We’re So Over the Hump Day Election Day Slump

Phew, I don’t know about you but I feel so much lighter. All that campaign fatigue has simply melted away. It’s 5 days until a “New World Order”. The Obamamercial that aired last night was like totally awesome, dude! The man who is sometimes referred to as “Obambi” by some right wing sourpusses did his darndest to spread pixie dust positivity and offered lollipops to every man, woman and child in this country. I’m a believer!! I’ll have a cherry rootbeer please. No wait, I want grape. I like having a purple tongue.

You see, there’s this drink called the Purple Motherf**ker. It has 5 grains of alcohol and uses a Long Island ice tea base but adds caracao. It might be considered a ‘girly’ drink because it’s sweet, but don’t be fooled. It packs a wallop. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up on the floor! Don’t underestimate the potency of a honeyed but powerful thing.

At this point we all might just go into a sugar coma. Don’t fade now people. Eat some protein and drink plenty of water! There’s still work to be done. We have to make sure the gremlins don’t come out at night and take away all our goodies.

I think it’s curtains for Senator McNasty who’s spent the past few weeks not making his case for POTUS, not reaching out to people like me (hard working, possibly tech-savvy but un(der)employed POC who live in the city) and not offering any inspiration whatsoever. Instead he has been throwing rotten pumpkins well in advance of Halloween while ducking under tables, hurling stink bombs, spewing bile and showing his you know what on the regular. Yeah and the Little Engine That Couldn’t (Palin) has been as appetizing as mushy okra. With poop on top. 

All I’ve wondered lately is, “Geez isn’t he tired?” And I’m not talking about the tall big-eared guy. Where does McCain get the energy to encourage all that hate and tell lies with a straight face? Obama’s a socialist and hangs out with terrorists. He’s going to raise your taxes….and did you hear that he ____________ insert whatever horror you can imagine. He’s eeevilll!!! This from the man who never met a sewer he wouldn’t romp in, helped deregulate the industry that has wiped people’s savings out, is BFFs with a man who offered to murder fellow Americans and is totally out of touch with people who look like me.

Is he hooked up to some contraption where he regenerates every night? Does he mix beer with the blood of a virgin and drink it as a tonic? Does that pact with Lucifer expire midnight November 4th? Now wait – this is mere speculation on my part. I have no idea if the Devil even likes John McCain. 

Quote from McGrumpy’s free advertising on CNN via Larry King Live, regarding Palin: “Every time I’m around her I’m uplifted. “ I bet Bill Maher will make that a New Rules on this Friday’s episode of Real Time with a raunchy joke. Watch!

I Saw Maxwell In Concert and Lived to Tell the Tale

Cuz lemme tell you, some of the women in the audience were a bit enthused. Heads bobbing, arms flailing, hips shaking and shouts of….euphoria. I thought I was witnessing a ‘holy ghost’ experience. Nah, just good ol’ fashioned randy behavior. Maxwell was the sexual chocolate of the evening and as he said to the men in the audience, “I’ll do all the work for you tonight.”
Thanks to a curly-haired diva sitting next to me, who reset the features on my camera I have plenty to share and some video. Just bear in mind, it was filmed on a camera, not a camcorder. Sneaking the camera in was hard enough. I had to do serious dodging from the ever-watchful eyes of security and ushers while I used it.
He looks and sounds just as good – if not better- than when I first saw him in 1997. His backing band was amazing. Everyone was dressed with a touch of elegance: the men in tuxes and the lone female backing vocalist wore this Grecian-inspired peach gown with finger waves.
Maxwell did all the hits! He had nice segues between the songs and had the band change positions on stage which was a nice touch to break up any potential monotony. He had a killer horn section who doubled as male harmonies as well. I could go and on….and on. I am totally biased. I wish the show had gone on for another hour.
One thing that stood out for me was his appreciation of the audience. He thanked us for our support and took the time to introduce the musicians for a final bow at the end. He seems like a really nice man who does what he loves for a living. I felt the respect he has for his audience by his respectful behavior.
So although I am a bit of a perfectionist, this footage is not professionally shot and I obviously didn’t have higher quality equipment, but it’s a nice memento that captured a moment! Enjoy.

Update: I may have to edit the video because the upload was taking more than one hour. I have no idea why it was running so slowly. The photos can be viewed on Flickr.

I’m Off To See Maxwell

One of our last great vocal stylists of sensual songs I have been anxiously awaiting new material from one Mr. Maxwell Rivera, but alas we will have to wait. Seeing him live, however is nothing short of an out of body experience. I first had the pleasure of seeing him in 1997 at Radio City Music Hall. I was a bit suspicious about his official age being 24 because his show was flawless, his vocal delivery so skilled and he had such command of his audience that I couldn’t believe he hadn’t been performing professionally for years. Sigh. Of contentment. 
When he came on the scene he was just so cool. No one rocked an afro with such flair. He also showed a depth in character I hadn’t expected by retooling a Kate Bush song and making it his own. I was fairly certain I was the only person who’d heard This Woman’s Work previously – aside from the band – amongst the overwhelmingly Black (conservative) audience. His acknowledgement of the silent contributions of (Black) women by choosing to do that song has always stood out. Even moreso now with the advent of such derogatory songs flooding the airwaves that passes for music. I listen to all genres of music and Kate is one of my faves. It was unexpected and I was sooo impressed!!! Now it’s one of his signature songs. Like Sade, he’ll always have an audience I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long between music releases and tours. It’s been 8 years!!!! 
Here’s his tribute to Al Green. I’ll update with a review on Wednesday. 

Let’s Really Live While We’re Here

Due to the celebrity factor one family’s personal tragedy is being played in the news. The sad thing is this sort of tragedy occurs all too often and those of us left behind have to find the will to survive – and thrive in its aftermath. 
We cannot control what other people do if they decide to put their own wants over our needs. Black women are especially good at overlooking glaring pathologies in people because we have not healed the ancestral wounds from our embattled history in this country. Sometimes we just get our feelings hurt. Sometimes we pay a much higher price. 
We have to want more for ourselves and have a vision for things beyond our immediate reach. Striving for more takes its toll. Not settling can be a difficult journey. A lonely journey if those around us don’t want to or don’t understand why it’s so important. We have to draw a line in the sand. We have to take the road less traveled to get to the promised land and be free. Giving up may bring immediate relief but once that journey begins there can be no going back. Taking the blue pill is not an option!!
I found this old clip from Soul Train featuring Stevie Wonder. He was discussing his relationship with Minnie Riperton. This was the first show that aired after her passing. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since childhood. I always thought she did such amazing things with her voice. As an adult, as a woman and as a musician I am even more in awe of her talent, her love for her family and the purity that came through her songs. 
My family has not gone unscathed by brutality aimed at innocents. I lost one of my brothers  a little more than 2 years ago. My only comfort is that the statute of limitations for murder doesn’t run out and eventually justice will prevail. An artistic young man of 21, college student and gainfully employed he most certainly wasn’t supposed to be a statistic. He also saw the potential of everyone and his light indeed touched many. I think God decided he needed to see his smile and dimples sooner rather than later.
So perhaps with this bit of sadness in the air I’m feeling more emotional but I cried today at all the beauty that has been lost. I don’t regret my tears though because the beauty was so bright it still lights my soul.

8 Days and Counting!!!

So I don’t want to count any chickens before they’re hatched, but I can’t help but notice those that are coming home to roost either! 

Election Day is nearly one week away and I have to say I am getting excited. I feel a shift, a momentum building though I am optimistically cautious and ever diligent. Obama’s poll numbers are through the roof and he is even leading in several formerly Red states that went for Bush. Yeah!!
In California we have a plethora of State Propositions to vote on, 12 to be exact. 
1.   Prop 1A  High-Speed Passenger Train
2.   Prop 2  Standards for Confining Farm Animals
3.   Prop 3  Children’s Hospital Bond Act
4.   Abortion Waiting Period/Parental Notification 
5.   Non-Violent Drug Offense Initiative
6.   Police & Law Enforcement Funding
7.   Renewable Energy
8.   Gay Marriage Ban 
9.   Criminal Justice System
10.  Alternate Fuel Vehicles
11.  Redistricting
12.  Veterans’ Bond Act
Go to CA Secretary of State website for detailed info. 
Also the Courage Campaign has a voter guide that is downloadable to pdf.  
In San Francisco we have 22 additional Propositions to vote on – yeah! It’s a LOT. Plus the Presidential election. 
A: SF General Hospital and Trauma Center Earthquake Safety Bond
B: Establishing of Affordable Housing Fund (Charter Amendment)
C: Prohibiting City Employees from Serving on Charter Boards/Commissions
D: Financing Pier 70 Development Upon Board of Supervisors’ Approval
E: Changing the Number of Signatures Required to Recall City Officials
F: Holding All Scheduled City Elections Only in Even-Numbered Years
G: Allowing Retirement System Credit for Unpaid Parental Leave
H: Changing Revenue Bond Authority to Pay for Public Utility 
I: Creating the Office of an Independent Rate Payer Advocate
J: Creating a Historic Preservation Commission
K: Changing the Enforcement of Laws Related to Prostitution and Sex Workers
L: Funding the Community Justice Center
M: Changing Rent Ordinance to Prohibit Harassment of Tenants  
N: Changing Real Property Transfer Tax Rates
O: Replacing the Emergency Response Fee With an Access Line Tax 
P: Changing the Composition of the SF County Transportation Authority Board
Q: Modifying the Payroll Expense Tax
R: Renaming the Oceanside Water Treatment Plant
S: Policy of Budget Set-Asides & Identification of Replacement Funds
T: Free and Low-Cost Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
U: Policy Against Funding the Deployment of Armed Forces in Iraq
V: Policy Against Terminating (JROTC) Programs in Public High Schools 
There’s other district races as well, but this is the bulk of ballot measures. To be well informed is to be well-armed.

I Wish I Had Heard This A Year Ago

Economist Art Laffer was on this week’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. Watch the tape and continue. (Update: The original video was removed so it’s now in 3 parts).

Start at 7:12 and proceed.

I thought he was a bit squirrely. Something about him was off. Perhaps he was nervous. Anyway I had no idea who he was so I went digging around You Tube for the tape of the conversation referenced. Watch below.

I noticed things veered off into a discourse of feminism, but the point that was being made is that a lot of mothers HAVE to work because the cost of living expenses are so high. Yes, many women work by choice for pleasure. I am equally certain that if this country had an infrastructure that really supported families by providing national child care, health care and paid time off more people would participate as well.    
Can we get off this argument over reproductive rights in the form of abortion interference/birth control obstruction and actually help people with the kids they already have! Or future children they may wish to plan for. Would people be driving to Nebraska to abandon children well over the age of 5 if they had enough resources to care for them?! Who seriously wants to have an abortion? Sometimes people need help and all they get are others projecting their narrow views in the guise of religion and judgement!     
In France mothers get 3 years maternity leave with a guarantee of their previous job upon return. In Sweden the gov’t pays your college tuition in full at any school of your choice. Guess what – their rate of abortion and children in foster care is much lower than ours here in the land of “everybody should be rich because we’re Americans”.
The meme in the US is to demonize “socialism” as something bad, but there are aspects of how other govt’s work that really put their countries first. People actually pay higher taxes – without all the loopholes the wealthiest get in this country – and there’s less disparity amongst classes. Generally speaking, the poor people in the US are much poorer than those in other Western countries. We have to pay for everything! Yeah capitalism. Though it always seems to benefit somebody else.
This doesn’t compare to those in the developing (recovering) countries but I see that as a result of political policies as well as a situation citizens of the world could resolve quickly by demanding the cancellation of debts, providing necessary medicine for less than cost and stop meddling in their affairs!
As for us here in the US, this is a time of reassessment. New priorities must be set. If enough people decide they will stop spending money they don’t have our economy will correct itself. If not, we will have to pay the piper.

Barack Is Not the Only One Being Tested

So it’s 10 days and counting. To election day. Hats off to those that voted early – please do so if you haven’t already. Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Independents alike we all share a common desire for our country to be ‘well’. We just don’t agree on how best to achieve that goal. That’s okay. If we can focus on a few things that we do agree on we can start from there. 

Some of us have been waiting for the October ‘surprise’, this event that would cause a rift amongst voters that would favor one particular political party and carry them on a wave to victory. We were thinking it would be military-related, perhaps something to do with Osama bin Laden. He’s chilling somewhere in a villa with amenities despite public declarations of him hiding underground in some hole or cave. Don’t you think someone would’ve found him by now? It’s been 7 years! So that wasn’t it.

We’ve had the inevitable financial catastrophe that some wise but ridiculed economists and trend forecasters warned people about at least three years in advance – but it was barely covered by the corporate media and most people weren’t really interested in hearing ‘doomsday’ predictions truth be told. We’re not quite out of the woods yet. Even as uncomfortable as this makes a lot of people that is still not quite enough to sway those that are single issue voters or those with a narrow focus. 

As for the rest of us who think we’ve decided what matters, we are being given another opportunity for review. How? Aside from the candidate, his wife, his children and anyone who’s ever associated with them WE are being tested for our judgement, loyalty and common sense. 

This incident with Ashley Todd is our defining moment, as much as the Obama campaign (and this country) does not want to focus on race and the white supremacist structure that exists here. This is the biggest unofficial referendum on the ballot. For some would use every divisive racial tactic in the book to blow apart his campaign and ignore the will of half the country. 

Keith Olbermann discussing the Hoax heard ’round the world.
Because let’s be clear, we have a majority of white people here and they have to decide where they stand. Not being aware of ‘racism’ can no longer be the caveat. Not when highly paid operatives and their supporters are trying to manipulate the system for their personal gain. Concerns about “issues” were tossed out six weeks ago and John McCain clearly stated his campaign was going to be about attacking Obama personally. He has encouraged a certain faction of supporters to regress to their basest nature, even commending them for acting out. Other Republicans have followed suit even going so far as to suggest some people who don’t fit their narrow definitions are not American = not white = wrong. 

So now this is bigger than the McCain campaign and the Republican party. This is bigger than the election, though the result desired is selecting new leadership. No, the true goal here for us as ‘Americans’ of every creed, nationality and social standing is our very soul, our moral compass and to state what we stand for when tested. All the warm and fuzzy moments aside and all the feelings of harmony when times are good mean nothing if they were to be thrown aside at a time of duress. 

Will we continue to be a country based on engineered racial hierarchy and social standing? 

Let’s state for the record that both major political parties have some serious flaws. Black people have had their votes marginalized since our enslaved ancestors were set ‘free’. It’s been a freedom that has been attacked time and time again, often using the rule of law to suppress that freedom along with our voting rights. Blacks have also been far too loyal to the Democratic party without demanding reciprocity. We also have internal motivations that need to be reevaluated. I believe that time for being taken for granted is over and done, never to be revisited. We still have to fight voter theft and let’s also be clear that it has been directed by the Republican party almost exclusively since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. 

I have to seriously question any individual who may be opposed to certain policies of the Democratic candidate but would still support the McCain ticket after everything he has allowed. If he has a strong enough platform why can’t he just run on that and let the PEOPLE decide? Why does he have to seek to tear this country apart with anger and hatred just so he gets elected President? If you see how power hungry and erratic your candidate of choice behaves before the election what do you think he’d be like afterwards? 

We have to take responsibility for those we put in positions of power! Why would a person who claims to love this country vote based on fear or smear tactics? I hope people of consciousness would decide to take their vote elsewhere and declare to those in their own party who are being so hateful, “Not in my name.” 

It has been divine intervention that these plots for racial disharmony, the lies, the voter thefts have come to light so quickly. That and people being ever diligent. And I’ll give credit to Obama and how he has run his campaign. He was so much nicer than people wanted, so much more comfortable in ‘mixed’ company, so shrewd (not Left enough for progressives) and frugal (he wears shows with holes in them). Those that supported him early on had a clear vision that made it easy for more and more people to put aside their doubts and jump on board as well. He’s certainly not perfect – but neither are we. 

If enough of us take a stand no amount of trickery, subterfuge or scandal will touch us. This is bigger than one politician. After this I am more convinced than ever why we need Obama as President, though.  Perhaps this will be the spark we needed to overturn this country’s long and violent history and finally heal. It’s a beginning to be sure, but it’s one that is long overdue. 

Here’s a thoughtful conversation between Drs. Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris Lacewell.

Payback’s A….

I wasn’t gonna say nuthin’ about nuthin’ but dang it – this is just too good! All the dirt the McCain campaign, Republican party and their media supporters have thrown is coming back on them. They have to eat a very big piece of crow over this story of the “innocent white woman McCain volunteer victimized by big Black brute Obama supporter” meme – that turned out to be a total and complete lie! Surprise, surprise….
McCain’s Communications Director tried to fan the flames of race tensions.
Then Fox News ran with the story. Drudge Report also made it a front page story.
Then common sense prevails and the ‘victim’ claims to be mentally unstable when she is revealed to be just a prejudiced woman with an agenda. And a liar!
I guess you can’t even support a candidate but for all the ‘crazies’. 
Now I want McCain to publicly repudiate all of his supporters who deploy racially charged firebombs (only to get caught in their wake). He keeps defending them so he gets no sympathy when they take that rope they’ve been given and hang his campaign with it. 
A few weeks ago a Newsweek article suggested that Black people would have a hard time dealing with an Obama loss (if it was legit, not based on voter theft). Well, I think we may need to beware a certain population of McCain supporters should he lose. Some of them are the ones who are actually harming people. 
Update: Here’s part of the Press conference given by Pittsburgh Police Asst. Chief  Maurita Bryant. Note the Asst. Chief is a Black woman who correctly identified the potential racial arson that could have resulted had this lie been allowed to proceed. SMH.

Just a Reminder of What’s Important

Black girls and women are disproportionately living under siege in this country and around the world. We’ve got some very important electoral decisions to make but we must always look out for the least amongst us.
12 year-old pregnant victim of statutory rape is missing. Why isn’t she on CNN?

Breaking the silence of rape used as war tactics in the Congo.

Great source for some real coverage of those not deemed newsworthy by the likes of Nancy Grace. 


This is just the tip of the iceberg of course. The time for being outraged is over. The time to demand action is here.  

**Update 10/24    Tekenya has been found unharmed. But what 12 y.o. who’s pregnant in this country is safe? I hope she knows that there are people who care about her well-being despite never having met her!!