28 November, 2006

Pope's comments come home to roost in Turkey (I could not resist)

What would make a Pope want to go to Turkey just 2 and 1/2 months after linking the Prophet Mohammed with violence?


That same characteristic that would allow such idiocy to pass his lips in the first place.

Turks are more likely to remember Benedict’s comment in 2004 that the European Union should not admit Turkey as a member because Turkey had always been “in permanent contrast to Europe”.

Translation: "Don't let those people in! They aren't like the rest of us!"

With Turkey’s EU membership negotiations hanging by a thread, and with persistent tensions over Islam’s presence in Europe, this week’s visit will require all the diplomatic tact of which Benedict is capable.

No overtures of good will toward men here.

In a speech to cardinals in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel soon after his election as Pope, Benedict, referring to himself in the third person, said:
“In undertaking his ministry, the new Pope knows that his task is to make the light of Christ shine in front of men and women – not his own light, but that of Christ.”

Well, this is not Christ's light we are seeing and hearing.

This is darkness being spewed.

Prejudice cannot be cleaned up by holy water, and incense won't make it smell any better

Condoleeza Rice

Condoleeza Rice, Born November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama, she earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974.

Her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the National Defense University in 2002, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004, and Boston College in 2006. She resides in Washington, DC.

This brilliant, talented, accomplished woman should be someone revered and celebrated. I am in awe of her. It is hard enough to be qualified, black and female in any white male dominated field, but add the cutthroat world of Washington D.C. politics to the mix, and seeing an African-American woman with her clout is unprecedented.

In addition to being accomplished in academia, Dr. Rice is an accomplished concert pianist.

This woman is better educated and more accomplished than the President of the United States of America. I would rather my daughter be like Condoleeza Rice than anyone else I can think of.

She just rocks.

She is painted as a whore or concubine to The President.

She is afforded no more respect than any other African-American woman.

This is not about her politics.

Surely, it's not about the Administration for which she works.

This is about a woman who grew up in Bessemer Alabama and has more political power than any African-American woman has ever had.

So, why is it ok for her to be painted as The President's concubine, mistress, or his whore.

I didn't hear any whore comments about Colin Powell.

There are nasty tabloid stories and e-mails about Laura telling the President to break it off with her.

This brilliant woman is maligned, why?

Is she criticized more because she is African-American or because she is female?

Is she painted as a whore because she is a African-American female?


I thought we were done with this, but you have to look no further than the tabloids to know that this battle rages on.

How long will it be before we are all valued? How long before women are seen for what we bring to the table, not what we could do under the table?

How long will it be before we are not objectified?

See how long it takes for someone to say something demeaning about her that would have never been said of Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Alexander Haig, or Henry Kissinger.

What is it about African-American women that is so threatening?

Why do so many African-Americans have such an issue with her?

If a woman as intelligent, accomplished, and talented as Dr. Rice is reduced to concubine, we are all reduced.

No, it is not just because of G. W.

Imagine what the cartoons and headlines would have said if she was Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration. I can't even begin to imagine.

It saddens me to know that we have not progressed.

23 November, 2006

Housing Authority buys land for $150,000 an acre

First, a little background:

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) owns and manages property and administers rent subsidy programs to provide eligible low-income persons good, safe, affordable housing. CMHA maintains an accredited police department to ensure safe places to live and work, and a social services department that develops programs to enhance the quality of life of its residents.

CMHA is responsible for the management and operation of the local public housing program. They may also operate other types of housing programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The mission of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority is to be the leader in providing safe quality affordable housing for individuals and families of Cuyahoga County.

CMHA is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, created under sections 3735.27 to 3735.50 of the Ohio Revised Code. It serves Cuyahoga County, excluding Chagrin Falls Township, through two federally assisted housing programs: Low-Income Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The closest I have been able to calculate, which I admit may be off, the value of the property CMHA purchased in the area of E 79Th and Kinsman, is roughly $25,000 per acre.

$25,000 per acre.

CHMA paid six times that for the property.

Buying property for $25,000 per acre would leave a great deal for the actual building of much needed low income housing, or anything else CMHA could need.

It would afford the Authority to be able to serve the needs of this community.

But, as it stands, the community will pay for this for years to come.

Let's see if I can get this straight.

CMHA had an agreement to purchase 25 acres from Developer Todd Davis' company. The agreement, complete with purchase price was signed before CMHA got the appraisal for the property.

The original appraisal valued the land at $46,000 an acre.

The property, in the area of E.79Th and Kinsman, is one of the poorest areas in Cleveland. This is not a booming community.

There is no rush to build anything in this area, which is why it has been called the 'Forgotten Triangle'.

CMHA considered the price of $46,000 an acre to be too low.

Yup, that's what I said, they thought it was too low.

CMHA's Director George Phillips said the appraisal was flawed because it compared the property to other surrounding properties.

(Lots of head scratching here.)Isn't that as it should be? When I bought my house, it was compared to other properties in my neighborhood.

CMHA then got a second appraisal, which only compared the property to suburban sites. This appraisal valued the property at $150,000 an acre.

Who could afford their home if the appraisal was made by comparing their home to houses in the most affluent areas? Surely, the vast majority would be left wanting.

How will the Authority recover from this sort of loss?

They have been laying off.

They just recently narrowly avoided a strike.

I have heard no outcry of the injustice of further impeding those most in need.

The system would have no problem prosecuting to the fullest those most hurt by this gross negligence.

But, I haven't seen any of CMHA's officials in the news.

That's curious.

This is the sort of thing that crumbles the foundation of an institution.

How is George Phillips still employed?

How is that Board still seated? Authorizing an agreement in executive session contradicts what the sunshine law mandates.

How is $150,000 an acre providing affordable housing?

As a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, I want to know who is responsible for overseeing CMHA.

22 November, 2006

Tom Noe

Tom Noe was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined $139,000 by a Toledo, Ohio court.

Never mind that prosecutors calculated that Noe stole $13.7 million in all.

Just pay back $139,000 and we're all good.

That's not good enough.

But there is some great news for Ohio's Bureau of Workers Compensation, according to the Associated Press, the state could recover up to $6 million more from its scandal-spawning investment in rare coins than the $50 million it put in, the broker overseeing its liquidation said Tuesday.

21 November, 2006

'If I Did It'...

"If I Did It" by OJ Simpson...

WOW, give me a minute............

I recall my shock and horror at the verdict. I could not believe that twelve reasonable people could see all of that evidence and find him not guilty.

Now, OJ has written a book where he speculates on how he would have committed the murders if he were the murderer.

OJ has written a book where he speculates on how he would have committed the murders if he were the murderer.

This is proof that all that matters is money. There is no way that anyone with a shred of decency could think this is a good idea.

This man murdered the mother of his children and a man who just happened to be with her.

OJ stood to receive $3.5 Million for the book, which has been pulled due to public outrage.

It is supposed to make everyone feel better to know that OJ's proceeds are going to his children.

To Nicole's children.

I started this post wanting to call Simpson a sociopath: Diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality include a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society.

But, I cannot, in good conscience call him names like that, especially without knowing if he was cruel to animals as a child or had bad grades in school.

I can call him a narcissist. Clearly, he is that.

Besides, there is enough blame to go around.

It's one thing for OJ to pitch a book where he talks about how he 'could have' killed Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson 'if' he were the murderer.

Never mind that the female victim of this crime is the mother of his children.

Never mind that it takes a sick mind to try to profit on the murder of two people.

Consider this, even if OJ is crazy, he took his book proposal and shopped it around.

Not only was he confident enough to shop it around, some one bought it.

Promised him $3.5 Million for the deal.

Not only did Harper Collins think this was a good idea, their sister station, Fox News, planned to air a two hour interview with Simpson during which he would discuss his tale of historical fiction.

But, the person I really do not understand is the publisher, Judith Regan.

Don't get me wrong. I understand surviving abuse. I have done that.

I understand wanting justice for all victims of abuse.

I also understand her point about Hitler's "Mein Kampf" having been available to this day.

I understand it being personal.

I cannot, however, stretch myself to understand profiting from the murder of two people.

I cannot understand how profiting from Simpson will help her heal wounds from her own past.

OJ's confession is not the same as the confession of Regan's abuser.

Surely she did not sign any future profits over to organizations that aid victims of abuse.

I would say to Judith Regan, put your money where your mouth is, or are your profits going to your children too?

Tom Noe faces jail

Noe guilty of theft, faces jail
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This fall, Noe became the flashpoint for Ohio political corruption, a discredited businessman whose face played a central role in dozens of Democratic television ads that ripped Republican candidates, including attorney general candidate Betty Montgomery, whom Noe called a political ally. Montgomery lost a close race to Dann, a Mahoning Valley Democrat.

Prosecutors said Noe siphoned $2.3 million from the BWC in rare coin investment funds. They said Noe used his political influence to obtain the investment funds, beginning with $25 million in 1998, followed by another $25 million in 2001.

I first wrote about Tom Noe in this blog in July of 2005, Notice to entrepreneurs. It was my second posting. I could not believe how flimsy the whole system was. I was outraged that this guy was not only buying State of Ohio Officials, he was also buying into Washington also.

Ten years! He ripped off the Bureau of Worker's Compensation for millions. Aren't drug dealers sentenced more harshly? Aren't there supposed to be checks and balances? Was Tom Noe so successful with the first $25 Million, that the state had no problem giving him the second $25 Million to invest? They did check that, right.

I bet the person in charge of Ohio's BWC hasn't been in the position for longer than 2 years.

I would bet you could quiet certain rooms in Columbus and D.C. by just saying coin and investment in the same sentence.

I will be GLAD to let you know how the sentencing turns out. Maybe we will compare it to some other sentences, just for giggles.


08 November, 2006

Yeah!!! No more political commercials!

Did you hear that?

No? EXACTLY my point. It's quiet.

Not one political ad polluting the air.

Thank goodness.

I hope you got your vote on. I did!

You know what that means?

Absolutely correct, I have a valid, unrestricted license to bitch!

How about yours?

It should be illegal to bitch with a suspended or expired license.

I don't know about anyone else but I love voting.

I love going to the polls.

I love to walk in and have people look me in my face and know that I have a voice and I am going to exercise it.

I like to think on election days that people are looking around with the understanding that we are all in this together.

Standing there as I was yesterday; exhausted from working night shift, in uniform, shirt unbuttoned and untucked, mp3 player in my ears, dreadlocks flowing; I hope that it says loud and clear I will not shut up. I will not be ignored. I have not forgotten what it cost a great deal of people for me to have the right to have my say.

I tell you, voting is a joy.

Watching election results...well some years that is a very different story.

Although it was a joy this year....Uncle Blackwell lost. Poor Tom....er, Ken.


02 November, 2006

and another thing...

I had to check my radio dial last week. I was listening to the R&B/Soul station, enjoying my Six A.M ride home from work.

All of a sudden, the mellow aftertaste of a beautiful Anita Baker song was brought to a screeching halt.

It was a commercial. The intent is to get me, the black voter, to question the stance Democrats have taken and the works they have done, or haven't done for the community.

And to top it off, the tone of it insults me.


The commercial, talking down to me like I haven't been paying attention to the circus in Washington.

As if I did not see the White House as a larger than life tent? I mean Bozo is running the show, right?

I mean I really waited to hear them say that it was Republicans who gave the Black Man the right to vote in the first place. (WON"T EVEN get started with that!)

Insulting my intelligence is not the way to get my vote!

Then, I had to chuckle. You know the Republicans are running scared this election.



Oh, I bet some treasurer is just so pleased with themselves.

Reassured the blacks are so uninformed that the ads really are all they need.

Damn it, they don't really give a damn about black folk, poor folk, those on the fringes, unless their backs are against the wall.

Then, here they come: "Hey, Brothers and Sisters! (blah, blah, blah)" (read it right. That is not read 'Hay,Brothas an Sistahs! It's in that uptight condescending tone used by people who aren't aware enough to notice that the person they're talking to is as informed and probably as well spoken as they are--if not more so. Have another go at it if you didn't get it the first time. Pronounce every letter)

Well, clearly there is no real brotherhood/sisterhood here, otherwise the legislation out of Washington would be helpful to all Americans living hand to mouth; worried about medical benefits; worried about losing everything they've earned to predatory lenders.

All of us who are hurt if something big happens between now and the next paycheck.

No, these fools show up at the 11Th hour, with a tired smoke and mirror show, arrogantly assured they will dazzle the natives, and baffle us with bullshit.

Sorry, try again.

You won't catch me napping.

I have been paying attention all along.

Baby, I have been up all night.

Today, I listened to Ravel's Bolero as I drove home. They will never look for me listening to classical music!


Grasping at Straws

Fickle, fickle is the American voter.

At least that is what the Republican party would have everyone believe.

But maybe they are correct.

Perhaps, in the light of John Kerry putting a large foot in his mouth, the voters will ignore corruption, sex scandals, greed, ignorance, arrogance and general mayhem of the Republicans.

Maybe the Republicans can get the patriotism back to the feverish pitch when people honestly forgot what freedom of speech was all about.

Maybe they can rile all of the people who have soldiers in Iraq fighting because we were told there were WMDs being manufactured there.


Oh, those people aren't all happy with the price the soldiers are paying.

And, those people know that to speak out against the war is not the same as not supporting the soldiers.

We are tired of all the smoke screens.
Lie about WMDs and start war to get Saddam.
Wave flags and make a vow of radical patriotism in the face of war criticism.
Quietly let go of retired war hero General who sold nation on war.
Leak the identity of CIA Agent wife of outspoken war critic.
When the public becomes impatient with the lack of progress and the rising casualties, have the Vice President start shooting people.
Lie, cheat, and steal when ever you want.
Create an environment of hate by accusing homosexuals of destroying traditional family values.
Use those traditional values to preach hate towards illegal aliens.

Sure, one very ill-advised comment by John Kerry will make everything all better for the Republicans on tuesday. (Say this softly and in a calm reassuring tone, as if putting a baby to sleep)

There, there, now. Just rest your head.

It'll all be over in a little while.