Today I’ll watch football and drink beer.

Two man you may not know much about are John Lewis and Richard Trunka. Before today, I could fit what I knew of either on the head of a pin. Maybe after this, we’ll all know a little more.

First up, Mr. Lewis:

Arena contributor, Rep. John Lewis, in a strong statement sent to Arena and posted on his re-election web site, criticized the McCain-Palin campaign, saying “they are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all.”

How’s that for a lead in? Here is his statement in its entirety:

As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate.

George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.

Heavy stuff. John McCain has described John Lewis as one of the “three wise men” he would consult as president. So know the what Lewis wrote had to sting. More backstory and impact in that second Politico piece I just linked. Why not go for the hat trick of links to the same webpage in this paragraph and say with a title like Civil rights icon says McCain stirs hate, you know it’s not pulling any punches? Oh, that was totally worth it.

It hardly needs mention that I agree with Lewis. With the dead and decaying housing market, the 401ks, stock portfolios and retirement funds, the anger, resentment, confusion and fear, the dry tinder out in the sun with a stiff breeze coming in from the south, playing with matches is not a good idea.

More on who John Lewis is, and particularly why some call him a hero. Also, if you’re interested, this is John Lewis’s website:

Next up: A video of Richart Trumka speaking to the United Steelworkers (USW) convention back in July:

Trumka is the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. You can read more about him on wiki and through google searches. His speech hit home with a lot of people.

That video has been all over the web already. All over. And it just landed on drunkcyclist today. We’re no longer current. Were we ever? Damn. I need some bike stories…

Both men are speaking the truth. This is the real. This is what is happening. Right here in America. Today. Grim business. I thought I’d never see such blatant racism. But is that the truth? Maybe I’ve always seen it. Maybe it’s always been there, just beneath the surface. Maybe it’s easier for me not to see it because I’m a middle class white guy with a wife, two kids, two cars and a house in the suburbs. If it was in my face, every day, as it is for some in this country, my wandering eyes would have no choice. Maybe the problem is we just don’t want to call it for what it is: the status quo. The writing is on the walls. It always has been. All it takes is for one to stop waking with his head down long enough to stop and read it. Maybe I was just too young and idealistic when violence exploded and buildings burned following the Rodney King verdict, and when people danced in the streets when O.J. beat the rap. And maybe by “young and idealistic”, I really mean naive.

It is my greatest fear that Barack Obama will be elected President and then be assassinated. In fact, and I hate to say it, I believe with great certainty that it will happen. Such is the low bar of my faith: I expect nothing but the worst out of my countrymen.

Need I mention that Barack Obama saw what awaited him on that far horizon? He spoke of it in July:

Spooky shit. They say Martin Luther King foresaw his death. I wonder, sometimes, what Barack Obama sees in his dreams…

And then I worry a great deal about the country my children will grow up in.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

10 thoughts on “Today I’ll watch football and drink beer.

  1. Thanks for the Trumka video. As an IBEW Union member and a guy who’s Mom and Dad worked hard for 30+ years to secure a decent pension, that really hit home. How anyone can question Obama’s religion, skin color, or motives to be President is a joke. I try to be open minded, but the Right Wingers are getting so far out there, no wonder we can’t find a middle ground..Sad times…

  2. I think the campaigns say a lot about the candidates, how they choose to run their campaigns, who they select to help run them. Reps. starting to act like the animal backed in a corner, true colors coming out? Of course a lot of the negativity gets pumped up by the outside support groups as well, and McCain has tried to calm some rather delusional supporters…of course what else could he do.

    And WTF is this, Palin did the ceremonial puck drop at the Flyers/Rangers game? I am disappointed the reaction wasn’t worse, although it seems the music was pumping pretty loud:,114276

    As the article pointed out, fans probably didn’t want to waste their beers chucking them at her. Security was probably a bit more tight than usual too I would guess.

  3. You know, it makes what Obama is doing that much more honorable, knowingly risking his life to change this country..

  4. If the Democratic party would 100% drop gun control from their platform, they would have no problem winning blue collar voters in the Midwest and the South. I will never understand why they allowed those people in the big cities to burden the party with a position that is anathema to HUGE numbers of voters. Dean understands this. He’s mentioned it in the past. I agree that it makes no sense for poor and working class people to keep voting Republican, but the Republicans back gun ownership and gun rights, and not just the patronizing “I’m not going to take your hunting gun” bullshit. Gun owners understand that giving a little means giving it all away, eventually. When the Assault Weapons ban(ineffective as it was) passed last time, Congressmen and Senators who voted for it lost their seats. Al Gore lost Tennessee—why? Why did the native son lose his home state? Guns.

    If the Democratic party continues to slavishly do the bidding of Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Teddy Kennedy, they will continue to lose the portions of the country in which gun ownership is a tradition.

  5. Well said Mike.
    I know plenty of folks who insist they are Republicans, despite the fact that they are hard working middle class “Joe Six Packs”. who fail to realize or admit that the Right has come so far away from really representing them, it’s nutty.

  6. Good points on the gun control issue. It has always baffled me as well. Almost seems counterintuitive to a liberal philosphy, denying a citizen such a choice.

    I agree that the average person probably doesn’t need an AK-47 with a high volume magazine, but then a responsible person should be able to safely own any weapon, in theory at least. It isn’t the responsible owner that causes the problems. guns don’t kill people…blah blah blah Gun control is a joke in my opinion.

  7. Pirata—-I own a couple of firearms that are “scary”. They have the ability to accept 30+ round magazines. But they are functionally the same as a Ruger 10/22, which is the most popular .22 rifle in the country. Where people lose their logic is when they judge firearms on their appearance. Just because something looks like a machine gun doesn’t mean it IS a machine gun—-but the media and politicians were more than willing to blur the line to scare the ingorant. You’re right. Gun control is a joke. Want to know how stupid it is? I live in a state which has a waiting period for handgun purchases, except for people who have concealed carry permits. So if someone without a permit goes to a gun show, he can’t buy a handgun right there. He has to arrange delivery to a local gun store or has to go to the shop of the dealer who sold it to him after the waiting period has expired. But if someone wants to buy a 12 gauge shotgun with a 9 round extended magazine—or an AR-15—he can walk out with it the same day. Which is more dangerous? It’s just stupid, and stops NO crime. But the Democrats are determined to paint themselves as the gun-grabbing party, so they can continue to hope for victory while abdicating the South, Rocky Mountains, Pennsylvania, and vast swaths of the Southwest and Midwest.

  8. @Mike:Just because something looks like a machine gun doesn’t mean it IS a machine gun—-but the media and politicians were more than willing to blur the line to scare the ingorant.

    Not to mention the fact that machine guns are actually legal to own in most states anyhow. The anti-gun folks really don’t want to talk about the fact that the number of violent crimes committed with legally owned Class II weapons and devices is statistically insignificant. I’m as liberal as they come, but the gummint better not expect me to be in a good mood if and when they decide to modify my 2nd Amendment rights.

  9. Most gun enthusiasts will never vote for a democrat in there lifetime just like the pro-lifers, they vote on one issue. The Republicans had 4 years of presidency and full-control of a senate to do something for there NRA buddies and didn’t do shit. These guys can keep voting for there pro-gun hero’s like Dick Cheney, George Bush and Larry Craig. If they don’t get it now they never will, this country needs to run like a business. Get your Morals, and God and somewhere else. We are going down the tubes in a hurry and if folks don’t start voting with there pocketbooks we are screwed.

  10. Yeah, the gun law arguments generally seem to make little to no sense. Ask the average law enforcement officer which scares him more, an assault rifle or a 12 gauge semi auto, and most will say the shotgun, apparently since most confrontations occur at very close range. (I actually read this somewhere a while back)

    Want to talk scary, think 30-06 with a good scope, or some other high power gun like every deer hunter owns. (myself included)

    The high volume magazine thing is pretty stupid since it doesn’t really make a difference to a major wack job pent on mayhem. Just carry more guns or more smaller volume magazines, only takes a few seconds to reload.
    I am quite pro-gun ownership but have no qualms voting for a Dem either. In the end, I don’t think anyone will ever pass any really effective legislation, too many gun owners in this country. The laws passed in the Clinton years got a bunch of people riled up but really didn’t seem to amount to anything in the end.