“Can you hear King now?”. Almost four years ago, I wrote about a local Martin Luther King celebration in which the audience was asked that question repeatedly. The speaker, a pastor from Chicago named Jeremiah Wright, quoted extensively from King’s 1967 Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence speech to support his suggestion that King would be as strongly opposed to the Iraq war as he was to the Vietnam war. “After 2,200 American boys and girls are dead in a war they do not understand,” Wright said, “can you hear King now? I hope to God you can hear him so we can begin to live together as brothers and sisters before we all die together as fanatical fools.” Since that speech, there have been some ironic twists in history.
Once again, a combination of stories in the local newspaper helps reinforce some of the worst stereotypes of the citizens of our beautiful Bluegrass state. To be fair, some of the idiocy is nationwide. But one story adds a unique Kentucky flavor to the mix.
The last few days have been an interesting opportunity for hope, celebration, and reflection. Yesterday, I participated in the annual Martin Luther King Day activities. Not surprisingly, most of the speakers mentioned the historic occasion that was going to occur today. President Obama’s inauguration is certainly an indication that, although racism hasn’t been completely eradicated, our country’s attitudes have come a long way since the assassination of Dr. King. It is certainly a wonderful tribute to his life’s work to follow his birthday celebration with the inauguration of our first African-American president.
Sitting here watching the news, which was really not unexpected, I realize it’s time for a change. I realize that both presidential candidates talked a lot about change, so that some might think we could expect change regardless of the outcome of the election. Cynics, on the the other hand, might think that neither candidate would actually deliver substantial change, and that it’s likely to be business as usual. But I’m talking about change on a more local level. It was time to change the bumper stickers on my car, dubbed “The Protestmobile” by some of my friends.
As the presidential campaign enters its frantic final weeks with the outcome still in doubt, the amount of mail I’m getting from both campaigns continues at a steady pace. That’s right, I said both campaigns. With all the new data-mining tools that politicians are now using to precisely target their appeals, it’s a little surprising that both sides consider me a likely target. They probably don’t really care about my vote. Kentucky is such a strongly red state that they don’t waste time trying to pick up a few more votes here. But they still think there might be money in these here hills, and both sides think they have a shot at squeezing it some of it out of me.
BBC News reports on a popular new beer in Kenya. Capitalizing on the popularity of Kenya’s expatriate favorite sun now running for US President, East African Breweries is marketing Senator Keg beer, popularly known as Obama. When I first heard about it, I thought that it should be a light beer, sold with a lot of hype and a glitzy marketing campaign, with no real substance.
It seems like only yesterday that political pundits promised presidential candidates would be picked by primaries on Super Tuesday, if not before. Now that Super Tuesday, and a few more primaries, have come and gone, at least the Democratic race still lurches towards the convention. It appears that late-voting states, rather than being disenfranchised as predicted, may become the deciders. In the past, when close elections teetered on the whims of a slim margin of undecided voters in a few swing states, it bothered me that so much importance was given to those too clueless to have figured out who they wanted to vote for. Now it appears that Kentucky, with its May primary, may be one of those swing states. And with a choice of two uninspiring candidates, I may be one of those undecided voters.
I don’t have much respect for Bill Clinton’s taste in women, either the one he married or the ones he chose to fool around with. Surely somebody with the chick-magnet potential of the Presidency could have done better than Monica Lewinsky. But he was a pretty damn good President. And he got to be President by being a political genius. And that ingenuity continues to work its magic. While I haven’t quite been won over, the persuasuive Mr. Clinton is coming damn close to persuading me that the witch he married would be a less undesirable presidential candidate than Barack Obama. Of course, he’s not doing that all by himself. He’s getting substantial assistance, mainly from Mr. Obama and his supporters.
The Obamaniacs are rejoicing at their plastic hero’s victory in Iowa. I suppose now we’re going to have the media telling us that the election has already been decided, which unfortunately becomes true if enough people believe it. I have to admit, I am truly glad Queen Hillary got her royal ass kicked royally. I only wish the kicking could have been delivered by someone other than someone who appears to be her slightly less evil twin. I keep hearing people breathleslly repeating platitudes like “fresh” and “change”, when it appears that the only thing that’s changing is Obama himself, to become less fresh and more appealing to those who shy away from anybody who sincerely promises real change. He seems to be well on his way to proving it’s not necessary to fool all the people, and maybe not even a majority of them.
“Blue is Back!” That was the Kentucky Democratic Party chairman’s message to a throng of thousands celebrating election victory Tuesday night. As well as taking back the governor’s office, Democrats claimed several other statewide offices: attorney general, auditor, and treasurer. The newly elected treasurer said that he recently told a voter that this is a good year to be a Democrat, and the response was “Young man, any year is a good year to be a Democrat.” While agreeing with that sentiment, I also feel that this is definitely a good year, and it looks like we’re on a roll for next year to be just as good. So is blue really back?