I'm No Foreign Policy Expert...

I'm no foreign policy expert...

...in fact, I know next to nothing about what kinds of policies we have regarding individual nations with whom we are either allies or enemies.

But after watching parts of the G-20 summit, and the reactions by our esteemed political gabfest regulars, I am convinced that a seasoned kindergarten teacher could do as good a job as the so called "experts" when it comes to understanding the motivations behind the actions of our rivals.

Because if you look at the proceedings in Pittsburgh dispassionately, what you see is the same scuffling for attention that five year olds do when they are on the playground.

Now we see everybody under the sun howling about Iran gaining the power to arm their very own nuclear weapons. I thought our own president, Mr. Barack Obama himself, who, at the very same G-20 summit where all of the news about a secret reactor in Iran began to come out, said that "no one nation should try to dominate another nation."

"Responsibility and leadership in the 21st century demand more. In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold. The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world. Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War."

President Barack Obama
Address to United Nations General Assembly

Why do we say these things when we really don't mean them?

Because if I'm the ruler of Iran - not Ahmadinejad, but the people he answers to - and believe that my national sovereignty is as valid as any other country's ability to decide its own fate, then I'd probably tell the UN Security Council to go jump off a cliff.

In many ways, it is analogous to the "family meeting" concept that caught on in the 80's, where everybody in the household got together to discuss major issues affecting the entire family. Who had the veto power in those meetings? The parents - the people who were paying for the very room in which the meeting was held.

I'd much rather have my president tell it like it really is - that we get all the say so because we are paying the lion's share of the United Nation's bill with some of the money we've borrowed from the Chinese; that we'd really like to quit building these nuclear weapons because they cost too damn much, but we don't have the muscle to make India, Pakistan, North Korea or Russia give theirs up; that we consider the nukes in France and the United Kingdom to be the same as being located behind our borders; and that we give Israel a pass, mostly for having the moxie to claim an official policy of "nuclear ambiguity" with a straight face when we all know they've got them.

I won't be holding my breath waiting for anything like this to ever happen.

As a communication tool between sovereign nations, the United Nations was a good idea, but the pomp and circumstance and posturing that passes for diplomacy has gotten in the way almost since the beginning.

And if you stop a minute, and think about the facts that are involved - if you take a long, long look at the picture of the little boy in the picture above, who was burned to a crisp in Nagasaki, Japan in 1945 - the only country I can think of that has ever used nuclear weapons in a wartime conflict is...

...the United States of America.

What If Rush Limbaugh Ran The Country?

On the way to South Carolina on Friday to see my mother, who is recovering from hip replacement surgery, I listened to talk radio.

I got to hear Glen Beck, Neal Boortz, and Rush Limbaugh, all of them straight with no chaser.

Not those soundbites that make the news, but hour upon hour of their radio shows.

Somebody should have warned me.

Glen Beck, it seems, is infatuated with Glen Beck.

Neal Boortz almost put me to sleep. Not because he was boring, but after Glen Beck, he sounded like Uncle Charlie on My Three Sons.

Rush Limbaugh sounds like he is tired of the whole idea of The Rush Limbaugh Show - between all the weird sounds he makes with his mouth, and the intermittent arguments he has with the production people on his show who are talking into his headphones while he's on the air, which sound to the rest of us like the rantings of someone who is losing it, he pretty much comes across as a jaded impresario.

He's still better at actually stringing together coherent sentences than Boortz and Beck will ever be, but Limbaugh sounds kind of the way Elvis used to look when he wore those crazy outfits in the early seventies that were so cool back in the sixties

I had a thought while I was riding along, taking in all the shucking and jiving, the juvenile smears and the patriotic vitriol.

What if these guys ran the country?

Not for real, but for a week or two, the way we used to do back in school.

When I was in the eighth grade, my middle school had a day near the end of the school year where the students ran the school for a day. I took the place of the principal. Other students were the vice principal, the guidance counselors, the teachers – if I remember right, we did everything but serve lunch.

Being the principal was cool.

We walked around the hallways and talked on the intercom and stuck our heads into classrooms.

What we didn't do was any of the reporting or tabulating or recording of information that the real administrators did every day.

The piles of papers that the principal had stacked neatly on the credenza behind his desks, the piles that normally sat on his desk in front of him, didn't mean a thing to me.

Maybe Barack Obama needs to just turn up on day at the Limbaugh studio and hand him the keys to the Oval Office for a month.

"Rush," Obama would say, "my family is having a reunion back in Kenya. You know how it is in Africa - when they celebrate something, the party lasts for three weeks."

Could you imagine that? Rush Limbaugh running the country? Glen Beck being the Secretary of, the Secretary of, the Secretary of...

...well, maybe an Undersecretary of the Interior.

Could you imagine Rush Limbaugh giving a State of the Union address with a straight face? Rush Limbaugh discovering how hard it is to get a congressman or a senator to do anything?

If he ran it the way he runs his radio show, he might not make it three weeks.

After having thoughts like these, its no wonder that on the way back to the ATL yesterday, I ended up listening to the blues.

Last week, before rolling out to my hometown of Orangeburg, SC, I did another radio interview with Sean Yoes, who is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

This week was a shorter segment. We talked specifically about how President Barack Obama has handled the realities of being an African American commander-in-chief amid the heightened racial tensions across the country.

Is Barack Obama more like W.E.B. DuBois or Booker T. Washingon? Find out what Sean Yoes and I think tonight on the show.

As always, it was fun. Check it out if you have a chance.

Has Anyone Seen Any Dems Besides Obama This Week?

Or last week, for that matter?

I know why you haven't seen me until now this week - between my sick, my shut in, and my recently departed family members, I really haven't been able to really get into the swing of things. But now that the sick and the shut in are recuperating, and I've begun to accept the departing of the recently deceased, I am starting to get my writing legs back.

Which brings me back to the question - has anyone seen any Democrats besides Barack Obama this week?

I know the star players always want their hands on the ball at the end of the game, but they still need their teammates to play their positions.

Michael Jordan, recently inducted into the NBA Hall Of Fame, was a great basketball player almost from the time he entered the league. But during those early years, it was just Jordan and his Jordanaires, a group of guys whose function seemed to be "stay out of the way when Mike has the ball."

Barack Obama could be on the Food Network, ESPN, Bravo, The History Channel, with guest cameo roles in all the CSI shows and Dancing With The Stars and it wouldn't matter, the same way Michael Jordan's high scorer of the year title didn't matter when it came to the Chicago Bulls making the playoffs in his early years - without a real team behind him, Obama might fall short of getting the healthcare reform brass ring this time.

Do the Democrats really want this?

Is there a reason, with 256 Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen in the House of representatives, why I don't see these guys playing man-to-man with the TV reporters? Is there a reason why I don't have so many Dems spouting talking points that it sounds like a broken record?

The president can keep the high minded, high profile approach, but his troops have got to hit the ground running. We are not a nation of intellectuals. We want our politics to be served up the same we we do our sports - with lots of high powered offense putting points on the board and color commentary filled with superlatives.

If they really really want this...

... anybody who is a Democratic congressman should be so tired by Thanksgiving that they need to sleep for a week.

If You Call Me By My Real Name...

9/12 Washington Tea Party
Picture by NineTwelvePhotos

If you call me by my real name, the legal middle name that I was given at birth, I won't hear you at first, because it is used so infrequently.

I chose instead to use a shortened version of my middle name.

If you keep at it, though, with the version I've mothballed, I'll respond, although inwardly I will feel that you have changed the nature of our relationship in a way in which I really don't want you to get too comfortable with.

But there gets to be a point, after I've heard you say it a half a dozen times, when I am liable to get ticked off, even though it says right there on my birth certificate and my bank statement and any other legal or business document I posses that this is my actual name.

I imagine President Obama, who went by "Barry" for many years before reverting to his given name of "Barack", wrestled with the need to fit into a society chock full of Bills, Toms and Johnnys the same way I did with my given name "Krishna".

I brought this up because I can look at my hit counter and show you by the spikes in my visitor report just about every time I have used the word "white people" in a title. Those have turned out to be some of the heaviest traffic days I've gotten in the last year.

I can write "fringe", "subset", "few", or any one of those other words that mean "some" or "minority of" all day long, but it doesn't matter - to the many vocal critics on this blog and others who are turned off by this latest turn in our nationwide dialogue on race, any mention of the word "white people", it seems, is an indictment of all white people.

The one thing I have noticed in all my reading - and I have read many, many millions of words over the years - is how little the phrase "white people" is actually used in our newspapers or on our news reports. On the other hand, minority groups are identified by name so often, that to hear someone say "black people" or "asian people" or "Hispanics" sounds normal.

Kind of like hearing the shortened version of my name sounds normal to me.

Writing the phrase "white people" seems to really bother these people who rush to fill the comment sections of this blog and others like it, who are bringing a different perspective to political discussions, with their indignation at being singled out formally, as if every usage of this phrase pricks away at what I can only assume is the neutrality that these sensitive folks feel they enjoy in America.

Talking about race in America is uncomfortable. It calls into question a person's own sense of morality. It forces people to examine closely all those inequities we have learned to rationalize instead of challenge.

Watching our punditocracy in action this week, both in print and on TV, twist Jimmy Carter's carefully chosen words into a blanket pronouncement fitting the narrow minded narratives of yesteryear that seem to run continuously in their heads, I have come to the realization that I am tired of the same old same old AARP crowd holding the political conversation in this country hostage.

And I am not amused by the rest of the entertainers posing as political prognosticators who populate our airwaves with commentary that begins at the ridiculous and goes downhill from there.

One of the real challenges we face in America when we talk about race isn't just the empirical evidence and the undisputed facts - it is the degree to which we are willing to accept other viewpoints as legitimate.

George Stephanopolous asked President Obama the obligatory question on race and the statement made by Jimmy Carter better than I would imagine any of the other interviewers in the president's TV news show marathon did today, posing it not as a either/or, "is the claim legitimate or not" fill in the blank query, but in more realistic terms that asked instead to what degree is the claim relevant.

Stephanopolous asked, "Does it frustrate you when your own supporters see racism that you don't think exists?"

President Obama answered, "Look, I think that race is such a volatile issue in this society - always has been - that it becomes hard for people to separate out...race being sort of a part of the backdrop of American society versus race being a predominant factor in any given debate."

"A part of the backdrop of American society."

Like the names the president and I were given at birth, whether we want to acknowledge them or not, race is as important to the American story as the percussion section is to a symphony orchestra. Excluding any acknowledgment of the way race has helped to fuel the fire of discontent about the healthcare debate or concern over the notion that this particular president's administration is aiming to "take over everything" means we are not willing to fully explore the sources of the animus and vitriol that lie at the root of recent group protests and individual protestations.

I will repeat the end of the last sentence - subset of white America's recent group protests and individual protestations - for those of you who eyes usually miss this explicitly stated demarcation.

The irony in all this is, the only time I am happy to hear my full name called is when the issue of healthcare is involved - specifically, when I visit the doctor's office - because when I hear the nurse with the clipboard read my name, it means it's time to head back to the examining room and see the doctor.

Staring Wide Eyed At The Evening News

9/12 Washington Tea Party
Pictures by NineTwelvePhotos

These white Americans you are seeing on your TV every night hollering and yelling and screaming about our president's Kenyan roots need to be put on the hot seat, to get backed into a corner, to be force fed until they choke on the ugly truth that underlies the relationship between blacks and whites in this country.

It is their special brand of unrestrained, self righteous indignation, as if all the right thinking people are lined up behind their sneering eyes whenever they utter a derogatory racial pronouncement about our African American president that make me want to throw something at my damn TV.

Yesterday, as I watched the news, this circus reminded me of something I wrote a few years ago, something that sadly, is still true:

"White folks, and white men in particular, have always found ways to alter, bend, or just totally ignore the rules they've made up when something doesn't suit them."

The Black Folks Guide To Survival

S. and I shook our heads and rolled our eyes all through the news last night as the newscaster talked innocuously about the nature of the recent protests across the country while pictures of angry white people filled the screen behind him. It was as if the news announcer was playing charades, avoiding any mention of the one word his viewers were looking for to describe those protestors.

We both stared wide-eyed at the TV as Jimmy Carter came on to thoughtfully but reluctantly say what we have known since the beginning of this mess - that there are a lot of white people in this country who aren't willing to accept a black man as their president. Why were we so wide eyed? Because the old joke in the black community was that nothing existed unless white folks said it did. No alternate points of view were relevant unless white people said they were.

All I know is, I am not taking the weight for the racial problems America has brought on itself.

The "go along to get along" days are over.

Living in America will be more complicated as a result.

And in the end, there may not ever be an answer to racism.

To the people who are gearing up for this weekend's hate rally, whatever part of the country you are in, I've got a news flash for you - the otherness of black people is bound only by your limitations.

Think about it for a second.

Why would I delineate for myself a perimeter around my humanity just because my skin has a different hue? Just because my nose has a different shape?

Why wouldn’t I want to be able to take myself less seriously? Why wouldn't I want to experience the gloriousness of complete and total freedom? Why wouldn't I want to experience a weightlessness that consigns all boundaries of my existence to the nether regions of my consciousness?

My own level of perception is at once panoramic and precise, the connections between my ocular and my cerebral functions requiring exactly the same amount of electrical activity as yours, the osmotic properties between my dendrites and my synapses identical to those that course along your nerves.

But this truth telling about race doesn't really confer any benefits to me so long as you insist on rejecting these assertions, so long as you insist on avoiding the facts, so long as you cling to your sanitized versions of our God awful past relationship.

America was going to have the same warts whoever got elected.

The economy was going to be in bad shape. The banking system was going to be broke. Afghanistan was going to be an albatross. Immigration was going to be a hot topic. And ten million people would have become unemployed, regardless of what ANY president was able to do in the last eight months.

You know all this.

If you don't, you have no business holding up placards denouncing things you don't understand.

It would make much more sense for you to be in Connecticut right now, demanding some of the trillions back that you have loaned your Wall Street bankers, the same bankers who are even now repacking the exact same securities that caused this financial collapse in the first place, with a shiny new name and one of those gold stars from the ratings agencies that are about as valuable as the ones a kindergarten teacher gives out, for resale to the people who run your 401(k).

But that black bogeyman is still one of the most powerful agitators in the business of politics.

I'm still waiting for someone, somewhere, to bring O.J. into this.

Kanye West Was Jackass Way Before President Obama Said So

I woke up this morning to see President Barack Obama's face next to Kanye West's face on Huffington Post, underneath the headline Obama: Kanye Is A "Jackass".

I wouldn't give a damn myself if Terry Moran, who is obviously only pretending to be a journalist, abused my trust and twittered my off-the-record comments. But then again, I'm not the president of the United States.

So I imagine the staffers at the White House are losing their minds today over the nincompoop of a journalist who Twittered this entertaining tidbit to his followers.

Obama's "dead ass right", as a caller said on the radio this morning.

Kanye's been a jackass for a long time.

Everybody knew that.

No news there.

But the same people who think no black man, however wrong he is, should be criticized, especially by other black men - they are probably already cranking up the rhetoric down at "Don't Hate, Incorporated." Already hollering on the airwaves about the president applying a double standard to West's outburst while accepting an apology from Joe Wilson, who deserves the nickname "Old Yeller" waay more than that dog in the Disney movie.

The thing that's even worse for all of us is the narrow lens through which our media will distill all of these machinations, as if the entire country should shoehorn its varying perspectives into a New York/New England point of view.

If you think Kanye West's feelings or the manhood he seems to be wasting on snatching microphones out of teenage white girl's hands is more important than the president's opinion, you need to get your head examined.

And if you think "Old Yeller" got off easy, take a step back for a minute and think about this - for the foreseeable future, Joe Wilson's name will be linked every night with Serena Williams and Kanye West whenever the media refers to the "Week of Outbursts" we endured last week.

It doesn't get more ironic than that.

"I Got 99 problems, But Tea Baggers Ain't One"


Maybe Michelle Malkin meant 2 million INVISIBLE protestors showed up.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you've got a two million word essay here today.

See you Tuesday.

Last Friday, in between moving the Resident Diva into her dorm and getting a new air conditioning unit installed at home, I did another radio interview with Sean Yoes, who is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

This week was a shorter segment. We talked about a post I did earlier in the week, titled "Where Are All The White People With Good Sense?", which seemed even more apropos Friday than it was on Tuesday when Mr. Joe Wilson, from my home state of South Carolina, showed Wednesday night that he had absolutely no respect for the office of the presidency, or the accepted protocol of the body in which he sits.

I'll let Eugene Robinson, another South Carolinian who coincidentally is from the very same town I grew up in, be the high minded journalist who tells you via his Washington Post column that we shouldn't stoop to worrying about whether this is about race or not.

Because it is, all day long and twice on Sundays.

The only thing that S. says whenever his face appears on TV in our house is 'another John C. Calhoun", another one of South Carolina's illustrious politicians, a nineteenth century vice president of the United States who was an advocate of slavery, states rights, limited government, and nullification.

S. might be right.

Take away the slavery and it sounds like a laundry list Joe Wilson would be proud of putting on his website.

The Resident Diva Goes To College

It is an ending and a beginning, all in one day.

It is a ritual that has become as American as baseball and apple pie.

Moving away from home and into a college dorm is the beginning, for many teenagers, of the rest of their lives.

After spending a good part of the morning yesterday lifting boxes and carryalls and suitcases, I thought, "this girl sure has a lot of stuff." I remembered my own trek from South Carolina to Atlanta twenty five years ago, with a trunk and a couple of suitcases and a couple of plastic bags and a boom box that took my brothers and my parents ten minutes to unload from the back of the station wagon.

The other rooms I passed on the way to the Diva's, though, looked like showrooms at a furniture store compared to the Diva's minimalist design scheme.

Who would have ever thought that a college dorm room would have a design scheme?

I stood in the middle of her room and said, "my first dorm room stopped about right here." I walked around the big expanse, still talking. "Come to think of it, I think I could have reached out and touched my roommate, his bed was so close to mine. We had no choice but to talk to each other before we went to sleep."

The Diva will be fine. She's been to enough sleep away camps to know the roommate protocol, and she has gotten the jump on her roommate by getting checked in first, so she can rest easy, knowing that she wasn't forced to take the bed that was left.

I guess S. may rest easy in a few weeks, as she slowly gets used to the idea of an empty bedroom upstairs, and the reality of a student with a key to the whole wide world who is living away from home.

You can already tell the difference. It is the quiet of emptiness - or it will be, when S. stops walking around in the Diva's room after a couple of days, rounding up the items that now are all important because somebody didn't take my advice and start packing her stuff two weeks before leaving.

Oh well.

I learned a lot of things the hard way myself.

I fast forwarded through the president's address to Congress on the healthcare initiative last night, only to discover that the DVR that comes with our cable service had only recorded an hour of the telecast...

...which means that it didn't get the best part of President Obama's speech.

The second and third tier pundits are still pestering each other on the late edition of Larry King as I write this, focusing on the individual words and phrases he uttered during the course of his speech as if one of them is the magic key to gaining public momentum for the type of plan he outlined.

None of them broached the notion that Obama could have been working his signature political rope-a-dope strategy, an idea that I put forth last year when Candidate Obama came off the ropes at the Democratic Convention after the bombshell announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate to deliver a fiery speech that served notice on his party and his opponents.

Most of the political media establishment are wedded to the idea that politics is still of the 50's and 60's variety, when the high minded ideals of political parties outweighed the muck many of their followers liked to wallow in. I fell asleep to all the pooh poohing and tut tuttering and flash polling results that emanated from my TV after the president's speech.

As I said in my interview with Sean Yoes on WEAA last week, when we talked about Obama and his upcoming speech, "the way that Obama and his people have approached this, it is as if they are herding cats." And indeed they are - the houses of Congress are made up of strange cats indeed, the kind who enjoy being stroked by lobbyists, but are reluctant to come hither when their constituents call.

There really was no surprise from President Obama last night. As I intimated to Yoes in the same interview last week, "he instinctively has a need to talk to us about the hard things - the bad things first...He's going to tell you what the facts are about a situation and then try to soberly outline 'what I think we need to do to fix this.'"

At the end of the day, I firmly believe that America is mostly comprised of good people from all backgrounds.

But we who are the boring, non-newsworthy middle of the country have let our politeness and our reserve and our good "home training" be mistaken for complacency for too long.

We must set aside decorum, the way the president did last night, if only temporarily. We must abandon the subtle, and the understated, just like Obama did during his heavily barbed speech, until we get things back to equilibrium - until we begin to rebalance the scales in favor of the middle ground, and finally get the healthcare reform we all know we desperately need.

Where Are The White People With Good Sense?

"Most little white children come from families powerful enough to shut out reality."

Jonathan Schwarz
"Four People Turned Stupid By Power"
A Tiny Revolution

I don't know if I agree with the modifier "most" that Schwarz uses here, but I can certainly see the point Schwarz is trying to make. And if there ever was a moment in time that this quote summarizes, it is today, Tuesday, September 8th, when a certain frenzied subset of our paler population will withdraw their budding genuises from school so that Little Johnny will not have to be subjected to listening to that bad, bad man, Mr. Barack Obama himself, otherwise known to us real Americans as the president of the United States.

"I am not going to give him unfiltered access to my kids."

I imagine HBO will see a drop in its subscriber base soon. I expect sales of the video game Grand Theft Auto will tail off into nothingness. And IPod's will litter landfills across the country. These predictions would make sense if these parents were telling the truth - that anything untoward should never come within a hundred yards of little Johnny's pristine ears unless it has been filtered.

What planet are these people raising their kids to live in? Johnny can't stay on the curb of his cul-de-sacs for the rest of his life.

Since our TV producers can't seem to come up with any other creative ways to get you to watch their news product this week, all we will be seeing is these people who will be snarling and howling and shrieking and yes, CRYING, as if Beelzebub himself is going to whisper his evil thoughts - study hard, read more, make goals for yourself - into little Johnny's ears.

So what I want to know is...

...where are all the white people with good sense these days?

Are they still on vacation?

Have they left the country?

Or are they just so ashamed of these people who look like them, who may be their cousins, or their coworkers, or their in-laws, that they don't want to be mentioned in the same sentence with them?

I've been thinking about these irrational parents that have been featured rather prominently on TV lately. You know who I'm talking about. They are wild eyed, or teary eyed, and sanctimonious, and all of them are white, and they swear that if President Barack Obama so much as breathes in Johnny's direction during the school day, he will have their kids calling each other "comrade" by the time they come home.

Which is interesting, because many of these parents don't even know what socialism really is. Couldn't tell you what the tenets of communism are if a years worth of gas for their SUV was at stake.

I've been thinking about these parents quite a bit lately, because some of them are my neighbors. They are the people who will just about have a stroke if their child's teacher assigns their kid homework on the weekend, that sacrosanct time here in LaLa Land that is mandated to be filled with fun, fun, fun - four wheeling and jet skiing and hunting and fishing and SEC football games and soccer matches and birthday celebrations.

But if Johnny doesn't listen to his parents now, as any outing to a local restaurant will confirm, then what makes these moist eyed mommies think that their "wittle munchkins" are going to listen to the president while he talks on a TV screen in their classroom?

Another phrase, one that I've heard through the years that may hone in a little closer to what I want to say today is this:

"If you want to see where stupid children come from, follow them home."

That point was driven home Saturday night while I was reading an article by a friend of mine:

"Tom Hui is a self-described video game lover. Michelle Liu calls herself a nerd. Marissa Pan simply likes books, and Tanya Nguyen prefers balance in her life.

What do they have in common? All scored 2400 on the SAT, putting them in the elite company of 297 nationwide and 10 in Georgia earning perfect scores last year."

Gracie Bonds Staples
"Four Area Students Score 2400 On SAT — Perfect"

Atlanta Journal Constitution

After reading a story like the one above, why are the white parents that will be paraded across our airwaves today, prattling on about the president's powers of hypnosis, even relevant?

These four real American children in the excerpt above all attended public schools.

I live less than five hundred yards from a public library, which I frequent several times a week. There are so few white children in there at times, you would think you were in a foreign country instead of an Atlanta northern suburb.

What I want to know is what these people are going to do when this brownskinned president stays on their TV year after year? Even if you only watch FOX News, guess what? They don't have a storyline if it doesn't include Obama. When are they going to do when he stays on the front page of their newspaper week after week?

Are they going to lock Johnny in a closet, like the child abductors in the news this week? Are they going to build ideological bunkers behind their houses, and set off air raid signals whenever the stench of liberalism draws near?

The best protection for your child is an appreciation of knowledge for knowledge's sake. An understanding of the basic tenets of critical thinking. And a facility with the English language that includes mastery of a vocabulary large enough to recognize the nuances that differentiate the meaning of one word from the next when someone is speaking to you.

But that, as my mother would say, is too easy. Makes too much sense. Instead, these people will do the thing they always do, the way Rick Pitino did when he went into a rampage a couple of weeks ago at a news conference while discussing the latest allegations from his adulterous sexual dalliance - claim that the truth is what they are telling you, and that everything else is all lies.

Where are the white people with good sense these days?

Are you out there?

Right about now, if the script was flipped, and these were black people doing this, I would have already been approached by someone white by now who would ask me, point blank, "why are they doing this?"

But if they don't want their Johnny listening to the president of ALL of these United States as he gives out the kind of simple advice - study hard, read more, make goals for yourself - that helped to get Obama where he is today, that's fine.

Put President Obama's speech on for the black kids.

Jamal WILL be listening.

Put it on for the Asian kids.

Jiao WILL be listening.

Put it on for the Hispanic kids.

Javier WILL be listening.

Put it on for the Indian kids.

Jharma WILL be listening.

Put it on for the children of all our immigrants, for their parents who have defied every challenge in the book to get to the real America, the one that has "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" tattooed to the base of the Statue of Liberty.

The thing about white people with good sense is...

...they are boring.

The same way black people and Asian people and Hispanic people and Indian people with good sense are boring.

Which is why you won't see them in front of any TV cameras today.

They'll be the ones soberly helping their children to master their A-B-C's and 1-2-3's. Demanding that homework get done before play time begins. Adding enrichment programs and activities on their own to bolster what the school teaches. Helping their children learn, one day at a time, how to navigate this thing we call life without having to depend on slogans and jingles and propaganda of any kind to give them their own sense of personal direction.

Training them, in other words, to deal with the world and its realities rather than look for an excuse to opt out.

I don't know what these people are worried about.

Because if Barack Obama was really the Malcolm X type of political radical they make him out to be...

...he'd schedule a speech to school children every other week to MAKE SURE these people took little Johnny out of class each and every time.

Last Friday I did another thirty minute radio interview with Sean Yoes, who is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

You can click this link this Sunday at 8 PM with the finger that doesn't have barbecue sauce on it, and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

The taping was fun, but the time went faster than it did before, probably because we ended up getting deep into the question of Barack Obama's leadership abilities.

One of the things I realized Thursday night, while I was getting prepared for our Friday morning taping, the thing that we didn't get to because the time ran out - Barack Obama is the president who has drawn the short straw.

He is the president who is going to have to be the grown up who turns on the lights in America and tell us the party's over. That we've got to get back to basics to make America the place we all say we want it to be.

And if you people who are wearing those "Yes We Can" t-shirts around the house while you do yard work this weekend will remember that we are in the second round of a fifteen round fight, and get re-engaged in this national healthcare debate just half as fervently as you did last year, you can be a part of the "village" that helps raise these delusional children who are running amok as if Obama is the Anti-Christ.

Enjoy the weekend!

This is the audio from the second radio interview I did with Sean Yoes that aired on WEAA on September 13th.

My blog article "Where Are The White People With Good Sense?" was the topic.

Audio Of FIRST EDITION Interview with Sean Yoes Part 1

Audio Of FIRST EDITION Interview with Sean Yoes Part 2


This is the audio from the second interview the radio interview I did with Sean Yoes that aired on WEAA on September 6th.

The state of Barack Obama's presidency was the topic.

Audio Of FIRST EDITION Interview with Sean Yoes


I figured I'd pick up where I left off reading "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009", better known to the rest of us as "the healthcare bill".

The style in which the document was put together is starting to make some sense now - it almost seems like there is an adjunct "how we are going to do this" section for every "this is what we're going to do" section - a pretty standard format that echoes the manner in which contracts flow.

The section on transparency:



A qualified health benefits plan shall comply with standards established by the Commissioner for the accurate and timely disclosure of plan documents, plan terms and conditions, claims payment policies and practices, periodic financial disclosure, data on enrollment, data on disenrollment, data on the number of claims denials, data on rating practices, information on cost-sharing and payments with respect to any out-of-network coverage, and other information as determined appropriate by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall require that such disclosure be provided in plain language.

while it seems pretty innocuous, reads a lot like the HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act) directives I used to deal with in the mortgage business that kept a close eye on who was making loan applications and who was being denied. The reason why people rail so much on talk radio about the evils of the Fair Lending Act is because it works, and it keeps mortgage companies from screwing their customers so badly and lying to the public about it claiming how their entire business loses money every time they make a Community Reinvestment Act loan.


(a) IN GENERAL.—Each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the small or large group market shall provide that for any plan year in which the coverage has a medical loss ratio below a level specified by the Secretary, the issuer shall provide in a manner specified by the Secretary for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio. Such methodology shall be set at the highest level medical loss ratio possible that is designed to ensure adequate participation by issuers, competition in the health insurance market, and value for consumers so that their premiums are used for services.

One of the things about the health insurance industry that has always nagged at me is their methodology on setting rates for health insurance coverage. The life insurance loss ratios seem to be calculated against the characteristics of the entire class of insureds for whom the company has policies in force, while health insurance rates appear inexplicably to be calculated against the characteristics of each individual group of insureds for whom the company has policies in force.

My own theory is that the process of negotiation that health insurance companies go through in order to win the right to enroll large groups of people has transformed what is essentially an actuarial model of the probability loss into a situation where a health insurance company often takes on groups who are likely to be losing propositions without very aggressive procedure denial cost containment efforts.

I haven't heard a lot about this section, but this concept, along with the section on transparency, seems to be leading towards the same public utility model I've talked about before. It's the same as when you get rebates back from your utility companies now if their profitability exceeds a certain predetermined ratio.

As I've said here before, explaining where we are headed with this is an area where President Obama and his troops have definitely fallen down on the job. There is really no way around the fact that this entire process is designed to limit profits per enrollee for health insurers. The irony is, even though that profit may be limited, the number of enrollees is likely to increase.