning their wedding day rather than planning their marriage. The day is nice and wonderful, but what makes it last is what you do on the “non-special” days.

Blackberry Gate!

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Being the mainstream American cat that our new President Elect is, of course he rolls with a crackberryblackberry where he can IM, check his email and what’s hot on the news and sports web pages.  The Secret Service wants him to give it up as it could be compromised by hackers.

President Elect Obama wants to keep it because he feels as president one of the toughest things for him to do will be to maintain a connection to the live events and vibe on the streets of America.  He was quoted as saying, “I’m still clinging to my Blackberry. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

I side with the President on this one.  For one I like the idea of my president not being isolated in a glass bubble at the White House where he doesn’t know whats up.  Remember the indifference of Bush when Hurricane Katrina happened?  As horribly as he acted, or rather didn’t act, I wonder if he actually took the time to look at the news to actually see what was going on. 

Also if the President is not worried that his text and emails could be hacked, that means that he has nothing to hide.  No secret lovers or clandestine deals that could bite him in the behind.  I am sure he will get the low down on how to use secured phones and web functions in order to conduct presidential business.

I find it refreshing that my president may click on ESPN, or CNN once or twice a day to get the scoop on the happenings.  I say keep it!