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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Jesse "Doc" Wendel: "Abraham, Martin and John"

No Black Men Allowed in the Big House

Breaking news -- The US Secret Service has been ordered to give protection to presidential candidate Barack Obama, by the Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, after consulting with Congress. No details of Obama's protection, or of the deliberations leading to the decision will be released. (This is normal for any Secret Service protection.)

According to their website, the US Secret Service normally provides protection of major presidential and vice-presidential candidates, and their spouses, within 120 days of a general presidential election.

In the words of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster, One of these things is not like the other things. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you guess which thing is not like the other thing, before I finish my song...

Gee children, how many of you can guess how Senator Barack Obama is not like all the other presidential candidates?

One of my earliest memories is my mother crying They've killed him, they've killed him, the day President Kennedy was shot, and all the women in our long block/cul-de-sac weeping on each other, the father's being as stoic as they could, us children only understanding something terrible had happened.

I was older when Reverend King was murdered and then months later when Bobby Kennedy was killed as well. I remember in both cases how I lost part of my heart. Years, many years later, in my twenties (the 1980's), I volunteered at self-help courses held in the old Ambassador Hotel in LA, and as I took breaks in the kitchen, sometimes I'd just stop and think, Here. He died right here.

People are threatened by the idea of a woman president. You and I don't get the threat part of Hillary's race, because she's, well, Hillary, and she's lived under the bubble since roughly 120 days before President Clinton was elected, way, way, way long ago. That half of the United States can't stand her, and 30% of the US hates her breathing guts... well, we don't think about it. That some people would almost rather die than see a woman elected; we don't think about that either. Her Secret Service protection is rock solid and knows how to protect the Clintons. A presidential campaign is one more day at the office for them and it's Hillary, so we don't think about it.

Obama... now, that's a horse of a different color. Pun intended. If there's one gut emotion even more triggering, even more dangerous to that part of the US than a woman president, it's a black president. Unless Obama announces he is not only black, but gay, there isn't anything he can do to be more of a emotional threat to the part of those people which is the non-thinking emotional knee-jerk racist response they learned in childhood at their daddy and mommy's kitchen table. And nothing is going to change that except them growing older. It's a demographics issue and we're winning, but that doesn't help right now.


For the people who wonder why Affirmative Action. For the people who wonder why Busing. For the people who wonder why projects targeted to help people in the inner cities, and genuine welfare, and all the programs of the federal government for the poorest among us, many of whom are African-American...

Just please notice that the simple act of a black man running legitimately for President of the United States is enough to bring enough bullshit, enough hatred, enough credible threats, so much goddamn heat down that Congress asked Homeland Security who ordered the US Secret Service to provide protection to the candidate over one and a half years before the election. Not 120 days -- 1.5 years.

This is how scared some fools are of a black man sitting behind the desk in the big house.

I don't know whom I'm voting for yet, but I tell you what. Obama's got serious stones. Go baby go. Make those mother-fuckers eat their hatred. Make them eat it raw.

Obama placed under Secret Service protection
Raw Story
Published: Thursday May 3, 2007
The US Secret Service will provide a security detail for Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as he continues his presidential campaign, the Department of Homeland Security announced today.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff authorized the security detail after consulting with Congress, CNN reported today. No further details about Obama's protection were announced.

It is unclear whether any specific threats against the senator led to the Secret Service protection. The Secret Service commonly provides security details assigned to high-profile presidential candidates.

Obama's campaign clashed earlier this year with a self-described pedophile who posted pictures of Obama's daughter online. The Smoking Gun published a letter from Obama's attorney to the man, Lindsay Ashford, demanding the pictures be removed, as RAW STORY reported previously.

Text of Secret Service statement follows:


Secretary Chertoff has, after consultation with the congressional advisory committee, authorized the United States Secret Service, to protect presidential candidate Senate Barack Obama.

As a matter of procedure, we will not release any details of the deliberations or assessments that led to protection being initiated. For security reasons we will not release the timing, scope or details of any protective operations.


- Posted by Jesse "Doc" Wendel

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