Friday, November 21, 2008
Today I'd like to present a couple of my favorites, both hailing from Great Britain. First up is Incognito, led by J.P. "Bluey" Maunick on guitar, with a live version of 'Collibri.'
How about that, pretty funky huh? You probably need to chill out for a minute now, so here's Ronnie Jordan with Tinsel Town.
That's it for this week, and I hoped you enjoyed it. Don't forget to check out the rest of the Old School Friday crew. And by the way I haven't forgot about adding links for you new OSF players. I'm still on the road and just haven't had the time. Please leave a comment if I missed you.
Electronic Village - Chatting Over Cocktails - Ms Grapevine - Quick - Marcus LANGFORD - Cassandra - Danielle-Lisa C -Chocl8t - DP - Kreative Talk -MarvalusOne - Regina - LaShonda -AJ - Sharon - Invisible Woman - Believer 1964 -Dee - SJP - sHaE-sHaE - Songs In the Key of Life - Shawn - Hagar’s Daughter - freshandfab - Creole Pimp - Wonderland or Not - SoulAfrodisiac
Monday, November 17, 2008
Let me just say that I thought I was hooked on the 6315. In less than 4 days I've become hopelessly addicted to the Blackberry. Even the move from the Windows Mobile operating system hasn't tempered my enthusiasm, and I know I haven't even scratched the surface of what can be done with this baby. I'm out of the office a lot, so for me a smartphone is a must. I really can't imagine doing business without one. And apparently I'm not the only one.
For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign...
...But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.
Give up the Blackberry? Email? Communication with the outside world? Man, that's cruel and unusual punishment. The job is going to be hard enough with forcing our new President to go through withdrawal at the same time. That's just cold.
I don't know how he's going to do it, but I wish him luck. He's going to need it. Thankfully, my correspondence is just not that important so I'll continue trying to figure out ways to maximize the potential of this new device. I'm open for suggestions. How do you use your Smartphone/PDA? Which one do you have? And what are the killer apps that an addict like myself shouldn't be living without?
Friday, November 14, 2008
I just don't know what to say! Texas Panhandle blogger Jobsanger has presented There... Already with the Superior Scribbler Award. We are honored, especially since scribbling is basically what we do around here.
In the spirit of spreading the wealth (wink, nudge, wink), I've decided to pass this award along to five other deserving blogs. Now before anyone gets irate at being overlooked, there are literally dozens of blogs that I read regularly that I could have also presented this award, but alas, I'm limited to five. And since Jobsanger is already on the list along with several others I personally care about, here's my five.
Regina's Family Seasons - Regina's blogs about life, family, religion, politics, and... well a little of everything. Definitely one of my favorite spots on the web.
Para Justicia and Libertad - XicanoPwr always breaks it down from an H-Town brown perspective.
Raw Dawg Buffalo - Speaking of breaking it down, Torrance open eyes in a Paul Laurence Dunbar kind of way. That means insightful, intelligent analysis spoken in the local dialect! Be prepared.
SES: Science, Education, and Society
Our society needs to focus more on science and education, and it's just not cool to be dumb. For those reasons and more you should check out the Urban Scientist.
Off the Kuff - Hey, I live in Houston and need to know what's going on. Kuff to the rescue.
And since I'm a rebellious, mavericky kind of guy, I've unilaterally decided to add a sixth awardee.
Alright full disclosure on this one. Will is one of my little sisters grade school friends and now they've both grown up and become movers and shakers in the world. But you have to check out Will's journal and photo essays documenting his double lung transplant. Incredible.
So that's it. There are a ton of others deserving as well, but you know, limits are limits. For those of you who were awarded, please share the love and nominate others. Here are the rules.
• Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
• Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
• Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
• Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
• Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
First up, live from 1967 is the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin with Respect.
And now here are the Doors, with Break On Through (To The Other Side)
That's it, and pretty darn eclectic don't you think? I hope you enjoyed and don't forget to check out the rest of the Old School Friday crew. Remember I've been out of the game for a few weeks, so if I've missed anybody, just leave a comment and I'll add you in.
Electronic Village - Chatting Over Cocktails - Ms Grapevine - Quick - Marcus LANGFORD - Cassandra - Danielle-Lisa C -Chocl8t - DP - Kreative Talk -MarvalusOne - Regina - LaShonda -AJ - Sharon - Invisible Woman - Believer 1964 -Dee - SJP - sHaE-sHaE - Songs In the Key of Life - Shawn - Hagar’s Daughter - freshandfab - Creole Pimp - Wonderland or Not
Monday, November 10, 2008
I mean the Black/White; Christian/Muslim, Socialist/Communist, Terrorist-sympathizer won, and I’m sure a lot of people are wondering how the hell that happened. Of course, a lot of those folks live here in Texas, which predictably fell into the McCain column on election night. But I’ve noticed something strange since then, and I wonder if any of you are experiencing the same thing. Right now I’m calling it the “If an election happens and I voted for the losing candidate(s), does it still count if I don’t talk about it?” syndrome.
I mean, this was the first time I’d ever come to work the day after a national election, and no one wanted to talk politics. Last Wednesday was a political dead zone around my office building, and dramatically different from the last national election. I could tell that some folks were upset about the results. I also know that a lot of people were very pleased with the outcome. While in conversation with like-minded people I’ve expressed my justifiable joy at Barack Obama’s victory and overwhelming pride at its historic significance. However I (and seemingly everyone else) basically tip-toed around the folks on the losing side of the election, and let them grieve in their own way. Well no more.
This post is my official notice that I’ve ended that policy and will from this point forward express my unbridled pride and optimism towards the incoming Obama administration every chance I get. I’ve been unhappy after elections too, yet it didn’t stop me from discussing the results with people who agreed or disagreed with me. In other words, I don’t really care if you’re over it or not, although I hope you are. You just can’t expect for the nearly 3.5 million of us in Texas who voted for the winning candidate to continue to spare your feelings.
I guess looking back it was predictable that something like the “If an election happens and I voted for the losing candidate(s), does it still count if I don’t talk about it?” syndrome would happen...
I remember a conversation I had in Nov. 2004 with a guy who worked in my building, let's just call him G.D. Now G.D. was a conservative. I mean to the core. The kind of person who would get all fired up listening to Hannity, Limbaugh, and Fox News and come to work looking for someone with an opposing point of view to argue with. Invariably, he’d find me and rattle off the talking points of the day, and I’d invariably rebut them. This went on practically every day for the 2 years we worked together in that building, and while I disagreed with his positions on just about everything, I definitely respected G.D. for his commitment to his opinions, and willingness to defend them in open debate.
After the 2004 election Bush was reelected and a Republican majority in Congress elected, and I made the point to G.D. that Bush and the Republicans were most likely going to overreach, and that it would come back to hurt them in future elections. He vehemently denied that would be the case, and laid out the argument that the Republicans were more in tune with the American people than Democrats/Liberals/Progressives. I simply said “wait and see.”
Well, the Republicans under G.W. Bush not only overreached, they did so seemingly as a matter of policy. So much so that a lot of us were/are suffering from outrage fatigue, making it impossible to stay angry at anything for too long because the next outrage is always right around the corner. You had to pace yourself in order to maintain your sanity during the Bush administration.
And lo and behold the last two election cycles have proven me right, with the 2006 Congressional elections flipping control of the House and Senate to the Democrats, and the last Tuesday’s results speak for themselves. The funny thing is that after the 2006 Congressional elections, G.D. stopped talking politics with me. Just like that. Cold turkey. Anything but politics. I thought it was strange at the time, and an isolated case. However with the overwhelming results from last Tuesday apparent, I recognize it for the serious ailment that it is, and that its effects are more widespread than previously thought.
Regardless, pretending there’s not a problem is not helpful to anyone, so I’m not going to do that. I just hope y’all get over it soon.
It is the Monday after the election, and that means it is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance weekly blog round-up--but with a twist. In this edition, TPA member blogs bring you some of their best posts from the last year of election coverage. Enjoy this trip down memory lane, courtesy of the TPA.
Muse enjoyed all things Hillary leading up to the March 4th Texas Primary. There was the Hillary endorsement post that made her mom cry. A high point was the event where Muse fulfilled her lifelong dream to touch Bill Clinton. (Little did she know there would be a more up close and personal opportunity.) She got to see Hillary four times in person, including this event. Even her Prius got in the act: Prius Owners for Hillary!
BossKitty at TruthHugger is angry that Sarah Palin's nasty rhetoric has ignited hateful fallout, she let the white Supremacist Genie Out Of The Bottle, Thanks Sarah - There are still 'stone aged' creatures marching around calling themselves Christians, wearing NAZI paraphernalia! Woe be to anyone who would harm the first family of America! On a more personal note, BossKitty has ideas about what to do when you lose your job ... but, the most daunting agenda on our plate is that our New America Must Reduce It’s Seven Deadly Sins if we want to survive as a nation.
Brains and Eggs had the good, the bad, the ugly, and some TBD in a series of election postmortems, and then a little more of each. PDiddie wrapped last week with the finger-pointing and recriminations that marked the last throes of the McCain-Palin campaign, which included an luxury undergarment update.
It's been a tumultuous week for everyone, but at McBlogger it was remarkably calm. We're chalking it up to a change in prescription medications. First up was Donna Keel attacking Austin Interfaith. Then there was an attack on Diana Maldonado by her parish priest and, for us, that was enough religion for all week. The funniest thing we saw was a commercial shot by former celebrities going after Al Franken that made us want to move to Minnesota and vote for him. There was also some funny about people upset that they weren't getting help from the Federal Government, even though they didn't need it. Wrapping everything up was our final farewell to those who loved them some Austin Proposition 2.
Justin at AAA-Fund Blog covered the presidential primacaucus in Texas including Clinton’s sweep of Asian American surrogates and both candidates' Asian American outreach . Justin also scolded Hubert Vo, evaluated Noriega’s immigration plan, and was amazed that both Barack Obama and Sherrie Matula were "That Ones."
Off the Kuff has some early observations about what happened on Election Day, plus a look at turnout figures and statewide trends.
At Texas Kaos, the bitter and the sweet mix together as we look back on an amazing rollercoaster of an election season. While it looked like there was a contest for the U.S. Senate nomination, Boadicea put together Rick's answers for Democracy for Texas to paint a picture of the candidate, This is Rick Noriega-Texas Progressive Leader Covering the snark beat, our friend from the Soggy North, Fake Consultant, gave some pointers to a hockey mom thrust onto the national stageOn Dressing for Success, Part One, or, How Much is Armani, Anyway? and followed up with more helpful tips in On Dressing for Success, Part Two, Or, We Costume Palin… for 2/3 off! Lightseeker took a reasoned and sober look at a more serious element this election: Respecting Life, Making Hard Choices and finally makes the point that the Nov 4 vote was not an ending, but a beginning, Looking Now, Looking Forward.
Ah the memories at The Texas Cloverleaf during the 2008 election season. The candidates would make their case on WWE Monday Night Raw. We learned that McCain would lose early on, with our own Congressman Michael Burgess advising him on healthcare. We wished Governor Palin well on her first Grandparents Day. We learned Texas Republicans can't figure out education, much less spell it correctly. But we finally came out on top with Barack Obama, and some mixed Texas results. Here is to a classic 2008!
Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex focused a considerable amount of energy this cycle covering Texas Democrats' attempts to retake the Texas House of Representatives. From racist mailers and decitful TV ads in Dallas and Houston area House districts to the battle to unseat Texas' most ethically compromised legislator, down to catching Republicans telling blatant lies, this was a busy cycle in Texas. In the primary, he was one of a few Texas bloggers who supported Senator Hillary Clinton, and offered her this open letter when she left the race.
Neil at Texas Liberal offers up his post on early voting in Downtown Houston. The post tells what Democrats Neil enjoyed voting for and also has colorful pictures that will please the eye.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme debunks 10 Republican excuses.
In the 2008 primary and election, Jobsanger continued his penchant for supporting losing candidates by backing Bill Richardson, Rick Noriega, Sherrie Matula and Nancy Moffatt, before finally breaking through with a winner in Barack Obama.
What a long strange journey it has been for the Easter Lemming. Gary has started pushing for a poll-workers union after working the primary and then another election this Spring. He found out people read blogs about as much as newspapers! Guess who the Easter Lemming supported? And finally, he ended too tired to party but not too tired to blog with a special mention that MoveOn.Org is bigger and more important than the NRA in politics now.. And here is the rest of it.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Though I expected the Democrats to win and win big, I've got to say I was unprepared for the wave of emotion that flooded over me when the race was called for Barack Obama. Our little family just grabbed each other, hugged, and held on. Then we said a prayer of thanks to God for the blessing of the day, and of thanks to our ancestors for persevering through it all and making a day like yesterday possible. Another significant date has been added to the panopoly of sacred dates/events in the advancement of African-Americans up from slavery, joining the Emancipation Proclamation/Juneteenth; the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement (in the form of the Voting Rights Act of 1964); and now the election of the first person of African descent to the highest office in the land.
This is not simply a victory for Blacks, but rather an overwhelming victory for the American people. However based simply on my own history and experiences, at first glance I have to look at it from the perspective of being a Black man. I've been conversing with friends, family, and blog buddies since last night, and keep ending up in the same place. Namely, that just a few short years ago when I was coming up, we used to joke (in a serious way) that a Black person would never, ever become the President of the United States. There were just too many obstacles in the path of such a victory.
For example, there just aren't enough Black people in this country to elect a President. We only comprise 12-13% of the population, so on a good day, if all of us voted for the same candidate and could vote in the same state, we'd have trouble electing a governor in California or Texas by ourselves, let alone a President.
Then there's racial prejudice. In the world I grew up in in East Texas, it was quite clear to everybody that a color line existed and that major obstacles faced Blacks trying to advance in almost any endeavor. That same line existed, sometimes in more subtle fashion, pretty much everywhere else I've lived and worked. White folks simply would not vote for a Black candidate if a viable (read White) alternative was available. National level politics? A President? Yeah right, quit dreaming.
Yet here we are in 2008 and not only is an African-American the President-elect, his victory is due in very large measure to the millions of Whites who voted for him. Oh, I'm not leaving out Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and others who formed part of the victory coalition, but the fact that Obama captured such a large percentage of the White vote is amazing and gratifying to me. I am proud that so many folks voted based upon their best interests instead of out of fear or ignorance. In so doing, the impetus has been provided for America to take another great leap ahead as a country.
In many ways this election validates our hopes in regard to America's future. I know when I've discussed issues of history and race with teenagers, a lot of times it's as if they have no idea what you're talking about, and their almost universal refrain is that "that was then and this is now. Things have changed." Apparently they are right. Our kids all get along until they're taught not to, and the youth vote in this election proved that beyond a doubt.
Now I haven't buried my head in the sand to the point where I think that the race issue in this country has finally been dealt with definitively. Maybe it never will be. Like Obama, pretty much all of us (especially Blacks and Whites) are mixed-race if you go back far enough and uncover some of the forgotten leaves in our family trees. We're from the same families in other words, and the problem is that historically one side of the family tree reaped the majority of the inheritance. That reality and other deep rooted issues can't be washed away based on the results of a single election.
But Barack Obama's candidacy exposed an essential truth that I hope is built upon in the coming years. That truth is that we Americans have a lot more in common than different. Our interests are the same. A lot of us even have the same names, and common ancestors. We all want to be able to provide for our families, for our kids to get a good education, and to be afforded the opportunity to live healthy and in security. The current administration and its policies has shown us all that we're in the same boat. High gas prices, unending wars, and organized theft from the national treasury affects us all, and we'll be paying the price for two G.W. Bush terms for years to come. Last night's victory is a great start towards that recovery, and a spingboard for a better future.
I sure hope so anyway, and I really wish some of those people who meant the most to me in my life could have lived to see it.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sitting here watching the election results and it looks like Barack Obama is going to win this thing. Right now the West Coast polls are about to close. California should come into play here in a few minutes, and that should take Obama over the top in combination with any combination of other states.
Barring a miracle, I can't see any way John McCain can come back and win.
The exit polls are telling all kinds of stories, and most of them speak well of this country and how far we have actually come. Almost every demographic is coming out in favor of change as embodied by Barack Obama. It's truly amazing and humbling.
I don't want to start celebrating before the definitive results are in, but my little family is preparing to celebrate this historic occasion.
Oops, there goes Virginia into the Obama camp! This party is about to get started!
I guess you could say I've been in a secure undisclosed location, loosely translated as working my behind off and not really having many spare moments for blogging or anything else. But I couldn't let this day go by because it's Election Day.
This is the day I've been waiting for since watching incredulously while John Kerry conceded while hundreds, maybe thousands of people were still waiting in line to cast their votes in Ohio. As bad as that day was, that election did spawn Howard Dean and the 50 state strategy which has put states into play all around the country that the Democrats and Progressives typically just abandoned. That national strategy provided the springboard for the phenomenal campaign of Barack Obama, and now we're on the verge of history.
We've all been waiting, and the tension is like the last two minutes of the big game; your team is up by a field goal and the question is can your defense hold? Well, we're about to see.
I exercised my right to vote last Friday in Ft. Bend County Texas, so I can officially admonish everyone else to get out there and vote. Personally I hope more of you vote for Barack Obama than for John McCain because hey, I'm pretty much fed up with being broke and watching the country go to hell in a handbasket under Republican "leadership." That's plenty enough reason for me to vote Democratic. Not to mention the Democratic candidate seems smarter, has a better plan, and doesn't seem to attract the most vile element of the American electorate like the other side does.
But there's the added bonus of the possibility of the first African-American President being elected, and that makes me very proud, almost to the point of giddy. I know that's not a position that everyone is comfortable with, but I can't help that. I feel the way I feel, and why shouldn't Black folks be proud at such a historically significant moment? Regardless of the outcome, this is another chapter in the amazing story that is Black folks in America.
My mother passed away in July. My Dad passed in 2001. My younger brother, grandparents, and a whole bunch of other people did not live to see even the possibility of this day. But I have, and the joy I'm sure I'll feel if Barack Obama pulls this thing off will be compounded by the fact that so many others who worked tirelessly and anonymously for this day to arrive, did not have a chance to to see it come to pass. So I'll be celebrating for the multitudes of those who came before me and helped pave this road to where we are now.
Or I might be grieving for those same multitudes, but I don't want to think about that right now.
So go vote. Preferably for Barack Obama and all of his down-ticket Democratic buddies, but exercise your right whoever your choice is. Too many people of all races fought, marched, struggled, and died for anyone in this country to be apathetic. And the razor thin results of 2000 and 2004 should dispel any notion that your vote doesn't matter.