Bebe Moore Campbell

Died Monday at the age of 56 due to complications from brain cancer.

May she rest in peace. Her work will live on..


Kramer Redux

I have a problem with the way Michael Richards is making amends for his racist tirade at the Laugh Factory last week.

After further embarrassing himself on Letterman, Richards hires a public relations expert, who allegedly has years of experience in handling black people. This hack then proceeds to have Richards call Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to apologize.


Jackson and Sharpton weren’t the ones offended. Jackson and Sharpton don’t represent the guys who were in the audience. Jackson and Sharpton don’t represent black people.

In fact, the only people who think Jackson and Sharpton are leaders of the black race, are white people.

That is probably the most racist thing about whites....they think that one man or woman can legitimately speak for an entire race of people. Jackson and Sharpton have been making hay off this assumption for years.

They have no power within the community. They are convenient. When some news talking head needs a comment from a black man, they go find Jesse or Al.

So now we go through news conferences with Richards saying he’s sorry again, while Jesse or Al or both stand solemnly in the background.

The only thing missing is the “power to the people” salute, black fist clothed in black leather glove thrown to the sky in unity.

“Kramer”..... dump the hack, get away from Jackson and Sharpton, and get yourself into counseling or some anger management courses. You need to deal with what’s going on inside you before you step back onto a stage.

Your fans will wait.


Fear of Black Men

Three black men go to a club the day before one of them is to be married to the mother of his two children. The party ends in a hail of gunfire with the groom dead and his two friends mortally wounded and hospitalized.

The shooters, cops, New York City undercover police officers. The police were in the club, according to reports, investigating illegal activity in the establishment. They were reportedly trying to shutdown the business for repeated violations of the law.

According to the latest official story, the officers allegedly heard one of the young men make reference to a gun in his car while still inside the club. After the men got into their car, the undercover officers moved to intercept them.

This is where it gets crazy.

One undercover officer steps in front of the car as it is pulling from the curb. A witness, who was also supposed to be in the car but hadn’t gotten in yet, said the undercover never identified himself and simply opened up on the car when it drove toward him. Another police van was rammed in the process. The van had pulled around the corner in an effort to block the car in, apparently. The officers in the van as well as one officer in another car also opened fire on the men. Again, witnesses said, no one identified himself.

Police said the officers, all veterans, believed they were under attack because the driver was trying to pull away from the curb. Witnesses said the men in the car thought they were being robbed and were simply trying to get away. Bullets hit nearby houses and cars during the onslaught. Luckily no one was hurt in the houses.

50 shots were fired....one man died...one man was shot eleven times...one man was hit three times....one cop emptied his gun, reloaded and emptied it again...

The men in the car did not have a gun. They were totally unarmed. The only guns on scene were the 9 mm carried by the officers.

The officers involved in the shooting are two whites, two blacks and one Hispanic. This was an equal opportunity execution. One officer, one of the white ones fired 31 of the 50 bullets. He got down on one knee, according to reports, emptied his clip, reloaded and fired again.

Brother officers said he is a good cop who simply lost it and, I guess, panicked. The police have been placed on administrative leave. The prosecutor has decided to present the case to the grand jury.

Al Sharpton is marching, leading the family and friends in protest marches around the hospital.

Fear of black men....

These situations keep happening....Lorenzo Collins, a man armed with a brick, surrounded by eleven uniformed police officers....shot to death. The brick is a threat only until he throws it at one of them. Why did the other officers fire. Execution of an unarmed black man.

Amadou Diallo, holding a wallet in his hand, standing at his door....dies in a hail of bullets from police who thought he had a gun. No threat except he was black.

A man named Carpenter, pulled over by police, who then open fire on him from behind, killing him by firing through his rear window....again....no gun in sight...and since the officers were behind the car, no apparent threat except for the fact that they’d stopped a black man.

Fear of black men.....

There has to be change.


Sunday Reading

Can you name the last 100 books you've read?

In this age of instant information, can you name the last book you read? Have you even read 100 books in your lifetime?

Maybe the better question is, when was the last time you picked up a book and read it cover to cover and it wasn’t a school book?

The New York Times today published a list of what it considers the 100 best books, both fiction and nonfiction, published this year.

I haven’t read any of them. I’ve heard of a few of them. I even plan to read some of them someday. But 100 books is a lot of reading, especially within one year.

I tend to buy books rather than borrow from the library for two reasons; I don’t like return deadlines and I have a problem with the Patriot Act, which allows the government to look over your shoulder when you go to a library (check out my archives). I do visit the library for the purpose of researching my family genealogy. But I haven’t checked out a book since my school days.

I also tend to buy two or three books at a time, and then read them when I have time. This means my house is piled high with books that I’m still working through.

Just looking around my sitting room, I am surrounded by the books I have earmarked for reading as well as the one I am actually reading. Well actually, I’m reading two at the moment; “Cross” by James Patterson and John Sanford’s latest mystery. Can’t remember the title of the Sanford book because it’s not a Lucas Davenport novel. The Davenport novels’ titles all are “something Prey,” as in “Mind Prey.”

Next on my list...one of Bill Cosby’s collection of essays on life...
three books by Chester Himes, including a collection of his short stories, also novels “A Rage in Harlem,” and “Cotton Comes to Harlem.” I’ve read “Cotton” before, and I’ve seen the movies based on the books..
James Thurber’s short story collection..
Two books by former Supreme Court Justices
and a book by John Ashcroft..

I still read several newspapers daily albeit via the internet, several magazines weekly in addition to the aforementioned books.

So, can I name the last 100 books I’ve read in my life...yes....can you?

No fair counting books you’ve read more than once, more than one time.

I’ll make it easy for you....name the last ten and email me...I’d love to know..


My N******

There’s a saying among black folks about white folks....”Never get drunk with your white friends.” Because doing that is guaranteed to bring the word “nigger” into the conversation.

In my case, it was “come kiss me with those big nigger lips.” This, from someone I called friend. Someone I thought was color blind. There was no reason to bring out that word. We were celebrating our birthdays, which were one day apart.

Actually, we weren’t even to the point of drunken stupidity, The party had just begun. There was no indication that this racial lightning bolt was about to strike. We were a multi colored party. A little this, a little that, nothing special. Just a diverse group of friends out for the evening.

My friend didn’t even know that she had done anything wrong. No clue. She thought she was making a joke. She felt safe within the group, I guess, and when I look back at the situation, I can understand her comfort level. I was comfortable, too.

I kept my cool, preferring not to react. We partied on. But the friendship changed. Never the same after that night. She exposed a wound and I never trusted her again.

I’ve seen the Michael Richards tape. He lost his cool. He didn’t fight fair when heckled by two audience members. He actually stooped pretty low by resorting to the ugliest of name calling. He’s grown up in America and knows that the best way to hurt a black person is to use the term nigger. But is he a bigot? One thing is certain, the world now perceives him differently. He is no longer trusted.

But is he any more bigoted than the rest of us who lose our cools during a heated moment and resort to name calling?

I fault him for losing his cool. He is, after all, a professional comedian who should be used to dealing with hecklers. Heckling is normal in comedy clubs. The situation should have been business as usual for a man who makes his living telling jokes from a stage.

Am I surprised that he would use the word nigger? No. Not at all.

In America, the word nigger is always just below the surface with all of us. We blacks have tried to claim the word and make it benign. It hasn’t worked. White people hear us using it and wonder why they can’t use it, when we use it to refer to ourselves, friends and families.

Whites don’t understand the nuance between “nigger” and “nigga.” They think it’s just a spelling change, a hip hop word. While blacks are too emotionally tied to the word, past and present, to explain it to them, without wanting to kick their ass when they say it.

The fact of the matter is, nigger has too many negative connotations, bad memories and bad history for anyone, black or white to continue to use this word.

We have nigger, niggard, niggardly, nigra, and my personal favorite, nigger-rig, as in “I nigger-rigged it to make it work.” I grew up knowing that word as gerry-rig. I do know that gerry-rig comes from the name of the man who’s name also gave us the term gerrymander, as in to change something.

I don’t know when gerry-rig became nigger-rig, but I’ve heard it a lot over the years, usually from blue collared white guys who didn’t realize I was within hearing distance.

The word needs to go. I’m not saying go back and erase it from our history or burn books because the word is used. We’d lose many good books and a lot of history, if we did that. What I am saying is that we, as Americans should stop using it for any reason what so ever.

All people, both black, white, Hispanic, whatever, need to stop using the word, period.

Yes, I use the word, in conversation, and in my writings. I was taken to task one time when I was quoted in an interview as using the word. Since I said it, I owned it. My words. My responsibility.

But, being a writer and practitioner of the spoken word, I know the damage that words can do. I know how dangerous language can be. I like being able to use any word I choose in order to get my point across.

But if I don’t start change with me, how can I ask someone else, black or non black to change, too?

As Spock said, “the needs of the many, sometimes out weigh the needs of the one.”

Change, and we all live long and prosper.

‘Nough said.


The People Have Spoken

O.J. Simpson's book and upcoming TV special have been cancelled. Rupert Murdoch, apparently fearing an even bigger public backlash and realizing that ultimately he would lose money, has pulled the plug on this ill advised sweeps adventure.

Make no mistake, I don't for a minute think Fox has a heart, I just think the loss of dollars outweighs and possible gains.

Can't wait to see what they try next.

Heterosexual Privilege

Question: Did you know it’s okay to beat the crap out of your live in girlfriend in Ohio? And go ahead girls, it’s okay to kick the snot of your common law husband, too.

This is equal opportunity insanity, as long as it’s opposite sex. Same sex couples, roommates, etc don’t exist in Ohio under the law.

Ohio wrote discrimination into its constitution when it passed the Defense of Marriage Amendment a few years ago. That’s old news. Ohio was the 38th state to do so. They’re reasoning for doing so was to protect the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

However, Ohio’s law also makes it illegal to live as a couple with someone who is not your spouse. In other words, if you aren’t married, you aren’t legal and therefore have no recourse under the law. This directly conflicts with Ohio’s domestic violence laws which protect people who “live as a spouse.”

Which brings me to my topic. There is a guy in Dayton, one Michael Carswell, who according to the Dayton Daily News,
is suing to get assault charges thrown out, because under DOMA, slapping your girlfriend around is no longer a crime.

Carswell’s arguments are scheduled to be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court, next month. There are in fact 60 cases pending, where the defendants have argued that beating up your girlfriend, is not a crime under this law.

The 2nd and 3rd District Appeals Courts have issued rulings agreeing with Carswell’s reading of the law.

The 2nd and 3rd Districts cover about 17 counties in northwest Ohio. But a number of other courts have rejected the argument, hence the need for the Ohio Supreme Court to settle the dispute.

In the meantime, Dayton police are using misdemeanor assault laws instead of the felony domestic violence laws when the partners are not legally married.

That means that a woman cannot get an order of protection, while this hassle is working its way through the court system. It means that the assaulter will still be on the streets and could pose a threat to the victim. We’ve seen this craziness in Ohio.

Alleged Christian groups Citizens for Community Values and Focus on the Family have filed briefs supporting Carswell’s argument.

These two groups led the fight to get DOMA passed. Now they are trying to protect abusers, victims be damned.

And they call themselves christian? Hmmmmmmmmm....


Friday Thoughts...

Am I the only one who thinks O.J. Simpson is one sick f***. Slimy is a nice way of describing his publisher. And Fox Network, earlier this week they get busted for doctoring news video, to make it more dramatic, I guess, now they’re airing this “interview.” I can’t imagine anyone, anyone wanting to watch this or read this book.

Let’s all do something nice for Ron and Nicole by not participating in this madness...


First she loses the loser she married, now we hear Whitney is losing her mansion to foreclosure. I hope she makes it all the way back. I miss her voice. Give some of these self named Divas a lesson in Diva-dom, oh and also how to sing. Or am I the only one who thinks today’s singers...all of em...need lessons on how to carry a tune.

There are a few who can sing....Lizz Wright, Vivian Green, Leela James, Christine Aquilera Diane Reeves, Diana Krall, and the woman from the Lion King..Lena.Headley? can’t remember her name but I certainly know her voice.

The rest are pretenders. Queen Latifah has the chops. But she is just walking talent, period.


Some really good news....Red wine long known to be good for your heart...now studies show it increases endurance. Makes my day. Time for a nice Cabernet!



Having It Both Ways

The Grand Old Party gets blown out of the water during last week’s midterm elections and what do they do....they trot out Tom Delay to explain and rationalize what happened. I ignored that when I saw it. The GOP is clueless and has repeatedly proven it the past six years.

The morally judgmental party talks the talk but never walks the walk. Delay has not yet been convicted, but it’s no secret the guy is bad news. Next to Jack Abramoff, he is probably the worst of the lot, which brings me to my subject today.

I find myself railing at my televison set today because Trent Lott has been elected minority whip. For those of you not versed in congress-talk that means he is the GOP vote counter in the senate.

It is a power position. Lott was booted out of power four years ago for making racially insensitive comments while toasting a fellow senator at his birthday party.

Basically, Lott said the country would be better off today, if birthday boy, former senator, staunch segregationist and proven father of a black illegitimate daughter, Strom Thurmond, had been elected president back in 1948. He apologized and was banished until today.

Today he is back in the old boy’s club.

Throughout the past several months, I’ve watched how the party of compassionate conservatism rationalizes the racist, sexist and bigoted attitudes of it’s members. From George Allen in Virginia, to the campaign run against Harold Ford in Tennessee, to the bigotry spewed by Ken Blackwell against Ted Strickland in Ohio, the attacks were unbridled and vicious in their intent.

Yet when called on it, they immediately try to rationalize and explain it away. When they find themselves unable to explain it away, the other members banish them for a while, only to trot them back out and into a power seat when they think we’ve forgotten.

The Christian principle of “forgive and forget” only applies to members. Those on the outside are never allowed to forget and are never forgiven (can you say, Jane Fonda and Bill and Hilary).

The GOP which wants to codify discrimination against gays and lesbians and has actually written it into its party platform, finds itself being outed as the true party of gay white men.

Further, GOP talking heads are making the talk show rounds having to defend their gay party members.

The talking heads argue that it is okay to be gay and to have a private life. It’s okay to have a job and a beautiful house or condo. People should not be punished for that.

Question: If gay is okay....then how come folks are still being killed, like the guy in New York, two weeks ago...how come Gary Studds husband can’t receive the dead congressman’s pension....how come people who want to get married, can’t, because it’s against the law....how come certain companies are allowed to fire people for looking gay, Cracker Barrel.....how come there is a boycott of walmart, and ford motor company for entering into a business agreement with an LGBT organization....

Yeah, It’s okay to be gay, as long as you’re closeted, support oppressive laws against other LGBT people, and are a member of the republican party....Mary Cheney. Phyllis Schafly’s son, whatever his name is. Mark Foley...the list goes on and on....Can you say Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover.

Kind of like me supporting legislation against black people. Oh, I forgot, that’s Clarence Thomas’ job and Harold Ford Jr's, Alan Keyes' and J.C. Watts'. But that is a topic for another. day.

The GOP is going to have to make up it’s mind, which way it wants to flow or face the possibility of permanent banishment to their garden of homegrown hypocrisy.


Taming Your Inner Carnivore

Women should pay attention to two extensive scientific studies released this week. The studies deal with the links between eating red meat and how effective vitamins are as a preventative for heart disease in women.

You can read the full report on red meat and breast cancer in the Archives of Internal Medicine magazine. In a nutshell the report says the more red meat you eat, the greater your risk for breast cancer.

“More” is defined as 1 and ½ servings per day which makes women twice as likely to develop hormone related breast cancer, as those women who ate fewer than three portions of red meat per week.

The second report is the longest running study of how, or if, vitamin supplements help prevent heart disease in women. This study was conducted by doctors from Harvard who concluded that the supplements, don’t help much at all. Although there were some hints that vitamin C may do a little something for high risk women. That conclusion, say doctors, needs more study.

The vitamin study has been going on for a decade and more than 8000 women were randomly given vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Another 5000 women were given folic acid and vitamin B for seven years.

The doctors concluded there was “minimal evidence” of cardiovascular benefit. This study continues.

In the meat study, 90,000 women between the ages of 26 and 46, were looked at, and questioned over a 20 year period. They were divided into five groups based on how much meat they ate on a regular basis.

Meat consumption was linked to breast cancers caused by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, but not to non hormonal cancers.

The women who ate the most meat were also likely to be smokers and overweight. Even taking these factors into account, doctors say they were able to document the red meat cancer connection.

The bottom line to all this.....cut down on red meat, stop smoking and exercise. We keep hearing that.

Are we listening?


Fish Anti Freeze

My favorite food in the entire universe is ice cream. I love Hagen Daaz. I like Breyers and will eat it when I can’t get Hagen Daaz. If I can’t get either, I will eat whatever is available, as long as it is early in the day, and I haven’t had it for awhile. Eat it too close to my bedtime and I suffer all night, because I’m one of those lactose intolerant people.

My number two choice has come out with something called double churned ice cream. It’s extra creamy and is lower in fat than the regular stuff, according to the commercials.

Well, there’s a catch....in order to get the ice cream smoother and creamier, Breyers is using a genetically altered fish protein culled from an antarctic fish that swims in ice cold waters. The ice structuring protein keeps the fish from freezing to death in polar waters, by keeping ice from forming inside the fish’s body.

And guess what, the fish anti freeze is not listed on the label. Breyer’s, at this point in time, doesn’t have to list it.

This is another case of a genetically altered product that we consumers are eating without our knowledge or consent.

Unilever is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to make the fish anti freeze an allowable food additive in order to add it to more foods. But it’s already in use in America, Australia and New Zealand.

A group of scientists is protesting the use of the additive stating that not enough testing has been done to find out about long term effects on people.

I mean, are we going to grow gills down the road? Our kids are already outsized and I’d bet my next paycheck it has something to do with the all the foods we eat from animals that are fed growth hormones. It’s being passed up the food chain and the buck stops with us.

The scientists fear that the fish protein may cause inflammation or trigger inflammatory diseases that will go unrecognized because the protein is not listed on the label. The scientific report also says that chronic inflammation takes a long time to develop, making the label information even more important.

Preliminary reports on tests done by Unilever shows the corporation has not done testing with regard to inflammation and that, says the scientists, could set the public up for an immunological time bomb.

The scientists recommend testing on both young and old animals before the FDA grants any approvals for use in people food.

The problem though is it’s like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. It’s already in the ice cream and probably, knowing corporate America, in everything else.

It’s already too late. We just have to wait for this latest food bomb to go off.

I don’t know about you, but my days of eating ice cream are really over, now.


Time to Recharge

Taking a break this weekend. All this political action has worn me down and burned out some brain cells.

See you Monday...or maybe Tuesday


Ed Bradley

I’ve lost another hero.... Ed Bradley....the supercool one who reported for CBS news and 60 minutes.

He was one of the first, along with my mentor Mal Goode, may he rest in peace.

Mr. Bradley you will be missed.

Condi Rising

All right, everybody sing that song from THE WIZ....

“Can you feel a brand new day, can you feel a brand new day!”

Condolezza finally gets some help. Her old playmates Robert Gates and Jim Baker are back in the picture. That means that Brent Skowcroft will also be lurking, giving advice off the record.

Looks like Daddy Bush got tired of junior screwing up and took back the reins of power on foreign policy. Daddy Bush is the expert after all. Both Gates and Baker are long time allies of Daddy.

And while I can understand Bush lite’s hesitation to dump Rumsfeld, losing Congress for one man was just plain stupid. We all have good friends who mess up everything around them. You help them as much as you can, but you don’t let them jeopardize your lifestyle with their stupidity.

That’s what Dubya did. If he hadn’t endorsed Rummy and Cheney days before the vote, the GOP would probably still be in power today. Arrogance, plain and simple.

I’ll bet he’s probably trying to figure out what to do with Cheney, too. But that’s a more difficult situation. Bush can isolate him, but unless Cheney does something illegal like Spiro Agnew (remember him) ain’t gonna happen.

But I still don’t think Bush gets it. He came out in conciliatory mode at his news conference yesterday, but then he proceeded to blame everyone and everything for his incompetence.

He even called the American population stupid, alleging voters didn’t really understand the issues, or they would’ve stayed the course.

I have to tell you, between Bush calling voters stupid and Rumsfeld telling citizens we’re confused and that the war and terror issues are too complicated for us to understand, I wish we’d been able to vote all of them out of office.

Now I hope Democrats can buy a clue and come up with a rational plan. Put revenge on the back burner and get on with governing this country correctly.

I know that’s a lot to ask. Democrats are just another species of politician and my jaw is clenched just waiting for the new stuff to hit the fan.

Some good things though..........more women than ever before in Congress.....Condi seems to be a better infighter than most of us imagined, but she could still buy a vowel and a clue on the Middle East (calling Madeline Albright)......Nancy Pelosi is expected to become the first female Speaker of the House, and that is a very big deal...makes her third in line behind the President and Vice President.....Condi’s in that succession line, too.

I’m not sure how things have opened up for Hilary.....To me she doesn’t feel like such a lock to run anymore.

I’m not a Hilary supporter. She needs a sense of humor. But I would love to see Bill back in the White House, even if he is only the wife and not the President.

The GOP doesn’t stand a chance when that man is on his game, as he was in the final days of the campaign.

Yeah, Hillary’s got some competition. Can you say Barack and Deval? Deval Patrick became this country’s second black Governor.

Everyone was mourning the loss of Ford in Tennessee. Not me. That race was a choice between bigots. I have no use for either one of them Don’t care if he is black.


The People have Spoken, But.......

He’s still the president. Bush is still in the White House for another two years, armed with the power of the veto. Meaning he can still torpedo any legislation, throwing it back to congress to override him, if they can.

Overall, the election went smashingly well for Democrats. They took back many governorships, and the House of Representatives. The Senate is still up for grabs. Dems must take both of the too close to call elections going on in Montana and Virginia. Lose them and the GOP retains control. Gain a tie and split 50/50 and Dick Cheney becomes the deciding vote, which is a scary thought.

Ohio chose Ted Strickland to lead in the wake of the scandal plagued GOP. Wannabe governor Ken Blackwell conceded before the votes were even counted, based on exit poll results. Talk about cut and run. He should have waited a little bit. Southern Ohio counties including, Hamilton, Butler, Warren, and Clinton all tilted for him. The rest of Ohio, however, went for Strickland.

The other embarrassment seems to have won out. I’m talking about Jean Scmidt. Looks like she managed to squeak by Dr. Victoria Wulsin, who still hasn’t conceded yet, it’s that close in the second district.

So Ohio is now officially a blue state. Let’s see if something can get done for the people, not just for rich people.


Now the Wait...

Cheney goes hunting while the rest of us (hopefully) go voting. He’s taking his daughter with him too. I hope she stays close enough to him so he can’t swing his gun in her direction.

My polling place was lively this morning in the heart of ghetto land. Lots and lots of people showing up to voice their opinions about our leaders and prospective leaders.

We have new scanning equipment in place. Basically it’s color in the big box next to your choice....it can give you writer’s cramp. Make sure your mark is very very dark, and then take the oversized ballot to the scanner and feed it in....simple...If you do it right, an American flag pops up on the screen and starts waving at you.

It was easy, once I got past this young man who was supposed to be checking identification. He couldn’t find my name, although all the poll worker women greeted me by name when I walked in. He said he was tired. The elderly lady next to him looked ready to bat him over his head, but instead took the book away from him and turned right to my name, even told me my address. They do know me here.

I was kind of surprised that there weren’t more poll watchers outside. We vote at the Urban League building on reading road in Avondale, a Cincinnati neighborhood. It was raining and there was one lonely, albeit big guy of African American persuasion, wearing a Steve Chabot sign around his barrel of a chest. He tried to hand me some reading material.

Since it was raining, I didn’t engage. His choice of candidate told me it wouldn’t be worth the mental exercise to talk to him anyway. So I hurried in to get out of the rain.

In this run up to the election, I have been worried about my parents, both of whom are now in their late 70s. They always vote. I was concerned about my mom, given these new rules about having identification and what types are valid. My mother no longer drives and hasn’t for several years. She is also supremely computer phobic. My dad is too, but not as much as mom. I was worried that the new laws might hinder them.

I shouldn’t have worried. My mother and father are known in their precinct, just like I’m known in mine. No poll worker is going to stop my parents from voting.

My mom was actually pretty geeked about today. She used to work elections when I was a kid. I think if her health were better she would probably still work there.

My father hates everything republican, period. So I know who he voted for without even asking.

My father doesn’t curse or use bad words for any reason, except when he talks about black republicans. So, if my dad is any indication, Ken Blackwell may be in trouble.

But we’re just one family...we all vote...all of my sisters and their kids....even our marine who is currently somewhere in the middle east.

We will be heard, even if no one is listening.

Now we wait....


It’s Begun

Less than 24 hours away from the election and the s*** has hit the fan in Ohio, Cuyahoga County to be specific.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting trouble with the elections scanning/counting machines.

The Diebold machines can’t seem to scan the ballots correctly. This problem occurred last year in May during the primaries causing elections officials to count by hand, took days to get the official results.

In the run up to this election, officials have been testing the machines with the help of Diebold technicians and while the machines work with blank paper...they can’t accurately scan folded test ballots...

That’s a problem because elections officials all around the state got the go ahead to begin scanning absentee ballots so that they can be counted after the polls close tomorrow.

Since most absentee ballots come into the board of elections via mail...they are all folded...and the machine can’t handle the folds.

Word has it that some 100,000 absentee ballots have been received and must be scanned by tomorrow. The last time this happened only 17,000 absentee ballots were at issue and the resultant hand count took a week.

Secretary of State and wannabe governor Ken Blackwell went to court to keep counties from scanning the ballots before election day stating that would be counting votes. But elections officials successfully argued before a judge that scanning absentee ballots was only adding data to the computers that will do the actual counting on election day. So the scanning of the ballots actually began this past weekend.

The scanning has been proceeding smoothly in Hamilton county which is an overwhelmingly republican area located in southwest Ohio on the Ohio River and has Cincinnati as its major city.

Cuyahoga County is in northwest Ohio on Lake Erie and has Cleveland as its major tenant. It is overwhelmingly democratic.

Usually Hamilton and Cuyahoga cancel each other out. It’s been like that since I’ve been able to vote...that’s going back nearly four decades.

If Diebold can get the scan/vote right in predominantly white and republican counties...why doesn’t it work in less than white and democratic counties?

Same company...same machines...aren’t they?

Other counties are bracing for trouble too such as what happened in a Columbus suburb named Minerva Park in 2004. The once prosperous neighborhood is now very poor, jobless and 80% black.

The lines were long....nobody budged...they held places for those who had to leave and take care of business....they chatted and waited to cast their ballots....The area was heavily anti-Bush and anti-republican and very vocal about it.

But somehow....some way.....despite the people and the way they were talking that day....Minerva Park went heavily for Bush over Kerry in 2004 to the surprise of the everyone in Ohio.

There is a quiet investigation still going on in Ohio....a recount of 2004, ballot by ballot.

Although he was within his legal rights to do so, Ken Blackwell was prevented from destroying the 2004 ballots by the courts. An independent watch group is slowly sifting through those ballots as we speak.

As I’ve been saying...... Democrats and minorities; don’t count your chickens just yet....the fix is in Ohio and has been for a long time.

It’s just waiting to jump up and bite us in the ass again.


Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

Dead Man Walking......

Well, Saddam has been found guilty and given a death sentence. He will be hanged in public. This trial went on for a year. Two attorneys have been killed. Two judges quit the bench. Throughout it all, Saddam has remained defiant. Still no WMDs found.

So, he gets to die publicly and the Bush Administration gets a spectacle to point to as an example of all the “good” they did for Iraq.

My question.....Saddam will soon be dead....now what...is anything going to change? Will the country now settle down into a miraculous democracy, where all Iraqis are free like we used to be?

Can my nephew, other Marines and soldiers now come home, now that Saddam has been dealt with?

Is the war on terror any closer to being over? Will gas prices go down?

Are we going after Osama next?


Big Brother in First Grade....

Word comes today that three elementary schools in California are going to start fingerprinting, or I should say fingerprint scanning their young charges. The scanning will come in the lunchroom when the kids pick up their lunches. They will have to place their tiny little digits on a scanning pad that will call up all kinds of instant info on them, before they can eat.

Language Lesson....

Schadenfreude....a German word that loosely means “taking pleasure in others pain”....It’s a popular word these days and lately is being used in connection with ex reverend Ted Haggard.

I had to look up the word because my German sucks and I don’t watch the popular TV shows like West Wing, or Friends-like shows that toss the word around freely, and I wanted to know what all the pop culture elite were talking about on their blogs and comments to blogs.

The concept of this word is not a good one. Taking pleasure in someone else’s pain, may feel great, but the Karmic consequences of such an action are not good.

Remember, what goes around, comes around..that’s Karma....a universal law/Christian/Islamic/Catholic/Judaic/Buddhist..religious..nonreligious..Karma happens..

Don’t take this to mean that I support ex reverend Ted....Anyone who sets himself up to be a moral judge, had better be pristine in both of his lives, public and private. If not, the fall will always be ugly and painful.

One good thing that can come from the ex rev...he is a walking example that homosexuality is not a learned trait. You can’t just turn it on and off, because you want to. You can choose not to have sex....you can get married to the opposite sex and procreate...

You can choose not to identify with other LGBT people. But you’re still gay....born that way....not turned that way.....All the public denials in the world won’t change that.