Thursday, January 29, 2004

Does Aaron McGruder have a right to be hostile toward Condoleeza Rice?


Because this is the United States, I would say, "Yes" with absolute certainty. Because we are Americans we don't have to go along with the policy of our government. We are free to protest, we are free to question, and in some cases we are free to refuse. I think that is one of the greatest things about this country....that one word that is dear to all of us...."Freedom".

The creator of the popular "Boondocks" comic strip reportedly caused some discomfort at an anniversary dinner for the Nation magazine here last month when he told the mostly anti-war audience, "I've met Condoleezza Rice and called her a murderer to her face." Late last year, McGruder made Rice's love life the topic of his comic.


"Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn't be so hell-bent to destroy it," one of his "Boondocks" characters speculates in a strip. "

McGruder is entitled to his opinion, and he is entitled to put whatever he wants to in his cartoon. However, his assertion that her world view is "awry" because of the lack of a presence of a man in her life, (Which we don't know, all we know is that she is not married.), is awfully chauvinistic and condescending for a person who purports to be as progressive and liberal as he does. The basis for this, and the singling out of her in the cartoons, as well as his snide comments about having to sit in the same row as her at the NAACP image awards a couple of years ago seems strange. I agree with the person who stated that it was strange that he doesn't target other members of the administration. I wonder why he thinks that a black woman is the easiest target? Why not Colin Powell? From his point of view, despite all of her schooling, her positions held in academia, her expertise in Cold War relations, and the fact that she is an expert in her field, apparently a good "banging" would make her see the light. As if at the moment of orgasm she would simultaneously have an ideological catharsis that would make her step down from her position or scold President Bush for being a "meanie". While he didn't specifically say it, his allusions to her views on the world being directly related to her relationship status are tantamount to the same.

Let me say though, that while I am not a dedicated reader of "The Boondocks", I have read the strip and do acknowledge the skill, the knowledge, and the satirical wit of McGruder. He, as a satirist is using all of his cynicism and dry humor to make a lot of us think. While some people may be apalled at some of his imagery, I can see on many occassions where he is winking at us through the eyes of his characters. That is talent, he has a new book out called, "Right to be hostile", about race and cultural issues in the U.S. Whether I agree with some or any of his views, I think I will have to go pick it up.

Purchasing Details

On the subject of Powell people are quick to comment on how "ineffectual" he has been as Secretary of State. What most people, especially we Democrats do not consider is the fact of how his hands are tied because of differing ideologies with Rumsfeld, Rice, and Bush. In many ways it seems that Powell is in diametric opposition to most members of the Cabinet. While he does dutifully fulfill his post, and pose for a common front, it has to be noted that he wanted diplomacy instead of action in the case of this military campaign against Iraq. But, as a Secretary of State whose job it is to be the envoy of the President, how much diplomacy can you muster when everyone else wants to use military force? Is he really ineffectual, or is he simply handicapped by the popular will in his office? Think about it.....



It is obvious that many of us have conflicting views on this whole war effort. The mightiest of hawks and the most timid of doves can agree that Saddam Hussein was a monster, and a madman. However, the question that remains for all of us is whether or not our means is going to justify, or even determine a suitable end to the troubles in that region. I'll have an answer for you in 20 years. Everything is clear in retrospect.

Monday, January 26, 2004

It is impossible for me to babysit my own kids....

Strange title, huh? Well, it is true. It is impossible for me to baby sit my own children. The reason that I say this, is the fact that people sometimes give men undeserved credit for watching their children, or caring for their children when their wives are away. I submit that a man NEVER babysits his own child. He merely continues to act in the capacity of a father. If a woman is out in public with her kids, do people assume that she is "watching them", just because her husband is not present? Still confused? I will try and illustrate this...

Not too long ago my dear mother-in-law passed away. Understandably, my wife has been stressed out handling arrangements and overall dealing with her loss. Some of her friends came into town and decided to take her out shopping and hanging out on a Saturday. They were gone most of the day and came back in the evening. To my relief, my wife looked more refreshed, and more relaxed than what she had in weeks. When Renee went to the back to take off her coat, her friend looked at me and said. "Thanks Kelly. Renee needed some time away." I looked at her quizzically and said, "Thanks for what?" She replied, "Thanks for babysitting." I laughed and said, "But, they are my kids this was just a normal day for me." She kind of paused and I said, "You thanking me for 'babysitting' is like me thanking you for paying your light bill on time. That's something that you are supposed to do." She laughed, as well as me, and said, "I guess you're right."

I suppose the sad part of this story is the fact that there are some men out there who probably won't be bothered with their kids when their wives go away. Not that I am trying to campaign for the "Daddy of the Year Award", hell, I don't think that there is very much that is noteworthy that I do with my kids, I do what I think Dad's are supposed to do. But I suppose that some men and women cling so fiercely to what they think are typical "father" and "mother" roles that they can't get over themselves. I think that regardless of gender, it is necessary to be a good parent. I do concede that there are two things that it is impossible for me to do as a parent my wife can....breast feed, and braiding my daughter's hair. I will submit that I have at least tried the hair thing on several occassions to no avail.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Afro-Saxon

An Afro-Saxon is a white person, who despite his genetics, tries his best to dress, talk, and act, like the stereotypical "Homeboy". Here is a transcript of my lunch order. He will be called a White Afro-Saxhon Homeboy. (W.A.S.H) The guy I saw had light brown hair, blue eyes, and was obviously caucasian. I will call him W.A.S.H.

I walk up to the counter.....

[W.A.S.H] "Whuddup Homey, whut can I git foya today?"

[Me]...pausing in disbelief...."Umm...I'll have a large Philly Cheese Steak with pizza sauce, and hold the onions. I also have a coupon for a free small one."

[W.A.S.H] "Cool..cool...You want fries or sumpin else wit dat?"

[Me] "Yes, I'll take a small fry."

[W.A.S.H] "You don't want no drank?"

[Me] "No thank you."

[W.A.S.H.] "You fa sho? The lemonade be TIGHT!"

[Me] "No thanks, I'll just have the sandwiches and fries."

[W.A.S.H.] "Cool..cool..cool...Aight...that'll be $8.67."

I hand him the money, and he notices my class ring.........

[W.A.S.H.] "Is dat a championship rang?"

[Me] "No, this is my class ring."

[W.A.S.H.] "What high school you go to?

[Me] "I went to E-town High School, but this is my ring from college, I went to K-State."

[W.A.S.H.] "Awww man, dey be some hoes up there?"

[Me] ......after a pause...."Yes, there are a lot of women that go to K-State, as a matter of fact there are more women than men."

[W.A.S.H.] "Das wut I'm talkin' about!"

I move toward the end of the counter where I pick up my food.

[Me] "Thanks....take care."

[W.A.S.H.] "You too playa!"

After I got my food and headed to the car I had to laugh.........Who says that multi-culturalism in the U.S. is not embraced?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Bland assurances...

I am not sure what you thought of the State of the Union address, but it was far from the speech that I expected from a President seeking reelection. From what I deduced, he is banking his reelection hopes on the fact that nobody wants to switch Generals during a war....even an unpopular war. In the beginning the doves squawked about us waging war unilaterally against Saddam, and continued to squawk and coo that we would stand alone in the end. The high point of his address did stymie the anti-war crowd with a laundry list of countries that have contributed troops and resources to the war effort, he gave no real time table for transition of power, or reduction of force in theatre.

In regard to the economy he gave a lukewarm assurance to fiscal conservatives by stating that discretionary spending would only increase by 4% over the next year. Additionally, he held on to the notion that tax cuts and other Reaganesque measures such as spending increases would continue to stimulate the economy. He spoke of personal savings account within Social Security, but gave no framework on how any of this would be paid for. I already know where the money will come from. "Program Cuts". Also had he mentioned any possible solution to the waning job growth that may have captured our attention.

He talked about the sanctity of marriage and pledged that if the court system continued to "impose its will", then there would be no recourse besides those of a Constitutional means to protect marriage. So, the fact that he is against gay marriage is no surprise. Whether wrong or right, most hetero people feel the same way, but are really afraid to say it. However, is this something that is worthy of mention during a State of the Union Address? Additionally, taking such a stance in this matter paints him into a corner when it comes to liberals, women, and the gay community. I remember he had some preposterous plan to focus on families as if making marriage more desirable would cure all of our social ills. What he doesn't realize as an "objective" leader of our country he says. "Marriage is important to social stability....unless you are gay."

I would say that his State of the Union address shows that not only the Democratic Party, but the Right is in flux. Bush is at odds with some of his conservative cohorts because a new school of Republican Conservatism is in session. A school of thought that shows that Republicans want to spread their social and political conservatism with liberal spending. All the Dems need to do is find common ground and the best candidate to unseat the Right. But, with this field of nominees it is going to be very difficult for us. It is too bad we couldn't put all of the prime characteristics of all of the nominees into one person. If we had Edward's telegenic looks, Kerry's charisma, Clark's military service, and Gephardt's earnest record of public service, and Dean's...........did I say Kerry was in the military too? LOL! Just kidding, I never was a big fan of Dean in the beginning, but after his Iowa speech I am convinced that Barney Rubble having a Steroid Rage is not fit to lead this great nation of ours.



The coming months have a lot to show us, but I am convinced to just channel my anticipation toward New Hampshire. That's all for now.

P.S.....Edwards/Clark 2004.....wouldn't that be a great bumper sticker? I like the sound of it even if the "snowball" has a better chance.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Radicals amaze me.....

The attached rendered photo of the Time magazine photo of military personnel as the "Person of the Year" shows exactly what some people think of our military.




I will finish elaborating on this shameful photo later on. I got this from the DC Independent Media.


http://dc.indymedia.org/media/all/display/17011/index.php?limit_start=24

I wonder why they are so independent?

In speaking to a lot of Americans, it can easily be said that not a lot of people are happy with the way things are in America, and throughout the rest of the world. Many of the problems that Americans talk about are attributed to the President. I am not going to go into my personal thoughts about his culpability in our floundering economy, but I do have to say that I am not one to believe all of these sinister plot conspiracies. I have heard preposterous notions that went so far as to say that he was "responsible" for the WTC bombing just so he could go to Iraq.

When I find myself debating with these so-called radicals, they often say that I am mindlessly taking what the government and the media give me as gospel. Further, some members of my own race think that my duties as an American Soldier make me some sort of race traitor. I shudder to think about the state of this country when the above photograph is a reflection of what a large portion of the voting public thinks about the government and its military force.

What I would like to say to a lot of these so-called radicals....let's call them pseudo-radicals.....is perhaps all of the conspiracy theories and extreme Left-wing rhetoric that you are spewing is nothing more than regurgitated nonsense. Perhaps YOU are taking the coffee shop whisperings too seriously. Maybe you don't listen to the news and count on "independent" media sources such as the aforementioned as gospel. Making a photo such as that one is tantamount to treason in my book. To deface any image with a swastika is the worst sort of paranoia. This tells me if you don't agree with the radical rhetoric that our friendly coffee shop habitue feeds you, then you are a jack-booted oppressor. If you believe that there is such a thing as right or wrong, and feel that moral relativism is pointless, then you are narrow-minded. In the eighties "Conservative" was a nasty word, and now we have swung such a way that "Liberal" is now a bad word. I suggest we adopt a new phrase called, "Common Sense" that most of us can agree on.

To the slug who rendered this photo, the very people whose images you defaced are in harm's way now to protect your right to be an ass. They also want to secure the right for the Iraqi people to be unpatriotic asses as well. There was a time when they would have been tortured and killed if they did something that was not remotely as disrespectful as your actions with the swastika. I think that the soldiers on the front ought to be able to sue the "artist" for something. Someone needs to pay.

In closing, I just want to say that it is ironic that the person who made this picture probably feels that the U.S. is oppressing the freedom of the Iraqi people. My question for them is......

Update

As you can see I have not blogged for nearly a month. This is not because no major events have happened. Quite the contrary, so much has happened that I couldn't find time to commit it online, though I have chronicled a great deal of things in my journal at home. First off my Mother-in-law passed away after battling cancer. She died on the 22nd of December. This is something that hurt me deeply. She and I had the atypical Mother-in-law to Son-in-law relationship. I can't imagine that it was possible for her to have treated me any better. I did my best to be a supportive husband to my wife during that time, and obviously I was worried about my children. But, I felt like I was a complete wreck at the time as well. We carried on with Christmas, and though it was a sad time, reminiscing about her carried us through. That is the way that she would have wanted it. She will certainly be missed, her kindness, her generosity, her laugh, her smile, her presence. Even now I expect to pick up the phone and say hello to her. I suppose the finality of the situation has hit me in some ways, but I still have that surreal feeling like I had at the funeral. "How could she be gone, she was so full of life." I miss my Mother-in-law.