The Boy Who Cried Wolf and other Bedtime stories

Once upon a time…

How many times did your parents read the Boy who Cried Wolf to you?  Perhaps you read it in grade school when you were learning about myths and fables.  I think almost all societies have a children’s tale about a child that cries out about something foul just to get attention only later to not be taking seriously when the foul actually happens because he’s just said it too many times to be believable.

Has the Obama campaign overplayed the race card yet? Has he yelled race-baiter one too many times? What will this mean, not only to Obama and his aspirations, but how will this impact black people who have legitimate experiences with racism but now face a cynical nation that’s been played one too many times?

Those of us that watched the Hillary/Obama primary unfold were horrified the day the race card was played on Bill Clinton.  He was talking about Obama’s ever evolving positions on the Iraq War, he labelled them a fairy tale, and bam!  There it was,  the race card.   President Clinton was charged with calling Obama’s life story a fairy tale– a story line clearly out of context and fabricated.  Like many fabrications, enough repetitions and they become legend.  Over and over we saw this pattern, some off the cuff remark by Geraldine Ferraro about Obama’s qualifications and resume and there it was again, the race card.

Each time we’d see the Obama campaign run to the press, demand justice, create a stir, then the, candidate would come out in a few days and say, well, I think this was a big misunderstanding.  Folks, how many times will this candidate cry wolf?

This time we see it at play against McCain.  When McCain uses images of Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton to imply that Obama is a media phenomenon, some one in the Obama campaign implies that it’s just one of those ads showing black men wanting young white women.  Scary black men!!!  Young white women!!! There it is again, that race card.

Then, in three separate speeches in Missouri, Obama tells his audience that McCain will try to frighten them because Obama doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency or his name is a little funny.  There it is again, the race card.

First off, EVERY one knows that Ulysses is a household name.  Didn’t you go to school with tons of boys named Ulysses?  I know my daughters bring home guys with powdered white wigs like Washington’s all the time.

Second off, some one should tell Obama that he’s about as scary-looking as Steve Urkel.

Finally, there are some real racial injustices in the world and I’m afraid they are going to get lost because of all this.  When folks starting talking about racism, I’m beginning to think that no one is going to listen any more.  If Obama keeps playing the race card every time he faces criticism, I swear, this is going to prevent any true dialogue about racism.

I had thought that this tactic would go away after Obama had solidified African American votes during the primary.  After all, it was a tactic that pulled the southern states out of the Clinton column.  However, what is the strategy now?  Portray McCain as a racist for the benefit of white liberals?  Most of the latte liberals are in his column any way, what particular good does that do?   How does this benefit any one at this point?

I teach seminars in economics.  Part of what I do is to try to get my students to think critically about promises candidates make on the economy and what is and isn’t possible.  I teach in New Orleans.  I have many black students.  I’m now completely self-conscious about discussing anything on the candidate’s economy policies now because I feel that any criticism of Obama’s positions or his judgment are going to be taken wrong.  Believe me, if you sit in my class, I run EVERY politician up the flag pole. I’m an equal opportunity critic. This is the first time in over 20 years of teaching I feel constrained.  I can’t discuss even the issues because any criticism surrounding Obama might be labeled racist and create a wall between me and the students I’m trying to serve. I feel like I’ve lost a tool from my tool box. This is impacting my ability to relate to people.

So, what do you think?  How many times can Obama play the race card and his campaign label folks as race-baiters before it is no longer taken seriously? Am I the only one that worries about race relations because of this campaign tactic?

Update:  This is so cute, I had to add it.

Is this the Ludacris Obama thought he knew?

Just when you think Obama can’t possibly have any more friends out there that could anger “typical white women” we get this inspirational gem from rapper Ludacris.

Oh, this is really going to go over well with the PUMA movement:  Hillary= Bitch per Ludacris

And the Civil Rights movement:  Jesse Jackson = Slick per Ludacris

And any one unnerved by violent imagery:  McCain= only chair fit to be sitting in is one involving a paralyzed John McCain per Ludacris

And any one that’s an advocate for the mentally handicapped individuals: Bush = mentally handicapped per Ludacris

Through out the song, Ludacris talks about folks that are haters.  I guess it takes one to know one.  Also, what fairy tale land does Ludacris live in when he talks about Obama winning majorities in every state?  Obama has never crossed even the 50% line nationally and if you believe some of the latest polls, he’s behind John McCain now among likely voters.

And the under the bus moment:  (i.e. This is not the Ludacris I thought I knew)

“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain, and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”

This is not the first time we’ve heard these words seeking distance from members of Obama’s celebrity stable.  Remember Bernie Mac?

“We can’t afford to be divided by race. We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time,” Obama said. “This is a family affair. By the way, I’m just messing with you, man.”

The incident drew response from Obama’s campaign, which criticized Mac for his choice of material.

Why is it that the entourage surrounding Obama can get away with so much hate-filled language and the blow-back for negative campaigning hits Obama’s adversaries in the face?  This is getting to be way too much of a pattern. You are what you surround yourself with. You are known by the company you keep, even if you try, much later, to say they aren’t the person that you thought you knew.  If that’s the case–for ALL these folks–this man is WAY too dumb to be president.

Has any campaign that you know of had to spend SO much time disavowing its candidates supporters, friends, advisors, aids, and pundits?

We have NOT come a long way, baby

I’m the stereotypical PUMA.  I came of age in the 70s and joined the UWAG (University Women’s Action Group) while at the University of Nebraska working on the first of several degrees.  I remember fighting hard to get tougher rape laws in place including getting officers assigned to rape cases out of the Property Crimes Department and lobbying for laws that would let raped wives charge their husbands with rape.  This was not possible at that time.  We’ve made considerable progress on that front.  We now don’t need two to three people to witness rapes in order to get rapists prosecuted.  We also can charge our husbands with rape.  Violet crimes against women are no longer consider property crimes.

I also worked hard for the ERA.  That failed to pass although I travelled to both Missouri and Oklahoma to try to get the last few states to pass it.  I also was trying to fight Nebraska’s attempt to take back it’s pro-ERA vote sponsored by my local state senator who was also a neighbor and father to two of the least popular guys in my high school.  I always thought he’d sponsor the bill because neither of his sons had much luck getting dates back in the day.  He was mad that women could actually support themselves and therefor not have to marry the first thing that comes along to survive their adult lives.

I’m now an economist, and perhaps Equal Pay for Equal Work is the subject that is nearest and dearest too me.  We have another chance to right this problem.  What amazes me is that the current pay gap faced by my young daughters today –one being 25 and in her last year of med school and the other 18 and heading to university–is the same pay gap I faced at their age. This is one legacy I’d rather not leave to them. Women still earn 77 cents to men’s $1 for the same job with the same qualifications.  There is not one state in the country where women have gained traction on men’s pay.  There is an act now in Congress seeking to right this wrong once in for all,  it is called the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would “close loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay” and strengthen accountability in the workplace. The legislation increases penalties for sex discrimination in pay unless the company has a business-related reason for the inequality in wages. The PFA puts gender discrimination sanctions on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination ­ such as those based on race, disability, or age, allowing women to file lawsuits for compensatory and punitive damages. The bill also prohibits employers retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers. The legislation also strengthens opportunities for women. The Act requires that the Department of Labor “improve outreach and training efforts to work with employers in order to eliminate pay disparities” and “creates a new grant program to help strengthen the negotiation skills of girls and women.”

Source: From the Progress Report

So think about which Senators would be most likely fighting for gender equality that would be the sponsors of the bill?   Yup, it’s our Hillary again. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) put this bill into play

The Institute of Women’s Policy Research found that this wage disparity will cost women anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million over a lifetime in lost wages. An April Senate report found that in contrast to previous slowdowns, the current economic downturn “is hitting women harder than men. They are suffering more job losses and larger reductions in wages than the general population.” 

I, like any parent, want to leave my children in a better position in life.  Just by having daughters instead of sons, I know they will suffer the same paycheck inequality that I have endured throughout my adult life.  This is yet another reason to thank Hillary and to write your Senators and Congress to support this Bill.

The senators that are sponsoring this bill:

The Paycheck Fairness Act is co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Bernard Sanders (I-VT).

Also, NOTICE who’s name is missing?  

For more information please go to Senator Clintons site:

Today is the Internet Censorship Day of Protest!


This website supports Amnesty International’s Uncensor China Campaign

The source of this information and of this protest is Amnesty International.  If you lived in China you would not be able access even the most basic information about Human Rights, Freedom, the Falun Gong, AIDS, SARS nor would you be allowed FaceBook, MYSpace, CNN or Wikipedia.

There are people in China who need your support. In their country saying what you think, confronting authority, standing up for basic rights or just sharing information can leave you imprisoned, tortured or dead.

In its bid for the 2008 Olympics China promised that it would make life better for its 1.3 billion citizens.

Liu Jingmin, Vice-President of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee, even said: “By allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help in the development of human rights.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also repeatedly said it expects human rights in China to get better, as a result of Beijing’s selection as host of the 2008 Games.

Time to deliver

China has yet to deliver on its words and the Olympics are fast approaching. We are demanding the Government live up to that promise and make China a free, fair and open place to live.

We need your help to do it. A lone voice is not enough, but hundreds, thousands, and hopefully millions of people speaking up together can bring change.

Campaigning for change

We are mobilising people from all over the world – from Mongolia to Denmark, from Chile to Australia – and calling on China to change.

Our campaign focuses on four areas, where we believe reform will have the most impact:

China’s legacy

Right now, our supporters are organising demonstrations and vigils, lobbying, writing letters to governments and radio stations, building alliances, exerting influence on companies and intergovernmental groups, and raising public awareness.

The aim of every word and action is to bring about change in China. We need your help.

We want the legacy of the 2008 Olympics to be more than medals and records. We want the legacy to be a China where human rights are respected and protected.

Shopping for Superdelegates


My friend Geeklove08 was approached by Dr. Lynette Long and Real Democrats USA to help expose the pay off of superdelegates by Obama’s Political Action Committee, the Hope Fund. 

Other examples of Geeklove’s great work can be found here:

My suggestion is that you write the superdelegates in your state and tell them you know their price tag.  I’d also suggest you write your local newspaper and let them know their price tag also.