Good Deal, Bad Deal, Crooked Deal?

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

A few weeks ago I watched someone explain the land deal that BO made when he purchased a house in Hyde Park. At the same time, Tony Rezko bought the empty lot next door. It appeared to be a straight deal. BO then negotiated a deal to buy a piece of Rezko’s adjoining land. Still not a bad deal. BO increased the size of his property to give himself space around the castle.  The commentator then quietly announced that the Rezko lot was now unbuildable.

It took my old brain a few days to think about the “unbuildable,” comment. Why would Rezko spend such a huge amount of money on an empty lot in the highly desirable neighborhood adjacent to the University of Chicago, and then sell a small piece of it to make it unbuildable? I have a bunch of questions about this deal. Who is paying the real estate taxes on the unbuildable lot? Does BO now use the property next door as his own? There is nothing on it, and it is continuous to BO’s lot. It is on a corner, and improves BO’s view. Who maintains Rezko’s unbuildable piece of property?

At least two possibilities come to mind. First, Rezko might have intended to ask for a political favor to re-zone the lot to make it buildable. In Chicago, that is not unthinkable. Second, Rezko intended to give BO the property as a payment for some favor still unknown, by making the deal appear “legitimate.”

All I know right now is that Barack bought a big house on a small lot, then made a deal to double the property size by buying a small piece of the lot next door. We know that Rezko owns an empty lot next to BO. He paid market price for a buildable lot, and then reconfigured it so no one will want to buy it. What kind of business deal is that?  Where is the profit?

Its my guess that BO will take the lot off Rezko’s hands, at a bargain price, sometime in the future, when the public forgets about the details. Perhaps Michelle will plant vegetables on the unbuildable portion to sell to the neighbors Ayres, and Farakhan. Another possibility; Rezko will keep the property forever, pay the taxes, and maintain it while the Obamas enjoy it, because Rezko likes Barack Obama. Wouldn’t you do that for your best friend?

His Soul Is Black

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

More from “Dreams From My Father.” BO writes about how he learned of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church. As a Community Organizer, he found himself interviewing local ministers. The job involved looking for common issues that he could then bring into action through the local people. A good idea, that in my opinion is the same as pushing on a rope. It seems this old minister directed him to a young minister on 95th St who was attracting all levels of blacks. Even though his church is in one of the poorest neighborhoods on the southside of Chicago. I know it well, because I grew up three miles east of there. It wasn’t always a poor area, it was middle class. Unfortunately, the whites abandoned the area after the first black family moved in. They couldn’t move away fast enough. I digress. Before he left the community organizing business, BO showed up at the Reverend Wright’s church for a service. It sounded like BO didn’t really have much of a connection with God at the time. He was attracted to the message that Wright preached, i.e. Black Liberation Theology. It is a belief that racism is evil. 

James Cone a Black liberation theologian explains that   “…at the core of black liberation theology is an effort — in a white-dominated society, in which black has been defined as evil — to make the gospel relevant to the life and struggles of American blacks, and to help black people learn to love themselves. It’s an attempt, he says “to teach people how to be both unapologetically black and Christian at the same time.””

BO’ attraction to this message seems to confirm his troubled mind regarding his “blackness.” Being fathered by a black man to a white woman, and reared by white grandparents he did not understand his own racial make-up. As I explained in my previous post titled “Conflicted Soul,” he was raised white, but his soul was black. He wanted to be black. I don’t see anything wrong with that. He is half black, so why wouldn’t he want to express himself as black? What I do see as a problem is with his faith.

Religion is a belief and a faith that there is another world after death. Black Liberation Theology emphasizes action toward blacks learning to love themselves through the teachings of Jesus Christ. BO evidently saw something in this theology that appealed to him. Perhaps he could learn to love his blackness if he pursued this avenue.

When the media finally uncovered Jeremiah Wright’s sermon in which he “God Damned America,” BO got too much negative publicity out of it. At first BO defended the Reverend. I commend him for that. He showed that he truly had a strong relationship with the man. When the threat of losing his race for president increased, he finally “resigned,” from the church in an attempt to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright. Did he also resign from his “belief?” A true believer would have stood his ground and stayed.

If BO dropped this belief in Black Liberation Theology, after twenty years, at the drop of a hat, how quickly will he change his mind about his plan to tax only those making over $250,000.00?  How quickly will he change his mind about any of the issues he so arrogantly proclaims to be the “Change We Can Believe In.”

Did Obama Change Altgeld Gardens?

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

Altgeld Gardens is a housing project in the Chicago area. It has been home to many poor black people for many years. Barack Obama writes about the “Gardens” in “Dreams From My Father.” He describes it as a project that was built in the middle of a cess pool. Granted there  is a sewage treatment plant immediately to the north of it, and polluted Lake Calumet to the Northeast. The lake is also a huge landfill. I grew up in a neighborhood called “Burnside” about three miles to the north of Altgeld Gardens. I learned of the place while I was in high school during the nineteen fifties. Barack arrived there after he finished college in the eighties. It was his first assignment as a community organizer.

When Altgeld Gardens was built, the area was rural. Lake Calumet was not polluted. People went to the lake for boating and to fish. A man from my neighborhood kept his seaplane there. He gave people rides for a fee. The neighborhoods in every direction from Altgeld Gardens were filled with industry. Immediately to the West was Acme Steel, to the North it was the Ford Assembly plant (still there). Sherwin Williams paint company was a short distance to the South. The towns of Riverdale, Harvey, Blue Island, all within a short bus ride were teeming with industry. The Southeast side of Chicago had steel mills lined up end to end along the shores of Lake Michigan. My point is that the Gardens were situated in a nice rural area located centrally between an abundance of jobs. The perfect location for low income housing.

Between the time, I learned of the Gardens and the time Barack went there to work, many things happened. Much of it was created by the Chicago Machine in the name of progress. Lake Calumet became a part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It needed to be filled in order to make a deep channel harbor. Coincidentally, Chicago needed a place to dispose of it’s garbage. The machine built a huge incinerator a couple of miles from Altgeld, on the edge of Lake Calumet. It spewed out tons of toxic smoke, and was shut down for environmental reasons. The incinerator property became a landfill. Chicago was growing and needed larger sewage treatment facilities. Again, the Chicago Metropolitan Sanitary District built a new one near Altgeld  Gardens. The steel mills closed because of competition from Korea, and Japan. The same thing happened with much of the industry in the towns around Altgeld Gardens. The people who were satisfied working at jobs that didn’t require schooling  remained, and became dependent. 

The reason I speak of this, is that Barack Obama painted a picture of Altgeld gardens as a place that was deliberately sited in the middle of all these polluted facilities. He makes it sound like the people of Altgeld Gardens were placed there by the whites to get them out of the way. The bottom line is that the people, for what ever reason, chose to stand put when the jobs left. Many of them chose not to educate themselves to take on new jobs. I’m sure the smart ones did leave toward new work. The empty apartments of Altgeld were filled by people who were less ambitious. 

If Barack Obama was truly interested in effecting change that “I can Believe In,” he should have worked with the Chicago political machine to change things at Altgeld Gardens. He had opportunity to do so after his law degree. Instead he chose to affiliate himself with some questionable people. He had even more opportunity to change things at Altgeld after he became State Senator. He couldn’t effect change in a neighborhood, but he wants to change the best country in the world.

BO wants to make “Change We Can Believe In” by redistributing the wealth of fat cats to those who are less fortunate, like the people of Altgeld Gardens. He will give them a cash handout. Will a small cash handout  really change the lives of these unfortunate people? Will it appease three hundred years of oppression? Will it change the attitude a white man has of a black or vice versa? Will it build his self esteem? Will it make him more responsible? Will it buy him an education that is better than the free one he currently scorns?

 I don’t think so.

Sarah Is Ready

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

A very dear friend asked for my opinion of Sarah Palin: this is what I told her. I worked in management for a mid-size company for thirty years. My knack for recognizing talented young people was credible. I was responsible for hiring, and recommending for hire, some of the most talented people in the company. The current President of the company is a man who I recommended we hire as a new grad engineer. I was also responsible for hiring the first woman engineer in the company. Sure, I hired some losers. Some of them were losers, and women too. My record, however was over .500. In the professional sports world a player who has a .500 record makes millions more than someone who does not. The talent I hired was usually young, and filled with energy, enthusiasm, and had the tools to succeed. They never let me down. I mentored them toward their goals, and in the process they helped me achieve the company goals.

From the first moment I heard Sarah Palin speak at the Republican National Convention, I saw her as a unique talent; a winner. I wrote about it in my post titled “Genious.” She affected me the same way the many young grads I hired during my career have affected me. She is a keeper, a problem solver, a go-getter, she is driven to succeed, she is goal oriented, she is self motivated, she is eloquent in her speeches, she will do the job. I think that much of her without ever having mentioned her practical experience of running governments. She has what it takes to run our country. She has much to learn, but she openly admits that. Most of what she has to learn is how to deal with a bunch of clowns in the media who don’t want to see her beat their candidate. I don’t think anyone who becomes president knows it all on the day they take office. Granted, being mayor of a town is nothing like being president, but being governor of a state is close. Think about the presidents who were governors before they became president. Bill Clinton is the first to come to mind, Jimmy Carter is another..

Many of my friends who are life long Republicans have told me they are voting for Obama. I ask them why? They give me two reasons: first, they are afraid of John Mc Cain’s age (see my post Write Me In), second, they don’t believe Sarah Palin is in over her head. Women especially, are very antagonistic and negative about her. I do not understand that, except that the women are being sexist. Is it possible for a woman to be sexist?

Women today are in the army, navy, marines, and the air force, they are lawyers, CEO’s, mothers, Senators, Congressmen, business owners. The current Secretary Of State is a woman. Women have done amazing things for the world, why is it that we can’t see Sarah Palin as Vice President?

I see Sarah Palin as extremely qualified, especially when I compare her to Obama, and she is eons more qualified than Joe Biden. If you don’t agree with me on that, look at her as the lesser of two evils.

Stick to the Issues Barack

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

Throughout this campaign, I have heard BO angrily proclaim that John Mc Cain should stick to the issues and not smear or dwell on negatives. Well, I seem to think that Mc Cain is doing a great job of sticking to the issues. He continuously talks about tax cuts, building business, creating jobs through business, energy dependency, Roe vs Wade. What issues have  I heard from the BO campaign? How about Joe the Plumber owes taxes, he’s not a licensed plumber, and so on. On the VP side of things, he has attacked Sarah Palin relentlessly on her lack of experience (as a community organizer) her wardrobe, her brother in law, her lack of foreign affairs experience, etc. Well, if the sexist, racist, socialist liberal Democrats call this a clean campaign without negativism what else will they try to sell us?

Redistributing the Wealth

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

Here is my idea of “redistributing the wealth.” Last Sunday, Peggy and I began the day by meeting some friends at the Country Club. We boarded a bus ($30.00 per) and were driven to Chicago. We were early, so the driver gave us a tour of the city. At 1:30, we arrived at the Cadillac theater for the show “Dirty Dancing” ($95.00 per in the Dress Circle). The show was fantastic. I have never seen a better set design than this one. The dancers were phenominal, as was the music. I rate this production five stars.

The driver must have had a promise from his wife, because we made it back to the Country Club in forty five minutes.  We disembarked in good condition($5.00 tip for the driver). Afterward, the group convened in the Club dining room for pasta night. ($40.00 per with drinks). Now I ask you this, would Barack be able to redistribute the wealth as well? Would he have picked as good a show to see? Would the bus be as good? Would the driver take you on an impromptu tour? Would he pick a nice place to eat? Would he pick great people to redistribute too? Just how will he redistribute your dollars?

 I don’t have a single common interest with Barack Obama, how could he possibly know how to redistribute my limited dollars? It just makes sense to control your own dollars. Barack Obama wants to own your wealth and spend it as he sees fit. He may not even spend it on you.

Conflicted Soul

I finally broke down and began reading BO’s life story “Dreams From My Father.” The one thing that becomes very clear to me is that this man has had a very troubled early life. The fact that his mother is white and his father black screwed him up big time. He was raised white, but his soul was black. He wanted to be black.  His mother would have done him a big favor by following the father back to Kenya. His writings are filled with inner turmoil caused by his own belief that he was being rejected by whites. He saw the color attitude throught the eyes of his black classmates. He didn’t see the race difference because his mother and grandparents were white and sheltered him. When he finally learned of his grandmother’s concern about being stalked by a black man he was stunned at her reaction.

BO sought out people throughout his high school years that made him feel normal. Among them a black poet who was a freind of his grandfather’s. The poet, whose name was Frank, was a communist. Throughout high school and his early college days, BO leaned heavily toward the racist poetry of Malcolm X and Marxist teachings.

No doubt, some of this turmoil was brought on by his upbringing in Indonesia. His mother’s second husband  brought them to this country when it was in the aftermath of the overthrow of dictator Sukarno. He witnessed lots of unpleasant things, lots of poverty, lots of turmoil between his mother and her husband. Throughout his life, his black father kept in touch with him and constantly fed him a line about his black heritage and family in Kenya.

BO’s thinking was definitely shaped by inner struggles between his white and black self. His early goal to become an organizer after college pointed at his need to “change” things from the bottom up: it’s his message today.

The man carries a package of guilt about his race. He is clearly a racist, his father was also a racist. His affiliations with Jerimiah Wright, Louis Farakhan, Frank the poet, Ayres, are all the result of this guilt. It is my opinion that he is where he is today because he feels superior to the white race, and would like to punish whites in order to relieve his inner turmoil.  

Is this the kind of conflicted soul we want to lead us?

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