Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Several reputable and recent news sources touted Sen. Barack Obama as the possible first black President of the US. I think that would be wonderful...I'd probably vote for him...but why is he black? He's half-black, isn't he? Like Tiger Woods, who is half-Thai. So if we consider Obama (or for that matter, Woods) black, aren't we, as a nation, guilty of returning to the old racism...that anyone with any African-America blood in them is automatically and categorically deemed 'black'.

I'm a Turk. Olive skinned. I must have some African genes in my ancestry, but I've been passing for white/Caucasian for years. So...are Obama--and Woods--black because they have thicker lips (what IS the standard for non-black lips, anyway? Mine stick out quite a bit...) and an absence of smooth, curly hair (which is very prevalent all over the Middle East, n'est pas!)?

I think the whole racial thing is nonsense. Racism is dead. (At least everywhere but in TV advertising: where interracial couples are still verboten. But that is corporate America; their social inertia is predictable: there is nothing more reactionary/concervative/socially retarded than business in pursuit of the almighty dollar!) In all other human as opposed to corporate venues, sexual activity has won the day; bedroom democracy is conquering all in its path, like an equalizing Mongol horde. We are all shaded; and getting shadier... a wonderful and continuing spectrum of racial mutts.

The non-skin-tone after-effects of the old racism are horribly and sadly prevalent, however; and on those sad legacies we should be concentrating: the preponderance of teen-age single mothers, dysfunctional US public education system, the prison system, etc. Only idiots perpetuate the idea of categorical black/white differentiation any more...even well-meaning idiots. Oh, I know, it makes for great headlines--the former disenfranchised finally getting their due; Jesse Jackson still making a buck off black-victimism; etc. We all get off on 'them versus us, black versus white, rich versus poor'; and 'three cheers for the underdog and the alienated', 'the Cubs win the pennant!', great ostentatious breastpounding (Although Obama went to Harvard and Woods went to Stanford...so much for their sad lot because of their 'blackness'). I agree; cheer for the underdog, but beware of unintended racism...by an all inclusive (or is it ex-clusive?) categorization. Vote for Obama and swing with Woods not because they have some 'black' in them, but because they are excellent in what they do. Forget what they look like...although...a confession I CAN'T!!!!: I must admit, I have trouble seeing past their skin, because, unfortunately for me and my average looks, they are both handsome as hell...which means they'll probably get all the girls. Ah, well...Vive la difference!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Moral Compass

On his program the other night Bill Moyers asked a guest, "Has America lost its moral compass?" I thought: 'Bill...for a compass to exist, to work, there must be a fixed point, a constant frame of reference, a North Pole, if you will. Instead we live in an Einsteinian world, of shifting positions and multiple vantage points. Post modern moral and intellectual relativity has refuted the possibility of that pole; nothing is fixed. The world spins on a random axis; nothing is certain'. So my direct answer to Bill Moyer's question is "Of course we've lost our moral compass...there no fixed reference point; ergo: there is no possibility of any compass anymore, moral or otherwise".

"LOBBYISTS"; and My Further Dissappearance...and Absolute Return

I lied. I thought I was back in September...but I was not. But I am now....with a thought on government service and lobbyists: There is no such thing as elected officials anymore. Government service today is not a job, much less a profession; it is an internship for later employment as a paid lobbyist in the private sector.

However we electorate deserve nothing more; because we pay government officials like interns, expect them to work long, hard hours at outrageously cheap wages. For two, four six or more years, we give them nothing but a glimpse of an economic future. Little surprise then, if, once elected, and if they have any sense of logic, they treat their government service and their voting record as a learning experience, a step on a ladder, mere preparation toward a subsequent respectable (read: properly remunerted) job as a corporate lobbyist or business consultant.

Members of the House should be paid a million dollars; several million; members of the Senate more...including great pension benefits when they retire. And those proferred pension benefits should be conditional: recinded with heavy penalties (including jail) when an ex-Congressperson (or perhaps even other high government official) accepts any future lobbying activities/salaries.

Government service should be thought of the glorious end of the financial line. All activities indulged in after that may be demanded and expected to be pro bono...in the free service of any and all America and Americans who have been so generous with their tax dollars to pay their exceedingly generous salaries and continuing pension benefits.