Time to Think Regionally: 7 Cities Today, Norfolk Metro Tomorrow

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2012 by beneaththeunderdog

You ever ride down Virginia Beach Blvd  near Newtown Road and feel a thump-thump underneath your car?   You ever get confused when going to a concert wondering which one of the amphitheaters or venues to go to?    Tired of living in a city that often gets overlooked for new business opportunities and prestige that seem to always go to Virginia Beach and Norfolk?  Wondering why  the Tide stops in the middle of a residential area and does not stretch from the NOB to the Oceanfront?  Well, most of us are tired of and confused by these issues and a lot more.  Companies all over this land are combining forces.  The idea of ‘a little bit of something is a lot better than a whole lot of nothing’ is sweeping Wall Street.  Mergers of large technical and financial companies are happening at a record pace, making the landscape for small and medium-sized companies into a desert with nary a mirage in sight.  The same can be said about the metropolitan areas in America.  The top ten largest cities in the U.S.  is a venerable who’s-who list of industry, politics, economics and clout.

Rank City State Population  
1 New York City New York 8,175,133  
2 Los Angeles California 3,792,621  
3 Chicago Illinois 2,695,598  
4 Houston Texas 2,099,451  
5 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,526,006  
6 Phoenix Arizona 1,445,632  
7 San Antonio Texas 1,327,407  
8 San Diego California 1,307,402  
9 Dallas Texas 1,197,816  
10 San Jose California 945,942

One has to conclude that the federal government and large corporations give more favor to our larger cities.  How can Hampton Roads capitalize on such good fortune?  Let’s look at that chart with the 7 cities’ and their populations combined.  (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk,  and Portsmouth).

Rank City State Population  
1 New York City New York 8,175,133  
2 Los Angeles California 3,792,621  
3 Chicago Illinois 2,695,598  
4 Houston Texas 2,099,451  
5 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,526,006  
6 Phoenix Arizona 1,445,632  
7 Norfolk  Metro Virginia 1,401,281  
8 San Antonio Texas 1,327,407  
9 San Diego California 1,307,402  
10 Dallas Texas 1,197,816

This would make Norfolk Metro the seventh largest city in the United States.  Strategically and geographically New York would be our only competition on the entire eastern seaboard, and because of the deep ports and industries already established here we would have an advantage in several key areas.  There are key roadblocks that will keep this from happening.

People Don’t Want a Regional Government:  The meer mention of combining cities brings out the worst fears in everyone.  Will Suffolk, with its small population, have as much of a voice and influence as the larger cities?  Who is going to deflect Newport News’ crime and poverty numbers?  Who will be responsible for elevating Norfolk’s schools and test scores?  Will Virginia Beach have to share their considerable cash advantage with everyone?

These are really important questions that need honest and tough answers.   The sacrifice will be less that rewards we reap as an area.  The network of schools, hospitals, and civilian services(police and fire) really would not have to be touched.  Quality of life most definitely improve for all over time.  Some people could see a minimal  reduction in quality of life i.e. increased traffic or increased building that would not have existed before the merger.

What’s First?  Light Rail is the first spoke in the wheel to improvement.  The cities are segregated because of a circuit of roads and bridge that serve individual communities but do little to nothing to improve travel and commuting from city to city.  Light Rail will, eventually, be an artery that seamlessly links Portsmouth to the oceanfront.  Williamsburg to the Norfolk Naval Base.  Great Bridge to Waterside.  The only links between these distant locales now is a myriad of congested roads.  Light Rail will make these trips more palatable and frequent.

Next, regionally there are no real convenient links to our closest competitors in Raleigh, Charlotte, or Washington D.C.  Creating more convenient routes to these cities will create more convenient routes to our area.  We are essentially cut off from the rest of the larger region and realistically cut out of the economic and industrial possibilities that often go to other cities.  Widening the highways and the creation of more direct paths to our competitors by way of rail(Amtrak) and air(improving and expanding the Norfolk airport) will only serve to help the area.

Norfolk Scope2.JPG

Conclusion.  We are decades from realizing our potential as a major city.  The facts are it will take almost a decade of state and federal wrangling to allow the cities to combine.  After that it will take decades to make the improvements that are outlined in this essay and the myriad other things that have to happen to make this venture profitable and impactful.  The first step has to come in the form of reconciliation and the creation of a regional adventurers spirit.  On paper it works.  Just like anything else that is put in blueprint form one needs an architect to make those plans a reality.  Who or what will be the spark to get this ball rolling?

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The Brighter Side of Darkness: Love Jones Resonates…Still

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2012 by beneaththeunderdog

What Is Love Jones?

‘gravitational pull, rendering one helpless to its power’

Stylish black movies are rare.  Black movies that fail to mention guns, thugs, rap, hookers and hoods is even rarer.  Slinky, smart and sexy Love Jones breathed new life into the ‘boy meets girl’ story by adding a healthy dose of sultry poetry and a pinch of spice with a soundtrack laced with smooth jazz.  The result is a delicious dish of black love served in a dish that is 90s Chicago.

Today is the 15th anniversary of Theodore Witcher’s debut, and only, film.  Love Jones follows a group of middle-class black artists and professionals–which is to say, it shows a world more unfamiliar to moviegoers than the far side of the moon.  Darius Lovehall, played masterfully by Larenz Tate, is a poet/author who pursues and conquers the venerable and sultry photographer Nina Mosely, played by Nia Long.  The magic that ensues is…palpable.

Love Jones:  The Story

 ‘they call me brother to the night.  and right now i’m the blues in your left thigh trying to become the funk in your right. is that alright?’

I love this movie for everything that it is not.  It is not another portrayal of desperate black women and ignorant stupid black men.  These characters have substance and style more akin to the majority of the African-American population. It is not a movie masquerading as something serious set to the hyper-violent and misogynistic hip hop soundtrack.   This movie has depth of character and story and is filmed using metaphors that are both straightforward and subtle.  It  does not pander to an audience.  It dares to tell a story in an uncoventional, un-Hollywood manner using characters that do not look like the usual fare who play in complex, layered, dramatic films.

 

The mood is well conjured; cool, enticing and magically bourgeois.  The story takes place in Chicago but one cannot escape the feeling that the director was trying to capture and recreate the feeling and momentum of the Harlem Black Renaissance.  The characters in the movie are all in some state of post-college, pre-career status trying to find their way in the world.  While they find their place they form a sibling-like bond with each other and explore deep issues such as love, how to find love, how to maintain love, and the lengths one should go to maintain love.

The relationship between Darius and Nina is sensuous.  From their first encounter in The Sanctuary, a poetry/jazz bar, their chemistry is electric.  Darius lets Nina know his feelings after renaming his poem A Blues for Nina exclaim in at one point that he was a sight raped hunter blindly pursuing his prey.  From that point forward the heat and steam that ensues between these two never lets up.

At a time when Black movies were hyper violent (Menace to Society, Boyz in the Hood), stereotypical (Waiting to Exhale),or just banal (Booty Call), Love Jones dared to be original in all of the right ways. To say that there is a need for more movies like this coming out of Hollywood would be a gross understatement.   To see a named Black actors in movies that are sans gross comedy, cross dressers, or halting stereotypes are rare.  Maybe we can dream that Tyler Perry and Spike Lee can drop their beef and get busy creating art that tries to capture the spirit of Witcher’s work.

Mya: Creating My Very Own Supernerd.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 by beneaththeunderdog

I have always dreamed of being a father.  You know the kind of dad that takes pictures of every second of their kids’ childhood?

That was going to be me.

The dad who invites family to the sporting events in an attempt to have the most raucous, screaming, embarrassingly loud section to root for their child. 

Yep, that was going to be me too.

The kind of dad who invites the family over to  screams extra loud when their kid brings home a good report card?

You know a dad like that right?  Me either.

I have been a coach for almost a decade and have had the opportunity to intimately converse with hundreds of parents about their children.  It surprises me that most times parents speak of their children’s scholarship potential it is completely and solely based on their child’s athletic prowess.

It is a very rare– a very rare instance when a kid’s academic skills are mentioned.  Never mind the fact that a teenager’s chances of getting an academic scholarship is exponentially better than attaining an athletic scholarship.

This makes me wonder:  why are the parents of school-aged children not putting more emphasis and focus on academic successes ?

Mya, my girlfriend’s six-year-old daughter, is now at that soccer, dance, softball team age and she’s raring to go.  She even wants to play tackle football, a development that I am obviously proud of  and am encouraging. 

She is trying to become a multi-faceted, well-rounded, eclectic, every-woman, and I am more than happy to facilitate her growth towards those endeavors.

What I am more proud of though, is the same tenacity she shows trying to perfect her golf swing she shows at the dinner table every night trying to master her homework. 

Yes, she is six and she gets pissed whenever she falls short of the high standards and expectations she has set for herself. 

She not only wants to outperform the boys on the field, but in the classroom.  I am more than willing to raise, demand, and push my baby to be a nerd.

A SUPERNERD!!!!!!

It is no secret that simply having a bachelor’s degree is not going to be enough to ensure success and a comfortable life anymore.  It is even less likely for Mya, because she is black(she is actually bi-racial; her mother is white and fantastic role model and mother) and more so because she is female.  If you believe the statistics the odds are stacked against her.

Suffice it to say, because of the statistics, I am more interested in seeing her becoming the next Condoleeza Rice over the next Candace Parker. Candace might get a chance  to play for the team, but Condoleeza is more likely to own the team. 

Rick Santorum and  the GOP will have you think that Mr. Obama is a ‘snob’ for exhorting that everyone go to college.  We all know that there are people who are not cut out to sit in classrooms.  To  dismiss the idea of higher education as snobbish casts an unnecessary dark cloud of the hundreds of hands-on vocational schools and junior colleges that are set up to help the masses no matter the learning speed or handicap.

I know there will come a time when Mya is conscious of the social stigmas that go along with being a nerd.  When that day comes I will remind her that while she is worried about trying to land a date or secure her rep the world is still spinning, the difference between the haves and the have-nots is still increasing, and the job market is decreasing at the same pace as the requirements for landing a career is increasing. 

It all starts with me and her mom though.  I have to be mindful to loudly celebrate those honor roll report cards, those 4th place certificates for science fairs, and every merit badge she earns in Girl Scouts.  Afterall, if loud exultation is allowed for 300 yard drives, then me doing the Arsenio Hall dog pound whoop at an awards assembly should be embraced.

So, I’m ordering my Mya jersey, and my pink warface paint today, because there is a six-year-old who deserves confetti and Gatorade dumped on her for having a ‘green day’.  Maybe just the confetti… the Gatorade will be reserved for her first touchdown come this Fall.

The Disposable Conscience of the American Negro

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2012 by beneaththeunderdog

kanyemonster

  • There is an African-American woman somewhere in America who is pushing the agenda.  She is smart and great at her job.  She is an executive in a Fortune 500 company or a professor at a top university.  She dresses conservatively and carries herself in a manner befitting a lady of status.  She lives in a great neighborhood.  She frequents the best restaurants. But when she is with her girls she dances to    this:                                                                                                                                                     Wobbledy wobble, wo-wo-wobble, wobbin’
    Ass so fat, all these bitches’ pussies is throbbin’
    Bad bitches, I’m your leader, Phantom by the meter
    Somebody point me to the best ass-eater
    Tell ‘I’m “Pussy clean! ” I tell them “Pussy squeaky! “
    Niggas give me brain ’cause all of them niggas geeky
    If he got a mandingo, then I buy him a dashiki
    And bust this pussy open in the islands of Waikikiiiiii…
    Kiss my ass and my anus, ’cause it’s finally famous
    And it’s finally soft, yeah, it’s finally solved!
    I don’t know, man, guess them ass shots were all!
    Bitches ain’t poppin’, Google, my ass the
    Only time you on the net is when you Google my ass
    Y-y-you fuckin’ little whores, fu-fu-fuckin’ up my decors
    Couldn’t get Michael Kors if you was fuckin’ Michael Kors
    B-B-Big Sean, b-boy, how big is you?
    Gimme all yo’ money and gimme all yo’ residuals
    And Slap it on my ass, ass,   ass…   Ask her why she supports these lyrics and the artists who pen them and you are likely to hear, ‘they are not talking about me.’

  • Everyone has seen the video of R Kelly peeing on a 14-year-old girl.  Everyone knows that he married Aaliyah when she was the ripe old age of  15.  Everyone knows that after he was found ‘not guilty’ by a jury a reporter asked him if he was attracted to teenaged girls he asked, ‘What do you mean by teenaged?’  Surprisingly, every album and concert he has had since the allegations surfaced have been rousing successes.  His album sales have not tailed off and his concerts sell out constantly.  Why?

Bishop Eddie Long pictures: cell phone photo of Long hit the web

  • Eddie Long has marched against gay marriage.  He has preached against homosexuality and helped ‘sponsor’ anti-gay legislation in Georgia.  Then the allegations arose from several young, male members of his church that Long had traded cars, money and scholarships for mutual masturbation and oral sex.  Long promised a vigorous defense, but decided to settle out of court which cost the church millions.  The disturbed young men still are begging to tell their side of the story at the risk of losing their settlements.  Did the church members leave?   Did the church remove Long?  No.  Why not?

  • Whitney Houston, despite her early success was not readily accepted into the fold of Black America.  She was referred to as White-ney Houston on lots of R&B stations.  She never attained her street cred until she married Bobby Brown.  The more Bobby beat her the more popular she became in the community and the more successful Bobby became.   the more she failed at rehabilitating herself the more the community laughed at her and the more people watched her slow demise on television.  Now she’s dead and Bobby is on a nationwide musical tour.  Does this make any sense? 

 

Who says that a person who is the progeny of African parentage yet exhibits habits and demeanor that would embarrass a terrorist is deemed worthy to be “community” inclusive?  It seems that we, Black people, have an uncanny and innate ability and responsibility to support and defend all that is black no matter the consequence.  Mainstream success has seemingly poisoned our ability to be responsible wards and caretakers of our culture.

 Perhaps, the rush to protect “one of mama babies” from the white hand of the law is the collective shame and guilt of not setting one’s own individual house in order.  This puts us in a position to then have to accept the opinion of the media  The media then has the power to set our culture as they see fit; because we lack courage and  fail to develop the healthy compunction to solve our own social ills.

We used to be an eclectic people with a mind trending towards correcting the our own social issues.  The problem now is the dream has become distorted and lessened by a group hysteria that has become more pervasive… a ‘if you can’t be ’em  join ’em’ mentality has taken over.  The problem with being around certain people for so long is that one tends to adapt and adopt certain characteristics, habits as well as traits of those others are not innate to one’s historical heritage. The problem is compounded the further we drift away from our heritage and it becomes an afterthought, deemed no longer necessary or pertinent.

Maybe it is time to realise that everybody that might be wearing the suit of physical features from the motherland might not be internally so motivated to maintain the pride of our ‘old’ history. Given that maybe we should spend more time and energy on making sure the youth are cultured in the ways of our great-great ancestors instead of touting the misogyny and greed of mainstream success and acceptance.   For what kind of success is there really in desecration of an entire race.  We used to have a conscience. I hope we get it back before it is too late.

                                                                                                                                              

The Other Woman

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by beneaththeunderdog

See full size image

Psalm of the Married Man

My whims are my master; I shall not want
They maketh me to seek greener pastures:
They leadeth me to lie in strange boudoirs.
They erodeth my soul:
I stray from the paths of righteousness for my own sake.
Yea, though I drag you through the hellish extremes of an affair,
I shall not face my actions, for you can’t make me;
My lies and evasions they cover me.
Thou preparest a place for me in your life and your dreams:
Thou enablest my weakness with love;
My cup runneth over.
Surely anger and misery shall be caused by me all the days of my life:
and I shall dwell in the House of Denial forever.

“I’ll never live with another man again but, trust me, I never have a want or need for company.’  This is a refrain that is echoing inside parlors and living rooms, across phone lines and air waves, and in chat rooms and on social sites more and more.  Women are eschewing the traditional confines of relationships and marriage for the comfort and relative ease of  seasonal cuffing, casual dalliances, and sometimes finding solace in the sticky web of becoming ‘the other woman.’   Is this an age-old epidemic, a burgeoning business of sorts, or just a sign of the times?

Ginger White On Sex Life With Herman Cain                                                       

Why Is There Even a Market For The Other Woman?

The Part For Women

With increasing career options and demands, some women do not want to bother with the complexities, generational expectations, or honestly, the hassles that come with being someone’s ________.  Women are increasingly wanting and are able to have similar sexual demands, appetites,  and habits that men are notorious for:  ‘All I want is sex and the rest?  Leave it at the door!’  Becoming involved with a married man offers a lot of convenience, and most times, a built-in safety for a woman looking for physical satisfaction without the threat of having feelings and emotions becoming intertwined.  It’s a contract built on trusting untrustworthy people.  It seems to be a contract that is void of everything that counts in a relationship but the sex, and the gifts that are given for it, make it worth risking the potential embarrassment, hurt feelings, and separated families.

The Part For Men

The Madonna/Whore Complex.  It is probably the single biggest contributor to infidelity in men ever known.  It is not as simple as a man wanting his wife or girlfriend to be a woman in public and a freak in the bedroom.  The problem with men who suffer from this complex is that they do not tie sex and love together: love does not equal sex, and sex does not equal love.  There is no conscious tie between the two, whereas most women are raised with the ‘good girls don’t until they are married’ mentality.

There  are men, though, who do seek extramarital relationships because of a lack of excitement(see Tiger Woods’ mistresses… good time girls, all of them and seemingly ready to party whenever), or for the convenience of having someone  for discrete, safe sex(Herman Cain and Arnold Schwarzenegger fit in to this mold.. Ginger White and Mildred Baena are  proximity infatuations).   Woods, Cain, and the Governator may genuinely love their wives, but have no desire to defile or burden their wives, the mothers of their children (Who all men immediately apply the titles of virtuous, clean, and perfect),  with the hassle or burden of sex.  They would much rather have their wives continue to be their vision of the Madonna.  Or as Freud says, men want their wives to be the kind of women their own mothers were. 

What Does ‘The Other Woman’ Look Like?

We have all been inundated with Charlie Sheen’s goddesses and Tiger Woods’ good time girls, but the emerging picture of the other woman is the next door neighbor.  She looks normal like Schwarzenegger’s nanny, Mildred Baena, and Cain’s friend Ginger White.  Everyday, educated women are now willing to trade gifts and money for no-strings-attached sex.

The first line of this essay about never wanting to live with a man, but never wanting for company is something I’ve heard my female friends, female relatives, and female colleagues say… all the time… for all to hear.   It is a behavior that is becoming more accepted, even is ‘respected, higher social groups’.

Women of all shapes and sizes, perversions and appetites are letting their availability be known and they are not ashamed of the process.  Here’s what some of these women look like… and yes, I’ve named them:

The ‘Madeline’

      

The woman who is stunningly beautiful and also is well versed in social graces.  She replaces the woman who may have gained weight due to child birth or the woman who may not be as refined or presentable in public situations.

The ‘Becky’, ‘Carmen’, ‘Svetlana’, ‘Yoko”

                                       

She satisfies a man’s curiosities.  Men fantasize about being with women of another race or nationality.  Conquests of this kind can be fleeting, but are no less hurtful and damaging. 

The ‘Susie’            

This woman is a nurturer.   This woman does not mind playing second fiddle and never seeks to be ‘in charge’. She may be a single mother.  She definitely possesses great listening skills and is a nurturer of sorts.  She’s a confidante.  This kind of woman is recruited by men with wives who have a-type personalities; businesswoman or professionals who are just as much an equal in the boardroom as she is in the bedroom.

Are Wives and The Other Woman Splitting Hairs About Who’s Right/Wrong?

There is a school of thought out there that women who are married or involved in relationships are just the same as women who are content with being the other woman:  they both have sex with men with the expectation of money, gifts, trips, security, and housing. 

This idea is not as cut and dry as it seems.  When a relationship outside of a marriage happens there are no expectations except for sex and the payoff.  With a marriage there’s not only the expectation of being taken care of and getting sex, there’s also the expectation of fidelity, monogamy, trust, respect, and love.  Along with this married women are expected to be wives, mothers, representatives, and believers  of the family way.  The responsibility/reward scale is definitely tilted in the other woman’s favor.

Conclusion

The other woman isn’t going anywhere.  We live in a society and time where everything is available almost in an instant.  Catering to one’s more amorous desires is easy in the age of free porn sites, 900 numbers, and the Craigslist adult section.  Being the other  woman is often difficult.  These women have been reduced to being accepted for one task; everyone wants/needs to be loved and accepted.  Perhaps in this menage trois  of man, wife, and mistress there will one day be a medium of acceptance gained by all.  Afterall, we are more sophisticated as a people and society.  Or maybe, one day, we will all learn to be more content with the cards we are dealt, and learn to love each other and ourselves on a higher level.

Love, Life and Other Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2011 by beneaththeunderdog

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can not utter.   Men suffer from this sickness more so than women, and marriages seem to suffer because men and women speak different love languages.  The opposing sexes just can’t seem to sync up so that  their hearts sing instead of war.

So, over the years, I’ve adopted certain rules to live by in every kind of relationship.  These work for me, and they’ve evolved and morphed over time.

 1.)  Accentuate their positives.  Most people are their own worse critics and lack the perspective to see their own magnificence.  Never waste an opportunity to let another person know how awesome they are and how their presence makes everyone else around them happy…better.

2.)  Be your true self.  Don’t become someone’s caricature of an ideal mate/friend.  Show you true colors.  Show you true personality.  Tell the truth.  Share your true beliefs.

3.)Don’t over-share.  Authenticity is not the same as complaining about everything in the name of ‘being  real’.  A true friend/love does share weaknesses and stresses that another causes, but be careful of not polluting the well.  Pick your battles and always wield a blunt sword that’s aimed at non-critical areas when critiquing another.

4.)  Listen.  Not with a critical ear or to see if you agree(my greatest flaw), but to gather an understanding of your lover.    Get to know what makes them tick and to know their strengths and weaknesses.

5.)  Embrace fully… even the thorns.  If someone is worth having around then welcome them and make them feel comfortable to be their true selves.  Everyone has idiosyncracies… revel in it.

6.)  Every person you encounter has something to teach you.  Even if it is your own personal feelings towards issues.  When meeting strangers be internally mindful of your initial reactions.  You’ll be surprised at how you truly feel about some people or situations.

7.)  Give… but not everything.  A hard lesson for me to learn was that I couldn’t save everyone from their own plights.  Giving everything you have helps no one and nothing.  Be free in giving, just save some for yourself.

8.)  You don’t have to agree with someone to respect their positions or opinions.

We all go through life collecting advice on life and living, love and maintaining love.   Things like: 

  • Love means treating people with kindness and gentleness.
  • Loving person is believing in them.
  • Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and cheering them on.

But I also grew up with some stories about love that I came to see weren’t so helpful. Those ideas about love bred problems in my relationships.

One of those stories was: Loving someone means always being available to them. (Not true and probably the biggest contributor to my divorce while i was enlisted in the Marine Corps.)

Another was: Loving someone means always having space for what they want to talk to you about. (People only have so much heart space that they can lease to others.  Most people aren’t careful with the things they want to  store or bring into a relationship.)

Another myth about love: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult. (Someone who loves you would never leave you in a difficult situation.) 

These are my guidelines.  Make sure you develop your own.

Do Looks Influence Who We Elect?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 by beneaththeunderdog
 
Christopher J. Christie
I was wondering how long it would take, and finally there’s a glut(no pun intended) of pundits coming out of the wood-works to tackle a weighty(pun definitely intended that time) issue.  Writing for Bloomberg on September 29, 2011, Michael Kinsley wrote a column suggesting that Chris Christie can’t be president because “He is just too fat.”  There.  Somebody said it, and someone had to be first and Kinsley jumped on the opportunity and seized the moment.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, stops to talk to Mary Wilson, left, of Casper, Wyoming, and her granddaughter Suzanne Wilson, of Mount Laurel, N.J. , Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, outside a residence in Mount Laurel, N.J. , after Christie addressed a...
I’ll take smart and fat anytime over skinny and stupid.  The fact is Christie is the ultimate outsider.  He doesn’t feel like a politician.  He doesn’t look like a politician. When he opens his mouth though, he sounds like a sensible, caring and sure leader.  He actually feels as if he wants the top job to help Americans and not to push his agenda or legacy.
 As Mount Laurel Mayor Jim Keenan, right, laughs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie makes a joke while talking about plans for property tax savings as he stands at a residence in Mount Laurel, N.J. , Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011.
Americans have been trapped in a veritable malaise of controversy, war, partisan politics and dwindling money.  Entering the fray is this wunderkind with a personality as big as his possibility.  He’s highly sought after by conservatives who longed for a serious representatives who could speak to and stand up  for the kind of change that a country that’s in a state of flux needs.  He was going to play the part of the savior or hero, but the casting department decided his looks trumped any potential he had to make any viable change.  No matter what his resume said, it was decided his weight was going to keep his presidential balloon from lifting off.
 
In the past, before televised debates, a man’s resume and his life’s work were the true measure of his potential.  Then, after the much talked about trickles of sweat down the cheeks of Nixon during a televised debate with Kennedy, well as they say, the rest is history.   Nixon lost that election, in part, because standing next to Kennedy he just was not attractive.  Kennedy seemed unflappable and polished while the sweating Nixon looked nervous and unsure.  Advantage Kennedy.  Before this all debates were done on the radio.  Who knows what the outcome would have been if those debates had followed suit.  Instead, a whole new type of industry was born and there was no turning back.
 
Now, it seems that America is voting on the grounds of likeability and speech making.  Obama proves that a man with great oratory skills and a slight public service record beats a woman who’s lived the entirety of her adult life as a politician and a man with a distinguished military record and over 25 years of congressional experience. If the American political process can produce someone with unshakeable and above reproach manner and history, and talent to resurrect a dying and underperforming economy; ensure that the way of life that I enjoy will remain and possibly increase to better the fortunes of my children; work to lessen the ‘what about me’ programs that are weakening our resolve as a nation ; and defend the nation and its borders without bias or ambiguity, effectively, and unapologetically from all enemies, I for one am willing to look past any physical limitations or faux pas in the interest of the nation.
 
Poll:
Do you think overweight people deserve sympathy?
  • Yes: It’s incredibly hard to lose weight and keep it off.
    34%
  • Yes: I’m one of them, and people aren’t always nice.
    16%
  • No: Most overweight people just need to eat less and move around more.
    19%
  • No: They don’t need my sympathy, but I don’t shun them, either.
    25%
  • I’ve got lots to say about this; see my comment, below.
    3%
Let’s see.   I’m supposed to reject Sarah Palin, because she’s “stupid”.   Christie’s fat.  And Michelle Bachmann belongs to the Tea Party. And Romney is a Mormon. And Perry is a racist. And Cain is an Uncle Tom. Gosh. There’s nobody left except Obama, the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.   I think we need to open the election up to everyone, despite their pasts, genes, faux pas, or idiosyncracies.  Career politicians scare the brownies out of me.  I think we’ll regret keeping ‘ugly’ people from sharing their ideas because of some perceived lack of acceptability.  If I’m drowning, and make no mistake…we are drowning people, I’m not going to wait for a skinny wrist to reach below the water to save me, denying the chubby wrist that was available first.  Would you?