Friday, August 29, 2008

Do You Want A Symbol or an Ally? Sarah Palin and the Feminist Vote


Birkhold often says that "We can't expect unhealthy people, to make
healthy politicians decisions".

Trust me. Many of us are unhealthy. 50% of our kids are
dropping out of high school. We treat drug addicts like criminals
and wonder why they never get clean. We think that we can
consume our way to happiness. Furthermore, our children
don't understand that life is made up of tedious min numbing
task's and chores that have to get done whether they like it or not.

I thought of this unhealthiness, when I saw that McCain
picked Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his candidate for
Vice President.

When I saw that she was chosen, I wanted to know who she was.

So I googled the words feminism and Palin and clicked on Tenessee
Guerrilla Women
and read in the comments,

HELLO…we’re feminists right? Why would Hillary supporters run to McCain who picked one of the MOST CONSERVATIVE women in politics who doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, the rights of gay people, and is a hard core member of the NRA? If we are true feminist, we should go with someone who believes in feminist ideals such as a woman’s right to choose…simply being a woman doesn’t make one a feminist and quite frankly, a vote for Palin seems to be a vote AGAINST all of what women have been fighting for nearly 100 years.
McCain thinks women are sick and tired of politics being a man thing. Sick and tired of being passed over and left out. McCain is exactly right. Barack should have picked Hillary. So issues don't matter, just gender. It doesn't matter that she is a radically anti-choice rightwing Republican; so long as she is a she, its all good. We'll see how it turns out, but I think most people can see the transparency of this pick. Its an entirely defensive pick designed to be his last best hope of keeping the White House in GOP hands for 4 more years. I know logic and reason left this group a LONG time ago, but to say Sarah Palin is "more experienced" than Obama, is a fantasy. She went from being Mayor of a town of less than 9K, to Governor of a state with the population of Fort Worth, TX; and she's only been there for a year and a half. So to move your allegiances from a pro-choice center-left pol like Hillary Clinton, whom all of you said was the most experienced, to a radical conservative anti-choice woman with less than 1.5 years Governing the 47th smallest state in terms of population, really defies logic.

This told me what I needed to know.

If you are a woman, why would you would vote for someone
simply because she is a woman, not because she stands
for policies that you believe in?

You would do so if you made choices based on what you saw, instead of what is healthiest for you and your family.

My mother has a saying, "People will give you hell and charge
you rent".

When I see white women jump on the McCain ticket because
he has a woman running part of me thinks that if they are short
cited enough to vote for McCain out of spite then they deserve t
he leadership and the consequences of such leadership that
they will receive. This thinking, however, is reactionary.

What must be kept in mind is that we all have voice and that we
are ALL affected by who is elected president and vice president.

Our future, like our past, is bound together.

Feministing, Zane and Black Female Sexuality


What a difference a day makes.

I touched a cord yesterday writing about Zane and Black female
sexuality. Ann at Feministing wrote a piece the content of
a new book endorsed by Zane and linked to my piece.

On the Feministing post there was a commenter, who I presume to
be a man, who asked a question about Feminism from the perspective
of Black/Non-white women. He wrote,

Black/Non-white Feminists in this thread:
I think I have a decent grasp on the difficulty in white culture for white women (to white women in here, I'm not saying that I have experienced it or that I perfectly understand it - just that I'm able to empathise) - but when race comes into it - I have no idea what you go through.

I've a question for you though: how would you say that race plays into your feminism. In your culture what would you say is different coming from men of the same race as you (or men of other races - but when it comes to relationships)....


My reaction was its fresh that he was curious but that he should read.
Black Feminist Thought by Pat Hill Collins is a great start.
I am also thinking of starting a Feminism and Hip Hop study group
and his comment reminded me that people are curious. However,
just because they are curious and care, that doesn't mean they
are willing to do the work. Just peep the 100 Visionary widgets on the

When I read this I thought, to ask us, on a message board, how it is to
presumes that we can answer a big @ssed question in a small
@ssed space in a little bit of time.
Oodles have been written about
the topic
and similar to when we want to learn about any other
subject be it Spanish, Psychics
or the electoral process, we pick up a book.

I was surprised at the lack of understanding of Patriarchy that the women
in the comments had. For instance there seem to be surprise
at the fact that such work could be marketed to Black women. Two commenter's
spoke writing,
...I am also disheartened by the fact that this filth is targeted at black women. I have a feeling that black women generally (but not all, of course) would be more susceptible to these ideas. There seems to be an a fairly strong sentiment among many black women that they need to stand by "their" men, as though they are disgracing themselves and their heritage by dating outside of their race....
-Awakened Desires,

This is the kind of literature that is marketed to the Black community? No wonder there is an growing trend of internalized racism and adoption of oppression especially with Black females. At one point they are told that their sexuality is not only taboo but also animalistic and dangerous and now they have moved into full-on exploitation and submission because men command it.
But it just goes to show that unless you have
theory to understand and interpret what you see, while you may end
up being pro-woman, you will more than likely not to have a
historical or politcal context and or lens to filter your views.

Think about it yesterday, I went from Capitalism to Slavery to Video
Vixens to Zane all based on the bodies and sexuality of Black
women. Thats some trillness. No?

But that comes from reading Pat Collins, Marx, Corporations,
Joan Morgan and watching Nelly and David Banner.

On my blog another commenter posted that Zane is just filling a niche.
He writes,
While I do recognize that many women of color do not have a sexual identity in mass media or their own voice, I don't think that really applies to Zane's success. She came at a time when there were not too many popular black erotica, specifically written by women. She's just filling a niche.
Historical context matters. Sex is the most searched word on the internet.
And Porn is the largest industry on the internet.

To say that Zane is just filling a niche indicates that I may have lost you
somewhere between capitalism and the video vixens. Bear with me.

Black women were brought here to be enslaved as workers and to give birth
to more workers.

Capitalism is very clear about its property goal, which is to make the most
money off of all of its property.

Why sell it for $10 when you can sell it for $20

This is why The Projects in Clinton Hill have been converted to Co ops.
This is why Frisco is trying to figure out how to build Condos in Hunters Point.
This is why we have Indiana Jones 8 and Rocky 10.
This is why Black women were brought here. To work for free and give birth
to more people who would work for free.

The enslavement of Black women turned on the myth that we
were hypersexual breeders who couldn't get enough.

The Black community has responded with an asexual view of Black women.

However, Hip hop has blown that idea out the water with half naked women
jiggling on Bet every 5 seconds. But guess what, they are called video ho's.
If we are sexual, we will be called Ho's.

This is an incredibly repressive way to live. Zane isn't just filling a niche
she is allowing Black women to do something that they seemingly have NOT
be able to do which is see their sexual selves and not be called ho's for doing it.

Word to Erykah Badu.

I know this gender work is hard ya'll but look, I am on a mission. I think
we are in the middle of a transformation.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Know Why Zane Sells


Zane sells because her fiction allows Black women to be sexual in a
that refuses to acknowledge that we are sexual, a culture
that calls us ho's if are so inclined to be sexual, talk about sex, or
even look like we are human and have a sexual appetite.

When was the last time you saw a Black woman have a love interest
and sex
in a movie? Or a tv show? Yesterday, I was doing all this
reading of Hortense Spillers, Tricia Rose and
Hegel (whom I struggle
with tremendously), as I am developing an outline for a writing sample.
When instantly, Zane's popularity clicked for me.

Professor Spillers essay titled, Intercises: A Small Drama of Words discusses,
the position of Black women's sexuality in American culture. She writes,

Our sexuality remains an unarticulated nuance in various forms of public discourse as though we are figments of the great invisible empire of womankind.
If I attempted to lay hold to any fictional text-discursively rendered experience
of Black women, by themselves- I encounter a disturbing silence that acquires
paradox, the status of contradiction.
Granted, the essay was published in 1984, so there has been some work
published on Black women and sexuality such as Naked, Traps,
Black Sexual Politics and Longing to Tell: Black women talk about Sex
and Intimacy and I would imagine many others.

However, this profound silence still rings out loud in light of the presence
of aspiring video vixens in rap videos, the desire of our little girls to be
video vixens and our cultures obsession with pimps and strip club culture
in general.

This silence is deafeningly loud in the light of the fact that Black women
were brought to the United States specifically to perform
as laborers and to produce, via sex, more laborers.

As enslaved Africans residing in America, we held a very particular
status, We were the Capital that Produced Capital
, with capital being
productive property.

This brings be back to why Zane sells. Zane sells because the women

have sex in those books. They have affairs, they have sex with their
some are lesbians, and dare I say it, some have sex with
other women.

Speaking of sex with other women, I was very intrigued when I learned
while researching this post th
that Zanes latest title, Purple Panties was being
boycotted because it is about lesbian erotic fiction and it features
two clearly Black women on the cover.

Welcome to the world of heterosexism. Think about it like this. If
Black women aren't allowed to have sex, then TWO most definitely are
forbidden from doing so.

Even in the face of this boycott, Zanes work stands a testament to the
fact that Erotic fiction, written by Black women, and arguably
Black men, is the place where we have found that we can have sex

and not just simply produce capital or be called ho's.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fly Analytical's Episode: 3


I present to you the New and IMPROVED podcast.

Click Here.

The episode has a discussion of My Patriarchy Moment, CNN's Black
in America, The Mail Bag and a review of the book "Don't Blame it on Rio".

It has been produced by the magnificent T. Rose. Early.

Gone is the crackly ipod quality and rambling discourse.

Now we have clear sound, actual segments and breaks!


Tuesday Links


Intellectual Property
BMC is heated that Warner Brothers is putting out a
New Jack City 2,
DIRECT to video. He's good though.
Because he is coming gully
with the Nino Brown Diaries.

I didn't know that Belly 2 was direct to video as well.

Poverty is the Seed

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor has a new piece up on Mayor Dellum's and
crime in Oakland. I swear. All this talk about crime and none about
the poverty rate sickens me. Poverty is the Seed.

Maybe I need to make "Its the Poverty, STUPID" T-Shirts.

No Child Left to Teach
A teacher explains why she hates No Child Left Behind.
Man Makes Threats Against Obama
All I have to say is, define "credible threat".

"History" of Affirmative Action
Any list that doesn't include sharecropping needs to stop.

It has been light around these parts.

A little busy this week, as I have a few projects up in the

I also took a trip that I need to write about.

Will return, shortly.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Douche Bags and Wife Beaters


Douche Bags
Have you all noticed the prevalence of the usage of the
word douche
bag in the popular media.

If a douche bag is a feminine hygiene product, why is it used to describe
people in general and men specifically who are inconsiderate
and self centered?

What exactly is idiot like, inconsiderate, self centered or moron like
about a feminine hygiene product?

The passive acceptance of the usage of the term is indicative of our
acceptance of the public dislike of vagina's.
The loose usage of the
term reminds me of the passive acceptance of
the public hatred of femininity and women.

Wife Beaters

I don't call white tank tops wife beater
I call them white tanks.
If I am in a real snarky mood I call them wife killers
throws people off.

Why wife killers?

The majority of women killed in this country are murdered by
an intimate partner.

I would imagine that the term is derived from the stereotype of the beer
drinking man in rural America that beats his wife.

I will concede that this steroetype may be based in fact. However,
describing a t-shirt as a wife beater when most women murdered
are killed by their intimate partners is careless and perpetuates the
notion that hitting women (and people) expected and for that matter
is accepted.

Do you think about the words that you use?

Do you think more a bout the words that you use after reading

this old snarky blog?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

100 Visionaries-Fear-Failure-Support


I had an interesting "internet moment" earlier this week.

I came across an online social justice group, and reached out to one of
its members because their work is closely aligned with what I envision
100 Visionaries to be.

The group had a conference a few years ago, a list serve and people.

I came across their list serve archive Thursday morning, right after I placed
those fund raising widgets in the sidebar.

Because the group is not very active I was curious as to what happened
and whether their lack of activity corresponded was an early indicator of
the to the lack of activity, with my fund raising widgets.

I wondered, if folks really WOULD rather talk about Imus, Jay Z, David Banner,
Obama, Jesse Jackson and The Wackness than actually do something.

So I decided to take action.

I sent an e-mail to a woman I had been in contact with via twitter who
was, ironiclly on the list serve and her point blank, "What happened?
You all seem to have had a lot of traction and now there is very little

This was a risk for me, because she didn't know me from a stick
of gum and could have said, yo- go kick rocks.

She responded, candidly saying "Yo- do I know you?"

She then went on to say that it became clear to her that, in the
organization, people were more interested in talking about the problem
than doing something about it.

That had me stuck because it is what I feared would happen
with 100 V.

Then I also thought about how our kids need to watch us
struggle, fail, succeed and go through personal transformation.

And for that matter we need to watch one another do it.

It makes it feel like its possible.

I got sad. My rationale is that if this group couldn't do, what makes
me think I can?

Then things started to happen.

This dude in Cali e-mailed me on some, yo- is this going to be a virtual
org, are you going to have a board of directors, what's the plan?

I sent him an outline of the next 9 months and he shot
me back an e-mail on his background. When it became clear that
he was type thorough- grad school, undergrad in the trenches
with the young bucks, college counseling, I began to
try and bring him into the fold.

Then another blogger said, I can't do a reflection retreat, and I
responded, thats cool, can you write about how you and your
son deal with pop culture? He agreed.

And I began to see that this is going to work relationship by relationship.

I stepped out on faith and bought the url yesterday.

I see it as one of A million little steps. A million little steps.

GZA Tickets Contest


Joshua at Urb is having a contest for tickets to The Gza's album release

party on Tuesday August 19th.

As far as I am concerned, The Gza, O.C. & AZ are my underrated favorites,
so I am happy to oblige.

Step One
Go here to register.

Step Two

When entering your last names, add 'MM' at the end. So, "Jane Doe MM".

You will be eligible for the regular drawing, plus a bonus drawing only for those who labeled themselves MM.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

100 Visionaries


I had a watershed moment yesterday. I was pacing, writing notes and just
simply amped.

The 100 Visionaries Mission came to me.

Our mission is to work to create a better future for our young people
through local and national activism and policy lobbying.

The strategy for achieving this is a five pronged effort. The first is
having regular one on one interactions with young people through
reflection retreats.

The second is supporting local members who share our vision,
and are running for office such as city council or the board of education.

The third is lobbying around policies that effect their lives such as
ending mandatory minimums, creating a national Prop 36 legislation,
eliminating zero tolerance in schools, and ensuring that public school
funds are equitably distributed within the school district.

The fourth is through supporting and promoting artists, writers, musicians,
who are our vision of a better world for young people.

The fifth is by working with other organizations who are doing related work.
One of us may not have an impact. But, 100 hundred of us is a Movement.

Our organization is a learning organization. Nimble, eager and ready to take
action. Contact me directly with further questions at

Click on the Widget on the left to donate to cover the cost of incorporating
the non profit.
100 Visionaries will be the 501 (c) (3). Cost. $75
100 Visionaries Fund will be the 510 (c) (4). Cost. $75

I seek to build this with you all, with "buy in" on the ground from
all the folks who have commented and said they want to contribute
and support.
is a 501 (c) (4). This kind of organization has far more leeway than
a (c) (3) when it comes to lobbying. Read more about it here.

501 (c) (3) will be 100 Visionaries.
501 (c) (4) will be the 100 Visionary Fund, similar to Moveon in terms of
action and scope with a bit more urban focus. Early.

Who knew that what began as a conversation on, "who raises the kids
the mommas or the rappers
", would bring us to this?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adult Relationship Skills


Recently, I have experienced some emotional upheaval.

In the past, Filthy has had bad experiences with introducing his
female friends to the lady that he was dating at the time.

On two different occasions in the past,
he did the introduction
and one of the women ended up being salty.

Apparently, it made life type unbearable.

So this week, I learned that, because of his past, he just decided to
NOT introduce one of his close homies to me.

All I could think was, "Dude, you ain't think I was going to notice
that I have met almost everyone in your innercircle except for her?"

Apparently, he did so because they had history, and he didn't know how
to tell me.

This is a violation. However in the grand scheme of things, if I were him
I could have done the same thing. The lessons I have learned from my past
are the only thing that have prevented me from making that kind of mistake.

However, he is a good dude, a lovely dude. Feel me?
So, I was just lightweight torn.

This situation brought up old stuff for me. A couple of years ago
I was dating another cat, *Mark and not getting along well with
two of the women in his life. Some stuff flared up between me
and the one of the women, and instead of neither of us, me, him
or the woman, dealing with it head on, we let it percolate and it
eventually had an impact on our breaking up.

I told myself never again.

Naturally, I was concerned that the past was happening again.

When I found out that Filthy chose to deal with it on some,
I will just keep them seperate I was heated. All this arose
last week. It wasn't until Saturday that I learned that he kept us
apart because they had history.

I laughed. Because I knew about the history, as Filthy was my friend
first. We talked about everything and I remember him telling me about her
earlier this year. At the time, I just didn't have a name attached
to the situation. Once I put the pieces together I went from amused
to angry. While I am rational and reasonable, his fear of me bouncing,
or of losing her friendship and subsequent denial about the fact
that this needed to be dealt with swiftly were powerful as well.

On one level he was trying to have his cake and eat it too. Violation.
On a another level, I have made similar mistakes before.

The more we spoke, the more I realized that it was just one of those
situations where he handled the situation in a way that could have
been done differently.

When we have been hurt by someone, there is a tension between
a desire to hold on to the pain, and a desire to forgive.

The pain is comfortable like an old friend, thats is why Mobb Deep
tastes so good to my ears, it waters my dysfunction.

I learned from this that you have to listen to what the person
is saying, that what your friends say may be useful but
it must be taken with a grain of salt, and ultimately God will
set forth what is suppose to take place.

The hardest thing to do, throughout all of this, was to sit with being
uncomfortable and not try and fix it myself.

Part of me, the old me, had an inclination to still rock with him,
just at arms length, and to keep my eyes open for other cats to
add to the bench.

This constitutes trying to fix it myself. I know that needed discipline.
The kind of discipline that Dr. Peck was talking when he was defining
love as the judicious giving of discipline, resources and affection.

Man, listen, it is one thing that to talk that discipline 'ish, but
it is a whole other to practice it. People have said that I have
changed in the last year, but it was really going through this
that shows me that I have.

I got the chance to do it Friday.

I got a call from an old homie, one who I hadn't seen, and I knew
that if I hung out, and saw him, I would feel immediately better.

I would be complimented and doted on.

But, I also knew that the quick fix was not what I needed at that
. I knew that I needed to do something that I was incapable
of in the past, which is that I needed to sit there with being uncomfortable
with those feelings at that moment.

Deciding to handle it this way reminded me that one of the major
that we don't teach our children is how to suffer.

I don't mean suffer as in having a jacked up life and just not taking action
to change it. I mean suffering as in, learning to deal with the feelings,
the uncomfortable feelings as they arise, to acknowledge them, and
perhaps most importantly to not be controlled by them.

This experience has shown me that healthy adult relationship skills
are the key component to being a healthy human being.

* Pseudonym

How comfortable are you with the feelings that make you

Have you had to forgive anyone recently?

Have you had to do any special introductions lately?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Failure Creates Jobs


Courtesy of

A few years back, I saw a grocery store delivery man with a ticker
on his bike that read, "Laziness Creates Jobs" and I agreed with
until last week when I realized that failure creates jobs.

This notion came became clear while reading a New York Times article on
elderly adults who didn't have children, or anyone for that matter,
to help take care of them and the issues that they are facing.

The comments were interesting in that they ranged from people
who were smug to indifferent, to terrified.

Wow, it’s so nice to see this being posted about publicly. I’m in the same boat. It’s just me and my sister and we’re both single, with no children. I’m pretty much taking care of both my father and mother (who live apart) and an aging aunt. They’re all quite ambulatory - (now anyway) - but when they are gone, I will have no one to take care of me, and really the best years of my life have been spent looking after “my elders” who also spent the best years of their lives catering to their parents. Maybe when they are gone I can start having an appropriate social life, but that’s not guaranteed.

I certainly do not bemoan this state of affairs - and I could always meet a husband or housemate at this late stage (I’m going to be 40 in the fall), but my dad just doesn’t understand that I’m not really joking when I talk about retiring to a cardboard box on the street. The prospect of a group home doesn’t really appeal to me right now; I’m a pretty solitary person who never fit in with other gaggles of girls. I guess I don’t love life that much to want to survive in a group home… somehow I suspect I’d just end up the Caretaker again. That’s not how I want to end my life either

In some ways, I consider myself already dead. Although I expect to be around for several more decades, I think about preparing for dying alone… which in fact, is something all of us must face. You do not take your friends and relatives and children, no matter how comforting they are, along with you on whatever final step there is. That is an illusion. Women like me are just facing that reality a lot earlier. Which is liberating, in a way. But also lonely, as people with kids don’t ever really think about this reality.


I’ve lived alone for 13 years and of course, never thought I’d end up like this. Due to gas prices I limit myself to one trip a week into town now and am isolated. There are no activities for “seniors.” Finding myself among that group comes as a shock. I always thought that was for old people. Wait, I am old.

Single, and even with a son who happens to live a country away and doesn’t communicate often, I’m turning 65 tomorrow.

My reduced circumstances result from health problems that kept me from working for several years and on SSI for a while. Then I had to take SS early. My small pension runs out in two years and it’s only $3,000 a year.

The best thing for me would be to live in a house with other women (preferably). A roomy room to myself, a common kitchen and living room would be less expensive than what I have to pay now, as would sharing some meals. There should be some kind of national system whereby we could share such information and find situations like that....

~Barbara Wickwire

How amusing! You assume that those people with children are somehow not going to be magically stuffed into a nursing home and ignored by those children.

The purpose of having children is not to make sure someone’s there to take care of you in your old age. That’s a harsh thing to accept. Life is full of harsh things. Dying is one of them.

Even if I had children, I would forbid them from feeding me and bathing me and so forth. I wouldn’t keep my cat alive in those circumstances, why would I do it to myself?

— Posted by Alex

What amazes me when we talk about prisons, schools or the elderly
is our unwillingness to criticize the system in which we live and how
it may affects our lives on a structural level.

For example, we talk about women, read white middle class women,
opting out of the work force, but we don't discuss how there was an
increase across the board of all women working after WWII and yet
public policy did little to nothing to reflect this huge demographic change.

We needed childcare and afterschool care to fill in where
mothers once supported the family.

The government gave working families the middle finger and
raised taxes on wages and lowered them on corporations and

Why in the hell do the people that keep this country running,
the Citizens, the Voters, accept such subpar support from the
richest government in the world that IS FUNDED BY OUR
hard earned TAX DOLLARS?

The working patterns of a huge portion of our society changed,
but state and federal policy failed to shift to support the change.

It appears that women are punished if they want to work for a
financial wage and want to do mother work as well.
All of the industrial complexes, non profit, prison, elder care and
arise out of our failure to plan and support our own.

When we fail Black boys in school, they wind up in the prison industrial complex.

When we fail grandparents, they wind up discarded in a home, or alone
in a studio.

When we fail mothers by not providing childcare and healthcare, they wind
up in the non profit industrial complex begging for resources that they
are entitled to as a human and a United States citizen and tax payer.

Rewind back to another article I read a few weeks ago on the
on the birth rate in Europe.

Did you know that when you had a baby in the Netherlands
you receive a cash payment, a 53 week maternity leave, 9 week
paternity leave and the guarantee that your job will be there when your

Italians live with their parents longer, have their babies later
and are implicitly expected, by the government to rely on their,
get this- elderly parents for childcare.

The Dutch birth is significantly higher than the Italian birthrate.

Guess what? There is a close connection between a women
receiving support, wealthier families and a willingness to have
more children.

Its not rocket science. When a person has a safety net they are willing
to take more risks.
Russel Shorto writes Italy and the Netherlands,
In Europe, many countries with greater gender equality have a greater social commitment to day care and other institutional support for working women, which gives those women the possibility of having second or third children....

As women advanced in education levels and career tracks over the past few decades, Norway moved aggressively to accommodate them and their families. The state guarantees about 54 weeks of maternity leave, as well as 6 weeks of paternity leave. With the birth of a child comes a government payment of about 4,000 euros. State-subsidized day care is standard. The cost of living is high, but then again it’s assumed that both parents will work; indeed, during maternity leave a woman is paid 80 percent of her salary.
54 weeks of maternity leave? State subsidized childcare? Shorto
goes on to discuss how culture impacts the support that families receives
when he writes.
In both countries, people tend to have traditional views about gender roles, but Italian society is considerably more conservative in this regard, and this seems to be a decisive difference. The hypothesis the sociologists set out to test was borne out by the data: women who do more than 75 percent of the housework and child care are less likely to want to have another child than women whose husbands or partners share the load. Put differently, Dutch fathers change more diapers, pick up more kids after soccer practice and clean up the living room more often than Italian fathers; therefore, relative to the population, there are more Dutch babies than Italian babies being born. As Mencarini said, “It’s about how much the man participates in child care.”
If you think that it is too much to ask the government to open
childcare on the corners like Starbucks style, how much is that
Fannie Mae bail out going to cost again?

Just like my budget, the governments budget reflects its values.

We should not settle for such pittance.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People


There are many ways to lose friends and alienate people. The first
way to lose a friend is by refusing to accept responsibility
you have made a mistake.

Or apologizing when you have made the mistake, but doing so
defensively which isn't an apology at all.

Then there is being a flake. This manifests itself in making plans
and constantly canceling them.

It is fairy easy to alienate people. One of the best methods is by
being aggressively self centered, being the person at the party that
likes to argue- with everyone.

While this is a relatively short list, I know that you all have an some
ideas, based on experience on how to lose friends and alienate people.

Alienate anyone lately?
Relationship on life support?

Lets share.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Could an Obama Presidency Hurt Blacks?


I don't do reactionary. At least I try not to. Its draining tiresome and 
I think it predisposed your body for fatal diseases.

So, when I read the paper, I think about the way that I am perceiving
information, especially when it is in the news about African Americans.

Why wouldn't Obama's support of a negro agenda fall under the
guise of change?

Why couldn't Obama support a anti poverty agenda, that is 
necessarily targeted towards Blacks but all low income folks? 
Wasn't that the Bobby K. Plan? What Matt has implied, yet DID not 
state overtly is that Obama will have to move with fear of being 
accused by Middle Class Whites of favorite Low Income Blacks.

Matt Bai
The argument here is that a President Obama, closely watched for signs of parochialism or racial resentment, would have less maneuvering room to champion spending on the urban poor, say, or to challenge racial injustice. What’s more, his very presence in the Rose Garden might undermine the already tenuous case for affirmative action in hiring and school admissions. Obama himself has offered only tepid support for a policy that surely helped enable him to reach this moment. In “The Audacity of Hope,” he wrote: “Even as we continue to defend affirmative action as a useful, if limited, tool to expand opportunity to underrepresented minorities, we should consider spending a lot more of our political capital convincing America to make investments needed to ensure that all children perform at grade level and graduate from high school — a goal that, if met, would do more than affirmative action to help those black and Latino children who need it the most.”
Matt goes on to argue that the visibility of Obama as a THE black men,
will arguably make the lives of the incarcerated, undereducated,
 underemployed Black men FURTHER invisible?
Then there are the issues that Ben Jealous and others might raise: black men incarcerated at more than six times the rate of white men, black joblessness more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans. Just talking about such disparities as systemic problems could be harder for an African-American president — for any African-American, really — than it was before. “If Obama is president, it will no longer be tenable to go to the white community and say you’ve been victimized,” Artur Davis told me. “And I understand the poverty and the condition of black America and the 39 percent unemployment rate in some communities. I understand that. But if you go out to the country and say you’ve been victimized by the white community, while Barack Obama and Michelle and their kids are living in the White House, you will be shut off from having any influence.”
When does one Black man's experience negate the lives of 800
thousand others? (There are 800 thousand Black man in prison, many
for non violent drug offenses).

So basically, we will be told "You have your Black President, now go
shut up

Obama's presidency as an accelerator of White Middle Class apathy?

Where is the change in this? What agenda, if any, is Matt pushing here?

If this is the case then WE NEED to put faces on our stat's otherwise
our children are going to perish and/or turn on us, and what will 
have have to say to them in the end?

Reflection Retreats


The majority of you have suggested that you would participate in a
reflection retreat.

After giving it some thought, here is a draft of an agenda. I envision that
5 or 6 of us would have a retreat on the 4th Saturday in October,
and share back via phone/e-mail.

10am Breakfast, Coffee, Bagels, Juice

10:30am Introduction Stating Purpose of Retreat

10:35am Watch Clip of Byron Hurts Beyond Beats and Rhymes

11:00am Bathroom Break

11:10am Reflection on video, break out groups

12:00am Lunch, Pizza, Soda

12:30pm Discussion on another topic

1pm End

Is it really obvious that I have done logistics for a living?

Lets have discussion on the pre-work (money, location, dvd player,
obtaining copies of Byron's film, finding young people)
that will go into making this happen.

T-Rose sent me this fresh education guide for "Beyond Beats and Rhymes"
that I will be a great tool for us to use.

Sign up for the yahoo group.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

2nd NYPD Police Brutality Videotape in One Week


Here are the facts that I have so far.

The arresting officer, Michael Harrington, who is on the video
hitting Mr. Cephus contends that Mr. Cephus was drunk and had
previously struck the officers and lunged at them with an umbrella.

Mr. Cephus
contends that he hadn't been drinking and that
he didn't swing the umbrella.

The first allegation could clearly be addressed with a breathalyser.

The incident took place on July 4th in lower Manhattan.

Officer Michael Harrington is now on modified duty.

In the wake of this beating, the NYPD commissioner Ray
Kelley has announced that he is going to set up a program
that will allow the public to report abuse.

It is hard to watch the above video. My hands are still shaking.

All I could think of is that this could be any one of us.

Does anyone have any further information on this?

If You Believe in Creative Capitalism I Have a Bridge and Some Crack to Sell You


Bill Gates has a interesting article up at Newsweek about how capitalism has helped many, but billions are still poor. He writes,

There's much still to be done, but the good news is that creative capitalism is already with us. Some corporations have identified brand-new markets among the poor for life-changing technologies like cell phones. Others — sometimes with a nudge from activists — have seen how they can do good and do well at the same time. To take a real-world example, a few years ago I was sitting in a bar with Bono, and frankly, I thought he was a little nuts. It was late, we'd had a few drinks, and Bono was all fired up over a scheme to get companies to help tackle global poverty and disease. He kept dialing the private numbers of top executives and thrusting his cell phone at me to hear their sleepy yet enthusiastic replies. As crazy as it seemed that night, Bono's persistence soon gave birth to the (RED) campaign. Today companies like Gap, Hallmark and Dell sell (RED)-branded products and donate a portion of their profits to fight AIDS. (Microsoft recently signed up too.)
There are many people who think that corporations can save people.

If that is the case then corporations are capable of serving two masters,
and we know how those narratives turn out.

If this is true, then explain to me, how can a corporation serve the interests
that it is created to serve, and also "help" people as well.

The next logical question is, what exactly is help?

There is a difference between giving and sharing.

There is difference between helping and eradicating poverty.

The entire time I am reading this article I am thinking
of Harvard Bankruptcy Professor, Elizabeth Warren's, book
The Two Income Trap, and her comments from
her meeting with Citibank.

Citibank brought her in to show them how to reduce the losses incurred
when folks file for bankruptcy. She brought out her charts, graphs and they
listened to her say, "You need to stop loaning to people who cannot afford
to pay you back".

The chair of the board responds saying " We can't do that Professor Warren,
that is where we make most of our profits".

And that was that.

The credit card companies make most of their profits off of people who
can barely afford them in the first place.

It is a fee based industry that thrives on those who can't afford them
in the first place.

The reason why most of your credit card bills come from South Dakota
is because South Dakota has the highest cap on interest rates, 24%,
in the country.
Capitalism primary goal is to enhance the pockets of its shareholders.

Not to eradicate poverty, not to create progressive images of hip
and certainly not restructure families so that homes environments
are less oppressive to men, women and children.

Expecting capitalism to help people is like expect dope dealers to save
the 'hood. In fact, In many ways the crack game is capitalism in its
purest form.

Move your product, buy low and sell high and if any one gets in
your way, they get eliminated.

Sounds like a Clipse song to me. It also sounds like Mergers and Acquisitions.

This is grim, but it has to be said. Too many people have laid their lives down
for us and if we do not say or do something our children will pay.
I will not have that on my heart.

It is only when we envision a future that is about sharing
rather than giving, about being a visionary, will we set forth
vision, strategy and an agenda that will cause us to bring forth the future
that we want for our children.

I am Looking for a College


How many of you have went to school and have managed to
with as little debt as possible?

I need your help.

I have been promising my family that I would put together a
newsletter or blog for
the college aged teens in my family.

However, I am thinking we would all be better served by
making it a apart of the
non profit, tentatively titled, Urban Visionaries.

Since many of you went to college, I would like to know which
schools you recommend
for working class teens with modest g.p.a's.

For example you can tell us about a community college with great transfer
opportunity's to state schools.

Or a state school that has a high retention and graduation rate for this
When advising young people on selecting a school I
have two primary criteria.

The first is that the school should clearly demonstrate that they
have the capacity to graduate the student.

The second is that the student should NOT go into unmanageable, life draining
debt for school.

I really look forward to your replies.

If you prefer to not leave a comment, e-mail me

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