A+ R A-

Commentary

The National Scene

E-mail Print PDF
Image
Linnie Frank Bailey
After celebrating the nation’s birthday with military families at the White House, the Obama family left the country for a trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana. In what will be one of the most moving experiences for people of African descent the world over—in Ghana on Friday, President Barack Obama will visit the Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were once held before being loaded into ships and traded in the Americas and Caribbean.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Oline Town Hall Meeting
President Obama held an “online town hall” in which he took questions submitted online, as well as from the live audience, at Northern Virginia Community College. The topic was healthcare and the President reiterated his determination to pass a health care reform bill this year. He heard health care stories and answered questions as he described the Senate’s progress on a plan, “that will hold down costs, improve patient care and ensure that you will not lose your coverage if you lose your job, change your job, or have a pre-existing medical condition.” Obama has stated he wants the health care reform bill on his desk by October 1, 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Green Jobs for a New Economy
Touting a new economy, with energy related jobs as a main pillar— President Obama met with a group of leaders from both large and small energy firms to discuss job creation and long-term plans. In describing Administration plans to grow the economy, Obama stated, “I’m pleased to say that we’ve achieved more in the past few months to create a new clean energy economy than we had achieved in many decades before. The recovery plan will double our country’s supply of renewable energy, and is already creating new clean energy jobs.” The President praised the innovation that is taking place in the energy industry and stressed the importance of continuing the path, saying, “The American people I believe want us to make the right choice….for at every juncture in our history, we’ve chosen to seize big opportunities—rather than fear big challenges. We’ve chosen to take responsibility. We’ve chosen to honor the sacrifices of those who came before us—and fulfill our obligations to generations to come. That’s what we’re going to do this time, as well.”

 

Saturday, July 4, 2009
The First Family Celebrates the Nation’s Birthday
President Obama and the First Family celebrated their first 4th of July as residents of the White House. Their special guests were military families who gathered at picnic tables and on blankets on the South Lawn to meet the President and enjoy a special concert to honor our troops. The USO sponsored event featured Jimmy Fallon, Michelle Branch and the Foo Fighters. The evening’s festivities closed with fireworks over the National Mall.

In remarks before the concert, the President thanked the troops and their families and pledged as President, “This Fourth of July, I renew my pledge to each and every one of you—that for as long as I have that immeasurable honor, you will always have the equipment and support you need to get the job done. Your families will always be a priority of Michelle’s and mine, and remain on our hearts and on our minds. And when our service members do return home, it will be to an America that always welcomes them home with the care that they were promised.”

Monday, July 6, 2009
The Obamas in Russia
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with their daughters Malia and Sasha, were greeted by Russian President Medvedev and Mrs. Medvedev at the Kremlin in Moscow. President Obama described his meetings with Russian leaders as a chance to push ‘the reset’ button in U.S.-Russian relations. In a joint press conference with President Medvedev, Obama summed up their meeting by saying, “President Medvedev and I agreed that the relationship between Russia and the United States has suffered from a sense of drift. We resolved to reset U.S.-Russian relations, so that we can cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest.” As a result of the meeting, President Obama and the Russian leader agreed in principle to reduce their permitted nuclear arsenals by nearly a third to try to ease tensions between the former Cold War rival nations. The tentative nuclear accord is intended to serve as a followup to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which is set to expire Dec. 5. START was signed in 1991, just five months after the collapse of the Soviet Union and nearly a decade after it was first proposed by President Reagan.

President Obama met with Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the following day. Putin had been Russia’s president—until he handpicked Medvedev to replace him.

Justice Must be Served

E-mail Print PDF
By Sid Jain

It is high time that we call people who run major corporations and run for political offices, a new moniker: thieves. These people in power have brain-washed the common folk into believing their lies, and accepting that it is their way or else.

When we think of robbers, usually we think of someone holding up a gas station or a local convenience store. This image has been ingrained in us thanks to the media and shows like “Cops” and the local 10 p.m.  news. Due to the media sensation that ensues over trivial crimes, politicians have rallied behind these stories to get laws passed that are harsher and often less effective in deterring crime.

If you think about it, these “petty” thieves often don’t make away with a whole lot of loot, and often are doing it as a desperate measure. At the same time, the heads of companies are already millionaires thanks to their compensation packages. Yet, they consistently want more, and often pay politicians to loosen rules and barriers in order to make a quick buck. It makes sense that many in the upper echelon can just skirt the rules and subsequent punishment, because they control almost everything.

Often times, the lawmakers and judges that enforce laws run in the same circles as the CEOs and Tycoons. How can you be an independent lawmaker or judge when the person who is being tried may be your friend? We have all heard or read scandals involving a two-tiered system in which an “upstanding member of society” gets off with a lighter sentence for a crime than is deserved or normally administered.  Here in Southern California, especially here at UCR, we pride ourselves in being a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial society.  Unfortunately, that’s not how the country or the “system” thinks of the population. The courts and lawmakers make the fight into an “us vs. them” situation, when in reality we should all be treated equally and fairly. If someone has committed a crime, they should receive a sentence that is fitting and generally administered, and no leniency should be granted because someone is an “upstanding citizen” or has “given back to the community.” The leaders of companies who have taken us, the taxpayers, for hundreds of billions of dollars should be called out for what they are.They have done more harm to us and our country than any robber could do.

A Tale of Three Deaths: Michael, McNair and Bubba

E-mail Print PDF
Image
George E. Curry
In the span of one week, there was endless international coverage of Michael Jackson’s death, national coverage of the murder of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair. But there was no coverage, beyond a local obituary, of Elner Colvin.  Never heard of Elner Colvin? I’m not surprised. He was a classmate and football teammate at Druid High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. After graduating from Tuskegee University, he was a high school teacher in Montgomery. Although the public was deluged with news reports on Michael Jackson and Steve McNair, it was the death of Elner, whom we called Bubba, that had the most significance to me.  Someone defined celebrity as a person who is well known for being well known.We live in a celebrity driven society. And sometimes that hype can reach such levels that we lose touch with the things that really matter in life.

When I first learned about Michael’s death through a text message, I thought it was a joke. So, I replied asking: Is this another Michael Jackson joke? Afer I was assured that it wasn’t, I clicked on the TV and witnessed the saturated coverage that was still growing strong through his public viewing Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Like many of my generation, I saw Michael grow from a child phenom to an international megastar.

Without a doubt, he is one of the most talented entertainers that the world has ever seen. While I deeply admired his talent and some of his charitable contributions, I had a deepening concern about his continuing to disfigure himself as he moon walked toward Whiteness. I know that it’s not polite to speak ill of the dead. But it’s not right to avoid the truth simply because someone is dead. I am not saying anything that I didn’t say while he was alive, so get over it.

In fact, I wrote a column in June 2005, shortly after his acquittal on child molestation charges: “When he comes down from his tree house, Michael Jackson at the age of 46, sees nothing wrong with sleeping in a bed with young boys. No matter how you slice it, that’s sick.”

As I mentioned in the column, lifelong civil rights activist Thomas N. Todd who reminded me that although Michael liked to sing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re Black or White, it was clear from his appearance that he wasn’t taking any chances.

As for Steve McNair, it was tough to see him go out like that.  During most of my young life, Black quarterbacks were not allowed to play that position in the pros and there was an unwritten rule that they could not play QB at many major colleges. The rap supposedly was that African-Americans could not play “thinking positions,” such as quarterback and middle linebacker. I always found that curious. We always had Black football teams in high school during the days of segregation and I’m here to tell you that we played with 11 men on offense and 11 on defense. If we could play the “thinking positions” against one another, we could play against anyone else. That was just another example of how illogical racism was and is.

As a high school and college quarterback, I always followed the exploits of the few who broke that barrier. Though I didn’t admire McNair as much as I respected Sandy Stephens of Minnesota or Jim Harris and later, Doug Williams, of Grambling, I applauded when he was selected in the first round by the Houston Oilers, before they moved to Nashville and McNair ended his career in Baltimore.

As this column goes to press, there are still unanswered questions about McNair’s homicide and whether his 20-year-old girlfriend shot him four times, including twice in the head, before turning the weapon on herself. This is a real mess, especially since no one has been able to find any divorce papers.  Back to my friend Elner Colvin.  Bubba made as significant a contribution to youth as a high school teacher as either Michael did through his music or McNair on the gridiron.  Day in and day out, teachers impact generations of students who go on to success. Yet, they are routinely undervalued.

Another reason Bubba’s death had a larger impact on me was how he died. Although results from all of the tests are not in, it is believed that Michael died of heart failure and there are questions whether it was induced by the inappropriate use of powerful drugs. But my friend Elner underwent gallstone surgery in a Birmingham hospital. After recovering, he suffered a heart attack and died in the hospital.

Twelve years ago, I underwent triple-bypass surgery. Without that, I too, may have joined close friends, all under 60 years old at the time, who have died from heart attacks.  Two first grade classmates who grew up with me in the housing projects --- Reginald Henderson and James Calvin Brown – died of heart attacks.  Now, Bubba.

Sure, the deaths of Michael and Air McNair are significant. But they don’t come close to the loss of Bubba, Reginald, and Calvin.

George E. Curry, former editor-inchief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach.  He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com.

IOU-Arnold

E-mail Print PDF
Image
Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod ( D- 32nd District)
Because the Legislature did not pass the three urgency measures to save the state three billion dollars thereby preventing the State Controller from being forced to issue IOUs by the deadline on midnight of June 30, the additional fiscal impact of the IOU’s is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The State Treasurer’s office has issued a statement on the estimated cost to the state if it is downgraded to a BBB+ bond rating.

How We Got Here: This year the legislature passed a bipartisan budget for 2009-2010 in February of this year to resolve the projected $42 billion deficit, five months before the constitutional deadline. Since then, the economy has continued to deteriorate.  Governor Schwarzenegger presented a May Revision for the new fiscal year that began on July 1 to allow California to pay its bills and keep the state solvent.

Soon after the Governor presented his May revise, the Joint Budget Conference Committee made up of Democratic and Republican Legislators of both houses began hearings on the Governor’s proposed solutions for the budget revision.  This gave the public an opportunity to comment on the Governor’s proposals and to make suggestions how the Legislature and Governor should close the $21 billion budget gap.

The Budget Conference Committee rejected, approved, or modified many of the Governor’s proposals which resulted in a budget revision that cut less into education, kept seniors and the disabled from nursing homes, helped people transition from welfare to work, and preserved Cal Grants for low income students wanting to attend college.  The revision also allowed state parks to remain open; did not borrow from local government; and did not unfairly target state workers.

The cuts found in both plans were deep but the human cost of the Governor’s plan was too high. The Democratic revision made cuts— but it is was not reckless. It spread

the sacrifice fairly. This was in stark contrast to the Governor’s proposal that included the wholesale elimination of many state programs, borrowing from local governments, and the shutdown of state parks.

Unfortunately, over this past week, the Conference Committee budget was not able to garner enough Republican votes in both houses to reach the 2/3 majority needed. Assembly and Senate Democrats offered budget revision solutions in a majority vote package, which was vetoed by the Governor because it was not his plan.

There were three urgency measures that if enacted before July 1st would have brought over $3 billion in cash solutions and prevented the issuance of IOUs. Last week, all three measures received overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly but did not receive a single Republican vote in the Senate.

Because Senate Republicans and the Governor refuse to approve the $3 billion in solutions, the Controller will be forced to issue IOUs that will devastate California’s bond rating and cost California taxpayers billions of additional dollars making the budget deficit worse.  Democratic legislators have worked, voted, and anguished over the demise of California’s way of life and the harm the budget will do the least fortunate among us however, we will continue to work faithfully in efforts to save our state, I only hope that others, including the governor, will too.

Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod represents the 32nd Senate District which includes the cities of Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Rialto, Pomona, San Bernardino, and the communities of Bloomington and Muscoy.

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

E-mail Print PDF
Image
Juanita Barnes
Rev. Dewitt Womack, wrote this and I want to share it with you: “PASS IT ON.” If you have a smile that is sweet, Pass it on. There are weary souls you can greet. Pass it on. Be not who does not careth; Do not let any soul perish.  Pass it on. If you know one who needs loving, pass it on. Maybe you can start serving. Pass it on. Wipe your downtrodden brother’s Eyes if he has fallen, help him rise. That he might overcome his sighs. Pass it on. Since this world needs men they can trust.  Pass it on. Men who are noble, brave and just. Pass it on. Do not think what the cost might be. Help set enthralled brothers free. This will give you joy, you’ll see. Pass it on.

HELLO MORENO VALLEY
“Where Dreams Soar”

Moreno Valley, I recently attended this month’s Moreno Valley Black Chamber Of Commerce Mixer. It was well attended and held at the Avon Beauty Center, Retail Store. The owners are Cynthia Webster and her husband.  It is well stocked and lots of sales with hands-on care and a lot to learn in the store. I would encourage you to stop by and see Cynthia or give her a call at (951) 243–0730 or shop online: at www.youravone.com/cwebster .  This past weekend, I had the pleasure to attend a surprise celebration for two wonderful women: Mrs. Connie Bowens and her sister Earma, boy were they surprised. Her wonderful husband (Rodney Bowens) “aka Deke” and their five sons gave this surprise party to their loving wife and mother. The birthday party was well attended, Connie’s mother, sister (party girl) three brothers and family came from as far away as Kansas, and in Ca., Compton. Deke and his sons did a great job to celebrate wife and mother, sister and aunt. This was Connie’s first birthday party. All of your guest Miss Connie had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing such a special time with us.  Much love to you and may you have many more.

The Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was asked to merge with the Greater Moreno Valley Chamber. Councilwoman Robin Hastings said that it would be greater participation if we came together and Councilwoman Bonnie Flickinger also spoke of her concerns, saying we should only have one chamber. Black businesses were concerned that they were not getting what they needed with the other chamber. This is why the M.V.B.C.C. was started and why it continues to be successful. Those of you that can get the City Council meetings on Channel 3 watch it and go to the meetings to see what is really going on in the city you live in. Check out your council people and ask are they working for you?

As you live this life God has given you, live the best life you can. Smile, say hello, eat healthy, call someone, encourage, share a wonderful thought but most of all show love to everyone. 

BE BLESSED
J.B.

Page 11 of 315

Quantcast

BVN National News Wire