Are We Ready For A Black President?

⊆ 8:46 PM by James Manning | ˜ 19 comments »

CNN conducted a survey to find out if America was ready to elect a black president. The poll results show that 62% of Americans say they would vote for a black president. The caveat is that 42% of blacks say they do not believe America would vote for a black president.

Personally, I don’t think America is ready for a black person or a woman to take the roll of President of the United States. Northern whites have a hard time winning the south… I just don’t see a black person or woman being competitively close.

Colin Powell was once the flavor of the month and now that attention has turned to Barack Obama. We can go back and forth about white folk reaction to a black person running for president. The ultimate bar to cross is the fear that a black president would completely do away with white privilege.

Barack would first have to deal with the black community. There are a myriad of issues he’d have to deal with but two stand out:

1)Most leading black politicians are from the Civil Rights era and are what we consider “protest politicians”. He will have to convince this segment of the Democrat Party that he will take into account some of their issues even if they are not primary issues. This will be hard because blood was shed for empowerment and they wouldn’t be satisfied with low hanging fruit.

2)Electibility: Just because a poll suggest that Americans are ready for a black president doesn’t make it so. Barack would have to convince black voters that a vote for him is not a vote for the Republican candidate. Obama could carry Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Oregon and California. If black people are convinced an Obama/? ticket will be competitive, they will get behind another candidate.

It will be interesting and I think John Edwards might give Obama a run for his money. Personally, I can’t see America electing a black or woman for president.

 

Funny: Dick Cheney Songs

⊆ 3:19 PM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

A play off Elvis' "I'm All Shook Up" - Listen

But this is a classic: Listen

Source: Huffington Post Blog

 

Columbia House Boycott

⊆ 10:37 AM by James Manning | ˜ 12 comments »

Update: It seems as though my rage has worked. I am getting a full refund on the stealth DVD and they are also refunding my initial membership fee. Plus, I am not obligated to purchase any additional DVD's. I feel like Senke... "Give us us free"

So it looks like I won't have to mail those letters to the board of directors and the CEO. So, it looks as though I can get back to thinking about Christmas instead of plotting to bring about the demise of BMG Music.

I’ve known for many years that Columbia House the black hole of entertainment subscriptions. Usually I never deal with them but I received an email one day saying that I could earn a $500 gift card from Home Depot by participating in a survey. I had my doubts but I love Home Depot so I went ahead with it.

Well, at the end of the survey I was required to subscribe to three offers. Columbia House DVD club was one of them. I went for the hook and now I am sorry that I did. I received my first set of movies with no problem but a few weeks later my account was charge $56 for item I didn’t order.

Apparently CH has a Directors Selection and will automatically ship the DVD if a member doesn’t respond. Well, I’ve been fighting tooth and nail to get my money back. After logging into my account, I noticed that they hadn’t even shipped the movie. Even worse, they didn’t have the movie in stock. This pissed me off.

I called, but the customer service is an automated system and there is no option to speak with a representative. I believe this is done on purpose because CH knows that they are running a scam.

I won’t be deterred. I found the main number to CH on financial statements and started making calls. The first person I talked with transferred me to voice mail and I never heard back from them. My second attempt got me to the accounts payable department in the BMG music division. I left a message and the lady called back. She then went a step further and provided me with another name and phone number.

I’ve made several calls to the individual and have yet to hear back from them. Still, I am not deterred. I wrote a letter and mailed them to some executives and the individual whom phone number I have. They will get this letter every week until my issue is resolved.

But I am going to go a step further. I am going to produce this blog with the hopes that we as consumers can force the Columbia House to change their deceptive business practices. There are many alternatives and we need to exercise our right to quality services in exchange for our hard earned money.

Rage Against the Machine!!!!

I've started a new blog to chronicle this fight. I'll keep you post at:

NEW BLOG: COLUMBIA HOUSE RIPOFF

 

Neocons Going Home

⊆ 8:09 AM by James Manning | ˜ 12 comments »

I was reading the Vanity Fair article where the Neo-Cons basically stated something about the Bush Administration that many of us has been saying for years… they are incompetent. I certainly don’t agree with the neo-con ideology of spreading democracy but at least the Bush Administration has put that to rest for at least a generation.

Going forward, I’m not impressed with what I’m seeing from Washington. The Iraqi Study Group report is already gathering dust and its members scattering back to their lives after producing what I would have to consider, anticlimactic suggestions.

Bush, meanwhile, is still in denial and now has decided to wait until he’s enjoyed his holiday before presenting to the American people what his plan is for fixing the mess his incompetence created.

One thing that ticked me off in the Vanity Fair article and highlighted the idiocy of Paul Bremmer, was the revelation that instead of building the capacity to produce ice inside of the Green Zone, Bremmer had tons of ice shipped from Kuwait. Imagine that. Our soldier risk their lives to protect convoys, and this bastard decides to ship ice 300 miles across the dessert in convoys that come under insurgency attack.

Now we have Laura Bush is out there blaming the media for her husband’s low poll numbers. As though the fact that Afghanistan falling back into the hands of the Taliban and Iraq being in a Civil War of his creation has nothing to do with it. I won’t dog Laura. It’s not her fault she married a crack head, untreated alcoholic dunce.

I cannot wait until 2008.

The only question I have is:

1. What about the Bush Iraq strategy do you feel is working?

 

Borrowing Out of Poverty

⊆ 7:57 PM by James Manning | ˜ 12 comments »

Note: This is something I wrote for an assignment but I thought it would be a very interesting conversation for the blog.

Microcredit Discussion

I. What is the system of Microcredit?

Microcredit is a financial concept focused on eradicating poverty and reducing the vulnerability of impoverished people by providing financial assistance that would otherwise be available only through traditional financial institutes. Microcredit institutions extend small, unsecured loans with interest to poor borrowers for either investment or consumption. The typical repayment schedule I set on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Once borrowers have proven their credit-worthiness, they are allowed to borrow more. (Jason Meade, 2001)

Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder to the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh is credited with establishing Microcredits as a means to fight poverty and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. Mr. Yunus saw that providing small loans to poor individual made substantial changes in their ability to survive and maintain themselves during a crisis. (Jason Meade, 2001) Along with loans, the Grameen Bank provides other financial services to service poor individuals and business enterprises in poverty struck areas.

II. Why is it important to the future of under-developed and emerging nations?

One basic point rendered in the poverty debate is that free enterprise and open markets have a greater impact on reducing poverty than aid. In America, many in the African-American community consider access to capital an economic hurdle and a major factor as to why African-American owned firms have not kept pace with overall growth in the American economy. If microcredit programs can achieve their objective, then I believe it can go a long way in providing access to capital that traditional institutions would not provide.

Another important factor about microcredits is its focus on empowering women. In many cultures women are relegated to subservient roles. Poverty among women is increasing and the problem is more pronounced in patriarch societies where women have very few rights. (Juanita Miller, ND) For women in need of financial resources to fund business ventures, microcredit institutions may be the only options.

As important as this financial system may be, I do wonder if a society can borrow its way out of poverty. Financing entrepreneurial ventures through microcredit financing, although risky, is a tool that could help reduce poverty. However, I fail to see the long-term benefit for a poor borrower that uses the loan for consumption purposes if additional economic development is lacking. Jeffrey Tucker opined that history has shown that wages, management, entrepreneurship, and savings rather than credit is the key to economic success. (Tucker, 2006)

The microcredit concept reminds me of the underground financial institutes that supported the resident in the Chicago south side neighborhood of my youth. My grandmother raised nine grandchildren on a social security check and food stamps. However, money was always scarce. To subsidies what little income she received, my grandmother turned to Mr. Ellis. Mr. Ellis was the local loan shark. He provided whatever funds were needed, with interest along with a 30 day due date.

Another source of credit was provided by the owner of the grocery store, Ms. Durka. Ms. Durka required only a note and a shopping list. This is how my grandmother survived until my brothers and I were of age to make money shoveling snow in the winter and mowing lawns in the summer. Though obviously more complex, microcredits provide the a survival mechanism for poor societies as the loan shark and Ms. Durka provided for my neighborhood.

I can appreciate alternative financial institutes designed to assist the poor. Yet, I believe that the microcredit method should be a part of a comprehensive economic development strategy. With its focus on empowerment and human rights, it is a solid foundation in which to build upon.

Topic for discussion:

1. Is it possible for a society to borrow its way out of poverty?
2. What's the difference between microcredit and pay day loan stores?
3. What is the best method to reduce poverty around the world?


Bibliography:

Tucker, Jeffrey. 2006. “Microcredit or Macrowelfare: The Myth of Grameen” Ludwig von Mises Institute. [Online Article] Retrieved on 12/10/06 at: http://www.mises.org/story/2375

Meade, Jason. 2001. “An Examination of the Microcredit Movement” The Collected Works of Jason Meade. [Online Article] Retrieved on 12/10/06 at: http://www.geocities.com/jasonmeade3000/Microcredit.html

Miller, Juanita. ND. “Poverty Among Women” The Ohio State University Fact Sheet Series. [Online Article] Retrieved on 12/12/06 at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5705.html

 

Little Known Heisman Facts

⊆ 9:25 PM by James Manning | ˜ 4 comments »

Troy Smith took home the Heisman this year. I’m not sure where how he will do in the NFL, but I thought it would be interesting to look back at the last few Heisman Trophy winners and runner ups and see what happened at the next level.

Here are some interesting facts that I found looking at the Heisman Trophy website. I’m only going as far back as 1980 with my selections.

The Best Football Player to Win the Heisman since 1980
1988 – Barry Sanders

The (3) Best Running Back
1988 – Barry Sanders
1981 – Marcus Allen
1985 – Bo Jackson

The (3) Worst Running Backs
1999 – Ron Dayne
1994 – Rashaan Salaam
1983 – Mike Rozier

Only (2) Wide Receivers have won
1987 – Tim Brown
1991 – Desmond Howard

Best WR not to have won
1984 – Jerry Rice

The Best QB that won
2002 – Carson Palmer

Best QB’s not to have won
1982 – John Elway (2nd in voting)
1981 – Dan Marino (4th in voting)

The Worst QB that won
2003 – Jason White

Most QB’s Played in Super Bowl Game
1983 – Steve Young (2nd in voting) / Super Bowl XXIX
1983 – Jeff Hostler (7th in voting) / Super Bowl XXV
1983 – Boomer Esiason (10th in voting) / Super Bowl XXIII

 

When We Get Married

⊆ 10:21 AM by James Manning | ˜ 27 comments »



We lived. We loved. We fought. We cried. We gave up. We started over. We grew apart. We grew closer. We failed. We triumphed. We prayed together. This is our life.

Now we move forward. We are becoming one. We are growing. We are living. We are loving. We are asking for His blessings.

On December 4, 2006, Pastor Scott will marry Jaimie and I and we will become one. We will stand before our family, friends and God and declare our intentions to be faithful and true to one another.

It is another step to get closer to our dream.

Our Song: Closer by Goapele
Closer to my dreamsGetting over, I’m gettin’ higherCloser to my dreamsI’m getting higher and higher
Feel it in my sleepSome times it feels like I’ll never go pass againSome times it feels like I’m stuck forever and everWhen I’m going higher
Closer to my dreamsI’m goin’ higher and higherI ain’t gonna sleepSome times you just have to let it go (Let it go, letit go)Leaving all my fears to burn downPush them away so I can move on
Closer to my dreamsFeel it all over my beingClose your eyes and see what you believeI’m happy as long as we’re apartThen I’m moving on to my dreamsI’ll be moving higher (Moving higher)
Closer to my dreamsAnd higher and higher, higherFeel it in my being (I can feel it flow around me)I know that I could not go alone (No, no)
I’m moving higher (Higher), oh...I’m going higher and higher and higher (Higher andhigher)Closer to my dreams (Higher and higher, oh...oh...)I’m moving upward and onward and beyond all I can see(Stretching out my arms so I can breathe)
Feels so close it’s like strangeI can feel my dreams (Closer to my dreams)I’m moving closer to my dreamsI’m moving (Higher and higher) higher and higher(Higher and higher)Moving higher, ho...Some times it feels like you never gon’ change (Nevergon’ change)But you never choose to walk away

 

What I Did for Thanksgiving

⊆ 8:43 AM by James Manning | ˜ 9 comments »

It’s been a while and I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend. Jaimie and I went to San Diego for Thanksgiving. We had dinner at a great restaurant in La Jolla called George’s at the Cove. If your every in the area, make sure you check it out. I was actually surprised at the portions. Some times those fine dining restaurants charge an arm and a leg for snack-size portions. It’s a beautiful restaurant overlooking the ocean.

We also took mini-mom to Wild Animal Park. I’ll post some pictures later this week. It’s a great zoo. They had some very exotic animals that you wouldn’t find at other zoos. One of the most interesting animals is the Okapi. It’s a cross between and zebra and a giraffe. The park’s main function is breeding animals for the San Diego zoo and returning others tot the wild. It’s a worthy cause, although the $4 pop still sent my system into shock.

We saw “Happy Feet” as well. It’s a fun movie with good music. Mini-mom is tap dancing now. She’s so cute.

On the drive back to Los Angeles we stopped at the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside. The Missions are a very important part of California’s history and the San Luis Rey Mission is the largest one. It has a museum, cemetery and the church is a sight to behold.



Finally, we ended the weekend with a visit to the Museum of Tolerance. The museum’s purpose is mainly to educate people on the holocaust but it explored all aspects of hate and racism. It was very sad to see such inhumanity. It’s even sadder when you realize that crimes against humanity are taking place even as we speak.



It was a good week except that I forgot to make my picks and the Bears lost (cost me a six pack). And it doesn't look like Michigan will get that rematch against Ohio St. I have to give it to USC, they took care of the Irish in good fashion. Oh well.

As for politics, I'm not into it. But Christmas season is upon us and as always, it is time to create my Winter Wonderland. I'll post pictures once it is complete. Hope everyone was blessed. HOLLA!!!

 

Trent Lott’s Return No Big Deal

⊆ 10:31 AM by James Manning | ˜ 16 comments »

When it comes to politics, my new approach is of pragmatism. That’s why I think much of Jack Murtha going down and it is the reason why I don’t think Trent Lott’s new role as minority whip is cause for concern.

The fact is that the Republican Party will have no say in any legislation that comes out of the House. The Republicans ran roughshod of the Democrats in the House and it’s the Senate’s job to restore some sanity to legislation.

I believe the reason Trent Lott is back is because he has a lot of experience and knows his way around Washington. The Republicans will need this because there is a sect of the GOP that is hell bent on focusing on nothing but getting back the majority. However, there is still work to do and if the Republicans want any say on any bill, they are going to have to work with Democrats.

Trent Lott is a good politician and tactician; his tendency to put his foot in his mouth notwithstanding. I’m sure some on the left will make a hissy-fit about Lott but his Strom Thurman comment is not big enough of a deal to invest much time in it.
The simple fact is that the GOP needed some experience in the leadership roles and Lott is a good pick on that point. That’s Political Pragmatism 101.

 

Ohio State vs. Michigan.

⊆ 12:41 PM by James Manning | ˜ 8 comments »


The biggest game of the year will take place this weekend: Michigan vs. Ohio State. I'm torn because I love both of them. I'm sure my heart will be with Michigan but not completely.

I do wonder how this will impact the BCS. If Michigan loses, will they be given a chance for a rematch in the national title? If Michigan's only loss comes at the hand of the number one team in the nation that would me that any team with a loss will rank below them... that's my logic. USC is not a number two team and neither is Florida.

Michigan beat the hell out of Notre Dame so they can hang it up. And can we seriously consider Arkansas or Rutgers for the national title? I think not.

The coaches and writers might drop Michigan far enough to ensure that there is no rematch for the national title, but that would not be fair to Michigan.

Now, what if Michigan wins? Is there anyone out there that thinks USC, Florida or Arkansas is better than Ohio State? Not if you're a real football fan.

In conclusion, tomorrow's game should be a preamble to the national title game unless one team blows out the other. It will be a beautiful Saturday afternoon. But to ensure both Big Ten teams make it to the national title, I need Cal to beat USC, then USC beat Notre Dame. Then I'll need West Virginia to beat Rutgers. That game will take place in a couple of weeks.

Let's get together and cheer on the greatest football conference in the country.

GO BIG TEN!!! GO BIG TEN!!! GO BIG TEN!!! GO BIG TEN!!! GO BIG TEN!!! GO BIG TEN!!!



RIP BO (Greatest of all time) :(

Michigan football coach Bow Schembechler is shown in this 1975 file photo in Ann Arbor, Mich. Schembechler, the winningest coach in Michigan football history, died Friday. (AP/Richard Scheinwald)

 

Real Men Talk: Child Support

⊆ 2:35 PM by James Manning | ˜ 15 comments »

Guy #1: Someone I know has an ex-girl friend that does all kinds of crazy things to him regarding visitations with his daughter. He sends money when he can but generally speaking, she uses his daughter like an axe over his head. I’ve told him several times to go to court, file for visitation and get the child support taken out of his check. He has yet to do it.

Guy #2: Another person I know decides to stop paying child support after he loses his job. Several months pass and he receives a bill for the past due amount. He throws a fit and threatens to take his ex to court for shared custody. It’ll never happen because he’s a nutcase but he throws it out there.

Guy #3: A friend’s ex would quit his job whenever the DA caught up with him about his child support. This man went from a $17 an hour job to a $10 an hour job just so he could pay less child support. It didn’t make sense, but like I said, he eventually quite the $10 an hour job.

It would seem that the least a man could do is pay his dues. Ok, some women may mess the money around, but there is nothing anyone can do about that. If there are concerns about the money, why not go for custody rather than skip on the child support?

Most guys pay somewhere between $300 and $600 a month. Anyone with a child will tell you that it takes a lot more money than that to raise a child. Am I not understanding something?

Really…. What's the issue with men and child support?

 

What the People Said

⊆ 10:24 PM by James Manning | ˜ 14 comments »

It was a great election for Democrats. Actually, it was a great day for Democracy. The people spoke. Now the pundits are trying to figure out exactly what did the people said to our leaders in Washington.

I don’t think these election results are too difficult to interpret.

What the people said to the GOP: There are others besides you base.

The Republican strategy has been one of polarizing and energizing. It worked for several years. But the GOP alienated their base, disenfranchised their moderates and demonized everyone else. The GOP doing this while at the same time abandoning their principles left them very few allies. The Republicans were not only the Party in power, heck, they were the only Party in town. The saying, absolute power corrupts absolutely is reaffirmed once again.

What the people said to Bush: You stayed the course for too long.

If you riding as a passenger in a bus and the bus driver is in full control, you pretty much let him do the driving. But if ever the driver seems asleep at the wheel, or is driving recklessly, someone is going to grab the steering wheel and the other passengers won’t give a damn if that person has a clue of where the hell the bus is going. They just want someone to stop the bus. This is what happened to Bush. To say Democrats don’t have a plan while driving the Iraq War bus over a cliff is not an effective policy. The people backed the Democrats in stopping the bus. And now that the bus has stopped, we can figure out who is competent enough to drive it and who has the correct road map.

This is really the gist of it. Americans in general are on the conservative side but this election was about change. In a matter of 12 years, Republicans went from the Contract with America and setting the tone for the country to being relegated to a minority Party in the Senate, the House and Governorships. Hopefully, the Democrats understand this and govern properly. I have some suggestions for my Party. I’ll post those later.

 

Mid-Term Election Prediction

⊆ 8:33 AM by James Manning | ˜ 16 comments »

If you’ve noticed, I haven’t advocated for any particular politician in this election cycle. The reason being is that most of the politicians in California are set in stone. The districts are so gerrymandered that there really is no such thing as competition. It looks as though Arnold will win the governorship. That’s a little surprising but he did slide back to the middle and for the most part, folks don’t really see him as a threat since most of the state Congress is Democrat.

With that said, there hasn’t been a reason to really push a candidate. But with the election just a couple of days away, I think I should make some predictions.

House: Rather than go into every House race I will just say that come November 8, you should expect a Democrat majority in the House. The Democrats may pick up as many as 30 seats but I think the number is closer to 20.

Senate: Le’ts look at the key races.

Pennsylvania: Rick Santorum(R) vs. Bob Casey Jr. (D)
Rick Santorum is a strange character and I think he is just too far to the right for most of Pennsylvania. The state went for Kerry in 2004 and it will help that a Democrat will win the Governorship of Pennsylvania.

Winner: Bob Casey Jr. (D)

Ohio: Mike Dewine(R) vs. Sherrod Brown (D)
The Ohio Republican Party is a mess. The Democrat Party is enthusiastic and they will definitely get out the vote. Mike DeWine will be the victim of an unpopular President and chaotic state Party.

Winner: Sherrod Brown (D)

Virginia: George Allen(R) vs. James Webb (D)
If George Allen accomplished anything in this election cycle it was dismantling his chance at a run for President. I’m not sure he could have run a worse campaign. James Webb didn’t do much to capitalize on Allen’s missteps. This is a race where incumbency will make the difference.

Winner: George Allen (R)

Maryland: Michael Steele(R) vs. Ben Cardin(D)
This one is close but I have to give this one to Ben Cardin. Michael Steele has a ran a really good race but again, this is a Democrat state and I think it will stay that way.

Winner: Ben Cardin (D)

Rhode Island: Lincoln Chafee (R) vs. Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
Although Chafee is a Republican, he is rather liberal. Most of Chafee’s problem is not his own but a part of the anti-Republican wave that is sweeping the country. If the anti-Republican sentiment gets more Democrats to the polls, then Chafee could go down. I think that voters may not punish Chafee and he should hold on by a slim margin.

Winner: Lincoln Chafee (R)

Missouri: Jim Talent vs. Claire McCaskill
Wow, this has been one hell of a race. This is probably the only race where I find it difficult to make a call. My gut tells me that McCaskill will win but this one will come down to turnout.

Winner: Too close to call

Tennessee: Harold Ford vs. Bob Corker
This has been an ugly race… and “race” is the main point with this one. Harold Ford is the better candidate and although things have changed in the south, I just don’t see a black man winning a statewide election in the state of Tennessee.

Winner: Bob Corker (R)


The Gist of it

By my count, I think the Democrats will pick up 2 or 3 seats in the Senate. That’s not enough to take control but then again, this election is about building some momentum for the 2008 election. Republicans like to scare people in saying that if Democrats win the House all of these horrific things will happen. However, the only people who believe that are people who probably didn’t pass high school government. You see, the Congress can’t do anything without the President’s input. Meaning, the President can veto any bill a Democrat House put forward and there aren’t enough votes to override any veto. So in order for something to get done, they will have to compromise.

It will be an interesting Tuesday.

 

Friday's Mindless Entertainment

⊆ 9:41 AM by James Manning | ˜ 0 comments »

Gee, Officer Krupke

 

Where Did All of the Children Go?

⊆ 9:09 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

I’m a holiday junkie. I go all out for every holiday. I’m big on Halloween. I decorated the front porch, purchased a pirate costume and loaded up on candy with the expectations of handing out candy all evening. But I feel victim to my neighborhood.

Let me paint a picture for you. I live in Ladera Heights, an upper middle class, black neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is a beautiful place with beautiful homes. The problem that I have is that these black folks are like none that I’ve ever encountered. They are aloof, distant and snooty. It doesn’t feel like a neighborhood at all.

Ok, so it’s Halloween night and I have over a dozen bags of candy to hand out. I’m expecting a constant stream of children yelling “Trick or Treat”. What do I get? Trickle. There were hardly any kids walking around. More importantly, there was hardly anyone handing out candy. I believe my home was one of only two on out block handing out candy. It was very sad. I did find out that the action was at the top of the hill. But I would have thought my neighborhood would be a gold mine for candy.

Jaimie and I were warned about kids coming from South LA to trick or treat. I did get a lot of kids from outside the neighborhood. But guess what… they were just kids looking to score big. They weren’t rude, pushy or said anything out of the ordinary.

I believe the tension comes from my snooty neighbors treating them differently when the truth is that the kids from South LA want to have fun like other kids. I’m disappointed in my neighbors. Hopefully, the will step up at Christmas.

 

Happy Halloween

⊆ 9:43 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »



 

Football Talk

⊆ 10:07 AM by James Manning | ˜ 4 comments »

It was a good weekend of football. The Bears returned to dominant form - albeit against the hapless 49ers, but a win is a win. Below is my new rankings and some comments.



The Pigskin Challenge is getting really close now. I'll post the ranking after tonight's game. It will be very close from here on out.

Football talk:

1. What team has surprised you the most thus far?
2. What is the most disappointing team thus far?
3. Rookie of the year candidate?
4. Midseason MVP?
5. What team is most likely to turn it around in the second half?
6. Super Bowl picks?

 

Mindless Entertainment

⊆ 8:14 PM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

Veggietales - Bellybutton Song


 

Video Friday - Curtis Mayfield -

⊆ 10:52 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

This if for those that love "real" music.

Freddies Dead


Keep on Keeping On


Superfly




Rest In Peace my brother...

 

The GOP in full-effect Mode

⊆ 6:49 PM by James Manning | ˜ 19 comments »

Rush is an idiot.




The media tried to put out that he apologized. But from his mouth, he takes nothing back about his actions.

But let us move across the Mississippi to see what is happening in Tennessee.




You can always tell when the GOP are desperate. When things get tough they put on their white hoods and strike up racial fears in southern folk. And there is nothing that scares southern white folk more than having some black mandigo buck pillage their wholesome white flower woman.

They pulled the ad but it says a lot about the GOP that they would even run it. The funny thing about it is that the ad backfired. People were offended by it and most people saw it for what it was. I guess the GOP didn't count on... well, how can I put it... PROGRESS!!!

Question to white southern folk. Don't you find it offensive that someone would think so little of your intellect that they figure that insinuating Harold Ford was with a white woman would change your vote?

Only 12 more days of this... thank goodness.

 

GOP Pimpin' Revisited

⊆ 8:43 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

This from one year ago:

The Pimpin'
But not only did Ole George Bush pimp the preachers, he pimped the entire evangelical wing of the Republican Party. Now, most of us already knew that George was a business-type Republican. However, you can’t get elected to office by promoting a corporate agenda. There is not much passion for changes in trade laws and fluctuations in long-term bond interest rates. But there is passion if someone could call for a war on baby-killers and faggots… sorry, if someone call for a cultural war. And Bush does what every good pimp does – sold his tricks a bag dreams. “Baby, you need me cause I can take you places.” like the Supreme Court. “If you stick with me, I can give you everything you ever dreamed of.” Like access to federal money for church charities.

And for five years that bought the dream. Ignored those slaps upside the head and midnight beating. (Federal spending ran amuck – largest expansion of government in US history). They overlooked him taking their money after an evening of tricking on the corner (cutting veteran benefits during a time of war). They did this because they believed the dream and the president took them off of the street and put them up in a hotel. (Cronies getting jobs, Christian groups getting government funds). The tricks knew that there was a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow so they felt that getting waxed seven nights a week would eventually pay off.

Ahh... I continue to amaze myself with my prophetic insight on politics. Now we have a book by an ex-Bush aid called "Tempting Faith" written by David Kuo's.

Excerpt from the book:

I began to brief the President on the pastors, recommending that he talk about the administrative reforms we had implemented, and the tax credits we were still fighting for ...

He interrupted. "Forget about all that. Money. All these guys care about is money. They want money. How much money have we given them?" I never doubted the President's own faith or desire to help those who, like him, had once been lost in a world of alcohol or, unlike him, had struggled with poverty or drugs. Because I shared his faith and his vision of compassionate conservatism, I had been a very good soldier. When members of his senior staff mocked the plan as the "f___ing faith-based initiative,"

Couple this with an article wrote by Harry R. Jackson about what was said to him at a meeting with a White House staff member:

Frankly, we wondered if we had been pushed out of the "big tent." Although our concern was universal, everyone sat quietly, hoping to be proven wrong.

Everything was going fine until one of the speakers said, "The values voters did not make the difference in the 2004 election."

I won't question the sincerety of Bush's faith but I know political gamesmanship when I see it and the Evangelical Conservatives are getting pimped to the highest of pimpstivity.

Then there is the article in the LA Times, "Latino and black voters reassessing ties to GOP" where is states basically the same thing.

What can I say... I was right on point a year ago... and nothing has changed.

Funny Stuff

Shots out to Bushwhack for this one. Very funny.

 

If The Democrats Take Office

⊆ 7:29 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

I believe that the Democrats will take over at least the House in November. The GOP is trying to put out scare tactics to say that the House ran by the Democrats would mean higher taxes, a terrorist attack... blah, blah, blah.

The truth: Legislation still has to get through the Senate and past a President's veto. Even with the GOP running both chambers of Congress getting bills pass the Senate proved difficult.

If I were leader of the House, this is what I would do and I think it's a good way to start a session.

1. Put social security and medicare reform back on the table for debate.

2. State that any action on Iraq will come after the Baker Commission's report.

3. Debate an immigration bill.

4. Put a panel together to look at ways to reduce government spending.

5. Submit a bill funding the development of alternative energy sources.


Basically, what the Democrat House should do is take a leadership role rather than a partison one. I would investigate the energy panel Dick Cheney put together but after some legislation has been introduced on developing alternative energy sources. I know the House wants to investigate Iraq, but I would leave that for another year.

This country is already split, if the Democrats want to establish themselves as leaders, then they will have to show the country that they have ideas outside of bashing Bush. Even if no bills are passed, they should put forward some alternatives to what we've been getting over the past six years.

What the Democrats should have learned by watching the Republicans flop is that it is dangerous to overplay the hand you're dealt. The Dems will have to govern if they want to be seen as a party that can get the job done.

Essentially what a win for the Democrats does is solidify George Bush's already solid lame duck status. There isn't a single Republican that is going to run for president with the goal of keeping George Bush's policy in place.

The Dems have to put forth legislation and govern from a position of maintaining some control beyond this election cycle.

 

Advertising: New Album - "DA Dirty GOP"

⊆ 9:49 AM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

The following is a paid advertisement is brought to you by Preemptive Strike Records, and does not reflect the thoughts and attitudes of this blog and its commentors.

In 2001 you heard him on the mix tap "To Afghanistan and Back". Then he came with club banger, "I'll Saddam Ya". Then in 2005 he showed up on the "Whoop That Trick" soundtrack with the classic, "No WMD's (But I still Lit Dat Ass Up)".

Now comin this November, Preemptive Strike Records presents to you the first album by the Notorious Killa G., as he drops...


"Da Dirty GOP"



It don't get no hotter than this my niggaz. Just in time for the November elections. Killa G is puttin' all you sissy liberals and gay punks on notice with this one. With cuts like "99 Problems But ah Dem Ain't One" Kill G proves that he lost his damn mind.

But he comes back at ya, and Killa G shows his range as he politiks with Nas on "From Islam to Ex-Con".

The buzz on the streetz is that Killa G is dropping an instant classic. Expect 5 mics from this one.

Other head bangers on the album:
- Nothing But A GOP Thang
- Liberal Doggie Style f/Snoop Dogg
- Stay the Course on Dat Ass -
- Civil Liberties… What’s That? f/Busta Rhymes
- The Feds Are Watchin’

Don't sleep on this... you need to get the album. And you better believe WE WILL KNOW if you got the album or not. This shiznit iz for realz. Play games if you want to... Feel Me?

This album voting booths November 7, 2006
Go Cop That!!!


WARNING: Preemptive Strike Records and Killa G are part of an association affiliated with the CIA Clique and FED Mafia. Any unathorized duplication or downloading of this album will result in being labeled an enemy combatant and we will make a nice place for you in a cell block in Poland... FOREVER. Think we're playin'? You just try it and see if we don't go Jose Padilla on yo' monkey ass. Do something with that tax cut money - bi-yotch!!!

 

Your GOP

⊆ 9:47 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

Here are some facts I found. The following are the results from a GOP controlled government. You know the GOP. The folks that stand for low taxes, smaller government, balanced budgets. Yeah, that GOP. The folks that brought you the "Contract for America" where they presented:

1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses

This is what they ran on and all they needed was some power to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. Well, they've had 6 years of total control and let's see what we have:

- Regean vetoed a transportaion bill that had over 140 "pork" projects in it.

- Bush passed a transportation bill with over 3000 "pork" projects.

- 88% of American families saved less than $100 on the Bush tax plan.

- A $5.6 trillion surplus for the end of the decade was projected in 2001. Today the national debt is $8.5 trillion.

- The largest expansion of government spending took place under the Bush/GOP government.

- Poverty levels decreased every year under Clinton and has increased every year under Bush.

- When bush came into office the US had $20 trillion of unfunded fiscal commitments. Today it is around $45 trillion.

- the most recent data from the Census Bureau show that the average income for middle-class households has dropped by $1,525 since its peak in 2000

- Employee pay lowest share of GDP since 1947, when government started tracking data. Corporate profits highest share of GDP since the 1960s.

Wow, just imagine what they could do with another 6 years.

 

Whew!

⊆ 8:58 AM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

 

Political Junkie Talk

⊆ 2:54 PM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

I wrote this October 5, 2005:

Having a political philosophy is one thing. Having that philosophy reflect in good sound policy is another. And time and time again the Bush Administration has shown that it cannot execute policy. The war in Iraq is a prime example of a philosophy gone astray when it is time to execute the policy. Establishing Democracy in the Middle East, ridding the world of a tyrant, building up a new Iraq that would not be a threat to its neighbors and an ally in the war on terror... it all sounds good and for the most part is a good idea. But then they had to execute their plan (which was lacking) and they flopped badly. The cost for that flop is $200 billion, the lives of almost 2000 soldiers and countless Iraqi lives.

They flopped when it came to implementing their "ownership society" and being fiscally responsible. Yeah, it sounds good to give us more control of our money when it came to Social Security, getting government out of our lives, being fiscal responsible, creating a smaller government. But now we have structural deficits the result in trillions of dollars in debt. The Social Security bill was DOA and we now have the largest increase in government spending since WWII. The Bush Administration is a failure at being fiscal conservatives... the mantra on which they hang their philosophical hats.

The funny thing is that things have only gotten worse.

#Troops killed in Iraq: 2759
#Cost of Iraq War: $335 billion
#Social Security reform: dead
#Medicare Reform: dead
#National Debt: $8.5 Trillion

With this being an election year, no doubt the administration and the Republicans Congress will attempt to distract voters from their incompetence and blame everything on gay people and atheist. We need a change.

Reforming Our System

Term Limits for Congress
After talking with a friend about our government. I am now a firm believer in term limits. A term should last 3 years with a maximum of 9 years of service allowed. One-third of the Congress should be up for re-election every year. It would mean a continuous election process but accountability would come much faster.

Public Campaign Financing
We should turn to public finances of elections. If a political party is supported by at least 10% of the voters, it would qualify for equal financing. This would mean that other political parties would be able to compete.

Diminish the role Political PACs
I understand the need for advocacy groups but not outside party should be allowed to campaign on behalf of any candidate and no campaign ads should be allowed to run without the endorsement of one of the candidates running for office. We can then hold elected officials accountable for the words of activist groups.

Full Disclosure From Lobbyist

We should know exactly whom politicians are talking to and for what reason. Lobby groups should be made to disclose all of their interactions with politicians and for what purpose.

Also, politicians should be banned from lobbyist employment for a period of six years after leaving office. This will ensure that at least 25% of the people they served with are no longer in office.


The questions I have are:

1. If the Republicans maintain control of Congress, do you expect them to do better, worse or about the same?

2. If Democrats take at control of the House, do you expect things to get better, worse, or about the same?
3. How would you rank the job that the Republicans have done with total control of Congress and the White House? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, Failed

4. What changes would you like to see to our political system?

 

Football Friday

⊆ 4:10 PM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

Week 6 of the football season and my Bears are KILLIN’. I didn’t present my picks from last week but just know that I picked 12 out of 14 games, losing only four points on the week. But mad props to “Outside the Box” who picked 13 out of 14 games correct, losing only 3 points.

Get you picks in.

Here are the standings:

1 Outside the Box 429
2 The Master 423
3 Timmer the LieDowns Fan 412
4 Panthers Rule 388
5 Unstoppable Flow (Rell) 218
6 Big Cliff 165
7 indigo's winners 110


 

Nothing But Bad Alternatives

⊆ 10:14 AM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

The following was written by Harry R. Jackson, Jr. for Townhall.com.

Four months ago I was a part of a very high level meeting with the evangelical community’s most influential leaders. We spent an entire day interacting with politicians on the Hill and the current administration’s most trusted advisors. Most of us were shocked that the president had not led the charge to protect marriage more aggressively---after all it was May, 2006. In our view, he had used up a great deal of political capital on social security reform, the unexpected Katrina debacle, the war, and other internal squabbles and fights. Frankly, we wondered if we had been pushed out of the “big tent.” Although our concern was universal, everyone sat quietly, hoping to be proven wrong.

Everything was going fine until one of the speakers said, “The values voters did not make the difference in the 2004 election.” The speaker failed to even thank the folks in the room for their efforts to get out the vote, to get the marriage amendment on the ballots of important swing states, and for their unwavering support of President Bush. I am not sure of the speaker’s true intent. Maybe he meant to say: “the three major issues on the minds of the average voter are: 1) the war in Iraq, 2) gas prices, and 3) the domestic economy.” Such a statement would have been understood by the leaders in the room. By contrast, what we heard in our heads was a condescending voice bellowing, “It’s nice that you supported us, but we could have done it ourselves. We admire your passion, but you don’t know how we play this game in
D.C.” source

Evangelical conservatives have found that they are in the same boat as fiscal conservatives. Based on everything that is happening with the Republican Party, the leaders of the Party know that they have some problems with their base. They also know that their base has nowhere to go. That can be seen on the conservative blogs where any misstep by the GOP is met with a “but the Democrats would be worse” statement.

What this says to the GOP is they can rest assure that they will not be held accountable for their failures at the voting booths. This is evident when James Dobson of Focus on the Family spins the Mark Foley incident by stating, “As it turns out, Mr. Foley has had illicit sex with no one that we know of, and the whole thing turned out to be what some people are now saying was a -- sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages.” source

For years black conservatives have argued that by voting for Democrats, black people subject themselves to a political plantation where they are easily exploited. It seems to me that the same thing may be happening to certain sects of the Republican Party. We will see with this next election but it seems to me that political campaigns are getting much easier to run. It’s simply a matter of filling in the following blanks.

1. “But if a ___________ were to take office things would be worse.”

2. “The _________ Party may not be perfect but I’d rather have them in power rather than the __________ Party.”

3. “Anybody but a __________.”

This is how politicians want it. If political choices are narrowed down the point where the alternative is unacceptable, then there is no need to actually follow through on anything. We are getting exactly what accept. Fredrick Douglas said it best:

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

 

North Korea - Another Failure By Bush

⊆ 9:51 AM by James Manning | ˜ 18 comments »

I find the situation with North Korea very interesting. What we are seeing is the trifecta of political irony. On January 29, 2002, President Bush presented us the “Axis of Evil” at his State of the Union Address. In that address, Bush stated:

North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens…

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Irainian people's hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade…

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. Source


Everything stated here is true but like most things in life, what one is able to speak can be quite different than what one is able to do. And the Bush administration has shown time and time again that their words and actions rarely align.

By implementing a preemptive war doctrine to deal with Iraq, the administration set the stage for failure with Iran and North Korea. Saddam Hussein was a threat to his neighbors and killed his own people, was in violation of UN resolutions, and was seeking weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. These were used for the justification of war.

Now we have North Korea, a member of the “Axis of Evil”, testing a nuclear weapon, still starving his own people, and a definite threat in the region. We have Iran pursuing nuclear technology and more than likely trying to develop and nuclear weapon.

The response by the Bush administration is going to the UN. Something they thumbed their nose at when it came to Iraq. There was a diplomatic choice to responding to Iraq but the administration chose not to do it. For anyone to say that is not the case then they only need to look at North Korea. Kim Jung Il is a much greater threat than Saddam could ever have dreamed.

North Korea’s test of a nuclear weapon should shake conservatives back to reality that the world is not black and white and narrowing everything down to simple slogans does not make for a good foreign policy. The “Right” has thumbed their noses at nuances and because of it, the world has gotten more dangerous – despite their spin to the contrary.

I suspect they will blame it all on Clinton or liberals but the fact remains that for the past six years, the “Right” has controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. This is their puppy and at best the Democrats are observers to it all.

President Bush will leave the White House with 100,000 of our troops in Iraq trying to prevent the country from falling into more chaos, North Korea with known nuclear weapons, Iran pursing nuclear technology, the Taliban with political influence in Afghanistan, our government in deficit spending, Medicare unresolved, our economic policy funded by China – and some people will call it a successful presidency.

North Korea’s test is more evidence of our failed foreign policy.

 

I'm Back Like MJ

⊆ 11:24 AM by James Manning | ˜ 4 comments »

It was a good weekend with the family. The wedding was very nice and the reception was on point. It was nice seeing the entire family without having to drive around the entire city.

The Newlyweds


Fred & Mary


Jimmy


The kid cleans up real nice!



The Men of the Family


Gary, Bruce, Marvin, Kailonn, Dewon, James


How about those Bears?

 

On Vacation In Chicago

⊆ 8:03 PM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »



Hey, I'm in Chicago attending a cousin's wedding. I'll be back Monday. Y'all have a good one.

 

Bad Week to Be Down With GOP

⊆ 10:32 AM by James Manning | ˜ 9 comments »

I haven’t gotten into the Sen. George Allen fiasco because it’s really not worth much time. However, couple him with what is happening to Rep. Mark Foley, and you have the makings of a perfect storm of bad news.

In case you missed it.

…earlier this year, Allen publicly singled out a dark-skinned young man at a campaign rally, calling him "macaca" and calling out, "Welcome to America." Somehow this became a matter of controversy…

As for "macaca," Allen later explained with obvious sincerity that it was simply a made-up word. Alas, this made-up word also happens to be a slur against dark-skinned people, one common among French Tunisians, and it also happens that Allen's mother is French Tunisian, and that Allen speaks French.


College classmates of Sen. Allen have revealed that he routinely referred to black people as niggers. Not that this would surprise me but it’s just another layer to add to the cake. The most interesting thing about this is that Sen. Allen seems to be ashamed of having some Jewish blood as others have noted here and here.

Something is wrong with George Allen in feeling that the only way to fit into what he believes is the White Conservative American” mold is to distance himself from his Jewish heritage and wrap himself in the Confederate flag. Now, the Confederate flag is another issue. Why does a kid from California embrace the Confederate flag?

But lets move on the Rep. Mark Foley. Mr. Foley retired this past week after it was revealed that he sent raunchy emails to a teenage boy. This is the same Rep. Mark Foley who was Chairman of the GOP leadership knew of his “drinking problem” for almost a year and did nothing. That’s right, the Party of “Family Values” stood by and let a pedophile roam free in their midst, and then have the nerve to deny it. It is laughable.

Politicians are so full of it. Personally, this isn’t going to affect me that much because I don’t have to vote for either of these two guys. Mr. Foley’s political life is over and he’ll just have to deal with his “drinking problem”. As for George Allen, he will be reelected but his presidential aspirations are down the toilet.


What I blogged about one year ago: Harriet Miers and Bill Bennet's Racial Comment

 

Football Talk

⊆ 8:30 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

GO BEARS!!!



Nuff Said...

How about something funny that I found on You Tube.



 

Race in America by the Numbers

⊆ 9:42 AM by James Manning | ˜ 12 comments »

Robert has an interesting post on race. Actually, it’s a rant about a Montel Williams show that discussed racism. I did an entire series called Dialogue on Race and Politics. Race is such a dicey topic in the country that you venture into at your own risk. It is very easy to find yourself on the opposite end of a rant and being called a racist if you’re white or labeled with having a victim mentality if you’re black.

I did some research and found a poll about the attitudes of Af.Am on the pressing issues facing the Af.Am community. Here is what I found.




What I found is that as much as people talk about racism, only 9% of the respondents thought that racism was the most pressing issue facing the Af.Am community. Education and the Economy topped the list with those between the ages of 18-40. With this same group, racism rated higher only over illegal drugs.

But lets look at the opinions of white and black people when it comes to some of the issues facing the black community.

Sorry I am missign the headers.
.............................................All.............Whites......Blacks




You’ll notice that if you add the percentages of people that say an issue is a big problem and somewhat a problem, there is not much difference between white people and black people. Even on race relations, black and white people felt about the same.

What about race relations?



So what I can determine from these numbers is that when placing race into a larger context, black people don’t view it as a major issue. When ask specifically how race plays into certain areas of life, black people tend to think that race plays a bigger role in what is happening to them, specifically when it comes to access to opportunity.

Overall, racism is barely a top ten concern with black people once you add the war in Iraq, terrorism and outsourcing to the mix. The biggest problem is with politicians and media folk using racism to further their agenda…

 

Football Week 4

⊆ 8:01 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

Ok, it is week 4 and we're off to a good start. The Bears are 3-0 and are favored to win against the Seahawks. It will be a good game and I am going with my Bears.

As always, I have to pick a few upsets. My upset picks of the week are:

Minnesota over Buffalo
49ers over Kansas City
Detroit over St. Louis

I was dead wrong about Atlanta beating New Orleans. Man, the Saints came out fired up and never let the Falcons get anything going. I'll adjust my power rankings after this weekend. We'll see.

It was not a very good week for most folks. Robert won the week and a few people forgot to pick. Not to worry, there are 13 weeks still left so a lot of ground can still be made up. Just make sure you get your picks in. I may drop by their blogs to remind them.

Here are the standings thus far.

1 The Master (me) 259
2 Timmer the LieDowns Fan 242
3 Outside the Box 239
4 Panthers Rule 226
5 Unstoppable Flow (Rell) 213
6 indigo's winners 110
7 Big Cliff 85

MY PICKS WEEK 4

Ok, get your picks in folks. I have a league set up and you can join or you can enter your picks in the comment area. You can join by going: HERE

The name of the group number is 32256 - and the password is: dabears

 

Adventures In Jury Duty

⊆ 7:43 AM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »



I am off to perform my civic duty (sigh). I think it is wrong that the only people that have to do this are the ones who vote. Everyone should have an opportunity to take part in this day of hell.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing today so I won't blog. But hopefully something interesting will happen that I can share with you. If not, I'll make it up... ha.

Now that I think about it... what would happen if Howard Dean took George Bush to court and I was appointed the lawyer for Bush? Lets us this post to set the story up. If you have some good ideas, drop them here and I'll try to use them in the next story.

Have a good day folks - I'm off to my punishment for being an active member in out political structure.

 

Football Sunday Talk

⊆ 6:46 PM by James Manning | ˜ 13 comments »

Monday Update:

Well, just like I thought, my Fantasy football team got their butts kicked up and down the gridiron this past weekend. I'm sure Nikki will talk some trash - but I'm 2-1 and in good shape to at least make the post-season.

Surprises:

#1: The Jets are a better team than I expected. I had them ranked 31st but clearly they are better than that.

#2: The Bengals are either that good or the Steelers are in trouble. Either way, the Bengals are a very good team and I think only the Ravens will challenge them for the division title.

#3: How bad is Houston? If you watched the game, or saw the highlights, then you saw Portis run right down the middle of the defense for a TD. Was that sad? If you're a Texan fan - then you should run down to your local sporting store and pick up a Bears jersey.

You Still Suck:

#1: The Redskins won, but you still suck.

#2: I was excited to see what you were made of... but after three weeks of looking, I can say that the Arizona Cardinals still suck.

#3: Call me an elitist - but detroit has always been the Chicago wanna-be's of the Midwest. The inhabitants of that city are beneath me. The detroit lions is a garbage can operation not even worth of capitalization.

----------------------------------------
Damn, my Fantasy team sucked today. Not one offensive player scored a TD and not one single defensive player recorded a sack or INT. However, the Bears did win so life is pretty good.

I am now convinced that Arizona is a cursed franchise and Bills are not worthy of my selecting them. But back to the Bears. The Vikings were a big test for them and they proved that they are the best team in the NFC North. Seattle showed a couple of things and the Eagles bounced back as I expected they would. The Giants are for real but the schedule has not been in their favor.

So what are your thoughts on week 3 thus far?

 

Bush Appoints Liberal Blogger As Ambassador to Venezuela

⊆ 12:47 PM by James Manning | ˜ 22 comments »

WASHINGTON – After Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush “the devil”, President Bush countered by appointing liberal blogger, James Manning as Ambassador to Venezuela. The move was a seen as gesture to smooth relationships between the two Presidents.

Although he was forced to resign as Press Secretary earlier this year after an altercation with George Will and getting into a fight with the First Lady and the President's mother, Mr. Manning was appreciative of the confidence in his ability.

Mr. Manning will be front and center on the international stage and will have to maneuver delicately while engaging one of President’s Bush more vocal detractors.

Immediately after accepting the appointment, Mr. Manning left LAX on Air Force One along with Deputy Secretary Chatterbox to meet with the President Chavez in his office in Caracas.

Scene on Air Force One

James: The President said he trusted me to do this so I don’t see why you are here.

Chatter: I’m here to ensure that you don’t cause an international incident.

James: What makes you think I would cause an international…

Chatter: You got into fight with the First Lady and the President’s mom at the White House. Is that evidence enough?

(Air Force One lands in Caracas and the two Diplomats are ushered to the President’s office for formal talks)

Scene in President Chavez’s Office

Pr. Chavez: Good morning Mr. Manning, Ms. Chatter, welcome to Venezuela. I hope you find our hospitalities worthy of approval.

James: I’m sure we will. Look here, dawg. Lets cut the formalities. You were out of line at the UN and we’re here to put you on notice.

Chatter: What Mr. Manning means is that the President feels that your speech was not appropriate and we’d like to open the channels of communication. After all, your country plays a very important role in the world’s economy.

Pr. Chavez: That it does (sits down and pulls out a cigar). So the President didn’t take kindly to me calling him the devil, huh?

Chatter: No he didn’t. However…

James: There’s no however in this. You need to apologize and pay me my royalties.

Pr. Chavez: Royalties?

James: Hell yeah. I made up the line of calling the President a devil. You need to come off the loot. Then you need to issue an apology... immediately.

(President Chavez leans back in chair, blows cigar smoke out his mouth and grins)

Pr. Chavez: I saw the news conference when you were appointed Press Secretary. You have big kahunas my friend. (quickly sits up and leans across desk with stern glare) But you are out of your league here. I will kick your ass all the way back to Chicago where you can watch you sorry Bears play that girly version of football.

(James looks to his right at Ms. Chatter. Then turns to look over his left shoulder.)

James: You… You… You’re talking to me? (leans on desk) Let me get this right. You’re talking to me?

Pr. Chavez: You’re the only tar baby in the room.

James: Man, I will beat yo…

Chatter: Gentlemen please.

Pr. Chavez: (pointing at Ms. Chatter) Stay in a woman’s place.

Meanwhile at the White House

Cheney: Do you think it was wise to send Mr. Manning to Venezuela? He’s rather uncontrollable.

Bush: He is, but that is why I sent Ms. Chatter along with him. I figure a Christian mother from Missouri would keep him level.

Cheney: That may be true but you do know Ms. Chatter spent some time in Chicago.

Bush: (with worried look on his face) I didn’t know that. Oh my God, get them the hell out of there.

Back in President Chavez’s office.

Chatter (Standing on the desk, mercilessly slapping Pr. Chavez in the back of his head with her heels): I know the hell you didn’t. I'll knock out whatever sense you got left. Don't you ever (kick Pr. Chavez in the chin) think you can (elbows Pr. Chavez in the ear) talk to me (puts him in a choke hold) like that.

James (laughing): Whoop his ass, Chatter. Beat his motha... (blood from Pr. Chavez's nose spashes on shirt) Oh damn! You broke nose. You go girl!

(Ms. Chatter knees Pr. Chavez in the mouth the strikes him with a left jab. Pr. Chavez jumps up and runs towards the window)

Pr. Chavez: Get the hell out of my office you crazy broad and take your monkey with you.

James (jumps from chair): That’s your ass. (Hurdles desk and punches Pr. Chavez in the stomach)

(James kick Pr. Chavez in the back while Ms. Chatter jabs him in the neck with a chair. Pr. Chavez’s security team hears the commotion and enters the office.)

Scene on Air Force One on return flight to states

Ms. Chatter: This is your damn fault. You had to go and ask about some royalties. How are we going to explain this?

James: I really don’t give damn. I got my royalty check. Well, I owe you because he only wrote the check after I promised I’d make you pull that flagpole out of his butt. How the hell did you get it up that far?

Ms. Chatter: Will you get off of that. We have to explain this to the President.

James: C’mon Chatter. Admit it. When you elbowed Chavez in his ear and he went down crying like a bitch… that felt good didn’t it?

Ms. Chatter: Well… Um… (shows a big smile) Hell yeah it felt good. I knocked him the hell out. Whew… I still got it, baby. (Give James a high five)

James: That’s what I’m talking ‘bout. Don’t mess with Chatter! I knew it was on when he told you to stay in your place. I thought we were going to have to call an excavation team to get that heel out of his temple.

(James and Ms. Chatter pop open a bottle of Hennessy and make a toast. Just then, a call comes in from the White House)

Ms. Chatter: Oh shoot. How do we explain this?

James: Hell, I got my money.

(Ms. Chatter answers phone)

Ms. Chatter: Hell Mr. President

Bush: What the hell happened down there? I got the press all over me.

Ms. Chatter: I’m sorry Mr. President. President Chavez was not very cooperative with us. We didn’t leave on very good terms.

Bush: Dammit. “Not very good terms” is an understatement. Mr. Manning, what are you not telling me?

James: Well… Well… I may have inadvertently declared war on his country.

Bush: What the …

James: Don’t worry, sir. Just give me a helicopter and let me call my boys from Troop 44 and we’ll go down and handle it.

Bush: I can’t believe you went down… (phone rings in background) Ho… hold on… let me get that.

(Bush voice is heard in the background. A few minutes pass and he hangs up the phone and returns to the conversation)

Bush: Ok, that was one of Pr. Chavez’s representative. He’s issuing a full apology in the morning. Good job team.

Ms. Chatter: Thank you, sir.

James: I'm glad you…

Bush: Shut up asswipe. You’re fired.

James: What!

Bush: Wait (papers shuffle in background) I just got a memo here stating that Tim Russert wants to interview you on Meet the Press. If that goes well Mr. Manning, you’ll have a permanent position in my Administration.

James: Thanks.

Bush: Good night.

(hangs up phone)

Ms. Chatter: Well, that’s good. You should get along with Tim considering he’s a part of the Liberal media and all. (Notices worried look on James’ face) What’s wrong?

James: Well, I don’t exactly get along with Tim. We got into it at a Polka festival three years ago and...

Ms. Chatter: Oh Lord.

(Tune in next time when James meets Tim Russert face to face since their last encounter at a Polka Festival. It will be a Meet the Press moment to remember)


THE END

 

I Still Like Some Conservative

⊆ 2:30 PM by James Manning | ˜ 27 comments »

I’m having a discussion on Robert’s blog that has really tested my will to be considerate to those on the right. What saves my bashing of the entire right is that I happen to really like Robert, Bullfrog, Grey Ghost, Bold As Love and Miss Chatterbox is a true doll.

So, when I run into folks the Texas Fred and GUNZ, I generally try to take their rants for what it is and move on with my life. I think as a Liberal, it is part of my duty to understand their thoughts, reconcile them with my own beliefs then state my opinion. Generally, we disagree and that’s cool with me. But whenever trying to pull someone from the cesspool there is a risk that you could get pulled in as well.

This is what I think happened on Robert’s last post. I tried to come down the middle and use logic in the discussion – and granted my logic does not constitute universal logic – but all in all I think I was being balanced.

Mixing Islam, Liberal ideology and Conservative bloggers is an appetite for destruction. I soon found myself dodging a myriad of threats and names and I tossed a few back myself. If you’ve visited my blog enough, you know I’m pretty tolerant of folks. However, I think the only legitimate reason to wish ill upon another person is when that person dares to root against your favorite football team.

I’m writing this post because I have to remind myself that I do happen to like some Conservatives.

Do you get along with your ideological opposite?

 

Oh... The Madness

⊆ 10:31 AM by James Manning | ˜ 12 comments »

There exists among us a group that believes that Islam is inherently violent. The mere practice of the faith is a precursor to violence. Any rational person would come to the conclusion that there is no text that would provoke violence unless without an individual having a propensity for violence. They justify this belief by quoting passages from the Koran.

It would also seem logically that when you read the Koran you would take into the account the historical and cultural context at the time the text was written. For example, In Leviticus 20, the phrase put to death is found 9 times. However, as Christians, we interpret this to mean that the “wages of sin is death” which means a spiritual death and a separation from God.

Leviticus 12 says that a woman that births a male child is unclean for six days but when a woman births a female child she is unclean for 12 days. How would you interpret that?

The following is the text from the Koran. In bold is the passage that was quoted as proof to Islam’s doctrine for violence.

[8.9] When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another.
[8.10] And Allah only gave it as a good news and that your hearts might be at ease thereby; and victory is only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[8.11] When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby.
[8.12] When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
[8.13] This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Apostle; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Apostle-- then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
[8.14] This-- taste it, and (know) that for the unbelievers is the chastisement of fire.
[8.15] O you who believe! when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them.
[8.16] And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day-- unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company-- then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be.


We know in the bible that God called the Israelites to war for His purpose. But in this same chapter of the Koran it goes on to say:

[8.60] And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.
[8.61] And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
[8.62] And if they intend to deceive you-- then surely Allah is sufficient for you; He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers


You will note in 8.12 the believer is given the authority to strike his enemy and in 8.13 they are given the reason. But go down to 8.61 they are told that if the non-believer seeks peace, then they are to make peace. And if that peace is made for reason of deception, then their faith is sufficient to protect them. The odd thing about them using this passage is that I could post one from the bible with the exact same context.

I’ve really grown tired of this “Islam is the enemy” crap spewing from the right. The increased radicalization of their rhetoric should be a cause for concern. So far, they seem content with spewing their hatred on the Internet from the comforts of home. But you can believe that an even more radicalized undercurrent exists and it will eventually manifest itself in violence.

We’ll then see if they will condemn violence against innocent Muslims – that of course, if there is such a thing as an innocent Muslim.

1. Why the madness?

 

Sunday Football Talk

⊆ 11:10 AM by James Manning | ˜ 21 comments »

Update Monday: It was an outstanding weekend for football. My fantasy team killed. This is the first time I've played a league where the defensive players are just as important as the offensive ones. Generally, I would just pick a team defense and not individual players. I revamped my team and went from 55 point in week 1 to 111 points in week 2.

The Pigskin Challenge is fired up and my picks came through. The confidence points adds a little more to the game and as it stands now, I have 111 points with only 5 points on the line in tonight's game.

Arizona didn't pull off the upset but San Francisco did. I believe both teams are much better this year and are on the road to improvement. I thought about going with Buffalo but I chickened out. Miami needs some help.

The Giants, wow, what can I say about that. Philadelphia went to sleep in the 4th quarter. That was surprising. I don't expect that to happen again and look for Philly to smash from here on out.

We have six players in the Pigskin Challenge. I'll post the results of this past weekend on Friday. Happy football folks. Y'all have a great Monday, because I sure am.

GO BEARS!!!

Update:
It is a great weekend to be me. First, Michigan dogged Notre Dame and now the Bears kill the Lions.

------------------

It is 11:04 am, Los Angeles time and I am loving it. The Bears are killing the Lions. The passing game is looking good. The running game is looking good.

Around the league: The Colts and Bengals are doing what I expected but the Saints... well, they're just being the Saints.

Atlanta is smashing the Bucs as I expected.

Robert, what the hell is going on with your Panthers? The ar just not doing it for me in these first two games. I had to bench Steve Smith.

THE BEARS JUST SCORED AGAIN!!!!! YEEEEESSSS!!!!

 

Football Talk: Week 2

⊆ 9:05 AM by James Manning | ˜ 9 comments »

Welcome to Football Friday. There are some good games happening Sunday. Week 2 is always a hard one for picks because teams have yet to establish themselves. It isn’t until week 4 when you can feel confident with most of the picks.

With that said, let us look at the most compelling games for week 2 that are worthy of the DVR.

Seattle vs. Arizona: Seattle was a dog last week. Arizona looked as though they were ready for the playoffs. Seattle traded a draft pick for Deon Branch and now have one of the best receiving corps in the league. Arizona’s offensive looks as explosive as any in the league but the defense could use some upgrades.

Philadelphia vs. NY Giants: Both teams have playoff aspirations, as they should. McNabb is healthy and Manning has some experience under his belt. The only reason I’m going with Philly is because they are playing at home. Giants have what it takes to win; we will see if they can pull it off.

St. Louis vs. San Francisco: After watching the 49ers last week, I picked up Frank Gore (RB) for my fantasy team. I was also impressed with Alex Smith. The 49ers just might have something going good for them. They’ve at least graduated from being an automatic dog to dangerous.


OK, there it is. Of course I will watch the Bears smack the Lions around but I’ll keep my eyes open to what is going on around the league.

There are some great college football games on this weekend as well, most notably, USC vs. Nebraska, Michigan vs. Notre Dame, and LSU vs. Auburn. Head over the Dave Miller’s blog. He previews all of the college game and has his Top Ten selection.

The Pigskin Challenge




Ok, get your picks in folks. I have a league set up and you can join or you can enter your picks in the comment area. You can join by going: HERE

The name of the group number is 32256 - and the password is: dabears

Current Standings

1 Unstoppable Flow (Rell) 107
2 The Master (Me) 84
3 Outside the Box 75
4 Timmer the LieDowns Fan 71
5 Panthers Rule 62

Ok, have a good weekend of football.

Discussion Starters:

1. Talk about football
2. Open - talk about anything you want.

 

Black Conservatives: Their Destructive Constructs

⊆ 2:55 PM by James Manning | ˜ 15 comments »

I’m not shy about debating conservatives on any issue but I find it very difficult to debate with black (political) conservatives, especially those that insist on cooning for their white counterparts with regards to race. Yesterday I got into a discussion on the apology that Ghana issued to black Americans for their role in slavery. Personally, I think it is admirable, economically driven and unnecessary.

Rather than make this into a personal rant toward black (political) conservatives, whom I will refer to as BPC going forward, I’ll focus on the terminology of BPC’s.

Many BPC’s have adopted the “catch phrase” tactics of the right. Their dialogue also rests on creating stark philosophical divides, either/or analogies, and declarations of enlightenment.

Here is one of their tactics to creating a stark philosophical divide. They will first lament that black people suffer from a “victim mentality” and a “welfare mentality” propagated by so-called black leaders. They will then go on to suggest that those of us that do not agree with them are still living on the “plantation”.

Do black Democrats also march to the beat of the same drummer (i.e. white Southern Democrats) who had us going to the back of the bus and working on their plantations? Now they got blacks on another plantation...one that's more insidious and cunning... a socialistic, secular humanistic, depending on big white man government plantation. (source)

A black Democrat is a mere slave meandering through this political construct without the intellectual capacity to decipher our circumstances. Conversely, a black conservative is such because they have the intellectual capacity to decipher our circumstances. Simply put, non-thinking black people are liberals, thinking black people are conservatives.

This is the same philosophical construct that white conservatives make when they suggest that conservatives are patriotic and liberals are traitors.

The second issue is one of insignificant analogies. The most recent one came in the form of comparing the conditions of black people in America to black people in Africa. It was suggested that we should not complain about our condition here because at least it is not Africa.

I’ve heard too often white bigots state that if we don’t like it we can go back to Africa. BCP’s have claimed it as one of their mantra for the case against reparations, Affirmative Actions and any other social program they think will benefit black people.

In order to fully understand the BPC mindset you have to really read what they say about themselves and how they contrast their elitist intellectualism with blacks on the left.

We (black conservatives) seize opportunities whereas they (civil rights advocates and black nationalists) fear opportunities. We prepare for success but they resent it. We prefer for African Americans (Ed. note: Ugh!) to be winners; they encourage us to be losers….We reject victim status; those leaders encourage a victim status. We are independent thinkers who recognize the humanity of whites; they are slaves who believe whites and white racism to be omnipotent. Finally, we fight for intellectual, cultural, and political freedom; they fear this freedom and fight against it. Sherri Smith

I could easily pull this statement apart and invalidate every line but that is not my purpose of posting it. What this statement highlights is the indifference BPC’s have for black people. Truly, their cause is to support the undercurrent of angst that many white people have for black people.

This is how many white people view it:

STATEMENT A: Black Liberals: We have problems and it’s White people’s fault. Let’s demand they solve them.

Black Conservatives: We have problems and it’s nobody’s fault but our own, so let’s get busy and solve them.

---
STATEMENT B: You can actually tell a black conservative from a black liberal by listening to the tone of voice.
Black conservative-steady, calm, thoughtful use of words while expressing views.
Black liberal-sreaming, frenetic, ranting, hate filled use of words.(Julien Bond,Al Sharpton,Jesse “the baby maker” Jackson.)


----
STATEMENT C: In Short, Black conservatives believe that Blacks are NOT inherently inferior and that through Jesus Christ, hard work, family, church and community Black Americans can compete and be successful at whatever they desire. Whereas Black Liberals believe that Blacks are inherently inferior and need government intervention and dependence for survival.

----
STATEMENT D: But the underlying reason for white bias and for the disproportionate under-achievement of African Americans in school and at the workplace is black culture. The principal impediment to continued progress for African Americans and improved racial relations is no longer discrimination; it is black culture or, at least, the culture that pervades a great deal of the black community. (This statement will be the focal point of part II)


As always, one does has to allow for some sweeping generalizations but you can see very clearly how the lines are drawn and how stark they are. I’m going to stop here. I’ll present part II of this discussion next week as Friday is dedicated to football.

Chime In

1. Where do you see the difference between black liberals and black conservatives?


2. What is your opinion of statement D?


3. How does this current debate between liberal and conservative blacks compare with the debate between Booker T Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois?