Category Archives: politics

Beat Obamacare With This One Strange Trick

Everyday it seems, another article is posted proclaiming some calamitous tragedy due to Obamacare. Today the claim is the loss of 2 million jobs. Then of course, you learn that the spectacular headline bears little resemblance to the truth. At this point, stories about the new national health law festooned with these misleading headlines are little better than those “one strange trick” adver-stories, the junk bonds of news.

This is what happens when journalism meets profit motive. As Fox News has taught the industry, people will flock to sensationalized stories that make someone they hate look bad. I suppose this has always been the case, but now the news media doesn’t even pretend to be doing unbiased reporting. Even if the story itself is factual, a misleading headline betrays their true interest, profit.

Papa John’s, Corporate Whining, and EVIL

On the morning after the reelection of President Obama, I had a breakfast meeting to go to at Valois, a popular Hyde Park restaurant. I wasn’t expecting anything more than the usual, so I was quite surprised to find that in celebration of the reelection of their most famous customer, they were giving everyone a free breakfast. Wow! What generosity! Now contrast that with the reaction of Papa John’s to the election results, reduced hours for employees to avoid paying for health care insurance, and whining about having to raise the prices of pizzas a few cents. Some other notable businesses have been expressing similar sentiments.

I’d say that’s a pretty evil way to do business. I’m more than willing to pay more for my pizza so that people can get the care they need, but I guess that’s just too much for billionaire CEOs to stomach. They’d rather punish their workers to express what is ultimately their personal disdain for President Obama largely because he is black. That’s some mean spirited, greedy, evil shit.

Illinois Primary Election Day

At last the big day is here! Big because it means my phone will stop ringing off the hook with election calls. What a waste! I keep getting calls for Republican candidates that there is no chance in Hell I’m going to vote for. Seriously, there are probably only 5 Republicans on my whole block.

This will also be the first election my oldest daughter will vote in. I hope she’ll actually do it. We’ve already done all we can, so now it’s up to her. As a young woman, I think that she has an even bigger stake in this election cycle given the virtually misogynistic statements coming from the GOP candidates and a whole raft of restrictive laws that have been proposed or introduced to Congress. WTF?! Has the GOP lost it’s mind? Sure seems like it. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq: About Time! Yay!

U.S. troops are leaving Iraq by year’s end! Some good news at last from Iraq. While there has been a lot of criticism about this move, in the end it is the right thing to do. The Iraqis DO NOT WANT US THERE! In the end, their country belongs to them and it’s high time we got out of the way and let them get on with the job of building the country they want, not necessarily the one the U.S. government wants.

If the United States is to live up to the standards we espouse around the world, we cannot impede the will of the people in other countries. If Arab spring has taught us anything, people will make changes when they get fed up enough, without our help.

So congratulations Iraq, and good luck!

Sarah Palin Cashing In: Ka Ching!

If there was ever any doubt that former Alaskan Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin was seeking to cash in on her celebrity, her so far failed attempt to trademark her name has removed it.

While I am not a Palin supporter and strongly believe that American politics and governance would be much better off without her influence, I think this is a really sad situation. All people have the ability to grow and improve as they live their lives gaining experience. It was a mistake for Palin to leave her job as governor. Had she fought for reelection and given herself more time to learn and mature, she would have benefited along with the American people. As it stands now, she seems to be becoming more and more of a caricature and a symbol of the worst characteristics of American politics and media.

As a cosplayer, I know the thrill and joy of getting attention for all of the hard work you put into your costume. It can be very addictive. But I also know that it is largely superficial and fleeting. As a cosplayer, I also hold no illusions about changing the world through cosplay. It’s just a hobby of mine. Not a single job has ever been created because of any of my costumes.

Unfortunately, former Governor Palin has traded a position where she could have real, mutually beneficial, impact on people’s lives, for that of a circus entertainer. Trademarking her name confirms her intention to continue in that role at a time when our country needs more strong, visionary leaders on both sides of the political aisle. What a waste.

Julian Assange and the Assassination of the Free Press

Public officials around the world have called for the assassination of Julian Assange. As many are already aware by this time, Assange has inspired international outrage due to embarrassing information he recently released on his web site WikiLeaks.

The thing I find most interesting about the whole thing is the lack of widespread public outrage. Basically, only butt-hurt government officials and wannabe leaders seem to be the ones calling for Assange’s head. As a US citizen, I’m embarrassed at the lengths my government has gone to to suppress the leaked cables including trying to wipe the site off of the internet. They should know by now that once the genie is out of the bottle and on the internet, it cannot be put back into it. Indeed, these efforts are just drawing more attention to it. I think the efforts to suppress free speech and freedom of the press are more embarrassing than the leaked information itself. I’m doubly disappointed to see this happening on President Obama’s watch. We all expected better than this further affront to the reputation of the United States.

Some have likened Assange to a spy, but the truth of the matter is that he is more like a journalist than spy. If/when Assange turns up dead, I think it will be the international free press that will have been assassinated. One could argue that with the professional press being a for profit organization owned by giant media conglomerates, there really isn’t a free press anymore. Maybe Assange’s real crime was that he wasn’t already owned by the right people.

Virtual Naked Air Ready for Take-off!

In the wake of the failed Christmas day bombing attempt by a Nigerian man, there has been a renewed called for the expanded use of full body scanners at international airports. The Dutch have already announced they will use these scanners for all U.S. bound flights. And Nigerian officials have made a similar announcement. These millimeter-wave and backscatter X-ray scanners essentially strip away clothing to reveal things that may be hidden underneath. Privacy advocates have likened their use to virtual strip searching and have strongly resisted their deployment in the United States.

I think it’s high time for Americans to get over their problems with the nude human body. Not a single one of us came into this world with a stitch of clothing on. Do I really need to care that some TSA staffer I don’t know will see me naked in some scanner? No I don’t! Department store changing rooms have been monitored for years to prevent the far less than fatal crime of shoplifting.

There’s nothing shameful or offensive about the naked body. But I do take offense at the twisted, charred, and often naked, corpses in the aftermath of a successful airliner bombing.

Chicago, you just lost the game!

I’m still rather depressed about the stunning first round loss of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid today. I’ve heard a lot of analysis this afternoon, but one thing I think is quite clear… There won’t be any more Olympic bids from Chicago. We wasted a lot of time and money when we probably never had a chance. I  like Rio, and if the IOC wants to give the games to Rio, then that’s okay. But don’t make the rest of us spend so much effort if we don’t have a chance at the prize.

Another shocker is the emerging picture that the IOC did not want the voting to play out as it did with Chicago going out so soon. Of course not, a crushing blow like that guarantees that Chicago won’t try again, it also scares off any other sane US cities as well. They needed this to go to the last round so that we could entertain the notion that our tremendous effort almost got us there.

As it stands, I think my fair Chicago feels like a jilted bride, just not good enough. It seems Havana will get the Olympics before Chicago ever will. Maybe we’ll try again next century.

Schadenfreude and Global Warming

With a new administration in the US White House, I think we are poised to make some real progress in combating global warming. The crazy weather I’ve seen over the last few years in the Chicago area makes me wonder if this is only a taste of what is to come if we do nothing. Still, there is a lot of resistance to doing what is needed and even dispute over whether global warming due to human activities is real or not. Even if it isn’t, I don’t see anything bad about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generally taking better care of the Earth.

If positive arguments don’t make a dent in the psyches of many, perhaps an opposite approach would yield results. In short, the climate changes due to global warming may actually benefit some regions of the world. While this isn’t very likely, it is a possibility. If the many of the rich are devastated while some of the poor elevated by climatic changes, then maybe the rich will get off their butts and do something. No one, especially the rich, wants to be on the opposite end of someone else’s schadenfreude. Perhaps the fear that someone else will benefit from our misfortune will be enough to motivate us to do the right thing.

Burris, Facepalm…

One of the reasons I was excited to come to Chicago for college, was the lively and entertaining political sport that takes place here. The current Burris controversy continues to entertain. I’m rather annoyed by the whole thing which to my eye isn’t much to get excited about. I’m annoyed that the state Republicans are still harping on that special election nonsense after 0 Republicans in the House, and only 3 in the Senate supported President Obama’s Stimulus Package. Against this backdrop they want Illinois voters to send a Republican to the Senate so that he or she can join with the other Republicans in opposing the policies of the President, also from Illinois. Yeah, right, I’m all for that…

So hold on Roland, just don’t seek reelection. As for calls for resignation from unnamed Black ministers, well, that really means that someone else, who I won’t speculate on here, is angling for the job behind the scenes. That’s entertainment!

Illinois At Its Finest
Illinois At Its Finest

LOL, Stupid Republicans! See Ya!

After the beating they took in the November elections, you would think that the Republicans in the U.S. Congress would have learned something. But from the almost total lack of cooperation with President Obama regarding the economic stimulus bill, I guess they did not.  I’m particularly disappointed in Senator McCain, whose gracious concession speech on election night really impressed me. But now I can doubly see that Barack Obama was the right choice for these current times of economic crisis.

The Republicans just don’t seem to get it. People need help now! I have no idea who they think they are serving by trying to block the package. If they continue on this course, they will virtually guarantee a Democratic super majority in the Senate come the next election cycle in 2 years. No tears for them from me though, they’ve never been my friend and aren’t likely to become one in the near future.

Thanks for Nothing Jesse White

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that Jesse White, the Illinois Secretary of State does not have to sign off on the appointment of Roland Burris to the vacant Senate seat. So Jesse White has thusfar refused to certify the appointment which has led the U.S. Senate to thusfar refuse to seat Burris. What’s the point of this bullsh*t Jesse?

When terrorist use the innocent as human shields, you are not justified in mowing down the shields to get to the terrorists because they are such bad people. By refusing to sign, Jesse benefits no one and falls right into the trap the governor laid for them. The evil love pulling down as many of the innocent as they can before their own inevitable demise.

I guess Jesse White didn’t get the memo that at this part of the game having made his point, he’s supposed to say how terrible Governor Blagoyevich is for putting us in this position. But in the interest of the people of the State of Illinois, he will certify the appointment so that the people would have full representation in the Senate. Oh well, some people just don’t know how to play the game I guess.

Seat Burris And Move On!

It has become clear that the removal of Governor Rod Blagoyevich is going to take a long time. Roland Burris has a long and honorable history of public service and is not involved in the scandal in any way. He just wants to serve the people of Illinois in what will probably be his final role before retirement. There’s nothing wrong with Roland, so let’s seat him and move on!

Whether they like it or not, if the Democratic Senate leaders turn Burris away with the use of police and security personnel, it’s going to look very very bad. And in the light of the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy, holding up Burris’ seating to check his qualifications is laughable. Why can’t we just acknowledge that sometimes “bad” men make good choices. Roland Burris is a good choice, so seat him.

A New Stereotype

Ever since Barack Obama began his run for the presidency, I’ve been able to feel some new pride walking down the street. Why? Because as a black man in America, regardless of all of my degrees and accomplishments, walking down the street, people were most likely to think me a criminal than a physicist, or a software engineer. But when Obama made his run and started winning, I feel a new, and at last, positive stereotype had been added to the mix. Maybe, just maybe, that black guy walking down the street with the quick, confident strides was like Barack Obama, smart, articulate, and strong. I hope that last night’s presidential victory has permanently added that new stereotype to the list of possibilities people see for all black people.

Barack Obama Wins U.S. Presidency: F**k Yeah!

Never thought I’d see this, an African American president, but it has really happened!^_^ Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States of America! As I told a Nigerian news reporter earlier today, when the U.S. electoral system works, people can and will respond to a smart, tough campaign run on the issues. I am so proud that America appears to have turned a significant page in its history! I hope that the rest of world will see that we don’t just preach a lot of lofty ideas, we live by them.