How It Be In The D

August 8, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick-Leper or Politician?

99 problems

It all started with an email alert on my phone. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sent to jail. The funny thing is that it wasn’t directly related to his “sex and text” scandal. It was due to stupidity brought on by his alleged assault on a Wayne County sheriff’s department officer and his trip to Windsor-allegedly because Windsor officials called it. His statement-his flimsy defense given to Judge Giles was not only pathetic, it was ludicrous and downright surreal.

First of all, Kilpatrick gave me the appearance of a kid with their hand caught in the candy jar. First of all, as his trademark, he took no responsibility for anything. These problems that he has were brought upon him by the media. They were out to get him. Kilpatrick further said that he understands the media scrutiny that Giles is under, as he is under similar scrutiny. Really? Most of Kilpatrick’s scrutiny seems to be because of his propensity for deny truth and reality. He would have us think that he’s always a victim of circumstance with no control over his future or any degree of free will.

Second, his explanation  that Windsor officials called the meeting turned out to be completely false. According to Windsor Star,  Cliff Sutts (Windsor’s lead negotiator in the Tunnel deal) said, “We are not tuned in to the conditions of (Kilpatrick’s) bail. Because the meeting was in Windsor, we didn’t know that he required consent. All we knew is that there was going to be a meeting.” Sutts also said stated that the meeting was called at Kilpatrick’s request. Now if, as Kilpatrick told Judge Giles, that he’d never committed any misconduct, that the meeting was at Windsor’s insistence and that he has total respect for the court, who’s telling the truth here? At this point, Windsor ( a very important neighbor) would see to want to keep their distance from Detroit. After alll, I couldn’t blame them. What they probably see is a city that can’t keep it together and has a scandal-ridden mayor that can’t seem to mind common sense.

Thirdly, I was extremely angry when Kilpatrick told Judge Giles, “My sons are watching this proceeding because I asked them to. I told them that I did something wrong.” Now which of many deeds of wrongdoing did he admit to his sons? Was it the original scandal? Was it the assault on a law enforcement officer? Was it the poorly covered up trip to Windsor? If he’s as smart as I think that he is deep down, why on earth would he subject his sons to the trauma of watching their father be sent to jail. Children, especially sons, view their father as a sort of infallible superhero that gives them a sense of safety and stability. I can’t imagine that his sons have that anymore, especially after yesterday’s proceedings. Assuming that what he said is true, then shame on him. Yet again, Kilpatrick’s using his children as a way to garner sympathy from the public. All that I can say is that my fountain has long been dry.

I truly and deeply hope that this is the wake-up call that he’s needed for some time. It’s time that he fesses up like a man and owns up to what he’s done. At this point, I can’t believe that Kilpatrick’s word counts for much. If he’s really trying to as much for the City as he claims, then he must have unshakable integrity. People dealing with him must trust what he says and does. If the lies in his statement to Judge Giles are any indication as to who he is and what he stands for, then he must be removed. How can Detroiters have a mayor that can no longer be seen as anything other than a liar? Detroit needs a better mayor. Detroit needs a better ambassador to the region. Detroit needs a better liaison to the Democratic party. Kilpatrick is none of those. It’s time that we find somebody that is.


July 31, 2008

McCain Plays The Name Game

I have to say that I’m pleasantly amused by the latest round of anti-Obama ads that McCain’s campaign has released. In this latest one, he compared Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. I thought to myself, “What?! Is he fucking kidding me?” In all honesty, McCain is so out of touch that he probably doesn’t even know who they are. If you remember, up until recently he didn’t even use email. How is McCain smart enough to draw the comparison? Well, he’s not, although his people that came up with his campaign try to be.

This is not the first time that McCain’s campaign has attempted a weak attempt at slinging mud at Obama. The commercial that comes to mind is the one where the commercial mentioned how Obama was against domestically drilling for oil. Even funnier, McCain tried to paint himself as some Republican environmentalist. Whether or not he is, I can’t say. I don’t have the image of McCain as trying to improve EPA regulations, emphasizing the need for alternative/renewable energy sources, etc. However, I do have the image of him as a decorated Vietnam veteran and, seemingly, a supporter for the wars overseas. The commercial was a trivial attempt for McCain to take on Obama’s characteristics and be seen as supporting the very things that Obama has. McCain isn’t young, charismatic and full of health and new ideas. He’s old, stagnant, with unpredictable health and supporting the same way of doing things that isn’t getting things done. You can always gain “experience.” On the other hand, new ideas are often more difficult to come by.

I am not naïve here. I know that in politics there’s mudslinging. There has been since probably cavemen gathered in groups to protect their mutual interests. Nothing has changed. One person wins while the other loses. Precisely how this happens is always different. While we don’t allow actual assassination, we do allow character assassination. This latest instance is the best and perhaps funniest one of all because this really is something that honestly can only roll off of Obama’s back. If McCain is so experienced and tries new things, then why not discuss the issues and arrive to new solutions?

July 29, 2008

The Wooden Robot Otherwise Known As John McCain

Here’s my thing about John McCain. Is it me or is everything that he’s talking about revolving on the fact that he served in Vietnam and was captured? Furthermore, is it me or does he only seem to talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? One of the biggest things that he attacks Obama on is the fact that he never visited Iraq. Then, he attacks him for visiting Iraq. Well, which one is it?

Also, everyone talks about McCain’s “experience.” No shit. The man is old and has been in Congress for a long time. Anybody that has been in Congress as long as him (longer than Obama) will have experience. Does it necessarily make him better qualified or mean that he would be a better President? I’m not so sure. Can’t really say either way.

I just wish that if McCain is going to pump himself up and cut Obama down that he would make a real attempt at pushing the other issues. Other issues are mentioned in his commercials, although I feel that they are half-hearted attempts. The commercials that stick in my mind are those that mention his past military service.

I am not at all trying to take anything away from his military service or disrespect him. I just think that he should make more of a concerted effort to talk about other issues. This country is more than just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What else can he offer us beside his war record and “experience”?

November 21, 2006

Like A Shepherd after the Sheep

To me, ideologies are strange things. You might look at them as a way of thinking that a particular group of people has in common—the bond uniting them and informs their course of action. You could also look at ideologies as a way of thinking that groups of fanatics have in common—coloring their perspective and preventing them from seeing anything than what they have been told to be true.

Ideologies were past fall 2006 elections. It was the first time in 27 years that I actually took an interest in the political process. Unfortunately, for much too long, I was the characteristic young person that was apathetic and didn’t realize the immense honor, privilege and power of voting. I was especially interested in the way that people would toss around labels: Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, right and left. It really wasn’t that surprising considering that we, human beings, thrive on categorizing everything that we encounter. For anything to make sense, it needs a label and a description. Those above mentioned labels and others were certainly not an exception.

For the record, I consider myself a moderate although leaning slightly conservative. There, I did it! I labeled myself. In all seriousness, I pride myself on the fact that I try to listen to what people say. I absorb what they say, analyze it according to what I know, believe and what makes sense, and then issue my interpretation. The issues and above all the proposals on the ballot are sometime difficult to interpret. Nonetheless, human beings make their very best efforts.

If you’re interested in labels, I’ll toss out another one: sheep. Sheep are what I call people that always vote straight Republican, Democrat or whatever their affiliation is. Sheep are the people that think Republicans are right and Democrats are liberals out to ruin the country or vice versa. Sheep are people who vote based on the party and not so much on the person’s qualification or ability to do their job. Sheep are loyal foot soldiers that follow group ideology without ever questioning. Questioned be damned. Nothing must disturb the status quo.

This critique is not directed against any one group of people except sheep in general. I have seen sheep that are Republican, Democrats, liberals, conservatives and right wing or left. It was amusing listening to sheep debate with other sheep or with open-minded people because they were right and everybody else was wrong.

While I do have my positions and stick by them, I’m also willing to hear out other people. I believe that everybody has something worth hearing and give them the benefit of the doubt to do so. I can remember times when I might not have agreed with somebody before hearing them and then switching over to their side. Am I a traitor for doing so? I don’t think so. A valid position worth believing is precisely that. Whatever my party affiliation or ideology is always subject to change because I know that I do not have all the answers. I think that once people can admit that no one ideology holds all the answers and that the other side might possibly be able to make better sense than they can will sheep cease to exist. Remember that sheep are creatures that are led by a man with a long curved walking stick. I don’t know about any of you but I am happy guiding myself. I don’t need anybody’s walking stick to tell me what I believe.

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