poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Aug. 10, 2009 . Time: 9:21 p.m.

berlin Entry:



You always hear about how Jesse Owens was snubbed by Hitler - and right so. The story of the friendship displayed by the German Luz Long. What you hear about less often is the shameful behavior of the US president:

What Owens experienced after he scaled his Olympic peaks in Berlin was the sobering reality of a life back home where black people had to ride at the back of the bus and were routinely turned out of restaurants because of the colour of their skin. If there was uncertainty about the supposed snub he received from Adolf Hitler, there was no doubt about the response from Franklin D Roosevelt, the US president. Or rather, the lack of one. There was no White House reception for the US star of the Berlin Olympics. Roosevelt was scared of a backlash from southern voters.

The T&F championships are in Berlin this year, and athletes have a "JO" on their jerseys out of respect and in memory of Owens. Funny, as I write that down I realize those are my initials as well. ;)

9:21 p.m. - Aug. 10, 2009


census complaints

Interesting commentary on the census. I am sympathetic to the writer's point of view. He is from one of the states that will lose a seat thanks to counting illegal residents.

It's not nearly as interesting, however, as this one. This is really disgusting. Read the article carefully; it estimates $600,000 was spent on a complete boondoggle - that's one trip, folks.

The South Pole trip, led by Rep. Brian Baird (D., Wash.), ranks among the priciest. The lawmakers reported a cost to taxpayers of $103,000.

That figure, however, doesn't include the actual flying, because the trip used the Air Force planes, not commercial carriers. Flight costs would lift the total tab to more than $500,000, based on Defense Department figures for aircraft per-hour operating costs.

Lawmakers' response to criticism?

The knowledge gained is "profoundly important to how I do this job," added Mr. Baird, who at the time headed the House Science Committee's subcommittee on research and science education.

Associated Press
Brian Baird (D., Wash.)
Other legislators agree it wasn't all fun and games. "There are a lot more glamorous things to do than hang out on the South Pole," said Rep. Frank Lucas, an Oklahoma Republican who traveled as well. "I never want to wear that many clothes again."

Here is the one thing Republicans and Dems can agree on - a taxpayer-funded vacation.

5:48 p.m. - Aug. 10, 2009


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