Thursday, July 17, 2008

I have some things to think about.

During the Democratic primary here in Ohio, I placed a Barack Obama sign in my yard.

When you put a sign in your yard or a bumper sticker on your car for a sports team or a political candidate you can expect a minor amount of ribbing by your neighbors or even some times a random passerby.

I sure did - one neighbor was super pro-Hillary and another neighbor's daughter told me she heard Barack Obama said in a speech that if he was elected he would tax white people higher than blacks. I didnt bother responding, because if she did actually believe this, I didnt want to argue over something that absurd anyway.

I have long since taken the sign down, partly because it advertises the concept of voting for him in the primary and mostly because lots of wind and weather had all but sheered the turgidness of the metal legs. It's leaning against my living room wall right now.

The neighborhood that I live in is 99.999999999% white. A block away from me lives a man who runs a motorcycle gang. And when I say this, I dont mean some guy who fancies himself a biker on the weekends. He's a man who runs a very legit and very tough biker gang that started over 40 years ago. He carries at least one bullet in his body that cannot be removed and several biker-style tattoos on his body. I mention the tattoos because at least one of them is quite a large "SS" tattoo on his forearm. He's a nice guy and has always shown me neighborly respect when we've interacted. I've always just chalked up the "SS" tat as some poor and hasty descision in his youth that he now wears to remind himself of the error.

Well it turns out he's the local head of the KKK as well. Now I dont know how "local" local is ... I dont know how far out that radius from this point reaches, but I'm guessing it's a fairly large local.

Some of his buddies were delivering food to my neighbor's house back then when my sign was out and mentioned something about burning a cross on my lawn.

...

And I have to admit that while every fiber in my body says "I dont care what anyone thinks" ... I'm re-thinking putting another sign out in my yard. I'm also mildly worried about even having a bumper sticker or my mom having one. Then again I tend to worry too much, and I'm sure the cross burning thing was just a flippant reference and I'm a huge proponent of the nation having this dialog and facing this hurdle in our on going struggle with race relations. And I'm a little mad at myself for even worrying or needing to worry about this.

I need to think about this further.

37 comments:

  1. har har har.. Turgid!

    You used the word of the day!
    *duck in groucho get-up comes down from ceiling and music goes off. Confetti everywhere.*

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  2. I have to get honest with you guys.
    I have some things to think about too. Decisions to make.
    I visited this site today. I honestly don't know how to react. Please tell me how to cope with this.

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  3. Oh yeah.. and this too What the fuck?

    I am going to create the worlds first comment blog and start blogging in Cory's comments.
    Subscribe to my comments RSS feed bitches!!

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  4. Yeah that is a pretty crappy situation. But you can support him in other ways other than a sign in your yard and thusly not have to worry about the crazies. You really think they would do that though? I would be very suprised... There have to be other folks with Obama signs in their yards.

    Honestly, overall I think the whole race thing with Obama has been blown WAY out of proportions, in many ways by him. Using Race in this way, actually creating the perception of racism, is low and sickening to me. We have a number of Black people in governmental positions, and although there may be a minority of crazies that would be in uproar, I don't see any reason why we couldn't have an African American President.

    Frankly, after what Obama has said over the last few days - specifically his out-of-touch comments about pulling troops out of Iraq, I'm thinking people are soon going to be tired of him anyway so it's not going to happen this time around. He is pretty much blowing (it for) himself now.

    Also, I'm thinking about how thankful I am that I had enough self restraint to stop the cake farts video in time. Jon, you are a destroyer of worlds. Damn You.

    Also I am thinking about swimming pools.

    DO NOT take the secret level skip.

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  5. Barack's black?

    Honestly being on the street for the campaign in several different ways, I've heard the following complaints about Barack:

    1) He doesnt like the American flag.
    2) He's secretly a Muslim
    3) He's a nigger.

    It's a little disconcerting out there in some circles that race is an issue for them. I think by and large America is fine with a black president or a green one or whatever as long as he does the job well.

    I will be putting a sign in my yard again and a bumper sticker on my car (once I get one that shows up better on my green car). I will not live in fear. I honestly think they'd only react if they felt they were provoked and I'm not sure if my yard sign would really outrage many people who take the time to know me. Now to quote Guns and Roses ... "And for all those opposed ... well? ... get in the ring."

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  6. I have a solution.

    Put a Obama sign in THEIR yard and then burn a cross in their yard, and wait for them to come out said and laugh like Nelson from Simpsons and run away.

    I see this as the best solution..

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  7. I apologize for my superfluous "said" I don't know where that came from.

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  8. ROFL - Jon, that was genius.

    Cory - what do you think about the video I sent? Don't you think it's ridiculous that Obama would say something like they're going to tell you blah blah blah, oh and by the way, he's black. WTF? You really think a republican candidate is going to mention race? Who is he talking about? They are running screaming as fast as they can in the opposite direction.

    And what about coming out just after talks of increased drawdowns and an almost total lack of news reported on Iraq in the last few months (since no bad news is no news in today's slanted mass media), Obama comes out touting how he's going to pull the troops and put them in Afghanistan? What? Where has he been? They troops are already planned to get drawn down, not much of anyone is worried about Iraq any more it seems.

    And now he's going to Iraq? Why? Photo ops?

    With regards to race, from what I can see, a vast majority of the folks that will actually cast a vote in this election don't give a crap what his skin color is. To make it an issue at all is just ridiculous to me. I think it is a huge milestone that an African American has been able to get an opportunity to run for president, don't get me wrong, but making his race any part of the debate is deplorable. His presuming that the republicans are making it an issue when there is absolutely no evidence is just as deplorable.

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  9. By the way, I heard on the radio that someone in Delphos got a burning cross in their yard. Blah. People are dumb.

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  10. Regarding the video you linked to, he was listing the things that he thought they would use as scare tactics to drum up votes against him and how these things are either completely false or non-issues.

    There are groups out there aligned with Republicans or specific Republican candidates that do try to scare people by playing the race card. Ask John McCain about his South Carolina fun back in 2000. Or work on some voter out reach with me this year in Allen county you'll see it there too. Back in 2004 the poorest neighborhoods in Lima miraculously found papers at their house that told them that voting was actually being held a day later and not to come to the polls on Tuesday and that if you've ever been convicted of doing anything including a speeding ticket you were ineligible to vote. That stuff happens all the time around here to poor people and minorities. And since both of those groups overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates it's not a stretch to imagine who's ultimately doing it.

    At any rate, race is an issue to a lot of people. I've spoke with more than 100 people at their homes so far and a lot of them have mentioned that they dont feel like they have a choice because McCain is too much like Bush and Obama's black, etc (see earlier comment for list).

    If his point in the video you linked to missed you, I dont know what else I could say to explain what he meant.

    As for Iraq and Afghanistan ... seriously you need to throttle back on the Faux (Fox)News and/or the right-wing radio a bit. I hope you dont honestly believe he's there simply for a photo-op and no other reason. Here's a nice article detailing his trip from Reuters. I hope you dont consider them having a "liberal slant".

    And now I assume since Bush is agreeing to a "general time horizon" for withdraw that he some how had the idea first. Oh and he's agreeing with the freely elected officials of Iraq who want us to leave and who probably wont extend our lawful stay there which runs out at the end of this year.

    "General Time Horizon", "I wouldnt call it a plan ... I would call it an list of actionable items", "They'll greet us as liberators", "Bin Laden Determined to Attack the United States". So many fun little quotes and phrases from the last 8 years.

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  11. I honestly haven't gotten the impressions I have about Obama so much from Talk radio or Fox News, or yada yada yada... Man you like to beat that drum. : P

    I watch him talk and I get uneasy - he's VERY manipulative. It is repulsive to me. He doesn't feel like a President to me, he feels like a con artist. If you can't see that then I can't make it any plainer I suppose.

    And I think I have a very good idea of the point he was trying to make in the video, and the people he was trying to get fired up. And I would be more impressed by someone that takes the higher ground and doesn't even acknowledge these issues if they are beneath him. If they aren't important, shut up about them. You make them important when you bring them up.

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  12. By the way I think it is cool how involved you get in the voting outreaches and what not. It is crappy to hear all the stuff that goes on with misleading voters. Takes all kinds I guess.

    And I do admire Obama's Charisma and realize that Politics are politics and both Candidates, to some extent, are going to pretty much say whatever they think we want to hear.

    I just have a very hard time believing and/or agreeing with pretty much everything that comes out of Obama's mouth.

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  13. Also I seem to remember a few interested quotes from our pre-bush president... "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is". Hehe.

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  14. Anyone see that movie "Dave"?

    I want "Dave" as our president. /sigh

    I'm glad you brought up the whole "is" thing. I only wish life was as simple now as it was when everyone was ready to impeach a man for getting a blow job at work.

    Nevermind throwing out the Constitution (Didn't Bush take an Oath ON THE BIBLE to protect the Constitution?), lying to get us into war, lying about who was behind 911 (Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it, and yet where's he now?), telling the entire judicial system (meant to keep the executive branch in check, something that's made this country great for over 200 years) that he's not going to play the game anymore, shall I continue?

    Yeah, that blowjob was terrible. The man should have been hung on the spot.

    Joel, all B.S. aside, what are your thoughts on Kennedy? Some would say he was the greatest president this country has ever seen, and yet he was promiscuous as hell.

    Do you think he was a good president or a bad president?

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

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  15. Wheee! You just managed to not just stumble, but leap into one of my biggest pet peeves.

    Clinton didn't get impeached over a blow job, and I couldn't care any less how promiscuous Kennedy was. The problem with Clinton was he got nailed on it and then lied to the American public, going as far to debate over the definition of the words 'is' and 'alone'. It was, in my opinion, one of the biggest examples of dishonesty and embarrassment I have ever seen coming from an American President. It was an ultimate example of a man's inability to take responsibility for his actions and made Clinton a laughing stock across the world.

    While you are on the subject of the Constitution, given it's many references to God, and Obama's recent comments about this not really being a Christian Nation any more, and the current state of continued forced removed of God out of the United States of America, that is another one of my pet peeves.

    There is so much fooking hypocrisy in politics these days. Remind me what part of the Constitution you think Bush is violating? Are you one of those people that are upset because we aren't applying our Constitution to terrorists that we capture?

    Of all of the people that are eroding our Constitution and the beliefs it was founded upon, I wouldn't place Bush very high on the list.

    And remind he again how a President can organize an entire War, 'lying' to everyone. We can debate about whether we should have gone into Iraq, but there were a hell of a lot more people that had the same intel that he had that we on board before we invaded Iraq. Don't be so naive. I know it makes it much easier to place all the blame on Bush, but it isn't quite that simple.

    Are we trying to Rewrite History?

    Wow. Bush is either a really good liar or everyone in the US government is pretty damned gullible.

    ?

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  16. I'm not placing ALL the responsiblity on Bush. I'd say his buddy Rove had a pretty good hand into things also. I can't wait till they bring him to court to answer for all he's done.

    Oh yeah, they did try. Twice.

    Where is he again? Oh yeah, skipped the country.

    And to be honest, yes. I am one of the people upset that we are not applying the constitution to the "terrorists" that we are holding illegally in prisons without ever receiving a trial (a constitutional right) and with no chance of ever having a trial.

    That is NOT American. That is something that they always told me places like Russia did when I was a kid to make me understand how bad things were in the Communist world where people don't have rights and had to be afraid of the government constantly watching them for the one time they trip up and do something, anything against the government.

    We were nothing like that. We were "Free". (That's supposed to be what all the terrorists hated us for in the first place, right?). We didn't have to worry about our government constantly watching us. We didn't have to worry about our government making our friends or family disappear for the rest of their lives for something without ever knowing what they supposedly did.

    THAT is what made America great, but that is NOT the America we live in anymore.

    I'm afraid to go online and write things like this. I'm afraid to go to the airport. I'm afraid for the world my daughter will live in. The world I live in now is the world I was told to be afraid of when I was a child.

    And no, I can't place the blame solely on Bush. This is all the result of wheels put into motion years before I was told how evil Russia was. The problem is that things are just now starting to come out.

    There was about a 2 week period a couple weeks ago where I honestly thought that starting next year we'd start to rebuild this country to what it used to be. But now I no longer trust Obama. And with the only other real option McCain I have come to realize that no matter what we're going to be stuck in a complete shit hole for at least another 8 years.

    If you want some real "Tin foil hat" shit, I'm not 100% convinced that Bush will even step down at the end of this year.

    I don't care about Bush anymore, I really dont' care about Obama or any other person in the political game anymore. None of them are worth trusting for anything anymore. We're living in a system where no matter what we think, we are NOT in a democracy.

    If we were, then there would be NO way to explain a president and congress with, what, a 15%-20% approval rating voting against what the other 80% of the population want.

    When government that's supposed to be run by the people isnt' doing what the majority of the people want, then we're all getting played. And anyone who thinks other wise is only being fooled.

    Ok. Well, that hits just about every crazy incoherant, consperacy theory I can think of, and should be more than enough fuel to get everyone good and fired up. Either by the lack of my own personal understanding or others personal believes. Please, enjoy :)

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  17. Wow someone needs a vacation. hehe. Just kidding.

    I think if you had a good talk with a veteran commander of today's war on terror he might be able to give you a different perspective on the obsession with human rights applied to a people that teach their children it is the highest honor to blow yourself up in the name of Allah.

    I also think you will find that once this war in Iraq proves successful - if we actually leave the major decision making to a large extend out of Washington and in the hands of the commanders on the ground, Oil prices drop after we realize 8% of ANWR isn't worth appeasing radical environmentalists over and start using the massive resources we have here while developing alternatives and making a big push toward Nuclear, realize that handing healthcare over to millions of illegal immigrants is a horrible idea (along with a universal system in general), and realize that we aren't going to blow up the world in 15 minutes by driving SUVs, you're going to realize that the good ol' USA isn't really in that bad of shape.

    I have a bit of what I would consider an advantage - my faith, which pretty much has driven out most of the effects of the doom and gloom that are constantly emanating from the mass media, so the mentality that God is going to take care of his people regardless of who is in the White House gives me a good foundation to keep me from losing my mind over every stupid thing Bush says or ridiculous and illogical Pelosi rant.

    I figure I just stirred up the rest of the people you didn't.

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  18. Actually, I just remembered something. All of your problems will go away when you get lost in this game, which comes out in September. Oh man... Download the creature creator. It's going to be a great game. Really open ended.

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  19. Spore's not bad. Unfortunately I think I lack the processing power at home to run the full game sufficiently. However I will say that the creature creator does work well enough and has been a reasonable distraction at times.

    The true distraction is still WoW.

    Yes, I am still truely hooked and there is little that will sway me away from Azeroth anymore.

    I will say though that I agreed with half of one thing you said. So that's something, right?

    I don't think we need to extend medical coverage to illegal immagrants either, however I do think that any universal system would be an improvement over the system we have now.

    I already can barely afford to have medical coverage for my family, enough gas to drive to and from work and food for everyone. Last year my company started this "Wellness Program" which they, to this day, still insist is all about the health and wellness of it's employee's and NOT about saving the company money on insurance (I call shenanigans).

    Anyway, they told us that participation in the program was voluntary and that we would receive discounts on our premium for participating. When asked if there would be penalties for NOT participating they assured us that there would not.

    Fast forward one year later and I'm told that my premiums will be something like 50% more next year for not participating.

    So, with gas going up, insurance going up, food itself going up, a 4th mouth to feed on the way, and no sign of any significant wage increase on my horizon I'm scared to death.

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  20. Well at our company the benefit package, largely healthcare coverage, constitutes about 50% of an employee's salary. It's massively expensive. We've had to switch to HSAs and high deductible family plans, so we are feeling the crunch too... I think HSAs that create cost savings incentives by placing people in more control of their healthcare decisions are a step in the right direction.

    I feel oddly satisfied in the half agreement statement. That is better than happens many times round these parts, heheh.

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  21. Wow you guys need to find a new insurance provider. 50% is crazy. I can put you in touch with someone if you want.

    The HSA's we looked at sucked as a concept since the only money they help you save is that money going in you dont have to pay payroll taxes on that go in there and if you dont pull it out by the end of the year (assuming you dont use it) then you get taxed on it and if you leave it in there the insurance company just keeps it. :P

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  22. Our HSA rolls over indefinitely. And it's basically in a checking account, and it accrues interest too.

    Our Premiums are high because we carry pretty good coverage, including Dental and Vision and everything, so we are probably on the high end I guess. But it definitely isn't getting any cheaper.

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  23. We have awesome coverage and vision and life. No dental though.

    Seriously shop around. Either that or you have a lot of young people and a lot of older folks skewing your overall numbers.

    Or you all have really really bad teeth and all the money's going there. hehe

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  24. I don't think the issue is that we are violating the human rights of nasty bad terrorists.
    It's that we are violating the human rights of people who *might* be terrorists. People who are US citizens and that should be protected by the constitution. People that could be you or I.

    They arrested two guys in Michigan last year for going in to walmart and buying too many cell phones.
    They were selling them on EBay and that was how they made money.

    And I know I speak for myself and my company, but shopping around for a new insurance provider is not something that I have any say in what so ever. It's all the bottom line and what is cheapest for the company. They just changed our insurance here so now we are paying more for it.

    Allmost time to move to Canada!

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  25. Batman was fucking INCREDIBLE by the way. Though I still do not agree with them giving the joker organic web spinners.

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  26. lol. I don't think I've heard one bad thing about Batman yet. Man, I am really looking forward to see it. I am having a baby any day now. Holy crap that is freaky.

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  27. I am in an HSA for 2 years now, and so far it hasn't been bad. But I'm about to find out how having a baby will be with it. When they went over the costs for a kid with us at Jenn's first appointment, they were double when we had Morgan. That's crazy!

    But, my company puts money in the checking account each quarter, and since the HSA plan primiums WERE cheaper than the regular premiums I was putting the difference each paycheck into the account which also helped. But since the premiums went up last year, i had to stop doing that just to break even.

    Anyway, we can carry our balance over also, and it is just a checking account. It helps for all the little things that we need but wouldn't be able to have the cash for, like cold medicines and bandaids and stuff.

    And as much as i hate Walmart, their $4 perscriptions are fucking sweet!

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  28. Joel.
    Please finish watching the cake farts video.
    And then watch the pudding farts video. Oh god I watched this over the weekend after the UFC fight at my friends house and we pretty much all laughed until we pissed.
    I've pretty much turned my websit into what I am going to term a rlog. Just coined that term.. mark it down.
    Its a real life log. I bookmark all the shit and then over at my friend I regale them with a "post" of all the funny shit I found during the previous weeks.
    ooo how about ana-log or analog-log?

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  29. Members of my family found the "cake farting" ... interesting. hehe

    I'm trying to save Batman for Thursday night movies with Wulf, but I might go see it tonight and then again on Thursday if he wont get mad.

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  30. Did you make it to the pudding farts Corey?
    If not, oh god please watch the pudding farts. I wish pudding farts had been around when I worked at FNG.

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  31. ack.
    Re-reading my last comment i typed your name wrong..
    My bad, I'm tired.
    go watch batman! watch it more then once. You are going to totally love it..

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  32. The dating site for Zombies

    Told you, batman is fucking awesome isn't it? Going to see it again saturday with Jamie.
    Is the issue that the kid is four, or that it is a girl..

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  33. Nananananananananananananananana Batman!

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  34. You got a lobster, and you got a magnet!

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  35. WE EAT TEH PIG AND THEN WE BURN!

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