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A Mostly Center-Right Place For Those With Irritable Obama Syndrome and Diversity Fatigue

End of the Sidewalk: The Right Response to Universal Health Care April 26, 2009

"TB in Harlem"  by Alice Neel

"TB in Harlem" by Alice Neel

There is nothing subtle about my father.
By temperament, he is inclined to strong opinions and prejudices.
He did not attend college like I did.
He has been in jail.
Before my mother passed away, he had not seen her since she was pregnant with me.
Our five year relationship illustrates the best in each of us–one of I approach with a mix of discovery and suspicion.

One night after a nice dinner, decent conversation, and his doing his laundry at my apartment, dad was putting on his jacket to go home. He looked at me and did not want to smile. I knew why. Decades ago he had lost his front teeth in a prison brawl. He is deeply self conscious about it. He coughed a little which reminded me that I forgot to arm him with aluminum foiled left overs from our dinner. Didn’t want him to go home empty-handed. Grabbing a dishtowel, I turned to the stove to grab the roast when he softly asked.

Do you have any antibiotics you can loan me? “

Ironically I was recovering from a cold myself. I had not gone to the doctor for it. Like most of my colds, I treated it with rest, lemon tea and Benedryl. I knew that there were no antibiotics in my house. I paused a long time over his question. I was also a bit distressed that he would think I would share my prescription drugs with him even if I had them. Rather than saving myself the effort, I made a futile trip to my medicine cabinet. It was unsurprising to see that it was devoid of antibiotics. There was Prilosec, Zantac, anxiety medication, Imodium, Pepto, Aspercream, and Motrin for me…Insulin for my diabetic cat accompanied by needles, steroids and glucosimine for my dog that I put down in March (I really need to get rid of that stuff).

Also in the cabinet was an empty old prescription bottle which had my mother’s name on it.

It was for Atenolol. Medication that is prescribed for hypertension, the silent murderer of my mother.

Guilty feelings came back. Afrocity you should have tried harder to get her to see that she had a problem. You should have been there. She died alone, no one knew for days. I closed the cabinet and sarcasm became my escape route as I attempted to recompose myself.


“No Dad. No antibiotics. I can’t help you unless you want to shoot up with pig insulin, and get rid of hairballs.” I said dryly. (AWKWARD)

He laughed at my sense of humor but I was not as amused.

At 62 this was no laughing matter for him. How did he let things get this way? My animals have more medicine than he does. He has a nice apartment, a car, but no health insurance. He works but it is only small odd jobs here and there- nothing steady. He receives social security benefits but no medical card.

Mean spirited conservative that I am, I told him that his health was his responsibility. Together we would work on getting him to a doctor if he ever needed one. With his leftovers packed in a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping bag I walked him to the elevator. We rode down together saying nothing. Sundays are not good for me because they remind me of my mother. Seeing that pill bottle was the last thing I needed. At the time of her death it seemed like a nice souvenir. Her name was on it. She had existed once and seeing her name in print proved it. For the same reason, I continue to have her catalog subscription forwarded to me. Sometimes I even buy something to make sure they will remain in my circle of junk mail . Somewhere in Burlington, Vermont my mom is alive in a database. She bought breast firming cream just last week.

The elevator went to the lobby, it was cold and rainy but I still walked down the sidewalk with him to his car. We hugged and then I said something mean and stupid.

“I don’t need to lose another person in my life. I can’t handle it. I don’t need to get another call in the middle of the night from a stranger telling me my parent is dead. I don’t need that.”

He just nodded “I know”.

“She died at 68. That is six years from 62.” I warned as I backed away from the car. Now I was sounding like my parent’s parent AGAIN. Been there done that. Been there FAILED at that. The sidewalk ended time for me to go back inside of myself.


Honestly I can not tell you how I feel about universal health care. I am undecided. Why can’t I put him on my insurance if I want to? See I want to take care of him. I don’t want the government to do it. There is no tension between the former Democrat I once was and the conservative I am now. I was not in favor of socialized medicine then. See told you I was a DINO.

The Health Care Debate Is Centuries Long

The Health Care Debate Is Centuries Long

On Friday Charles Krauthammer warned us to expect health care rationing in this Atlantic Journal-Constitution article:

Expect health care rationing

By Charles Krauthammer

Washington Post Writers Group

Friday, April 24, 2009

In the service of his ultimate mission —- the leveling of social inequalities —- President Obama offers a tripartite social democratic agenda: nationalized health care, federalized education (ultimately guaranteed through college) and a cash-cow carbon tax (or its equivalent) to subsidize the other two.

Problem is, the math doesn’t add up. Not even a carbon tax would pay for Obama’s vastly expanded welfare state. Nor will Midwestern Democrats stand for a tax that would devastate their already crumbling region…

It is estimated that a third to a half of one’s lifetime health costs are consumed in the last six months of life. Accordingly, Britain’s National Health Service can deny treatments it deems not cost-effective —- and if you’re old and infirm, the cost-effectiveness of treating you plummets. In Canada, they ration by queuing. You can wait forever for so-called elective procedures like hip replacements.

Rationing is not as alien to America as we think. We already ration kidneys and hearts for transplant according to survivability criteria as well as by queuing. A nationalized health insurance system would ration everything from MRIs to intensive care by a myriad of similar criteria.

The more acute thinkers on the left can see rationing coming, provoking Slate blogger Mickey Kaus to warn of the political danger. “Isn’t it an epic mistake to try to sell Democratic health care reform on this basis? Possible sales pitch: ‘Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!’ “

My preference is for a highly competitive, privatized health insurance system with a government-subsidized transition to portability, breaking the absurd and ruinous link between health insurance and employment. But if you believe that health care is a public good to be guaranteed by the state, then a single-payer system is next best. Unfortunately, it is fiscally unsustainable without rationing.

I agree with many of Krauthammer’s points having always found him to be levelheaded on mostly everything but especially health care reform. I am not looking to save the world. I just want to help my father help himself. Until then I will remember to guilt my doctor into giving me prescriptions for antibiotics and resign myself to being a political orphan on this issue.

Autographed Letter Signed,



Don’t Forget About Sundae School!!! Obama Ice Cream Flavor Contest April 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 10:37 PM
Wayne Thiebaud Girl with Ice Cream Cone 1963

Wayne Thiebaud Girl with Ice Cream Cone 1963

Hello everybody don’t forgot that the deadline for the Name that Obama Ice Cream Flavor Contest is fast approaching.

The winner will receive a $30 gift card to Cold Stone Creamery or The Marble Slab!!!

Contest ends April 30, 2009

In January 2009 Ben&Jerry Ice Cream announced a new flavor. Yes Pecan!!!! The Unofficial Obama (aka pampers) Ice Cream. Now it is your chance to name an ice cream flavor after Barack Obama or his inner circle of Obamabots.


BOLDNBALD: Arugulably Delicious–Arugula flavored ice cream with dark and white chocolate chips served, of course, in a waffle cone with honey dribble over the top. No nuts, since he doesn’t have any.

CHATBLU:1.“Blue Chips Frapped”: A scintillating blend of vanilla with shredded bit of blue chip stock certificates swirled for a deeply blue experience.
2.“Bitter Brickle” A bitter chocolate base with chips of hard feelings throughout.
3. Butterscotch Bonus” with twenty million bits of butterscotch that appear after you have consumed or destroyed your cone?
GARYCHAPELHILL: Can’t I just eat my vanilla in a waffle cone in peace?”
MANBEARPIG68: 1. L-Ayers Cake” For the domestic terrorist in you. Especially wrapped in fragments of an American flag that has been stomped on.Guaranteed to be –DA BOMB After eating it you will say “We didn’t do enough”
DAVIDM:Rock Road To Recovery.
MADAMAB:“Post-Partisan Paradise?” A blended harmony of vanilla and chocolate, flavors which used to strive for domination, but which now work together sweetly and joyously thanks to the unifying presence of Our Dear Leader!
VALORIE:How about “Commiesalatte”-A cappucino flavored ice cream with cigar shaped marshmallows and ribbons of the finest Venezuelan dark chocolate syrup running throughout. In honor of Obama’s latest BFF’s, of course.



Obama 2008


Putting Out the Obamabutts: Is the Right To Smoke Constitutional?

Josephine Baker in a vintage smoking ad

Josephine Baker in a vintage smoking ad

Many of us have tried smoking at least once. As I write this I can recall my first time smoking and it was also my last. I was twelve years old and in science class at a Chicago Public School on the West side. My friend came to me and flashed four cigarettes. “They are Virginia Slims” she said. “We can smoke them after school.”

Ah, Virginia Slims. I loved their proactive girl power advertisements which had a tremendous influence on my attitudes towards smoking. “YOU’ VE COME A LONG WAY BABY”. The ads made me want to smoke. Smoking carried essences of gender identity. My entry into the smoking culture was synonymous wuth being a feminist. I would be a bitch ass feminist in sexy clothes- a nonconformist, carefree, trail blazer. A woman’s role is to query, survive, and smoke!!!

That entire afternoon, I impatiently twitched at my school desk waiting for 3PM to arrive. When it did my gal pals and I walked several blocks from campus to an abandoned building. No one would see us here except for the dope fiends that lived there. I took my Viginia Slim and lit up. Okay, I did not feel like a woman. It was awkward holding it between my fingers.
“Why are they so skinny?” I asked.

My friends laughed. “They are for girls that is why they are called slims.” They mocked me by rolling their eyes. Clearly they were having a better time than I. I began to cough

PSA Anti-Smoking Campaign Ad

PSA Anti-Smoking Campaign Ad

“It stinks” I said, taking it out of my mouth and throwing it down. Maybe I would like it some other time.
“You’re not even finished! You wasted it!” My friend was mad.
She was always ahead of me in every respect when it came to being what we thought at the time was a woman. She lost her virginity at nine, got her first period at ten. I was nearly thirteen and had experienced none of those things. “Sorry” I said. “I need to go home”

At home I was a total basket case and told my mother everything. She said I smelled like smoke and she had this premonition that I was up to “no good”. As usual she harassed me for being friends with “that girl”. Mother was not a smoker but her son was. She regretted ever letting him start and was obviously disappointed in me.

I promised never to do it again. I didn’t want to. Maybe I would try to be a woman by drinking Smirnoff (They had sexy ads with women in them also). I would never pick up another cigarette again.

I was living in New York City when the laws were passed banning smoking in public places. Gone were the days of a maître d’ asking “Smoking or Nonsmoking?”

I won’t lie to my readers. I was glad. The smell of cigarette smoke annoys me.

I would never think of cigarettes again until I moved into an apartment building filled with upwardly mobile gen-Xers. I walked off the elevator one night only to be accosted by one of my neighbors.

“Are you the one on the floor that smokes?” he asked.

“No.” I said. He looked pissed off-like veins popping from your forehead pissed off.
“Someone on this floor is smoking and I intend to put an end to it”

“I don’t think you can” I said. “There are no condo association rules saying that you cannot smoke in your apartment. It is their apartment”
My neighbor stomped off. What later ensued was a battle of fluorescent post it notes stuck on the door of the butt in question. The smokers ended up putting an electronic Glade air freshener in the hallway which unfortunately violated fire codes. They ended up moving four months later. Judging from my neighbor’s good mood, the exodus of the smokers was mentally satisfying.

I could not help but feel that the entire incident was blown out of proportion. You have the right to do what you want in the confines of your own home…Right?

The federal government is cracking down on smokers by raising taxes on cigarettes. That makes it pretty damn hard to smoke given the current economic crisis. Still cigarette sales have only dropped 25%. Though it is ironic that the smokers are indulging in an unhealthy habit and the government is collecting taxes from it to fund child healthcare.

Much has been made of President Obama’s urge to light up. Recently he was contacted by an Illinois man, a Democrat who worried about Obama’s health because he had lost his father to lung cancer.

Vintage Ad For Murad Cigarettes

Vintage Ad For Murad Cigarettes

Chicago Tribune
April 21, 2009

It’s been 30 years since his dad died, and Michael Powers still misses him.
That’s why he wrote to President Obama urging him not to smoke so he could be there for his daughters…
Powers told Obama his dad, Benjamin, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day –and later died of lung, throat and bone cancer.
He enclosed a photo of his dad. It was returned in a sealed plastic bag with Obama’s reply, he said.

President Obama's Personal Handwritten Response To Michael Powers

President Obama's Personal Hand Written Response To Michael Powers

Isn’t Obama’s smoking habit his business? As an archivist, I admit that I do cringe at the thought of Obama smoking in the White House. Former President Bill Clinton was the first to officially ban smoking in the White house. What if Obama decided to allow it again?
Afrocity is grappling here. I want to be fair.


Anyone who examines the history of smoking will see that it is a hot button issue which creates social and political tensions. My love for the constitution and protection of individual rights sends red flags when I am confronted with various news on anti-tobacco legislation. My primary fear is that the anti-smoking culture is restricting liberty and is in need of an exercise in the reality of free will and the freedom to choose. In our quest to create a smoke free environment are we sacrificing the rights of the individual?
Beneath the veneer of concern for the public good are anti-smoking activists going to far.
Take this story in the Boston Globe for example. Now landlords can advertise “smoke free apartment buildings”.


Boston Globe
Landlords lead push to ban smoking at home
By Stephen Smith
Globe Staff / April 24, 2009

When apartment dwellers in Belmont, Calif., complained about cigarette fumes from down the hall, the City Council sprang into action on their behalf, outlawing smoking in apartments and condos and threatening to ticket violators.
When tobacco-control activists in Massachusetts embraced the same cause, they made a tactical decision that seemed surprisingly meek in a state long recognized for its prohibitions against harmful habits: They rejected the idea of governmental regulation.
It was one thing, they figured, for lawmakers to banish smoking from restaurants and bars. It was something else entirely to deploy city or state laws to prevent apartment tenants and condo owners from smoking in their own homes.
So, instead, they are leaving it to market forces, convinced that the supply side – landlords – will listen to the demand side – nonsmoking tenants – and adopt smoke-free rules.
It appears to be working.
“Now renting! Smoke-free apartment living” trumpets a banner billowing from a blocklong apartment house rising in the shadow of TD Banknorth Garden

It appears that Boston apartment dwellers are embracing this. My only question is what are the consequences? We are building these regulations on the foundation of public health and atop sentiments of disgust for all things tobacco ,but is it constitutional?

Stephen Helfer, who has fought on behalf of smokers’ rights for years, said there is nothing subtle about efforts that he argues will further marginalize the poor and the mentally ill, who smoke at rates higher than the state average.
“I think they’re trying to almost blackmail landlords into doing this,” said Helfer, who lives in a Cambridge condo where smoking is allowed. “The reason they are not trying to regulate it is because they feel they don’t have the political will right now. But make no mistake: They’re going after us in our homes.”
In many respects, the home represents the final frontier of tobacco control.

Is the right to smoke conceptually related to our civil liberties? The liberals seem to be the forerunners in the anti-smoking campaigns. Cigarettes are now over $9 in some areas. Please do not misunderstand. Yours truly, Afrocity is neither a smoker nor am I advocating smoking. I just know from experience that when it comes to the Democrats, raising taxes is habit forming and dangerous to our health. The same goes for restriction of our freedoms.



Autographed Letter Signed,



Diversity Fatigue Friday: “Meet The Press” Suffering From MicroDiversity April 24, 2009


For the past decade I have watched Sunday morning political commentary shows such as Meet The Press and George Stephanopoulos. I can’t say it has been enjoyable because I am usually yelling at the screen but nevertheless, I watch to hear realistic dialogue about current events.
I can say with certainty that I have never, never, EVER looked at the guests on Meet The Press and thought “Gee, there are never any black people on this show”

Apparently for one person’s narrative, there is always a counter narrative as I learned from visiting Black

Sunday Morning Talk Shows Showcasing More Blacks

AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — During a “Meet the Press” round-table earlier this month, NBC’s David Gregory turned to Rutgers University economist William Rodgers for an assessment of President Barack Obama’s overseas trip. Rodgers said he’d give the president a grade of either A-minus or B-plus.

There was nothing remarkable about the discussion. Yet Rodgers’ presence, his first time on “Meet the Press,” illustrated a quiet effort at improving diversity on the Sunday morning political talk shows.

Rodgers’ appearance marked one of 40 times a black American had been on one of the four broadcast shows this year, through April 12. During the same period two years ago, there were 25 appearances.

Gee one of 40 times…I can’t say that I have noticed. I was too busy grinding my teeth over the Obama bullshit that was coming from most of their mouths…with the exception of RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Because honestly if it was Donna Brazille, I know did not see race. I saw an Obama supporting disgrace and responded most vehemently by pushing the mute button. So No, I never noticed the skin color of guests on the show. Do African Americans honestly resent Meet the Press for not “showcasing” enough people of color? How many Asians have been on the show? Latinos? Women? Gay or Lesbian? Little People?

Meet The Press Hold Your Racist Head Down In Shame

Meet The Press Hold Your Racist Head Down In Shame

Even at a time the United States has elected a black president, these things are noticed. Michele Norris, host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” said she hears some “attagirls” on the street after she’s been on a Sunday morning round-table. Ian Cameron, executive producer of ABC’s “This Week,” gets e-mails from the public about diversity.

The National Urban League Policy Institute was critical of the programs in a report issued four years ago that it called “Sunday Morning Apartheid.”

There is nothing more galling than having white people sitting around talking about black people, and that is often what happens during these shows,” said Richard Prince, who writes regularly on diversity for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Cameron said he first became conscious of the issue while working at a Canadian television network in 1989 and a Toronto Star columnist mocked a program for being little more than “three white guys talking about the economy.”

Ahem, aren’t those statements in bold racist??? Are there really white people who sit around and talk about black people on those shows? Currently, the color that is the topic of discussion is GREEN- as in the economy or the environment. There is that minor foreign incident in Israel. Hamas? Pirates…

Given that the article was already stressing me out enough, I was stricken with diversity fatigue by the time I reached the part where the interviewee attempted to justify that the call for more blacks on the TV shows was not analogous to implementing racial quotas.

“Two of the 40 appearances were by Obama himself, on “This Week” in January and CBS’ “Face the Nation” in March. “Fox News Sunday” had the greatest frequency of appearances by blacks, primarily because Juan Williams is a regular panelist. Norris made three appearances on “Meet the Press” during that time, according to figures compiled for The Associated Press by Media Matters for America.

More familiar faces included Gwen Ifill of PBS, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Bill Cosby. “

These are all liberals by the way, but who’s counting?

“It’s not about numbers,” she said. “It’s not about quotas. It’s not about window-dressing. It’s about the broadcast that you produce and are you doing the kind of journalism that is truly representative? Are you asking the right questions?”

Prince said he noticed the programs are making progress.

Still, improvement in this area may overshadow work needed in others.

Media Matters also measured the number of Latino guests or panelists on “Meet the Press,” “This Week,” “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday” this year for the same period.

The count?


Hmmm, I thought you were not keeping quotas???. This Sunday, I will keep an eye out for more people of color. The news and commentary is a tinker’s dam. My duty under the new hopenchange mantra of Obama is to keep a running tally of the African Americans that appear on the show. It will make me sleep better at night knowing that I am being represented by Donna Brazille and Maxine Waters (grab wastebasket, stick face in and barf)

This really is a new era of that heralds the end of racism…Yeah right.


Autographed Letter Signed,



It’s Friday!!! What’s in Your Wallet???

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 8:52 AM
Tags: , ,

Friday is here! The end of the week. Payday for many Americans!!!! What’s in YOUR WALLET?

George Washington, our nation's first president and leader of the American Revolution!

George Washington, our nation's first president and leader of the American Revolution!

Abe Lincoln, our most honorable leader pull our nation through its darkest time!

Abe Lincoln, our most honorable leader pull our nation through its darkest time!

Alexander Hamilton, founding father, first secretary of the treasure and leader of the constitutional convention!

Alexander Hamilton, founding father, first secretary of the treasure and leader of the constitutional convention!

Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory " fought the British in New Orleans !

Andrew Jackson

Ulysses Grant, Union army general, lead the North through the Civil War!

Ulysses Grant, Union army general, lead the North through the Civil War!

Ben Franklin, Genius inventor, political theorist and leading author of the constitution.

Ben Franklin, Genius inventor, political theorist and leading author of the constitution.

Barack Obama Greatest Wealth Redistributor of Our Time

Barack Obama Greatest Wealth Redistributor of Our Time


For Soros So Loved the World that He Gave His Only Inexperienced Son

Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy — afrocity @ 8:24 AM
Tags: ,


The more the general public is educated about the failings of our president, the better. The Obama administration and its minions have obviously declared its aim to be be suppression of dissent hence we are in a culture that is obsessed with the rock star Obama. It is no surprise that we are offered remarkably little in the way criticism of our Dear Leader. Blissful ignorance is the atmosphere and spirit that we are beginning to embrace. When it comes to out president behavior which would have once been thought of as inexperience is becoming the acceptable standard. More problematic is how the Obamacrats have become willing and uncompensated partners in crime with the liberal media. The outward opposition to Kool Aid dispensed conformity is shown primarily through the lens of vigilant conservatives who are marginalized by the left as “radical right wing attacks”. But remember logic has no function with these guys.


Last night, I was reading an article from Town that should get more attention as proof of Barack Obama’s lack of experience:

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Michael Barone :: Columnist
Obama Lets Congress — and Lobbyists — Do the Work

Barack Obama spelled out his positions on the issues during the campaign, but is letting members of Congress do almost all the heavy lifting now that he’s in office.

Thus the $787 billion stimulus package was largely written by members of the Appropriations committees, with concessions made to the three Republicans whose votes were needed in the Senate. Health care bills are now being fleshed out by Chairman Max Baucus and ranking Republican Charles E. Grassley in the Senate Finance Committee, and by Democratic committee chairmen in the House. The administration has proposed cap-and-trade legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions, but the sole working draft made public has come from House committee chairmen Henry A. Waxman and Edward J. Markey.

For those who remember Obama’s promise to be a transformative leader, it comes as a surprise to see such deference to Congress. Obama insiders explain that when Hillary Clinton tried to draft a health care bill without input from Congress, the project crashed and burned.

Obamabot: Now don’t you think Michael Barone is being a little hard on Dear Leader? Obama was a senator so he must possess some knowledge of authoring a piece of legislation. Right?

One might add that Obama never acquired much legislative expertise in his three years and 10 months as a senator, most of which he spent campaigning for president. Better, perhaps, to leave it to Congress, where Democratic senators have considerable experience legislating and the relevant House committees are led by experienced and unusually competent chairmen.

Obamabot: Okay, so what? Congress is more than capable of taking care of those things

….Barone continues by analyzing the consequences of previous men in the oval office who passed the buck to Congress. He concluded by stating that this was NOT the change that we expected from President Obama.

In the meantime, we are presented with a scene that would have delighted Mark Twain. A president who campaigned for office promising to banish lobbyists from his midst has left it in the hands of Congress to work out all the details of complex legislation that would have enormous effects on economic activities of all sorts. The entirely predictable result is a profusion of lobbyists such as Washington has never seen. Quite an accomplishment for the candidate who promised hope and change.

Obamabot: (has Ipod on playing REM’s Shining Happy People)

Secretary of State Meets w/ Obama in his Fav Spot

Secretary of State Meets w/ Obama in his Fav Spot


Autographed Letter Signed,



A Legacy Fit for the Kings April 23, 2009

MLK Comic Book: Published by The Fellowship of the Reconciliation 1956

MLK Comic Book: Published by The Fellowship of the Reconciliation 1956

(Continuing on an earlier theme from today)

There is no denying that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is an iconic figure in American history. He was a preacher, a father, an author but it is his contributions towards the advancement of African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement are considered the pinnacle of his legacy. This has been affirmed by a recent project by the the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation to create a King memorial on Washington’s Mall. A great honor indeed. It leads me to speculate for instance how Dr. King’s accomplishments may have been remembered had tragedy not interfered that
day on the balcony of a Memphis motel. How different would the lives of his children be? Would they have continued to live by his principles and philosophies? It is a well known fact that in his teachings Dr. King did not advocate being “owed” something because of the color of our skin, gender, or legacy. Having said that, it is unfortunate that his remaining children place great emphasis on the fact that America owes it to them to be as monetarily generous as possible when the public and donors permit.

Cartoon by  Robert Ariail

Cartoon by Robert Ariail

Los Angeles Times
Cashing in on Martin Luther King Jr.
The civil rights leader’s family is shamelessly selling his legacy.
By Jonathan Turley
April 22, 2009

The King family has long been criticized for insisting on payment for the use of their father’s name, image, speeches and virtually anything that they can claim for themselves or their foundation. The family reached a new low this week when it was revealed that they had been paid more than $800,000 by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation for the use of King’s image and words on the planned King memorial on Washington’s Mall.

In the latest monumental shakedown, the King family’s Intellectual Properties Management Inc. was paid $761,160 by the nonprofit foundation raising money for the Washington memorial. This was on top of a “management” fee of $71,700 paid in 2003. The Kings have defended the payments by noting that donations to the foundation have been down because people were giving to the monument fund instead. The other possibility is that fewer people want to give to a foundation run by the King family.

Few people familiar with the family are shocked by their demands. What is shocking is the failure of the memorial foundation to call their bluff and simply stop work on the memorial. Foundation officials should have publicly announced the payment so that donors could think seriously about whether they want to contribute to such an outrageous arrangement. Instead, officials waited for the Associated Press to force the disclosure. Donors have complained that they were never told of the arrangement.

Congress, which has already given $10 million for the project, should have conditioned public support on a waiver of such claims, and should now demand repayment for the amount given to the King Center. Former presidents waive their property claims over presidential material when they are honored with free libraries; it seems only right that the King family waive rights to famous speeches such as “I Have a Dream” as a precondition for this honor.

King himself was so opposed to appearing to profit from his work that when he won the 1968 Nobel Peace Prize, he gave the proceeds to charity. The insistence on payment for the use of the “I Have a Dream” speech is a particular outrage. King gave that speech to a nation — and a nation responded by rallying to his cause of public service and justice.

How do you feel? Should the Kings make a sizable profit from their father’s memorial? How do families in similar situations handle this? For instance the Kennedys or the Shabazz family (Malcolm X).

There is also much feuding among the King family.

The surviving children of King have been feuding in court since July, when daughter Bernice and son Martin Luther King III filed a lawsuit against their brother, Dexter, chief executive of the family corporation, King Inc., accusing him of misusing funds. He counter sued, saying they had obstructed the goals of the King Center. The siblings’ most recent battle involved a $1.4-million book deal with New York publisher Penguin Group for a ghostwritten memoir of Coretta Scott King. Dexter King went to court to compel his siblings to turn over photographs and personal papers for the project. The siblings resisted, saying that their mother had decided before her death that she no longer wanted author Barbara Reynolds to do the book.

“Nobody has the monopoly on Martin and Coretta Scott King,” Bernice King told the Associated Press in an interview. “This is ours, and it should be governed that way.” When she says “ours,” she is not referring to the nation. Indeed, the only thing the three living King offspring seem able to agree on is that anyone wanting to further their father’s legacy should pay for the privilege.

While I feel it is wonderful that Dr. King will finally have a memorial on Washington’s Mall- the highest accolade and proof of paramountcy to American history that our country can bestow, it is disconcerting that the man who committed himself to self-reliance has left a familial legacy who persists in their belief that he is still their sole means of support.


Autographed Letter Signed,



Eliminating the Negatives of Affirmative Action


I have never been quiet about voicing my deep dissatisfaction with anti discrimination efforts such as affirmative action. I am proud to say that I have never accepted a scholarship or accolade that was based upon my being a woman of color. Affirmative action is a racist practice that in a curious historical twist has become a badge of tolerance and diversity.

After the tragic race baiting campaigns of the 2008 presidential election, the news that the United States Supreme Court is hearing a case, Ricci v. DeStefano on reverse discrimination should not come as a shock. Throughout history affirmative action’s appeal lies in its claim to be anti-racist. Please do not misunderstand, it is an admirable concept. I only believe that it ironically achieves it’s racist goal under the cover of diversity.

I am not totally against affirmative action and I will grudgingly admit that many of the arguments for affirmative action are plausible and in some cases sound such as those that demand upon the elimination of segregation. However as a long time skeptic of affirmative action, this blogger raises a glass to the case that is before the Supreme Court; a case that is said to have again waved red flags concerning the constitutionality of affirmative action practices.

From the Wall Street Journal:

APRIL 23, 2009
High Court Weighs Bias in Firefighters’ Test.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared divided as it heard arguments over whether a Connecticut city engaged in racial discrimination or was fighting it when officials rejected a fire-department employment test because no blacks passed
Only whites and one Hispanic qualified for promotion to lieutenant and captain in the New Haven Fire Department. After the civil service board refused to certify the promotions and directed that all applicants take a different test, firefighters who had passed sued, alleging racial discrimination.
The city defended its action, arguing in part that certifying a test failed by nearly all minorities could expose it to a discrimination lawsuit by black and Hispanic applicants.
Gregory Coleman, the lawyer representing the white firefighters, said the city’s decision diminished his clients’”individual dignity” and promoted “regrettable and socially destructive racial politics.”

Justice David Souter said New Haven faced “a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.”

Lower courts sided with the city. The case offered the Supreme Court the opportunity to expand its review of antidiscrimination efforts, an issue that Chief Justice John Roberts addressed in a 2007 opinion striking down school-desegregation plans that local school boards adopted voluntarily. The 5-4 decision said systems that base student assignments partially on race are unconstitutional.

I think we should pay particular attention to the city’s decision to reject the results of the original employment test noting from the article: “when officials rejected a fire-department employment test because no blacks passed.”

This case while interesting in and of itself takes on an added significance when considered that it is a warm up for subsequent “reverse racial discrimination cases. Despite the election of our first African American president and the media imposed climate of CHANGE created by the illusion that racism is now somehow dead because we have a black dude in the White House.

The framework of affirmative action remains racist. In my opinion the practice is opaque and ridden with inconsistencies. It does not deliver an outcome that would be acceptable by Martin Luther King.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The court will not deliver a decision until July. Meanwhile those managers that make hiring and admissions decisions who are unsure of the legality of affirmative action programs in their organizations should definitely revisit such practices and look to the court’s decision for guidance.

I would like to concluded this post by adding a personal anecdote.

My criticism of affirmative action rises from someone who has experience the negative consequences much more so than the positive. There is nothing flattering about the assumption of your colleagues believing that you received advances in your profession solely because of your skin color. I am living proof that here is little doubt that affirmative action reinforces the belief that minorities are not capable or qualified. When I stand and condemn affirmative action as an African American, many of my racial peers are shocked. However, the basis for my rejection of the practice rests upon my faith in us as not only African Americans but rather Americans who are intelligent and capable human beings.


Autographed Letter Signed,



Open Thread April 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 10:22 PM

I have cross posted my earlier Sarah Palin post at THE CONFLUENCE: You can catch me over there.

Afrocity Warhol Style

Afrocity Warhol Style



HAPPY EARTH DAY: A Special Message From Our Favorite Liberal Pals!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 1:38 PM
From The American Thinker. Image by Irony Curtain of

From The American Thinker. Image by Irony Curtain of



Just Say No To Astroturf

Just Say No To Astroturf



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