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The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

The “Obamaphone” Nonsense

So recently, I retracted a prior criticism of former POTUS Barack Obama – the whole “food stamp president” nonsense. While this post isn’t a retraction, I want to share my thoughts on another erroneous label affixed to him – the infamous “Obamaphone”. The ironic thing about this, is that it’s origins are rooted back to 1984 when some Americans were still in “Will we ever see a black president?” mode. A “Barack Obama” if you will, was still a dream. 1984? Yep. When Ronald Reagan was president. Some even argue that it goes back as far as Roosevelt, but I digress. That year, the FCC created the Lifeline Assistance program. That’s the actual name of the “Obamaphone” program, technically. 

Obviously, cellular phones weren’t ubiquitous as they are now, in 1984, which is why the program provided free landline phone service, mainly to senior citizens. Interestingly enough, after eight years of the Obamaphone misnomer, so many remain ignorant of its history.  Am I the only one who’s never heard of an “Reaganphone”? What about a “Bushphone”? “Clintonphone” perhaps? What about a “Trumpphone”? (that sounds like the world’s worst megaphone ever). You haven’t because they were never labeled as such, even though the program existed in every presidency since Reagan. In fact, Safelink Wireless offered the first such cellular (keyword alert!) phone service in Tennessee in 2008, near the end of Bush’s second term. Barack Obama wasn’t elected until November of 2008. The program started three months earlier. 

There are some very, obvious motives and suspicious undertones, if I’m polite, associated with slapping this erroneous, derogatory misnomer onto the first black president, and literally none of his predecessors, but for now I’m not gonna go there (Hmm, no pun intended, but, did I just do that?). Now to be fair, the number of participants in the program, did increase significantly under the Obama administration, but that’s to be expected, with the expansion of any government program to assist the destitute in a recession. It’s a domino effect. If you had no problem with the program under Reagan, both Bush’s or Clinton, it’s simply hypocritical to have whined about it for the last eight years under Obama. I’ll be discussing three more things, I, and/or my political “macro tribe” got wrong, or, that were generally misunderstood or wrong when it comes to Obama. Then I’ll balance it by discussing the same number of things I stand by firmly, as far as my criticism of his presidency goes. Stay with me folks, this is about to get really interesting…

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Posted by on July 7, 2017 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Barack Obama’s Legacy, Successes & Failures

Greetings friends,

Each week I’ll be listing one success and one failure of former president Barack Obama. It’s part of a series of blogs in which I’ll examine his legacy, so here goes:

Obama-Winking-300x200Success: He repealed DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which was signed into law by former president Bill Clinton (D) with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support. It defined marriage as being between one man and one woman – the basis for the nuclear family. He was absolutely justified in doing so, because DOMA was inherently unconstitutional. It’s the one time he put on his constitutionalist hat, no matter his motive. This one’s not debatable folks, so I’ll stop there.

 

 

SCOTUS picFailure: He made history, when in 2012, the SCOTUS upheld the ACA as a tax instead of the mandate it really is. However, it was a slick way of evading the defined role of the federal government in the constitution, which doesn’t include the authority to meddle in healthcare. It doesn’t matter how you align politically, or how you feel about the ACA, we have a civil duty to raise Hell over this. We have a responsibility to engage in constitutional apologetics. We can amend it legally, the framers spelled out this process for us, but we can’t trample over it. He took ten steps forward in dismantling DOMA, then ironically, took 20 steps back by throwing the very same constitution under the bus with Obamacare. Epic failure.

Until next musing,

Talitha “TK” McEachin

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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On The Pulse Of Morning: Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou 1928-2014

Maya A 2By now you all must have heard about the passing away of Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014). Maya Angelou is one of my favorite writers & poets of all time. I remember first reading I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS & how it touched me as a young woman. I remember the beautiful inaugural poem she wrote for former president of the United States, Bill Clinton. Her poetry was uplifting & encouraging & I have all of her books on my shelf. She will be missed but lived a full life touching so many others. To remember her I wanted to share my favorite poem from her, “On the Pulse of Morning”, the inaugural poem she wrote for Bill Clinton in 1993. So much of her work was dedicated to lifting black Americans up & humanity itself. We’ve physically lost a great treasure who will remain with us through her words. My prayers go out to her son, other family, friends & colleagues. She will be greatly missed:

This is my favorite poem by Dr. Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”, written in 1993 for the inauguration of former President Bill Clinton. I’ll never forget how empowered I felt reading it as a junior in high school. Enjoy:

 

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers–desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Listen to the recording of Dr. Angelou’s inaugural reading of this poem here.

 

– Dr. Maya Angelou, January 20th 1993

 
 

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DOMA: I’m Catching Hell…

Good Morning!

Friends, this will be brief.

I’m catching a lot of hell for recent remarks I made regarding repealing DOMA on a social media thread. As many of you already know, DOMA  (Defense of Marriage Act) is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and inter-state recognition purposes in the United States. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Under the law, no U.S. state or political subdivision is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state. Section 3 of DOMA codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns. In my opinion, this is unconstitutional because the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to define marriage in any way. It is also important to note that former President Bill Clinton has recently appealed for a repeal of DOMA.

Listen, either conservatives are for limited government or they are not. What I am finding out is that some of us, on the right, only want limited government when it suits us. Liberals, on the other hand, seem to want the federal government involved in every aspect of our lives (which is problematic too!), but I digress. We don’t want the federal government to re-define marriage to include same sex unions yet we support that same federal government defining marriage our way. It’s inconsistent, and I try my best not to be. DOMA is unconstitutional and no matter what spin we come up with, the federal government should not be defining marriage. This includes heterosexual or homosexual unions.

I advocate states’ rights but to put an end to the issue I think the state & the feds should get out of marriage altogether. Last year I shared with you all my marriage proposal intended to fairly resolve this issue. I, together with my friend & fellow writer Walter Myers III plan to make some changes to that initial proposal and address other issues that will arise, such as polygamy. The government should issue everyone civil unions (gay & straight couples) and allow religious institutions to define marriage for themselves. Since there are plenty of religious institutions who already perform same sex unions, it is very fair. You can simply choose not to attend such a religious institution if what they choose to allow is against your beliefs. Any other solution will give politicians room to repeal/enact laws every 2, 4 or 6 years – each time congressional demographics change and power shifts to the Democratic party or the GOP. They will continue to use this issue to take our eyes off of the economy and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. We need to end this already and I stand by my commentary. I also welcome the thoughts of persons from all political affiliations, or without one, on this issue. Together, we can resolve this fairly, in a “multi-partisan” manner and move on to other issues.

#myrantfortheday

Consevative blogger Talitha McEachin

 Talitha “TK” McEachin

Talitha “TK” McEachin is a conservative libertarian political & cultural blogger for CainTV, KiraDavis.net and Yahoo Voices. She’s also an editorial writer for Black Literature Magazine & an upcoming writer of fiction. Her first novel, THE ELEMENTS, the first book in her epic fantasy series will be released in 2013. Learn more about her fictional writing by visiting her website (www.theelementsbooks.com).

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in In The News, Politics, Society

 

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Reparations: “Where’s My 40 Acres & A Mule America?

Reparations: “Where’s My 40 Acres & A Mule America?

“Well I think every black person should at least get $100,000.”

“What do you think that’s gonna do?”

“That won’t do nothing but make Cadillac the number-one dealership in the country!”

“Everywhere you look, there’s opportunity. You know what I mean?”

“Everybody here would love to get a handout.”

 “lf they handing it out, I won’t turn down nothing but my collar.”

“Not everybody think reparations is a good idea, It’s stupid.”

Conversation from Barbershop Part I

There is no dispute that Africans were sold and/or kidnapped,  brought to America via the Middle Passage and forced into slavery and because of this dark period in U.S. History, some black Americans believe that descendants of slaves deserve reparations of some kind for this forced, unpaid labor.  The debate has raged for years now and shows no signs of going away or slowing soon, so it should come as no surprise that this was the second highest question from black respondents to my survey.

When debating reparations, it is important to note that there are basically four sources from which proponents argue reparations should come – the federal government, big corporations built on slave labor, believe it or not – white people in general and any combination or all of these sources. As with other topics, even though I identify as a conservative ideologically, I like to speak with my liberal and moderate friends to get their perspectives to have some balance of insight. Yvette Carnell is a self-professed independent liberal blogger and editor at the African-American news site yourblackworld.net. She happens to support efforts for reparations and this is what she had to say when I asked her about the topic:

Reparations are really the only way to make amends for the enslavement and subsequent oppression of black Africans in this country. America recompensed the Japanese in this way, and Germany paid holocaust victims. But, for reasons I won’t dare speculate upon, conservatives recoil at the very idea of rendering compensation to the ancestors of black slaves who were forced to labor for free, against their will.

And before you start in on how most African-Americans alive today were never actual slaves, just descendants of slaves, let me point out the obvious fact; it is not the fault of African-Americans that America has been so slow to do the right, moral, and just thing. The U.S. Senate didn’t apologize for slavery until 2009. It took our lawmakers that long to admit that the torture and revocation of freedom inflicted upon Africans once they crossed American shores was, in fact, an atrocity. That long to own up to the truth of what was done to our ancestors at the hands of those who valued money over morality. And, apparently, it’s taking that long to truly do the math on the monetary impact of having progenitors who came from nothing, not because they were lazy, but because they were enslaved and robbed. There’s a value to that, and it’s time that our government paid up. How can the “land of the free” not see the hypocrisy in refusing to compensate people for robbing them of all choice in how to work, love, and live. Reparations in the country are long overdue.” 

I also got the opinion of a moderate Democrat who said:

“In a perfect world, the best form of reparations would be a historical role reversal in which black people become the oppressors and white people the enslaved. White people would finally completely understand the pain, anguish and why black people cannot “just get over it” and how horrific the institution of slavery was. Pious black people on the other hand, would receive a harsh reality check, because they’d be no more or less brutal and inhumane than their white counterparts in such a scenario. Given reversed historical circumstances, blacks would not have behaved a whit better and whites would not have survived with any less wounds. I’d love to see both groups squirm when the shoe is on the other foot. There’s no such thing as a wound which takes less time to heal than it took to inflict. Slavery in the U.S. lasted about 250 years (the first slaves arrived in 1619), followed by Jim Crow and segregation. Counting by lost man-years (the average slave lived about 13 years less than his white masters) the loss of life was easily profound.

I have never, ever denied the importance of Jews remembering the Holocaust, the Japanese remembering interment during WWII or the discrimination suffered by Irish Catholics, but some whites have never stopped implying that blacks are inferior, deserved their slavery, deserved to be separated during segregation or that we should “get over it already”. I’ll forget slavery when southerners stop reenacting Civil War battles, and Conservatives stop thinking the descendants of slaves are the same as immigrants. With that said, I still don’t think that blacks should receive reparations because we are too far removed from it. The most appropriate timing would have been as close to harm inflicted as possible, so it’s not very practical to attempt to indemnify descendants of slaves from hundreds of years ago, now.”

Now this moderate Democrat is uniquely qualified to give an opinion on the matter because he is none other than New York Times bestselling author Steven Barnes of diamondhour.com.  Steven is the author of Lion’s Blood and the sequel Zulu Heart, which are alternative history novels set in the late 1800’s in which Africa colonized the Americas, enslaving Europeans, so he has taken the time to meticulously explore this view in the realm of fiction. I highly recommend that every American read his books because Steven is correct: human beings are very tribal but behaviorally, we are not much different from one another at all. For the record, although I can certainly empathize with Yvette’s point of view, I do agree with Steven, in that it’s not very practical at this point to issue reparations. Now that does not exonerate this country from blame or wrongdoing, after all, former President Bush called slavery “one of the greatest crimes of the century” in 2003 and in 2008 former president Bill Clinton expressed regret for slavery. In 2008 the US House of Representatives apologized for slavery and, in 2009, the US Senate made a formal apology for it. I have to agree with the last sentence of the writer here  who ended the article with: “An apology is a small step toward redemption. It will not improve anyone’s lot in life. But symbols do matter.”

However, reparations proponents believe it should not stop there. The federal government and corporations that have reaped the benefits of free slave labor (and all white people for some) should pay up; citing reparations paid to Japanese-Americans during WWII and Holocaust victims from the German government. The fact of the matter is that the 7,000 Japanese-Americans were paid reparations at that time and were very easily identified, as were Jewish Holocaust victims. At this point, no actual perpetrator of the wrongdoing would actually be forced to make amends. They are long gone and so are their immediate victims. According to Wikipedia:

“Since in almost all cases there are no living ex-slaves or living ex-slave owners these movements have gained little traction. In nearly all cases the judicial system has ruled that the statute of limitations on these possible claims has long since expired.”

Let me also state that I vehemently disagree with those who think that “all white people” should pay reparations because simply put, “all white people” – in fact most white people are not descendants of slave-owners to start with. The most recent and accurate estimates that I found state that only approximately 20% of  Americans share ancestry with a slave-owner and that estimate includes white, black and Native Americans who owned slaves (yes there were free blacks and native Americans who owned slaves also). I have not seenany movements to seek reparations from descendants of free blacks or Native Americans who owned slaves.

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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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