Posted in Current Events, Government, Guatemala, Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Sebelius, News, Politics, Syphillis, Tuskegee

Guatemala, Tuskegee and Syphillis

Today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius issued a public apology to the people of Guatemala.

It seems the U.S. Government, from 1946-1948 purposely infected Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases as part of a research study. We infected prisoners, soldiers, mental health patients and prostitutes with syphillis, gonorrhea and chancres, and then documented whether or not Penicillin, relatively new at the time, was an effective treatment option.

Interestingly, U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948 as it’s called, was conducted during the same time as the Tuskegee experiment, though we were infecting our own citizens in Alabama with syphillis for a much longer period of time- from the 1930s until the early ’70s.

Our government conducted both studies (for obvious reasons) in secret, and never told any of the victims that they were infected.

Both experiments were headed by U.S. Public Health Service worker Dr. John C. Cutler.

I’d say we need to string him up… or at the very least have him tried for human rights violations… but the lucky bastard died in 2003.

The current director of the U.S. National Institute of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, says these experiments represent a “dark chapter” in the history of medicine.

Indeed.

So…

… This morning Secretaries Clinton and Sebelius said sorry to the Guatamalan government for the atrocities our nation committed against theirs more than 60 years ago.

We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices… The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala.

Um, hold on.

“We deeply regret that it happened“?

It didn’t just happen. Hurricanes just happen. Rain falling from the sky when the forecast calls for sun just happens.

One may be strolling down the street and may just happen to find a quarter laying on the ground.

Purposely infecting another country’s most vulnerable population with sexually transmitted diseases without their knowledge or consent does not just happen.

Nor does purposely infecting low income African American citizens of our own country with sexually transmitted diseases, and then leading the victims to believe they simply have “bad blood”, just happen.

Such atrocities require major funding- and in both of these experiments- the dollars came from the federal government. They require many people to work together, cooperating- plotting- against fellow human beings. Plotting to infect them against their knowledge (and therefore against their will) with terrible, often fatal, diseases.

This is what Hitler did to the Jews during the Holocaust. He rounded them up, simply slaughtered some of them, and then conducted inhumane medical experiments against millions of others.

How, exactly, was our country any better?

Are we better because we didn’t actually inter the poor black people we were inoculating with syphillis? Are we better because we didn’t make the mental health patients of Guatemala, while injecting them with Gonorrhea, wear a distinguishable Star of David on their lapels like Hitler made the Jews?

Our government was conducting these studies both before and after World War II, deceiving our own citizens as well as those in other countries, while simultaneously crying foul over Hitler’s horrific crimes against Jews and humanity.

It’s past the time for Americans to wake up. Our government has a bloody history, an evil history, the consequences of which are still being felt today.

Our representatives need to stop with the vague, half-ass apologies for what simply happened at the hands of our country, people need to stop attempting to re-write our history, and wake up.

This country has been- and is still- responsible for horrific violations. Terrible medical experiments, Salem witch trials, slavery, Jim Crow, Japanese internment camps, the McCarthy era, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay…

… And I haven’t even scratched the service.

The people of Guatemala certainly deserve something much bigger than an “We’re sorry it happened” from our government.

Oh- and if you wonder whether the families of the African Americans who were victimized by the government during the Tuskegee experiment ever received an apology, wonder no more.

The answer is no.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Economy, Elections, George Bush, Joe Lieberman, News, Policy, War on Terror

Barack Obama Represents Change… Right?

I am very excited about the upcoming inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama.

I believe in his message of change… but staunch supporter that I may be, I also believe in asking questions, and holding people- even president elects that I love- accountable to the promises they have made.

It is based on that premise that I write this post today.

The media and blogosphere have been abuzz, commenting on the cabinet/administration choices Obama has already made… and speculating heavily on those posts he has yet to announce.

Two things have struck me.

First, Obama is putting the Clinton Administration’s dream team back in place.

Everyone from Rahm Emanuel to Eric Holder and finally Hillary Clinton… with lots of additional Clinton-folks in between seem to be coming back to work for Obama.

Now I’m certainly no foe of the Clintons… I loved both Bill and Hillary in the White House, and believe Hillary’s subsequent time in the senate has been invaluable. In fact, the reason I wasn’t a Hillary supporter during the primaries had nothing to do with her policy or her stand on the issues… and everything to do with her negative campaigning.

As a politician, she’s excellent.

Second, we have news that Obama has decided to keep the Office of Political Affairs open once he becomes president.

This is the office that gave Karl Rove all the strategic power he ultimately abused and took down the GOP with.

After Karl Rove’s nuttiness (some call it genius… and those people scare the shit out of me), there were a lot of people- on both sides of the aisle- who wanted that office shut down when a new president stepped in.

Obama has decided it’s best to keep the office open, for now at least.

These two issues- the Clintons resurrection and the Office of Political Affairs remaining open- have, to me,  raised a red flag.

Now obviously, anything I say is merely speculation… the poor guy hasn’t even taken office yet… so none of us know what any of these things will ultimately mean for Obama’s leadership or policy.

… But…

Where’s the change?

Some say Obama has chosen so many Clinton loyalists as members of his team because they share his vision, and come with strong executive experience- they know how Washington works- and can therefore get things done…

I find myself thinking of Jimmy Carter… he kind of ran on a similar platform as Obama- a message of hope, of change. He was a Washington outsider… and when he took office, he surrounded himself with other Washington outsiders, known today as the “Georgia Mafia”. The idea was simple- people were tired of the status quo, sick of politics… so Carter brought in a bunch of people that were not part of the political brotherhood to help him shake things up. Unfortunately, it didn’t work… Even as Carter, like Obama today, had a huge democratic majority in Congress… not a whole lot seemed to get accomplished.

A lot of people think that’s because this “Georgia Mafia” simply lacked the political know-how to further Carter’s mission, or to get his objectives met…

… And that Obama shouldn’t make the same mistakes Jimmy Carter did. 

I guess I can kind of dig it… but…

I’m still uneasy.

How does one convince the masses that things will be different when he is in some cases steadily recycling old leadership, and in others choosing not to close controversial and scary offices of the past?

I’m becoming nervous.

Not so scared that I have lost faith in my man…

… But uncomfortable enough to find myself praying at night.

Dear God, I hope this man knows what he’s doing.

Change.

It isn’t just something to believe in…

… It has become our lifeline.

It’s a necessity.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Elections, News, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Religion, War on Terror

How To Spell Palin: P-U-M-A

Some people want to know why I came out of the box so quickly yesterday in protest of McCain’s VP pick, Sarah Palin.

I’ve been told by a person or two that I was perhaps a bit tough on the old gal.

I disagree… I honestly don’t think I was hard enough on her… and certainly not on John McCain himself… this asinine decision was his, after all.

Tough as some may have thought I was, I actually left a whole lot of my beef with McCain’s choice out of the post altogether.

For example, not once did I mention the all-too-obvious link between Palin and big oil… her husband is an oil production operator, and has been for 20 years.

Ok- yea, that point is kind of weak. Sort of like all the folks who made complete fools of themselves in drawing ridiculous- and false- parallels between Obama and The Nation of Islam.

But whatever.

Smacks of special interest, if you ask me.

Palin is a staunch pro-lifer, even opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest.

As McCain pounds his POW status to death, she is doing the same… by beating her decision to keep her baby, upon learning he had Down Syndrome, into all of our heads. Some felt that Barack Obama was whoring his kids out at the DNC… this woman, however, is using her precious son, his special needs, as well as her own personal choice as a means to advance her own right-wing agenda.

Further, has no one caught the irony of a woman who parades her “choice” to any and everyone who will listen… while simultaneously pledging to banish the very right she practiced- in “choosing” to keep her son- for other women everywhere?

She believes creationism should be taught in science classes, and is a proud card-carrying member of the NRA.

In the words of Senator Joe Biden… “That’s not change- that’s more of the same”.

The “change”, I guess, is supposed to stem from the fact that Palin is a woman.

The reasoning behind her placement on the GOP ticket, however, is downright offensive to women everywhere.

Yesterday, Palin mentioned Hillary Clinton’s adage about the 18 million cracks that were recently made in the proverbial glass ceiling… and then has the nerve to act as if it is her goal to shatter that ceiling “Once and for all!”

Huh. I doubt it.

This was Palin’s thin-veiled attempt to appeal to Hillary’s female supporters, some of which are, yes, disenchanted.

What she neglected to point out is the fact that she stands against everything Hillary has fought for- the most important being women’s rights. Those who truly love and support Hillary Clinton must also embrace her vision… and Palin’s short-sided views stand in polar contrast to everything the Senator has ever worked for- from her time in the White House, to her time as a New York State Representative, to her time on the campaign trail.

The idea that all McCain has to do is tout some woman- clearly, any woman will do- and he will suddenly have the female vote is thoroughly insulting, and shows just how little he really cares about our rights.

To think he can just pluck some young chickadee out of the wild, someone who has no experience on a national (let alone international) scale, someone who doesn’t care in the least about our plight as women…

Shows just how stupid he thinks we are.

Posted in C-Haze, News, Politics, Race, War on Terror

Only In America…

Boy am I excited.

The Democratic National Convention really has me goin’.

I was at my desk today, about to get off work, and my supervisor says, “You’re glowing! Got a hot date?”

I gleefully told her that I’m just excited about getting home and tuning in to watch Obama speak tonight.

No really- it’s true.

I have loved every second of this thing… from Michelle Obama’s loving tribute to her husband to Hillary and Bill’s hearty- and genuine- endorsement of their candidate…

Barack Obama.

I was moved to tears when Beau Biden stood tall and proudly introduced his father- and I hope we all fulfill that single request to take care of his dad for him while he’s overseas.

Joe Biden got me boohooin’ all over again, talking about his mother… she is the cutest little thing… and feisty too (!)… and I believe him… really believe him when he talks about what this country so desperately needs…

Change.

I also believe that Barack and Michelle Obama, with the help of Joe and Jill Biden, and Hillary and Bill Clinton… along with so many others… will make it happen…

Together.

For the first time ever, I can say that this is a team of politicians I truly believe in… and dare I say… actually trust.

We had our drama, our party divisions… but at the end of the day, we have made history… and though I am sitting on the sidelines… I love that I am a witness to it.

How many people, on this, the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, ever thought they would live to see the day when an African American man could stand so tall and accept the Democratic nomination for the President of the United States?

Even John McCain stopped his smears long enough to congratulate Obama on a job well done.

History in the making…

Only in America.

This week I have again fallen madly in love with my country, my party, my candidate…

I hope you have too.

Posted in C-Haze, News, Politics

Hillary Clinton, Marine Corps T-Shirts and The DNC

Today Hillary Clinton chose to behave as a good sport should, and has moved to stop the roll call vote at the Convention, allowing Obama to officially accept the nomination by acclamation.

She has (finally) bowed out gracefully, and exited the stage so that Barack Obama can make history today as our Presidential nominee… and even bigger history in November, when he wins this election.

Thank you, Hillary.

This entire process has been such an emotional ride for so many people… and this especially holds true for Hillary Clinton.

My feelings for our former First Lady have really run the gambit over the years… starting with my complete and total admiration when she shared the white house with Bill and ending, just before the DNC, with my complete and total resentment.

I do not stand by the campaign she ran, nor do I condone what amounted to her eerie silence while so many of her supporters were loudly becoming PUMAS, clumsily rallying behind McCain (and simultaneously spitting in the face of the woman they claimed to love), as she was withdrawing from the election.

Her initial silence, followed by her very quiet and insincere pleas, asking her supporters to stand behind Barack Obama were a disgrace- consequently driving such a huge divide between what should have been a united family of Democrats- out to make history- that it very well may have cost us the election.

Slowly, it seems, Hillary has come to see the damage she’s done in not condemning the baby-fied behavior of her most over-zealous supporters.

Her speech last night was wonderful… I saw a glimpse of the woman that I used to love… the woman who at one time was my hero, who I so proudly looked up to.

Some are disappointed that she didn’t get more emotional during her speech, but those who know Hillary know that she didn’t get where she is today by crying everytime something important was about to happen.

She’s known to show her passion in other ways, which I believe is exactly what she did today, in stopping the roll call vote… that gesture means a hundred times more than squeezing a few tears out at the podium ever would.

Clinton said what she needed to say- that Barack Obama has her vote- and that he should have our votes too… that she in no way supports McCain…

No way. No How. No McCain.

Others are angered that she didn’t do a better job of condemning McCain.

I, however, see things differently. She did condemn McCain- she just didn’t get ugly about it, or ignorant with it. Obama’s campaign has never been a smear campaign, nor has he ever fought his opponents by slinging mud. While this may very well change with Joe Biden on the scene, Hillary, in my opinion, was respecting the mood her colleague and fellow Democrat had already set months ago.

This year is all about change, not nastiness or ignorance. It’s about open-mindedness, and it’s about fighting for the little people.

What I witnessed yesterday evening was old-school Hillary Clinton… the leader, the fighter, the Democrat who has always worked so hard for universal healthcare and women’s rights…

Finally, Hillary Clinton gets it.

Senator Clinton’s passion, it seems, has returned to the right place- and she has fully come to understand that this is no longer about her, but about the greater good of this nation- it’s about that man in the Marine Corps t-shirt who begged her to take care of his buddies and then take care of him… it’s about that single mother with the two adopted children with special needs that she is struggling so hard to take care of, without health insurance… and it’s about so much more…

It’s about you, and it’s about me.

I witnessed a woman who fought a very hard fight (even as I disagree with the way she went about doing it), and was finally ready, for the good of our nation…

… to step aside…

For us.

Posted in C-Haze, News, Politics, War on Terror

DNC, Hillary Clinton and Lame-A$$ Supporters

The Democratic National Convention is here.

I’m excited. Seriously.

If I could have taken the week off work to go to Denver- or hell, to sit at home on my couch eating bon-bons watching this shit unfold- I would have.

Unfortunately, I’m out of vacation time, so I, like the rest of you have to watch it on cable tv… after work.

It’s cool though- I don’t mind much.

What I do mind at this point is Hillary Clinton… or more specifically, her supporters.

Here’s a personal plea to Mz. Clinton:

Lord have mercy woman- do something about this madness.

Please.

I keep reading blogs and news articles and everything else, written from all kinds of Clinton supporters, claiming they will not vote for Obama simply because Clinton didn’t win the nomination.

Now what the hell kind of sense does that make?

You want another four years- or God forbid, eight- of Bush (err… McCain)…

Four more years of Iraq, outrageous gas prices, home foreclosures and tax breaks for the rich…

… Just to prove a point because Hillary didn’t win…

Really?

Worse, you want to do it out of spite…

Talk about your sore-ass losers!

I’m speaking to all you fake Dems who now support McCain, simply because Hillary Clinton didn’t win the primaries

You suck.

Every last damn one of you.

From Hillary’s standpoint, I can understand that this must be a very difficult time. Her dreams of being Commander-In-Chief (for the 2nd time) have been dashed, and that must be very painful for her.

But it’s no longer about her… she can cry all she wants to about her personal tragedy when the cameras aren’t rolling.

In the meantime she needs to get it together and stop participating in the unnecessary- and quite possibly fatal- divide within this party.

It’s time to stop with the wishy-washy crap and stand firm in support of Barack Obama, like Clinton’s half-hearted speeches impore you to do.

It’s all about the greater good, people… so get it together.

Posted in C-Haze, News, Politics

Hillary Clinton Finally Threw in the Towel

Hil finally did it! She has suspended her campaign and endorsed Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president.

Yippee!

I’d say it’s about time.

Before the speech started, while they were showing all the people who came out to support her… I realized… Man, she really is a rockstar, isn’t she? I chose to watch her concession speech on C-Span

I saw grown ass people crying hysterically at the mere sight of her… I may even have seen a pair of panties or two thrown on stage at her… or wait- were those men’s briefs?

I admit I only watched this hoping to gain a litle ammo with which to rip her a new one, as I figured she’d pout her way through the speech, bitchin pissin and moanin about how unfair all this has been… 

She’s shown herself a sore loser in the past… which is why I watched her concession speeach to begin with. I wondered how she was going to conduct herself… and since she’s conceding the nomination to Obama, I thought there may be some fireworks… or sumthin, anyway.

Surprisingly though, she handled herself quite well… despite the crushing blow this loss must be for her.

Praise the Lord for that! (For handling herself so well- not the crushing blow part)

Her concession speech gave me a long-lost glimpse of the Hillary Clinton I had come to respect once-upon-a-time. She’s charismatic, and dare I say… actually seemed optimistic about helping Obama win this thing.

When she was talking, I found myself kinda captivated… I really wanted to hear what she had to say.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not gettin’ all teary eyed at the thought of Clinton losing the nomination… not by a long shot. I, for one, have been planning to Barack the vote for a while now.

What her speech did do, however, is make me realize this woman is going places… she’s going to keep climbing upward, and I think I’m kind of excited to watch her do it.

She’s nothing if not resiliant, and her political career is far from over.

It’s possible that her “let’s work together” stuff was just a schtick so as not to burn any bridges to get on that VP ticket… but to see her behaving in a positive way for once is quite refreshing… no matter the motive behind it.

I’m glad she finally threw in the towel so that now we can begin concentrating on the task at hand… whoopin’ good ol’ (and I do mean OLD) McCain’s ass.

I’m even happier that she did it with integrity and didn’t come across as the bitter old hag she’s been sounding like lately.

She even had some positive stuff to say about Obama, and while I remain unconvinced of her sincerity (let’s face it- it’s gonna take more than one pretty speech to undo THAT damage)…

at least she didn’t pretend he’s Muslim again.

Posted in C-Haze, News, Politics, Race, Religion

Crazed Women, Sore Losers, Priests and the UCC

Alright, so Obama has resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ. He doesn’t want to have to answer for every word that comes from that church and he doesn’t want the church to have to answer for everything that’s happening in his campaign either.

This revelation hurts me a little… I am a proud member of the United Church of Christ. I was born and raised in that denomination and my father, who is one of my only true heroes is an ordained UCC minister.

REVERAND WRIGHT FOR PRESIDENT!!! Just kidding.

While I secretly chuckled when I heard Pfleger’s most recent comments, I do realize that Hillary probably wasn’t laughing.

Mostly, the priest was right… but as we all know, the truth isn’t always something we can handle. Like Pfleger said, Hillary did feel that she had this nomination in the bag… and between who her husband is, and her time in the senate… well, she thinks this thing should be hers.

Enter Obama, and she’s watching all her well-thought-out, well-orchestrated plans fall apart in front of her eyes.

In the words of Scooby Doo… Ruh Roh.

Ultmately, in her mind, it boils down to her physical years in the senate, her popularity, her personal life plans, and who her husband is. She’s worked hard for this, and believes with everything in her that this nomination should be hers.

In all honesty, I used to actually like Hillary Clinton- a lot. I thought she was a strong woman, I admired her life-long ambition, I respected that she held her head high during all the Monica Lewinsky stuff, and I loved her passion for health care.

It wasn’t until I saw how she conducts herself when she’s losing that I lost all respect for her. She knowingly put misinformation out there about her oponent’s religion, and she attempted to widen the racial divide within this party (and nation), all in an attempt to win.

She has sold herself out by proving there is no line she won’t cross and I find it disturbing… Like good ol’ Bush, she believes the ends justify the means, and she was willing to fight dirty as long as it meant she could take her place in history as our first female prez.

My respect for HIllary took a downward turn back when she refused to acknowledge on 60 Minutes that Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

I was dumbfounded when she couldn’t just say “No” when asked the Is-Obama-A-Muslim question. Instead, she seized the opportunity to pull a stunt that would make the Bush Administration proud- the almighty “Scare Tactic”, attempting to capitalize on our inherant fear of all things Muslim.

She knows damn well that man is not a Muslim.

Inexcusable.

Next, when that didn’t work, She then went on to put that ridiculous pic of Obama out there that made those less educated think he was dressed in traditional Muslim garb.

Finally, disgusted that none of her silly schemes were working in her favor, she had her people (by way of Ferraro) tell the world that Obama has only come as far as he has because he’s black. As if that man hasn’t had to work 12 times as hard to accomplish half of what she has… and he’s had to do it his whole life.

More recently, she’s still being a sore loser, only now, it’s about this nonsense with the Florida and Michigan votes. When she thought she had this shit hands down, she wasn’t worried about their votes. Now that Obama’s kickin’ her butt (and she can no longer get away with personally attackin’ him without risking irrepairable damage to her own political future) she’s decided all votes should count.

Whatever.

Adding to her desperate attempts to clinch this thing, she’s pulling an Al Gore, cryin’ about how she has more of the popular vote than Obama, and therefore should clinch the nomination. Spare me- it was all about the damn super-delegates in February. Now that they don’t want her, she’s crying about popular vote.

The bottom line is she’s losing.

I know she doesn’t like it, but please, for the love of God, somebody tell her to put her big-girl panties on and stop acting like a crazed woman.

She’s making the rest of us crazed women look bad.