Monday, December 8, 2008

Barack Obama: An Answer To
Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

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."

Amusing, eh?

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 States Mega-Corporations of America?

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 politics politricks. It comes down to any particular blogger giving their opinion, which if it has an iota of responsibility and credibility, is based on the available facts you carefully research, think about, and then synthesize to see the big picture of how masses of people are or will be affected. And hope you got it right so as not to mislead people.

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.


  1. I haven't been blogging much lately at all. Been chasin' the cheese myself lately rather hard.

    However, his cabinet choices had me fit to be tied fo' sho' LOL.

    I couldn't see straight every time a new cabinet member was announced.

    And I'm not one who liked much of his compromising during the campaign. I've seen too many Black folk do the soft shoe for white folk and once they get into power still have their hand out like "Yes Massa."

    I wasn't convinced.


    That statement about the workers having every right to demand what had been promised them...well damn...who the hell knew he'd say that?


    So maybe I'm hopeful.


  2. Like you I have not been feeling Obama's cabinet choices and was starting to be reminded of why initially I was not an Obama supporter. (Edwards was my initial choice)

    However I do like what he said regarding the union workers in Chicago and suspect we will see more of these types of actions in coming days.

    Folks are fed up, like your piece stated those of us in the middle are hanging on for dear life. The slow sick realization that we are not as far away from the working poor as we thought despite our McMansions and SUV's.

    Don't sweat your stats, you have a powerful voice, I think many of us are just grappling with the changing economic landscape. I know I have not been as fired up to blog these days. Like you I am tired and busy trying to get my hustle on and figure out what's going on.

  3. Good article as always. I did not comment on the India/Pakistan post because I don't understand the conflict as indebtly as I should. BE Good!

  4. Good post Kit.
    I ranted about Obama critics over at my place.
    We gotta give the guy a chance. He probably knows better about how to politically win friends and influence people than most of us put together.

    Hope you're feeling better and your pursuits are fruitful.

  5. Damn, you had a serious conversion.

    I'm still waiting and seeing. Still confident, but I won't know anything until the man is actually president and actually getting stuff done.

    So I'm chilling.

    Anyway, check me out tomorrow, I might have something up you'll find interesting. Today's blog is just a big of fluff.

  6. I'm heartened by Obama's voice on unions and what we need to kick-start this economy again. To extend (and potentially kill) a metaphor, not only is the cheese moved, the cheese in some cases has disappeared. Obama's ideas are to create more cheese which we desperately need. I had wondered if he would actually walk the talk (I wonder that about most every politician). It appears that he is the man that I thought he was with the character that I thought I saw.

    I know why I followed the chicken across the road. Because I had HOPE that more opportunity and a way out of this mess is on the other side of the road

  7. The O Man is going to throw a economic recovery number out there that is so big your TV announcers heads just might start popping on screen.

    I think we have elected Malcolm X without the attitude.

    For a lawyer to make the unequivocal statement he did yesterday about the victimized workers in Chi-town is better than it ever gets. For him to the the Prez-elect and say it still has my head spinning.

    I wouldn't worry about Obama - I don't think he has a problem cracking that whip, and I don't believe he wastes a lot of time agonizing over whether to axe someone when they don't work out - I'm talking to you, Hillary, cause this negro will make you pack your bags if you try to start playing games.

    If you think about it, though, he might as well be the Falcons new coach - after everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, how bad could the next prez do?

    Obama has this thing on lockdown. The things he can't control are going to happen anyway.

  8. I think Barack will try to come through for those of us who want a fairer more balanced world but only if he does some things that make us squirm: like embracing Hillpatine, Billy Jeff, LIEberman and even McLame. Now if he can actually come through on reigning in Israel that would be a miracle. The he could get the Arab countries to ease up and finally help the Palestinians because they are treated as bad as the Haitians.

  9. I'm reserving judgments on Obama until he officially takes office and starts taking action. I also understand why some feel that his cabinet picks aren't exactly revolutionary, but I'm confident that he made those choices for a reason. Change doesn't necessarily mean automatic fresh faces at every turn.

  10. It's heartening how his shout-out to those workers echoes his many statements during the campaign that it was all about us, not him. Maybe he really means that, and further, can actually do something about it. His cabinet choices were often chilling, but I'm hoping he's going for competence/experience over ideology. I waver, between hoping he can really make a difference for 'us," and believing he's just another captain hired to hold onto the wheel of the fixed-rudder Ship of Empire.

    I hope you fully recover soon; this is an impressive post, especially given what you've been going through!

  11. Macon, Thanks for the well-wishes; I'm fine again but my youngest has it. :(

    Like you, I hope his going for competence & experience over ideology works.

    V-Knowledge, The one fresh face I'd like to see is Dennis Kucinich appointed to something meaningful.

    Faith, Reigning in Israel from their ambition to do a first strike on Iran, and Iran to absolutely prove they will only use nuclear power for energy may be Barack's greatest political challenge. The economy... well, that's dead. He'll have to birth a new one where business is done quite differently.

    Brown Man, Oh, what an upbeat ontime comment! Loved it! Heh-heh... Malcolm X without the attitude, lol.

    Mountain Laurel, no apologies needed. I'm seeing from the responses here that a lot of folks have been wondering... doubting... his coming out for the workers was marvelous and revised my fading hope.

    Big Man, Yeah, I was in one of those serious as a heart attack moods when I wrote this.

    Sagacious, Thanks. Looking for a full time good job is a 40 hour a week job in itself. My background is a big plus, but I'm trying to avoid a gig where I'd have to work evenings because I don't want my youngest home alone too much. Went through that with my son and it's an invitation to a whole new kind of trouble.

    Mista Jaycee, Thank you.

    Black Girl In Maine, That's one of the nicest compliments I have ever received, and feeling down as I did last week and this weekend, it was very nurturing. Thank you. Good luck to you and the spousal unit getting your ducks in a row for the months ahead. Like you, I also haven't been feeling his appointments, but Barack's the genius, so for now I'll sit back and see.

    JJ, "who the hell knew he'd say that?"

    Man, it was remarkable! It was like a hope injection.

  12. The reason I love coming to your blog is because you stay true to who you keep it TRILL (true and real). I personally don't keep up with politics much, so a lot of what I find out is from here. I respect your views and commentary because I know you research and include the facts. Some people may not like what you have to say, but nothing beats reality, and a lot of what you say is freaking reality.

    I love Barack! But I am afraid. I'm scared he may end up having a hidden agenda somewhere down the line. I'm afraid he may one day cross the other side of the street. But we haven't come to that road yet. Like you said, he has done some things that made us (and others) give him the side-eye...but he did those things more out of necessity to put him in the position he is in today....but still remains the fact that he did those things.

    At the end of the day, we just have to have faith that the Great Black Hope will, with the help of God, lead this country out of darkness and back to higher ground. Great post!

  13. Shy, Thank you so much for the kudos.

    Your sentiments about Barack were beautifully stated. The echo both my own hope and admiration for Barack, yet having the concern of will he cross the street someday, leaving us all on the other side?

  14. Never in my life have I supported a presidential candidate with the same fervor as I supported this one. Viscerally and instinctively I knew that America needed him; the world needed him. He will be a life changing figure in the changing fortunes of our time. This was a great post Trill. Thanks.

  15. Thanks, Mike. My feelings about Barack too.

  16. Although I didn't agree with some of his choices, I'm going to reserve my opinion and see how everything plays out.

  17. uh huh. but let me remind you, when barack first came on the scene yall were not feeling him AT ALL. i wonder, what changed? oh yeah, he's a black guy.

  18. If you are still looking for work, I would suggest the Census Bureau. They are recruiting census takers for the 2010 Census, and they are paying somewhat decent ($20 an hour plus gas mileage reimbursement). Go to for more info. I called them today, and have an appointment set up for next Wednesday. It is definitely worth a shot. Happy holidays!

  19. Bookworm Girl, Y'all? You aint' talking about me or most of the black folks in the land who liked him from the get.

    Monk, on baited breath we await his magic, with fingers crossed... He'll need some too, to solve these problems.

    Goldiilocks, I'm hunting bigger game in a different jungle, but thanks for thinking of me.

  20. Well, I am looking forward to see him imparting the 'CHANGE' into the economical-crises that we are at the verge of! Secondly, the POLICIES! The Foreign Policies are of the paramount importance specifically to the Indian Sub-Continent Crises and world famous 'WAR on TERROR'.
    And yes, Shy, I totally blank up my mind on your thought of side-eyed insight. For that, we have to wait for his first day as President.
    Kit... very down-to-earth approach! Liked it.


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