Friday, July 19, 2013

Several Bits and Pieces ...1, 2 and 3.

Obama spoke about race relations . Is
there a cure for the issue?
This week there are several little items that are worthy of a comment . Pres. Obama  after six days  in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict  at a unexpected appearance at Friday's White House press briefing to talk about the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case and, more broadly, how the United States continues to grapple with racial bias. "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," Obama said. The president urged the nation to accept the court's verdict, saying the judge conducted the trial "in a professional manner" and that the jury had made its decision. Next the President made a point that should be addressed  , it a typical image that white -America has of African -American males. "I think it's important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away," Obama said. "There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me." He went on to recount instances when he had heard "the locks click on the doors of cars" as he walked down the street. African-American men are used to getting into an elevator and seeing a fellow passenger "clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off," he said. What he said made some " sense". I should have to add to that , this problem is that  our American culture is permeated with a gangster image when it comes to how young black men are portrayed .  Sure enough Trayvon's "hooddie" , that now is at the forefront of new cultural icon comes out of the "gangster talk".  , perhaps that word "hoodie" should be the second  racial word scrapped from the English language along with the "N" word .  It seems, is part of the frightening number of people who realize their prejudices and not Trayvon’s hoodie are the true killers here, and the willful ignorance displayed only encourages more deaths, more profiling. With this President Obama continued, that young African-American men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, both as perpetrators of violence and as its victims. And that violence, he noted, often takes place in poor black neighborhoods that are "born out of a very violent past in this country." The poverty and dysfunction in those communities "can be traced to a very difficult history," he said.  What He said  is right , what as a nation are we doing to end this?

Detroit takes a detour .
In October of 2012, President Barack Obama triumphantly declared he “refused to throw in the towel” and “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court Thursday, laying the groundwork for a historic effort to bail out a city that is sinking under billions of dollars in debt and decades of mismanagement, population flight and loss of tax revenue The bankruptcy filing makes Detroit the largest city in U.S. history to do so.The filing begins a 30- to 90-day period that will determine whether the city is eligible for Chapter 9 protection and define how many claimants might compete for the limited settlement resources that Detroit has to offer. The bankruptcy petition would seek protection from creditors and unions who are renegotiating $18.5 billion in debt and other liabilities. On July 18, 2013, Detroit went bankrupt“We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. We bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way,” Obama said in his weekly address. The auto industry's failure to initially meet the challenge from overseas...the export of manufacturing jobs to cheaper venues...a precipitous drop in's a long and complicated story.  In 2008 Hopeful Presidential Mitt Romney said this : " Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check ".  The failure here is not just that of the Motor City, it's a failure of America as a nation to take care of its heartland manufacturing centers and the workers who made them great, of putting corporate wealth ahead of domestic social needs, of promoting suburban sprawl at the expense of urban growth. 
Napolitano to head  UC  .
This next and last item blew my mind . Sure enough it's most bizarre story of a "demotion" . The case here is that of Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona. Something tells me that Ms. Napolitano resigned  over the Benghazi scandal , she could not take any more of the stress of her job .My initial thoughts: she didn’t resign willingly, she was pressured. So to make it a smooth transition, the powers that be got her a nice position at the University of CA (note that she’s not an academic) Like Hillary Clinton , she sneaked out while she could so the 'heat' would not get her. Janet Napolitano had the most controversial position in regards to immigration and illegals . She was Mr. Obama's iron lady . Her record is one of the toughest in regards to deporting  illegals . Now out of the Homeland Security Position , her past seems to have followed her with more controversy . While many across the political spectrum are happy to see Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano leave her job in Washington, some who live on the West Coast say they’d just as soon not see her out there, after it was revealed Friday that she’s poised to take over as head of the University of California school system. Ms. Napolitano angered both immigrant-rights groups and those who want to see a crackdown on illegal immigration, and irked privacy advocates from the right and left during her four years as head of Homeland Security. The UC regents Thursday confirmed U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as the next president of the 10-campus system during a meeting interrupted by protesters who contended that she should be disqualified because her agency expanded deportations of people who entered the country illegally. The regents set Napolitano's base salary at $570,000 a year, which at her request is $21,000 less than the pay for current UC President Mark G. Yudof. That avoids a political furor about executive pay inflation, but it still will be a big raise from Napolitano's annual Cabinet salary of about $200,000. She also will receive free housing in a UC-leased house, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. This  is a bad choice from several point of views. She does not have experience in education and will not immediately start addressing the challenges facing higher education in CA. She is also coming from an organization that is security related. These people learn to look at everything from that point of view. the concern is that she will lean towards limiting the rights of the students for security excuses and will be cooperating more with the government depts to monitor students, deport immigrant students, limit freedoms of the faculty, etc. This is a wrong choice for a premier education system in the country.  Nearly a 200% raise, Janet. Congratulations.  Now, add in the house, car, and other allowances - probably just as inexcusable as Yudof's,... and CA taxpayers foot the bill while our kids can't even get in or pay the bills for UC. How can this possibly be justified? This is one reason academics and students of the UC system should pay very close attention to the history lesson I'm about to teach: At heart, Napolitano is and always will be deeply conservative, authoritarian, and pro-cop. You can count on her to seek power and to use that power for self-advancement. While paying lip service to liberal niceties, she will crush you after throwing away the velvet glove...

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