Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Agents of Change

I am not going to lie I am frustrated about the candidates for president this time around, big surprise there. I kind of hate the cognitive dissonance of the rhetoric of Obama saying he is about change and unity when his campaign has been nothing but status quo. And John McCain is just plain crazy but don't get me wrong he is an American hero. I thought I would be forced to write in the Reverend Al Sharpton again. Yet something told me to research further, so after looking around I found Nadar's old stomping grounds, the green party. ME being an environmental studies major it only feels natural, natural like dipping fries in a frosty natural. After reading these bios I realized I had found my candidate. Thank you green party for letting me feel alright with whom I vote for.

McKinney and Clemente BIOs
Friday, 10 October 2008 03:13
*Cynthia Ann McKinney*

Since being elected in 1992 as the first African-American Congresswoman from Georgia, Cynthia Ann McKinney has gained national and international renown as a tireless advocate for human rights, voting rights and holding government accountable. McKinney's voting record reflects her philosophy that government should serve to provide uplift to local communities and the dignity of the human spirit. This means promoting the rights of seniors, students, the disabled, minorities, veterans and workers. She is known as a passionate, intelligent, charismatic and effective member of the House of Representatives and of the Democratic Party.

Cynthia McKinney's political career can be traced to 1986, when she won 40% of bicycle graphic the popular vote when her father, state representative Billy McKinney, submitted her name as a write-in candidate for a Georgia state house district, despite the fact that she lived in Jamaica at the time. Two years later she ran for the seat herself and won, thus making the McKinneys the first father-daughter duo to serve simultaneously in the Georgia House. During her two terms, McKinney gained national attention for her determined struggle for a fair and just reapportionment plan in Georgia. As soon as she was elected to represent Georgia's Eleventh District in Congress in 1992, the District was challenged by 5 voters and the case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismantled the 11th District, which at that time was Georgia's second poorest District. Despite the Supreme Court decision, McKinney maintained that the decision violated the Voting Rights Act.

Where the Eleventh district had stretched from Atlanta to Savannah, McKinney found herself representing Georgia's Fourth district http://archives.allthingscynthiamckinney.com/mckinney.house.gov/d4/index.htm, which is one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the southeastern United States. The district comprises parts of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, two of the most dynamic and populous counties in the fifteen-county metropolitan Atlanta area. South DeKalb County is home to one of the most affluent African-American communities in the country. Likewise, Gwinnett County has consistently ranked among the top five fastest growing counties in the country.

Upon entering Congress in 1993, Representative McKinney was quickly recognized as a leader by her freshman colleagues when she served as Secretary of her freshman class, as the first freshman to head the Women's Caucus Task Force on Children, Youth and as Families, as Democratic Caucus Whip for southeastern Region 8. She later served as Vice President of the Democratic sophomore class. She would be rewarded for her service with appointments to the powerful and prestigious Armed Services Committee and the International Relations Committee, where she served as a Ranking Member on its International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee. In this capacity, McKinney sponsored the Arms Transfer Code of Conduct, aimed at preventing the sale of US weapons to dictators, which passed the House in June of 1997.

As a former member of the International Relations Committee http://www.house.gov /international_relations_democratic, McKinney took a leading role in promoting stronger diplomatic ties with African Nations. She was asked by President Clinton to attend a presidential inauguration in Liberia, and high-level talks to open diplomatic ties with the new Democratic Republic of Congo. McKinney also worked to build stronger economic ties between the United States and Africa, and specifically assisted a number of Georgia-based companies in this endeavor.

After ten years of service, Congresswoman McKinney lost her seat in 2002 thanks to a concerted effort by Republicans to organize voters to "cross over" and vote against her in the Democratic Primaries. Her experience as the target of such an orchestrated campaign has been documented in a film titled "American Blackout," directed by Ian Inaba. This film, which won an award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, features McKinney's career as a Congresswoman and deals with the historical suppression of black voters in the United States. McKinney made a stunning comeback in 2004, a year in which Republicans took firm control of both Chambers of Congress and the White House, when she was elected once again to represent Georgia's Fourth District.

Upon returning to Congress, McKinney brought ten years of experience with her, but was denied her seniority status and her seat on the International Relations Committee http://www.house.gov/international_relations_democratic.This has not kept her from taking on challenging and controversial issues. On the first anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, McKinney presided at a Congressional Briefing where dozens of experts and family members of 9/11 victims gave nine hours of testimony critiquing the Report's errors, omissions, and recommendations. Further testimony on 9/11 was heard at the Congressional Black Caucus' annual legislative weekend in September 2005, where McKinney also organized a brain trust panel dealing with political attacks on black musicians, including the MK-ULTRA and COINTELPRO programs conducted by the FBI from the 1950s to the 1970s. McKinney has introduced a bill demanding the release of records pertaining to the life and death of musician and rap artist Tupac Shakur. This piece of legislation is modeled after another bill introduced by McKinney, the Martin Luther King Records Act, which would release all files currently locked up until 2038 pertaining to the life and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, McKinney spoke out against the inadequate government response. A long-time environmental advocate, McKinney introduced a bill to be a comprehensive environmental clean-up plan to deal with the toxic aftermath of the hurricane. Another bill introduced by McKinney would deny funding to the Gretna Police for one year for turning away desperate survivors in the aftermath of the hurricane. McKinney has cosponsored numerous bills seeking relief for the hurricane survivors, and has consistently spoken out on behalf of the survivors, demanding that their urgent needs be addressed. She participated in the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, traveling with the Committee on a delegation to the Gulf Coast in January 2006. McKinney's 70-page supplemental report was the only report by a Democrat to be included in A Failure of Initiative, the Select Committee's Final Report. McKinney currently serves on the Katrina Task Force organized by the Democratic Caucus.

She previously sat on both the Armed Services Committee http://wwwd.house.gov/hasc_democrats and the Budget Committee http://www.house.gov/budget_democrats, and throughout her six terms in Congress has been a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and has worked closely with the Hispanic Caucus and the newly formed Tri-Caucus. In addition to advocating and legislating for civil rights and the environment, McKinney has been a champion of veterans affairs, co-sponsoring legislation to beef up veterans' health care, and to grant work opportunity credits to employers who hire veterans. McKinney introduced a resolution to reaffirm the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act that protects the distinction between civilian and military policing. She has supported calls for a planned and orderly withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia on March 17, 1955, Cynthia currently lives in south DeKalb County. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1978 and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Cynthia was accepted into Berkeley's Ph.D. program and hopes to graduate from that institution one day. In 1984, Cynthia worked as a Diplomatic Fellow at Spelman College in Atlanta. She also taught Political Science at Clark Atlanta University and later at Agnes Scott College, a women's college in Decatur, Georgia. Before being elected to Congress, Cynthia served on the board of the HIV Health Services Planning Council of Metro Atlanta from 1991-92.

Cynthia is the daughter of veteran Georgia State Representative Billy McKinney and Leola McKinney, a nurse of forty years at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Cynthia McKinney is the proud mother of Coy.

*Rosa Alicia Clemente*
Rosa Clemente is a community organizer, journalist and Hip-Hop activist. Born and raised in the South Bronx she is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. A much sought after commentator, political activist, community organize and independent reporter, Rosa has been delivering workshops, presentations and
commentary for over ten years.

Chuck D says "When you need a dynamic, stylish women to get your campaign going or to get your organization excited about activism, Rosa is the person you are looking for, she speaks from the heart with truth, fire and passion. She is one of this generations' most important political voices and community organizers."

Rosa's academic work has been dedicated to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States, with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party and the Black Liberation Army. While a student at SUNY Albany, she was President of the Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Student Association. At Cornell she was a founding member of La Voz Boriken, a social/political organization dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico.

Rosa has written for Clamor Magazine, The Ave. magazine, The Black World Today, The Final Call and numerous websites. She has been the subject of articles in the Village Voice, The New York Times, Urban Latino and The Source magazines. She has appeared on CNN, C-Span, Democracy Now and Street Soldiers. In 2001, she was a youth representative at the United Nations World Conference against Xenophobia, Racism and Related Intolerance in South Africa and in 2002 was named by Red Eye Magazine as one of the top 50 Hip Hop Activists to look out for. In 1995, she developed Know Thy Self Productions, a full service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service. Seeing a need for young people of color to be heard and taken seriously she began presenting workshops and lectures at colleges, universities, high schools, and prisons. In the past ten years she has presented at over 200 colleges, conferences and community centers on topics such as; African-American and Latino/a Intercultural Relations; Hip-Hop Activism; The History of the Young Lords Party; and Women, Feminism and Hip Hop. KTSP now includes an expanded college speakers bureau which has produced three major Hip Hop activism tours, "Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win" with M1 of dead prez and Fred Hampton Jr.; "The ACLU College Freedom Tour" with dead prez, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Mystic and comedian Dave Chapelle; and the "Speak Truth to Power" Tour a collaborative tour of award winning youth activists.

In 2003, Rosa helped formed and coordinate the first ever National Hip Hop Political Convention that drew over 3000 activists who came together to create and implement a national political agenda for the Hip-Hop generation. 10 days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged parts of the south, Rosa traveled to the areas as an independent journalist and her on the ground reports were reported on independent radio stations all over the world, including Air America, NPR, Pacifica Radio, Democracy Now, Indy media, Hard Knock Radio and many more independent and mainstream media outlets. Davey D, prominent hip hop historian and founder of the largest Hip Hop website: www.daveyd.com, says about Rosa...

"Hip Hop activist Rosa Clemente is one of the few 'non-mainstream journalist allowed into New Orleans where the flood waters and damage has occurred. She brings to us a heart-wrenching eye opening account of what's really going on... She talks about the smell of death in the air and how things are much worse then we could ever imagine." Rosa has recently been named as the Executive Director of the Hip Hop Caucus. In 2008 she will join other Hip Hop activists and community organizers on the 2008 Rap Sessions tour, www.rapsessions.org and has recently created the Latina Women's Political Network.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 October 2008 20:19 )

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Nebulous definition of "blog"

So I'm sitting here doing what any good college student does, avoiding doing homework by updating facebook and my blog. Two nouns that have so saturated my life that I'm not sure facebook and blogspot haven't ever not been a part of my life, you know kind of like family matters. I mean can anyone convince me that humans didn't ever not have family matters or Ipods for that matter.
I am suppose to be working on my take home exam for stats but, instead I am analyzing the reasons to blog. Is a blog a sort of public diary or is it an account of a certain self you wont everyone to see? Though there are implicit assumptions in that last statement. Like right now I want people to see I am a nerd because I can use big words in context. But sometimes, in high school, I played the dumb kid because I thought people liked that. Yet, were those attributes characteristic I fabricate and completely false or are they intricate parts of my personality I choose to exploit for certain characteristics? Who knows, the very fact that I'm analyzing this is making me queasy.
Why? Perceived, imaginary, or real audience, you ask. Because I have a ridiculous obsession of the new MTV hit show, "Paris Hilton, My new BFF." I want to break up with myself. ON the latest episode of PFF (Here to and forever the acronym referring to this parasitic show) little Onch, the asian lady boy was kicked off for being fake. This is a man that messes around with gender in every way possible. At the "future friends of Paris council," Onch was placed before the clymitee and asked if he was real. He then in a surrealistic bit of performance art took off his make up for Paris to show that from now on he would be himself. Onch then went on the explain that he was real that with one girl it brought out his "bubbly and cute" side, and with another he was a "bad-ass." To which Paris said, "Sounds like you have a problem." AT this I wanted to vomit, just like little Onch vomited on the previous episode because he couldn't ride roller coasters. I wanted to vomit because I agreed with Paris Hilton, the woman who has given our generation social syphilis. I agreed with her, and I was ashamed. It's kind of like discovering ones nakedness I imagine.
Anyway, I thought about Lady Boy Onch and realized that we talked about this theory in Speech last week. Every person alters there presentation of self based on their audience. Maybe inside of each and every one of us is a LBO. I think of my friends and what I alter about myself around them. Wait, wait what am I saying. This is MTV. I am not learning life lessons from MTV. End of discussion.
HELP END MY ADDICTION TO PFF(I even considered doing the next season so I can become Paris' best friend forever, because we know forever is relative)
Anyway, is my blog me or what I want others to see me as. In a way yes and no because I have a severe case of asperger's and don't really know what is socially acceptable but based on my stereotypes I attempt to present my skewed version of reality that I think is cool to others. You know, like Paris Hilton.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

She needs to lose 30 lbs. or gain 60 lbs. There is no place in between in Television.

I love the thirty rock and have for so some time. The last week my ISP was not able to handle high content websites. The Second season of Thirty Rock came out on DVD in the last two weeks. Thanks to my $8.99 a month Netflix account I can watch unlimited amounts of movies and TV for free. This may be the death of the minute social life I have latched onto. My ISP works and now I am able to enjoy the comedy of erudite Tina Fey. God bless MILF Island and god bless office wives. I love Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, and Tina Fey. I feel good now that that confession is off my chest. Is this what moving to Ohio is like?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Grandma Posts

Growing up my Grandmother was always the sweet old lady that lived in the tough part of Salt Lake City, collected yogurt cups, and was ferociously devoted to her religion. When I was about 6 she decided to serve her church as a missionary. This meant that she would go around attempting to bring people to her church. She was sent to Virginia by her church. One thing I remember is going to family events and listening to my aunts and uncles talk and laugh about the stories she sent from Virginia. They would tell me about this woman that my Grandma was sharing an apartment with (as a missionary of her church you were paired up with a member of the same sex for the duration) and how she just couldn’t get along with her. I remember them laughing about how cantankerous this woman made my Grandma. These stories were repeated even after my Grandma passed away. A Decade later, I now understand how these stories of my odd couple like grandma’s relationship with her missionary companion helped impart familial values.
Reflecting on it more, I can see that these stories were a way to communicate the importance of individuality, venting, and religious devotion. As I performed the same service, as a missionary for the same church, like my Grandma once did, I see how the values have transferred to me. At times I was paired up with people who had difficult personalities. Then I remembered laughing at my crazy grandmother and her missionary friend. She was willing to put up with an “insufferable” woman just to do what she felt her religion required of her. That value transferred to me and I told myself I was willing to as well. Even now, I look at my extended family now I can see that value currently reflected in the way they live. I would write home about how I couldn’t stand the person I was living with. I knew it was okay to vent to my parents because they were probably at home laughing about how I couldn’t get along with my friend and about what fights we had that week, just like they laughed at Grandmother back then. Most importantly I remembered that while my aunts and uncles did laugh at my Grandma for her quirkiness, it was a loving thing and not out of humiliation. From their way of communicating these incidents I was able to understand that it was OK to be me. They would love me even if I was quirky.