Cory Booker: A Candidate Close-Up

Cory Booker: A Candidate Close-Up

by Amaya Oswald and D.S. Mitchell

Introduction to Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker waves to crowd during a polical rally

Senator Cory Booker waves to crowd during a political rally

As of February 1st, 2019, Cory Booker is officially running for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. As of March 20, 2019, he now makes up one of sixteen Democrats running. And there are at least 2-3 other hopefuls still on the sidelines, including former Vice President, Joe Biden.

Middle Class Cory

Cory Anthony Booker was born in 1969, in Washington, D.C. His parents were among the first black executives hired at IBM. Cory grew up in a strong middle class home in Harrington Park, New Jersey. His family was religious. It is easy to imagine. Sometimes when he is giving a stump speech you can almost feel the revival coming on. All we need is a little foot stomping to make it happen.


Booker earned both his bachelor's and his master's degrees at Stanford

Booker earned both his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees at Stanford.

Cory Booker seems to be a bit of an overachiever in my eyes.  Cory was a damn good student and a damn good athlete. He was good enough in football to be named to the 1986 USA Today ALL-USA High School Team.  He continued to play football and was a tight end for Stanford. Even in this more competitive environment Cory was named to the PAC-10 Academic Team. Additionally he found time to be elected class president, at least once.  He earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Sociology. He got a Rhodes Scholar appointment and received an Honors Degree in U.S. History. And he topped all that off with a Juris Doctorate in 1997, from Yale Law School. WOW. That deserves some respect.

Stunt Man

Cory Booker went on a 10 day hunger strike to draw attention to Newark's drug issues

Cory Booker went on 10 day hunger strike to draw attention to Newark’s drug issues.

All wrapped up in top student, top athlete, top candidate there is a bit of a stunt man and carnival barker. Cory Booker in 1998 won a seat on the Newark, N.J. Municipal Council.  While he was councilman he went on a 10 day hunger strike and set up a tent in a crime infested neighborhood to highlight the city’s drug problem .

Mayor of Newark

He tried for the mayor position in 2002, but lost. He tried again in 2006 and won becoming the 36th Mayor in Newark’s history. While Mayor, Booker would often go out with ‘first responders’ to answer calls. On one occasion he ran into a burning building and brought out a woman suffering from smoke inhalation. On another occasion he responded to a senior citizen’s home and proceeded to shovel the man’s sidewalk.  And who could forget when the mayor discovered a freezing dog. A hands-on activist, Booker literally protested Newark’s urban development plan. Are these actions based on genuine human concern, or just attention seeking behavior? I imagine, at least a little of both.

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Serial Killer Saudi Prince: The Death of Jamal Khashoggi


Serial Killer Saudi Prince: The Death of Jamal Khashoggi

By Michael Leonard Douglas and D.S. Mitchell

Who was He?

Khashoggi was a prominent reporter and appeared on many western news programs.

Khashoggi was a prominent reporter and appeared on many western news programs.

Probably one of the most talked about stories of 2018 was that of  Jamal Khashoggi. His story is one tragedy that no one saw coming. At the age of 59, Jamal Khashoggi was a well-known Washington Post journalist. His career spanned more than 35 years, back to the 1980’s.

Early Years

Shadowy arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi was Jamal's uncle

Shadowy arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi was Jamal’s uncle.

Jamal Khashoggi was born on 10/13/1958 in Medina, Saudi Arabia. He was born to a well-connected Saudi family. Jamal was the nephew of notorious Iran-Contra arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi who had an estimated wealth in 1984 of over $4B US. His first cousin, Dodi Fayed made headlines in 1997 when he was romantically linked to Princess Diana. Fayed and Diana were both killed in a car accident in Paris that same year. Jamal Khashoggi’s grandfather had been the personal physician to King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Khashoggi came to Indiana State for his higher education

Khashoggi came to Indiana State for his higher education.

Khashoggi attended elementary and high school in Saudi Arabia. He came to the United States for his college education and went to Indiana State University, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He married his first wife while in college and they later would have four children. Two of the children are American citizens.

Attitudes Change

Jamal Khashoggi smiles for the camera

Jamal Khashoggi smiles for the camera

Khashoggi had once been sympathetic to Islamist movements. He had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  He said when asked, “Yes, I joined the MB when I was at University like everyone else.” He described it as “an exercise of democracy in the Muslim world”. In fact, his work was first noticed internationally when he wrote multiple articles on  Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

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ONE by Metallica

The last jukebox choice of the day from This is one of my all time favorite Metallica songs. There was a time in the not too distant past when I was a Metallica junkie. But, actually it was a long time ago. Oh, the ravages of time on the mind and body. Despite all that, please enjoy one of the most powerful anti-war songs ever written, “One” by Metallica-Enjoy Darlene

The Eternity of Now: Beto 20XX

Beto O'Rourke in another nameless Pueblo in the heart of Texas

Beto O’Rourke in another nameless Pueblo in the heart of Texas. Will he run? Won’t he?


The Eternity of Now: Beto 20xx

By Ross Turner

The Eternity of Now: Beto 20xx

beto climbs aboard his skateboard and hits the parking lot for a night ride.

Beto climbs aboard his skateboard and hits the parking lot for a night ride.

Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and Beto O’Rourke’s commitment to eventually make a decision about whether to run for President.  The three-time House Representative has been touring through the Southwest like a tumbleweed and has displayed an equally impressive sense of direction.  Will he run?  Won’t he?  Only one man knows.  He has yet to be found.

Political  Rock Star

Today, the winds of chance have carried the political rock star to another dusty, nameless pueblo in the heart of Texas.  Arriving on his unicycle with a small but zealous flock of supporters and reporters, O’Rourke stopped to speak with Calamity Politics.

O’Rourke Stops to Comment

"Beto is right for the country in this moment," said a supporter.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought,” Beto said.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought,” remarked O’Rourke, fidgeting with a lightly-nibbled corn dog gifted by the local ranchers. “It’s a big decision.  A lot of other candidates have declared, but I have to do what’s right for the country and my family,” he said, accidentally dropping the corn dog and watching it roll under the wheel of a passing horse carriage. “Well, (laughs), that can happen too,” mused the candidate-candidate.

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OPINION: Land Seizure, Eminent Domain


Knocking down the old to build the new

Condemning property for government use is Eminent Domain. Many call it abuse of power or “theft”.


OPINION: Land Seizure


By T. K. McNeil

Keeping pressure up on lawmakers makes them accountable.

Keeping pressure up on lawmakers makes them accountable. Write letters, petition, vote.

Hold Them Accountable

Sadly many of the men and women elected to represent the American people; whether at the state or national level, have consistently demonstrated an inclination to put their own interests ahead of all else. Which is partly why petitions, letter writing campaigns and voter registration drives are so effective. Threaten an elected official’s job and you will get their attention.

If The President Does It, It Is Not A Crime

Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson was a man of his time

Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson was a man of his time meaning he owned slaves and made at least one of them his consort.

Despite issues of trust and mistrust most people do not feel the government is working directly against them. This general level of trust in government is also part of how injustices and atrocities happen. The last lines of the pledge of allegiance “with liberty and justice for all,” are in some case notably missing. The Founding Fathers revered on a level that approaches the religious, despite some rather uncomfortable historical facts. Indeed, the Founding Fathers added to the Constitution a concept that perhaps would have best been left in old Europe and their autocratic rulers.

It Must Be Okay

Americans are able to overlook and forgive a lot when it comes to government policies and actions. The overall sense being that if the government does it, it must be okay. However, with the situation on the southern border the right of government to seize privately owned property by right of Eminent Domain is once again coming under scrutiny.  The issue has been brought to the forefront by Trump’s demand for a “wall” on the Mexican border. The private property owners across four states are potentially affected. Thousands of lawsuits are in the future as Trump pushes for a massive government land seizure.

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“Ol Blue–By Joan Baez

Today, at we are celebrating the lives of our departed four-legged friends. In this Traditional American folk song Joan Baez laments the pain over the death of a ‘possum hound.  Dogs are a blessing to our lives. Be kind, give more than you take. You know, like your dog does for you.–Darlene

If you have lost a four-legged friend recently, maybe it is time to bring another hero into your life. Save a life. Adopt a homeless pet.