Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roland Burris?

Blagojevich is expected to appoint Roland Burris, former Illinois Attorney General, to Obama's vacant Senate seat some time today.  Interesting move; what will happen now?

Burris is a 71-year-old African American, and was in fact the first African American to be elected to a statewide office in Illinois in the 1978. He was the state comptroller and then the state AG beginning in 1990, and is currently in a private law practice.

Blagojevich is a criminal and is only appointing Burris because he's an arrogant twit trying to stay relevant and maintain a false front of innocence.

The Senate has said they will not seat anyone Blago appoints - not to say they won't take Burris BECAUSE Blago appoints him, but they won't take him without serious consideration.

Consider: Obama's seat (now empty) will be up for re-election in 2010, so whoever goes in now needs to fit one of two roles. Either a) the new Senator needs to be a solid placeholder for Illinois to produce a superior Senator for 2010, or b) he needs to be a solid Senator who can work for two years and win re-election in 2010. Burris will be a recognizable, positive name to Democrats older than us, and would probably be a good choice despite not being in that famous short list of a few weeks ago. It's entirely possible that, if seated, he could be re-elected in 2010.

Back to the Senate's reluctance to seat a Blago appointee... they are running out of options. I think this appointment today is just a stunt to generate talk and for the governor to try and flex whatever pathetic political muscle he thinks he has left. However, with just three weeks until the new congress is sworn in, the pressure should be on for the Senate to seat another Democrat just to solidify their majority, especially with the Minnesota race looking more and more likely to swing our way.

Plus, if the Joe LIEberman ordeal was any indication, Harry Reid is basically a bitch and the Senate will end up accepting Burris by the end of the week.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Hate: Part 2

One of the most divisive things which still exists in our country became evident in this past Presidential election. Unfortunately race and racism still seem to be factors in the minds of Americans. We witnessed ignorance bleeding over into hate speech when people would talk about President-elect Obama. People looking at his race creating a palette for which they could create jokes about Kool-aid, fried chicken, and welfare. Have we not moved beyond the times of Jim Crow laws and lynch mobs which themselves looked at these stereotypes to be decisive qualities of one specific race?

"We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We've got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. ... This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things."

When he said this during his now famous speech given on March 18, 2008 I could not agree more, but do we actually see this in America?

When we hear about a laborer losing his small business because of migrant workers providing cheap labor, what race comes to mind? A news story breaks that a government building has been bombed killing hundreds including women and children, what race comes to mind? A grocery store is robbed where the owner is shot by one of the robbers who then escaped, what race comes to mind?

My guess is that you thought of one particular race in each of those instances in your mind when you were picturing these events taking place. Are those views not a part of our society? Anyone of any race can fit into these scenarios depending on their situation which forces us to look at race internally first. We must look to ourselves to fight racism and blind hatred which still exists in today's society.

This now leads me to my final point. Sometimes racism boils over into a hatred so fierce we see the ugly side of our nation. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Brotherhood, and other neo-Nazi organizations show an unwavering hate I could never understand. But now I ask, when their discussion talks about "preservation of the white race through the elimination of inferior races and peoples" how can this be protected as free speech? Law is a balance between individual rights and public safety and where is the balance? A crazed skinhead goes into a Jewish community center and kills children in a daycare center, or chases down a group of white teenagers and beats them near death because one of their friends happens to be black, how can this ideology be protected under "free speech"? I ask these questions once again looking for a healthy dialogue to find common ground on where American really stands on this topic of racism.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hate: Part 1

So over the next few days I will be writing about something which I feel too many people look away from because of how severe it really can be. I will be looking at a few different issues related to specific groups of people. We may mask these issues with common phrases but they all boil down to one word, hate. Some may claim it as a lack of understanding, but those who look beyond the silver lining in everything know what these issues really come down to. These are my own opinions on the subject and I hope this spawns a further discussion because this is what is needed for these issues to be resolved.

Throughout the world's history, one idea has been something that has been debated for ages. If you ask someone what the definition of this idea is, they will never have the same two answers. It has perplexed even the most knowledgeable scholars and philosophers. It may be something of real world magic where there is no true explanation for why it happens. This thing which I am talking about is love. Now I am not going to talk about why or how it happens, but why some are not allowed to express that love.

"We must save the sanctity of marriage" as many people on the other side of this issue might say. What about divorce? It seems to me the ending of a marriage no matter who is involved with it, destroys the sanctity of marriage in a literal sense. Now to me I do not care on way or another what faith you are or if you even believe in a higher being. This debate has to be higher than that or else this is just an argument over who's imaginary friend is better.

To those who oppose gay marriage: What does it matter to you what two men or two women do at home? Why are they not allowed to share the same rights when it comes to hospital visitation if the person they have loved for their entire life is near death? Did Jesus say "Love thy neighbor as I have loved you"? Are you really loving your neighbor when you deny them the same rights as you?

To those who fight for the right to wed: Where is the passion over this issue? Why is there not a constant presence for all to see, showing what you are willing to do to gain those rights as your fellow citizens?

I am haunted by a bumper sticker that I saw the other day which states "No one is free while some are oppressed". I look back at November 4th now no loner as a day for celebration, but a black eye in the history of our nation. We made a vote for change through Barack Obama, yet across the nation, the right to marriage was denied to millions. We need to pressure the government to support the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation and by standing by and not fighting for that right, we are just as guilty as those who oppress.

Part II coming 12/18

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just when I thought it was OK to be from Illinois.

Rod, you've done it again! Our governor, Rod Blagojevich, was ARRESTED today on numerous counts of bribery and fraud. Not even, like, the cops called him up and said, "Rod, we know what you're doing, we need you to just come in." NO. They went and put him and his chief of staff in handcuffs and took them away.

According to the AP, there is a 76-page FBI affidavit listing all the charges.

Seventy-six pages.

The worst part is, these charges revolve around the appointment of a new Senator to take over for Barack Obama. Just when I was feeling proud about Illinois, when I was proud to be from the same state as someone who's doing something good in the world... Rod had to fuck it up.

He's accused, through evidance on wiretaps, of putting "a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator," said Peter Fitzgerald, US Attorney. He would accept bribes in cash or in the form of jobs.

From the AP: "The affidavit said Blagojevich expressed frustration at being "stuck" as governor and that he would have access to greater resources if he were indicted while in the U.S. Senate than while sitting as governor."

Well, congratulations, Rod. Now you won't be able to put yourself in the Senate and you won't have to be a governor any more either. Sounds like a win-win for the voters of Illinois!

For more, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/09/illinois.govenor/index.html

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

Way too funny, but sadly true.

Also, new layout obviously. I'm still making a couple edits here and there but tell me what you think via the poll.