Dick Cheney

The big Dick is in the news again today, claiming not to understand why nobody likes him. Well, Dick, lets take a look at this.

Why don’t I love thee? Let me count the ways
I spite thee to the depth and breath and height
my soul can reach, when you pass within my sight.

For the bigotry that thee spew against me and my kind
I curse thee freely, everyday that I draw breath
while striving to right what thee have undone
in this most beautiful of countries, called the US of A.

As the world turns against us, from praise to hate,
I despise thee, purely, your utterances, your countenance
causes me nothing but pain...

Enough of this....and with great apology to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I was unsuccessfully attempting to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes.

But a pig is a pig, is a pig....Dick Cheney, who espouses discriminatory policy against the LGBT community while raising and continuing to support a gay daughter, a gay daughter in law and a child born to that couple, is the height of hypocrisy. What’s good for you and your family is also good for the rest of us, Dick.

Cheney, the head neocon in the White House, who is probably more responsible for us going to war in Iraq, than puppet boy, himself. Dubya may have pulled the switch, but Cheney pulled the strings. But sending our troops to war without the proper equipment or body armor, is grounds for impeachment. How many families have been torn apart because the soldiers have to keep going back, over and over, because we don’t have enough troops to fight your war, because you and that other fool, Rumsfeld attempted to do more with less...you know, just like what your corporate buddies have done to America’s workforce..

How many deferments did you use to keep your flat ass out of combat? You have no right to vilify or to short change anybody who serves this country.

Question....How many of our CIA operatives died when you and your cabal decided to out Valerie Plame out of spite, in order to get back at her husband?

Question...Do you feel good about destroying the Constitution of the United States of America?

Your penchant for taking care of your oil buddies, writing policy to protect them, while screwing the very people who put you in office...make you feel good, Dick.

How about the big time no bid contracts that have allowed Blackwater and KBR to rape Iraq and steal billions of dollars...What was your cut, Dick.

I could go on and on and on....But the last thing that ticks me off is you, in your interview, daring to compare yourself to Gerald Ford....Yes, he pardoned Richard Nixon....But Ford, really was a good guy, caught up in political circumstances....you, are no Gerald Ford. He was a human being, unlike yourself.

When I think of you, the word “slug” comes to mind....You know that viscous little wormlike creature that crawls around leaving a slime trail? That’s you Dick.

I wish I could hate you, but “hate” is the one word that my family taught me never to use under any circumstances, in relation to another so called human being.. So I will stop here, because I’m awfully tempted to use that word against you, but I won’t...dammit, I won’t.


The Only Catwoman


No disrespect to Julie Newmar, but Eartha Kitt really was the only Catwoman. Ms. Kitt was the very definition of “uppity.” She never minced words, even telling a president of the United States of America that his war, the Vietnam War, was wrong.

Speaking truth to power got her ostracized from America for many, many years.

She never stopped performing, or speaking her mind. When she finally returned to America in the 80's, she embarked on a whirlwind tour. I caught the midnight show in Chicago one night. The woman was truly amazing, one of those magical, one of a kind performers that take your breath away. The kind of performer who always leaves you wanting more.

Who could ever forget her portrayal of a horny, but sexy senior citizen, attempting to get Eddie Murphy into bed in the movie Boomerang...."Mahrcus dahrling!"

Eartha Kitt was one of those people that you hoped would live forever. She will through her art. But she passed today, felled by a cancer that almost no one knew she had.

She will be missed.


Monday Musings and Pre Xmas Wanderings....


The CEO of Merrill Lynch, some guy I’ve never heard of, whose firm was one of those bailed out by us taxpayers, got an 86 million dollar paycheck...

That’s 57-thousand plus in salary.....15 million in signing bonus...and 68 million in stock options.

We, the taxpayers gave Merrill Lynch more than 10 billion dollars back in October...

Am I the only one feeling like an all day sucker....We should change the name from the United States of America to The Lollipop Guild, because we definitely aren’t in Kansas, anymore


Ya’ll Done Lost Ya’ll Minds, Part 538

Who the hell wants a doll, that can take a dump? You heard me...They’re selling a doll this xmas that shits....It comes with its own special food of green beans and bananas to make it totally realistic for the little girl gifted with this creation. There is even a warning label on the box that says this doll may soil your furniture...because...sometimes it can “hold it” til it reaches the potty....but sometimes, it can’t...

I am absolutely convinced that this “toy” was created by a man, who never took care of his kids or had to change diapers.....

Every woman knows that the worst thing about babies is that they shit and throw up way too much....c’mon now.....

The weirdest thing about this story in today’s Washington Post...is that Baby Alive is flying off the shelves at 60-bucks a pop....


He Did it for Black People

Your outgoing President tells the Washington Times that he should be right up there next Martin Luther King, in the hearts of Black People, when it comes to civil rights. Dubya told the newspaper, this past weekend, that he only wanted to privatize Social Security because he had Black people’s well being in mind. He also said “no child left behind” was his way of helping Black kids learn more, so they can compete with white kids.

Oh....and you can thank him for paving the way for Barack Obama. According to Dubya, he is the reason America is soon to have its first Black president.

I can buy that. Just wished he hadn’t burned down the neighborhood before he invited the coloreds to move in....


Y2K Redux

The histrionics surrounding the world's switch to digital signal TV are reaching Y2K proportions. Trust me, the world didn't end with the change of the century, it won't end if you don't immediately plug in a converter box, if you need one. Look at it as an opportunity to discover...say....books, walks outside, playing in the snow, bird watching....


Don’t they Know When They’ve been Beaten?

The Huffington Post is reporting that Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are getting their own radio programs so they can talk about Obama all day everyday...Guess they didn’t get enough during this past election.


Condi Talk

Condoleeza Rice is talking a lot these days. Today she said that Barack may have no choice except to follow Bush’s lead when it comes to foreign policy....I guess not considering the corner that they’ve him painted into. That's why Hill is taking over. She's good at fighting out of tight spaces.

Folks are still trying to get Condi to admit who she voted for, in this past election....They’re assuming she voted with “her people.”


Cheney Unleashes

Big Dick is talking more in these last two months, than he has for the past eight years. He’s not saying anything special, just continuing to spew bigotry and misdirection type bullcrap...

The Dark Side lives, forever


A Xmas Song Sent to me from a Chicago Friend

To the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Get packin', Rod Blagojevich
The state's in disarray
The Tribune wants you unemployed
At least by Christmas Day.
The TV pundits want your head
Could there be pay to play?
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Save Illinois!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Good riddance Rod Blagojevich
Your Elvis looks inane,
The Senate's mad, so's Lisa's dad.
You drive us all insane.
Our transit's broke, the state's a joke, The Tollway's one big pain.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Save Illinois!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Good luck old Rod Blagojevich
The feds have quite a place.
Fitzgerald's poked his nose around
And if he has a case,
George Ryan's moving stuff around
Creating extra space.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy


Hey, Straight People, Got a Question for You

Question: How old were you when you decided to become straight?

Don’t laugh or look silly and ask me what I’m talking about. It’s a simple question....I’ll say it again.....How old were you, when you decided to be straight?

Folks keep telling me, and I constantly read it throughout the blogosphere, newspapers, and magazines, that being gay or lesbian is a choice....that we choose our sexuality...that we choose our lifestyle...I will agree that we may choose our lifestyle.....but our sexuality......

That is why I’m asking, when did you, heterosexuals, choose your straightness and your resultant lifestyle?

Was it five? Was it fifteen? Was it 21? Or were you born knowing? Tell me please. Inquiring minds want to know.

Did you try being gay first? Did you kiss your best friend and find out you liked it...or maybe you didn’t like it? Did you experiment before making your decision?

Or was being straight the easy, no hassle choice. Was it a choice? And if sexuality was not a choice for you.. that in your mind, you were born straight.....then why is sexuality a choice for gay and lesbians?

If straights are born that way..... then why aren’t gays?

Been reading about the latest fallen Evangel trying to resurrect himself.....Ted Haggard. He’s getting ready to do a documentary on HBO.....In the documentary he reportedly says that he never said he was straight in the first place. But he’s going to keep living as a straight man with his wife.....What is that......born gay....living straight....got caught being true to himself...still decides to live straight....hmmmmmmmmmm

Sounds like he doesn’t have a choice about his sexuality....but he does choose how he lives...He chooses to live in denial of his true self, which is homosexual.

Sexuality, fixed.....lifestyle, mutable....

For everybody, it seems...


Exporting Discrimination

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, unless...they’re gay

Question.....So, what’s the difference between the United States and the Al Qaeda infected Middle East when it comes to human rights?

Answer.......Not a damn thing!

The United States has found something it thinks it can successfully export.....homophobia. Not content to relegate a large portion of its own population to second class citizenship, the USA wants the discrimination to continue around the world. Thursday the US stood alone among western nations at the UN in refusing to sign the first ever declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

America stood shoulder to shoulder with the Islamic nation members and the Vatican, which came out against the measure last month. 66 of the 192 member nations signed the pact. Several countries that didn’t, still mandate execution as punishment for being gay.

While one African nation did sign the mandate, most did not.

Bush Bait and Switch

Administration continues to blatantly discriminate against women

While we were paying attention to the peripheral bull* surrounding the auto industry bailout and the hoopla surrounding Obama’s inaugural invocation choice, Dubya and company tried to slip another one past us.

With no fanfare, the outgoing administration quietly put into place a sweeping new law designed to protect health care workers who refuse to provide services that they say violates their personal beliefs. Click here to read a summary of the rule.

The new regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. The measure was championed by conservatives, abortion opponents, and others who want to protect and safeguard workers from discipline or other sanctions, who refuse to do their jobs. Those in favor of the new law say that all it does is to protect the civil rights of health care workers and to stop religious discrimination.

The 127 page “right of conscience rule”, was issued just in time to take effect in the 30 days before regime change in Washington on January 20th. Women’s rights advocates, pro choice groups and many members of congress have condemned the measure by saying it hinders, women’s health services, including infertility treatments, birth control services, end of life services, and halts many areas of scientific research.

The Obama administration is reportedly already looking at all of the “eleventh hour” laws that Bush is putting into place. The new administration says it is working on just how to repeal these measures.

Two senators, one of them Hillary Clinton, have already introduced legislation to repeal this law. It is pending in Congress, now. The proposed repeal law also has many opponents who say they will work to keep Bush’s regulation in place.

The rule, which will cost more than $44 million to put into place, gives more than 584,000 health-care organizations until October, 2009 to provide written certification of their compliance. Those who don’t will have their funding cut off or be required to return funding they have received.

Officials at hospitals and clinics predict the regulation will cause chaos, forcing family planning centers and fertility clinics, as an example, to hire workers, even if those workers oppose abortions or in vitro fertilization procedures that can destroy embryos.

The new rule also goes so far as to prevent or make it difficult for states to enforce laws allowing hospitals to administer the “morning after pill” when a woman has been raped or sexually assaulted, according to officials who have read the regulation.

Bush’s Health and Human Services secretary, Mike Leavitt, who issued the new rule, initially said the regulation was intended primarily to protect workers who object to abortion. But the final rule, has a much, much bigger affect. It also protects workers who do not wish to dispense birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraceptives and other forms of contraception they consider equivalent to abortion. Nor do they have to tell patients where they might go to obtain such care. The rule could also protect workers who object to certain types of end-of-life care or to withdrawing care, or even perhaps providing care to unmarried people or gay men and lesbians.

This new regulation was primarily aimed at doctors and nurses. However, in it’s final form, it offers protection to anyone with a so called "reasonable" connection to objectionable care – In other words, the ultrasound technicians, the nurses aides, the secretaries and even the janitor who might have to clean equipment used in procedures, can refuse to do their job if they feel that their religious and moral rights were violated.


Consorting with the Enemy

The LGBT community and other political activists are hyperventilating about President-elect Obama’s choice of the Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration on January 20th. Warren is aligned with the far right wing of the republican party. Click here to read more.

He is pro birth (my term for pro lifers). He is against allowing gays and lesbians to marry. Those two stances have angered many of Obama’s supporters, who are now questioning Obama’s stance on those two agendas.

This argument points out one of the things that has gone really, really wrong with America. We refuse to listen to people who disagree with our chosen stances. Every debate is not a war. Every argument or disagreement is not the end of a friendship. Differences of opinion don’t mean that you must hate the person who has those different feelings.

What it is, is a learning experience, a chance to expand your thinking. Talking to someone with different ideas forces you to find ways to strengthen and reinforce your own beliefs, or to question them, and maybe, to see the error of your ways. Either way, you learn something.

One of my closest friends is a member of Right to Life, and has been since it was founded in the 1970s by the Wilkes, here in Cincinnati. In fact, she was the one who first told me about the pro life organization. I have never agreed with anything that Right to Life stands for. Ever. We wrote letter after letter to each other and spent hour after hour, over the phone (she lives in Boston) talking and attempting to convince each other. It sometimes got heated. Sometimes, we took a week or two time out, between communications. But nearly 35 years later, we’re still friends, who still argue. We just agree to disagree.

I have similar arrangements with my sisters, my siblings. There are things we can’t talk about to each other. But my sisters are my family. They can tick me off royally, but hate, not listen, can’t do it.

Another pet peeve is the current fad of shouting down the other person or of not waiting for them to finish their point, before you’re jumping in their face. Nobody wins in the crosstalk. It’s a lost conversation....a lost opportunity to learn something, maybe. You can’t always assume that you know more than the other person to whom you’re talking. It's also extremely rude and disrespectful. There is a reason why teachers made you raise your hand before speaking in class.

And that is what drew me to Obama, one of the main things, actually. He listens, to everyone. Then he makes up his mind.

He does not fear hearing something different than what he may believe, even after he has taken a public stance on the issue. We should not fear difference of opinion, either. Because it is simply that.....a difference of opinion. You can still be friends if you want, or not. But you can and should work to implement your beliefs. In the end, however, everybody goes home a little better for the effort.

Bottom line, you learned something....isn’t that what life is all about anyway?


Tuesday Thoughts

We’re Getting There...

Obama two steps away from Presidency

The Electoral College met yesterday and did what they were supposed to do, and that was to cast their votes for the next president of the United States. Obama tallied 365 electorals, while McCain won 178.

But wait, it’s not a done deal yet. After certifying their ballots, the votes were packed up and shipped off to DC, where the votes are officially counted by the US Senate. After this, the new president will be sworn in on January 20th.

When it finally happens, the swearing in will seem anti climactic, because it feels like Obama has been on the job since November 5th.


Still Black, Get Back..

Why do people think that being multi racial is a compliment........that having white blood in your make up is somehow better than being just plain black? That it somehow elevates your social standing... and justifies your success....makes it more understandable......”he’s half white” like that means something..... That is the most racist thinking going around....a modern day jim crow/one drop/paper bag test played by everybody instead of just bourgeoise black folk.....please!

Every single African American in this country is multi racial....and so is every single white American.....Go read your history.....We are a nation of mutts......let’s get over it!


End of Days....

Must be.....never thought I would agree with anything coming out of Newt Gingrich's mouth. He told the RNC to get a life and stop trying to link Obama to Blagojevich...

Will wonders never cease


Handsome Rod

“I ain’t goin’ nowhere..”

After hearing all the stuff coming to light about Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, is anyone really surprised that he says he’s not resigning? There have been crazy, narcissistic, egotistical people in office before...we survived...we’ll survive this joker, too...

Jay Leno had it best....”What’s his name again?...........Blasonofabitch?


Madoff.......Made off with 50-billion dollars....will he go to jail, or back to his country club?


Caroline Kennedy to replace Hilary? Well, she doesn’t need the money, so she can’t be bought. She’s honest. She’s thoughtful. She’s intelligent. She is well liked.

My question is....is she willing to get dirty...Politics....is not clean or pretty and it does take a toll.


Dick Cheney speaks....

The Puppetmaster Surfaces...

Says Obama will thank him for expanding the powers of the presidency to king-like proportions. The big Dick is assuming that anyone talented enough to win the presidency is as corrupt as he and his puppet...


Who knew the Dubya could move! But what's the matter with his secret service...are they tired from too much travelling? Or are they all Democrats?


Cincinnati LGBT Band Members Tapped for Obama Inaugural Parade

Queen City Rainbow Band members slated to march as part of national contingent

Several members of Cincinnati's lesbian and gay marching band will take part in the historic first march of an LGBT band in the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, prior to the swearing in of President Elect Barack Obama. The marching band, itself, will be comprised of band members representing lesbian and gay marching bands from around the country. The marchers are members of bands which make up the Lesbian and Gay Band Association.

Cincinnati resident, Lisa D’Amore, who is the current president of the national organization, tells me that the organization participated in both Clinton inaugurals, back in 1993 and 1997, but the unit was seated and did not march. The band performed “America the Beautiful” during the 1993 Clinton festivities, to which the new president gave them a big “thumbs up.”

2009 will be the first time, she says, that the combined band will get to show off its marching stuff. The national organization was formed 26 years ago, while some of the founding member bands have been in existence for nearly 30 years. The Queen City Rainbow Marching Band and Color Guard was formed in 2002, and consisted of just 5 musicians and two flag twirlers. Today the band has 35 marching members with a 7 member flag corp. The Rainbow Band performs at many functions and events throughout the year in Cincinnati and Kentucky, and can be seen every year leading off the Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade which takes place in June, which for those of you who don’t know, is LGBT pride month.

Ms. D’Amore tells me that there won’t much time for sight seeing or taking in other events. Members, she told me, must pay their own way to DC as well help defray the costs of the trip. She says members have to get to Washington by Saturday, undergo grueling rehearsals on Sunday and Monday, march on Tuesday and return home on Wednesday. Tuesday is the really long day for band members. D’Amore says inauguration day will begin at 3am so that the band can take its place in the lineup on time.

Ohio has two other LGBT marching bands; The Capital Pride Band in Columbus, and The Blazing River Freedom Band in Cleveland. Both of these bands formed in 2003. In addition, Indiana has The Pride Indy Marching Band and Color Guard which formed in 2005. If you’d like to know more about the LGBT bands and organization click here.


Consequence Management Response Force

Special Elite Force Training to handle Terrorists Attacks and Natural Disasters

Freedom of Information requests filed and released by the ACLU have begun shedding some light on just what the military is up to, by stationing active combat troops on American soil.

Over the next three years, the Army plans to activate and train 4700 troops for specialized domestic operations, according to the report. As I reported a couple of months ago, the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Division has already been assigned to North Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. This unit recently spent most to of its time patrolling Iraq. Two more units will be added over the next two years, one unit at a time.

General Gene Renuart, who in charge of North Command says the unit’s purpose is to help manage large scale catastrophic events. He said the troops are basically medical personnel, chemical decontamination experts, engineering specialists and logistics people. The General said that was not true that the troops would be used in police fashion, crowd control situations against American citizens.

However the American Civil Liberties Union and other citizen groups are not convinced.

“One of our founding touchstones of democracy is that the military is not to be used against the American people. Over a hundred years ago that sentiment was put into law in the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from being involved in law enforcement functions. Our hope is to find as much information as we can to challenge whether this is appropriate or not and to create some public awareness about what’s going on”- Mike German, American Civil Liberties Union.
German, who is national security counsel for the ACLU, reiterated that these units were combat troops not civil police and in direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act which has stood as law since 1878.

During a recently held symposium, under questioning from the audience, General Renuart did admit that North Command routinely assists with law enforcement, mainly intelligence and anti drug efforts, in conjunction with 45 other federal police agencies.


Black Women in WWII, Still Fighting for Recognition

The story of the 6888th Central Postal Directory WAC Battalion

Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Black men, bigger than life historical figures. Their stories told over and over. Their exploits dramatized on television and in movies. Rightfully celebrated as warriors and men who helped to create this country we call America. In recognition of their accomplishments, President Elect, Barack Obama, has invited the remaining members of the Tuskegee Airmen to attend his inauguration, in January. That invitation should also be tendered to the members of the Women Army Corp, the Black WACs of World War II.

There is always a distaff side to history. The 6888th Central Postal Directory Women Army Corp Battalion, was the only unit of Black women to serve in the European theater during the great war. As were all units, it was a segregated unit, created specifically to handle a monumental problem overseas. You see, the mail, the packages, the letters and boxes of food, sent to the troops, piled up in a warehouse in Birmingham, England for the first few years of the war. The mail was not making it to the soldiers on the front lines. The workers, both soldiers and civilians assigned to process the mail, were overwhelmed by the volume of their assigned task.

The 6888th CPD, was quickly formed. The unit was comprised of women from all over the country, who had signed up to serve. My own great Aunt, Sargent Bessie L. Robinson, was one of them. If she hadn’t been a member, then I don’t think even I would have known of their existence, or their contributions to history. I had the privilege of delivering the keynote speech at their first reunion, after the war, in June, 1979, in Cincinnati, Ohio. By this time, they were old, but still full of life, sparkling as they recalled the memories of their great adventures.

The women trained at Ft. Olgethorpe, in Georgia. Among other things, they had to complete five mile hikes in full battle gear, which included, pistols belts, gas masks, canteens, packs and helmets. They made these hikes under, what the army calls, active war conditions, meaning, somebody was shooting at them, or blowing up stuff, while they did it. After training, the battalion boarded a special train to New York, and Camp Shanks.

From there, they took a ship to Europe, and on February 12th, 1945, they landed in Scotland and boarded a train for Birmingham, England. Battalion Command was entrusted to Major Charity Adams, who died in 2002.

The unit’s job was to clean up the backlog of mail. They accomplished it in record time, working two eight hours shifts, per day. They processed 65,000 pieces of mail per shift, in order to get the job done. The 6888th CPD also served in Rouen, France as Allied troops liberated that country. They also pulled duty in Paris, France before returning home to the USA. Three members of the unit died while stationed in France.

While overseas, they learned about the death of FDR They shook hands with America’s only Negro general at the time, Brigadier General, Benjamin O. Davis. He greeted them when they arrived in England. When they returned to America, the 6888th was disbanded. The women dispersed. Some stayed in the service. Some retired and went home. The war was over, the country was still segregated, and there was very little said or written about their tour of duty.

The women who are still alive, are well into their 80's, now. The unit totaled 824 women and 31 officers. My aunt, Sgt. Bessie, passed away several years ago. The small part of history that I have presented here was passed down orally. A couple of books have been written, however, the official web sites, detailing the exploits of women in war, glance over, or fail to make any mention what so ever, of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. Take nothing away from the Tuskegee Airmen. They deserve their acolades. I'm just saying that someone should remember their sisters, too.


Bengals Bashing

Let me say right up front, I’ve never been a Bengals fan. In the beginning, back in 1969, to me, they were the “new hotness, ” as in finally, Cincinnati has a professional football team to go along with the Redlegs and the Royals.

Cincinnatians my age learned football from the Cleveland Browns who fielded players with names like Marion Motley, Lou “the toe” Groza, Leon Kelly, and of course, the great, great Jim Brown. They played smash mouth football against the Giants, or the Baltimore Colts. Anyone remember Johnny Unitas or Sam Huff? I grew up with these guys. They taught me the game because it was the only thing on television, besides preachers trying to convert me and trick my parents into sending them money. There was no cable. We had to watch football, or go play quietly in our room with our broken toys, since it was too cold to play outside. The Bengals came along in 1968 or 69. I was already a half formed adult. My attitude was set. Bengals!? Please.

The Bengals were brought to town by the man who owned the Browns. He brought them with no creativity, nothing to imply that they were anything other than a shadowy reminder of the real team that he left on the banks of Lake Erie. I mean look at it....the Bengals have the same colors as the Browns, only with stripes. The Bengal name may have been historical because there was a Cincinnati Bengal team in the American Football League in the 30's, but the name still echoes back to the Browns. The names begin with a “B” for those of you who can spell. And from the start, there didn’t seem to be the same amount of love, respect and support from the Brown family that went into their original creation, the Cleveland Browns. There never seems to be enough money or trust to bring absolute quality football to the Queen City. Something was always lacking, even when they went to the Superbowl.

There were good guys, good talented guys who suited up for the Bengals. I know several of them, and they’re not going to like what I’m saying. But I think, based on what I’ve heard them utter over the years, they believe things could have been better, too.

I still carry a sweet spot for the Browns, but my allegiance changed with my city of residence. I lived in Chicago with the Bears, the Chicago Bears of 1985-86. The shufflin’ crew. The baddest defense in the whole wide world, period. Superbowl Champions. The only team that pulled me out of the house to go to a victory celebration downtown in subzero weather with 3 million other happy fools.

When the Bears weren’t playing, there was Michael, no last name needed. I’ll save basketball for another day because Cincinnati treated its pro basketball team like ugly step children, too.

But back to the Bengals, I’ve been home for several years now and I’m not watching as much football as I used to. When I do, it’s probably not the Bengals. I keep giving them a shot at my heart. I will turn them on, but I usually find something else to do or to look at midway through the first quarter.

I mean, I tried to watch when Carson was anointed quarterback god. He was okay. But after his injury he kept hanging his passes exposing his receivers to the possibility of dangerous hits from d-backs. I cringed and had to turn away when TJ and Ocho went up for the ball. I breathed a sigh of relief when they came down okay.

I’ve seen season ending hits, many times....Paul Warfield, for example. I don’t like guys to be hurt when a return to basic quarterback mechanics could solve the problem.

I was happy when Marvin Lewis was brought to town on a lot of levels. But I don’t know what’s going on there. Seems like his authority is being undermined by the front office. Seems like the same guys who are choosing pitchers for the Reds are selecting the Bengals new talent.

Or maybe it’s in the water. I don’t know. But play like I saw on Sunday means I’m going to be watching someone else for a long time to come.

My alma mater is kicking butt....Orange Bowl? Who’da thunk it? I may even watch on New Years day. And there is always women’s sports.

Cincinnati even has a female professional football team, founded by none other than Icky Woods, himself. The Cincinnati Sizzle plays some for real football. I was skeptical until I went to a game. They play at La Salle High School on Saturdays. I was impressed and finished the season out watching them play. And since I’m a people watcher, it was really cool to watch the young men in the crowd give the women player respect, not just woman respect.

The Sizzle is good football. They don’t play for money, although they deserve it.

But what to do about the Bengals? I don’t know....fire the team and start over? I would keep Marvin, give TJ some real respect, keep Hall, Dahani Jones, Gathers and a few others....and find someone who can teach tackling. With few exceptions they don’t seem to know how. Up front blocking on offense is also a problem. Quarterbacks can’t connect if the pocket keeps collapsing
especially since our QB Carson is not a scrambler. Did I say dropped balls, too?

Maybe they can sit in on Bearcat practice...find out what Kelly is doing...then go try it out on Sundays. At this point, it can’t hurt.


Thank You, Clarence Thomas

The United States Supreme Court takes up the issue of President elect, Barack Obama’s citizenship on Friday, thanks to Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas has submitted a previously dismissed lawsuit filed in New Jersey for a conference of justices.

Back in November, Leo Donofrio filed suit against New Jersey’s Secretary of State, Nina Wells, seeking to stop the presidential election. A lower court threw out the suit. It was re-filed and Supreme Court Justice David Souter dismissed it. Read here.

Well, not to be out done, Mr. Donofrio took his petition to Justice Clarence Thomas, who apparently figures the suit has some merit, so he has taken it to a conference, where all the justices will sit down and decide whether or not to hear the case. That is what is happening tomorrow.

In addition, supporters of the many lawsuits that have been filed seeking to overturn’s Obama’s election will gather on the steps of the Supreme Court to show support and to demand action.

Most of the lawsuits, as I have written before, are challenging Obama’s birth certificate as well as his birth in Hawaii, despite the fact that the state says he is a citizen, legally born in the United States. Click here to read interview with suit filer Alan Keyes. Suits have also been filed in Hawaii, Illinois, California, Kentucky and Ohio, Pennsylvania as well as the aforementioned New Jersey.

Donofrio vs Wells challenges Obama’s apparent dual citizenship as a violation of the United States Constitution. While Obama’s mother is American, his Kenyan father, reportedly had British citizenship.

I asked a legal expert friend of mine who also happens to be a retired Federal Judge, to explain what could happen tomorrow. I was told that an emergency review of Donofrio was already in progress and that the Justices could order an emergency stay of the electoral college vote slated for December 15th. They could call for oral arguments. Or the justices could simply rule in Donofrio’s favor and order penalties levied for the violations. Could the Justices overturn the election? Yes, they could.

My friend also thinks that the Justices hearing Donofrio vs Wells has about a snowball’s chance in hell. But you never know.

Maybe SUPCO likes affecting elections, now that they've done it once..How about another?

Ya think?



The first time I saw Odetta, she was in concert with Harry Belafonte. Mr. Belafonte was my 11th birthday present from my grandmother. It was a live concert. We had tickets, just me and Mother.

We both loved Mr. Belafonte. I don’t know when my grandmother discovered him, but I found him amid the grooves of a two record set titled “Harry Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall.” I played it over and over and over.

So when he came to town, of course my Grandmother and I went. It was a surprise for me. She even made me a new dress. My Grandmother made most of my clothing in those days. She was, after all a professional seamstress and I was her first grandchild.

I learned from the program that the late great Miriam Makeba was supposed to share the stage. But a man came on the stage and said that Ms. Makeba was ill and that the folk singer Odetta would fill in for her.

Well, I didn’t know who Odetta was, and I really didn’t care at that point. I was doing a grown up thing, sitting in a concert hall, my grandmother and me, like two specks in a glass of buttermilk, listening to real singers sing and perform for me and my grandmother. No need to pretend as we sat in her living room listening to a record. I was in heaven.

Odetta came to the stage. A big strong black woman with natural hair in a long brightly colored skirt with a guitar, which she held up high on her frame, almost under her chin. She reminded me of my other grandmother in stature only younger. She looked down, not at the audience, resting on her instrument. She was very still, never made eye contact. She didn’t have to. Her voice moved mountains within me. She sang folk songs, some I knew, some I didn’t. I loved them all.

The crowning grace was the song “A Hole in the Bucket” that she performed with Mr. Belafonte. It’s a funny song about a lazy man who didn’t want to do his chores. Odetta played the long suffering wife. That song in her voice, plays in my head to this day, word for word. I can sing it as if it was yesterday and I was eleven, at my first concert, at a music hall. Happy.

Rest Ms. Odetta, may you find peace.


Another Back Hand Swipe at Women

In the waning days of his administration, President Bush is attempting to push through several policies that will hurt women. One of them, the “right of conscience” proposal allows doctors, nurses and other health care officials to refuse to participate in any procedure they consider morally or religiously objectionable. Administration officials say the rule allows Christians to say “no” to procedures like abortion. You can read the press release here.

This is not a new policy. It has been around in some form since the 70's. What is new is that this new wording in the proposed regulation is drawn broad enough to include artificial insemination and birth control procedures. In other words if a pharmacist does not want to fill a prescription for birth control pills for a married woman, he is not required to do so. Similarly, if a doctor has a problem with lesbianism, he can refuse to artificially inseminate a couple if they come in trying to have a child.

This rule also increases the number of health care workers covered, meaning that a person whose only job is to clean the medical instruments used in a procedure can opt not to do his job if that procedure offends him morally or religiously.

The Bush plan, according to reports, is to get the measure on the books by December 20th. It will apply to any facility or hospital receiving federal funds.

The American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association are already on record as opposing the new language of this proposal stating that the rule could compromise and does politicize women’s health.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
issued a statement calling for limits on the so called “moral objections “ clause..

“Although respect for conscience is important, conscientious refusals should be limited if they constitute an imposition of religious or moral beliefs on patients [or] negatively affect a patient's health," ACOG's Committee on Ethics said. It also said physicians have a "duty to refer patients in a timely manner to other providers if they do not feel that they can in conscience provide the standard reproductive services that patients request.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says the issue is solely focused on abortion and he will issue the new order before the December 20th deadline.

Enactment of the proposal by the deadline will tie President elect Obama’s hands and will mean that Congress will have to act to rescind the order.


World AIDS Day

Did you know that if black Americans, all 13% of us, were a separate country, that our country would rank 16th in the world in HIV/AIDS infections? African Americans represent 49% of all new infections worldwide, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Did you know that black women in America between the ages of 25 and 49, are the group at highest risk for contracting AIDS?

Did you know that black women are infected primarily through their heterosexual partners...men who sleep with other men?

Today is World AIDs Day....the world has 33 million cases of infection, more than 70% of it happening in sub Saharan Africa.

Black AIDS Day is February 7th.....Educate yourself...for your own protection...I say this as someone who has lost too many friends and a couple of relatives to this vicious virus..


By Any Means Necessary

One of the most useless institutions within our government is the electoral college. Maybe it was good in the beginning, but it long ago outlived whatever usefulness it had. For those of you who don’t know, the electoral college was set up by our founding fathers to elect the president and vice president of the United States. What we, the citizens engaged in back on November 4th was actually an indirect election. In other words we voted for the electors who will ultimately vote for the president and vice president.

The electoral vote will happen on December 15th. You can read about the history of the electoral college here.

The electoral college’s foundation, like the proportionment of representation for the House of Representatives is built on the backs of my ancestors....slaves, in other words. Check out the three fifths compromise, used to determine how many representatives are given each state of the union. And as long as I have been able to understand, I have been in favor of abolishing the electoral college and for changing the formula for apportioning congress.

What all this means is that technically, Barack Obama has still not been elected president, despite the vote on November 4th. As I have written previously, there are people out there who are attempting to keep Obama out of the White House by any means necessary.

GOP lapdog, Alan Keyes has filed suit in California challenging Obama’s birth. Now he is joining a couple of other folks who have mounted a campaign to convince the members of the electoral college to not vote for Obama, alleging he is not qualified to be president.

In fact there is a whole web campaign to “stop Obama.” You can read about it here. If you would like the read Keyes’ writ of mandamus, click here.

One of Keyes’ suits is already in the Supreme Court. It will be heard or I should say Obama must file an answer by December 1st, which is tomorrow. Justice David Souter will preside. I consider Souter one of the good guys on SUPCO, so I’m hoping he dismisses Keyes’ suit.

I don’t for a minute believe that the electoral college will go against the popular vote, but it can happen. The electors are not bound, really. They have promised to follow the will of the people, but it’s not law, which makes me nervous.

If this hurtle is successfully passed, then Americans need to think about taking back control of its vote. The time is now for abolishing the electoral college, before some other fool dreams up another way to steal the election and the White House from the people.


Black women, Black Church and Down-lo Men

Are apparently to blame for the defeat of proposition 8 in California, according to New York Times Op-ed columnist, Charles M. Blow. Prop 8, for those of you who don’t know, is the law passed in California banning gay marriage.

Following the vote on election day, white gays and others erroneously faulted blacks for the vote after exit polls showed that 70% of blacks favored the ban. Subsequent reports however, showed that blacks actually made up a very small part of the coalition of voters who voted to ban gay marriage, for which white gays, who turned violent against black gays, during their demonstrations post election day, indiscriminately tossing around the N-word, have yet to apologize.

In his piece today, Blow did a closer look at the situation and came up with some interesting reasons as to why blacks, overall, don’t favor gay marriage. You can read his article here.

To briefly summarize Mr. Blow, the LGBT community should target black women, if they want to change the community mind set against homosexual marriage. His reasoning is that black women overwhelmingly outnumber black men when it comes to voting and going to church. The black church, Blow reasons, is the cause of conservative thinking among black women. So in Blow's opinion, white gays should target black women.

This conservative mind set is the main cause of homophobia within the community. Blow also states that since black women have trouble finding and keeping a man, they are probably not really happy with men marrying other men. In other words, black women don’t like competition. He also sights black women anger with black men who date and marry white women three times more than black women marry white men. Going outside the race for nooky has long been a thorn in the side of black women, according to Mr. Blow.

Blow also notes that black women’s anger is another reason why men who are on the down-lo, don’t want to discuss it with their female sex partners. This lack of communication is the reason behind the growing number of straight black women who are contracting the HIV/AIDs virus.

Blow concluded that white gays need to make the argument one about health rather than sexuality or civil rights, because basically when it comes to black men, the church and white women, black women don’t want to hear it.


Questions I Need Answered...

1. Why is Bush still in office? In light of these extraordinary circumstances that we're living now, why don’t we just buy out his contract and officially sideline him?

Better yet, why don’t we impeach him? If we can impeach a president for getting his swerve on in the oval office with an intern and lying about it, why are we not pursuing the war crimes allegations against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft? They lied to start their war. They’ve attempted to gut the US Constitution. They’ve literally trashed America economically. There are so many grounds, yet only Dennis Kucinich is working to make it happen.

Nancy Pelosi should be handed her head for refusing to pursue the matter. Now it looks like Bush may be working up to pardoning his cronies in crime. The question lingers...can he also pardon himself? And will he?

2. Will wall street CEOs really forego their bonuses this year as Obama has asked? I doubt it. They have stashed so much cash that they don’t have to live in the real world anymore.

3. Who broke Ann Coulter’s jaw? Reports are flying that her mouth is wired shut because of some undisclosed accident...To quote Sofia from The Color Purple.....

”day is a gawd!”

4. What is Mike Huckabee smoking? He says the LGBT community is not being physically brutalized, or getting it’s head bashed in like blacks, therefore gays have no argument. Hmmmm I wonder if he is willing to say that to the faces of the families of all the young men and women who have been killed this year alone, for no other reason than their classmates’ or neighbors’ perception that they are gay? How many transgenders have to die before Huckabee and his ilk understand that there is a problem in this country....LGBT hate crimes are kind of like black on black crime...invisible and not important to “real world America.”

5. Still with Mike HuckaBuck...What’s he snorting along with the smoke? Hucky also says that California prop 8 did not ban gay marriage. He says it simply strengthens the traditional definition of marriage.

6. Why is Ken Blackwell returning to relevance? Don’t republicans understand that he is part of the problem?

7. Are there any black republicans left in the party beside Blackwell, and Michael Steele? And does the Goofy Ole Party really think that installing a black chairman will bring blacks rushing back to the party of Lincoln?

8.With everyone celebrating our suddenly post racial society..why is the main stream media still virtually an all white entity at the top and at night? Seems that one black face usually in a back up role...as in “good evening, I’m_____________ and, so and so is off tonight.” is enough.

9. Why aren’t black women comedians considered good enough or versatile enough to work on Saturday Night Live?

10. How can anyone even consider claiming that Prince is homophobic. I mean, girlfriend has more high heels, make up and booty-out pants than I have owned in my entire life, please. Leave him alone!

11. WTF? Gossip site, Media Take Out is reporting that Whitney and Bobbie are getting remarried. I guess the album ain’t comin’ out is it?

12. Why don’t people just chill with the second guessing of our president elect? We trusted enough to vote for him....Please, let him get into office, before we try to cut him off at his knees, or build statutes in his honor. He’s got to go to work first..


Cincinnati Freestore Food Bank

We're just a couple of days away from Thanksgiving and many, many more people need help this year....I posted this last week and got a great response...so please, I'm asking once again for your help........

The Foodbank has been in dire straits, keeping up with increased demand amid this deepening financial whirlpool in which we're all caught. So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, maybe we can all help out by donating to the Free Store.

And if you're reading this, then you're online and donating is just a click away. Welcome to the virtual food drive for the Cincinnati Free Store Foodbank.

So, please, click on the link and help someone out. Donate at least the amount of money it would cost you to buy gas, in order to go to the grocery store to pick up a can good, in order to drive to the food bank, to donate.

Thank You in advance for your help....

Hey Lieberman, Don’t Drop the Soap

Watching Joe Lieberman on Meet the Press today, attempting to justify his actions of the past couple of years, campaigning for John McCain, he looks and sounds as if he’s escaped retribution. While nearly every democrat in this country is screaming for his scalp, President elect Obama has spared him, allowing him to keep his committee chairmanship. Lieberman is sounding like the consummate compromiser, talking bipartisan politics with Tom Brokaw. Lieberman, in answer to a question actually said he was sorry for some of the stuff that came out of his mouth during the campaign.

He stated to Brokaw, and I’m paraphrasing, that Obama is not just a democratic president, he is America’s president, and “we” all need to help him in the days to come, sounding like a man ready to come back into the fold, not contrite, but sounding like he dodged all cosmic payback that should have come his way with the Obama victory.

But Obama sparred him because the democrats need him. The donkey party is seriously working for a filibuster proof Senate and unfortunately, Lieberman is a part of that, if he can be trusted. And that is the problem, he was elected this past time, as an independent. He’s not a democrat and hasn’t been for quite some time. The proof of that was his working to get McCain into the White House. He is beholden to Obama now because Obama didn’t lop off his head and take his chairmanship away from him, effectively turning him into a eunuch, as other Senators wanted to do.

However, the laws of the universe are always in play. Despite Obama’s magnimity, McCain’s action in this past campaign season, do have consequences attached. His Karma debt is huge and he will have to ultimately pay the piper for his treachery toward his one time party.

Lieberman survives today, but there is no telling what’s on tap down the road. And we will be watching.


Like a Dog with a Bone

The FCC and the Justice Department, just won’t let go. The Foolish Communications Commission and the US Department of Jakeleg Justice has taken nipplegate to the United States Supreme Court. The FCC wants SUPCO to drop everything and overturn a lower court decision which threw out the half million dollar fine against CBS network, levied following the superbowl performance of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. You can read about it here.

The lower court ruled back in July that the FCC had lost its mind and gone all the way crazy trying to protect folks from the so called morally debasing performance of Ms. Jackson and Mr. Timberlake. Especially since the problem part of the several minute song and dance lasted just 9/16th of one second. Click here to refresh your memory.

I don’t understand the FCC’s rabid pursuit of this one incident, when there are hundreds of other incidents that can be pursued daily. Things that routinely come out of the mouths of broadcasters with names like Cunningham, Limbaugh, Savage, Quinn, Hannity, O”Reilly to name a few, who are hellbent on slandering or destroying anyone or anything that does not fit their definition of America.

Bill Cunningham, in particular galls me because he hails from my neck of the woods and because I one time considered him a friend. But the things coming out of his mouth these days, makes me wonder about my own sanity in remembering that we had at least broken bread as fellow reporters chasing the same stories back in the 70s. I met Cunningham when he worked as a radio reporter for WCKY, before and during the time he went to law school. I worked at the same time for 55-KRC/Q102 AM & FM. We were rivals, yes, but friendly rivals. There was no hint of the vitriol that he spews now. A lady named Nancy Clark was the main street reporter for CKY, but Cunningham hit the streets regularly, too. All reporters know every other reporter in their city. We spent more than enough time together as rivals to know each other’s personality. I’m truly surprised. Click here for more.

The FCC is another one of those government agencies run amok within the Bush Administration these past eight years. Among the many first things that our new president needs to do is to rein in these idiots by taking back the so called morality protection mandate handed them by Dubya and company. As for SUPCO, well, it has better things to do then to contemplate the fleeting glance of a superstar’s pastie covered left breast.


Raising Racists

Like many blacks of my generation, as well as those who are older, I fear for the safety of Barack Obama. It has been our history that whenever one of us rises up and speaks, we get shot down, sometimes literally losing our life. I think of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and a host of others who were brutalized because they stood up to challenge the powers that be in our time.

Obama was justifiably given secret service agents long before anyone else because of the racial situation in this country. A racial situation that has not really changed since his election and scheduled ascension to the White House.

The secret service reported that the death threats have increased rather than decreased. You can read it here. Threats were even documented in my own back yard, in the Cincinnati, Ohio suburb of Mt. Washington, at the hardware store on Salem (tried to include the link, but it keeps disappearing, sorry.)

I haven’t written previously in depth about the threats or my feelings because, frankly I’m tired of talking about race and racism. I’m tired, after nearly 60 years on this earth of having to justify my very existence through that prism. I look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary for people like me to have to work twice as hard to prove that we are merely equal.

I’d hoped that Obama’s election would, and ultimately, will change the racial climate in America. But, I’m still not yet convinced that it will. Especially when I see stories like the ones I’ve just mentioned.

I was particularly upset by reports of the 9 year olds on the school bus chanting “kill” Obama, “assassinate” Obama. Public response to this story prompted the mayor to speak out. He wrote a letter to local parents, you can read it here.

I was not surprised by the kids and their chants, because I know that racists are bred not born. Little kids like this are strictly nurtured, not natured. They don’t come out of the womb hating. Kids are like little tape recorders. Families and parents know that you have to be careful about what you say around them.

I remember an incident from my own past, when I was maybe eleven or twelve. I was downtown in Pogues, a high end department store, in a dress, a very pretty dress, dress shoes, hair done, very clean, church going clean, because that was the only way I could go to downtown Cincinnati with my parents or as in this case, with my grandmother. There was a white family standing next to us as a clerk waited on my grandmother. They had a small child who kept staring at me. I had long ago been taught not to stare back. But the kid kept looking and finally turned to her mother, I assume, and asked out loud...

”mommy, is she a nigger?”

I looked up at her mother. She turned crimson in the face and snatched the kid away from our proximity, as if we were the threatening ones. She never apologized, nor answered her daughter’s question, at least within my hearing. The clerk behind the counter turned red, too. But she didn’t say anything either. Nor did my grandmother, but then she had been hearing it longer than I had, and we never talked about it until she got drunk one night at a family party, later that year. Up until that party, I assumed that my grandmother really liked white people. But it was actually liberating for me to find out that she didn’t. She survived by going along and she’d taught me to go along, too, in order to survive. Looking back, I realize that the little girl was trying to figure out her world. She needed to be taught and she was, just not the get along way that we seek today.

Obama’s election is a start on the path to a post racial world. He represents the beginning. He was elected by a coalition of all people, who are making a strong statement that the incidents that I’ve just been talking about, are a thing of the past. I like this path that we are on now. It won’t be without adventure. Race and racism will always be with us in some form or other.

But this election has taught us that what we need to do when it does crop up, is to speak up and to educate our young. They do hear us and they do learn if taught.

And just maybe, like the fear of a black man in the white house, racism will fade away, too, taken to its grave when those of us who lived through it, pass on to our next plane of existence.


Bailout Deja Vu

A couple of days ago, I reluctantly spoke out in favor of bailing out the auto industry, primarily because of the number of workers, both inside and outside of the industry, who will be affected should the big three fail. Yesterday, the CEOs showed up on capital hill asking for the money.

Well, today I have a problem. You want my money, yet you show up by way of a private jet which is part of a fleet of 8 jets for corporate use, that costs approximately 20-thousand dollars per round trip, and you’re crying broke? That’s like my sister asking me for money to buy groceries just after she’s come from the beauty shop spending 100-dollars on her hair and 50-bucks on some fake finger nails. Negro, please. ABC reporter, Brian Ross, busted the CEOs. According to the Ross report, flying coach from Detroit to DC cost 288-dollars. Flying first class cost approximately 800-dollars round trip. Click here.

Okay guys, sell the jet, park the chauffeur driven car, fire your driver, hop a cab to the airport, check your own damn bag, and welcome to the real world, please.

There is obviously some kind of disconnect going on here. Keeping the corporate fleet while laying off workers just does not compute for me. Sounds a lot like the so called Chrysler bailout back in 1978-79.

As part of that bailout, Lee Iacocca and his executives allegedly took pay cuts, forgoing bonuses etc, with Iacocca supposedly reducing his own compensation down to 1-dollar a year. Well, all those salaries and bonuses and perks were deferred and retroactively paid. They didn’t lose a dime or suffer, while some 60-thousand workers were furloughed. You can read more about the Chrysler bailout here.

This current crop of CEOs blame the weakened economy rather than their own short sightedness and ineptness for the problems plaguing them. But the problems started back in the 70's when Toyota began making inroads into the American market. Back then, management refused to adapt to changing times. Click here for more.

These guys need to get a grip. These CEOs need to understand that if you do something stupid like ruin your company, then you lose. The American taxpayer should not have to pay for your silliness. There is a cost to doing business in an unregulated system. The American people told Detroit 40 years ago, what kind of cars it wanted, but Detroit refused to listen, feeding the myth while totally ignoring the reality of the road.

Maybe it is time for the Big Three to deal with the fact that it’s time to pay the piper.


An Ode to Going

November 19th is World Toilet Day. Founded by one Jack Sim, creator of the World Toilet Organization, the national, or I should say, world wide day of advocacy, is to call attention to the fact that billions of people don’t have access to toilets.

In fact, an estimated 2.6 billion people defecate in public. They don’t even have a bucket to use, let alone a heated public or private water closet, something that we, here in America, consider one of our god given rights. But apparently going in private, or sitting on the throne, as some of us call it, with our favorite reading material is a privilege that fully half the world does not have.

Environmental advocates tell us that public defecation contaminates food and drinking water causing a major health hazard. Diarrhea, which is for us an uncomfortable but usually minor inconvenience, kills between 2 and 3 million people per year. That’s more than AIDS, TB or malaria.

For want of a toilet, our health system is compromised.

Clean drinking water is on everyone’s radar, but nobody thinks about the need for improving sanitation, or the correlations between the two.

Jack Sim terms the lack of discussion about sanitation “the quiet embarrassment.” He likens it to the silence that initially surrounded the AIDS epidemic. We just don’t talk about the need for public toilets or improved sanitation. But innovations in the toilet industry are happening.

In Japan, toilet maker TOTO markets a toilet that does everything including checking blood pressure. The World Toilet Summit and Expo will showcase an 'uber-toilet,' featuring an in-seat warmer/cooler, male and female water jets, an in-bowl light and a USB port so you can connect your mp3 player for your soothing tune of choice ($1,200).

You read more about the WTO and World Toilet Day in this week’s TIME Magazine.


Doin’ Massa’s Work

Supreme house knee-gro, Alan Keyes has filed suit in California to block the ascension of Barack Obama to the White House. Keyes has asked the Superior Court in Sacramento to order the State to withhold California’s electoral votes, because Obama is not an American citizen. Click here for the story.

Keyes is alleging that Obama was actually born in Kenya instead of in Hawaii. This rumor has been floating for the past several years, despite the fact that the State of Hawaii has verified that Obama is a natural born citizen.

Keyes unsuccessfully ran against Obama in Illinois for that state’s senate seat back in 2004. He got into the race when the other candidate, Jack Ryan, dropped out because of allegations made by Ryan’s then wife, during an ugly divorce. Ryan was married to actor Jeri Ryan. You can read about that here.

Keyes has also run for president and a host of other offices. The GOP tends to trot him out when they want to bolster their contention that they do in fact have the interests of us urban dwellers at heart. You know how it is....any black face will do in a pinch...according to the GOP.

Question: If John McCain had won the presidency, would this knucklehead be going after him on citizenship? I ask this because McCain was not born in the United States. He is a citizen only through an act of law passed by Congress, I believe in 1923. McCain was born in Panama.

But I guess that is a moot point, since he didn’t win. Sorry, didn’t mean to knit pick.

Bang for My Buck

I am losing my patience with our government. I keep telling myself to put down the newspaper, take a step back and breathe, because it’s not as bad as it seems. What’s got me hyperventilating? Our current financial situation for one. It seems we've given out 2-trillion dollars and nobody in government knows who got the money or how they are spending it.

I’m not happy with the bailouts presently going on. Not because I fear we’re sliding into a socialistic kind of government. We’ve had some sort of socialistic tendencies going on for years, like our progressive tax system, for instance. What bothers me is all this money is being given out in taxpayers’ name, and still, nobody is being held accountable. I mean, who is getting this money...what are their plans for this money...do the CEOs and other honchos still get their bonuses and golden parachutes....are other companies, like AIG still funding getaways for their execs on taxpayer money...was any criteria set before they got the money, or did they just say, we’re broke..give it to us...

That doesn’t work for me or anyone I know for that matter. When those of us in the real world go broke for whatever reason, unless we have a benevolent rich relative to bail us out, we have to sign over everything as collateral including our first born, in blood, on parchment made from the skins of our ancestors.

More and more companies are asking for a handout. Whatever happened to the unregulated market place. What happened to survival of the fittest? I’m being forced to live by those rules. Why not big business and Wall Street? Why do they get to change the rules when they don’t work. Seems to me that if you allow your company to fall into financial ruin, and the workers lose their jobs, then you need to lose your job, your parachute and whatever bonus was promised when you signed on. It’s not fair for CEOs and others to walk away with the money while the workers get furloughed and thrown into bankruptcy. Especially if their back up plan is to ask for taxpayer money to get them out of their self constructed ditch.

Now the auto industry is crying for a handout. I’m in favor of giving it to them, because so much of our economy runs through Detroit. The big three are the major employers. They fund other industries, including our defense industry. Losing any one of the big three would be a catastrophe.

But, they need to give us something, too. If the big three want my money, then they need to build the kind of car that I need. I need a fuel efficient, safe car, that is environmentally friendly like the ones that are manufactured for the overseas markets. The big three also need to return some jobs to America. Let’s manufacture these cars over here, for a change and ship them out, rather than ship them in to the country.

Some of that is actually going on. Half the cars on the road, no matter what the name, are made here. I drive a “foreign” car with a Japanese name that actually rolled off the assembly line in Moraine Ohio between GMC Envoys and Chevy trailblazers. The only difference between my “foreign” car and the Envoy, is the name on the side panel and ten thousand dollars in price. My foreign car had the cheaper price, yet was loaded just like the Envoys and the trailblazers. My car is even roomier than the Trailblazer. Why not cut the price to the American market, too. That Moraine, Ohio plant shut down earlier this year in a cutback move, by the way.

I hope that if and when the government decides to bailout the auto makers, it will get some bang for our buck. Better cars, more jobs with a living wage. Then I would feel better about signing off on these bailouts.


Cincinnati Rally Against Prop 8

Today is an absolutely miserable day in the Queen City. It’s an upside down day with the morning being warmer than the evening will be. Temperatures started falling amidst a chill rain almost as soon as daylight broke over the eastern horizon today.

Never the less I went down to City Hall, at the prescribed hour, to see if anyone was going to turn up for the planned prop 8 solidarity rally. I am happy to report that almost 1000 rainbow clad people braved the icey wind driven rain to take part in nationwide protests against the California vote that banned gay marriage in the sunshine state. The temperature at 1:30pm was 39-degrees and dropping.

The demonstration was orderly and pleasant as protests go. Mounted police were on hand to keep the peace, but the trio of 5-0 Mounties hung around for about 10 minutes before resuming their patrols. Nothing for them to police at the rally. There were several speeches and a moment of silence at 2pm in solidarity with protestors across the country. It was a good day. The numbers in attendance would seem to indicate that more people might have shown up if the weather had only cooperated.

I was troubled by the number of blacks who turned out....besides me...I saw just one other person of color. There may have been more, but everyone was covered, protected from the rain, so it was hard to see just who was who.

I also want to know where all these folks were when Ohio passed its ban on gay marriage back in 2004. You can read about it here. Ohio was the 38th state to enact such legislation and it passed here, almost unnoticed. I wrote about it back then because some of Ohio’s courts were interpreting the law to circumvent domestic violence and common law governance to the detriment of women. The Ohio Supreme Court, however, has since answered those questions.

But to date, no one has taken the State of Ohio to task for writing discrimination into the State Constitution. You will recall that Cincinnati tried it several years ago, too. That amendment passed, then was repealed, due in part to the city losing business and money because of its stated discrimination against the LGBT community.

Maybe the group that gathered today can turn its attention to Ohio and the laws making some of us second class citizens, right here in the Buckeye state. Or maybe, even better, we can all turn our attention on the coming administration in Washington....

Nothing like an executive order or congressional law to make all laws uniform on the issue, rather than the current cross pattern of state laws that exist now.

Obama called everyone to action...so be it...let’s get busy!

Par-Tay! Ya Feelin’ Me?

All right all you Hip Hop Republicans.....Hey all you Black GOP members....Yo, to all you minority folks who don’t like our new president...Now is the time for you to step up into the breach!

The Republican party is in danger of extinction. It’s paler members have broken out the AK-47's and are currently involved in a circular firing squad. They’re cannibalizing their savior, Sarah Palin. They really, really don’t like her. Or maybe they’re just jealous about all the attention she is getting. Anyway, now is the time. This is your hour. Go ahead, jump in, take over. America has voted. We like our politics dipped in chocolate. And the GOP does need some spice in the soup its trying to serve to the public.

The real republicans have jumped ship. They support Obama, or at least are willing to support him for awhile. True non bigoted conservatives are also bolting. A bipartisan government is the utopia we have all been waiting for. But that leaves the party to the delusional right wing fringe who want to continue the marriage of church and state, creating a new talibanic regime on the most western of western soils. These people think they lost the election because their ticket didn’t push their so called moral agenda strong enough. In their collective mind, all the GOP has to do is to get more rigid in its views...fight the culture wars like they did back in the 90's when the moral majority was in its hey day. They want Saint Sarah to be their patron saint, their Joan of Arc, to lead them back to the white house and control.

I have a suggestion for you. Maybe while these folks are home cleaning their guns, depressed and sulking about current events, now is the time for all you young hip hop repubs to take over. Join the party. Stir yourself into that vanilla milkshake. Make it more flavorful and appealing to real America. Let's get rid of the virtual, Beaver Cleaver reality that many republicans can’t seem to delete from their minds.

The Republican party has to survive. America is no good if there is just one party. Americans are addicted to good cop-bad cop. The parties need to bounce off each other, rub against each other like a good bonfire. Oh sure there are lesser parties, like the green party, the communist party, the socialist party, the libertarians. We do have all kinds of political parties in America. We just don’t take them seriously unless there is a big “D” or “R” in front of them. “Ism parties” scare us to death and the only places that Americans like to see the color green is on frogs, in beer on St Patrick’s day and on our money, which is currently looking like more of a rainbow these days.

Someone has got to save the GOP. We can’t let it pass the way of the Whigs, can we? I will be honest, I can’t lead this revolution because I can’t stomach myself being a republican. I’ll admit that I have some conservative tendencies as some of my readers like to point out. And I’m a lesbian, too, so I can fit into the gay ole party. But I think the GOP needs some new minority blood. It needs some brown immigrant blood. It needs a shot of sangria, sweet, marvelous sangria.

So how about it, all you Q-dogs..Ya’ll like a good party. Some of you are even upstanding citizens. You know you know how to make money. Spend it too. Take on this new project. Rebuild the Republican party. I’m sure the Alphas and Kappas would be willing to help out. C’mon, make it more like America. Make America more Barackish. I like vanilla, but it’s the 21st century, time for another flavor. Time for some rap with the Ravel. Let’s chase that glenfiddich with a 40. How about some Miles with that Lawrence Welk.

Now is the time to stir this new chili. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?


Cincinnati Freestore Food Drive

My friends at Cincinnati Blog reminded me about the annual food drive that goes on at this time of year. Actually the food drive goes on every day, but if you're like me then you know that other things tend to push that knowledge out of your head until you read something or see something that reminds you. The food bank is never far from my mind because I pass it weekly on my drive down Liberty Street to Findlay Market. Often the line of people needing food snakes around the building and that's not just on holidays.

The Foodbank has been in dire straits, keeping up with increased demand amid this deepening financial whirlpool in which we're all caught. So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, maybe we can all help out by donating to the Free Store.

And if you're reading this, then you're online and donating is just a click away. Welcome to the virtual food drive for the Cincinnati Free Store Foodbank.

So, please, click on the link and help someone out. Donate at least the amount of money it would cost you to buy gas, in order to go to the grocery store to pick up a can good, in order to drive to the food bank, to donate.

Thanks in advance. It helps us all on our Karma debt


Palin! Please Go Home!

You know, I thought that when Obama won the election, that Sarah Palin would go home and quietly resume her gubernatorial duties up in that great white wasteland called Alaska. I gleefully thought,

“Hey....we won’t have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore...”

Silly me. She went home all right, but quietly? Nah...I should have known...quiet is just not her style.

I guess the national spotlight is addicting. Once you get a taste of it, positive or negative, you crave more and more and more.

Maybe McCain should have let her do more press while she was campaigning in order to get it out of her system. I mean, girlfriend has been on a 24/7 jaunt through the media, granting interviews to anyone who asks, attempting to debunk all the stuff that’s been coming out of her mouth for the past couple of months.

She’s not a diva, according to her, while she invites Greta Van Susteren into her kitchen to watch her cook ala Martha Stewart. She’s sorting through the clothes to determine which ones are hers and which ones belong to the GOP....First off, all she has to do is to look for the Walmart tickets...those are hers...The ones with the fancy names on the tickets...those belong to the GOP. The silk boxers have to go back, too...too cold for snow machine races through the wilderness.

And of course she knows that Africa is a continent, not a country, and she reads the same stuff in Alaska that we read in the lower 48. But banning Harry Potter? C’mon! She loves Harry Potter. She apparently doesn’t like bloggers, though.

Damn! When I write about Sarah, I get out of bed, take off my pajamas and go into my office, and sit at my desk, out of respect. After all, writing is my job. It’s what I do. It’s hard to work in bed, unless you’re a hooker. Okay, maybe some days I sit down at my desk in my pajamas, especially when it’s cold outside, that is what I like about working at home. But there were many days during the campaign that I stood in the crowd to witness Palin power, first hand, way out in the suburbs. Then I jumped into my gas guzzling SUV and drove all the way back to the city and wrote about what I saw and heard with my own ears. I had to make those trips because Sarah and John never came to my neighborhood to talk to me and my neighbors. And from what I saw on the telly, Palin never visited any places like my neighborhood, anywhere in the country. I just figured we were not “real” enough for her.

Oh, and she’s going to let GOD tell her whether or not she should run for office in 2012. I thought the witch doctor and GOD were going to handle it for her this time around in 2008. She and that charlatan James Dobson said God would speak on election day. Well, God did speak and so did the American people. But I guess Sarah wasn’t listening too closely, She got the message about going home, she just doesn’t understand that we and maybe God, want her to stay there, permanently.


Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba has passed. She collapsed, apparently from a heart attack, while on stage last night in Italy. I found her a long time ago, when she married and performed with the legendary Hugh Masekela. She taught me the "Click Song." The real name was Pata pata, but it was called the click song because she sang it in Xhosa, a language that uses not only words but clicking sounds made in the throat. I spent a lot of time as a kid trying to master those sounds.

May she rest in peace


Picketing Obama’s Grandmother’s Funeral

Some call him the crypt keeper.....I just call him a low life son of a bitch. Fred Phelps ( he’s no reverend- a reverend is a man of God), has reared his ugly head again. He and his followers are gathering to picket Obama’s grandmother’s funeral in Hawaii. You can read the flyer here.

Phelps has long been a thorn in the side of the LGBT community. I wrote about him a couple of years ago when he started picketing military funerals.

It’s time that the right wing conservative pseudo-Christians, both white and black, start to understand that this stuff is not acceptable.

Similarly, the Mormon Church and it’s support for Proposition 8 in California is also not acceptable. Marriage is a civil union, not a religious one. Marriage can be blessed or sanctioned in the church, but its binding is governed by law and the courts. Separation of church and state is a constitutional right. And as such, we are all equal under the constitution.

Any church that doesn’t pay taxes yet continues to politic, should be stripped of it’s 501C status, period. And that includes ANY church whose pastor stood in the pulpit and preached against Prop 8 and rallied his/her followers to oppose any type of legislation or socio-legal measure.

I’m not saying to censure churches or pastors...I am saying that if a church chooses to politic, or its pastor chooses to use his pulpit in an attempt to effect social change, then it should be made to relinquish it’s “special rights.”

We’re all equal here...pay taxes...first amendment.....don’t pay taxes...obey the law and shut up.

I would really feel better if someone or two would just take Phelps and his followers behind a tree and beat the holy crap out of them. But imposing the law would work better and get their attention. The best way to hurt a bigot....all bigots, religious or otherwise, is in the pocket book.

Blue Cincinnati

364 people living in my neighborhood, voted for John McCain for president over Barack Obama. That number surprised me when I first saw it, but then again, I do live near two major universities. So maybe some of their out of town students cast votes to make their dads happy, and/or to show solidarity for those black republicans who still stand shoulder to shoulder with Ken Blackwell.

5427 people, including me, cast votes for Barack. 55% of Avondale turned out to vote this past Tuesday. And that was only a 2.3% increase of voters over 2006. That’s not a huge difference in turnout, when you think about it.

The percentage difference is the big number. That 5427 represents 93% of the votes cast going for Obama, while John McCain garnered just 6% of the count. I guess the lost 1% represent the confused.

Evanston went 90% for Obama, while McCain did get 347 votes. McCain got 229 votes in Walnut Hills, which is one of the more diverse neighborhoods in Cincinnati, both ethnically and financially.

95% of Bond Hill went for Obama. 18 people went for McCain in the West End. That was his lowest total inside Cincinnati. It was off set by the 4167 vote that McCain got in Mt. Washington. But he still lost the precinct by 1 percentage point to Obama.

In fact, of the Cincinnati’s 26 wards, only one went for McCain, that was Sedamsville/Saylor Park. And they went big for McCain, 57.8% to 39.5%. The turnout was also down from 2006.

Now outside city limits the vote was reversed, with most suburban areas going for McCain. There were major exceptions, Springfield Township, Lincoln Heights, Forest Park, Woodlawn and Golf Manor.

McCain got 9 votes in Lincoln Heights which is an all black city in Hamilton County. Maybe those votes were die hard black republicans taking a stand. Don’t know.

The total vote for the City of Cincinnati was, 98,864 for Obama, 33,289 for McCain. Percentage wise, that’s 73.5% to 24.9% for Obama. That tally represents a 3.8% increase in voters to the polls.

The burbs went 154,573 for McCain, to 109,938 for Obama. 57.5% to 40.8%...and that represents a 5.5% increase in voters to the polls over 2006.

One thing is for sure, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to voter turnout. If voters won't turn out for this election, then what will they turn out for?


Still Holding My Breath

I knew it was serious when I saw all the young men and women dressed as if they’d only just gotten out of bed and needed to run out for some milk for the baby or smokes to jump start their day. The hood rats were up and out, but not on the corner. Not on this day, election day. The young men who sometimes make me cringe when I look at them, or hear them curse for no reason were up early. Usually cursing is the norm. It’s just the way they talk to everyone. But not today. The way they choose to dress, allowing their jeans to dangle to their knees in order to show off their designer boxers, makes me uncomfortable.

Pricey baseball caps seated sideways on their heads covering their doo rag, which covers their hair. Walking billboards from head to toe screaming out their favored clothing line. The hood rats were not restless this day. This day they were in line ahead of me at the poll, waiting quietly, talking respectfully to their elders, patiently allowing themselves to be directed by the poll officials, because like everyone else they were there to cast a vote for Barack Obama. They got it. They are not lost souls. They understood the importance of what was happening. America was aligning itself with the universe. Karma at work.

As I looked around, Sly Stone was ringing in my ears...”it’s a family affair..” Mothers showed up with their grown kids. They young ones followed, playing musical chairs and chowing down on chocolate chip cookies while the old ones took care of business. The wait was roughly 40 minutes..no one complained or got ugly, or walked out.

I like election days at my polling place.. it’s the one day of the year that you spend a little time hanging out with your neighbors. The conversations were friendly, meandering, passing time until the voting booth became available.

My precinct is like a village, young and old participate and they bring their kids. The poll workers are the same folks. I know them on sight and they know me. Pleasantries fly up and down the table, catching up since the primaries, which was the last time I’d been there or seen them. I flash ID only because it’s the law, pick up my two page ballot and step into the booth.

Voting was easy. The wait until the polls closed was excruciating. Just couldn’t keep myself busy or my mind off the subject at hand. Barack Obama.

I’ve already written about what I was feeling after his victory was announced. I’ve spent the past couple of days crying, thinking and tearing up. It’s been a very long catharsis. One that I don’t think is over even now.

Too many times, we’ve been to the mountain top, or looked out over the river and not been allowed to cross over. I was too young to vote for Kennedy. I was only 13 when he was killed. I remember the assassination of Malcolm X and the killing of Martin Luther King as if it was yesterday. I remember going to bed thinking Bobby Kennedy had won the California primary and would soon be our president, only to wake up and learn that he, too had been killed. I recall the run of Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm. It made me proud, but no one, not even I, took her seriously. The runs of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were little more than punch lines for late night TV.

Always, one step forward, two steps back. Never in my lifetime did I think a black man or woman could cross over the summit. Right up until the time the vote was called for him, I had trouble believing. Voter suppression, racism, ballot errors..something was going to screw it up.

And you know what.....I’m still holding my breath until January 20th, 2009. So many things can go wrong in the next 75 days.

But even at this point, I’m grateful....thank you white people for putting away fears of the boogie man. Thank you for turning out and finally, finally, allowing us to feel, for the first time, that we are simply Americans, real Americans.

It’s okay.....you don’t have to like us, but by voting for Barack you have finally conceded that all humanity does not necessarily look, act, or talk like you.


McCain’s Fault

I don’t care how much Sarah Palin actually spent during her trips to Neiman Marcus. I don’t care how many “g’s” she dropped, how many words she mispronounced, or how many sentences she mangled. I don’t even give a righteous damn about whether or not she knows that Africa is a continent instead of a country.

John McCain is solely and completely responsible for the debacle that was Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, vice president select.

He put her in that position, placed her untested and unvetted before the eyes of the world. If he had merely checked her out with his smarts instead of allowing himself to be controlled by the head that dangles on that useless appendage between his legs, before he turned her loose to fall flat on her face, he would have known what kind of personality she had. If he’d spent more than a day with her, McCain might have been privy to the alleged “diva” tendencies that members of his staff are now talking and complaining about.

If he had paid more attention to the goings on of his campaign, instead of turning his running mate over to “handlers,” he might have been able to side step some of the embarrassments to his campaign that are now being laid at her feet.

Instead, he chose to treat her like he treats all women. He has been 100% nonsupportive of anything female during his time in Congress. He dumped his first wife for a younger richer woman. He is still with that younger richer woman, but then again, she has all the money. His body language says he doesn’t like her very much, but he’s become accustomed to a certain kind of easy lifestyle that he can’t afford on his own.

Palin was just another woman to use for his purpose of garnering more power and prestige. In his limited reasoning McCain figured that he could simply swap one female for another...Sarah for Hillary. He used her, hid behind her while she weathered the body punches meant for him. And when he lost, he turned his staff loose to savage her, tossing her out of a moving car on his way back to Arizona, like a used up whore after a 20-dollar blow job in the front seat of a 59 chevy.