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September 17, 2008

Pyrite Is Not Gold

It is less then two months before the registered voters of this country make the most important political decision of our time. We are bombarded daily with frivolous, misleading and biased information by the majority of media outlets. Half-truths, misrepresented and misstated information gluts the print, air, and radio waves. It is imperative that you seek out objective and truthful information about the candidates and the issues so you can make informed decisions. It is a challenge since there are only so many hours in the day. Webmistress Peg and I are committed to making this blog one of the places you can trust to get pertinent information about this election and other urgent issues facing this country. We are two voices but joined with yours we become a chorus for change. Rarely will this site be written by anyone other then myself but I thought the following pieces were thought provoking and on the mark. The "how dare you question our candidate?" outrage didn't work for Hillary or Obama and it will not work for Sarah. Truth is one of the most potent weapons we have to win this election. It is incumbent on us to refute the lies and misconceptions that scare and frustrate us. This is no time to succumb to those fears. You cannot and must not sit on the fence. It is our time - yours and mine to act. Write letters, e-mail and call to correct misinformation. Volunteer to register, make calls or donations, knock on doors do what you can where you are right now to help win this election. We must encourage and remind every democrat that we can win. And we will win if we turn out and vote. We have the numbers and now we must demonstrate the courage and willingness. The future of this country and what we will leave our children and grandchildren hangs in the balance. So get off your apathy and kick some attitude.

The following is courtesy of John Ridley of The Huffington Post:

If you are biracial and born in a state not connected to the lower 48, America needs darn near 2 years and 3 major speeches to "get to know you."

If you're white and from a state not connected to the lower 48, America needs 36 minutes and 38 seconds worth of an acceptance speech to know you're "one of us."

If you get 18 million people to vote for you in a national presidential primary, you're a "phony."

Get 100,000+ people to vote you governor of the 47th most populous state in the Union, you're "well loved."

If your pastor rails against inequality in the United States of America, you're an "extremist."

If your pastor welcomes a sermon by a member of Jews for Jesus who preaches that the killing of Jews by terrorists is a lesson to Jews that they must convert to Christianity, you're a "fundamentalist."

If you give your wife dap on stage, it's actually a "terrorist fist jab."

If your daughter licks her palm so that she can slick down your youngest child's hair on national TV it's an "adorable moment." (Seriously, forget about abstinence only; teach these folks some grooming skills).

If you're 18, white, and get a 16 year old girl pregnant "life happens."

If you're 18, black, and impregnate a 16 year old girl, you're a "registered sex offender."

If you're a black man and you use a scholarship to get into college, then work your way up to being the president of the Harvard Law Review, you're "uppity."

If you're a conservative and your parents pay your way to Hawaii Pacific University . . . you only have four more schools to attend over the next five years before you somehow manage to graduate (it might be five more schools over the next five years. No one has yet verified whether or not Palin was actually ever registered at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. But, you know how shady people are who ever attended any kind of school in Hawaii).

If you spend 18 months building a campaign around the theme of "Change," it's just "empty rhetoric.

"If one week before your party's national convention you SUDDENLY make your candidacy about "Change," that's "red meat."

If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire."

If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

If you live in an urban area and you get a girl pregnant you're a "baby daddy."

If you're the same in Alaska you're a "teen father." (Actually, according to your own MySpace page you're an F'n redneck that don't want any kids, but that's too long a phrase for the evil liberal media to take out of context and flog morning noon and night).

Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America.

White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."

If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic."

Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."

Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic."

Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reckless."

A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

If you say that for the "first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of my country" it makes you "unfit" to be First Lady.

If you are a registered member of a fringe political group that advocates secession that makes you "First Dude."

A DUI from twenty years ago is "old news."

A speech given without proper citation from twenty years ago is "relevant information."

And, finally, if you're a man and you decide to run for office despite your wife's reoccurrence of cancer you're a "questionable spouse."

If you're a woman and you decide to run for office despite having five kids including a newborn with Downs Syndrome ...

Well, we don't know what that is 'cause THAT'S NOT A FAIR QUESTION TO ASK!

The following is a letter to Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown:

September 11, 2008

Mr. Olbermann:

I watched your broadcast tonight and felt enlightened, redeemed and positive - a feeling that has been fleeting in recent days. I've been amazed at the reaction to Gov. Palin's speech and to the "fluff" that has been a substitute for the usual media cross-examination of a candidate. There are several points I'd like to make and perhaps you might be one to understand my concerns.

-Has she been victimized because she is a female? Hardly! She has been treated with kid gloves, kept in hiding so that she might cram for the tests of her knowledge of national economics, international affairs, the recent history of her party's views and the spin that she should use when finally interviewed and challenged.

-Is she a woman with views that reflect those of the majority of American women? Hardly, again! Those supporters of Sen. Clinton who choose to accept her, despite the radical differences in opinion and activism in areas like abortion rights, health insurance for all, global warming, the war in Iraq, preservation of wildlife, and drilling, never were loyal to the issues and the efforts of Sen. Clinton.

-God on the side of the war in Iraq? Was God also responsible for the attacks on 9/11, or on the bombing in Oklahoma City? Did God give his big okay to the staggering number of deaths and wounding of so many innocent people on either side of the war? Was this a vision or word that she personally received?

-Having 5 children and working - does that provide an adequate résumé for running a country in the face of the staggering issues that our country faces? You know the answer. I am an African-American woman who worked for 36 years as a secondary education teacher in an urban environment, with added jobs as needed. I raised my daughter for most of her life as a single parent with wonderful familial support, and at the same time housed my mother, an Alzheimer's patient for 5 years, and for a period of time, my brother following consecutive surgeries for brain surgery and the placement of a pacemaker and defibrillator for a serious heart defect. Do I feel prepared to run a country simply because I've managed to handle the unpredictable and unrelenting demands of life? I don't think so. And by the way, I've suffered more punishment and denial for being African-American than I've ever suffered for being a woman. I was never followed through aisles of a store, denied admittance to an apartment complex that I had qualified for, required to pay higher insurance rates for no apparent infraction, to just point out a few humiliations, because I was a woman. The greater "fault" has been that I am of a race that has been victimized for centuries. I do not condone the dismissal or prejudice of anyone for any reason, but I have a bird's eye view of prejudice from two vantage points and I've had plenty of validation for my final conclusion.

-I won't ask you to go any further with my concerns but do know that my concerns also deal with John McCain who has most recently ran one of the most slanderous, deceptive campaigns I've seen. He accused Sen. Obama of putting winning an election over winning a war. I vehemently accuse him of putting winning an election over systematically and purposefully denying the American public of truth, integrity, and the desire to "win" a winless war - a war that began under false accusations and that has taken the lives of so many for no reasons other than oil access, money and power.

-Oh, Sen. McCain, by the way, I will never make $5 million dollars in my lifetime and that's fine with me. I guess that means I can't be "middle-class". As a teacher, a community activist and provider of a social service that strives to better our country and its people, I had responsibilities, and I handled them with compassion, integrity, and with the knowledge that this contributed to the strengthening of our nation and the young people who will eventually follow in the footsteps of those who've come before. This may not seem important to Sen. McCain or to his running mate, but it is of crucial importance to those of us who care about the needs of everyone in our nation. (Excuse me for stepping out of my place and questioning the real intentions and aspirations of those who are "mayors", war heroes, or financially privileged.) I just do what most of us do - keep it real, pray for continued grace, and hope AND pray for guidance from those who have the ability to influence and act, to see beyond their own needs and shortcomings.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share my thoughts; to address the nightmares that visit me too often. And to the American populace - do not get lost in the HYPE. It's so much more like the "Sale" that has twenty lines of fine print, than the reality that you truly seek. Be independently responsible and true to your values.

Jacqueline Johnson

P.S. I'm cute with glasses too and a feisty nature. Big Deal!

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