Swimming In My Head…

diving in the deep end…

Vernon, Alabama – It’s where I want to summer

On occasion, we’re lucky enough to see a piece of literary mastery that truly dazzles us with the amazing.  I saw that amazing piece in the New York Times on November 10th in an article entitled “For South, a Waning Hold on National Politics”.

The author, Fred Fessenden wrote a great article.  The dazzling parts were the comments that some of the residents of this tiny rouge-collar hamlet protruding from the globe in awkwardly backward northwestern Alakuntry – I mean bama.

Let’s start with Gail McDaniel – she commented:

“I am concerned.  The abortion thing bothers me.  Same-sex marriage.  I think there are going to be outbreaks from blacks.  From where I’m from, this is going to give them the right to be more aggressive.”

Oh dear, dear Gail, you’re concerned?  I can’t imagine that in your thriving metropolis of 2,390 you could possibly be concerned or scared of abortion and same-sex marriage.  Your 7 places of worship must be doing a fine job of indoctrinating your residents on the pitfalls and wrongness of sex outside of wedlock and homosexuality.  And since you’re probably of the opinion that homosexuality is a choice and just as simple as conversion, you may want to hold one extra riddance ceremony after the new guy is sworn in. That should stamp out the ‘mo’ problem in Vernon.

You can rest assured that the black man that will soon be running the country will probably have infesting Vernon, AL with the things that concern you, as his top priority – right before fixing our national economy that’s affecting the globe (not the one on your fireplace), working on the housing crisis, and tending to this war in Iraq that was initiated by our very white ‘W’.  Don’t quote me on this, but I’ll bet Vernon Alabama is as high on his radar as Afghanistan (no, that’s not the thing you’re crocheting for Christmas).

Oh, and don’t let me forget…if the abortion and ‘mo’ thing concerns you because you’ve seen it on tv, well don’t you worry, after February of next year you won’t have to watch anymore.  You can remove those cute little metal wands resting on top of your box and watch the snow because the rest of us are going digital.

But Gail, what I’ve really been waiting to say is that I’m one of those “blacks” that is probable to be on your so-called aggressive watch list.  And I’m completely offended, but let me tell you why.

I thought it appropriate to research Vernon before I made any snap judgments – you know, like you did.  And when I compared my lot in life to that of a Vernon resident, I totally get why I have a right to be aggressive with a black President.  Let’s see:

Your “median family income is $24,381.00”.

Impressive.  But I should warn you that one of the cars in my 2-car garage cost me about $13,000 more than that and the other one cost about $20,000 more.  Hold on to your knickers…I’m probably going to get aggressive.

Your “property taxes on a $100,000 home with a homestead exemption are $259.00”.

My property taxes on one of my homes is $5,000 with a homestead exemption.  Hold your breath…I’m gettin’ angry.

“Approximate cost of 1,800 sf home with 2-car garage – 5 to 10 yrs old: $65,000 to $75,000”.

My 3,000 sf home with 2-car garage – 5 yrs old: $400,000+.  Ouch…startin’ to fume.

“Community recreation programs: Roller skating, Public Swimming Pool, City Park, Backstreet Opry, Fishing, Hunting, Walking Trails.”

Oh my dear lord, my ability to in-line skate around my gated community, or swim in my in-ground pool (that’s in my back yard), or chill in my hot tub is trumped by all of the goings-on in your community.  That’s it – I’m overheated.

Gail, to sum it all up, it’s really sad that you believe that suddenly blacks will now have the right to be more aggressive and possibly upstage your long-running right to be stupid.  If you have a cell phone…my bad, this is Vernon we’re talking about – take your home phone and dial this number: 1-800-BUY-ACLU.

Dare I forget to mention Mr. Don Dollar, the Administrative Assistant for Vernon City Hall who said:

“This is a community that’s supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks.  If they’re not disappointed, they should be at the alter.”

Donny, poor, pathetic Donny, all I can say is: be a good little Administrative Assistant and get me some coffee while I make grown people decisions about running a company.  And get some concealer from Gail – your crocodile tears are making you look like Jonah while he was digesting in Orca.


November 11, 2008 Posted by | Really? | , , , , , | 26 Comments

The Race Card – No excuse

It nearly infuriates me to see the stance that some seem to be taking as it relates to Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Obama.

Is it necessary to make an excuse for every misstep that has been made?  Where will responsibility come into play?

Despite being a minority, my decision to support Senator Obama has absolutely nothing to do with my racial background.  Absolutely nothing!  As a matter of fact, I was registered non-partisan prior to the 2nd reign of dare I say, terror by our current, ever-so-popular ‘W’.

I would like to share why as a minority, who is not particularly lured into party loyalty, first why I don’t support Senator McCain and secondly, why I do support Senator Obama.

First and foremost, Senator McCain’s choice in a running mate seems to show his ability to understand how to make an interesting entrance that draws ‘oohs and aahs’, but completely defies the rhetoric surrounding his experience and ability to run a country.  While I’m sure that Governor Palin has some decent qualities, she has repeatedly evidenced her prejudices against so many types of people, her out-of-touch view of “pro-America”, her inability to answer a question directly, and her lack of experience in dealing with big-city issues.  Nobody forced Senator McCain to choose Governor Palin – no excuse.

As if choosing a running mate solely on the ‘she may not be the brightest bulb, but she’s hot’ premise isn’t enough, Senator McCain chose to employ people to run his campaign whose only true ability is smearing and invoking fear to sequester support.  Why on earth would I deliberately vote for someone who thinks it’s more important to scare the masses into believing that their opponent is anti-American or worse, a terrorist and then has the audacity to state that they respect them at a Catholic fundraising event?  If he were so certain that Senator Obama is that wrong for the country, then he should never, under any circumstances say that he respects him.  Stick to your story – no excuse.

And while we’re talking about sticking to a story, Senator McCain has had ample opportunity over the past 8 years to show his ‘McMaverickability’ as it relates to his support of our current fearless leader (‘W’).  His one ‘dinger’ during the third debate where he alluded to Senator Obama running against ‘W’ 4 years ago was heralded by so many as a great line.  Yet how quickly we forget that he too could’ve run against ‘W’ 4 years ago if he were so against the policies of the ‘W’ administration.  Not only did he not run against him, but he supported ‘W’ very vocally during the campaign and 90% of the time thereafter, right up until recently when he was sure that our economy was basically sound.  ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda’ – no excuse.

Most important to me is understanding how the new President is going to lead the country into the healing process.  We’re hurting right now and we need someone who can say that they’ve looked at all angles, considered the supporting evidence and will make the decisions that start us down the path of rehabilitation.  Enter Senator McCain and Governor Palin – neither has any clear-cut answers to doing that.  Cutting the capital gains tax?  That won’t help me.  I don’t have any big assets that I’ll be selling in 2009 and even if I did, I wouldn’t realize any benefit from a capital gains tax cut until early 2010.  How does that help me now?  No real answers – no excuse.

I may not be ‘Joe Sixpack’, ‘Joe the Plumber’, or a ‘Hockey Mom’, but I am a taxpayer, I’m ‘pro-American’ even though I don’t live in a small town, and I have yet to see one concrete way that Senator McCain and Governor Palin have outlined to help me, the ‘Joes’, the ‘Hockey Moms’, and the rest of us ‘pro-Americans’ that are apparently inconveniently hiding in larger cities,  stop struggling and get back to living the American dream.  Using patriotism as a clever marketing ploy – no excuse.

Now don’t let the above fool you.  I don’t think that Senator Obama has all of the answers either, but I do think that he’s put some thought into the ways that he can make some changes to an ineffective system and more importantly surround himself with able people.  Following are my reasons for being in support of him:

First, his choice in a running mate was Joe Biden.  Experience has always been thrown in Senator Obama’s face, but choosing a running mate who is the 6th longest running Senator as a trusted adviser shows his ability to weigh the situation and make a good decision.  Just the evidence – no excuse needed.

Second, his campaign has mostly been focused on the issues and rarely on the inadequacies or character flaws of McCain or Palin.  And think about it, there is a lot of material out there about Governor Palin to work with and he’s taken the higher road and spoken to America about what he would like to do to rehabilitate our country.  Not as a Democrat, but as a leader.  I am certain that Senator Obama’s plan for healthcare would be far better for ‘Joe the Plumber’ than a $5,000 tax credit from Senator McCain since ‘Joe the Plumber’ owes back taxes.  Just the evidence – no excuse needed.

Senator Obama has harped on the failure of the last 8 years, but rightfully so.  President Bush has followed his own agenda and shown his unwillingness and blatant disregard for the very constituency that he represents at nearly every turn.  Quite frankly, I don’t think that our country was ready for Senator Obama to run against President Bush 4 years ago.  Afterall, wasn’t it the ‘Joe Sixpacks’, ‘Joe the Plumbers’, ‘Hockey Moms’, and Palinesque ‘pro-Americans’ that McCain/Palin are appealing to relentlessly, that supported President Bush’s 2nd terror term?  So the answer is simple – it took 8 years of being battered before the ‘regular’ folks realized that salvation wasn’t coming from the Republicans.  Just the evidence – no excuse needed.

My biggest reason for supporting Senator Obama?  Because I feel that he has shown the characteristics of a true leader.  Let’s face it, while McCain/Palin are inciting people at rallies to vocalize things like “off with their head”, or use racial slurs toward cameramen who are merely performing their job and doing absolutely nothing about it, I hardly see how they would be able to unite our country and lead us down the path of rehabilitation.  Whereas Senator Obama has outlined his economic plans, he has answered the questions and he’s gotten his gathering attendees to rally around changing the country for the better, not calling people names.  He’s done all of this across party lines, racial lines, and socio-economic lines showing me that what he may lack in length of time in politics, he more than makes up for in his ability to appropriately lead.  Just the evidence – no excuse needed.

I would like to point out that I’ve actually never been more proud to be an American than right now.  When you strip away the damage that ‘W’ has done, the malfeasance of the McCain/Palin mudslinging campaign, and the rocky economy, I have watched so many good-hearted, good-natured, decent people step up and show their support for someone that wouldn’t have even been allowed near the White House just 80 or so years ago.  That makes me proud to be a part of a country that is finally standing up for the right things.  That’s just the evidence – no excuse is needed.

So to all of the miserable, misinformed, excuse-laden people who have claimed that Colin Powell has endorsed Senator Obama because he’s black, let’s look at the evidence.  The Republican party did not produce a viable black Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate.  So, please stop saying that Mr. Powell would not have endorsed a white Democratic candidate.  First of all, you have no evidence to support your theory and second you’re making excuses for an inability to produce a minority candidate that is willing to run for President.  I think the reality goes more like this:

Mr. Powell has reviewed the evidence.  He has observed the activities, policies and plans presented by both candidates.  After carefully weighing what has been presented to him, he makes a decision.  If the evidence favors the candidate outside of his party, he should without question, be permitted to state his decision as is his 1st Amendment right.  Oh, and one more thing, Amendment 15 of the Constitution of the United States of America says that “Race is no bar to vote”.  Colin Powell happens to be a minority and he happens to be endorsing a minority, but you can’t play the race card…our founding fathers took that one out of play in 1870.

That’s the evidence – no excuses.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments