Archive for July, 2009
Boston, with its racist past, (this was the city where baseball great Jackie Robinson took to the field at Fenway Park and an announcement on the loudspeaker said: “Get this nigger off the field!”)…and, some would argue, its racist present too, was basking in the sun of our self-righteousness, when we were brought back rudely down to earth!
(Information from the internet says: In 1945, The Red Sox, under pressure from the Boston city council, agreed to hold a tryout at Fenway for Robinson and fellow Negro Leaguers. But it was a sham. The Red Sox didn’t sign any of them. The Red Sox could have been the first team to integrate. Instead, it became the last, holding out until 1959; 12-years after Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.)
One would have expected that race debacle to be happening in Boston, not Cambridge at all, given that city’s history of tolerance and diversity.
So we apparently decided to take back what we rightfully see as OUR debate.
• Boston cop, Justin Barrett, decided to e-mail his comrades (at the National Guard) and share his not so tolerant views about the Henry Louis Gates incident. In his wisdom, he apparently referred to the Harvard professor as a “jungle monkey.”
Barrett offended even those of us who don’t think too highly of the eminent Gates. Police Commissioner Edward Davis immediately surrounded himself with members of the black community and called his officer’s comments: “racist and inflammatory”…and said those “racist opinions have no place in our department or our society and will not be tolerated.”
The Boston cop is suspended subject to a termination hearing.
Note to other cops, officials, presidents and the ordinary Joe or George (of the jungle or not!). NO MORE DICTUMS ABOUT RACE, NOTHING, NADA. ZIP IT! Race…what race? No race issues in Boston, or Cambridge, or Massachusetts.
We are all getting along now, bro.
• I could see shock waves rippling across Red Sox Nation when the news broke Thursday (July 30) morning. Uber slugger, David Ortiz, “Big Papi”, tested positive (along with Manny Ramirez) for steroids back in 2003. The year before Boston broke it’s long World Series drought, and won baseball’s highest prize!
Now let’s see the smug asses who took to the airwaves and internet to castigate New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez! How are you doing now, hypocrites? Denigrating Barry Bonds! Oh, he’s the lowest of the low, shouldn’t be in the Hall Of Fame…more like Hall of Shame? Who’s YOUR daddy now?
Isn’t it just too foolish and juvenile to think that the Red Sox players are so saintly and noble that they’re looking around at everybody else doing steroids and blasting homers…while they themselves are heading to the gym with a bag of energy bars?
Naturally, with fans usual impartiality, Rodriguez and Ramirez are cheatin’ no-goods! Shame on them for using steroids! Meanwhile, you’ll be “Standing (steadfastly) by Your Man” here at Fenway.
I sardonically told my son, when Papi started slumping, after the Ramirez revelation, that maybe Ortiz went off steroids? My son went: Moomm! (Kids use this aggrieved voice, as if to say, that’s so not true!) Now I’m not saying his slump is/was due to steroids/or the lack thereof. Not saying that at all!
Just saying to Sox Nation: You will now go behind the Sox clubhouse and throw up, then you’ll dress in Sackcloth and Ashes and maybe – grow up?
Ortiz and Ramirez are apparently on the list of 104 players who tested positive in Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey testing for performance-enhancing drugs. The tests were agreed to and conducted only on the condition that the results would remain anonymous.
97 names are still under wraps. But I can hear the glue peeling off!
Anonymous ain’t what it used to be, though. More players are likely to get some opened presents!
Residents of Massachusetts (the state that gave you The Boston Tea Party and the Gates Controversy) apparently wanted to know (well, one of the TV stations thought we wanted to know) if taxpayers are going to be footing the bill for that peace-making junket to DC!.
The Cambridge Police Union is paying for Sgt. James Crowley, his wife and 3 kids plus a union spokesman to travel to DC. As for Gates, Harvard says it doesn’t know who’s paying for the professor. (I think airlines, which absolutely hate having to deal with profiling accusations, have decided that professor Gates can now fly free!)
Phew, what a relief! We’ll never stop paying for the Big Dig. Imaging having to take this on too! Which got me thinking: Is there any waste of taxpayers’ money involving alcohol that I could uncover? So I checked, (Googled it, really) and there it was, in the 2009 Pig Book!
• 200K for alcohol interdiction for investigating and prosecution of bootlegging crimes as part of a statewide effort to reduce Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, in Juneau, Alaska.
• 95K for the Santa Barbara, California Summit High School. for educational programming to reduce school risk factors for students recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
• 190K Sonoma County Dept. of Health, Santa Rosa, for partnerships with senior service providers for alcohol and drug abuse prevention and education in the senior population.
• 500K (Half-a-million!) Portable autonomous fluid-less near-infrared non-invasive alcohol testing devices , New Mexico
• 714K Chiesman Foundation for Democracy, Inc., Rapid City, Sputh Dakota, to establish a Center for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
So, feeling rather pleased with myself, I checked travel, and this came up:
• 190K for Florida Campus Compact, Tallahassee, for a project to enhance service learning on campuses throughout Florida, which may include equipment, lodging, and travel
• 285K St. Bonaventure University, for the Father Mychal Judge program, which may include student scholarships and travel costs for student exchanges and visiting professorships.
So I decided to check Massachusetts, and found that the inquiring TV station’s “Investigative Team” has some work to do:
• 475K – YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts, New Bedford for rehabilitation of the Levi Standish House and Construction of the Carriage House. Barney Frank
• 95K – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, for a collection of science materials for K-12 educators and professional development. John Olver
• 285K – Landscape Connectivity Study for Massachusetts, UMass-Amherst. Olver
• 952K – RNAJ Research University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. James McGovern and John Olver.
• 238K – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston, for facilities and equipment. Michael Capuano.
• 1M, 189K – Western Massachusetts collaborative wind project. John Olver
• 143K – Health Care of Southeastern Massachusetts, Brockton, for equipment. John Kerry/Ted Kennedy
• 250K – Town of Lexington Massachusetts Police Department Town of Lexington. Enhanced School Security Through Technology. Lexington. Edward Markey/Kennedy/Kerry
• 1M – Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute for continued research into the New England scallop fishery, to promote sustainability New Bedford. Frank/Kennedy/Kerry
• 650K – University of Massachusetts, Amherst Climate System Research Center Amherst. Olver/KennedyKerry
• 100K – University of Massachusetts, Amherst large Millimeter Telescope Amherst (NASA). Olver/Kennedy/Kerry
• 190K – Massachusetts 2020 Foundation, Boston, for the continued development of an extended learning time initiative. Kennedy/Kerry
• $247* – Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Economic Development Center, Boston, MA. Kennedy/Kerry
• 190K – Massachusetts Attorney general for repair of abandoned houses Kennedy/Kerry
• 95K – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, for the Center for Frank/Kennedy/Kerry
• 247K – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Advanced Technical and Manufacturing Center business incubator, Fall River. Kennedy/Kerry
• 238K – Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, for the continued development of a program to reduce health disparities and infant mortality. Kennedy/Kerry
• 143K – Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Waltham, for facilities and equipment. Markey/Kerry
How do you like your pork – rare? Well cooked?
*Er, can that TV reporter investigate if the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Economic Development Center, in Boston, is getting just 247 dollars…or 247-thousand?
Never mind. I don’t care, do you?
The great champion of States Rights, His Fairness, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner (OH) is on Capitol Hill prattling about Health Care Reform.
And the more Boehner talks, the bigger the cloud of hypocrisy swirling around him! Because he has the audacity to use states’ rights to argue against Health Care Reform.
According to Congressman Boehner: “This is going to have a dramatic impact on the State’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do… states are the pilot programs in our democracy. You can see what’s working and what isn’t working, and under the Democratic proposal, it’s going to tie the hands of our governors and state legislators.”
I’m sure somebody is not quoting Mr. Boehner correctly. He surely DID NOT SAY STATES HAVE RIGHTS! Really, Mr. Boehner, was it not YOU who voted YES on The Marriage Protection Amendment Bill H J RES 88…a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage?
It declares that marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. It also prohibits the Constitution or any State constitution from being construed to require that marital status or its legal incidents be conferred upon any union other than that of a man and a woman.
So here he is stripping the rights of States to amend their own Constitution to legalize same-sex marriage, (which he opposes), but apart from that, and anything else that the Boehner doesn’t like, states can have all the rights they want? Which one is it, Mr. Boehner?
I checked online and found this summary of John Boehner’s Voting Record on HealthCare:
• Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health. (Mar 2008)
• Voted NO on Veto override: Extend SCHIP to cover 6 Million more kids. (Jan 2008)
• Voted NO on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility. (Oct 2007)
• Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Jan 2007)
• Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)
• Voted YES on limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 damages. (May 2004)
• Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
• Voted NO on allowing re-importation of prescription drugs. (Jul 2003)
• Voted YES on small business associations for buying health insurance. (Jun 2003)
• Voted YES on capping damages & setting time limits in medical lawsuits. (Mar 2003)
• Voted YES on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award. (Aug 2001)
• Voted YES on subsidizing private insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage. (Jun 2000)
• Voted YES on banning physician-assisted suicide. (Oct 1999)
• Voted YES on establishing tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts. (Oct 1999)
If you have health Insurance through your job, and lose that job tomorrow, HOW LONG WILL YOUR COVERAGE LAST? If you find out a few weeks/months later that you have cancer or need some type of surgery, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT?
Are people just going to sit on the sidelines and hope that somebody else will pick up the phone and tell Boehner and other republicans: “Don’t F— With My Healthcare!
Where the hell are Democrats, letting these self-serving republicans hijack the healthcare debate?
THE COWARDS ARE RUNNING SCARED! They need to remember that: President Obama campaigned on HEALTH CARE REFORM, people listened AND VOTED!
Now I’m not saying that Obama has all the answers. I asked my son’s doctor and he told me the president is headed in the right direction, but the plan is still sketchy. And Expensive…but doing nothing WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE.
Until I or YOU go to the hospital, and nurses start asking us for our Blue Democrat Party Card or Red Republican Party Card instead of an Insurance card, Democrats and Republicans need to get past the rhetoric and hash it out.
TWO WOMEN made national news this week.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and ex-Alaska republican governor Sarah Palin.
Let’s compare what they said, where they were and what they’ve been up to since the last election…in their own words!
HILARY CLINTON: Travels around the globe pushing President Obama’s foreign policy goals. Just returned from: Asia, where she attended a meeting of leaders from ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Appeared on: NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday. Talked about a range of issues.
Kicked North Korea’s butt. “their behavior is not going to be rewarded. In the past they believe that they have acted out, done things which really went against the norms of the international community and somehow then were rewarded. Those days are over”.
Working to release American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, being held in N. Korea: America is “certainly pursuing every lead we have. The messages that we’ve received from the young women both through our protecting power, the Swedish ambassador, and through the messages and phone calls they’ve had with their families are that they’re being treated well, that they have been given the supplies that they need“.
On a Nuclear Umbrella in Middle East: “if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it’s unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer, because they won’t be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon…We believe as a matter of policy it is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons.”
Championed Healthcare: “the chances that businesses will continue to pay for insurance over the next five, 10, 15 years are diminishing. I think, if I remember correctly, in ’93 and ’94, 61 percent of small businesses provided some kind of health insurance for their employees. It’s down to 38 percent.”
Running for president: “It is daunting. And it is, you know, probably a path that doesn’t appeal to a lot of women even in elective office, because it is so difficult. But I am convinced–and I don’t know if she’s in elective office right now or if she’s preparing to run for office–but there is a woman who I am hoping will be able to achieve that”.
SARAH PALIN: Has visited some states to Speak and Campaign for Republicans. Just returned from: Wasilla. Appeared in: Fairbanks, Alaska. Talked about a range of issues.
Kicked media butt. “some in the media because another right protected for all of us is freedom of the press, and you all have such important jobs reporting facts and informing the electorate, and exerting power to influence. You represent what could and should be a respected honest profession that could and should be the cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you, and that is why, that’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So, how ’bout in honor of the American soldier, ya quit makin’ things up”.
Working to ensure Holywood doesn’t hijack Alaskan way of life: “got to stiffen your spine to do what’s right for Alaska when the pressure mounts, because you’re going to see anti-hunting, anti-second amendment circuses from Hollywood…they use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets, they use Alaska as a fundraising tool for their anti-second amendment causes. Stand strong…and by the way, Hollywood needs to know, we eat, therefore we hunt.”
Touted accomplishments in office, including Ethics Reform: “We promised it, and now it is the law. Ironically, it needs additional reform to stop blatant abuse from partisan operatives, and I hope the lawmakers will continue that reform“.
And Alaskan ruggedness: “remember we sported the old bumper sticker that said, “Alaska. We Don’t Give a Darn How They Do It Outside?” Do you remember that? I remember that, and remember it was because we would be different”. Why she’s leaving Office? For Alaska! “It is because I love Alaska this much…that I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics as usual, lame duck session in one’s last year in office. How does that benefit you? No, with this decision now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right, for truth. And I have never felt like you need a title to do that“.
I’d like some help and tips for getting invited to the White House for tea (I rarely drink).
I have some ideas. For instance, I’m thinking that maybe I can start a ruckus and diss any cops who respond to the disturbance. That’s assuming, of course, that they are white cops. If cops who come are black, I’ll simply chill out and mumble something about having a bad moment, back then, but that I’m much better now. Why bother? Black cops won’t arrest me, no matter what I do, cause I’m a sistah! But white cops! Boy, they’d beat the shit out of me. Kicking, punching, stomping me…yelling things about my mama. I’d end up in a cast. Michelle Obama would invite me to the White House, to enjoy her garden.
So, is there anything else of importance making news this week?
How about Governor Patrick’s dog? The MA governor’s puppy, Tobey, bit a woman’s hand during a town-hall style meeting in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Officials say the woman bent down to pet the dog. He left a red, pin-sized hole in her hand. Tobey does not need to worry. Tobey, who’s black, will be defended by Harvard professor, Louis Gates. I don’t know, but I’m supposing the woman is not White…’cause if she is, why Tobey, you sly dog – can’t read what’s in your mind, but were you doing some “racial profiling”?
President Obama’s Health Care Reform isn’t looking so Dead On Arrival after all. House Democratic Caucus, Representative, John Larson, said Friday, the House of Representatives may vote on a healthcare reform bill next week. Which leaves me wondering – what’s with Obama? Have you noticed that whenever things start going badly for him, they make a sudden reverse? Here he was, slipping in the polls; bad economy, bad choice of words to describe police in Cambridge, MA; Health Care Reform is looking iffy and we’re about to ask for a divorce, when suddenly, Bam! He invites that Cambridge cop to the White House…tugging at our heartstrings…and making us fall in love all over again! I’m back to grinning like an idiot!
Someone took a photo of Cambridge cop, Sgt. James Crowley, talking to president Obama on his cell phone, Friday. Crowley and some friends were apparently having lunch at an eating establishment when the cop’s cell phone rang. And it was ze president! (Observers say Crowley kept repeating; no I don’t want a lollipop, Mr. President – why did you call me stupid?) OK, that’s not true, I made it up, but I’m looking for a controversy, remember? Anyway, people apparently formed a circle around Crowley and burst into applause when the call ended.
See what YOU did, professor Gates? I don’t know if Crowley has a Facebook Page (he should now) but he just got a friend request from the Commander-in-Chief. Now how cool is that?
Large tub of Health Care Reform
1 black Harvard University professor, with attitude
1 police officer, from Cambridge, MA
Pair of handcuffs
1 taxi driver, also black
A nice Cambridge neighborhood
1 concerned neighbor
1 curious neighbor, with a camera and ulterior motives
A handful of gullible friends
Bag of extra-dark chocolate-covered race nuggets
1 controversial remark from the current President
Congressional Black Caucus
Comedian Bill Cosby
Defiant Cambridge Police Union
Freeze Health Care Reform debate overnight. Set aside Black Caucus, Cosby and Police Union. Let black cabbie drive professor to Cambridge neighborhood. Slowly stir in jammed door. Add neighbors, police officer, and handcuffs. (Take photo of mixture to post online –optional.) Freeze for a week. Remove mixture from freezer and set oven to broil. Mix in professor’s gullible friends, race nuggets, and media. Throw in presidential remark. Add more media. Stir. Very carefully mix in Congressional Black Caucus, police union and public. Bake until edges are slightly charred.
Garnish with Cosby comment. Serve piping hot atop a very thin slice of frozen Health Care Reform.
Servings: About 300 million. Calories per serving: 0
1 contrite remark from the current president. Microwave on high for 5-minutes. Pour over frozen pie.
Comedian Bill Cosby seems to be the only intelligent black voice I’ve heard so far about black Harvard professor Louis Gates’ arrest Firestorm in a Teacup.
And President Obama’s overly quick response doesn’t help.
I adore President Obama, but he should have kept mum on this one. He really needs to call another press conference to talk about Health Care, which is more important than Mr. Gates, because race just sidelined reform.
The morning (July 23) after President Obama’s much touted press conference to push Health Care Reform, the stations I listened to here in Boston didn’t lead with Health Care, they all focused on the President’s response to the Gates arrest. Cambridge police did not react stupidly – as Obama and others suggest. One cop may have overreached, but he was provoked.
Many blacks, like me, DON’T think Gates’ arrest was racially motivated.
Some of us just see an angry man, (with an allegedly prickly temperament), who gave the police lip, and got in trouble for it!
Gates claims the cop is one of those disgruntled whites who envy successful blacks. (There are also disgruntled blacks who envy successful whites and blacks). The cop had already decided and accepted that Mr. Gates was indeed who he said he was…professor Louis Gates, Jr., pre-eminent black scholar of national renown; that he WAS NOT breaking in, and DID LIVE in that house.
The cop didn’t accuse Gates of lying, or tell Gates he had NO RIGHT to be in a nice neighborhood like this, or ask Gates why he was pretending to be a Harvard professor. If Gates had reacted intelligently, the cop would have left to look for bona fide black criminals, of which there are many.
Instead, Gates escalated the tension, by accusing the cop of racism.
Gates is sure how the cop, (whom he doesn’t know), would have reacted had he been a white professor, thus stereotyping the cop, whom he’s accusing of stereotyping him! Irony that’s obviously lost on Gates and his friends.
I understand his affront, but we need to let cops do their jobs. The way Gates handled the situation doesn’t reflect well on him. There are channels to handle questionable policing and Gates would look less egoistic if he’d acquiesced and used those channels.
It seems to me that blacks are increasingly banding behind blacks, particularly prominent blacks who do bad things, even if they are clearly wrong. I understand the instinct to protect our brothers and sisters, (especially against a background where we see others get away lightly on similar charges) but shouldn’t we also admit to the truth?
What message are we sending when we defend murderers, child molesters, adulterers, rappers who denigrate women and brag about killing cops, and thugs who plunder the innocent, in the name of racial justice?
Because there are white extremists, should we also promote black extremism?
It’s time we step up to the plate and say: My brother, I love you. I understand where you are coming from, but you are wrong, my brother, wrong!
And it’s time for whites to stop being afraid of speaking up; afraid that if they say what they really feel, they’ll be branded racist. Racists hate other races just because they are different.
Intelligent white people hate some of the things that black people do; they don’t necessarily hate black people. Just as intelligent blacks know the people we meet at work and on the subway are not responsible for slavery or Hitler’s ideology, and we are all just struggling to get along.
Until then, we will see a parade of rhetoric without reform.
And so I salute Bill Cosby, for inserting some reason into the debate.
According to an article by the Christian Science Monitor, Cosby initially suggested on a Boston radio station (July 23) that President Obama spoke too soon on Gates’ controversial arrest. He later did some backpedalling, but told a Boston TV station: “People who have not been there, people who don’t know are beginning to have their own personal feelings, but they weren’t there.”
The reporter asked: “Does this include the president?”
Cosby said “It includes everybody…(but) I would have to take into consideration that he lived in Cambridge for some time so he may know more than he’s saying about situations of that sort.”
I love you, Bill.
We can and should question a black president, just as we would and should a white or green president.
By the way, did any white people vote for any of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus? Seems whites should withhold their votes…and teach these (insert your own word) an essential lesson in racism.