Posts Tagged ‘politics

08
Jun
14

A Walk in President Obama’s Shoes

A Walk in President Obama’s Shoes

by @zizii2

(c) Callie Shell

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Something about President Obama in the video that surfaced from a gym in Poland this past week struck a chord with me. It was his groggy ordinariness as he peered mouth agape at the dumbbells possibly trying to mentally convert the metric weight measurements into our familiar imperial system. You could tell that he too like many of us was trying hard to drag his body kicking and screaming to do what his mind told him he MUST do – exercise for body and sanity’s sake. President Obama is no superhuman. The grimace on his face as he performed his routine in the gym told us that. Like us, he’d rather be doing something else. Mortal. Aging body.

The difference? He stuck with and plodded through his mission in the gym. No fanfare. No frills. Just keeping body and bloodstream functioning. Thirty minutes, we’re told he stayed there. Then next, he was suit-clad meeting European leaders. Meanwhile, all hell was breaking loose back stateside with GOP wingnut feral dogs viciously hounding a POW’s family with death threats, and an “all American” hometown into canceling a soldier’s homecoming celebration. A fashionably cynical postmodern schlock might probably find some grizzly irony in the juxtaposition of dumbbells gripped by a President’s sweaty hands in a Polish gym, and celebration buntings for a soldier’s return hurriedly torn down in an Idaho town scurrying into hiding as it is gripped by fear of the frightwing mob.

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This is our globalized world now of instantaneous communication, of a cacophony of events, vignettes and frozen images, of picture-snapping presidential oglers, and armed lynchmobs prowling for blood who’ve been set loose by hate-jocks saturating our airwaves — all jostling for our attention. All at once.
How does one stay true to a moral compass in the midst of this din, and extremes? How does one exercise strategic restraint in the face of blatant rightwing provocation? Difficult of all, how does one do all that AS LEADER of a diverse nation whose only glue is the pledge of CITIZENSHIP and creed – “all men (and women) are created equal”?

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In the run-up to the 2008 election, when so much hyperbole and thrills were running up some media legs (nothing sincere except to milk the rising African American political whiz for ratings gold), Candidate Obama modestly saw himself as a “transitional leader”. What did he mean? Few paid attention at the time, yet the clues lie in his book “Audacity of Hope” in which he described America reaching critical crossroads at which she either soars or fragments. To set this country soaring, Obama believed the toxic gunk that had trapped our nation in a thicket of policy, structural, and ideological dysfunction needed to be cleaned out. His Mama had taught him that when you see a problem you tackle it and not wait for someone else to solve it.

obama duhnam 3Source: The Women’s Eye

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Continue reading ‘A Walk in President Obama’s Shoes’

22
May
14

When it gets to be too much

 

Yesterday, the House voted to provide subsidies for summertime children’s lunches only to “rural areas”. That wasn’t even a dog whistle, it was an out and out statement of racism.

A few days ago, a New Hampshire police commissioner not only called President Barack Obama a “n***er”, but defended his statement, saying that the President fit his definition for one. He refused to resign until just a couple of days ago.

Today, Mark Cuban admitted to “biases”. He could cross the street—in what I’m sure is a gated, nearly all-white community—if he saw a young black man in a hoodie coming towards him. Of course, if that young black man in a hoodie had a 42-inch vertical leap, I’m sure he’d take the time to sign him to a contract.

It seems as if the past few weeks have seen an explosion of insanity. As Pres. Obama succeeds in the face of unparalleled obstruction—Obamacare, the economy, isolating Russia—certain sectors of this country have decided on a scorched earth policy. If they can’t exercise untrammeled power, if the country elects and re-elects Pres. Obama, then burn everything, like Russians retreating before Napoleon.

It can be forgiven if one gets to feel downtrodden. The forces arrayed against progress are not minor. They have almost unlimited funding. They drive media narratives. They more or less own five Justices on the Supreme Court. The scenario would prove daunting and depressive to even the hardiest souls.

Continue reading ‘When it gets to be too much’

27
Jun
13

A Note About the People of Senegal

SENEGALESE SAY…TERANGA..TO THE OBAMAS

by @zizii2

Teranga means “Welcome” in Wolof, the predominant language. And the people living on this Westernmost bulge of the African continent truly are some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever know. Climactically, however, Senegal is the Western Hemisphere’s house of horrors, as many of our hurricanes are birthed off Senegal’s coast when hot dry Sahara and Sahel winds meet southerly cold North Atlantic winds plus moisture from the warm Atlantic Ocean currents, The ITCZ clash zone known as The Doldrums  , to form the building blocks of storms

  .
Yet nothing takes one’s breath away more than standing on the craggy Senegalese coast in the evening and seeing the copper-gold sunset over the rambunctious Atlantic ocean. No wonder Senegal’s world famous poet and first post-colonial President, Leopold Senghor, called this land his “Childhood Kingdom” whose heartbeat is the Tam Tam (talking drum).

© BuildingOn

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Senghor’s eyes, though were mesmerized by the beauty of Senegalese women. His famously erotic poem, Black Woman, published in his 1948 Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache  , became a historical landmark for placing the African woman on a pedestal as a worthy model of beauty, thus challenging the centuries-old denigration of black women as antithesis of ideal white femininity.

Naked woman, black woman

Dressed in your color that is life, in your form that is beauty!
I grew up in your shadow. The softness of your hands
Shielded my eyes, and now at the height of Summer and Noon,
From the crest of a charred hilltop I discover you, Promised Land
And your beauty strikes my heart like an eagle’s lightning flash.
[…snip]
Naked woman, dark woman
Oil no breeze can ripple, oil soothing the thighs
Of athletes and the thighs of the princes of Mali
Gazelle with celestial limbs, pearls are stars
Upon the night of your skin. delight of the mind’s riddles,
The reflections of red gold from your shimmering skin
In the shade of your hair, my despair
Lightens in the close suns of your eyes.”

Senegalese Women

©skyscrapercity.com

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Continue reading ‘A Note About the People of Senegal’

26
Jun
13

To Clueless Media: President Obama’s in Africa ‘cuz it has top 10 fastest growing economies in the world

TO CLUELESS MEDIA: PRES. OBAMA’S IN AFRICA ‘CUZ IT HAS TOP TEN FASTEST GROWING ECONOMIES IN WORLD

by @zizii2

“THERE is no shortage of economic growth in Africa. Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa. A clutch of countries have enjoyed growth in income per person of more than 5% a year since 2007.”

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Dakar, Senegal (c) mostroneddo

Nothing demonstrates the vapidity of the corporate media than the rancid ignorance they display when they are gung-ho to score cheap shots at President Obama on important matters, rather than do basic research!!!

And so it is that on Pres. Obama undertaking a long overdue working visit to three countries on the continent of Africa, the corporate media including FOXNews universe display once again the national embarrassment that they have become. But for the fact that they’d bleat about threats to their “First Amendment Rights”, I’d rather Pres Obama left them behind to indulge in muffin stories and similar shiny objects they chase best. Foreign media ALWAYS outshine ours anyway, so their absence would actually improve the media pool at these foreign pressers. And the public would be better informed for it.

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So cynical journos like David Nakamura of @WAPO , and colleagues at AtlanticWire  @NYT , Moonie News, @ABC, @NBC, @MSNBC, @CBS, @CNN, @FOX, @YahooNews, here are 12 FACTS to get into their heads before they utter any more inanities about the President’s trip to Africa, and carping endlessly about “costs of trip” versus sequestered White House tours. Without the 80% of Coltan produced from the Congo belt running your iPhone/iPad or other tablet LED screens, they’d be pecking away at an old typewriter (well, assuming even the steel in the machine’s housing isn’t from African iron ore).

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We are talking about Africa in the 21st Century, not some Henry Stanley 19th century racist travelogue you read about “natives doing quaint tribal dances”, or as the late Literary maestro Chinua Achebe snarkily penned at the end of his seminal novel Things Fall Apart, the colonizer’s version of history in which the indigenous African only warrants a passing line about his own history. No we are talking about a forward moving continent, warts and all that brooks no nonsense from anybody, superpower or not!

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