The Ali Shuffle, The Ropodope:, Or Random Thoughts of The Week of The President

I’m just wondering what it’s been like to be the Commander-in-Chief over the past week. 

Obviously it takes a special person to be president of these United States.  I’m reminded of Seth Meyers’ comments at the White House Correspondence dinner the other night when he talked about how Michelle Obama looks even better today than she did during inauguration; while the president was looking a bit aged.  Said Meyers’ to The President, ‘If your hair gets any whiter the Tea Party is going to endorse it!”

With crazy gas prices, Gaddafi Gate, two wars, budget deficits and ‘birther’ bashing led by ‘The Donald’, President Obama has definitely been taking some lately.  But like Sugar Ray Leonard in Leonard/Hearns 1, and Jordan in the 4th quarter of a pivotal playoff game, Obama put some work in that dazzled supporters and critics alike!  He proved once again that in the world of politics, sometimes it only takes a little to turn shit into sugar.  Just a few days revised this President’s potential legacy from pre-lame duck to WFT just happened.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Thursday April 29, 2011:

Obama releases long form birth certificate:

Though I was initially conflicted by this decision, I can’t help but believe that the ends justify the means.  While most Americans understood that the birther movement was a ridiculous play on race, and that Donald Trump was behaving like an idiot, some gullible yet well meaning citizens may have started to believe it was an issue.  The rules of basic propaganda are that if one repeats a lie long enough many will take it for truth.  The media gave coverage as if it were possibly legitimate.  And so as to not allow it to continue to be a distraction the administration put it to rest – thus shutting the mouths of birthers for good.  Now the question of citizenship and conspiracy of his mother in 1961 (I know it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it) are permanently put to rest.

The Obamas visit Tuscaloosa:

Unlike the previous presidential initial reaction to Katrina, Obama got to Alabama pretty quickly after one of the most devastating tornados in our nation’s history.  The Midwest has experienced tornados, storms and lots of flooding.  Unfortunately this is not new to us.  But what has happened in The South last week is on another level.  When I saw the footage of the tornado that hit Alabama, it seemed as if it were actually alive as it reeked what seemed like intentional angry destruction.  It’s expected that federal dollars will be given to aid with the rebuilding of these devastated communities.  But having The President’s presence there so quickly was encouraging to many.  He showed himself to be in touch with the suffering of his citizens.

April 30, 2011: Obama roast Trump at Correspondence Dinner:

I can’t get over the timing of this event.  ‘The Donald’ was brashly on television trying to perpetrate a fraud with this certificate thing.  He even threw in some racial basketball and affirmative action shots to boot to question the president’s intelligence.  Unfortunately on a typical day, the president can’t just respond to some reality TV hack whose major decisions have to do with evaluating the job performances of Little John, Hulk Hogan and Gary Busey.  But on this once yearly occasion the president is free to get off on anyone he chooses, and still remain presidential.  And as long as it’s funny it rocks.  The fact that Trump was arrogant enough to show up and get some of that in person was classic.  The President straight got in him unapologetically.  And the truthfulness of his remarks made it even more hilarious.  I thought of Sergeant Waters’ comment on “A Soldier’s Story” to Peterson after Peterson smarted off at him in the barracks.  “Peterson!  I ain’t forgot cha boy.  I’m going outside and wait for you geechie!  And when you come out, I’m gonna whoop yo Black White Southern Ass.  Let the whole company watch too!  You need to learn respect for these stripes!”  Needless to say, Obama beat that ass … in front of the whole company of the same people Trump previously spouted off in front of, the press.

 

On top of that he got it from Seth Meyers too!

May 1, 2011: Obama leads military in killing Bin Laden from the Situation Room of The White House while pre-empting Trump’s show:

Is this karma at the utmost or what?  And while I doubt that it was purposely timed to cut The Donald’s balls in the ratings department, I do know it to be ironic at least.  Even with all of the information and misinformation coming to the forefront regarding details of the actual mission, one thing is for sure;  The administration was able to keep this operation completely under wraps with no leaks whatsoever as to what was going on.

And to think that in the final days of the mission the president in addition to doing all of the things mentioned earlier, also had time to stop in to film an episode with Oprah as her last guest of her 25th and final season.  So for all the smack The Donald and his birther friends talked during the last few weeks/months, the way Americans see it now,  the president was indeed doing more than playing basketball.

As was it just me or did anybody else noticed how he just  sashayed down the walkway of the podium with the swagger straight from Chicago’s South Side to announce Bin Laden’s death?

The only thing left for Obama was to quote Shaquille O’Neal:  “Hey Kobe  Donald, tell me how my ass taste!”

Finally as we hear from the right some of the cowardly remarks trying to give much of the credit to former President Bush:  While this is certainly no middle finger towards the former president, I do have to say is this.  The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.  Aaron Rodgers was the MVP.  You can try to give it to Brett Favre if you want to but that dog just won’t hunt.   Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove; none of them dudes have been in on the action for years now.  And while they were hopelessly looking in caves, Obama and his leadership team caught Bin Laden sleeping in a luxury compound. 

Since 9-11 this most notorious terrorist could have been named Osama Bin Missing.  And politics aside, The Obama administration didn’t have to roll with Mission Accomplished, or fake stories like Jessica Lynch or that criminal fakery that happened with Pat Tillman to rally Americans.  With no intent to deceive the American people the results now speak for themselves.  The president had his hands on this entire operation for the last several months.  And if he were wrong it would surely have cemented his legacy as a massive failure.  As it stands now, he will forever go down in history as the president that took out the mastermind of the worst terrorist event in the history of our nation.  Game, set match!

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Catching Up on Random Rants, Part 1

You know sometimes my life is so busy, (well most of the time) I have quite a few things that I would like to burn on that I don’t get the chance to.  Most of the time it’s because I am a writer.  Instead of wanting to give a quick headline with a photo, I’m more inclined to giving a more detailed take on something.  If I don’t have time to write in detail, usually I just let it go even if I really wanted to delve in.  Well so many things are piling up I just decided to do an overall quick hit thing with topics that have caught my eye.  I’m sure I will miss some things that I thought blog worthy, but let’s just see how much I can eeek out.

CELEBRATING A LANDMARK DJ

Let me give a shout out to my man Casey Kasem who founded America’s Top 40 over syndicated radio some decades ago.  He recently retired and it made me think of my Top 40 memories with Casey. 

The program used to come on my local radion station ‘WRBR’ in South Bend, Indiana when I lived there on Saturday mornings.  I hate to date myself but I remember Casey playing, “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain and Tennille.  What I got into the most was the personality of the host (Casey) and how he would wove stories about the artist or people like me who loved the music and how it effected us.  This was told most illustrated with his Long Distance Dedication portion of the program.  This is where Casey would read someones letter about some couple who were in love, had hundreds if not thousands of miles between them, and no matter what the problem was, if Casey would play a particular song that would make it alright.  When Casey got through reading the letter, you almost wanted to cry sometimes.   One of the songs that got a lot of Long Distance Dedication play was Samantha Sang’s Emotion. 

This one hit wonder was released during the hey day of “The Bee Gees.”  The brothers wrote, produced and sang back up on the song and as a result it sounded just like one of their own.  The song is still a classic if you ask me.  That thing was number 1 for a while!  Anyway, like many Americans I looked forward to Casey Kasem’s voice on my radio every weekend.  It was just as much of a ritual for me as going to school or church.  He was a great DJ. 

Enjoy the remaing years!

STANDING UP FOR W!

After years of praising George W. Bush as a man of resolve, former vice president Richard B. Cheney now hints at a less flattering opinion of him.

I never thought I would see the day that I had to get the back of George W Bush.  But I am a principled man.  My beefs with Bush were never unwarranted nor unjust.  I only need two words to sum it up; Iraq and Katrina.  That being said I find his bumbling vice president to be even more hideous in his back stabbing of the president.  Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.  I mean just step back for a moment and take that in.  “Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.”  I mean what kind of shit is that?  This gansgter of secrecy and deceit is writing a freaking book?  Oh yea I’m sure it’s going to be forthcoming,  right?  Right!  And I saw Osama Bin Laden at McDonald’s trying out the new Angus Burger.  Get a load of what this guy let fly out of his mouth recently concerning the president, his boss.  According to a story on the washingtonpost.com,

“In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney’s reply. “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming. It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

What is really scary in this statement, “He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming.”  This confirms what many of us knew from the beginning.  Cheney was running the White House.  Bush was a miserable follower who allowed himself to be strong-armed into Cheney’s Mussolini like policies that put the nation at risk.  Later in his second term, Bush manned up some and did some things differently.  Perhaps he reflected or whatever.  It ain’t like Bush was going run again.  No since in trying to win public points.  Perhaps it was just that, reflection.

Regardless Cheney in addition to being one of the most significant GANGSTERS of American crime history in that he made so much money on American misery ala Iraq and Katrina within his company Haliburton, tortured many around the world, lied and pontificated from on high a panic that some American still believe in.  If that were not enough in the words of boxing promoter Don King he is also “a practitioner of rat-finkism!  He throws W under the bus!  A man who put him on in the first place.  I honestly don’t think I have ever witnessed a more arrogant self obsessed narcissistic person in my life!  And to think, the Republican Party is wondering why it has to resort to disrupting town hall meetings to try to find a voice in America.  It’s ridiculous. 

WHY DOES AMERICA CARE WHAT SARAH PALIN SAYS?

Palin by kps186media.

Speaking of “death panel lady” herself; why is she still on the news?  Think about it.  Before John McCain picked her to be his running mate, how many people outside of Alaska knew who she was?  Once she got on the campaign trail, what did she do or say of significance?  Since she lost the campaign, what has she said or done of significance?  I’m talking about stuff that would make her relevant and worth listening to within a leadership perspective since she wants to be a national player.  Even the job she had she quit!  I don’t think I am oversimplifying at all here.  Is the party so poor now with choices and ideas, that the standard is Sara Palin?  I would think hard core conservatives would think she was some Affirmative Action case at best.  Every time she opens her mouth its a disaster in that either she says something stupid or you don’t understand what the hell she just said.  If Michelle Obama talked like her, she and the president would be the laughing stock of the nation.  For me, it goes back to racism.  For all the stuff white folks say about excellence, qualifications or the lack thereof when it comes to black folks, Sara Palin is the ultimate trump card when it comes to what these same racist whites are willing to accept. 

vick-dungy-reid.jpg

Speaking of racism – that’s all I can think of when it comes to many of the reactions I see regarding Michael Vick.  Let me explain.  Vick’s transgressions have been well chronicled.  So there is no need to break them down further.  But this is a nation that talks out of both sides of their mouth. 

How many times do people say, “Do the crime, do the time?”  – Vick did the crime and the time.

How many times do you hear people acknowledge that we live in forgiving nation of second chances?  – And yet so many believe Vick should not play in the NFL. 

When someone says he deserves a second chance.  I’ve heard many say “I’m not saying he can’t have a job.  I just don’t think it should be in the NFL.  What does it say to the kids?” .. and all that dumb stuff.  What they are really saying is, “That nigger shouldn’t make millions in the NFL while I struggle to make my mortgage.”  So they want the man to be punished the rest of his life or live a life free of getting paid to do something that the average Joe can’t do.  That’s just good ole fashioned haterism! 

 

Then I see these people on TV with their signs.  “Hide Your Beagle, Vick’s An Eagle.”   I laughed at it myself.  Cause obviously they thought it was funny!  I saw one lady with a sign who posed for the camera while smiling.  Is this a joke to her?  Obviously it ain’t that serious except that Michael Vick when he was on top was a dark skinned black man who made a ton of money and carried himself with a lot of swagger.  Some whites in America hated that.  I live in a town where our defensive end killed a woman in a drunk driving incident, then drove drunk again.  He’s black as well, but he’s low key,  humble, and is on his way to a hall of fame career.  These fans in Philly are hypocrites.  They pick and choose.  I used to hear it said all the time, “It’s not about the crime, it’s about those who stand accused of the crime.”  Yea we are a forgiving nation alright.  Just depends on who needs the forgiving. 

The same folks who want Vick, a convicted felon to get a regular job have no problem with a convicted Rush Limbaugh making over 100 million a year to spout hate on the radio.

And best of all.. this is a Christian nation right?  These same people who preach the bible and can forgive David for impregnating the wife of one of his top soldiers Uriah and then killing him to try to cover it up and can’t forgive a man for his own sins against animals.   Uhhhh Ok… Amen.

And what is up with Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie.  I can understand the man being an animal lover.  I share that same love as I had dogs as pets most of my childhood life.  I can understand him not wanting to be burned by Vick off the field.  But he obviously thinks he can help him on the field or else he wouldn’t have signed him.  But the statement he made, “I needed to see a lot of self-hatred in order to approve this.” 

Say again?  You want the man to be repentant of his criminal actions or to hate himself?  Do you hate yourself for your sins Jeffrey?  Whatever.  If Michael Vick scores touchdowns and helps the Eagles get deep into the playoffs this year or next, Philly fan will be riding Vicks d*%#. 

That’s all I got for now… be back later with takes on Pitino and LeBron. 

Sleeping Dogs Awake

North Korea
 
What should not be lost in all of this, and what the media should pick up on is the position that George Bush, Dick Cheney and their followers have put us in with the war in Iraq specifically as well as Afghanistan to a lesser degree.  We put Saddam in the ground alright, though now Cheney admitted recently what we already knew which was that he was simply one of many dictators who had no link to 9-11.  But the bottom like is that Kim Jong Il knows full and well that our military as great as it’s been, is tremendously overextended.  Our “war on terror” does not have a definite end, and we are caught up trying to stay alive in the desert sands of underdeveloped third world nations. 
 
With all of that said to borrow an old school phrase, North Korea is smelling their piss and showing their ass daring anyone to say anything to them.
As it stands these brigdge to nowhere wars have put us in a vulnerable position.   Make no mistake about it.  North Korea is for real. 
 
And while Americans are caught up in the rhetoric of a Rush Limbaugh and these racial politics, the real dangers are lurking half a world away in full time speed.
Keep on defending yourself and your legacy Dick. 
 
Hannity, Dobbs, keep on attacking the current president over stupid stuff.  The future for our children and grandchildren looks great!
 
North Korea

Cheney Says Saddam and 9-11 Were Not Related!

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Saddam Hussein "provided sanctuary ... and resources to terrorists."

Wow!  Is this guy a genius or what? Talk about stating the obvious.  Uhhh, Dick, and I do mean dick… we have known this since the beginning.   And so did you.  Please go back to your cave and stop trying save your legacy.  You got over and got thousands of good men and women killed.  You made Hiliburton even richer than it already was.  Your legacy is sealed and this double-talk will not undue your crimes against humanity nor the horrible position you placed our troops and nation in.

Christianity and Torture

Reading this article recently strikes me as yet another reason why I question the validity, dare I say the morality of Christianity.  At least in the fashion that it’s practiced in America.  It’s not that Christianity and Catholicism for instance have the market cornered on hypocrisy.  But because of the utter self righteous way in which many Christians paint themselves, believing that everyone should think and live as they do, I don’t understand how they can reconcile the Jesus in the bible as a savior who loves them and their agenda so much.  And so it is with a survey showing that 62% of White evangelical support torture.

Let’s examine just some of the opinions in this article for instance.  My response to these will be in bold:

Rev. Ronald Kuykendall, an evangelical pastor in Gainesville, Florida, says that the question is difficult to answer because everyone has a different definition of torture. He says he would support the torture of a terrorist if “the techniques used are lawful, necessary” and the ultimate purpose is to save lives.

Kuykendall says the New Testament (Romans 13:1-7) teaches Christians that “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

“The NT [New Testament] is clear that God grants the right of the ‘sword’ to the state to be used against wrongdoers,” Kuykendall says. “Just as I believe I don’t have a right to vengeance personally, I do believe that I can seek justice through the state and call the police on a robber, or a gunman threatening my life.”

Honestly I have no idea what he means or how this relates to torture.  But he really tried to get the scripture to endorse his support of it.  Is he saying that no matter what happens if it’s lawful then he supports it?  I would say that as a Christian he shouldn’t leave it to sinners to determine whether torture techniques are godly.  He doesn’t do that with abortion or gay rights.  Both have been lawful and yet people who share his beliefs are constantly on the fight to change the laws.  It’s as if he is complicit in support of torture but doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.  Let the “authorities” handle it.

Chuck Colson, the evangelical pastor who once served as an aide to President Nixon, answered the same question in an online discussion conducted by the Washington Post “On Faith” Web site.

Colson said that Christians are supposed to obey the law, but there may be times when there is a higher obligation, such as ignoring a “no trespassing” sign to rescue a drowning man.

“So it is with torture,” Colson wrote. “If a competent authority honestly believes that this was the only way to get information that might save the lives of thousands, I believe he would be justified.”

Again, does the comparison to saving a drowning man (saving a life) compare to torturing a man? And who defines competent?  Should it be a Christian who does the torturing?  And what if the beliefs the “authority” has are based in prejudice more than evidence?  He can “believe” the cow jumped over the moon but does that make it right?  Is this the foundation on which he is willing to stand in the face of Almighty God?

  

Charles Kammer, a religious studies professor, says he was not surprised to learn that a majority of evangelical Christians support the use of torture in certain circumstances.

Kammer says that despite Jesus’ own commitment to nonviolence, Christianity as a whole has never embraced nonviolence. He says some evangelicals also confuse patriotism with piety.

“What’s good for America has often been seen as God’s will,” says Kammer, who teaches at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

“They think the torture of evil people is not bad, but may be morally required as a way of protecting the good people.”

Kammer said he is a Christian and does not support torture in any circumstances. He considers waterboarding torture.

This seems to make the most sense to me.  When I first thought to write on this topic, I thought to myself, “Since the days of Columbus and perhaps before, Christians have always killed, maimed, tortured, stole, and dominated people when it served their interest.  Why should 2009 be any different?  To say many confuse patriotism with piety is an understatement!  They believe, or at least say they believe that God is an American and that His focus is on preserving the American way of life that isolates and separates from everyone who do not share like beliefs. 

I talked to a co-worker of mine who told me that she didn’t believe that waterboarding was torture.  I asked her if she knew what waterboarding was and she said no.  I figured she had listened to Rush or Coulter.  (I swear Coulter is one of the most dangerous and sick thinkers I have ever heard.  She is definitely serial killer material.  Rush is a drug addict so I can’t take anything he says seriously.  But I digress)  Anyway, I gave her this link on waterboarding which show the lasting damage that it causes.  Read it for yourself and see.  Also, I said to her, “If it wasn’t so bad, why would the CIA bother doing it?  If one believes in torture, surely he wouldn’t do something that seems like a mere nuisance.”  She agreed, but admitted that she likes the feeling of feeling safe.  She liked the tough talk of Dick Cheney and felt that her protection was more secure with the mobster like approach.  In other words it’s better for your neighbors to fear you more than respect you.  

But she wanted my opinion as well.  So I explained to this person who has an  Assemblies of God background the virtues of neighbors this way:

You, your husband and children live in a home which resides in a neighborhood.  You have neighbors.  Perhaps you can get along ok if you held every one of your neighbors at bay with a gun.  Let’s say no one will bother you.  Everyone fears you and you feel safe. 

But let’s say you’re away from the house and someone is snooping around your property.  Well the neighbor to your right would perhaps alert you or the authorities, but they are mostly indifferent because you aren’t friendly neighbors and have no respect for one another. 

Let’s say you go out of town.  You can tell a good neighbor, “Look I’m going to be away for a couple weeks.  Please keep an eye out for my stuff.  Get my mail for me.”  Well a neighbor who likes and respects you will go the extra mile to secure your property and personal safety.  Which of these two neighbor situations make you feel safer? 

I said it’s the same with other nations.  When Bush and Cheney drew the line in the sand and said, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” (meaning if you don’t agree with everything we do the hell with you) it put us in a position of alienating nations/neighbors.  Perhaps that nation/neighbor wouldn’t be as excited to share information that they may have obtained about our nation’s safety that our own intelligence didn’t pick up.

I don’t want to give the appearance that war is not necessary at times.  Nor that I don’t believe a strong military is a vital part of national security.  But there are other areas that are important to.  And it takes wisdom to deliver balance and righteousness.  I simply can’t reconcile the beliefs of the Christian leadership to bear witness with my own spirit.  And this is one of the reason why it’s difficult to subscribe to believing and worshipping as they do.  Worst of all, (or not) it causes me to question and doubt the very foundations of their beliefs.

Please, Someone Tell Dick Cheney to STFU!

Since being in office he’s done all but taken us back towards a total dictatorship as well as fattened up his stock in Haliburton by giving them practically every no bid governmental contract available. 

Now he’s out the big house and can’t seem to stop hating on Obama because he is not the tyrannical torturing rights snatching jerk that he is.  Cheney is a has been.  Now he is just a bitter old man about to give himself another heart attack. 

Memo to Dick: We had security issues before you came along and we will have them after you leave.  No American thinks we are completely safe from anything.  So quit with the Nostradomus act predicting disaster till something actually happens.  9-11 happened on YOUR watch!  So deal with it!  Oh yea that’s right, not only did you deal with it, you profited from it too.  So spare me the dumb talk.  Go hunt or something and shoot someone else “by mistake.” But please stay off of my TV saying the sky is going to fall!  You are as relevant as Octomom!