Monday, October 27, 2008

Some of McCain's black relatives support Obama

In the rural Teoc community of Carroll County, Miss., where the ancestors of Sen. John McCain owned enslaved Africans on a plantation, black, white and mixed-race family members unite every two years for their Coming Home Reunion, on the land where the plantation operated.
Some of McCain’s black family members say they are not sure exactly where they fall on the family tree, but they do know this: They are either descendants of the McCain family slaves, or of children the McCains fathered with their slaves.

White and black members of the McCain family have met on the plantation several times over the last 15 years, but one invited guest has been conspicuously absent: Sen. John Sidney McCain.

“Why he hasn’t come is anybody’s guess,” said Charles McCain Jr., 60, a distant cousin of John McCain who is black. “I think the best I can come up with, is that he doesn’t have time, or he has just distanced himself, or it doesn’t mean that much to him.”

Other relatives are not as generous.

Lillie McCain, 56, another distant cousin of John McCain who is black, said the Republican presidential nominee is trying to hide his past, and refuses to accept the family’s history.

“After hearing him in 2000 claim his family never owned slaves, I sent him an email,” she recalled. “I told him no matter how much he denies it, it will not make it untrue, and he should accept this and embrace it.”

She said the senator never responded to her email.

Although Charles is uncertain who will get his vote for president, several of John McCain’s black and white relatives are supporting his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama.

“I am absolutely supporting Obama, and it’s not because he’s black. It’s because he is the best person at this time in our history,” said Lillie McCain, a professor of psychology at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan.

“We simply need to look at the economy, and McCain’s campaign does not take us there,” said Joyce McCain, Lillie’s sister, a retired engineering manager with General Motors who lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan. “He is my cousin, but we are in dire times right now and people are hurting. Sen. Obama is clearly the best choice to be president.’’

Charles McCain and his wife, Theresa, who still live in Teoc, started the reunions over a decade ago. Charles is the deacon of Mitchell Springs Baptist Church, the only black house of worship in the area.

When Theresa McCain started the family reunions in the late 1980s or early ‘90s (neither he nor his wife is sure of the exact starting date), only black family members attended. But as word spread about the gatherings, white members of the McCain family got involved. Today, the reunion has expanded to the point where it is becoming a community event.

The reunion’s website,, has pictures, postings and other information about the family gatherings. While Sen. McCain’s brother, Joe, and many of his other white relatives attend the reunions, family members say Sen. McCain has never acknowledged them, or even responded to their invitations.

“Well, a lot of the people who had moved away and were living up north, would send money to help us maintain the church,” said Theresa McCain, 62. “Myself and others began inviting them back home for picnics, just to show our appreciation.”

The McCain campaign did not respond to repeated questions about John McCain’s black relatives, or about his relatives of both races who support Obama. Pablo Carrillo, a media liaison with the McCain campaign, said the senator was aware of his African-American relatives, but asked the reporter to put his questions into writing, and that someone would get back to him.

After the reporter sent questions in writing, and made repeated follow-up phone calls, neither Sen. McCain nor anyone else from the campaign responded.

Based on information obtained by the South Florida Times, the senator has numerous black and mixed-raced relatives who were born on, or in, the area of the McCain plantation. The mixed races in the family can be traced back to the rural Teoc community of Carroll County, Miss., where his family owned slaves.

Sen. John McCain’s great, great grandfather, William Alexander McCain (1812-1863), fought for the Confederacy and owned a 2,000-acre plantation named Waverly in Teoc. The family dealt in the slave trade, and, according to official records, held at least 52 slaves on the family’s plantation. The enslaved Africans were likely used as servants, for labor, and for breeding more slaves.

William McCain’s son, and Sen. John McCain’s great grandfather, John Sidney McCain (1851-1934), eventually assumed the duty of running the family’s plantation.

W.A. “Bill” McCain IV, a white McCain cousin, and his wife Edwina, are the current owners of the land. Both told the South Florida Times that they attend the reunions. They also said the McCain campaign had asked them not to speak to the media about the reunions, or about why the senator has never acknowledged the family gatherings.

In addition to distancing himself from his black family members, John McCain has taken several positions on issues that have put him at odds with members of the larger black community.

While running for the Republican Party nomination in 2000, he sided with protesters who were calling for the rebel battle flag to be removed from the South Carolina statehouse, only to alter that position later.

"Some view it as a symbol of slavery. Others view it as a symbol of heritage,” John McCain said of the flag. "Personally, I see the battle flag as a symbol of heritage. I have ancestors who have fought for the Confederacy, none of whom owned slaves. I believe they fought honorably.’’

Novelist Elizabeth Spencer, another white cousin of John McCain, noted the slaves the family owned in the family’s memoirs, Landscapes of the Heart. Sen. McCain has acknowledged reading the book, but claims to have only glossed over entries about their slaves.

“That’s crazy,” said Spencer, who also attends the reunions in Teoc. “No one had to tell us, because we all knew about the slaves. I may not vote, because I don’t want anyone to think that I have an issue with John, but I don’t want to see him become president because I think Obama is entirely adequate, and it’s time for a Democrat.’’

Spencer acknowledged donating money to the Obama campaign and to what she called “Democratic causes.”

Sen. John McCain was born in 1936 at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station, a segregated military installation in the Panama Canal, where his father was stationed in the U.S. Navy. His family returned to the states shortly after his birth; where he went on to attend segregated schools in the Teoc community and elsewhere around the country.

He served in the Navy, where he was a prisoner of war during Vietnam, before being released and eventually running for Congress.

After he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, McCain voted against the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday in 1983. When he arrived in the U.S. Senate in 1986, he joined North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms in opposing the holiday again, and voted in 1994 to cut funding to the commission that marketed it.

John McCain also aligned himself with former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham.

Mecham was the governor in McCain’s home state of Arizona from January 1987 to April 1988, when he was impeached and removed from office for campaign finance violations. As a state senator and governor, Mecham publicly used racial slurs against black people and other minorities. He was also a member of the John Birch Society, which opposes civil rights legislation. In 1986, Mecham campaigned for governor on a promise to rescind the state’s recognition of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which he did in 1987.

Earlier this year, during the 40th anniversary recognition of King’s assassination, McCain, by this time a presidential candidate, said he was wrong for opposing the national King holiday.

Politics in America has long been steeped in the dynamics of the country’s myriad cultures, diverse ethnicities, and varying religious beliefs. Several of Sen. McCain’s black relatives say Obama’s candidacy represents progress.

“He is denying his black and white relatives in Teoc,” said Joyce McCain, 54. “I think he may not want the country to know his family’s full history, but times have changed and we need to move on, and that’s why I’m supporting Obama.”

I voted early becasue Obama is "a terrorist"

This video makes me sick to my stomach. Look at the video first, then view my comments below.

1. "Do you think Barack Obama is a terrorist?"
Notice how most people avoided the question. However everyone seemed to find the question humorous.

2. "Sarah is a normal American...Barack is a seasoned politician."
Clearly this woman's head is stuck in the Bushes (pun intended) if she used this statement to back her support of McCain/Palin.

3. "You need gloves to touch him"
The words of a child barely tall enough to be seen (referring to Senator Obama). These are not words that a child makes up on her own. She has made this opinion based on the things she has heard said at home, none of which I believe have anything to do with politics.

4. "I think he was indoctrinated by the teachings of his father"
Clearly this man had his head stuck in the Bushes if he used this statement to support his claim that Senator Obama is a communist. Obama has seen his father like TWICE, ever! To this he responds, "the teachings of his father, not personally" <...crickets...>

5. "He's the Joker"
Some McCain/Palin supporters believe Barack Obama is the Joker, others think he's just a joke, but guess what people? Let's really give them something to laugh at. November 4th! (I voted early)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Adam & Eve

We had a church outting yesterday and this is the sign that was hanging on the bathroom door. Unique or no?

The Value of Education

I have a Bachelor's degree. I'm 7 months away from a Master's. Today I interviewed for a position today that pays $27,000. The fact that I even found myself in a position where I would considered interviewing for this position boggles me...blows my mind. Is that all my education is worth? I learned $27,000 worth knowledge from Alfrances Sharpe and Frederick Madison alone (for those of you who don't know, those were my most challenging HS teachers, the ones who gave me the hardest time, the one with which I had the most trouble, the ones I learned the most from).

Now, it's easy to blame the economy. Businesses can't afford to hire...blah blah blah. I aint tryna hear that. I've have 3 years professional work experience, WITH my degree, and Kanye aint the only college drop-out making more money than me. Am I bitter about that? Nah. Does it bother me? Slightly. But you know what keeps me going? My faith.

As a faithful tither, I have't missed a bill, a calculation that reaches far beyond my understanding of math because for the past 2 years, my monthly expenses have exceeded my monthly income. Crazy huh? Nah, it's not crazy. It's God. I dare you to try him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Technology in today's church

During pastoral observations today, Pastor decided to do an altar call. Now this wasn't exactly unusual, but definately unique. Making note of the many friends and loved ones who may have had a desire to attend church (or not) but were unable - due to illnesses, employment, incarceration, etc - Pastor admonished us to conect with them, right then and there. Everyone pulled out their iPhones, Blackberry, Sidekicks, Razers, Boost Mobiles, Pick-up-and-go's, burners, and made a phone call from their seats. We got Moms, Dads, frat, sorrors, bffs, all them on our phones, brought them with us to the altar, and he prayed.

Just a few Sunday's ago, Pastor viewed all 3 services (plus Sunday school) live via the internet from his sick bed (anyone who knows my Pastor knows he aint tryna miss out on nothing that happens at the Light).

One of our sister churches has a member who is doing some work in India and views her church's services live each Sunday from the internet too.

Oh, and my church has "direct tithing" where your tithes can come directly from banking account.

Church and technology sure has come a log way huh? I'm excited about my church getting that plasma in the fellowship hall so we can watch the football games (after church of course) in high definition on Sundays while we're having our fried chicken dinners between services.

Have you guys seen any innovative technology in your churches or churched that you've visited?

Cuddle Buddy Classifieds

How great it would be to be wrapped up in a warm body of masculinity, kept warm and held close until I fall asleep. How much more great would it be to have it be sex-free. I think the idea may be marketable, but is it reality? Opposite sexes, naturally attracted, with a sex-free cuddle routine? I doubt it. Arousel sets in with a mere thought. Throw in a taste of temptation and you've got a recipe for...well, sin (in my case). I don't trust the situation, and I don't trust my hormones. So in light of my confessed weakness, I thank God for affectionate pets!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Condition of Mind

I've come to find that the state of my bedroom is a clear indicator of the conditon of my mind. I haven't done laundry in well over a month. Their are clothes every where, clean and dirty, shoes that I can't wear because I can't find the mate and my bed is never made. But none of this matters as no one ever breaks the barrier of my bedroom door. The rest of my place, outside of my bedroom (at least the living room and bathroom), stay fairly presentable.

Inside my head resides a plethora of ideas, a number of tasks, an endless lifelong to-do list. I haven't had a mental purging of my thoughts in well over a month and there are a few things beginning to spoil and leave a foul smell. Good ideas and bad ideas are all tangled up in a knot that's gonna take lots of focus to separate. A number of items sit on the back burner because I can't find the mate (in this case, time) to complete the task. But does any of this matter? Only to me, because no one ever breaks the barrier of my mind. The rest of me, outside of my mind, stay fairly presentable. I smile. I hold my head up high. I walk like I'm rich and talk like I'm and Ivy League graduation...ok maybe not but, ya know. lol

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Million Dollar Martini

Not quite a million dollars, these cocktails are listed as the most expensive in the world (according to Forbes).

Sword Martinis at Jambu's Bar in the Raffles Resort Canouan Island, Grenadines

Price Tag: $300
Ingredients (Classic):Belvedere VodkaDry vermouthLemon twistCactaur root

Jambu's Bar at the Raffles Resort in the Grenadines boasts a lucky 88 martinis, four of which top the price list at $300 per glass. The key ingredient in each is a customized and handmade 14-karat gold sword: The Bushido features a miniature samurai sword; the Old Glory comes with a Civil War-era replica; the Excalibur has a version of its eponymous legendary saber; and the Classic sports a regular sword. Collect them all.

The Ritz Side Car in the Bar Hemingway at the Hotel Ritz, Paris

Price Tag: $515
Ingredients: 1830 Ritz Reserve cognac Cointreau A drop of freshly squeezed lemon

This drink is the holder of the Guinness World Record for the most expensive cocktail, and features some of the oldest cognac in the world. Made from grapes that were on vines well before the phylloxera infestation of the 1860s devastated many of France's finest vineyards, the 1830 Ritz Reserve cognac provides a taste of history and can be found in only a handful of bottles. Over the past three years, the Ritz has sold approximately 60 of these drinks, so they may not last very long.

Magie Noir (Black Magic) at the Umbaba nightclub, London

Price Tag: $630
Ingredients: Richard Hennessy cognac Dom Perignon vintage champagne Créme de mure blackberry liqueur Lemon grass Lychees Extract of yohimbe bark

Barman Giles Andreis devised this wonder at the request of a pair of Goldman Sachs bankers who wanted to celebrate their bonuses with something special. Although the drink now comes with a 24-karat white-gold cocktail pin, purists can order theirs the way it was originally poured on that first big night.

The Red Ruby at Reserve, Chicago

Price Tag: $950
Ingredients: Grey Goose L'Orange vodka Hypnotiq cognac Orange juice Pama, a pomegranate liqueur A splash of Dom Perignon champagne

Pete Gugni, the manager of this nightclub in Chicago's West Loop, has assembled an impressive array of liquid delights for this cocktail. And, drawing upon his background in the jewelry business, he has hidden in their midst a one-carat, A-grade ruby.

Platinum Passion at Duvet, New York

Price Tag: $1,500
Ingredients: L'Esprit de Courvoisier Squeeze of lemon Syrup of passion fruit, forest berries, wildflower honey, and brown sugar Fill with Ruinart Champagne

The Duvet restaurant in New York may be most famous for entertaining its patrons on mattresses, but its signature cocktail may also leave you flat on your back. Served in a chilled champagne flute and garnished with an orchid, the elixir is said to be a favorite of Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson.

Sapphire Martini in the Mezz at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut

Price Tag: $3,000
Ingredients: Bombay Sapphire gin (or the patron's choice of premium vodka) Blue curaçao A dash of dry vermouth Blue sugar (for the rim of the glass)Platinum-mounted diamond and sapphire earrings

What turns this cocktail from something tasty and blue into a drink that could change your life (or at least your marital status) is its sterling-silver pick crowned with a 14-karat gold accent ring. Actually, it's not even so much the pick as what the pick is holding: a pair of platinum-mounted diamond (0.8 carats) and sapphire (2.5 carats) earrings.

Diamond Cocktail in the Piano Bar at the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel, London

Price Tag: $4,350
Ingredients: Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2001 Champagne Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac Angostura bitters Sugar cube Your choice of a diamond or ruby

This price of this glittering champagne cocktail will depend on the quality of the gemstone picked to be the garnish: selecting a 0.6 carat diamond will produce a $4,350 drink, "but we could go up to $19,000 if a customer would like to choose such a gemstone" says the bar's assistant manager, Theodore Garcia. In any event, the presence of Charles Heidsieck Champagne and Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac (a blend of cognacs -- some of which are more than 125 years old -- that retails for $1,750 per bottle) guarantees that the flavor will be exceptional.

Martini on the Rock in the Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel, New York

Price Tag: $10,000
Ingredients: Vodka Dry vermouth Olive Enormous diamond

A 1.52-carat diamond will do wonders to enliven a regular martini. This cocktail may be the only drink that must be ordered with 72 hours notice, and its price will vary depending on the precise diamond selected. The good news is that the first time the drink was served, the assessed value of the diamond was actually a few thousand dollars higher than the bar tab, so you might actually profit from ordering one.

Dazzle at the Second Floor Bar in Harvey Nichols, Manchester

Price Tag: $51,200
Ingredients: Rose champagne Strawberry liqueur Lychee liqueur Lemon juice Syrup 18-karat white-gold ring with pink tourmaline and diamond stones

This cocktail from the high-end English department store, Harvey Nichols, comes with a side of security guards who escort it safely to the table. The bar now features a special safe to guard the rings, which clients can order according to their budget -- and their desire to impress.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Unkempt Unemployment

Today as I spent 2 and a half hours at the unemployment office for something that took all of 20 minutes, I experienced the following list of things that should NOT happen at the unempoloyment office.

10. No mother should allow her 3 year old child (old enough to know better) to wonder through the office (under the rope and behind the counter). Get somewhere and SAT DOWN!
9. There should not be any one popping chewing gum.
8. The security guard should not be slumped down in his seat with his head against the wall. I'm the one who's been waiting 2 hours for my name to be called! (Addition: I went back a few days later and this guy was working security.
7. The security guard should not be gray-haired and in his 60's. I did not feel safe.
6. Men should not be trying to talk to me. You don't have a job. I don't have a job. So let's date? I think not.
5. There should not be any one cracking sunflower seeds and spitting them into her hand. Not only is it annoying, but very unsanitary. I immediately searched for hand sanitizer (to no avail).
4. There should not be more "cell phones on vibrate" signs than there are job postings.
3. The resource area should not be bare. There were signs where job postings SHOULD be, but there was nothing there.
2. The very first job opportunity I see should not be for an exotic dancer.
1. "I apologize for the wait, but we are understaffed" - The unemployment office should NOT be short staffed! All the jobless people that come in here every day and you can't find anyone qualified for the job?!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"I'm Married But..."

This statement just should not exist. While in Target waiting on my male companion earlier this evening, the following conversation took place:

(Random Married Dude double takes THREE TIMES!)

Random Married Dude: I'm married cute.

Me: (puzzled look on face) ok.

RMD: I jus gotta shake ur hand. Are you married?

Me: No.

RMD: Why not?

Me: (now irritated) Because God has not brought me to that point in my life.

RMD: Well why don't you walk with me and tell me about it?

Me: You're married.

RMD: Which is great until I see somebody like you.

Me: (now disgusted) I'm waiting on some one.

RMD: Aw you wit yo boyfriend or something? (pulls at his shirt) and I'm out here looking like a bumb.

Me: You're married!!!

At this point, I'm so disgusted I don't even remember how the situation ended. What has happened to the sanctity of marriage?