Black Sheep Says: “The Choice is Yours”… Obama or McCain

This post truly goes out to the 30 and over crowd, and those Gen-X’ers who remember what’s now considered “old skool” hip hop! Black Sheep has remixed their 1991 hit, “The Choice is Yours” into an Obama anthem. The underlying subtext is that you can get with this: “Progress/Obama” or you can get with that: “McCain/Bush.” And hey, you can achieve the choice by VOTING! Check it out.




Caramel Bella’s Green Report: Is America a Bunch of Green Backsliders?

Now that gas and oil prices drop, will America keep its push to “go green?” A recent NPR article investigates whether American energy consumers will revert back to their old, gas guzzling, non-recyclable ways with low oil prices.

Speaking of fossil fuels, a new study by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council claims the world could be free of fossil fuels completely by 2090. What would it take? Only trillions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy and a worldwide support, that’s all.

Google going Green? Google’s CEO, Eric E. Schmidt, joined forces with GE’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt, to announce their “green” collaboration effort to generate renewable electricity. Additionally, Google’s nonprofit arm, Google.org, has already invested in clean energy startups like harnessing wind power with kites.

Ready for your next all-electric car? Well, chances are you might have to wait until 2012. The recent 2008 Paris Motor Show revealed the new generation of electric cars. It featured the electric Chevrolet Volt, gas-electric hybrids like 2009 Honda Insight. However, the show stopper was the 2012 Volage electric car by Venturi, Monaco’s only automaker. In addition to the Volage, Venturi also makes the Fetish, an all-electric, 2-seat sports car, available in 2009. Both the Volage and Fetish sell for a hefty price, $500,000 and $400,000 respectively. Hmm.. how’s that gasoline or hybrid car looking?

(more…)




Palin as Dorothy of “The Wizard of Oz”

No words needed.




WASSUP Obama

With a week before the presidential election, Dookie and the “WASSUP” boys are back after spending 8 years in hibernation with a new comedy. Only this time, they aren’t just pushing a beer but have jumped on the pro-Obama bus. Their latest video critiques the current state of the economy, the Iraq war, the Hurricane Katrina disaster and gives a big shout-out to Obama.




CB’s Daily News Break: A Quake & A Possible Landslide?

Early Wednesday morning a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and leaving an estimated 15,000 people homeless. Rescuers are currently digging and searching for survivors in the a remote valley in Baluchistan, a province bordering Afghanistan. The worst hit was a British hilltop village of Ziarat and eight surrounding villages. “There is great destruction,” said Ziarat Mayor Dilawar Kakar to Associated Press. “Not a single house is intact.”

With less than a week until the presidential election, many people have decided to vote early. And in key swing states like North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado, the number of Democrats early ballots outweigh Republicans ballots nearly 2 to 1.

So, does the electoral math add up to an Obama landslide? According to the most recent Associated Press-GfK poll, Barack Obama is leading or tied with John McCain in eight key states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This poll also showed Obama winning in states among early voters. Furthermore, “the polling shows Obama holding solid leads in Ohio (seven percentage points), Nevada (12 points), Colorado (9) and Virginia (seven), all red states won by Bush that collectively offer 47 electoral votes.” Based on these results, if Obama wins these four states or a magical combination of two or three of them with significant amount of electoral votes, he would almost certainly become president.

Barack Obama takes his final campaign plea to the airways. Tonight, Obama will go on national TV with a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his campaign. Even with the math beginning to add up on his side, many political strategists wonder if Obama’s infomercial could backfire on him.

And just a day before Obama’s video, CNN’s Campbell Brown reminds the American public that Obama reneged on his campaign finance promise. Obama’s decision to not take public financing allowed him to raise more than $600 million dollars (more than Bush & Kerry raised in 2004) so far, and buy 30 minutes of airtime for his infomercial on five different networks.

Although the presidential race has not been decided, a group of conservatives are discussing the political impact of Gov. Sarah Palin. If McCain and Palin win, she puts social conservatism in the White House. If the Republican ticket loses, she will be a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and leader of the social conservative movement. Is Palin the future of the Republican Party?

Perhaps showing she can strut her own stuff and agenda, Republican vice presidential candidate Palin is in Toledo, Ohio Wednesday speaking on her favorite topic, energy. Palin has called for a “clean break” from the Bush Administration’s energy policies, which she says are too dependent on foreign oil.

And in money news, the Fed is expected to cut the key interest rate by a half-point to help combat the worst financial crisis in 70 years and keep the country out of a deep recession. If the slash happens, the federal funds rate would be lowered to 1 percent. This possible interest rate cut caused European stock markets to trade mostly higher on Wednesday. And the U.S. stock market was slightly higher Wednesday after “one of the biggest single-session gains in history” on Tuesday.

Some good news: gas prices continue to fall. For the past 42 days, gas has steadily fallen to a 3-year low. Gas hasn’t been this low since Aug. 18. 2005.




What if Sarah Palin was black?

What if Sarah Palin was black and from Brooklyn instead of white and from Alaska? Would she be taken seriously? One of my favorite personalities, Abiola Abrams, along with the folks at Black Planet’s NewsOne created a skit on the black Sarah Palin. Notice the way she answers (or doesn’t answer) the questions, uses God as her reason for running for office and her colloquial speech. Check it out.

The Caramel Bella




Skinhead Plot to Assasinate Obama Stopped

For many Obama supporters, Monday’s arrest of two white supremacist skinheads accused of planning to assassinate Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama was too close for comfort. After Senator Hillary Clinton’s comment about the possibility of assasination during the Democratic primaries and Obama’s need for protection from the Secret Service very early into his campaign, this arrest has reminded many Americans about the real and constant threat to his life.

In addition to their plot to kill Senator Obama, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Ark. were also planning to shoot or decapitate 102 black people in Tennessee, according to the Associated Press. The court documents obtained during the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigation revealed the two men met over the internet.

According to the latest Reuters report:

“The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people,” said an ATF agent in the affidavit.

The suspects, Cowart and Schlesselman, have been criminally charged with “making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.

Reportedly, the men charged are neo-Nazi skinheads who incorporated the numbers 88 and 14, which are symbolic among white supremacists, into the racially motivated killing plan. The number 8 is said to refer to the eight letter of the alphabet, H. And a double 8 (88) stands for “Heil Hitler” according to James Cavanaugh, an ATF special agent in charge of the case.

Even though the men were not successful in their racist assassination plot, this recent attempt may remind many voters of an original fear of Obama’s assasination. During the Democratic primaries, many African American voters had expressed reservations about voting for Obama because of this very concern. So, fear along with this very real attempt on his life (just a week or so before the election) could be a reason (or excuse) to not vote for Obama on Nov. 4.




Caramel Bella in the Big Easy

If you read my site regularly, you may have noticed that my posts have been pretty slow this week (read: hardly any). It is because yours truly is in New Orleans for a reporting project on race, religion and politics. I hope you have been following my twitters on the site because they should have kept you up-to-date on my Big Easy adventures. Although I’ve enjoyed my stay immensely in New Orleans, I must say it has been an emotional rollercoaster. For me, seeing the Hurricane Katrina devastation has been very sad and depressing but it’s been balanced by the beauty and warmth of the N.O. people. And the food and partying is beyond compare. Thank you New Orleans for giving a me a lifetime of wonderful memories and allowing me to experience your wonderful city. Stay tuned for more posts and tweets from N.O.L.A.

Smooches (especially to New Orleans),

The Caramel Bella




Black Muslim Says Race, Not Religion, Is the Issue

He looks like most Americans (well, African Americans). And you definitely can’t tell he is a Muslim by his appearance. So, it would be difficult to target him based on his religion.

“I look like a regular black man in Washington, DC,” said Omari West, a 35-year old American Sunni Muslim. “Do I get targeted as a black man, now that’s another case?”

Although West acknowledges that religious bigotry against Muslims exists in the United States, he believes the primary issue is still race.

Some Americans still “cling” to the inaccurate beliefs that Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim or was sworn into Congress on the Koran instead of the bible. And as shown in a recent McCain rally, there is a portion of the American population who believes Obama is an Arab. And they’ll shout it as an insult to prove it.

West, who was born into his Islamic faith, says the Arab slur is a cover for their true beliefs.

“It’s no longer politically palatable for people to openly admit that they don’t favor a candidate because of his skin color. [African Americans] have gone through a long hard battle in this country to win the right of dignity and respect, at least in the public square.”

West attributes the veiled use of the word, Arab or Muslim, as a code word for “other” or an even more derogatory word used against Black people.

“It’s more convenient and less controversial for someone to call Obama a Muslim then it would be to call him the n-word.” That’s how the coding works.

West explained how that process occurs in multiple unconscious, yet subversive, psychological steps.

First, to tarnish Obama’s reputation, his enemies use his name Barack Hussein Obama to distinguish him and thereby paint him as an “other.” In the senator’s case, all three of his names are easily associated with the Islamic faith, said West.

“The name, Barack Hussein Obama, is of east African derivation,” said West. “It’s Arabic.”

West says the next stage is “to paint him as an enemy by associating him with Arabic and Muslim extremists.”

Obama’s middle name has received a lot of media attention because of its similarity to the notorious Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Hussein, who committed violent acts against his own people, was a Sunni Muslim.

“All of the Arab talk is code word for his skin color and voicing disapproval as a form of racial bigotry, which can’t be openly discussed,” said West.

West, who is an American-born Muslim, thinks that the veiled Arab attacks against Obama are working. He thinks the focus on race can be shown in Obama’s wavering support among union workers despite their leadership’s endorsement.

West, a graduate of Columbia’s law school and its undergraduate journalism school explained:

“Usually democrats are pro-labor because of the economic issues. They push for higher wages, unionization, etc. As a result, union workers generally vote Democratic. There is a question now whether the rank and file members will follow behind the union leaders and vote for Barack. The argument could be made that people care more about racial and cultural issues than economic.”

A recent New York Times article points to race as a reason for Obama’s lack of support from union members.

“I think race is playing a major part,” said Mac Davis Slade, a political activist with the painters’ union, to the NYT. “I think that’s why some people say, ‘Isn’t he a Muslim?’”

Although race and religion are being used against Sen. Obama, West said it is part of the reason he is supporting him for president.

“I do think those reasons – his race, culture, name and experience – go into making him the person that he is today. They are not separate from what he brings to the table. However, the most important reason is I think he’s the most competent person for the job,” said West.

The owner of his own international economic consulting firm, West explained that Obama was his choice because of his leadership on several issues like the war. He also admired the Senator’s qualifications as a legislator and his impact on international relations if elected.

In terms of overall voting patterns for Muslims, West thinks they historically lean right on moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage. However, in this election people of all religions will have to consider a hierarchy of issues, which include national security, education, civil rights and civil liberties. And on these political issues, West said Muslims lean left or Democratic. A 2007 Pew study confirms that only 11% of Muslims lean right or consider themselves Republican and 63% identify with the Democratic party.

“It’s not because we’re any less pro-life or in favor of gay marriage from a faith standpoint. There are other factors that our lives depend on in this race,” said West.

He hopes the next president sets a tone of tolerance, and encourages a sharing of ideas and strengths among people of difference. This leader would point to how the variation among faiths and traditions all come from the same source, God.

Quoting from the 49:13 verse in the Koran, West states, “We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other.” For him, this statement means we learn more about ourselves by encountering and understanding the “other.”

“We are all brothers and sisters under God,” says West, “we’re all viewed as equals.”

Note: also appeared on HuffingtonPost.com and PopandPolitics.com




Oh No, It’s the Crazy Lady from the McCain Rally

The woman who called Obama an Arab at a recent McCain rally has made it into the cultural lexicon. She’s got a stint (or, at least her likeness) on the most recent Saturday Night Live. In addition to questioning his “Arab-ness”, the so-called crazy McCain lady in the skit asks if Obama consorts with terriers, is a Jew and a Muslin (yes, the fabric). Check it out.

This post is also featured on Pop and Politics.




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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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