Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Al Franken

It happens every so often. I go through my daily round of life, reading the news online, following the idiocy that is the news cycle of the MSM. Sometimes I have a nagging feeling that there is a piece of business left undone and the question hits me yet again: Has Al Franken won the election yet?

It's June, 2009. Election season has been over. Well, technically it's never over, but really, the song has been sung - it was At Last, sung by Beyonce, engendering Etta James' wrath. The confetti and plastic american flags have long been swept away by winds or garbage men. Obama's 100th day in office has come & gone.

Yet Al Franken remains, even today, on the outskirts as the only Senatorial candidate who it has been determined won his election, yet still remains....well, a candidate.

Here are the facts.
  • The 2008 Senatorial Election in Minnesota had two candidates: incumbent Norman Coleman and his challenger, the popular comedian & political pundit Al Franken.
  • The race was very close - to close to call and at first it seemed Coleman won. But Coleman's margin was so small that by state law Franken was entitled to a recount.
  • Coleman had the audacity to ask Franken to waive his right to a recount and concede the election. Franken said, thanks but no thanks, we'll take the recount.
  • The recount took place, this time including absentee ballots. Franken was determined the winner.
  • The Coleman took Franken to court. There was another recount. Franken was determined the winner. The panel of three judges dismissed Coleman's suit "finding that his claims had no merit".
  • Coleman has appealed to the Minnesota supreme court where it's fairly likely, they stand to lose.
At this point, you would think, that's it and that's all. But much like Dick Cheney refusing to sit down and shut up about ANYTHING lately the Republicans do not know when to quit. Their plan is two fold:
-Keep Franken in court long enough that he runs out of money to fight the legal battle. The Republicans will keep using their corporate & big oil folks to help their guy Coleman

-Keep Franken in court long enough to delay him being seated as long as possible, preferrably well into the next Senate term, so the Democracts, by sheer numbers, will be firmly in charge of the Senate - leaving the Republicans literally token protesters without even the power to fillibuster

So, Al Franken has asked people to donate to his campaign/ recount fund, any amount will do, but if you can, $58 in honor of his recenth 58th birthday For the second time in my life - I actually donated to a political campaign. Last time it was time. This is the first time I've ever donated actual cash.

I've been meaning to for sometime now but somehow I never got around to it. Until I read this headline today: Republicans Ready to Take Franken to Supreme Court.

It's pitiful that the Republican party is sacrificing the representation of the state of Minnesota for their own meager interests. Pitiful that they can never seem to do what is in the best of the American people instead of pursuing their neverending quest for power and continued corruption.

When will it end?

I'm sure Al Franken would like to know.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Excuse me....

Please allow me to interrupt my regularly scheduled rant about white folks (the unenlightened, the bigoted, the hell, you know who I mean....all well meaning, decent acting white folks, this doesn't mean you)....

So, yet again....please allow me to interrupt my regularly scheduled rant about white folks to take a word out and say something about my people.

Why are we, as a group, so pitifully rude? To society in general and particularly to each other.

There is an open computer area where I attend school. Granted it's an open area, but it's still a public area. Many a day I try to sit and study or merely surf the internet but I'm constantly disturbed by people playing music or watching YouTube without headphones. One day a young lady was loudly singing along with the music videos she was watching.

So....I turned up the music and started singing loudly...country music....Toby Keith, I Ain't as Good as I Once Was....loud and strong. Some other people got the point. They started smiling at each surreptitiously, glad someone had entered the fray. Well she stopped singing...but only as long as it took me to sing my song...then she started up again. Oh and did I mention that between verses of her R&B favorites, we were also treated to a loud conversation about her sex life and her speculation as to whether her next date was a virgin or no?

I finally left her a note.:
Dear Sista,

No one needs to be all in your business like that. You are loud & you are rude. Don't take it personal. Have a nice day.

I signed it with a smiley face = )
But today, I'm back in the open area. And I sit down and the guy next to me is blasting music. So I hand him the unopened pack of headphones I bought day before yesterday as my previous pair met an untimely end by a cycle through both my washer and dryer. He looks at me and my meaning is clear but he hands them back to me.

"I don't want to take your headphones."

"My brother, consider this a gift from me to you."

"I can't take them from you though."

"I would rather give you this gift then allow you to persist in rudeness."

"Well if I was bothering anybody, somebody would have said something."
Seriously? Does the average human being have to be TOLD that we are being rude to understand that our behaviors are rude? Hell no. We ignore the social clues that tell us our behavior is inappropriate and persist in rudeness as if it were our right....and even worse, we dare anyone with our continued rudeness to address us about it.

Well he returned the headphones. And he eventually left.

And I repeated this performance with another young woman about 15 minutes after he left. And Another young man not 15 seconds ago. That young man actually left with the headphones. Maybe he'll use them next time. I can only hope.

It's really not that difficult is it? To be polite. And to speak up when others are infringing on your right to simply be.

The reason I'm addressing this to black folks is because, although I've been at school for at entire year, I have yet to see any white folks of any age do this. Every instance of this has been a black person and NOT just young people - although I would say the majority have been below the age of 25 and definitely just may not get it - or may not have thought it a big deal.

But the people my age and older - obviously old enough to be parents and such, I must ask: Is this the best example we can set?

What every day rudeness do you come across and how do you address it, if at all? I'm afraid I've given up on smokers in doorways - particularly those who stand directly in front of no-smoking signs puffing away like chimneys. Now that's a societal infraction I have found among those of every race, color & creed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Everyday People

Sometimes...it's not the superstars or the rich and powerful who amaze us. It's the quiet, determined strength of Everyday People - people who refuse to quit, never give up and always, always look for the silver lining.

Meet the Bedgood Family
: Dad Brent, Mom Christie and the kids - Arianna, Poetrie & baby Parker. You cannot fail to be moved by their story and their fight to save Arianna's hearing.

From their blog:
Arriana is a talented, hearing impaired, 15 year old Dance Major with the goal of getting a Cochlear Implant this summer. Our family has just learned that the little hearing she does have, is deteriorating quickly – Ari will become deaf. A Cochlear Implant would give her a second chance... Our hope is to raise funds to help cover our family's out of pocket expenses. Any donation, no matter what the size, makes a difference. Thank you for your support! And, welcome to our journey...
Ye Old Matey has worked with Brent for the past five years. The Bedgoods are a wonderful family and their story is and incredible one of love, caring, support and making the best out of grief and sadness. Please read the blog - and make a donation. It really couldn't happen to a nicer girl.