February 29, 2008

How To Canvass For Obama: Toolkit, Arguments & Anecdotes

The best way to end the Democratic primary on Tuesday is to ensure that Obama wins Ohio and Texas. Those of us that are Obama supporters need to do more than cheer the television set when we watch a victory speech or a debate. We need to donate, volunteer and tell a friend.

Baratunde Thurston provides a detailed tool kit that all Obama supporters need to check out as we move forward in the 2008 election cycle.

February 28, 2008

The Truth About John McCain

Francis Holland is one of the more prolific bloggers in the afrosphere. He is one of the founders of a group of progressive bloggers of African descent known as The AfroSpear. Bro. Holland is an attorney and expatriate living in Brazil with strong views on matters of racism ... or color-arousal (as he prefers to call it).

Anyhow, I encourage all villagers to take a moment to visit his newest blog creation ... The Truth About John McCain.

Bro. Holland wants his blog to "... provide the ugly but well-researched and documented truth about John McCain's voting record, his fatal inconsistencies, his marital unfaithfulness and divorce record, his absurd and dangerous statements about Iraq and Iran, and all of the reasons why Senator John McCain from sinful (prostitution and gambling) Arizona ought never, ever become president of the United States of America."

I guess now we have an inside view of the 'swiftboat' counter-insurgency for the 2008 election cycle, huh?!?

February 27, 2008

800th Blog Joins Villager's Black Blog Rankings

We hit a milestone earlier this month! L.A. Stylin' became the 800th blog added to the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. Kathy W owns & operates this blog that focuses on entertainment news from Los Angeles. Many of you recall that we began this journey with only 75 blogs on the list. In just a few months that number has skyrocketed to 800. We are grateful to all of you that support this effort.

If any of you are creative ... I would like to create a button or a badge that folks can display if they are on the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. Any creative ideas that you can share with me?

Dick Gregory Apologizes to Bill Clinton

Yobachi left a comment in an earlier post about a rant that Dick Gregory had during the recent State of the Black Union event. Some villagers haven't seen it yet. Take a few moments and enjoy this political rant on Bill Clinton ... the so-called first Black president.

Dick Gregory is a unique talent, wouldn't you agree?

World Politics 101: Who Is Russian President?

Hillary Clinton touts her experience. Halfway around the world Russia is holding a presidential election on Sunday. Clinton was asked about Russia's presidential elections to pick a successor to Vladimir Putin. The debate moderator wanted to know what Clinton could tell the world about this new president. In her response Clinton worked in how he'd been hand-picked by Putin, how Russia's political opposition has been suppressed and how she'd been critical of the Bush administration on a wide variety of issues regarding Russia.

Then, the moderator asked: "Who will it be? Do you know his name?"

Villagers, quite honestly, I don't have a clue who the favorite is to win the Russian presidency this coming weekend. But then I'm not running for president telling the world that I'll be ready on Day One. Clinton had the spotlight. And she blew it. She said, "Meh, uhm, Me-ned-vadah -- whatever."

The moderator then turned to Obama, "Do you know anything about him?"

Obama looked genuinely pleased not to have gotten the Russian name question. He smoothly answered, "Well, I think Senator Clinton speaks accurately about him..." and continued to also criticize the Bush administration."

Game... Set... Match! Clinton is no more ready for Day One than any other human being can be for the most difficult job in the world. For those Villagers who are keeping track --> the heavy favorite Putin-puppet being elected on Sunday as the new president of Russia is Dmitry Medvedev.

What observations did you have from the debate in Ohio between Obama and Clinton?

Wordless Wednesday: Obama Family

February 26, 2008

John McCain Rebukes Cincinnati's Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham is a wacko radio personality here in Cincinnati, OH who fancies himself as the Cincinnati version of Rush Limbaugh or Gordon Liddy. He was the warm-up act for John McCain's appearance here in Cincinnati this morning. Cunningham repeatedly referred to Obama as Barack Hussein Obama. Hussein is Obama's middle name. Cunningham's tone was sarcastic and derogatory to Obama.

Part of Cunningham's rant included calling Barack Obama a "hack, Chicago-style Daly politician," and told the crowd "all is going to be right with the world when the great prophet from Chicago takes the stand, and the world leaders who want to kill us will simply be singing Kumbaya around the table of Barack Obama."

McCain showed himself to be an honorable man by coming out to the cameras immediately after the event to apologize on behalf of his campaign. He indicated that his campaign had no advance knowledge of Cunningham's comments. Radio hosts often 'warm up the crowd' at some events. McCain indicated that Bill Cunningham won't be used in the campaign at any point in the future.

Obama campaign spokesman said that McCain's remarks were appreciated: "It is a sign that if there is a McCain-Obama general election, it can be intensely competitive but the candidates will attempt to keep it respectful and focused on issues."

For many who live in Cincinnati ... it is nice to see Cunningham get slapped down by the candidate!

Chris Dodd Endorses Barack Obama as Next Commander-In-Chief

Another domino fell today when former presidential candidate Chris Dodd endorsed Barack Obama for president. Dodd, a veteran Connecticut senator who dropped out of the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in early January, became the first of the former candidates to make a formal endorsement.

"This is a moment of unity in our country, a time when we need to come together as a Democratic Party and to get behind a candidacy that expresses the aspirations, the hopes, the ambitions of millions and millions of Americans," Dodd said.

He said he had overcome initial questions about Obama, admitting that, "I was skeptical like many others as to whether or not this new face in American politics could do all the things he desired to do, that many of us desire to do."

However, at the end of the day Chris Dodd, who worked with both Clinton and Obama in the US Senate, concludes that his political future is best-served by endorsing Obama.

Villagers, we are watching the Democratic Party establishment circle the wagons around Barack Obama. It seems that the Democratic Party super-delegates and others think that my prediction from last week is correct.

Can Bill Richardson, Al Gore or John Edwards be far behind in their endorsement decisions? What say u?

February 25, 2008

Kyra Hicks: Celebration of Children's Literature

The Brown Bookshelf is introducing authors and illustrators as part of their 28-Day Later celebration of Black History Month. These authors and illustrators play an essential role in the field of children’s literature.

If you spend any time in the children’s literature section of the blogosphere, you’ve probably already met Kyra Hicks. She started her blog, Black Threads in Kid Lit, in early 2007, writing on the subject of African American children’s literature — picture books, reviews and other topics of interest. Since then, she has become an important addition to the online children’s literature community.

Beyond blogging, and even more important, Kyra is an author and storyteller. While attending a traveling exhibition about story quilts — Stitching Memories: African American Story Quilts — she became inspired.

"I remember knowing at that moment that I wanted to tell stories using fabric," she says. Soon, she was creating her own story quilts.

In 2003, her guide book, Black Threads: An African-American Quilting Sourcebook, was published by McFarland & Co. She followed that success with Martha’s Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria, published in early 2007.

Kyra is my sister! Please take a moment to enjoy this interview of her as part of the 28-Day Later celebration!

Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops on Graciousness

Do you remember Hillary Clinton's gracious closing remarks at the Texas debate? She looked over at Barack Obama, shook his hand, and noted how honored she was to be on the stage with him. She flip-flopped in less than 48 hours. Here is video of her comments in Ohio on Saturday where she says that she is ashamed of Obama.

Obama responded to this attack later in the day at a press conference.

Am I the only one that thinks that the Hillary Clinton campaign is very confused? More to the point, do you want this angry woman to have her finger on the nuclear bomb for our country? Anyhow, I guess that the only way to straighten this out is to have voters make their choice clear in Texas and Ohio next week. What say u?

February 24, 2008

Ralph Nadar Runs for President ... Again?

Calling Washington DC, "corporate-occupied territory," consumer advocate Ralph Nader launched his fifth campaign for the presidency today. "I'm running for president," said Nader in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." Nader downplayed the impact he might have on the ultimate outcome of the race, saying "if Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form."

Nader, 73, has run for president as a write-in candidate on both the Democratic and Republican tickets in the New Hampshire primary 1992 as a "none of the above" candidate. He mounted more serious campaigns in 1996, 2000, and 2004.

Many Democrats resent his 2000 run, believing he sapped enough votes from then-Vice President Al Gore to hand the presidency to then-Gov. George W. Bush. In Florida, where Gore ultimately lost to Bush by 537 votes, more than 97,000 Floridians supported Nader, then on the Green Party ticket. Not everyone concedes that Nadar's candidacy in 2000 caused Bush to win.

Personally, I think that Ralph Nadar is simply a person who likes to see his name in print. I don't sense that there is a groundswell of support for Nadar. Quite frankly, I think that Ralph Nadar is lonely and wants some attention. The last time that Ralph Nadar was relevant was over 40 years ago when his book led to the failure of the Chevy Corvair.

What do you think about his candidacy?

Al Sharpton is a Punk

Villagers are aware of the horrific rape and torture of a Black woman and her young son in Dunbar Village last year. It was an incident that received little publicity from the mainstream media (MSM), however, it was well-reported in the afrosphere by bloggers such as SheCodes and Gina.

Some in the MSM did pick up the issue when Black bloggers protested against Al Sharpton during his Hate Crimes rally in Washington DC. Al Sharpton responded to the protesters ... ultimately agreeing to meet in a town hall session with local residents and politicians living in Dunbar Village housing project earlier this week. However, Rev. Sharpton punked out and no-showed for the event ... disappointing the organizers and the community.

I admit that I have not kept our village up-to-date on this story in the past. I'll try to do better moving forward. After all, if we cannot protect our queens, how can we call ourselves kings?

February 23, 2008

We Are 19,896 And Rising!

The Electronic Village broke the 20,000 barrier today. Actually, there are only 19,896 blogs ranked higher than us in the world according to Technorati. This is the highest ranking that we've had in the 13-months of our existence. Some of the Original Villagers will recall how excited we were last year when we broke into the top 100,000.

Our Technorati Authority (shown over on the right-hand navigation bar) rose to 262 today. This is an all-time high for our blog. Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has. Moral of that story ... if you are a blogger reading this post ... please find a way to link to our blog!

Anyhow, we owe the growing popularity of our blog to all of the villagers that support us on a regular basis. Over 200 of you are subscribed to us. I'm hopeful to grow that number to 500 by mid-year.

Our mission is simple ... we want to provide information that uplifts people of African descent. If you have ideas or thoughts about ways that we can make your experiences here on our Electronic Village better ... please take a moment to share them with us.
Asante sana Villagers for helping us break the 20,000 barrier!

Natasha Sizow Arrested Before Upgrading to Conference Call Technology

Telecommunications technology has truly boomed in recent years. Text messaging. Sharing photos. Listening to music on your phone. Storing your address book. Speed Dialing. And now we have CorporateConferenceCalls.com providing us with complete control of the phone in new ways.

I guess the folks in Norfolk VA are grateful that Natasha Sizow did not have this modern technology that is available 24/7 and is reservationless, which means she wouldn't need to call ahead to schedule her call with an operator. Sizow is accused of sending cell phone pictures of herself in "various stages of undress" to two 17-year-old students - one boy and one girl. Which of course means that everyone in the high school has seen them, and they’re probably available online somewhere. If she had CorporateConferenceCalls.com she would be connected immediately with zero hassle - every time. She could reach all of her students in under one minute without having to navigate through an annoying touch-tone menu.

Sizow is - or, rather, was - a social studies teacher and swim coach at Norfolk’s Granby High School. She is back at home after making bail on the charges against her. She has time to sharpen her telecommunications capability. CorporateConferenceCalls.com offers a wide range of services and features at competitive prices. Their web and audio products are bundled together for convenience - but they can stand alone for audio conferencing without a computer or Web connection.

CorporateConferenceCalls.com provides lightening fast, hassle free sign up - With no minimums, no sign up fees, no hidden charges, no fine print, no excuses. Sizow would benefit from the portable 800 number for toll-free access that is an option with this service. There may be teenagers in other parts of the country who want to see her strip-tease show! And best of all, she can avoid being surprised by the authorities, because the system allows her to view who has joined the call in real time and mute or disconnect a caller!

Heck, Natasha Sizow (or you!) should contact CorporateConferenceCalls.com immediately ... Go ahead, dial (800) 332-1605 - A professionally trained consultant will answer your call in seconds (you'll never get caught in voice "jail") and can have you up and running in less than five minutes. Sizow cannot afford to waste time since she goes back to court in April.

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February 22, 2008

Together We Can Destroy Our Enemies and Protect Our Children

Jim Clingman is an Original Villager! He is an author, national columnist and community activist. He demonstrates his love for people of African descent in everything that he does. He wrote a column in 2000 called 'Serengeti Plain-tation' that focused on the need for our people to stand up for one another ... especially for our children. The column told us that we are a powerful people when we act collectively instead of worrying about what will happen to us individually. His column emphasized the need for us to protect our children.

Fast forward to 2007. A visitor to the African plains captured a remarkable eight minutes of video that shows us graphically the power of Jim's words. This video was first shared by an AfroSpear member over two months ago!

Together we are much stronger than we are individually.

February 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton Concedes Nomination to Barack Obama...

...that is going to be the international headlines on Wednesday, March 5, 2008.

Looking into the fire while sitting here under my baobob tree it seems that the headline above could become reality. Here are 13 factoids floating in my mind:
  1. Obama has plenty of money
  2. Obama leads in the popular vote
  3. Obama leads in the pledged delegates
  4. Obama leads in states 23-12; there are 15 states left to vote
  5. Obama is winning by large margins in states all across the nation
  6. Obama demonstrated that he can match or beat the ground game in every state
  7. Clinton & Obama agree on most issues
  8. Clinton already has high negatives ... running more negative ads hurts her more than Obama
  9. Clinton can't hold super-delegates if she can't win any states since Super Tuesday
  10. Clinton is boxed in by the rules on Michigan and Florida delegates
  11. Clinton is good at debates ... but, she ain't that good
  12. Clinton oratory and message is tired and uninspired
  13. Clinton is on wrong side of history re: Iraq War
With these background factoids, it is my view that Obama will win all four primary contests on Tuesday, March 4. He will win Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.

You recall that I predicted earlier that Obama would win either Ohio and Texas. After watching him royally kick Clinton's butt in Wisconsin ... I feel that it is over.

Villager's Prediction

I predict that Obama is going to roll through all four of the contests on March 4th with a victory. That would mean that Hillary Clinton lost 14 straight contests since Super Tuesday. People keep saying, "Never count the Clintons out". Villagers, you get wiped out in 14 straight states ... you get counted out.

People used to say that Bill Clinton was the "first Black president" because of the affinity that African Americans had with him in the 1990s. He managed to lose all of those chips with his performance in January during the New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina primaries. It is doubtful that African Americans will ever view Bill Clinton the same any longer.

Hillary will face one of those 'Come to Jesus' moments as the election results start coming into her hotel room on March 4th. She will come to the realization that her politics of division and memories of 1990s success simply don't resonate in 2008. America is not looking to build a bridge back to the 20th century. Hillary will realize that her dream of sharing the White House bedroom with Bill Clinton again has been rejected by the voters.

Hillary will realize that she needs to figure out an exit strategy.

Her exit strategy will be to appreciate her job as US Senator from New York. Likely, she will become one of the most visible and vocal leaders in the US Senate in 2009 and beyond. Her strengths are legislation and hearings and such. She will be able to do what she does best in the US Senate. That will become her saving grace.

All of these thoughts will come to her on March 4 when the election results from Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont come rolling in. At that point she will see that there is no chance for pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. Losing 14 straight states makes you reconsider your limited options.

She will sleep on it. Then she will wake up on Wednesday, March 5th and step down. She will concede the nomination to Barack Obama. It will be a gracious and classy move. It will be the beginning of her rebuilding her reputation and should allow her to be a power broker for many years within the Democratic Party. It will position the Democratic Party to unify in the coming battle with John McCain.

That is how I see it sitting here under my baobob tree. What say u?

Why Does Twitter Exist?

I'm slow on the uptake with most technology. I don't have a Blackberry. I never use the camera or text features on my cell-phone. My daughters set up an I-Pod Shuffle that I received at a national conference a few years ago. I'm just slow on this stuff. So, it comes as no surprise that I don't get the point of Twitter. I don't see a business reason for using it ... and I can't imagine that others much care that I'm 'just chillin'.

Do you have a Twitter account? Click here to see mine.

Can you give me a clue? Why do you use Twitter?

February 20, 2008

John McCain Blasts New York Times 'Smear Campaign'

The campaign of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain responded to allegations that he gave special treatment to a female telecom lobbyist. Some are reporting that McCain made efforts in advance of the New Hampshire primary to quash the initial New York Times story about his relationship with "a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation." McCain is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. The story broke today by the New York Times.

"It is unfortunate that rumor and gossip enter into political campaigns," said communications director Jill Hazelbaker. "John McCain has a 24-year record of serving this country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the important issues facing our country. Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics."

I hope that McCain gives a more concrete denial. This looks like a non-denial denial. For what it's worth ... the bigger issue is McCain doing business with a lobbyist ... not the sex aspect. What say u?

Sex Scandal: John McCain and Vicki Iseman

There is breaking news about alleged sex scandal between John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. Iseman is a powerful lobbyist in Washington DC. Click here to see MSNBC report on this story.

Both McCain and Iseman deny that there was ever a relationship.

However, McCain campaign advisors were worried about the fact that Iseman kept turning up with him in a variety of place such as fundraisers, corporate jets and private offices.

These advisors were concerned enough to to instruct staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him. Later it was reported that McCain wrote letters to government employees on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients.

McCain's career almost skidded off the rails during the savings & loan embezzlement issues known as the Keating Five scandal. McCain re-invented himself after the Keating Five scandal and became a crusader in a number of ethics areas.

The odd thing is that the relationship supposedly occurred while McCain was campaigning for the presidency in 2000. Why is it breaking now?

Wordless Wednesday: Barack Obama Shoes

February 19, 2008

Ohio: Clinton Lead Shrinking

My thought is that Obama is going to surprise Team Clinton in Ohio or Texas on March 4th. Hillary had a 23% lead prior to Super Tuesday. Today we learn that in Ohio, the 17-point lead Clinton held a week ago has now been cut in half. In the Cleveland area (where half of the respondents lived), Clinton and Obama split the support, while Clinton easily carried the Columbus area (one-fifth of respondents) and Obama won Cincinnati (13% of respondents). [Source]

Tavis Smiley Pouts About Barack Obama Scheduling Decision

I am a long-time admirer of Tavis Smiley. As national BDPA president I worked like heck to get him on board as a keynote speaker for our annual conference. I wasn't able to make it happen, but, I did serve as a speaker at a Blacks In Technology conference he hosted down in Atlanta, GA a few years ago. I'm glad that he was guest speaker for group of IT executives earlier this month. I supported him last year when he put the Republican candidates on notice for ignoring the presidential debate focused on Black issues. However, Tavis is on the wrong side of history at this moment in time.

Tavis hosts an annual Black Think Tank. He wants the four remaining presidential candidates to attend his forum on February 23 in New Orleans, LA. It turns out that Barack Obama declined the invitation in favor of intense campaigning in Texas and Ohio. I'm uncertain why Smiley is so publically critical of Obama's decision to focus on winning these critical primaries. Why would Smiley turn down offer for Michelle Obama to be at the Black Think Tank?

Early in the campaign, Obama participated in Tavis Smiley's CNN Presidential Debates, appeared before the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as before the Trotter Group, the NAACP and the National Urban League. Heck, he was a guest speaker on Smiley's television show a few months ago.

Tavis Smiley says otherwise, however, I think that he makes this into a big issue is ego. He wants to ride on the wave of Obama popularity to pump up volume on his annual Think Tank forum. It's obvious from the recent numbers of African American voters favoring Obama in recent elections that he doesn't need Tavis' event to reach out to Black folks.

Tavis Smiley should go back to the basics. I think that the brother should do his thing to uplift our people without tearing down our presidential candidate. Get over yourself brotha!

Villagers, what do you think about this Smiley v. Obama uproar?

February 18, 2008

Who Will John Edwards Endorse?

I see where Barack Obama quietly flew down to North Carolina to meet with John Edwards about the 2008 presidential campaign. This follows a meeting that Edwards had with Hillary Clinton earlier this month. The key question that everyone is asking:

Who Will John Edwards Endorse?

What do you think? The three choices are (a) Clinton, (b) Obama or (c) Nobody. Which of those three choices do you think John Edwards will choose?

Manic Monday: 2

This week's Manic Monday meme is focused on the number '2'. For a moment I thought that the #2 car of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch was going to win the Daytona 500 last night. However, he came in #2, losing to his teammate, Ryan Newman.

I have 2 beautiful daughters; 2 understanding former wives; and 2 remarkable sisters. One of my sisters wrote 2 books. One of her books is being recognized during Black History Month in celebration of children's literature. Her other book is the definitive academic resource for the study of African American quilts and quilters.

Each political party seeks to select a nominee from the 2 candidates still standing on each side. One of these remaining candidates will become the 2nd person to serve as President of the United States in the 21st century in less than a year.

2 people born on this date are Toni Morrison (1931) and Dr. Dre (1965). 2 people who passed away on this date are Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (2001) and Michaelangelo (1564).

Quite frankly, I don't know where else to go with this 2 idea. Did I inspire any ideas or thoughts on your end. How would you have blogged about the number '2'?

Blackonomics Million Dollar Club

Some brothers and sisters I know were recently discussing ways that they could use their tax rebates to uplift our community. The discussion reminded me of the Blackonomics Million Dollar Club (BMDC) created a few years ago by Jim Clingman.

No, this is not about those individuals among us who have been blessed to be millionaires. This is not about creating new millionaires. This is not even about celebrating millionaires. This is about a national collective of Black folks who have the ability to give a million dollars, over and over again, to Black organizations, Black schools, Black museums, and Black causes. This is about an effort by dedicated Black folks who believe in self-help and are willing to sacrifice just a little so that more of us can have a lot. That is what BMDC is all about.

Clingman seeks 200,000 persons to sign on as members of the BMDC simply by adding their e-mail addresses to the BMDC Mail List on the homepage of Blackonomics.com. Periodically we are asked to submit recommendations to which we can each send $5 or more to a selected recipient.

It's just that simple. No middleman, no administrative costs, no fuss no muss. Just a postage stamp and a check.

All funds ... say it again ... all funds are sent directly to the recipient. What could be simpler and easier for those who are serious about supporting our own organizations and initiatives? How can we allow those "other" organizations to take money out of our checks even before we see it and not support our own organizations via the BMDC?

To date, the BMDC has assisted the following African-centered organizations:
  • Piney Woods School, Piney Woods, MS
  • Marcus Garvey High School, L.A. California
  • Harriet Tubman Home, Auburn, NY
  • Harvest Institute, Washington, DC
  • Harriet Tubman Museum, Cambridge, MD
  • Ijoba Shule, Philadelphia, PA
  • Black Holocaust Museum, Milwaukee, WI
  • William Mayo Innocence Coalition, Atlanta, GA
  • Aisha Shule, Detroit, MI
  • Ujamaa School, Washington, DC
  • Haitian Relief Fund, Miami, FL
  • Kava School, Nigeria (Managed By Brother Ogunlade in Atlanta, GA)
  • Joseph Littles Nguzu Saba School, West Palm Beach, FL
  • D’Zert Club, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund, Washington, DC
  • Joshua Weir Olympic Fund, Indianapolis, IN.
If you are reading this blog then you have an e-mail address and certainly you can afford to part with $5 or more to help our brothers and sisters.

Jim Clingman wrote, "We don't have to beg; we have the resources to take care of our own stuff. Yes, other folks' money spends too, and they should contribute to our causes; we certainly support theirs. But, isn't the primary responsibility for supporting black causes, black schools, black museums and black efforts that of black people first? With all of the income we generate annually, and all of the intelligence we have accumulated over the years, I know we can do much better."

Villagers, won't you sign up for the Blackonomics Million Dollar Club?

February 17, 2008

Letter From Chioma Gray's Mother

Drumbeats came to us loudly from the NAACP Wichita Branch about a letter written by Chioma Gray's mom. Chioma is the 15-year old young girl missing since December 13, 2007. We encourage Villagers to keep Chioma and her family in your prayers. Here is the letter from Franciene Black...

On April 27, 1992, God loaned us one of his most incredible, gifts of all. The gift of life! A beyond, beautiful child of God. This gift was just what I had requested from Jesus. A healthy, beautiful baby girl. It was so very important that I observed this gift for two months before God gave me the name inscribed in Gods hand. It was so important that she be given a name of her character and a meaning representing God. She was blessed with his "Word" of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord knew that she was so special that he even stamped a birthmark on her body, representing Love, a beautiful heart!!! The definition of this baby loaned by Jesus Christ. A Child of God!

The Power is in the Blood of Jesus, was given as her first name: CHIOMA = God's Good Blood, ATINUKE = loved cherished and protected from the womb. AMARACHI = God's blessing, God's Grace, OGECHI = God's Time!

We must know with his power that God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. I give many thanks and praise for this young beautiful daughter Chiomaezronesha... Truly, Chioma has represented her name through out her 15, years of life.

Who is Chioma? Chioma is my daughter, whom loves Jesus. She is a very well respected and loved girl in her community. Chioma is invited to an International event every year, for students that have high GPA, and Excel in sports. Chioma wrote a story called "The Perfect Story". She describes how great her life is. Her love for her family is so innocent and pure. Chioma is my last beautiful baby girl.
On December 13, 2007, as usual, Chioma was driven to school by her father and two brothers. She was taken inside of the campus. That same day she was abducted by, Andrew Joshua Tafoya, a convicted felon. He abducted her on the same day he was released from work furlough. If anyone knows Chioma, she always takes a few important things with her. First her make-up, second electronics such as sidekick phone, and if she was going far away, third she would have taken her 1lb dog "Pink," that she carries everywhere in her purse. All of these personal belongings were at home. Trust and Believe that Chioma has been "ABDUCTED AND KIDNAPED." She is completely against her will, and her beliefs.

Her education is extremely important. Chioma’s number one dream in this life since the age of 6 was to become an OB/GYN. She was looking forward to join her sister, who is presently studying to become a Pediatrician. They had planned to open a practice together after receiving their degrees. My daughter, Chioma and my dreams are on hold. The absence of my Soul "Chioma" is desperately seeking the safe return of Chioma. Please pray that all of our dreams will come true. Our family has a strong belief in our Lord Jesus Christ; He is our Alpha and the Omega. We know that God’s word is True. Chioma is in God’s beautiful big hands, just waiting to return. No matter what the situation, God is in control! God has never failed! God is the same yesterday as he is today! I will always love him, worship him, adore, believe, have faith and trust only GOD!

And I know this, that whatever God does is final-nothing can be added or taken from it; God’s purpose in this is that man should fear the all-powerful God. Whatever is has been long ago; and whatever is going to be has been before; God brings to pass again what was in the distant past and disappeared.

Moreover, I notice that throughout the earth "JUSTICE" is giving way to "CRIME" and even the "POLICE" and COURTS" are "CORRUPT." I said to myself, "In due time season God will judge everything man does, both good and bad."

Remember, " Delay is not Denial." "Continue to pray without Ceasing"


Missing You "Cho Cho"!

Any suggestions or thoughts on action that we can take over and above keeping the Chioma Gray, Franciene Black and their family in our prayers?

Young Latinos Say Obama or Nada

Many Black political bloggers have wondered why Latino voters favor Team Clinton over the 'O-Man'. Of course, it wasn't too long ago that the same thing could be said about Black voters. Many of us were posting about whether or not Black women would vote for Obama before the South Carolina primary. It was only after that primary that the vast majority of Black voters demonstrated support for Obama's campaign.

Can the same thing be happening in the Hispanic community? LatinoPundit pointed me to surveys conducted after the Potomac Primaries last week show that a growing majority of young Latino voters are excited by the Obama campaign -- but if he doesn’t win his party’s nomination, they may not vote at all in the November general election.

Click here to read the full story

Do you have any sense on the reasons that Hispanic voters favor one candidate over the other?

February 16, 2008

Is It Time for Hillary Clinton to Step Down?

Drumbeats from another village brought us this letter from a former Hillary Clinton supporter.

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton
By Erin Kotecki Vest

This is a very hard letter for me to write, so please bear with me.

I’d like to ask you, with all due respect and humility, to step down as a Democratic Candidate for President of the United States.

Please understand this is not because I believe you can not or should not lead this nation. Please understand that I find you qualified, capable, and worthy. Please also understand I want nothing more than to see a female as the leader of the free world. I would be pleased and honored if you were that female.

However I am finding, right or wrong, many citizens of this country seem to react to you on an emotional level. Emotional, not practical. They can’t seem to see your record. They can’t seem to see your policy. They just hear or read “Hillary” and venom or praise spews.

I thought that with your candidacy, would come reason. I thought that you would be able to get a fair shake by main stream media, by voters, by sexists, and by soccer moms. I thought over time people would begin to see that you really are an effective politician.

I was wrong.

Tonight, I’m typing as I watch you speak in El Paso, Texas. I’m sad. There really is no other way to put it-I’m sad.

I truly believed you would be the best person for the job, and I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind that is now at the forefront. The thought that drove me on Super Tuesday to Vote for Senator Obama and the thought that is the driving force as I write tonight: Senator Hillary Clinton divides this country.

It’s not fair. It’s not right. And under just about ANY other circumstance I would go to the mat for you. However we are a wounded and deeply divided nation. We are a nation at war. We are a nation at odds with each-other. It’s ugly. I thought you could get people past it. I really did.

When I told myself it was gender that got people going, I refrained from asking and wanting you to step aside. Simply on principle, I wanted to see you run and win because they said it couldn’t be done. Because it was my belief, this was all about being a girl.

It’s not, and I was wrong.

I firmly believe while the gender issue has given you a handicap I hope we all one day overcome, it is NOT the reason people have a gut reaction to you or your campaign or your legacy.

Enter the Senator from Illinois, and what I think could be your true legacy. If you were to step aside now, shockingly early and shockingly un-Hilllary-like, you could galvanize an entire nation behind your party. If you were to throw your weight, and your tremendous political clout behind Senator Obama you could still change the world and make your mark in a way no one would expect and everyone would admire.

I don’t want to see you throw in the towel because the fight is too hard or the mountain too tall. I am asking you to throw it in because history is on the line. It is not the history either of us expected, however it is an equally important, momentous, earthshaking change in this country we sorely need.

Do something no one would ever expect. Do something extraordinary. Do something that changes politics as usual and changes history.

I could have never predicted having to chose between what my husband called “the lesser of two goods, not the lesser of two evils” when it came time to cast my vote.

It was agonizing.

But in the end, with no major policy difference and valid reasons on BOTH sides, I had to go with the candidate who I thought could best bring our nation back together. Who could cross party lines and gender lines and racial lines.

I wanted it to be you, but it’s not. For some reason you still get people very riled up, and not in the good way.

There is no way around it-it sucks. But after 7 years of nothing but fighting and head shaking and feeling like we’re living in two Americas, I can’t do it again. Not even if my team is in office.

I really hate asking you to do this, but I want you to please step down and let this nation heal.

We’ve been too angry for too long and your history and your name brings a suitcase of anger to the White House front door.

With the full weight of the Clinton name, behind the scenes, your true legacy could be written. With the full weight of the Clinton know-how you could help orchestrate the next chapter in American history where an African-American leads our nation.

It is this time in history your nation needs you.

As nation’s go, ours has never been one to do things the way we predict. Who could have seen when we finally get our first, legitimate, female front runner we’d see our first, legitimate front runner of color?

Our nation and it’s people need you to do what is best for this country. We need you to be true to what you say on the stump and bring us back together.

If you firmly believe that there is still time for you to change the hearts and minds of those rude and stubborn Americans who are voting with their gut when they see “Hillary” on the ballot-then please, prove me wrong. I’ll be at the Democratic National Convention come August and I’ll hold up my Hillary sign loud and proud and fall in line.

But I think you’ve tried. You tried with everything you had to overcome that Clinton-emotional reaction. Here we are, moving into Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania-and it’s not you winning over hearts and minds, it’s the Senator from Illinois.

Let’s end the division in this country now. Right now. Let’s start with the Democratic Party early and provide a united front against the GOP months ahead of schedule.

Let’s take back this country for the people, with you playing a much different role than you envisioned.

Make history. Make us one. Step down now.

Erin Kotecki Vest

Well Villagers ... what say u?

Edison Chen May Be Looking for Life Insurance

Edison Chen is a major Hong Kong movie star. Evidently, his laptop was stolen awhile ago. He had some explicit sex photos of him and a number of other actors and famous people ... including a fine woman named Maggie Q who starred in the recent Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis. Edison apologized for having the photos. However, if I were him I might consider getting some life insurance.

It is important to make smart choices when buying life insurance. You must make the best decisions for you and your family - quickly and easily. One place that you can go online to get information is IntelliQuote Insurance Services. IntelliQuote is the smart choice for life insurance. As an insurance online marketplace, they make it easy for you to compare, shop, and save on life insurance costs. Their qualified life insurance agents offer free quotes on highly rated life insurance products. It's an opportunity for you to have the convenience and privacy of shopping online while you compare prices without sales pressure.

It is especially important if you piss off international starlets!

As an aside, the company also offers other insurance products including Automobile, Health, Homeowner's and Long-Term Care.

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Blog It Forward

Danielle Vyas, author of Modern Musings has named the Electronic Village as one of her favorite blogs in a meme named Blog it Forward. Danielle is an Original Villager in that she was one of the first to discover our blog last year. She is an activist in the pure sense of the word and I encourage all villagers to check her blog out today if you can.

This Blog It Forward meme appears to have been created in October 2003 by Buzz over at the Buzzstop blog. The meme rules are simple: 'pick someone off of your blogroll (or bloglines, linklist, bloglink) and post a little something about them on your site. Tell us why they are on your list. What makes them link-worthy? Perhaps you'd like to spotlight someone on your list that isn't getting the attention that you think they should. Maybe it's someone who has made a difference in your life. Maybe it's someone who just puts a smile on your face every day.'

Here are those that I wish to share the love with today:
  1. Black Political Thought (BBR #660) - Janet Shan owns & operates this blog. She seeks to be the premier blog for conservative and balanced political and social commentary. I thoroughly enjoy the detailed postings on her blog.

  2. Blacks Gone Geek (BBR #641) - This is a relatively new blog created by Milt Haynes. I served as national BDPA president-elect when Milt was national president. Earlier we each served as colleagues on BDPA board of directors when Milt led the BDPA Chicago chapter and I led the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. I appreciate the support Milt provided to me over the years and I'm hopeful that his blog continues to grow and evolve.

  3. Black Threads (BBR # 308) - This blog is owned and operated by my sister, Kyra Hicks. I credit Kyra with getting me started as a blogger. She is a published author and her blog focuses on niche of African American quilters. Any quilters or quilt-lovers out there?

  4. Detrick DeBurr (BBR #666) - This brother provides a weekly rant worthy of notice. He's a bit slow on the uptake as far as Hillary v. Obama ... but, Detrick is a serious entrepreneur and an up & comer in the afrosphere.

  5. On The Black Hand Side (BBR #246) - This is an informative, educational and entertaining blog with a growing blogger interview series called '20 Questions With...'. Vanessa Byers owns and operates this blog. She was kind enough to interview me on her blog. Perhaps you will be next?

Have you had a chance to visit any of these blogs in your travels through cyberspace?

February 15, 2008

John Lewis May Switch Endorsement to Barack Obama

John Lewis is one of the icons of the civil rights era. He is an important political figure in the 2008 presidential election. He endorsed Team Clinton last year when the Borg Queen was the inevitable nominee from the Democratic Party. Back then Hillary was leading the field by 20+ points in all polls. Today, the political landscape is much different ... and John Lewis is sitting at the tipping point.

John Lewis is wavering in his support as a super-delegate to Team Clinton. His congressional district voted over 90% for Barack Obama in the recent Georgia primaries.

John Lewis is on an island. Should he honor his earlier commitment to Hillary or should he honor the will of his congressional district? What would you do if you were in his place?

Before you answer, there is another factoid that all Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members have in the back of their mind. One of their cronies, Congressman Al Wynn, lost in the Democratic primary last week to Donna Edwards. The vast majority of the Democratic voters in that Maryland primary supported Barack Obama. They took out their wrath on a CBC member that didn't flow with the movement that is being led by Barack Obama. Support for Clinton is partially responsible for Al Wynn losing his job as a congressman. Methinks that John Lewis has this factoid in the back of his mind as he mulls his decision to switch sides from Team Clinton to Barack Obama.

John Lewis is a pragmatic person. I figure he will formally announce his switch to Barack Obama in the next few days. It will be another sign that Team Clinton is fading fast. What say u?

Spread The Love

Our blog continues to evolve over time. There are so many issues that I hope to discuss with you over the coming weeks and months. Time will tell if I'm successful in creating an Electronic Village that is truly worthy of a daily click-thru by you and others. For now, I am grateful to those that share their village voice with comments on our posts as well as those of you that simply ~lurk~ in the shadows of the village.

Regina's Family Seasons (BBR #137) is a blog that I learned about recently. Regina surprised me recently with a Spread The Love award. This award originated in Jan 2007 with Gar-Boodles Soup. She used these words to describe the essence of the award, 'Do You know what friendship is ? - Yes- it is to be as brother and sister, two souls which touch each other without meeting, like two fingers on the same hand.'

In that spirit, I share the Spread The Love award with Black & Missing But Not Forgotten, Eddie Griffin (BASG), Mes Deux Cents, Mrs. Grapevine and Vanessa Byers. These five bloggers dedicate a good portion of their blogging energy to uplift others. I have not met any of them in person, however, I feel as a kindred spirit with each. I invite all Villagers to take a moment to visit their blogs so that you'll understand why this award is bestowed on them.

Villagers, have you made friends here in cyberspace that you've never met in the real world?

February 14, 2008

Fox News Compares Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler

Fox News Radio host Tom Sullivan took a call from a listener who stated that when listening to Barack Obama speak, "it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell." Sullivan then played a "side-by-side comparison" of a Hitler speech and an Obama speech. Sullivan mimicked the crowd during both speeches, yelling, "Yay! Yay!"

When a later caller complained that Sullivan was "denigrating" Obama with the comparison, Sullivan said he wouldn't play it again, then begged: "Can I, please, one more time? Just one more time? Then I won't do it again. ... Until the next time."

Judge for yourself. Here is the audio clip provided by Media Matters.

I call on all Villagers to take action and let these fools know that it is unacceptable to compare any candidate for President of the United States to Adolph Hitler:

Fox News Radio
Phone: (212) 301-3000
Email: foxnewsradio@foxnews.com

Tom Sullivan
E-mail: tomsullivanradio@foxnews.com

Are you going to contact them? What did you think as you listened to the audio clip?

February 12, 2008

Ed Rendell Says 'Pennsylvania is Racist State'

Did you see where Governor Ed Rendell shared his insights on what Barack Obama can expect from Pennsylvania voters?
"You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African American candidate. I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was --well-spoken, charismatic, good-looking -- but white instead of Black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so."
Gov. Rendell is a talented politician and Clinton surrogate. I wonder if he is signaling to the country that Team Clinton is so desperate to win this election that they are going to pull out the race card again? What say u?

Latino Super-Delegate Calls Clinton 'Dumb as a Stump'

There may be a crack in the support that Hillary Clinton receives from Latino population around the country. The Latino vote is credited with providing victory for Clinton in California and Nevada contests. Steve Ybarra is a super-delegate from California. He circulated a sharp e-mail saying the removal of Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle was disloyal to Hispanics and should give "pause" to superdelegates and voters.

Ybarra told The Post that the loss of Solis Doyle, a child of Mexican immigrants, just weeks before the Texas primary, where 36 percent of the population is Hispanic, was "dumb as a stump." [Source]

George Bush Denounces Nooses and Lynching as Symbols of Hate

Hail to the Chief! Rarely have I been proud of George W. Bush. He may be one of the worst presidents in the history of our nation. However, I give him props today for the strong condemnation that he gave to those who bring nooses into the workplace or those that joke about lynching. President Bush noted that some Americans may be losing sight of the suffering that Blacks have endured across the nation as a result of nooses and lynching.

"The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history," Bush said in an event marking Black history month. "The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice," the president said. "Displaying one is not a harmless prank, and lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest."

As a civil society, Americans should agree that noose displays and lynching jokes are "deeply offensive," Bush said. "They are wrong. And they have no place in America today."

For decades, the noose was a symbolic part of a campaign of violence, fear and intimidation against Blacks, the president said. Sometimes, he added, it was orchestrated by the law enforcement officers charged with protecting them. Bush also said the noose was a tool for intimidation and killing that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions of Blacks throughout the country.

"Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of night before the eyes of their terrified children," he said. "Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deaths."

George Bush showed me today that he had the potential to be a compassionate conservative. I'm sorry that the type of insight and compassion that he showed in his remarks today have been absent over the past seven years of his presidency.

Today, the drumbeats are for President Bush. What say u?