Archive for the politics Category

Operation Scare

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

Wordle: operation scare 02

Here we go again.  My conspiracy theory tendencies had taken a back seat for quite some time.  By that I mean that I haven’t been seen on any street corners, perched upon a soapbox and warning the people of what awaits us at the next turn.  OK – not lately, anyway.  Make no mistake – I may be quiet, but the wheels are always turning.  No matter how I try to supress the urge to educate the people, it always seems to creep up on me and attack at the least expected moment.

I was listening-but-not-listening to the news just a few moments ago and I heard a story about AMTRAK and Homeland Security launching OPERATION RAILSAFE. It is touted as a plan to secure the rail corridors . . . complete with random security checks of customers and their baggage.  It started a few days ago with the announcement that it is not entirely safe for Americans to travel abroad at the moment.  The powers that be claim that terrorists have targeted certain high profile tourist attractions (particularly those that attract Americans) and said that although this is not a call for a halt to travel abroad, it is advised that extreme care be taken.

This is typical of a right winged, hawkish entity pushing their never-ending agenda to have the government take control of our lives.  I’m not outraged – it’s what they do.  What bothers me is that they pass laws such as The Patriot Act and initiate agencies such as Homeland Security with the public saying “Bring it on.  We need more security”.  The public becomes a willing pawn by being scared to death.  To further kick up my dander, the reporters stopped passersby at the train stations and asked how they felt.  Of those they showed, their answers all had the same pathetic feel:  “It makes me feel so much safer”. Wake up, people.

There is always a cry for increased security and it is always proceeded by some catastrophic event (or threat of the same): suspected terrorists arrested or explosives found in a foreigner’s home  (yes – by “foreigner”, I mean of Arab decent).   There’s even a new one in Washington. D.C. And I am saddened to say that these “tricks” works every time.  Citizens blindly give up their basic civil rights for what is perceived to be better protection from evil, when in reality, they are simply relinquishing their freedoms.

In an election year when right-wing politicians are desperately trying to unseat  their foes or fill seats that have been vacated, it is important that we look a bit closer at the things that candidates are saying rather than cower in fear that we will be destroyed if we do not relinquish our rights.  Our rights are much more important than some “perceived” threats that are thrown our way.  While it is important to maintain some level of safety and security in our nation, it is also important to remember what the forefathers of this nation fought for to begin with.

Wake up, people.  Please.

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copyright  2010  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

wordle 10.01.10

Posted in humor, poetry, political commentary, politics, racial discrimination, satire and sarcasm, social commentary, Wordles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

Wordle: got malt? (2)

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copyright  2010  blackstarr

emergency (re-posted for those who lost their lives)

Posted in music, poetry, political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

on 911 to the one,

we looked down the barrel

of a loaded gun.

i thought this might be

w w three,

no more me.

on 911 to the one,

aloofness became undone.

it finally hit home,

four shots straight to the dome:

two fatal shots, in nyc,

in pa, a flesh wound meant for dc,

in dc, one lay critical . . .

nothin’ personal . . .

strictly political.

on 911 to the one

we thought the lasers were locked on stun.

we got sucker-punched, erbody out to lunch.

we dropped to our knees and began to choke,

and our opponent disappeared

in a cloud of fire and smoke.

on 911 to the one there came a loaded gun,

with hollow tips, that brought us to our knees.

we screamed “oh my!!”,

released a sigh, wondered why,

and then we all began to cry.

on 911 to the one,

not a cloud, yet no sun.

we wallowed in the shadow of the enemies’ gun.

first came sorrow,

then our thoughts about tomorrow.

in less than twenty-four,

they had a name, so they claim,

and yet, they hesitated just the same.


on 911 to the two

will there be a me and you?

will they be caught with their knickers down,

to never even hear the sound?

will they continue to assume

that no real danger looms,

that we’re all simply sayers of doom?

perhaps it’s not too wise

to criticize those with watchful eyes,

whose jets no longer leave the skies,

while battleships dot our oceansides.

perhaps they’re locked and loaded,

mimicking C4: waiting to be exploded.

but on 911 to the one

we faced a loaded gun.

terror paid a visit to our home

with four shots straight to the dome.

we fell victim to a loaded gun

on 911 to the one.

copyright   2001  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Bulletproof by Raheem Devaughn

photos from across the web

got malt? (excerpt from “the village”)

Posted in humor, poetry, political commentary, politics, satire and sarcasm, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

at twelve clocks,

off to the mailbox.

no one saw him fall.

at work.

on company time.

but, the company’s dime

is making him ghetto rich

for a couple or three days

out of every month.

**********

off to the store with the red and yellow sign.

five chicken wings – that’s what’s up.

salt, pepper, ketchup?

two loosies, and a fifty cent hug.

he hollers at shorty,

who doesn’t even shrug,

pays him no mind

(why she so unkind?).

never needed you.

it’s all good.

there’s more fish in the sea,

(to himself) said he.

malt liquor chaser

for a two o’clock blunt.

**********

no hustle and bustle,

just the hustle.

getting by, getting high,

getting paid off a slip-and-fall case.

living that fast pace,

always up in your face.

ever poor,

never rich, an’

always bitchin’,

wouldn’t dare be caught snitchin’.

and he never lets it all inside his head.

man-child: ghetto born and bred.

**********

copyright  2008  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

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Images used in this post are from various sites across the web.  If any photos belong to you and you have an objection, e-mail me ad I will have them removed

a renaissance for the new millennium

Posted in poetry, political commentary, politics, Quotables, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

here is
a renaissance
for a new millennium;
now is a time for literary finesse.
ours is a time
for new paths to be blazed,
the time for palpable ideas
to be raised.

we contemplate the
future that lies
with our next generation,
we question the choices
of our past,
we criticize the errors
that have brought us to
this place of turmoil.
a renaissance,
a new millennium,
a consciousness of grand proportion.

we press pen to paper
and social awareness is revived.
we debate
the topics to which
blind eyes had once been turned.
we answer the questions
of ages gone by,
and set the tone for those who
sit in silence, teeming with anticipation.
our renaissance.
our millennium.
our consciousness of grand proportion.

sharpen the blade
of intellectuality
and let its acuteness
and accuracy
run us through
until truth’s blood
flows freely from our minds.
then, let the wounds of incivility
be healed by the power of commonalities.

now is the time of literary finesse.
there are new paths to be blazed,
and fathomable ideas that need to be raised.
a renaissance.
a new millennium.
a consciousness of grand proportion.
i dare say
“a renaissance
for the new millennium . . .
a consciousness of grand proportion”.

copyright 2008 blackstarr
freerealm@gmail.com

Brand New Day by Tim Myers (ft. Lindsey Ray)

Images in this post are from various locations on the web.  If any belong to you and you have an objection, please e-mail me and I will remove them.

young white sburbanite (excerpt from “the village”)

Posted in humor, music, poetry, politics, prose, racial discrimination, satire and sarcasm, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by joelle blackstarr

on any given friday night,

a young white suburbanite,

cruises in his beamer,

into the city, bose blastin’ fiddy.

he sports the latest, greatest, hippest, dopest, phattest rags

that his daddy’s silver spoon could buy,

but that silver spoon is the very reason why.

he protests the riches that they don’t deserve,

lashes out at his very own private federal reserve.


he’s looking for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder,

music getting louder.

young white suburbanite,

in the middle of the night,

loses himself in another man’s culture.

not understanding the subtleties of cp time,

he hits the club way too soon,

stands around with beer in hand,

realizes that the night was not so well-planned.

but he’s fly and hip and dope and –

and thinks he’s ahead of his time,

but the reality is that he simply

got there way ahead of time.

the music swirls within his head,

and the sistas think it’s so dred

that he’s holding his own,

while out of his element.

but to his detriment,

the beer pulls him to the dancefloor.

now, whitebread ain’t so fly no more.

and we think “ooh, that’s gotta hurt!”

beer has him moving to the beats,

the sight has us fallin’ out our seats.

“yo – young white suburbanite!

some fly sista would like ta get witcha”,

but homeboy’s homeboy has had

one too many rollin’ rocks.

young white suburbanite

struggles with all his might

to get his homeboy standing upright.

now, homeboy’s homeboy wants to fight.

young white suburbanite

came to the city,

blastin’ fiddy,

lookin’ for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder.

whitebread

got that gangsta beat going ‘round in his head.

cruisin’ in his jet-black beamer.

he’s just trying to understand

why we always catch it from the man.

tries to understand what that’s like,

he beats a path to every open mike,

struggles to get a feel for what it’s like.

a fruitless pursuit and he can’t see why

he can never feel the pain like you and i.

he innocently protests and lets out a sigh –

“it wasn’t me and i refuse to carry that lie”.

it’s neither out of compassion,

nor because it’s popular fashion,

but, instead, because the guilt of the fathers

prey upon the innocence of the sons.

**********

on any given friday night,

deep within the urban blight,

from dusk until daylight.

lookin’ for some

black flava,

brown suga’,

white powder.

out of the gloomy mist and into the light,

comes an urban legend . . . a young white suburbanite.

copyright  2008  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Lose Yourself by Eminem

Images: silver spoon (metalmuseum.org), Rolling Rock beer (hoppsy.com), Flava (myrunkspace.com), Bey caricature (pinoypix.com), Philadelphia skyline (wordfromtheweb.com)

Pirates In The House Of Somalia

Posted in political commentary, politics with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by joelle blackstarr

pirate-ship

I had the pleasure of visiting The Unmitigated Word for a post concerning the piracy taking place in Somalia (see Defending yarrrrr-self?). The discussion was, as usual, both lively and heated. While the author did not endorse these acts of piracy, the post was basically questioning whetherthese acts of piracy could be chalked up to self-defense”. As the discussion went back and forth, the idea was presented that perhaps we should be “examining the “why”; the circumstances contributing to those tragedies are just as important as casting blame and pointing fingers”. As a result of that discussion, I have reprinted a post from 2007 regarding the real story of “Black Haw Down”, and addressing one particular reason for “examining the ‘why'”.

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Black Hawk Down!

Do a search for Somalia, July 12, 1993, and you will certainly find quite a bit of information available. Most of the information will give a brief summary of what took place that day in Somalia. The most (so-called) significant information that is placed in the forefront is that the U.S. fired upon a house which was to have been occupied by the one person they so desperately sought. In the forefront, you will read that, afterward, five (5) journalists went in to investigate and were killed. Always associated with that story, you will read that several months later a Black Hawk was down, downed by the leader that the U.S. had so desperately sought. The one thing that most reports fail to include is that the targeted house which the U.S. destroyed, housed not the enemy that was being sought: The house contained more than fifty (50) of the clan elders from Somalia, the eldest and most respected in their community. Ironically, they were gathered together to discuss a plan to stop the fighting and bloodshed. When the day was done, they all lay dead.

It never fails to bring a tear to my eye when I read that yet another U.S. soldier has been killed. The tears formed in the seventies, during the Vietnam War. They formed in the eighties during the fighting in Grenada. Finally, they formed again in the nineties, when I read the headlines “Black Hawk Down!”. Unfortunately, as with most of the media, reports about what happens on any given day, highlight one aspect of a story, and downplay some very significant part of what really took place. July 12, 1993 was one such rearranging of the facts. Five (5) reporters were killed because a few moments earlier, Somalia’s most revered leaders were blasted to smithereens without provocation. Later that year, a “Black Hawk was down” because the U.S. had launched an attack on those who were trying to put an end to that very same type of action. General Thomas Montgomery (ret), who was in charge of operations that day, was interviewed by PBS’s FRONTLINE, regarding the events of that fateful day. He would not state that there were leaders left dead in the house. He danced around the issue by saying “When the soldiers got in the building, there were either dead or wounded . . .”.

Before there was a Black Hawk down, more than fifty (50) of Somalia’s leaders lay dead.

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Please note that after the building was bombed, four (4) Western journalists, including the renown Daniel Eldon, entered the building and were killed by “an angry mob”. This was at the top of the headlines for more than a week or so. What was left out was that the elders of Somalia had been killed just moments before while attending a peaceful meeting. As suggested at The Unmitigated Word, perhaps we should learn to take a closer look and understand the “why”.

copyright © 2007, 2009 freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Obamaholics Anonymous

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Hi.  My name is Freedom, and I’m an Obamaholic.  I attended every rally that I possibly could attend during the O-man’s campaign.  I collected buttons, fliers, shirts, and posters that carried his likeness.  I watched intently every time he spoke to us on the tube.  I helped to rally the troops in any way that I could.  My name is Freedom, and I’m an Obamaholic.

I had to insert that into this post as what follows may lead you to believe that I have become a hater.  That would be miles from the truth.  This post may lead you to believe that I have become as fervently against the O-man as I have been for him.  That, too, would be far from the truth.  The truth is that it is what it is and I can tell it no other way.  Both during and after the campaigning and election, there were two prominent notions that I heard around the net:  first, that we must do our part to bring about change, and secondly, the phrase “I’m not looking for a savior, just a president who will do a good job”.  Both are worthy statements, but, I view the situation differently.

Most of us, those of us who are “feeling the crunch”, are already doing our parts.  As I have stated previously, most of us struggle with the idea of going to a job that we hate, that pays too little, and leaves us wondering just how in the world  we will make it through.  A lot of us could have very well opted to lead a lucrative life of crime, but chose to do the right thing, instead, and hoped that our leaders would pull us out of this quagmire in which we find ourselves.  Each and every day, we send our children off to schools that we know are sub-standard and do our best to instill a coinciding education into our children’s minds when they return home from school.  There are many among us who have insufficient health care and pay through the nose for the overpriced prescriptions that they are given, then, sit in silent suffering.  That is doing our part.  That is doing our fair share.  As much as we may wish, as much as we may dream, we, the people, CANNOT pass laws that will insure that we are paid a proper wage for a properly done job.  We, the people, CANNOT pass laws that will provide a better education for our children.  We, the people, CANNOT pass laws that will see to it that the citizens of this nation receive quality and affordable health care.  Those responsibilities lie in the hands of our elected officials.  We have done, and continue to do our part.  Once elected, it is their turn to do their parts.

Most recently, it seems to be the sentiment of the netizens that our president-elect should not be viewed as some kind of messiah that will step in and save the day.  The sentiment seems to be that everyone is hopeful but few are expressing the idea that a change will actually come about as we have been expecting it to come.  I take a different point of view, in that I cast my vote each and every time I vote expecting just that – a messiah that will step in and save the day.  It is my feeling that we, the people, elect politicians to serve the people and to do our bidding.  If we elect someone whom we believe will enact laws to enhance our lives, and they fail to do so, then those elected officials need to be voted out and replaced by someone who will get the job done.  If I might reiterate the previous paragraph, they, and they only, have the power to enact laws.  WE CANNOT DO IT OURSELVES.  The people that we elect to serve have a responsibility to the people to turn this country and its citizens into the entity that the United States of America should be.  Having duly aided in electing a viable candidate into office, not only do I hope that our president-elect will be a messiah who steps in to save the day, but, I believe that we have every right to EXPECT a messiah that will step in and save the day.

Hi.  My name is Freedom, and I’m a Obamaholic and I say . . . bring it on! Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

“POLITICIAN”, by Cream

Imitation Of Life

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

gary-d-01I love TV crime dramas, but, I usually stop watching them after some time, as they become so “formulaic”, so to speak.  One such show is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, on CBS.  Like most of the other dramas that I watch/watched, I like the interaction of the characters more than anything else.  One of my favorite characters from the show was Warrick Brown, played by Gary Dourdan (check his official site).  Art truly does, at times, imitate life.  Ironically, one episode was actually entitled “Art Imitates Life”.  To further illustrate the fact, in the end, the character Warrick Brown imitated the recent life of actor Gary Dourdan, plagued by drug use.  His real-life antics got him canned from the show.  I had stopped watching the show for quite some time before Mr. Dourdan left the show, but, I made a hasty retreat when I read of his arrest in the news, and waited with bated breath for his last appearance on the show.  It ended as expected, but, there was such finality to the episode:  his character can never return as a regular.

There is a more prominent, more important aspect of art imitating life, and that was made evident with a more recent episode entitled “Say Uncle”.  Another character on the show, Nick Stokes (played by George Eads), was tracking down a lead and he and another CSI entered the home of an elderly Korean woman.  The woman got hysterical and began spewing the Korean language at the top of her lungs.  She eventually pulled out a gun and began pointing it at Stokes.  Stokes turned to look at her and asked in his most calming voice “Now, why you wanna do that?  Put that thing away.” Another CSI is anxious that the woman is going to shoot Stokes, but, Stokes calmly talks the woman into dropping the gun and they all live happily ever after.

That’s one prime example of art imitating life.  So many times, real-life officers are faced with immenent danger, i.e. the perp in question is weilding a gun, or a bat, or a knife.  The officers will speak in a nice, soothing voice, appealing to the “inner”, good person and, in the end, they all live happily ever after.  That is to say as long as the perp is not African-American.

Across the nation, so many African-Americans have been gunned down by the police.  Like other criminals throughout the nation, many had weapons and alledgedly posed a threat to officers and others.  Many times the weapons in question were guns.  However, more times than not, the weapons in question were baseball bats, and knives, and in a large number of cases, the human fist.  Can a gun-carrying officer really feel THAT threatened that they feel the need to fire a bullet into a suspect to subdue him/her?  In so many cases, the suspect dies.  A cold-blooded death.  Murder.

Why can’t African-Americans be “talked down”?  Where is our happy ending?  When will it stop?

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Check out BIKO by Peter Gabriel

Photo taken from rottentomatoes.com

Hang on, there, Skippy!

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

obama-smileyGuess who’s not angry, today?  Right – me.  Don’t get me wrong, though.  I’m not about to burst into a chorus of “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy”.  But I’m, at least, not angry.  “Why is that?”, one might ask.  It’s because it’s just sinking in.  I’m just starting to get it, just starting to get it that he won.  Yeah – my son and I had our election night party and witnessed it from beginning to end, but, today, it’s just beginning to sink in.

I am a bit miffed – not angry – that so many around the net are chastising our president-elect even before he has had a chance to unpack.  So many people are expecting so much, and rightly so.  However, I think that we need to give the man a moment to gather his thoughts before we crucify him so quickly, especially considering the fact that he had not yet been given a chance to show what he’s got.

When my kids were young, we went to every – and I do mean EVERY – school program that was held.  Keep in mind that my kids grew up as “perfect angels”.  That’s no exaggeration.  I spanked my son one day while at the mall when he decided to “show off”.    My son’s spanking came when he was six tears old, and he’s now twenty-three, with nary a spanking in between.  In her 21 years, I’ve never had to physically chastise my daughter.  “Perfect angels”.  Be that as it may, my mother has always had a very annoying habit of “judging” us by the works of others.  That is to say, she would see other children acting up, and immediately go into “If I ever catch you acting like that I will give you the whoopin’ of your life, you hear me?” Neither me and my siblings nor our children were ever allowed to produce any back-talk, but, in our minds, there was but one thought:  “Why are we being reprimanded for someone else’s bad deeds?”.  I see the same type of “reprimanding” taking place with our president-elect.

“So, are we going to find out that this change was nothing more than a different face in the Oval Office?”

“This change that he talked about had better not be some run-of-the-mill trick that we’ve all seen before!”

“As quickly as he was elected, he can be taken out of office!”

People, chill for a minute, would ya??!!! Let the man make a grave mistake before you reprimand him.  Let him prove that he is no more than another politician with a silver tongue before you remind him of how he made it into office and how easily he can be removed.  Let him show us that he and his crew is, indeed, not ready to lead before you get all up in arms about being reminded of previous administrations.  Or, . . . or even better than that . . . think about it . . . why don’t you give him a chance to show us that he is, as he said, “Change That We Can Believe In”.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Quite appropriately, I present “Give Me Just A Little More Time” by The Chairman Of The Board

Obama 08 Smiley Face from FLICKER.