Quote of the Day: Ta-Nehisi Coates

by TKOEd • Friday, Dec 7, 2012 • no responses - be the first

What bothers me here is the attempt to somehow erect a standard for domestic violence that we do not use anywhere else. If someone said that Osama bin Laden actually loved the victims of 9/11 we would generally object, in a way that we wouldn’t if someone said he hated the victims. That assessment would be based on action.

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Fatherhood Friday: Waiting For The Bus

by TKOEd • Friday, Oct 12, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to take my daughter to her bus stop & wait with her. The mornings before school are a slightly crazy time. Getting the child up, washed, fed, dressed & out the door while simultaneously packing her lunch, and getting the dogs together for their morning walk can be intense. Luckily, I have Erika on most days, and vice versa.

Every morning there is a parade of other parents, mostly moms, taking their kids to school or waiting with them at the various bus stops. There is also shorter, not smaller, parade of children taking other children to school. This morning I saw a boy, maybe 8 years old, walking an even younger girl to what I assume was school, pre-school or day care. I had one thought: “And Mitt Romney thinks poor people (read Black people) don’t take “responsibility” for their lives. And yes, I think he was thinking about Black people when he made that 47% statement. I don’t think he was thinking about seniors or soldiers or disabled folks. Too many things in that statement are exactly the things that the GOP has been accusing Black people of being for decades. This was just the latest coded way of saying them.

I thought of my niece who at 13, with all the pressures of trying to get into a good high school, has been helping her parents more & more with her younger brothers. Fuck you, don’t tell me she’s not taking responsibility for her life. She’s not only taking responsibility for her life, but two others. I looked at my daughter, and prayed that she would never have to juggle so many responsibilities. That we will have the good fortune, and good decision making to give all she needs, and more. We’ll expect her help with other kids when we have them, but, God willing, that will be dictated by us, and not by circumstance.

I thought of the parents whose children are helping them shoulder the burden of bad circumstances, choices, and often just bad luck. How scared are they when they send their kids out that door alone? They probably worry about bad drivers, and bad influences. They maybe say a small prayer, and hope that neither child’s impulsiveness rears its head during their, hopefully, short walk.

Being a parent is hard, being a poor one is even harder. 21.6% of the people in my Congressional district live in poverty. The overwhelming majority of them are taking responsibility for their lives. And whatever ones aren’t, I guarantee it’s not because they’re “dependent” on the govt. As if $30.88 a week in food stamps is making people dependent. Fuck you. It’s far more likely that people who can’t, won’t or are having a hard time taking responsibility for themselves have been failed by their government, and by extension, their country.

Either way, we are striving to raise to help our child grow into a good adult. One who won’t ever have to worry about being dependent on anything, but her own skills, charm & know-how. She will not be beholden to a big corporation, or a “big” government. The only thing she’ll have to answer to are her big dreams. I pray the same for all children.



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by TKOEd • Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 • one response - join in

When I was in the 4th grade, we had to pick a poem, memorize it & recite it in front of the class. I chose Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe. I loved Poe. I can’t recall what it was specifically about his imagery, which has always been described as dark, did for me. Seems strange now that I would have been so into Poe as a kid. Anyways, this just popped into my head & I wanted to share. This is the 1st poem I ever remember reading. To this day I remember all the words. I love that the poem is a complete story. It’s VERY vivid to me. I have always imagined the knight as being Don Quixote in an alternate universe. Why? I have no idea.

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

End Game

by TKOEd • Monday, Oct 6, 2008 • no responses - be the first

Starting today, the election has shifted to a surprisingly familiar form of political discourse. With unemployment at record highs, stock market numbers plummeting, and the passage of a financial “bailout” that everyone is counting on, but no one is sure of, the McCain campaign has decided to shift from the economy to the nuclear warfare. By nuclear, I mean the politics of personal destruction. The McCain campaign has decided to set issues aside and focus on Senator Obama’s “character and his associates”. Suddenly, after weeks and months on trying to pin Obama as celebrity, inexperienced, most liberal senator, and elitist, the McCain campaign will finish these last 30 days with the narrative that Obama is a dangerous and untrustworthy radical. We will be told that Obama’s “associations” with William Ayers, Tony Rezco, and Reverend Wright disqualifies him from getting our votes on Nov. 4th. Now, I can dispel each and everyone of these allegations –none of which are new–however, I will refer you to a great website that will dismiss all of these lies:http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/obama.asp

Instead, I want to talk about John McCain. Senator McCain, a man that I have great respect for, am man who served his country proudly, spending 51/2 years in North Vietnamese concentration camp. A man that to this day, still suffers through the physical ailments of his captivity. A man who came to Washington to serve 3 decades of honorable service in the Senate. I am so disheartened, because I expected more from him. In 2000, during the Republican primary battles in South Carolina, republican operatives, spread the false and malicious rumor that McCain fathered a black child out of wedlock. That child is his adoptive daughter that Cindy McCain fell in love with on one of her humanitarian trips to Bangladesh. McCain ended up losing the primary to George Bush. How much of an effect did these allegations actually have in the primary race? Who Knows? What I do know is that these lies were spread to damage the McCain brand. McCain decried these type of attacks. In 2004 when the Swift Boat veterans for truth manipulated John Kerry’s war record for George Bush’s political gains, John McCain decried those attacks.

Eight years later, in the middle of a heated battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, sudden revelations of an outrageous and inflammatory sermon by Barack’s pastor came to light. Reverend Wright was seen cursing America behind the pulpit. Rumors spread that Barack was in the church when Wright gave the sermon. Republicans activist such as Sean Hannity (Fox News) tried to use this issue as a wedge to scare White voters away from Barack. In an interview with Hannity, Jack Kemp, a friend and senior advisor of John McCain, told Hannity that He–meaning McCain–wanted these elections to be about the issues. What has changed?

Thirty days from the election, John McCain is behind by an average of 8 points in the all the polls. McCain is starting to fall behind in all of the battle ground states, and states that were once safely red (Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Colorado) are trending blue. During the first debate, McCain was projected to destroy Obama. Obama came out on top. Sarah Palin, even with her low expectation, managed to lose her Vice Presidential debate to Joe Biden. The train-wreck that is our economy, is being attributed to the past 8 years of republican executive rule. McCain’s pet issue, eliminating earmarks, has not won him many new votes. All McCain has left is to attack Obama’s credibility and character.

The question is will this work? Historically, negative campaigns work for the candidate who is already leading. Think Bush in 88 with the Willie Horton add, or Bush in 2004 with the Swifter Boaters. McCain is not currently leading, and these type of attacks might come across as cynical to the public who are already tiresome of the huber partisan rhetoric of the past 16 years. But the bigger question for The Honorable Senator from Arizona is: do you want it to work? A man who claims to take the word honor very seriously. A man who says that he would rather lose and election than lose a war. I ask you Senator McCain, are you willing to win an election if it means you would lose your honor?