There are many versions to the old joke,
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Yesterday, I came across one answer that George W. Bush might have given in the early years of the Iraq invasion:
"We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here."
But after two terms of his agenda and philosophy, it hasn't been funny at all. Americans got a bunch of clues that his side of the street wasn't really our side, and en masse, we voted out The Party That Wrecked America.
It's not that the younger Bush doesn't love his country, it's just that the lies that got us into an unnecessary, horrible war and policies serving the greediest elements of corporate interests utterly destroyed the economy.
Symbolically, this left much of the country on one side of the road, and the elite on the other. The middle class in the formerly very wide median strip was run over, or is barely hanging on and worried to death about becoming road kill.
It's been so intense for me that last week I spent nearly every waking hour working, looking for more work, and going to a training, with hardly a free minute to read or write for pleasure. By Saturday, I was as fried as KFC chicken (yeah, bad joke) and under the weather with a mild flu-like symptoms for the entire weekend. I'm just beginning to feel human again. Forgive me, please, if I haven't visited your blog lately.
My spirits were lifted when I read this story -
Obama: Workers Staging A Sit-in Are Absolutely Right.
Obama told a news conference Sunday that Republic Windows and Doors should follow through on its commitments to the 200 workers, who say they won't leave the plant until they are assured they'll receive their severance and vacation pay.
"The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they're absolutely right and understand that what's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy," Obama said.
"We never expected this," said Melvin Maclin, a factory employee and vice president of the local union that represents the workers. "We expected to go to jail."
And this story - Obama Means The End Of Blank Checks For Israel: Clinton Ambassador.
"The era of the blank cheque is over," said Martin Indyk, director of the Centre for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute who is considered close to incoming secretary of state Hillary Clinton... "there are obligations on both sides (Israel and the Arabs)... [who] will have to respect these obligations."
And this story -
Obama Pledges Massive Public Works Program
Obama said his plan would put millions of people to work by "making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s."
These stories didn't come a day too soon for me. Hope, trust and faith in my leader have been important ingredients in my perception and belief in Barack. Like baking a cake, without them, it's not going to be good or even possible to swallow.
I had expected a regime change in his Cabinet appointments, but the same old faces were selected. If you've researched the histories of these people, you can't help but wonder if they'll be loyal to Obama's interests, or have their own hidden agendas... or even wonder what Obama's agenda really is. More of the same, or the promised changes to truly benefit the American people, rather than the United
In addition, what went down in India in the last week of November made me angry and even bitter; it's a signal that a new war with Pakistan is on the horizon. Barack made it clear during his campaign he'd go after bin Laden in Pakistan, and since early September, Bush ordered 'surgical strikes' in tribal areas in that country. This has been killing innocent civilians.
I'm old enough to remember Vietnam. War is like a cancer and spreads, and it spread to those neighboring countries without us legally declaring war on them... yet our boys, along the innocent and the environment, suffered. Many died.
Should India and Pakistan's age old feud spin out of control and we get sucked into it, as sure as the sun rises each day, we can expect a reinstatement of the draft. If either of my kids ever enlist, I'd be behind their decision 100%, and if death or a handicap is their fate, so be it. In fact, my son, now 20, tried to enlist every year since turning 18, but the rules of this century is that without a GED or high school diploma, he's ineligible.
In contrast, I'd just as soon not have that life experience of a military person knocking on my door to sadly inform me that one or both of my (drafted) children were maimed, crippled or killed in action.
So yeah, I've been so concerned about Obama's Cabinet choices and that act of terrorism in India that I seriously considered giving up ever blogging again about politics. What would I have to say to my bulk of readers who are still - and perhaps forever - in the honeymoon stage with Barack, and see him as incapable of doing any wrong and thus allergic and even hostile to criticism of his decisions?
I noted that my stats nose-dived after last Monday on that Divide & Conquer: India & Pakistan post, with fewer comments than usual. Often it's not what people say, but what they don't say. Silence really does speak louder than words, leaving me to wonder if Kit was in the doghouse.
So be it, I thought. I can just do essays on social issues and relationships.
I've always considered that if folks don't like my message on political topics, I'll consider that any argument that could persuade me otherwise, but if I'm not persuaded from raw facts and analytical thinking that a problem isn't worthy of discussion, I won't pretend otherwise to remain popular. The hits aren't worth it if they're gained by compromising on the larger view of what's going on.
Notice that I didn't say the truth. Who really knows what the truth is in the world of
Today's news shows me that Barack Obama has dived head first into the icy waters of the issues I value but surely make the men who control the world cringe and tremble with fear.
He came out for unions.
He used his new Chief of Staff, Hillary, to convey the message that no more blank checks will be written for Israel, and by default, any other country.
He's pushing the rebuilding of our crumbling infrastructure of transportation, which has the double-edged benefit of creating millions of jobs.
Barack made many compromises to get elected out of sheer necessity, from entirely supporting the apartheid-like governmental policies of Israel, to voting FISA, to keeping utterly silent on Dennis Kucinich's efforts to impeach Bush & Cheney, to supporting the first Wall Street Bailout plan, to giving a pass to that traitorous Joe Lieberman who supported the Republican candidate rather than his own party.
He did what he had to do, and even then I understood that if he didn't, he could never get into a position where he could really help us, all of us. Black folks in particular knew this intuitively.
But then I wondered, is he really for us, or for the monied interests?
By his most recent actions, the brotha plays a mean game of chicken, and I think it's safe to say he did something I haven't seen a US President do in my long life. As that protesting factory worker said in the first cited article, "We never expected this... we expected to go to jail."
That is phenomenal. That attitude will catch like a wildfire and fuel the revolution of the People, who have too long been treated as disposable farm animals, like chickens, sheep, and cattle herds. For the first time in a long, long time, we have been given the green light that it's okay to dissent injustice and still be treated like the worthy human beings that God made us.
So why did Barack Obama cross the road?
To join us on our side so more of us won't become road kill, because the habits of a good community organizer and activist are enduring.
And maybe, because God had mercy on his children and sent us this gift.