Thursday, February 28, 2008

Will The Real Hillary Please Stand Up?

During the debate on Tuesday 2/26/2008 we saw "the real" Hillary Clinton, feisty, scrappy, itching for a fight. Over the last few weeks Hillary Clinton has exhibited signs of extreme aggravation with the fact that she's been losing ground in the polls and apparently has lost credibility as a viable nominee of the Democratic Party.

In the most recent debate she really showed out by lambasting, not only, Barack Obama, but also deriding the moderator and representatives of the major media. Over the last few weeks it's dawned on me that Hillary has an anger management problem, which has not been fully exposed by the media. However, I've recently come across some citations from a variety of sources close to Hillary and the Clinton camp indicating just that. Aside from everything else that's been said about her health care program vs. Obama's healthcare program this anger management issue, I believe, is the primary thing that disqualifies her for the job of commander in chief of all the armed forces.

One thing that Hillary has made real clear is that she's a fighter and that she'll "fight for us". The question is who's she going to fight. Assumedly, she's talking about fighting the Republicans and Al-Qaida. However, this is not clear. Based on her public record Hillary is not averse to fighting Republicans, terrorists, members of her own party or even White House staff members.

One thing is obvious, she has not been known for building coalitions and bringing people together. She has been known for talking negatively about her own White House staff members behind their backs and deriding them in public, however. Gail Sheehy states Bradford DeLong, a veteran of the Clinton administration who worked with Hillary Clinton on healthcare, had it exactly right when he warned, "We must keep Hillary Rodham Clinton very far from the White House for the rest of her life.", Hillary's Choice (New York: Random House, 1999) p. 11.

Even more telling was the statement by former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers indicating her overall temperament,

"Anyone that stood up... was smashed down and belittled,very personally. [N]ot only would she sort of humiliate you in front of your colleagues or whoever happened to be around, Hillary tended to kind of campaign against people behind their back, and that was certainly my experience."

PBS Frontline, 16 Jan 2001
The Clinton Years

There's also a matter of integrity. The Clintons have been known for, shall we say, stretching the truth, as in the case of Gennifer Flowers, where Mrs. Clinton denied knowledge of the affair before it became public. Of course everyone remembers the Monica Lewinsky case and Bill Clinton's denial of any wrongdoing, "depending on how you define sex". Hillary and Bill have both shown us that they can stretch the truth.

In their recent debate in Cleveland Obama was called on to "denounce" or "reject" Louis Farrakhan, because of alleged anti-semitic remarks that have been attributed to him. Senator Obama did this unequivocally. However, nothing has been said, nor has she publicly acknowledged or apologized for her own, “anti-semitic” remarks, which are quite well documented and attested to by reliable sources. For instance, Jerry Oppenheimer states,

"Hillary hit him between the eyes. She was angrier than Paul had ever seen her. 'You f**king Jew bastard!' she screamed."

author Jerry Oppenheimer
quoting campaign aide Paul Fray
State of a Union
(New York: Harper-Collins, 2000) p. 153

These are words out of Senator Clinton's own mouth. Thus far she has not had to account for them. Is this the kind of person that we feel can finally bring closure to the ongoing war between the Palestinians and the State of Israel? After making similar snide remarks about Mahatma Ghandi (Youtube) from the floor of the U.S. Senate, do we really think that she can now go to India and successfully negotiate with the Indian government concerning nuclear proliferation? Will she be able to direct negotiations with the various Muslim factions in Iraq, so that our troops can begin coming home 6 months after she takes the oath of office, after chiding Senator Obama for putting on the national dress of the Kenyan people, while on a diplomatic mission. Keep in mind, we've seen President Clinton wearing the national dress of Muslim Nigerians. Does this mean her husband is secretly working for Al-Qaida? Is this why she doesn't want to release her tax returns until she's been christened as the nominee of the Democratic Party? In the Bible it states:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: . . .
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

This passage needs to be plastered on the wall of the White House to help it's new resident keep their eye on the sparrow, especially that last passage about war and peace. The war in Iraq has been a major campaign issue and a real rallying point for voters. The people are demanding an end to the war, however both candidates have stated they will not pull the troops out, while leaving the area as a haven for Al-Qaida. That will require a lot of negotiating between forces that have been adversarial for 100's, if not 1000's of years. I personally don't see that Senator Clinton has the credentials to credibly carry out that mission.

The facts are in! Hillary Clinton is not fit to sit in the seat of power, guiding and directing the most powerful nation in the world. I've only listed a few of the more serious charges that can be corroborated here. It's what's not listed here that should concern every qualified voter in America. Because, whomever the next resident of the White House is, it's an absolute certainty that they will have to negotiate a number of situations with the leaders of many nations, and they'll have to do it in a calm and reasonable manner, with an understanding of their perspective and the perspective of their constituents. This is the advantage Senator Obama has over Senator Clinton. As we've seen him on the campaign trail over the last year, and under serious attack during a good portion of that time, by Senator Clinton, he's been able to maintain his cool at all times. This is the mark of a good leader. He's also shown grace and poise after coming from behind as an underdog to a leader in the polls, he's always maintained a decorum that was professional and respectful of the other candidates and their positions.

When Hillary Clinton says she's going to fight for us, I think she really means it! However, after 8 years in the White House with no threat of being ousted by the electorate; and 8 more years as a senator, she's no closer to passing her health care bill through congress, than she was when she started this fight. As the President of the most powerful nation in the world, the question is not will she fight, it's obvious that she will do that. The question is, can she build bipartisan coalitions that will in fact be strong enough to get legislation passed that will benefit all U.S. citizens. Will she be able to negotiate with these leaders, or will she try to bully them? Will she treat foreign dignitaries with respect, or will she belittle them, as we saw her belittle Mahatma Ghandi from the floor of the U.S. Senate (Fox news report on Youtube)? Will she be able to bring together a cabinet of chosen advisers and work with them, or will we see extreme instability in the White House, as cabinet members turn over faster than hamburgers on an open grill? These are important questions that remain unanswered and until now unasked.

Whoever wins this election and eventually occupies the White House needs to put all of their cards on the table. We're still waiting on Senator Clinton to produce her tax records indicating where her money comes from and therefore who she's beholding to. Senator Obama, on the other hand has made full disclosure and has refused to except any monies from lobbyists and PACs. When are we going to get a full accounting of Senator Clinton's actions and finances? I don't feel that anyone can vote for her and, in good conscience and say they feel that she's the best candidate for the job without this crucial information. At best they can say they like her more than the other candidates.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Barack Obama "The Best Man"

This reporter has been watching the race for the Democratic nomination with great interest, and apparently so has America and the world. From the outset it appeared that Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee. With four other people in the race Barack Obama stood out only because of his race.

Fast forward ahead to the present, eight months later and we have Barack Obama appearing to be the presumptive nominee and Clinton trying to catch up. What happened in the interim? Obama has caught on like wildfire, running through ten states without a credible challenge from his opponent. On T.V. Obama is looking very presidential, much more presidential than Ronald Reagan when he lost the part for the president in the 1964 film "The Best Man". In person he fills the halls he appears in with what could easily be described as devotees. In a recent visit to Youngstown, Ohio Obama not only had the whole crowd rocking, they were in the palm of his hand. They hung on his every word. They all came there knowing what he was going to say, and like one does at a concert with your favorite musician, they waited to hear the part of his speech that resonated with their own feelings. He has found his voice and the people are listening! Not just some of the people, some of the time, but all of the people, all of the time.

Meanwhile, Hillary has been relegated to the sidelines where she lobs potshots at him every now and then. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't have the strength of purpose, or the clarity of mind to be able to focus her aim and score a direct hit. Obama has deftly deflected each and every one of them, including the ridiculous charges of plagarism, lack of substance and "hopemongering". Yes, Obama is a hope monger, and proud of it. He's taken everything that's been tossed at him and like a good martial artist turned the energy behind those blows back on the one who threw them.

Whether he wins or loses this race is not the question. He will come up a winner any way it goes, because he is changing the nature of politics as we know it, right now, not in some distant future. Evidence of this is clear in the primary elections that he's winning, by double digit margins. He is bringing people together from all walks of life right now and giving the American people something to hope for.

In the beginning they tried to label him "The Black Candidate", that only a Black person would vote for. When too many white people voted for him they called him an empty wagon, very noisy, but no substance. A quick look at Obama's record would tend to belie that statement, when you Google him and find out that the issues he most recently brought into his stump speeches are issues that he's been addressing the entire time he's been in Congress, such as the homeless vets, education reform, the economy, the war in Iraq, Darfur and global warming. Obama is not just paying lip service to these issues he's writing bills and getting the votes to have them passed.

The question now is, if Hillary Clinton or John McCain are elected to the highest office in the land can they get the votes they need in Congress? I don't believe they can, not without the popular support of the people. In Obama's stump speech he states unequivocally that the change we seek cannot be made without the support of the people themselves, and he's right. No congressman or woman will want to stir up the ire of their constituents and have them outside their door protesting. This is a real and yet unspoken fear. Obama talks about putting the lobbyists out of business, shutting down their operations. There's no way to do that without the popular support of the people. So, all the talk of empty wagons rolling down the street making a lot of noise, but carrying little goods, is just that, talk.

They say Obama needs a reality check. Well I beg to differ. The reality is Obama is not only the best man, he's the best candidate for the job.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Pan-African Film Festival 2008

The Pan-African Film Festival 2008

February 7th - 28th
(Thursday evenings)
4:00pm - 7:00pm

Stewart Africentric Elementary School
1199 Vernon Odom Blvd.
Akron, Ohio 44307

All presentations will begin promptly at 15 min. after the hour. A question and answer period will follow the 2nd film. Light refreshments will be included free of charge. Children are welcome but they must be supervised by their parents at all times.

February 7
Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella (35 min.) - A film portrait by noted director Les Blank on the life and passion of one of the most outstanding Cuban drummers of our time. Featuring interviews with Dizzy Gillespie, Carlos Santana and Katherine Dunham.

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1.5 hours) - The story of Miss Jane Pittman's 110 year life from slavery to the civil rights struggle of the sixties.

February 14
Black Indians: An American Story (1 hour) - (as seen on ABC) brings to light a forgotten part of Americans past - the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Narrated by James Earl Jones, "Black Indian" An American Story" explores what brought the two groups together, what drove them apart and the challenges they face today.

Different But Equal (1 hour) - Different but Equal, examines the cultures of early Africa. Much of this information is based on art and artifacts from pyramids, caves, and tombs from Egypt and Meroe in ancient Sudan, with an emphasis on Meroe. Davidson brings up the importance of interactions between Africa and Europe, noting that differences in race were not sources of hostility and distrust during either the classic or medieval eras.

February 21
Flyers In Search of A Dream (1 hour) - A documentary on the history of African American aviation which includes segments on:
Bessie Coleman, the first African American to be licensed as a pilot.
William J. Powell, Sr., an early promoter of airmindedness in the black community.
Herbert Julian (The Black Eagle), who was, by and large, the most internationally renowned African American flyer of his time, having had a large part to play in the formation of the first African Airforce, during the reign of Emporer Haile Selassie.

Ida B. Wells A Passion for Justice (1 hour) - documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period. Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison reads selections from Wells' memoirs and other writings in this winner of more than 20 film festival awards.

February 28
Roots Daughters (1.5 hours) - Sixteen Rastawomen on 3 continents share the experiences and inspiration that led to the development of a world wide spiritual and political movement known as Rastafari and their role in that movement.

For the latest updates on the state of the Black go to blakfacts.blogspot.com!