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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

It’s madness to do the same things year after year and expect difference results.  So, I decide to acknowledge the brilliance of the guy who started the Khan Academy to reform education.  But first, I would like to invite anyone to join our ESPN NCAA basketball groups for the men and women tournaments.  The group names are “Jawja Hoops” in both contests.  Let the basketball and rethink ranting begin.

Rethink Education: Clearly, our education system needs retooling and Salman Khan has a fresh approach.  In my community, I simply wish parents would start with using better grammar 24/7 to stop contradicting what is taught at school.

Rethink College Basketball: College basketball shouldn’t be a stepping stone for the NBA and we should have a farm system in smaller cities (similar to baseball) for those who want to be pros.  Student athletes should be just that.  In other words, the NBA D-League should be developed.

Rethink Politics and Religion: In America, we have the freedom to select our faith and politicians’ faith walks should be the foundation of their character.  They shouldn’t attempt to force their particular church on the population as a whole.  So, Mitt Romney should put the nutty factions in his party in their places about his church and any other faiths that they find “different.”

Rethink Political Leaders: The next crop of political leaders should be much better than the current ones.  On the Right, conservatives should get back to being pro-business and smaller government rather than the promoters of the next Civil War.  On the Left, liberals are actually limiting personal development with their socialist policies.  We need leaders who will speak to the people (straight, no chaser) about the limited role of government and importance personal responsibility.

Rethink Campaign Finance:  My new congressman is Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia and he was a true campaign finance rebel as a candidate for governor.  He spoke wisely of limiting the amount of contributions and that got me thinking.  Everyone knows that money runs campaigns and that those who gave money will later want something from officeholders.  If I designed a congressional candidate from the ground up or from day one, I would tell my guy to take the average income in the area, add a few zeros and that would be the total amount raised for the campaign.  (For example, 32K in average income = 320,000 funding limited.)  If elected, that person would belong to the people and wouldn’t spend time kissing up to lobbyists. 

Rethink Black Conservatives: Peace to my brothers and sisters on the political Right…I feel you…I really do.  To me, your side is right (pun intended) more often than not; but the ugly ways and methods of the far Right make the GOP unacceptable for most Blacks.  There is no place for less bitter, moderate Americans in that party.  If Jon Huntsman won the GOP nomination, I would have strongly considered voting for him in November but you cats gave cool people the boot. 

Rethink Black Liberals:  At some point, it’s not about “the man” holding us down.  It’s about us holding us down.  We must return to the driven African-Americans who beat Jim Crow; the people who knew who they were and whose they were.  The next generation of CBC members must honestly inform the community that improves start in your house…not the U.S. House.   

Rethink Hip Hop: Most of current hip hop stinks out loud.  The music glorifies the worst elements of our community and I can’t tell college students from thugs and strippers.  I know artists are free to express themselves but come on now.

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Have the presidential opponents for November 2012 been determined a year early? We aren’t comfortable with that notion because our community should have more say in the matter. 

Because there is nothing better than a well-informed electorate, we are starting an Unlikely Allies Project called “Hear Me Out” to educate Americans about the primary process and voting options; and to encourage hearing all candidates in every election. Listening to all sides could be considered educational or it could be considered reconnaissance.

 While blogging and social media are useful, real Americans discussing information, issues and options in person is better.  We feel the first option should be pointing out the fact that Georgians and other southerners may vote in either major party primary if they choose.  While party purists dislike that idea, the option should be on the table. 

In the tradition of Helen’s Political Roundtable,  we hope to bring mixers, meetups and socials to your community soon.  So, the “out” in Hear Me Out refers to interesting discussions out or off-line as well as listening to other sides points of views and opinions.  

Hear us out and we want to hear you out.  We might have more in common than you think.

Ted Sadler                             Helen Blocker Adams

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I am here to tell you…mark my word: the conservative movement is about to out hustle the left and the middle again.  My friends can’t stop giving me a hard time about being on the local news for attending a meeting on redistricting with three people. 

http://www.walb.com/story/14699961/albany-hosts-redistricting-meeting?redirected=tru

Oh, but the real hard time is coming when they wake up one day to find that a focused, determined percent of the population is running everything.  We can’t find time to get involved with redistricting but we can watch all of the NBA playoffs—you know the Hawks have gone fishing already. 

The next five elections might be decided in the redrawing of the district maps but folks are sleeping. In the future, they might be seeing red…a sea of red with a blue island called Atlanta.  At the official redistricting hearing, the GOP dam near took over Albany State University. Oh, the usual Dem leaders were there but the masses need to get off their (you know.)   It’s time for some good old fashion rallies about these maps (old school D.J.s and hot fish grease) because after all the fancy nerds did their things last November, GOTV buses saved the day.

As Chuck D and Flava said, “Consider Yourselves Warned.”

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During a Q and A forum at the Albany, GA Black Expo, I asked actor Allen Payne to speak about the ongoing drama between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry.  Spike feels that his work is positive art that uplifts the community while Perry’s productions are modern-day buffoonery to some degree.  Tyler recently recommended a fiery place where Spike can go.

I loved Spike Lee’s work from the second I saw Tracy Camilla Johns’ Nola Darling character in “She’s Gotta Have It” and yes, Tyler Perry has some characters that I could live without.  But, intelligent people know that a few theatrical characters don’t represent all of a group and Perry used Seinfeld and the Sopranos as examples of other ethnic groups doing the same.   In the companion book for Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” I learned that film is a medium of art that–like of other art forms—provokes thought and leaves the viewers asking “was that right or wrong.”

Robert Townsend’s “Hollywood Shuffle” was based on the ethical dilemmas Black actors face: Wait for quality parts in the poor house or do negative reflections of our community while getting crazy paid.  A line from that movie stated, “There’s always work at the Post Office.”—not anymore. 

As children, we were taught to never let anyone divide the Black; we can’t sink while others float because we are all in the same big boat.  Today, I think there is room for different schools of thought: from Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois to Spike Lee vs. Tyler Perry.  Conflict might actually be a form of diversification and we should not put all of our eggs in one basket.

In politics and policy, the rural South takes cues from urban leaders but their agendas are different from our agendas.  Atlanta is the best Black city on earth; however, the Democrat leadership there can’t fully comprehend our rural vibe (pro-military, pro-agriculture, pro-gun.) 

Allen Payne, who works on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” answered my question by saying that guys like Perry and Payne himself didn’t grow up in the Black elite, college-educated world of Spike Lee.  They make movies and T.V. that reflects the world they know and people like it.  From his statement, I decided to ask several friends if they would make a movie with false depiction of Black America if the producers gave them $5 million walking in the door.  I was surprised (disappointed) by those who would take the money first and later consider charitable ways to sanitize their ill-gotten gains. 

I am starting to think the same concept applies to politics: get your money because that is what the next guy is doing.  Public Enemy had that pun lyric, “I know you got sold.”  We can’t discuss art imitating life vs. life imitating art with looking at the current vibe of hip hop.  For me, blues, jazz and then hip hop were some of the only American-born art forms (yes, the roots are in Africa.)  In my part of the rural South, the harder parts of hip hop are leading youth to embrace a thug life over education and achievement.  They glorify aspects of street life that could reverse our gains of the last 50 years.  Yes, we are going backwards.

Check this out: Dr. Martin Luther King vs. Malcolm X was likely a well planned effort at juxtaposition: deal with peace-loving MLK or deal with Malcolm and those who felt it was time for self-defense with rifles.  I would have supported the rifle crew.  Today, it will take brothers talking with brothers to refocus our community and if hip hop isn’t careful they will alienate large segments of our community–sometimes we need to be divided.   If they can get paid make that music, we should give the Black conservatives a break as they add range to our options.           

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Project Logic GA is starting a year long, monthly effort design to broaden our discussion of major issues, cultivate the next group of policy leaders and create a web-based/actual meetup network of results-oriented voters.  We believe, the major political parties, the media and special interest groups often execute their agenda while the people seem like pawns on a chessboard.    

In Georgia, the current 12th, 8th and 2nd congressional districts join the likely new north Georgia congressional districts as the competitive districts during election season.  With the importance of issues and policies, we will select one major topic per month and “put it on the table” for our panel of contributors.  We are inviting contributors to chime in with a brief paragraph or two on the monthly topic with the hope that a dozen issues will be discussed by this time next year—an ebook of non-Atlanta Georgia issues because the ATL gets enough ink all ready.

The party bosses and major political players in the Atlanta enjoy battling the other side in a blood sport.  Some feel that the rest of Georgia is more genteel and would prefer a civil approach to moving our state, our South and our nation forward.  Which some folks love “fussing and beefing,” moderates and centrists generally acknowledge good points from both sides.  Who really wants to go through life with a constant vibe of loathing, hate and conflict?  

In an interesting twist, we recognize the success of the Tea Party Movement in mobilizing those who feel they are Taxed Enough Already.  While their methods and techniques are “interesting,” their passion and networking savvy should be respected and emulated.  To borrow from boxing great Ali, “they shook up the world” with motivated voters while greater numbers of voters stood idly by.    

We hope that this project will generate a facebook-based network of Georgians who will be informed and focused because a relatively small number of voters on both political ends shouldn’t select leadership and drive policy. 

 Helen Blocker Adams, Augusta talk radio host, Project Logic GA blogger and serious optimist, recently wrote the book “Unlikely Allies: 8 Steps to Bridging Divides that Impact Leadership” about people coming together to address community problems.  We love books and blogs better when they serve as the catalyst for understanding and growth. 

The Unlikely Allies Project of Project Logic GA endeavors to:

  • Hear from contributors over time on major issues; cultivating the next generation of leadership.
  • Gather a collection of facebook friends from Georgia’s competitive congressional districts who are interested in policy discussions among unlikely allies.
  • Bring Georgians together in various social settings to humanize everyone in the political discussions.

During a trip across Georgia last week, the Eagles’ song “The Long Run” came on the radio and hearing it was timely.  In Georgia, we need to think about the long run or long term development of our human resources.  When Don Henley sang, “Well I don’t understand why you don’t treat yourself better…do the crazy things that you do,” my mind turned to starting this needed effort.

Eagles’ “Long Run”

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/ixKUu3lZrmY/

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Our prayers are with those affected by the tragic events in Arizona.  Project Logic GA has always supported a sensible political and policy debate and fostering a bridge over the divide-that’s why there is a bridge on the homepage.  Normal people can have a spirited and at times mischievous debate but we know that sick minds might take it too far do the unthinkable.  This is not a game.

It’s an appropriate time to read some past blog post that relate to having a less toxic discourse in the political arena—so help us God.   People often ask congressional staffers if they served our country–referring to military service.  Gabe Zimmerman died serving our country.

http://projectlogicga.com/2010/07/02/political-comfort-level/

http://projectlogicga.com/2010/05/04/southern-politics-the-audacity-of-scope/

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/02/16/congressional-field-staffers/

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/06/09/joe-scarborough-and-the-gop-start-with-temperament/

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/08/07/congress-town-hall-protests-and-norman-rockwell/

http://projectlogicga.com/2010/04/05/congress-and-relativity/

http://projectlogicga.com/2010/03/04/rnc-fear-methods-republicans-why/

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/11/10/georgia-justice-wisdom-moderation/

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/09/24/fox-news-and-msnbc-yellow-journalism-or-healthy-debate/

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The Georgia 2nd congressional district race comes down to one simple point for me: Rep. Sanford Bishop is the goose that laid the golden egg.  We, the 2nd district voters, have positioned him to serve our state and that posturing took time and effort.  Tossing our employee now wouldn’t be smart.

An Albany, Georgia, city councilman who is also a college professor recently called Bishop, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, a $100 million per year industry for South Georgia.  I can get concerned about staff miscues and oversights but protecting a 100M per year is a bigger concern. 

Where were these budget-minded people when we were spending billions “nation building” in Iraq. No one supports our troops more than me but I wish we would have allowed the military the leeway to take down Saddam and his sons with a Navy Seal Team quickly rather than a prolonged situation that had us building schools, hospitals and roads there while our infrastructure crumbles. 

The conservative movement seems hypocritical because Bishop is one of the few Congressional Black Caucus members willing to work with conservatives on issues.  To me, the massive effort to remove Bishop is centered on 2012.  With moderate Democrats gone, the remaining congressional Dems would be more liberal and easier targets for presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

It may sound silly but keeping Bishop and his seniority reminds me of that comedy bit by Sommore.  Her man explains that the woman he is with provides the resources he uses to acquire Sommore’s nice things.  Sommore tells the man to cover her up so the “blank” doesn’t catch cold.

Bishop’s slight oversights are nothing compare to governor candidate Nathan Deal’s mulitmillion dollar oversights but I don’t care about oversights; cover Bishop up so he doesn’t catch cold.  Bill Clinton was “involved” with a chubby intern but his economic policies led to record budget surpluses; we covered Clinton up so he wouldn’t catch cold.   Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss protects our regional farm and military interests with Bishop; cover Saxby up with an appropriate red blanket so he doesn’t catch cold and cover up GOP Rep. Jack Kingston so he doesn’t catch cold while he works (again with Bishop) to securing funding to deepen the Port of Savannah, a leading economic engine for the South.  

To confuse the golden goose/poultry parallel, Bishop could be the 100M golden goose or a chicken on the TV show Survivor.  While some castaways want to eat the chicken for protein now, wiser team members protect the bird for a constant supply of eggs.  Everyone outside the Tea Party Movement know the Obama reelection wave of 2012 will take the 2nd district back for the Democrats.  So, bouncing Bishop would hurt south Georgia for no good reason.  We shouldn’t rally to help Bishop and Obama; we should rally behind Bishop to help ourselves.

I am ticked off that “rallying” is needed anyway.  Let me get this right: Obama comes on the national stage and folks are crying and swooning (he is a great leader.)  But, Bishop has been break his neck for Georgia for decades and folks need to be rallied.  Excuse me.  Sommore needs to be his campaign manager because nobody knows money like Sommore knows money.

Oh, we know Bishop after decades of public service and we know the he wouldn’t jeopardize his status or legacy behind some little part-time jobs or small scholarships.  Please.  Bishop’s efforts regarding job creation  involves billions and college money would be billions in regular scholarships for working people and veterans education benefits for our returning troops and their families. 

Democrats and reasonable moderates need to vote in southwest Georgia or our goose is cooked.   Tea and golden goose liver pate would be one costly dish.

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