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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Will America Rise to the Obama Moment?

Does the United States of America have the character to look past the distractions and embrace the promise of Barack Obama.
He is not Jesus Christ but he does appear to have the wisdom to seek strong counsel and to listen. He will bring 1,000 people with him in the new administration to govern. Whatever misgivings you may have about his "style"; I have to believe those 1,000 folks will be enormously more competent and sound than the folks McCain would bring in.
Does America any longer have the depth to address the questions raised by Chris Hedges at Furman University May 28, three days in advance of President Bush's Commencement speech there.
Will America for the next four to eight years be run in the tradition of Nixon, George Wallace, Bush 43, Richard Land, Karl Rove and Lee Atwater; or will it turn toward the promise of Jefferson and George Truett, Martin King, Abraham Lincoln and Judge Frank Johnson with Barack OBama?
Will Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the CNN early man do your thinking for you; can you get past the sideshow of TUCC as soundbitten by Utube? Will half assed demagogues of the distraction and noise machines mush your mind into a useful idiot, or will you be an agent of
transformative change, take a virtuous step in the right direction.

Consider Hedges:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/05/31/9331/

An excerpt:

I single out no party. The Democratic Party has been as guilty as the Republicans. It was Bill Clinton who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. Clinton argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers, he insisted, would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, he argued, to take corporate money. By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton’s leadership, had virtual fundraising parity with the Republicans. Today the Democrats get more. In political terms, it was a success. In moral terms, it was a betrayal.
The North American Free Trade Agreement was sold to the country by the Clinton White House as an opportunity to raise the incomes and prosperity of the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico. NAFTA would also, we were told, staunch Mexican immigration into the United States.
“There will be less illegal immigration because more Mexicans will be able to support their children by staying home,” President Clinton said in the spring of 1993 as he was lobbying for the bill.


But NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, had the curious effect of reversing every one of Clinton’s rosy predictions. Once the Mexican government lifted price supports on corn and beans for Mexican farmers, they had to compete against the huge agribusinesses in the United States. The Mexican farmers were swiftly bankrupted. At least 2 million Mexican farmers have been driven off their land since 1994. And guess where many of them went? This desperate flight of poor Mexicans into the United States is now being exacerbated by large-scale factory closures along the border as manufacturers pack up and leave Mexico for the cut-rate embrace of China’s totalitarian capitalism. But we were assured that goods would be cheaper. Workers would be wealthier. Everyone would be happier. I am not sure how these contradictory things were supposed to happen, but in a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters. NAFTA was great if you were a corporation. It was a disaster if you were a worker.


Clinton’s welfare reform bill, which was signed on Aug. 22, 1996, obliterated the nation’s social safety net. It threw 6 million people, many of them single mothers, off the welfare rolls within three years. It dumped them onto the streets without child care, rent subsidies and continued Medicaid coverage. Families were plunged into crisis, struggling to survive on multiple jobs that paid $6 or $7 an hour, or less than $15,000 a year. But these were the lucky ones. In some states, half of those dropped from the welfare rolls could not find work. Clinton slashed Medicare by $115 billion over a five-year period and cut $25 billion in Medicaid funding. The booming and overcrowded prison system handled the influx of the poor, as well as our abandoned mentally ill. And today we stand in shame with 2.3 million of our citizens behind bars, most for nonviolent drug offenses. More than one in 100 adults in the United States is incarcerated and one in nine black men ages 20 to 34 is behind bars. The United States, with less than 5 per cent of the global population, has almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.


The growing desperation across the United States is unleashing not simply a recession-we have been in a recession for some time now-but the possibility of a depression unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s. This desperation has provided a pool of broken people willing to work for low wages and without unions or benefits. This is good news if you are a corporation. It is very bad news if you work for a living. For the bottom 90 percent of Americans, annual income has been on a slow, steady decline for three decades. The majority’s income peaked at $ 33,000 in 1973. By 2005, according to New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston in his book “Free Lunch,” it had fallen to a bit more than $29,000, this despite three decades of economic expansion. And where did that money go? Ask ExxonMobil, the biggest U.S. oil and gas company, which made a $10.9-billion profit in the first quarter of this year, leaving us to pay close to $4 a gallon to fill up our cars. Or better yet, ask Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, whose compensation rose nearly 18 percent to $21.7 million in 2007, when the oil company pulled in the largest profit ever for a U.S. company. His take-home pay package included $1.75 million in salary, a $3.36-million bonus, and $16.1 million of stock and option awards, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He also received nearly $430,000 of other compensation, including $229,331 for personal security and $41,122 for use of the company aircraft. In addition to his pay package, Tillerson, 56, received more than $7.6 million from exercising options and stock awards during the year. Exxon Mobil earned $40.61 billion in 2007, up 3 percent from the previous year. But Tillerson’s 2007 pay was not even the highest mark for the U.S. oil and gas industry. Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Ray Irani made $33.6 million and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. chief James Hackett

took in $26.7 million over the same period.



And checked this link that goes to the heart of cynics pouters and naysayers about Obama's remarkable promise

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4075722.ece

And google up Brandt Ayers June 1 oped in Anniston Star about Conservatism and how Obama must win Inez, Kentucky.
Good stuff that goes to the heart of Obama's challenge in the heartland, even Dekalb County, Alabama.
Check the discussion in the Hedges and Dean thread at www.baptistlife.com/forums if you have hard time looking for Ayers at www.annistonstar.com .

8 Comments:

Blogger foxofbama said...

On this historic night in the nation, when Barack Obama will become the nominee of the Democrat Party; I invite Lowell Barron and Red Etheredge to this board, to bring Tommy Tubberville and Lou Saban with them to explain to Alabama why they cannot support Barack Obama wholeheartedly as the next President of the United States, and if Tommy and Lou Saban cannot do that, how do they explain themselves roughly to the starting 17 of 22 players on the War Eagle and Crimson Tide who share the same color as Obama.
Tonight Obama approached Martin Luther King, Jr.; the man I heard the former Editor of the NY Times say at Samford in the Presence of the Alabamian to whom Caroline Kennedy gave the first Profile in Courage Award; King called the greatest man to breathe the Air of Alabama in the 20th Century (Howell Raines); in that tradition Obama said tonight in his victory speech and I quote:

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon - that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

I want an account from Barron and Etheredge not only for me and the Tide and War Eagle, but also for Matthew Morgan and Russ Beene of the class of 97 of the town and church where my Mother was baptized.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Henny said...

foxofbama said "I invite Lowell Barron and Red Etheredge to this board, to bring Tommy Tubberville and Lou Saban with them to explain to Alabama why they cannot support Barack Obama wholeheartedly as the next President of the United States, and if Tommy and Lou Saban cannot do that, how do they explain themselves roughly to the starting 17 of 22 players on the War Eagle and Crimson Tide who share the same color as Obama."

So, are you saying that if someone doesn't support Obama for president that it is a color thing? Cannot someone be diametrically opposed to what he stands for? Cannot someone honestly not think he is the best person for the job?

Should coaches,teachers,employers
tell those in their care how to vote? Those in authority should be very careful expressing their personal views to young, impressionable minds. What if a coach supported someone like Papa Doc, and went on to explain why he did! He was the same color as Obama!

I sincerely hope that you have mispoken. If we cannot disagree with someone, or their principles, unless they are of the same color as we, then we have reached a new level in idiocy and this country deserves whatever or whoever it gets.

11:44 AM  
Blogger jr said...

I would also add that, as historic of a moment as it is to have the first black major party presidential nominee, it would be a horrific fallacy to vote for him simply because he is black...it would make about as much sense as Tuberville or Saban or (fill in the blank) starting a player simply because he (or she) is black.

While time will tell, I disagree with your assessment that this will somehow be a more dignified and respectable race than in the past I very seriously doubt that I "won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon - that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize." It's politics and will be politics as usual come September and October.

My expectation is that prominent Democrats, not officially part of the Obama campaign, will harp heavily on race, suggesting that those who don't vote for Obama (even if for legitimate differences in ideology, like myself) are bigots and deep down want to reenact Jim Crow laws and segregation and resurrect George Wallace to once again stand in the schoolhouse door.

I hope I'm wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time. LOL Only time will tell.

4:51 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Well Gentlemen:
My intention was to come to the blog today and start over in this comment line. I fear I may have laid down what will be perceived as a gauntlet of sorts that is not helpful here at the outset to the conversation.
My nuancing was overwrought and timing is bad.
but now that you have responded and quoted me, I'm not sure what to do. I may take it down, the comments in a few days and edit your response to try to take the conversation in a more diplomatic direction.
Jr., the important thing for you, what I would hope is that you take Hedges seriously and get the link on your blog and get the folks in the Campbell Div network to discuss it. It deserves as much.
Lot has happenned today. There is a pretty good discussion in the Obama thread at Baptistlife.com. I would urge you to take a look at that. I added some breaking nuances of just today there.
sfox
Thanks for commenting on my blog; and I hope you come back even if I edit this post or take it down over the weekend.
Sfox

7:32 PM  
Blogger jr said...

Feel free to edit it if you do decide to edit or delete yours. I don't really see it as a gauntlet...I know you're excited that Obama is the nominee. No problem there. :-D

As for Hedges, he makes some good points, but most of it is the same stuff I've been reading for the past six months but written into one article so it's easier to digest.

I hope people will look beyond Iraq as they vote (as it seems Hedges is doing in his article). Iraq, while a foreign policy debacle on many levels, is still only a blip on the overall timeline of the country. I'm glad Hedges is at least addressing what I would agree are the most pressing issues at hand, even though I may disagree with his analysis or conclusions.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Henny said...

It is my hope that you neither edit nor delete this post, as that would be pretending it never happened.
Instead of side stepping the comments you made it would be better to answer the questions and concerns that we expressed.
This is the beginning of a good exchange of ideas and opinions, isn't that what you have wanted on this blog?

7:36 AM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

See the new link I have added in the text of the blog about the gnarled and cynical.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Henny said...

The link is interesting, but does not go to the heart of your comments.

I asked you a direct question expecting a direct answer, not a link to yet another blog. Please give us the courtesy replying to us directly.

9:58 AM  

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