Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Year Blog Anniversary, Farewell, and My Heartfelt Thanks

I've said all along that there was a deadline with this blog, and that I wasn't going to do it indefinitely. Well, I've reached that point after a year of blogging. To manage the blog in the manner that I prefer to do so takes up a significant amount of time. Time that I now need to invest into other endeavors. And since I don't like to do "half-stepping," I've decided that now would be a good time to shut down the blog.

The conversations that we've had, and the mini-community that we've formed during this time, have greatly enriched my life. I've gained new ideas, insights and information that I wouldn't have gained otherwise. I've even gained some new goals (writing a novel) as a result of these conversations and your input. I can't possibly thank all of you enough for that. THANK YOU.

Peace and God's blessings be upon you,

P.S. I hope that our various arks cross paths, and that I see you around on the high seas! LOL!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Old Is Too Old? by Tom Kavala

A resume client recently said to me, “Yeah, but I’m too old.”

I wanted to grab him by his lapels and shake some sense into him.

I’m here to tell you …

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do – but have been putting off – now would be a good time to do it.

A woman once walked up to well-known author and inspirational speaker Wally (Famous) Amos, after a seminar he had given and said, “If I go to law school at my age, I’ll be 55 when I graduate.” Amos asked her, “How old will you be if you don’t go?”

So let me ask you a question, “If not now, when?”

Too Old For What?

Just what is it we’re supposed to be too old for anyway?

People will tell you that advancing age results in lower energy levels and diminished capacity for getting things done.

Really? Consider the following, courtesy of the UC Berkley Wellness Letter:

Verdi composed his “Ave Maria” at age 85.

Harlan Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at the tender age of 65 and became a multi-millionaire.

Grandma Moses – the renowned American folk artist – didn’t start painting until she was in her 70s and didn’t achieve success until she was in her 80s.

Michelangelo was carving the Pieta when he was 89.

Martha Graham – one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance – performed until she was 75 and choreographed her 180th work at age 95.

Marion Hart, sportswoman and author, learned to fly at age 54 and made seven nonstop solo flights across the Atlantic, the last time in 1975 when she was 83.

John Kelley finished his sixtieth Boston Marathon at the age of 83.

Jack LaLanne, at age 62, swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater, against treacherous tides, towing a 2,000-pound boat. At age 65, he was swimming in Lake Ashinoko, Japan, handcuffed, shackled and towing sixty-five boats loaded with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana wood pulp! At age 70, once again handcuffed and shackled, and fighting blustery winds and currents, LaLanne hit the water and succeeded in pulling seventy boats and seventy people – one person per boat – an astonishing one and one-half miles.

The remarkable accomplishments of these people are not just personal triumphs; rather they are triumphs of the human spirit. They demonstrate that whether you start early or late in life, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Whatever you can conceive, you can achieve – regardless of age.

Forget Those Who Say You Can’t

I wonder why so few people feel their age is “just right.”

Being “too old” is just an excuse – an excuse that has closed the door of opportunity to thousands of individuals. They think they are the wrong age, so they don’t even try.

I hear all kinds of people saying you reach a point where starting over, or starting a new endeavor, just isn’t practical anymore.

Let me tell you something – people who know the least, know it the loudest.

The person who is fond of saying, “It can’t be done,” is invariably interrupted by the person who just did it.

When I was a corporate sales trainer, an older salesperson – who should have known better – told me that I didn’t understand the circumstances he was under.

I asked him, “The circumstances you’re under? What are you doing under there? Get out from under there! Who told you to go under there in the first place?”

There are no circumstances you can’t handle. There are only challenges to be met. Every challenge contains within it an opportunity for you to excel.

Start Where You Are

However old you are – you are. So look at your age positively.

A friend of mine, who just turned 70, confided to me that he hated the thought of getting old. I told him it was a lot better than the alternative. If you’re not getting older, you’re dead. I’ll take old over dead any day of the week.

Instead of thinking, “I’m already too old,” think, “I’m still young.” Look forward to new horizons and gain enthusiasm for new things.

Invest time in doing what you really want to do. Whether you’re 29 or 69, it’s never too late. So stop thinking, “I should have started years ago.” You’re here now, so start now. Your best years are ahead of you.

Just ask our own Shelby Beckett. The newest addition to AWAI’s Wall of Fame, Shelby didn’t start copy writing until she was 71. In fact, if you check out the Wall of Fame, you’ll see a lot of gray hair there.

Think about how much productive time you have left.

If your life was an hourglass and you could see the sand passing through it, what would you do today?

The cemetery is full of unwritten books, unsung songs, great deeds left undone, and discoveries never made. Most people die with their dreams still in them. Don’t let the “too old” excuse keep you from living the life you’ve always wanted.

"For of all sad words, of tongues or pen, the saddest are these: I might have been . . ."

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Spare_Time Biz Success, a free newsletter that gives you information on the hottest work_at_home opportunities that allow you to make extra money in your spare time and enjoy the financial benefits of a full_time career. For a complimentary subscription, visit


Khadija speaking: This article is for the "grown folks" in the house who are feeling the "melancholy setting sun." You know, the feeling that sets in when you figure that you've got more life behind you than left ahead of you. And that you've already squandered whatever opportunities were available to you in your youth.

I'm saying: So what? At this point, what does it really matter what came before? As the essay author said, "You're here now." I believe that this is all that actually matters NOW. You're blessed to be here now. There are a lot of folks who aren't here now. They're already dead. I know people my age who are already dead. I'm sure you also have some peers who are dead. Dead is dead. I have no interest in being dead before I'm officially dead.

I feel that this entire essay needs to be posted on a lot of folks' refrigerators and doors, but I especially liked the point the author made about "the circumstances that we're under." He's right: If you're operating under some circumstances that are hindering your attainment of abundant life, then you need to get OUT from under those circumstances! It will definitely take effort, and it might take longer than you want, but you need to get OUT from under there!

I don't know about you, but I would prefer to have Col. Sanders' wealth when I'm elderly as opposed to not having it. When I'm elderly, I would prefer to be as fit as Jack LaLanne is.

I would prefer to enjoy my very own "New World" of abundant life for however many years I have left. Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Forget Those Who Say That You Can't by Tom Kavala

"Tell me who your best friends are and I'll tell you who you are. The people you associate with most – whether professionally or socially – can have a motivating or de-motivating effect on you. Especially when you're trying to make a comeback from a setback.

Some folks have a perpetually positive attitude and are natural motivators. Others are so negative they brighten a room just by leaving it.

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you associate most closely – for good or bad. Sometimes it's better to be alone than in the wrong company.

A quick story …

It was great to be home! I'd been living and working in Europe for two years and this was my first vacation.

We were sitting around the dinner table talking and laughing – having a great time really. Right up until I dropped the bomb.

"I'm going to take up skydiving."

It was like somebody had hit the "Pause" button. Everybody froze.

My mother, my brother and my twenty or thirty assorted aunts, uncles and cousins all asked – almost as one – "Are you out of your mind?"

They then proceeded to tell me every single "Crash and Burn, Death by Falling" story the world has ever known. The funny thing is none of them were skydivers.

Today I have 135 or so parachute jumps under my belt. That's not a lot by some standards, but it's okay for me.

I've jumped out of helicopters, hot air balloons, jets and prop jobs … I've jumped from as low as 1,500 feet and from as high as 21,000 feet … I've jumped static-line and free-fall … and I've often thought back to that night around the dinner table. How much I would have missed, had I let my family steal my dream!

The Only Expert About You is You!

I have discovered that an important characteristic of successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

Anytime you try to pull ahead of the pack and accomplish something great, there will undoubtedly be people who don't think you can do it. Such naysayers are all too common.
Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you to climb will make you crawl, if you let them. Your friends will either stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

So never receive counsel from unproductive people – they are not qualified to comment.

On The Road to Success, Be Careful Who You Ask for Directions

If your doctor told you that you needed an operation, you'd probably want to get a second opinion before undergoing surgery. Who would you ask? Your auto mechanic? Your brother, the fireman? Maybe Aunt Gladys? Of course not! You'd ask another doctor – somebody who knows something about medicine.

Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeeded themselves are always the first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You'll always get the worst of the bargain if you exchange ideas with the wrong person.

When I was thinking about quitting my job as a business consultant and going full time as a copywriter, my family told me they thought I was crazy – again.

I love them, but I don't give a hoot what they think. I care what Michael Masterson, Don Mahoney, and Paul Hollingshead think. I want to know what Dan Kennedy, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Bob Bly think. I want to know what Joshua Boswell thinks. Why? Because they have done what I want to do.

Billionaire J. Paul Getty said it best, "The easiest way to get rich is to find somebody who is rich and do what they did."

Don't follow anyone who isn't going places. With some people you merely spend an evening – with others you invest it.

If You're at a Crossroads, You're in Good Company

It's not what the naysayers say that is important, it's what you believe that really counts. So let me ask you, what do you believe?

Maybe you're at a crossroads and not sure if you can do it or not. That's okay. Look at some folks who got off to a slow start, had more than their share of detractors, and still did okay:

Albert Einstein didn't speak until he was nearly 5 years old and was considered "mentally slow."
The inventor of the steam engine, James Watt, was declared "dull and inept."

Cartoonist Walt Disney was fired from his first job because he "had no imagination."

Inventor Thomas Edison was kicked out of school at age 9 because he was at the bottom of his class.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Sometimes the experts – and other well-meaning people – are misguided in their efforts or just plain wrong in their thinking. And then there are some people who are just stuck on stupid.
You can measure IQ, but not "want to." It's not the size of the dog in the fight that's important, it's the size of the fight in the dog. They can measure the size your head but not size of the dream in your heart.

So follow your heart as you use your head to develop skills and talents. There is nothing that an inspired you cannot accomplish.

One Last Question …

Are you on course toward your goals, or is the "FUD Factor' (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) casting a shadow on your direction?

In 1492, despite repeated setbacks, and in the face of conventional wisdom, Christopher Columbus set his course in the direction that his own inspiration and intelligence led him to believe was the right one.

During his quest across the dangerous and uncharted North Atlantic, he wrote these words in his private log, "This day, we sailed on."

He knew that a ship in port is usually safe … but that's not what ships are built for. What are you built for? What great accomplishments are yours to fulfill?

Invest the time NOW to renew your commitment to overcoming past failures, including the fears, uncertainty and doubt placed there by the conventional wisdom of unqualified, negative people.

Go ahead and give yourself a chance to succeed by taking another shot – or two, or three. It's not over 'til you win. Chart a bold course for yourself and sail on! Who knows? One more effort might be all it takes to get you back on course to your own New World.

And One Final Thought …

People are like rubber bands. A rubber band, lying around on a desk somewhere doesn't do anything. But once picked up and stretched, it becomes useful. Once stretched and let go, it gains the potential to fly over much greater distances than before.

It is only when you stretch yourself that you begin to discover your ability to fly much farther than you might have imagined.

Are you stretching yourself? You have an unparalleled opportunity to surround yourself with people who can help your writing career take a quantum leap forward … people you can dream aloud in front of … people who can bring out the best in you.

I'm talking about AWAI's 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair – where a single conversation with the right person can be more valuable to you than many years of study.

Self-made billionaire J. Paul Getty once observed that your income will be the average of income of the five people with whom you associate most closely. Maybe it's time for you to stretch yourself and get some new friends. Sign up for Bootcamp while there are still slots available. I'm going to be there. Don't delay – sign up now!

Special Offer: To hear Tom's business-building insights and advice every Tuesday, sign up a free subscription to Spare-Time Biz Success.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit"


Khadija speaking: Sales pitch aside, this essay has a LOT of valuable food for thought. I hope you'll take the time to seriously consider some of the points the author raised.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Black Women: Why Do You Let "Becky, Lupe, J Lo, Fatima, and Mei Ling" Indirectly Pimp YOU?

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Another One Of The Black Men That Black Women BLINDLY Rush To Support-Van Jones and Family

A family photo from Mr. Jones' Facebook page.

Too many African-American women have the knee-jerk habit of blindly running to support any and all African-American males who are in trouble with Whites. You need to STOP doing that. It would better serve your interests if you learned how to take a breath, take a step back, and carefully consider whether or not the current "Black male who's in trouble with White folks" is of any real value to you before you respond.

You also need to STOP assuming that there's automatically some sort of connection between you and random African-American males. There is NO automatic connection anymore. African-American men destroyed that connection by their behavior decades ago. 'Nuff said.

***Addendum*** My main point with this is something that another blogger named Halima Anderson explained in this excellent post:

You need to understand that many African-American men are assigning YOU demeaning roles and reduced status based upon White supremacy.

This means that for many African-American males, when it comes to choosing a woman to protect and provide for they select non-Black women* as the women they pamper. But when it comes to looking for a woman to rescue them and do heavy lifting, THEN these same men look to YOU. And you cooperate with this workhorse status when you support these males!

Halima gave the excellent example of contrasting who Michael Jackson selected to reap the benefits (monetary and otherwise) of being the "mommies" of his children (a series of White women), versus who he selected to do the hard work and heavy lifting of being the "mammies" (actual caretakers) of his children (a series of Black women).

[*Also known as "Becky, Lupe, J Lo, Fatima, and Mei Ling." LOL!]

***Audience Note*** NO anonymous comments will be published for this post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Let's Get Serious About Vetting Men, Part 3: Screen OUT Men Who Say That Women Won't "Let" Them Be Men, Gentlemen, Etc.

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Time To Act Is Now

The time to act is now.

Several Black Women's Empowerment blogs are providing you with excellent opportunities to brainstorm things that many of you can't discuss anywhere else. And to have these discussions in a supportive, encouraging environment that doesn't exist in many other places.

The people who've taken the time and energy to provide these services won't do so forever.

The people who've been warning you about the Rwanda-style meltdowns that are coming soon to an all-Black residential area near you won't do so forever. You've been warned to build your own ark, or find a seat on somebody else's ark, if you want to survive and thrive.

Throughout history, no matter what the event, there have always been the smaller group of people who were relatively safe and comfortable while the masses of their group suffered. Preparation versus a lack of preparation is what usually separates the two groups. If you choose not to prepare, and choose not to respond to the warning, rest assured that there WON'T be any particular mercy or concern for you once the flood waters rise above your heads. Think quick: When was the last time YOU thought about the still-suffering people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Part of the reason why I'm doing my part to sound the alarm now is so that my conscience will be totally clear when the final demise of the African-American collective arrives. Because once I finish my part of sounding the alarm, I'm NOT going to give any further thought to any of these avoidable tragedies.

Years ago, I stopped listening to the local news for this reason. And I rarely read the news clippings that people send me of the latest atrocities that are happening in Black residential areas. The pace and number of these atrocities will only increase until the final Rwanda-style meltdowns begin.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not productive to read or talk about any of that anymore---not unless somebody intends to do something concrete like organize fundraisers and other support for the victims. But doing something tangible is not our usual style. Most of us prefer to wring our hands and look for somebody else to address the problem. There's no more time for that. The only thing that matters is to get as far removed from striking distance of the Black underclass as possible.

I'm currently upgrading MY "ark" into a luxury cruise ark---"Sovereign of the Seas--LOL! I plan to sip sparkling apple cider on the deck of my cruise-ark while the hardheaded African-American masses (who failed to take heed of various warnings) drown in the flood waters. I will calmly sip my sparkling apple cider in the knowledge that I did my part to warn and assist them before the flood waters rose over their heads. That's all that anybody can do. As various ships pass each other, I hope to wave to you while you're relaxing on the deck of your ark as the Sojourners sail the seas in style!

***Addendum*** To help get your creative ideas flowing, now is a good time to revisit a couple of posts from January. "Wildest Dreams Checklikst: Start Asking Yourself EMPOWERING Questions" and "Beverly is Living Out Her Wildest Dreams in Paris. What Are YOU Waiting For?"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Let's Get Serious About Vetting Men, Part 2: The Deficits Created By Fatherlessness Are NOT "Equal" Between The Genders

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Let's Get Serious About Vetting Men, Part 1: Do You Really Want A Fatherless Man To Be The Father Of YOUR Children?

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Friday, September 4, 2009

The "Change" That Never Came, Part 3: "The Immorality of Lesser Evilism" by Rabbi Michael Lerner

"The Immorality of Lesser Evilism
By Rabbi Michael Lerner
November 03, 2000

Even in the final days of the presidential election, a substantial part of the population expresses dismay at the major candidates, feels closer to Nader in terms of the issues he raises, but fears that a vote for him might increase the chances for a Bush presidency. And the same issue arises for those who respond to the message of a Buchanan or John Haegelin. I've seen friends and families rent apart by the anger of some Gore supporters who believe that Nader supporters have lost their moral compass in their inability to see how disastrous a world with Bush-appointed Supreme Court justices might be.

Yet lesser evilism may do more to destroy the moral fabric and political viability of a democracy than any real or imagined evil that might be achieved through the electoral victory of whoever we imagine to be the "bad guy" beneficiary of voting our conscience. Here are some reasons why:

First, Lesser evilism leads to a moral and spiritual corruption of our souls. The habit of voting lesser evil in politics is a slippery slope. We start by giving our vote to a candidate who supports and is a product of a social reality that we actually deplore, and we end up learning to accommodate ourselves to moral corruption in other aspects of our lives. Just as lesser evilism teaches us to accommodate to "reality" in politics, so we accommodate to the reality of our economic marketplace, with its ethos of materialism and selfishness. Since everyone else is "looking out for number one," we learn that the way to "make it" is to go along with a set of practices that involve cheating or hurting others in our pursuit of success, making environmentally destructive or morally insensitive choices, and using the excuse that we must focus on "the bottom line" and not on the fine points of moral behavior.

To the extent that we come to believe that we have no alternative but to accept the lesser evil, we lose the inner quality of soul that makes it possible to fight for anything against the odds. We forget how to stand up for our own ideals, and soon we don't see the point in even thinking about what kind of a world we really believe in ("it's so unrealistic"). Internally we may feel cynical about the world we live in, but as long as we've adopted the attitude that we can't really fight it and must accept its terms, we have cast our vote in favor of keeping what is. Moral courage and hope begin to feel like anachronistic concepts.

Not surprisingly, as people become used to making this choice in daily life, they become most angry not at the forces of evil to which they accommodate, but at those who retain their commitment to fight for their highest ideal. Thus, the rage in liberal circles at Nader supporters or in conservative circles at Buchanan supporters-both of whom insist on standing for their ideals even when they are unlikely to win.

Second, lesser evilism disempowers liberal and progressive forces because it gives the Democratic Party no incentive to respond to progressive ideals. Secure in the certainty that liberals will always respond to the demand of lesser evilism, the Democrats can put their full attention at repositioning their party to accommodate those who might otherwise vote Republican, thus dramatically decreasing the differences between the two parties. And your vote for a lesser evil gives the corporate media the excuse they seek to ignore progressive views throughout the next four years-because the media will say that your progressive views were shown to have no real constituency since you and others didn't vote for the candidates who articulated those views, but chose to empower people who champion the status quo.

Third, lesser evilism is based on an arrogant certainty about the consequences of your lesser evil winning. In fact, those of us who voted for Clinton as the lesser evil in 1992 found that eight years later the gap between the rich and the poor had increased and the social supports for the poor had decreased. Conversely, much as Richard Nixon hurt me personally (by indicting me and sending me to prison for anti-war organizing), the dynamics of his "greater evil" presidency were significantly constrained by an idealistic social movement-and in that context, Nixon responded by recognizing China and by supporting powerful environmental and worker-safety legislation that were whittled down under the Clinton administration. It is the absence or presence of the very kind of social movement that is decisive-and lesser-evilism destroys. Instead of being so sure that "the other guy" is going to destroy the world, better to have a little humility and vote your conscience rather than your crystal ball, because in so doing you make possible a whole different configuration of political possibilities.

Fourth, lesser evilism weakens faith in democracy. If people consistently feel obliged to vote for candidates in whom they do not believe, they end up feeling they are without representation, and hence feel that our government itself is less legitimate. Many stop voting altogether. Others feel dirtied by a process in which they have authorized through their vote the actions of an elected official who, acting in their name, supports policies like the death penalty and acceleration of the worst aspects of globalization, which they actually find morally and environmentally reprehensible.

Finally, voting for a lesser evil entails abandoning and helping to dispirit those who share your principles. Many Nader people are standing up for the principles that you believe in, and instead of supporting them for doing so you are attacking them. Don't be surprised if many these people eventually give up on trying to change the world. So the next time you look around for allies for some visionary idea or moral cause that inspires you, you will find fewer people ready to take risks, and ironically you may then use that to convince yourself that nothing was ever possible and that's why you "had" to vote for the lesser of two evils.

None of this is an argument against those who really are excited by Gore or Bush-they should vote their beliefs. But those who succumb to the fear tactics that intimidate us into voting for someone whose policies are often far from our own beliefs are actually doing a great disservice to their country, their fellow citizens, and their own inner moral integrity."

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of TIKKUN Magazine, author of Spirit Matters: Global Healing and the Wisdom of the Soul, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in San Francisco.

Khadija speaking: Pres. Obama just might be the LAST "lesser evil" vote that I ever cast.

The "Change" That Never Came, Part 2: Pres. Obama Keeps Bush Nominees In Top Posts

From the Associate Press (emphasis added and my comments are in blue):

"Analysis: Obama keeps Bush nominees in top posts

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 31, 4:11 pm ET

WASHINGTON – For all the GOP howling about Barack Obama radically steering the government to the left and leading the nation toward socialism, some of his major appointments are Republican men and women of the middle.

In what may be the top two national posts in light of today's crises at home and abroad, Obama stuck with the picks of former President George W. Bush in reappointing Fed chief Ben Bernanke and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Bernanke last week was given another four-year term to preside over nothing less than saving the U.S. economy and then keeping it strong. He was appointed by Bush in 2006 after a short stint as chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. Gates was kept in his Pentagon post to wind down the war in Iraq and build up the one in Afghanistan.

The loss of Sen. Ted Kennedy to brain cancer led to a chorus of laments about the dearth of politicians these days able to reach across party lines. While Obama hasn't had much luck with the highly polarized Congress in building bipartisan support on legislation, he's reached out often to Republicans in filling key jobs. [Khadija: So, basically he rewards the opposing party---whose leaders have told hysterical lies about his initiatives---we do remember the screams about "death panels"--- by appointing their people to high posts. Right. Sure.]

The notion that he's moving the government to the left "is laughable, it's utterly laughable," said Thomas E. Mann, a government scholar at the Brookings Institution. Mann said the decision to keep Bernanke and Gates "doesn't buy him a thing with Republicans but was a sign of good judgment in both cases" because Bernanke and Gates were doing good jobs.

Obama's larger problem is that he still does not have his own people in a majority of the government's top policymaking positions requiring Senate confirmation. But those he has put in top positions include a number of Republicans or nontraditional Democrats (Khadija speaking: In other words, Democrats in name only).

Along with Gates and Bernanke, they include:

-Sheila Bair as holdover chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. She has played a major role in the management of the financial crisis. A one-time unsuccessful candidate for a Kansas House seat, Bair was first appointed by Bush in June 2006. Forbes Magazine ranks her as the second most powerful woman in the world behind German chancellor Angela Merkel.

-Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, as transportation secretary. He was elected as part of the "Gingrich Revolution" of 1994 and was so trusted by both Republicans and Democrats that he was selected to preside over the House during the impeachment vote against President Bill Clinton.

-Former Rep. John McHugh from upstate New York, as Army secretary. McHugh was known by his House colleagues for an even temperament and willingness to work with Democrats.

-Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who was a Mormon missionary in China in his youth, as ambassador to China.

-Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian, as director of the National Institutes of Health. Unlike the others on the list, Collins is not a Republican and worked in the Obama presidential campaign. But he doesn't fit the usual mold of liberal Democrat as portrayed by many Republicans.

[Khadija speaking: Lovely. Just lovely. Is this what we voted for when we voted for Obama? Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that these Republicans and non-Democrat-Democrats are the best that can be found for these positions. ]

/snip/. . . Republicans are going all out on the war path, especially on health care overhaul and budget issues. [Yes, meanwhile Pres. Obama continues to suck up to these people. Think quick: When, if ever, did former Pres. Bush "reach out" to non-Republicans? He didn't. Bush governed as if he had been elected by a landslide or a clear majority of the voters, even though he wasn't.

Why is Pres. Obama acting like a beggar in what's supposed to be his own house? Answer: Because he's inherently weak. A people pleaser. And most importantly, he's a Crossover Negro Politician who does NOT have his own independent power base.

There are multiple things going on in this situation. There are some things going on that are particular to Pres. Obama:

*weak, people-pleaser personality

*half-White & half-foreign Black

*raised by Whites

*didn't grow up among African-Americans, therefore no natural African-American posse from childhood/high school/parents' friends, etc.

*only really exposed to African-Americans as an adult

And then there are some things that apply to almost ALL crossover Black politicians:

*didn't pay any "dues" in any Black organization or movement

*no Black "posse"/troops as a result of the above

*primarily focused on being perceived as "non-threatening" by Whites

*no Black "posse"/troops as a result of the above

I think this situation is exposing some of the costs of being a disconnected, crossover Black politician. Basically, Pres. Obama doesn't have a natural posse because he was dropped in by parachute among us.

Because he never formed a natural, Black posse, there's nobody around him that HE created and lifted up. NOBODY owes him. Meanwhile, he owes many, many other people and political "princes." Pres. Obama's situation is somewhat more extreme than "typical" African-American crossover politicians because of his family background. Typical African-American crossover politicians at least have Black potential posse members that they grew up with, or are friends of the family, etc.]

'Obama and his liberal congressional allies want to saddle taxpayers with even more debt through their government-run health care experiment that will cost trillions of dollars,' said Republican party chief Michael Steele. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, accused Obama of a management style that's 'not leadership, it's negligence.' Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said in Saturday's GOP video and Internet address that Obama's Democrats favor 'cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the elderly to create new government programs.'

/snip/. . . At the time he announced he was sticking with Gates at the Pentagon, Obama said he didn't ask the member of the Bush war cabinet to remain because of his party affiliation but because he felt he could best 'serve the interests of the American people.' Obama said he was 'going to be welcoming a vigorous debate inside the White House.'" [Khadija: You can read the rest of the story here:;_ylt=Ahyts12P2PmO4dHO8KA.3SID5gcF;_ylu=X3oDMTM1bzY3dHI2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwODMxL3VzX29iYW1hX3NfcmVwdWJsaWNhbnNfYW5hbHlzaXMEcG9zAzMEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDYW5hbHlzaXNvYmFt

This is looking more and more like what others have called "the status quo that we can believe in."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why It's Important To Have Dating Experiences In College: Readers' Money Quotes From Lisa99 & Tertiaryanna

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Skills Needed In Order To Move On: An Extended Reader's Money Quote From Evia

There's a very useful quote:

“If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once to what it teaches.” –by James Burgh (1714-1775), a Scottish author.

If you are an African-American woman who is currently displeased with what you are experiencing within all-African-American social and dating circles, you need to "listen at once" to what this negative experience ("affliction") is teaching you.

If you're paying attention and willing to learn, this "affliction" is teaching you to GET OUT, MOVE ON, and EXPAND YOUR NETWORKS to include healthier people and places within the global village. Evia, blog host of Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine talked about the necessity of moving on in a recent post:

In order to successfully transition to the global village of social networks, you're probably going to have to make some adjustments in how you respond to the global village. I notice that people often want to keep doing whatever they've been doing, and yet somehow get a different result. Come on, now. Intellectually, we all know that this does not work.

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such insight and importance that it merits frequent and loud repetition. During a recent blog discussion, Evia responded to several other commenters and said:

"22!? who the hell marries at 22?? [quote from another commenter]

When, I urge young bw to ***POSITION*** themselves early in their 20s (or earlier) toward marriage, I'm DEFINITELY not encouraging bw to get married at 22! I just want to make that clear. Also, this advice is only intended for those bw who actually WANT marriage. LOL!

As an old-school AA southern women, let me point out that since we were expected to get married, black teen girls (of a certain class--Oops--did I say "class"? LOL) made decisions all along that kept their path to marriage open. For ex.,they guarded their reputation; they put emphasis on looking attractive at all times in public, they behaved with decorum at all times in public, they behaved towards men in a friendly, polite, and definitely flirtatious manner (towards appealing men especially) or were never crude or rude towards men at all.

As a result of my upbringing during that time, I can flirt bigtime with any man because I saw girls and women doing this all the time around me. It was just one of the main ways that women reacted towards men. I'm talking about ***mild*** flirtatious banter which included 'come hither' body language, but not licking your lips or anything overt. ALL men react positively towards a flirtatious woman. If I, even at my age, started flirting with an 18 year old male, he is going to respond positively towards me. Males are wired in this way.

However, it seems--from the notes I get from bw--that this is a lost art. Old school bw (of a certain class) were subtle, but focused on uplifting themselves. There have always been more than enough DBR males of all types around women of all groups. Period. However, we were taught to stay away from DBRs. PERIOD. And were PUNISHED in various ways if we didn't. Old school black people did NOT have pity parties for DBR males. Too much was at stake. They didn't excuse them because ALL black people dealt with the blows of racism. ALL of us. Old school black mothers warned their daughters to stay away from loser men, who they did NOT hesitate to call "NO GOOD." So, young bw (of a certain class) were NOT confused, as so many bw are today."

"BUT! I have known many black girls at my own institution that were NOT the "nothin but a black man type" and were still unable to get a date. [quote from another reader]

I hear this comment a lot and before I say anything further, let me say that I know that ***some** wm are not asking bw out due to straight up RACISM, but racism is nothing new. And I certainly have NEVER advocated that bw mingle with racist wm.

But the following factors are areas that AA women are going to have to address and work diligently to change.

1. Bw shooting themselves in the foot with their mouths/keyboards. Bw broadcast too many self-destructive, self-defeating messages and it's assumed by folks who hear these messages that many other bw agree. For ex. I continue to read variations of the comment: "I don't want no white boy!" or "I'm not attracted to wm." These proclamations are deadly because wm know that the comment expresses the sentiments of countless other AA women. Also, typical AA women say and do NOTHING to counteract these proclamations. If there were ww making these same kinds of deadly proclamations about the undesirability of bm publicly, even bm who worship ww would never approach ww. Therefore many wm genuinely DO NOT BELIEVE that a typical black woman is interested in dating wm. Wm write to me asking me whether bw "really" like them. Also wm have lots of other choices of women, so they don't need to dig deeper to see how pervasive these sentiments are among bw.

2. Many bw are "CLOSED" to WM. Thanks for that term, Halima. It's something I notice all of the time. Bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards wm. The fact is that MANY bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards ANY man. I know WHY this is the case, but I'm talking about the "WHAT." How many of y'all can just be in the supermarket produce section and make a casual comment towards a wm who also standing there? How many of y'all can smile at a wm and engage in lighthearted banter with a wm? And wm have lots of other choices of women who ARE friendly and flirtatious towards them.

3. Many bw are still not comfortable with wm liking the way ***some*** bw look: big behinds, dark skin, tightly coiled (aka "nappy" hair) etc.

4. Many bw these days have self-esteem issues derived MAINLY from their "black" upbringing. Many bw obviously STILL see themselves through the eyes of damaged bm who worship euro looks/beauty and have decreed that "it's euro looks or nothing!" Therefore many bw CANNOT believe that wm see them as desirable women. Many of these women write to me with questions about their hair, skin shades, noses, lips (well not so much now that Angelina has made "big" lips sexy), etc. Yes, I realize that racist wm started the "black women are not beautiful" MYTH, but it's racist AA men who have carved this in stone in the minds of typical young bw and continue to reinforce it.

Many AA women need to just drop everything and get away from the bc and damaged black social circles as fast as they can because they cannot free themselves of these negative perceptions of themselves as long as they're around other blacks who have accepted these negative perceptions as facts. This is CRITICAL.

For ex., I consider my West-African featured looks to be quite attractive and this has been constantly reinforced by mainly African and white men who've constantly told me this and shown me with their TREATMENT of me that I'm desirable. I've mostly mingled with African and white men throughout my dating life. It's very clear to me that if I'd mingled mostly with AA males, I'd believe I'm unattractive, just as so many West-African featured young AA women do."

Evia, thank you for this extended Reader's Money Quote!

***AUDIENCE NOTE***Please be advised that I WON'T post any anonymous comments for this conversation. Because doing so would be unfair to the people who are being quite brave AND generous in sharing their thoughts and experiences about this very sensitive issue. Peace, blessings and solidarity.