Monday, March 31, 2008

Hooked on Hillary?

Over at the Huffington Post, Nora Ephron's post hit home a little. Not very long ago both Monica and I were totally torn between Obama and Clinton. It was a good thing, actually. When we bought new calendars for 2008, we ended up buying two. One featuring Barack and one with Hillary. They are both very picturesque with all the important dates and events of the election season. Although we both have decided on Obama as first choice, I still do feel somewhat like Ephron does about Hillary.
My mother had said "Hillary is older, maybe it's her time this time, and then Barack." Waiting four or probably eight years does make a difference and I'm sure Hillary is feeling that.
A woman, the President of the United States of America, gives me goose bumps to think of it. All things considered now, it doesn't look like it will happen this time, and I admit that makes me kinda sad. She's worked hard, and believes in herself and her vision, so I understand why she doesn't want to bow out. I can see why Hillary supporters, especially women and particularly mid aged and older women will feel a loss if her campaign ends. I know I will.

Hooked on Hillary
By Nora Ephron
Posted March, 30, 2008

I would like to put myself among the growing chorus of people demanding that Hillary Clinton withdraw from the election. I don't really think it's fair to ask her to withdraw, and I certainly don't believe she's going to; she'll hang in there till the last dog dies, or till she runs out of money, whichever comes first. I'm not asking her to withdraw because I prefer Obama, and I don't think she should withdraw "for the sake of party unity," or whatever current bromide is being flung at her to get her to pull out. I think she should withdraw because I'm losing my mind.

Don't get me wrong, this primary election has been swell. Like Michelle Obama, I feel proud of my country for the first time in a long time. I loved Dennis Kucinich, and I had a big sneaker for Chris Dodd. But now that we're down to two contenders, it's turned into an unending last episode of Survivor. They're eating rats and they're frying bugs, and they're frying rats and they're eating bugs; no one is ever going to get off the island and I can't take it any more.

I am particularly sensitive to this because I'm a woman of a certain age, and this means that part of the pie that passes for my brain contains a large slice called Hillary. I've been thinking about her in a fairly pathological way ever since 1992 and dreaming about her as well. She is me, and then again she's not. I used to love her and I no longer do, but unlike what usually happens when love dies, I still think about her far too much. When she tells a big lie, like her recent Bosnia episode, I can lose hours trying to figure out why. I mean, why? Was it one of those things that she'd said so often that she'd come to believe it? Was it a story that had worked in the past so she thought she'd gotten away with it? Did she honestly think that no one would rat her out? Does she not understand that if you're famous, there's almost nothing you do that someone doesn't have a picture of? I have no idea what the answer is to any of this because I'm not a liar and she is. (By the way, I don't think she was always a liar, the way some kids are born liars and never get over it. I think she was once a truthful person and her lying skills were forged in the early years of her marriage, forged in the crucible of Bill's infidelities and in her role as point person in dealing with them. This is what happens when you marry a narcissist: he spills the milk, you clean it up and your love grows. And then you end up a liar, just like him.)

But the point is that it doesn't matter why Hillary lied; what matters is that I'm hooked on Hillary and on the Rorschach process that defines my relationship with her: she does something, I spend far too much time thinking about it, I superimpose my life and my choices onto hers, I decide how I feel about what she's done, I bore friends witless with my theories, and then, instead of moving on, I'm confronted with yet another episode of her behavior and am forced to devote more hours to developing new theories about her behavior. I don't have time for this.

I understand that asking Hillary to withdraw from the race has more to do with me than it does with her, but that's my point.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hillary's Church Defends Dr. Wright

Foundry United Methodist Church was cited on numerous occasions as a steady presence during the Clinton's time in the White House. And in January 2001, Bill Clinton gave a farewell speech to the congregation, thanking the church for its work in the city as well as for its "courage" to welcome gay and lesbian Christians.

The pastor of Foundry, Rev. Dean J. Snyder, appeared on MSNBC and defended Wright. Snyder said that while he may not agree with everything Wright has said, he believes that "the church in America is stronger today because of [Wright's] leadership."

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times. He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. He has been a vocal critic of the racism, sexism and homophobia which still tarnish the American dream.
To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear.
Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize. This is a critical time in America's history as we seek to repent of our racism. No matter which candidates prevail, let us use this time to listen again to one another and not to distort one another's truth.

Dean J. Snyder, Senior Minister
Foundry United Methodist Church

Some of the finest people I know are Trinity Church members. I've been concerned about them. Their church has been called a cult, a den of hate-mongers and worse. Nothing is farther from the truth. Reporters have camped outside and invade that church with little respect for the people or the work that goes on there.
On Easter Sunday, we were glad to see one of the Trinity ministorial students who had interned at our church. Although this trial has to be a strain, she was upbeat and anything but discouraged. She thanked University Church for our support, and assured us they are OK.

When are we going to stop this silliness? Is it that hard to look at the truth about race in this country? Is America that scared of beginning to dialogue? White candidate, Black candidate, Dem or GOP, they should all want that if they love this country. Hillary Clinton and John McCain should have found it more important to join Obama in challenging America instead of using Wright to feed American fears.

Hillary and Bill Clinton should be ashamed. Both are bible readers, church goers and students of history. They have both been to plenty of black churches and know that far more than biblical verses come from those pulpits. They know the civil rights movement was born amid venting and preaching about social ills and inspirational sermons about self determination. They know full well that being pro black is not being anti white. Yes, they both know about Rev. Wright and Trinity. They know his work and what he stands for. They know full well that the Rev. DR. Jeremiah Wright is not a racist, anymore than Bill needs a hymnal in a black church on Sunday mornings. He knows all the words.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Obama, Wright, and Race in America

I have a friend, a white friend, who told me once that I should be ANGRY! I was a bit surprised by that as we talked about white male entitlement in this country. I am a black, female, gay, flag waving patriot who appreciates America's unique history and loves its promise. A promise that was not meant for me. Of course, she is right, there is anger. But, I thought, here is someone who sees beyond her own white nose. I thought, here is a friend with whom I could express that anger and she would not think I'm a racist. Priceless in America?

There are a lot of angry and pent up racial feelings in Americans.
Blacks in America are as a necessity of survival, tuned into white public and private thinking. Whites are usually oblivious to common black perspectives. Never paid any attention. Never had to. I think, many white Americans are shocked and amazed to learn that there is still so much anger and hurt expressed among ourselves. I mean, we've dealt with the basic rights. So now we all can get along. We just say the right things in public and the real things in private. When it comes to honesty about race, we Americans are experts at bandaging over wounds, plugging our ears, and avoiding the 3000 lb elephant in the room.

So, Sen. Barack Obama made a speech about race that ripped off the bandaids and exposed the wounds. He suggested that we actually listen to each other and begin the hard work of healing. No lovey dovey, kum ba yah approach will do this. It'll take gut wrenching personal honesty for all of us. It'll take allowing and understanding each other's anger and hurt feelings and legitimate grievances and disagreements. This guy has the audacity to think that we are up to this. Ha! After some of the responses to that speech, I'm hopeful but I got to say I'm not putting my money there. Bring in a fresh supply of bandanges.

Rev. Wright
Rev. Wright is a product of his times and experience as a black man in America. There are open wounds. He was in the Marines at a time when black soldiers were not honored as white soldiers were. (I've heard my step-father's stories.) Wright knows the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. This was a trauma that black men still commonly speak of today. So, he believes AIDS was manufactured to kill black people. I find this AIDS theory totally ludicrous just as Obama does. But, blacks particularly of Wrights era, don't find it or the crack cocaine genocide theory to be far fetched at all.

Wright thinks the USA brought 9-11 on it's self. I agree that our actions or non-actions in the world may have contributed to the attitude that fostered the hate filled lunacy that brought on that dreadful event. But I certainly don't think my country deserved or directly brought this horror on anymore than Barack does.

Rev. Wright is accused of racism. They had to sift through hundreds of hours of tape to find those angry emotional snippets. Monica and I have seen and heard dozens of his sermons and never saw any hint of racism. Far from it. We saw no sign of a crack pot or nut case or hate-monger either. His messages are full of hope and self determination and lots of humor. Wright is blatently honest and in your face and emotional and in the tradition of the Black church excitable. And there are those rare reckless statements. Absolutely.
Sometimes you vent with your family. Trinity Church is Wright's family.
While I understand where Rev. Wright gets these particular attitudes, I don't agree with them, anymore than Barack does.
Understanding is not agreeing.
I am not a Rev. Wright apologist nor will I cite his accomplishments in the areas of health, education, economics, youth or HIV/AIDS and GLBT issues in his community. I just hope people judge this man by his deeds, not by politically motivated snippets.
My litmus test is always GLBT issues.

Hillary Clinton's Methodist Church Influence
The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality. The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. "
--From the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church.

Wow! I'm sure she heard plenty of anti-gay sermons in an atmosphere that encourages staying in the closet. It's a homophobic atmosphere where GLBT folk are deemed unfit to fully serve and ministers are not allowed to conduct same sex unions.

Hillary says about her church:
"I have always had a deep personal faith that was rooted in the Methodist church in large measure because I was christened into it, I grew up in it. But, it also very much reflected how I thought about faith as I matured. You know, if you look at the Methodist book of discipline it talks about the four contributing streams of faith -- scripture, tradition, experience and reason. I always resonated to the fact that it was both revelatory and scripture-based but that you were invited to use your power of reason to think through your faith and to work through what it meant to you and how you would live it in your daily life."
--Hillary Clinton

So she learned and grew from her church's teachings without becoming a homophobe.
Hillary doesn't leave her brain at home when she goes to church anymore than Barack does.
The same United Methodist Church stance on homosexuality was reaffirmed just last week. But there is no call for her to renounce her church because of it's homophobia. Why not?

United Church of Christ (Trinity)
In 1973, The United Church Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns was formed. Since then GLBT folk have participated in all aspects of church service.
In 1985, the UCC General Synod formally urged their local churches to welcome gay and lesbian members, offering an "Open and Affirming" program and advocate in their behalf against discrimination and persecution.
A resolution to endorse same-sex marriage was overwhelmingly approved by General Synod 25. (2005) The resolution calls on its congregations to consider wedding policies "that do not discriminate on couples based on gender." They also ask its congregations to support changes in state marriage legislation to give equal rights to same-sex couples. An alternative resolution which would have defined marriage as being between one man and one woman was rejected.

I have personally heard many Jeremiah Wright sermons on this subject and he is very up front about how he feels about GLBT people in the world and in the church.

In a sermon Monica and I heard, he said "Some of these ministers try to shrink God down to the size of a tiny little shrimp and put him in a tiny little box and it stinks to high heaven. HPGB is all they want to do. That's High Praising and Gay Bashing."

Also from Rev. Wright

“I refuse to limit my God, to lock God into my cultural understandings because culture is fickle,” Wright said. “And culture is often wrong. Culture was wrong about slavery. Culture was wrong about women. Culture was wrong about Africans and Indians, and culture was wrong about Christ,” he said. “I have been the pariah among many of my clergy colleagues who somehow see me as defective or not quite saved because I won’t join them in their homophobic gay bashing and misquoting of scripture.” (Rev. Jeremiah Wright)

He does not sound like a nut case, hate monger to me.
If Obama loses, he loses. But it would be a travesty if it was based on this trumped up issue.

Rev. Wright sermons
YouTube or
Trinity United Church website

Here is an interview with Rev. Wright.

Here is the UCC response to the hoopla.

Denise Clapsaddle(Huffington post)
Obama channels Jefferson

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Not This Time, America

I am indebted to Barack Obama for his candidacy and Reverend Jeremiah Wright for his comments that brought about possibly, hopefully, at long last, putting the race thing on the table. Presidential candidates have never ever realistically addressed America's most prevalent problem. Yes, they have addressed rights and entitlements, and water fountains and voting, jobs and quotas, but never the real deep-seated effects of racism on whites and blacks and what it does to our nation. Never about what it takes to actually begin healing the wounds inflicted by duplicitous slave owning and condoning founding fathers. I am a big fan of the writings and genius of the founding fathers. But, their hypocritical legacy on race has crept into every pore of America.
Our challenge is to take our fingers out of our ears and face the truth. That's the first step and the hardest. It means looking at our own attitudes and seeing someones else's. A challenge that any candidate could have put to us, but none ever did.
This challenge is a big part of Obama's vision for America. He has faith in Americans enough to lay it out there.

Do we want to be better or keep up the sham of an equal society, the status quo?
So yes, we can ignore it and stay in our corners or step up and say "not this time."

When Americans speak of freedom, it should be respected and real.

Monday, March 17, 2008

2007 State Stats

Most Dangerous States
The two most populace states in the U.S., California and New York, don't have the best crime rates, but they are not among the top most dangerous states. See which states do have the highest crime rates. I find the rape states interestingly out of sinc in some states. They are either higher or lower than the other factors. For example Maryland is number 2 in murder but 46 in rape. (CQ Press annual crime rankings)
No 1: Nevada
For the fifth consecutive year, Nevada tops the rankings as the nation's Most Dangerous State. On a positive note, however, its property crime rate showed improvement.

Rankings in Crime (out of 50)

Assault: 8
Burglary: 6
Murder: 3
Motor Vehicle Theft: 1
Rape: 8
Robbery: 1

No. 2: Louisiana
Things have gotten worse in Louisiana. The state climbs to the No. 2 spot, all the way from the No. 10 spot it held last year. It has the highest murder rate of any state

Assault: 4
Burglary: 4
Murder: 1
Motor Vehicle Theft: 19
Rape: 15
Robbery: 19

No. 3: New Mexico
New Mexico's coiffed tourist image of open desert spaces, Earth-conscious living and colorful hot-air balloons belie a serious crime problem in this border state.

Assault: 6
Burglary: 3
Murder: 10 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 8
Rape: 2
Robbery: 24

No. 4: South Carolina
Whatever happened to Southern hospitality? Sunny South Carolina is charged with the highest assault problem in the Most Dangerous States list

Assault: 1
Burglary: 7
Murder: 4 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 15
Rape: 12
Robbery: 18

No. 5: Arizona
Another border state tops the list of Most Dangerous States; there's more to fear here than black widow spiders and scorpions.

Assault: 16
Burglary: 12
Murder: 7
Motor Vehicle Theft: 2
Rape: 25
Robbery: 16

No. 6: Tennessee
Tennessee residents might sing about love for country and neighbor, but lag behind in showing it. The state earns the No. 2 slot for most assaults.

Assault: 2
Burglary: 5
Murder: 10 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 17
Rape: 19
Robbery: 7

No. 7: Maryland
Hugging the nation's high-crime capital, struggling to revitalize Baltimore and growing its gambling industry, Maryland has the second-highest murder and robbery rate.

Assault: 10
Burglary: 25
Murder: 2
Motor Vehicle Theft: 7
Rape: 46
Robbery: 2

No. 8: Alaska
Alaska is plagued with having the highest number of rape cases. There could be a correlation with alcohol abuse, also known to plague the state.

Assault: 3
Burglary: 29
Murder: 22
Motor Vehicle Theft: 16
Rape: 1
Robbery: 31

No. 9: Florida
It has been commented on a forum that Florida crime is not concentrated in one area, but rather spread across the state.

Assault: 5
Burglary: 10
Murder: 15
Motor Vehicle Theft: 12
Rape: 17
Robbery: 5

No. 10: Michigan
Michigan is home to two of the three most dangerous cities in America, according to the latest CM Press city rankings. Detroit ranks first and Flint ranks third.

Assault: 13
Burglary: 18
Murder: 9
Motor Vehicle Theft: 7
Rape: 3
Robbery: 17

No. 11: Arkansas
The home to former President Bill Clinton rises in the rankings for the 5th year in a row. After hovering in the middle of the pack in 2004, Arkansas now ranks in the top 10 of four of the six crime categories.

Assault: 9
Burglary: 2
Murder: 8
Motor Vehicle Theft: 34
Rape: 5
Robbery: 30

No. 12: Delaware
The First State has taken a sharp rise up the list over the past two years as it moved from 24th in 2006, to 18th in 2007 to 12th this year thanks to high rankings for assault, rape & robbery.

Assault: 7
Burglary: 20
Murder: 24
Motor Vehicle Theft: 23
Rape: 4
Robbery: 3

No. 13: California
Even though California makes the top 15 list for Most Dangerous States, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice states that crime rates in California have fallen over the last two decades.
Assault: 18
Burglary: 24
Murder: 10 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 4
Rape: 41
Robbery: 4

No. 14: Texas
The home of President George Bush ranked in the top 10 Most Dangerous States as recently as 2004 but has steadily improved since.

Assault: 15
Burglary: 13
Murder: 18
Motor Vehicle Theft: 13
Rape: 18
Robbery: 12

No. 15: Alabama
Seems in Alabama, they get serious fast. While only ranking 25th for assault, they tie South Carolina at No. 4 for murder.

Assault: 25
Burglary: 8
Murder: 4 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 26
Rape: 16
Robbery: 13


Now that you've seen which states are the most dangerous in America, find out which are the safest states to live in.
No 1: New Hampshire
New Hampshire is ranked No. 1 for the first time thanks to impressively low crime across the board. It boasts the nation's lowest murder rate and second-lowest aggravated assault and burglary rates.
Assault: 49
Burglary: 49
Murder: 50
Motor Vehicle Theft: 47
Rape: 39
Robbery: 43

No. 2: Maine
The Pine Tree state has been ranked in the top three each of the past 15 years. It has the lowest assault rate in the U.S.

Assault: 50
Burglary: 38
Murder: 45
Motor Vehicle Theft: 48
Rape: 40
Robbery: 44

No. 3: North Dakota
After dominating the Safest State list for the past decade, the Peach Garden state suffers its lowest ranking since 1996. Its rape rate is mainly to blame.

Assault: 48
Burglary: 46
Murder: 48
Motor Vehicle Theft: 45
Rape: 28
Robbery: 50

No. 4: Vermont
It's nice to know there are some places left in the world where folks don't have to live under lock and key. Vermont was the safest state in 2003 along with 1994 & 1996.

Assault: 47
Burglary: 36
Murder: 41
Motor Vehicle Theft: 49
Rape: 42
Robbery: 46

No. 5: South Dakota
As one of the safest states to live in, South Dakota suffers from a shockingly high incidence of rape, but ranks in the top 5 in all other categories.

Assault: 46
Burglary: 48
Murder: 49
Motor Vehicle Theft: 50
Rape: 9
Robbery: 48

No. 6: Wyoming
Wyoming is a great example of a state with low income and low economic growth that does not fall prey to major crime.

Assault: 30
Burglary: 43
Murder: 46
Motor Vehicle Theft: 46
Rape: 36
Robbery: 49

No. 7: Montana
Some credit Montana's low crime rate to the high level of gun ownership. Since most criminals are looking for easy targets, this may keep some in line. The Treasure State has lowest burglary rate in the country.

Assault: 28
Burglary: 50
Murder: 42 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 41
Rape: 31
Robbery: 47

No. 8: Iowa
The Hawkeye State pulls in the No. 8 ranking for the fourth year in a row thanks to above average scores in all six crime categories.

Assault: 26
Burglary: 30
Murder: 42 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 42
Rape: 33
Robbery: 42

No. 9: Idaho
Idaho is a regular on most of the best places to live lists published from various media venues, thanks to its much touted city, Boise. But they need to work on that rape statistic.

Assault: 31
Burglary: 37
Murder: 38
Motor Vehicle Theft: 44
Rape: 13
Robbery: 35

No. 10: Wisconsin
Wisconsin consistently ranks well below the national crime average.

Assault: 38
Burglary: 40
Murder: 33
Motor Vehicle Theft: 36
Rape: 47
Robbery: 28

No. 11: Connecticut
Connecticut is the state where many New Yorkers relocate when it's time to raise a family and give in to the hour-plus commute to the Big Apple. A plus: low levels of assault, burglary and rape.

Assault: 44
Burglary: 44
Murder: 32
Motor Vehicle Theft: 28
Rape: 48
Robbery: 22

No. 12: Rhode Island
The Ocean State improves four spots this year to score the second best gain after Washington state thanks to strong rankings in all categories except auto theft.

Assault: 45
Burglary: 39
Murder: 37
Motor Vehicle Theft: 22
Rape: 38
Robbery: 37

No. 13: Utah
Home to one of the safest cities in America, Orem, the Beehive State maintains its No. 13 ranking that it also held last year.

Assault: 42
Burglary: 33
Murder: 42 (tie)
Motor Vehicle Theft: 25
Rape: 21
Robbery: 40

No. 14: West Virginia
West Virginia is seeing an influx of commuters from the Washington D.C. metro region (including Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland) for its low crime rate and more affordable land and housing.

Assault: 27
Burglary: 28
Murder: 29
Motor Vehicle Theft: 39
Rape: 45
Robbery: 41

No. 15: Virginia
The Old Dominion State improves one position for the third year in a row and holds its best ranking since 2001. It has low crime in all categories except burglaries where it has the fifth worst rate in the nation.

Assault: 39
Burglary: 5
Murder: 23
Motor Vehicle Theft: 40
Rape: 43
Robbery: 27


No. 1:
Detroit, Mich.

Rankings in Crime (out of 50)
Assault: 2
Murder: 2
Rape: 49
Motor Vehicle Theft: 2
Robbery: 5
Burglary: 17
Again rape stands out. Is it under reported? Interesting.

2. St. Louis, Mo.

3. Flint, Mich
No 1 in rape and assault

4.Oakland, Calif.
# 1 in car theft.

5. Camden, N.J.
# 1 in robbery

6.Birmingham, Ala.
7. North Charleston, S.C.
8.Memphis, Tenn.
9. Richmond, Ca
10.Cleveland, Ohio

# 2 in robbery and #5 in rape.

11. Orlando, Fla.
12. Baltimore, Md.
13. Little Rock, Ark.
14.Compton, Calif.
15.Youngstown, Ohio


No. 1:
Mission Viejo, Calif.

Mission Viejo reports no murders for 2006, boasts the nation's lowest rape rate, and has the third-lowest aggravated assault, violent crime, and property crime rates among cities with populations of 75,000 or more.

No. 2: Clarkstown N.Y.
No. 3: Brick Township, N.J.
No. 4: Amherst, N.Y.
No. 5: Sugar Land, Texas

No. 6: Colonie, N.Y.
No. 7: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
No. 8: Newton, Mass.
No. 9: Toms River Twnshp, N.J.
No. 10: Lake Forest, Calif.
No. 11: Irvine, Calif.
No. 12: Orem, Utah
No. 13: Round Rock, Te
No. 14: Cary, N.C.
No. 15: Greece, N.Y.
No. 16: Chino Hills, Calif
No. 17: Coral Springs, Fla.
No. 18: Troy, Mich.
No. 19: Farmington Hills, Mich
No. 20: Centennial, Colo.
No. 21: Glendale, Calif.
No. 22: Broken Arrow, Okla.
No. 23: Parma, Ohio
No. 24: Sterling Heights, Mich.
No. 25: Simi Valley, Calif.


Twenty-one factors from infant mortality to obesity to cancer rates are compiled for the list. See which dozen states rank as the healthiest and which one state ranks as the least healthy. (Morgan Quitno Press in its 15th annual list.)

No. 1 -- Vermont
The Green Mountain state wins the crown as the healthiest state in America for the sixth time in seven years.
It ranked very well in most of the 21 factors including low teenage birth rate, strong health coverage and the lowest AIDS rate of all 50 states.

No. 2 -- Minnesota
#1 in the categories of largest percentage of population who exercise and are covered by health insurance.
No. 3 -- Massachuetts
No. 4 -- Maine
No. 5 -- New Hampshire
No. 6 -- Nebraska

High child immunization rate, access to primary care, and high number of hospital beds available helped put Nebraska high on the list.
No. 7 -- Iowa
The Beehive State was the healthiest state back in 1993 and has consistently remained in the top 10.
No. 8 -- Utah
Ranked No.1 in six of the 21 categories. These include the lowest infant mortality rate, lowest rate of new cancer cases and fewest smokers and binge drinkers.
No. 9 -- Hawaii
No. 10 -- Kansas
No. 11 -- Rhode Island
No. 12 -- North Dakota

No. 50 -- Louisana
If the Bayou state didn't have enough challenges after Katrina it now holds the distinction as being the most unhealthy state in America.
It replaces Mississippi which held the title last year. Louisiana ranked in the bottom 10 of over half the 21 categories measured.

Were you surprised by some of these stats? Again, what's up with the strange rape stats. The otherwise crime ridden Maryland has low rape stats and the very safe South Dakota has high rape stats, and Alaska also with high rape stats?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Keith Spells It Out

My mom turned me on to MSNBC's Keith Olbermman. She called him her "boyfriend". "Turn my boyfriend on, NOW!" "Can you get me a printout of Keith's comments last night?"
Well needless to say with all this political hoopla going on, my family and I and all her friends miss JoJo very much. It is torture not being able to call her especially about primaries and the Florida/Michigan debacle, about Hillary and Barack and McCain and Bill and Rev. Wright and Geraldine Ferraro.

Well mom, boyfriend spells out for Sen. Ferraro what she pretends not to understand.

Democrats, we are shooting ourselves in the foot and will lose the race. Right, mom?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Barack Spells It Out

I knew Hillary Clinton couldn't be counted out of this race. She is savvy and a fighter.
I hate that Rush Limbaugh is patting himself on the back for her success. Yucky Rush "endorsed" Hillary and encouraged conservatives to go in there and close their eyes and vote for Clinton. He wants Hillary to "bloody up Obama" because McCain will not do a good enough job of it. He wants Hillary to stay in as long as possible to do damage to Barack and the Democrats. Rush and the conservatives are deathly afraid of Barack Obama. They yearn for Hillary Clinton vs McCain. Failing that, they want her to help them hurt him.

Democrats must win in November. These two Democratic candidates may soon have to sit down with Howard Dean (DNC) and make a hard decision for the party, for America. Failing that, we may lose the Whitehouse.

Last night in San Antonio, Texas, Barack Obama spelled out the "change" he seeks. His vision for America is quite different from John McCain's or Hillary Clinton's. I am not opposed to Hillary, she can get things done and would be a good president. But she will not change America or challenge Americans.

CHANGE, According to me.
Democracy is supposed to be a challenge. It means turning off the ipods and reality shows and doing some thinking. It takes work and participation from us.

When Barack Obama speaks of change, he means in the way things are accomplished in Washington, end to gridlock, etc etc. This he speaks on all the time. But there are other changes he is acutely aware of. He finally spelled these out last night. These are the changes I want for my country. It's a change that most black Americans know and want simply by instinct and history; that young idealistic Americans crave for and understand; that many Americans hope to see in their country before they die; and the diversity and humanity that much of the world community hopes to see in America.
I want a president that is not an old white man or has an old white man's world view. A president who will take a different diplomatic approach and who knows the way to peace is more through aiding and feeding than bullying and bombing. A president that looks at the world differently, through the eyes of a black child born to a white mother in Hawaii, raised and schooled in Indonesia in a multi-cultural home. Who visited his father's little shack in a village in Kenya and read his letters. I cannot see that man turning blind eyes and deaf ears to hundreds of thousands of Rwandans being massacred, as the Clintons did. A total devaluation of black lives.

Dave Chappelle on Actors Studio told a joke that made me cry.
"Do you know why terrorist don't like to take black hostages? Hello White House, we have 5 black... hello.... hello."
Obama will finally bring value to Black life in this country. (Dare I say Katrina.) Value to black lives in the world. It's time.

It's time for a president who is honest about who we are no matter how scary.
It's time for a president willing to take the harder path to making us all better.
I want to finally begin bringing America to it's promise.
I don't believe he is or I am a deluded dreamer to want that.